Budget smartphones have evolved at a considerably fast pace. They look a lot better and are a lot faster than the equivalents that you would have scored for the same price a year or two back. As of today, the ‘Disruption’ phase has taken a backseat and manufacturers, who aren’t as inclined to compete at razor thin margins, are focusing their energies on formulas that actually work well.
And here are a few trending concepts that Smartphone makers find really easy to market these days:
When the world abruptly shifted to 64-Bit processors, consumers had to endure more than a year and half of excruciatingly poor battery backup on their phones. This lead to a huge demand for phones with big batteries – and since affordable phones could afford to be thick and bulky (unlike premium flagships) the formula became an instant hit.
OEM’s like Gionee (Marathon series) and Asus (Max series) have wholeheartedly embraced this success formula and experimenting with the concept across a wide price gamut. You will find numerous budget phones striving to differentiate themselves based on mammoth battery capacities, and even with more power efficient chipsets cropping up, we don’t expect big battery phones to phase out anytime soon. Beefy batteries are super marketable for obvious reasons.
The Selfie Phones
The selfie phones were immensely successful last year and the momentum refuses to die down. When the megapixel race for the rear camera reached a saturation point, manufacturers shifted focus to the then-neglected front camera. And have reaped great results for the same.
Selfie phones with high megapixel front cameras are a rage these days, especially in the offline market. Since many consumers still equate megapixel count to camera quality, selfie phones from companies like Vivo, Oppo and Gionee have done exceedingly well and consequently, ‘selfie phones’ have managed to establish their distinct identity.
Dual Camera Phones
Phones like Honor 6X and Cool 1 Dual have made dual camera phones a hot trend in affordable and mid-range price segment.
There are two dual camera configurations prevalent today. One where the additional sensor is a smaller unit used to measure the depth of field or, in simpler terms, to differentiate between objects in the foreground and in image backdrop. And the second, where the extra shooter is the same size black and white sensor and the feed from the two shooters is combined for a more detailed image. The Honor 6X and Cool 1 Dual belong can be clubbed under the two categories, respectively.
With chipset makers upgrading ISPs to handle dual cameras better, the dual camera phones will only explode moving forward (not the Note 7 way, though).
Related Post: Best Dual Camera Smartphones Under 20,000 INR
Premium Design Phones
Though the design is what gets the least amount of attention in the budget segment, many manufacturers have endeavored to push ‘Premium design phones’ in order to stand out.
When it comes to budget phones, the design isn’t strictly about how the phone looks or feels when held in hands. It’s more about checking the right boxes and including the right labels. So, a premium design phone in budget segment will have
- 2.5D curved glass on display
- slim profile
- And a metal strip sandwiched between plastic caps (even when its a super-slim metal strip glued to plastic).
So yeah, budget phones are getting a bit formulaic, but at the same time, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. As a consumer, you should be clear about your individual needs, your options and shouldn’t let the marketing jargon cloud your judgment while you decide.