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PhoneRadar Awards 2014 – Best Budget Smartphone of the Year

By Vishal Toshiwal on Wednesday 31st of Dec 2014

Today we are going to talk about this year’s Best budget smartphones. India is a great developing mobile market for big international brands like Motorola, Asus, Xiaomi and as well as other manufacturers. But the key to success in the country that craves for the value for money products is giving them the budget friendly smartphones. And that’s what most manufacturers managed to do this year, as we saw the announcement of various budget smartphones in 2014.

The list included at least 10 devices this year. First being the Taiwanese manufacturer’s Zenfone 5. Then, the list is followed by the launch of Motorola’s first budget smartphone since it came back to India. It was the Moto E, which is still one of the best performing budget phone. It was followed by the launch of Micromax Unite 2, and Lava Iris X1, which are pretty decent smartphones for their price point. But the Indian market was blown away when the most awaited budget phone, the Redmi 1S was announced for the aggressive pricing of INR 5999.

We also saw the announcement of Samsung Galaxy S Duos 3 and LG L60 in the same month. Later in the month of October, Google launched the Android One platform with three smartphones, one each from Spice, Micromax, and Karbonn Mobiles. While the Huawei Honor Holly was also announced in the same month with pretty interesting features just at 6999 price tag.

The other interesting devices in the list were recently announced Microsoft’s first phone, the Lumia 535. But unfortunately it didn’t make the cut to the list of Top 5 Budget Smartphones of the 2014. Note that, we have not included the Xiaomi Redmi Note, even though it fall in line with the pricing of under INR 10k. The prime reason to do that was because we are not considering the phablet devices in this range. If we would’ve done so; then there are many devices that would have also come under this list from the manufacturers like Micromax, Karbonn, Lava, etc. The list has made keeping in mind all the important factors that should be present on a budget smartphone.

Display

If we see according to the PPI, then the clear winner among the five smartphones would be the Redmi 1S with 312 PPI. While the Zenfone 5 and Honor Holly, both comes with a 294PPI. The other contenders like Moto E and Spice Android One doesn’t stand a chance with 256 and 218 PPI. So, the clear winner in this aspect is the Redmi 1S.

Xiaomi Redmi 1s Photo

Memory (Internal & External)

Coming to the storage part, the internal is the matter of importance here, which is plenty of it on the Huawei Honor Holly, making it a winner with 16GB. While there are two runner ups first is the Zenfone 5 and then followed by Redmi 1S. While Moto E and Spice Dream Uno have only 4GB internal storage. Though, external storage is available on all of the devices in the list.

Camera

The fact here is that three of the device clashes in terms of pixel resolution of rear camera. But if we see practically, the Zenfone 5 is the winner here, and all thanks to the Pixel Master technology used in the device. But again, the Redmi 1S and Honor holly also has pretty decent camera. Whereas the Moto E has the worst camera and doesn’t even in par with the current standard, if you look at the Android One phones like Spice Dream Uno.

Huawei Honor Holly Camera

Hardware

Next up is the hardware on this device. Even though, Intel being a new entrant in the smartphone market with ATOM processors, the chipset on Zenfone 5 is pretty powerful. While Snapdragon 400 provides enough power on Redmi 1S, whereas the Moto E comes with low-powered Snapdragon 200 chipset. The other two contenders in the list come with Mediatek MT6582 processor, making Zenfone 5 a winner in this aspect.

Battery

One of the important aspects of all is the battery life on these smartphones. The worst battery in the list is of Spice Dream Uno, which has a rating of 1700mAh. And with 2110mAh battery rating, the Zenfone 5 wins in this aspect. The other contenders like Redmi 1S and Honor Holly, packs battery of 2000mAh, while Moto E has a battery at 1980mAh.

Asus Zenfone 5 Tip Insert SIM

Pricing

Comes the pricing factor, which is the most important factor among the budget smartphones. If you see according to the numbers, the Redmi 1S is the clear choice, as it is aggressively priced at INR 5,999 for its hardware specs. Though, the Zenofone 5 would be a winner if we take the service availability and build quality of the device. Since, Xiaomi being a new entrant in the country; there after sales service isn’t available everywhere. And Asus Being a tier 1 brand in the country, the consumers will probably go with the Zenfone 5.

Verdict

So, the winner in this showdown of budget smartphones is the Zenfone 5 considering the fact that it is more favorable brand than Xiaomi in the country, as well as has a great set of hardware under INR 10,000 pricing. But according to numbers, the Redmi 1S is also a close performer to the Asus Zenfone 5.

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