Smartphone competition is setting new trends almost every month. A device that was the best option to go for in the budget segment last year might not seem attractive in today’s market. Considering this, it becomes really hard for a non-tech savvy person to choose the right smartphone as per his or her needs.
After a week of research, we have come up with a list of five smartphones currently popular in the market for offering the best value for money under the price cap of 15,000 rupees.
Despite great efforts, Lenovo has failed to impress smartphone lovers. Most of its smartphones are criticized for bad UI, poor power backup, and unattractive design.
Lenovo has taken this problem very seriously and has launched a new child brand named Zuk recently. The first smartphone to launch under the name of this brand is Z1, which was released globally in the month of September last year, though it took time for the phone to become available in India.
The Zuk Z1 is priced at 13,499 rupees and packs some great features. Let us find out if this device is capable of making a difference or not.
Solid Build but Old Design
To be honest, the Zuk Z1 feels like a smartphone from the year 2012. Its shape reminds me of the Galaxy series phones of that time. The device features a hard plastic back panel with matte finishes.
I would like to point out though Lenovo has constructed the Z1 around a metal frame. Its chamfered edges and curved sides will blow your mind on the very first look. The manufacturer has brought premium design into the reach of budget users with this smartphone launch.
Best Display For Media Consumption
Under the price cap of 15,000 rupees, the Zuk Z1 features one of the best displays out there. It measures 5.5-inches diagonally and offers a full HD resolution of 1080 X 1980 pixels. The high pixel density of 401 PPI enhances users experience by generating sharp graphics. Further, the IPS panel of the screen produces accurate colors with wide viewing angles.
A black thin bezel runs across all sides of the screen. It makes the user feel that there are no bezels when the display is off. For some users, though this black bezel can prove to be annoying.
Flagship Grade Performance
The Lenovo Zuk Z1 sports Snapdragon 801 chipset, which was a flagship-grade chip just two years back. This chipset comes with four cores clocked at 2.5 GHz and is powerful enough to run almost anything you throw on it.
Although the Snapdragon 801 is a 32-bit chipset but users will face no performance issues on this smartphone because it comes with 3GB of RAM (64-bit processors are only required when the RAM memory passes 4GB mark).
The Zuk Z1 does not flaunt a microSD card slot. Still, users can store as much as data they want because it offers 64GB of onboard storage.
On the back of this smartphone is a 13 MP camera equipped with Optical Image Stabilization (a feature not easily found on budget smartphones). High shutter speed allows the users to capture important moments of their life without wasting a single second. Ability to record slow motion 1080p videos at 60 frames per second is another attraction.
Unfortunately, because of hardware limitation, the Zuk Z1 cannot record videos in 4K resolution. This drawback can affect the sales of the phone. Its selfie camera shoots images with an 8 megapixels sensor, whose Lens aperture is f/2.2. The sensor captures great details with perfect tones.
Fingerprint Reader and USB Type-C Port
This Lenovo smartphone features a fingerprint reader on the front home key. It is fast as well accurate, though to use it, you will first have to wake up the screen by pressing either the power key or the home key. At the bottom of the phone, Lenovo has placed a USB Type-C port to allow fast charging and fast data transfer as well.
The Zuk Z1 flaunts a massive 4100 mAh battery that should last for around two days on moderate usage.
The phone runs Cyanogen OS 12.1, an Android 5.1.1 based ROM, out of the box. It provides a number of customizable options to the user. Lenovo has promised to push Android Marshmallow based Cyanogen OS 13 update in the coming days.
- Fast fingerprint reader
- Great cameras
- High performing CPU
- 3GB of RAM
- 4G support
- High-resolution display
- USB Type-C port
- Cyanogen OS
- Long battery life
- Users will have to wake up the phone before using the fingerprint sensor
You cannot get anything better at this price point. No matter what type of user you are, the Zuk Z1 will perfectly suffice the needs. After purchasing this phone, the customers will not need an upgrade for another two to three years at least.
- Motorola Moto G4 Plus
Motorola has earned a great reputation in the last few years. All its products are durable and offer value for money. I, too, have a Motorola Moto G first generation smartphone that works perfectly even after two years of purchase.
Just last week, the Lenovo-owned company Motorola unveiled the Moto G4 Plus in the Indian market. This smartphone is available in two variants: a 2GB RAM/16GB storage variant for 13,499 rupees and a 3GB RAM/32 GB storage variant for 14,999 rupees.
The new Moto G4 Plus looks totally different from previous Moto series smartphones. It has a flat back and the Motorola dimple is much shallow this time around.
The Build quality of the phone is impressive as well. It feels highly comfortable in the hand. Even after falling from table’s height, the outer shell of the Moto G4 Plus does not get a single scratch.
After three generations, Motorola has finally upgraded the display of its budget oriented G series smartphone.
The G4 Plus hails a full HD 5.5-inch IPS panel. It offers a great visibility both outdoors and indoors. Corning Gorilla Glass 3 protection does help the display from getting scratches, but I would still recommend installing a screen protector on it.
This Motorola smartphone performs really well as compared to the Moto G3 Turbo. At its heart is a set of two quad-core processors clocking at 1.5 GHz and 1.2 GHz. Adreno 405 handles all the graphics smoothly.
On the Moto G4 Plus, one can run almost all games available on the play store. The Snapdragon 617 does not suffer from heat problem even if you play games for more than 30 mins.
Finally, A Fingerprint Reader
The Moto G4 Plus is Motorola’s first phone to feature a fingerprint reader. The manufacturer should have done this earlier; nevertheless, it is better late than never. Placement of the fingerprint reader on this phone can be annoying for some people. It sits below the display and does not act as a home key.
Best Mid-Range Camera Phone
This smartphone has greatly impressed me on the optical front. Its rear 16 MP sensor not only captures great images in daylight but collects good detail in dark situations as well. Laser assisted focus system helps the user in focusing the subject within milliseconds. Images turn out to be good in terms of color, saturation, and contrast. Its front 5MP shooter is no less impressive.
Motorola ships the Moto G4 Plus with the latest and the greatest Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow OS. The level of customization is minimal; as a result, the UI remains smooth no matter how many apps are running in the background.
The company also plans to roll out Android N update to this phone whenever it becomes available.
Other Important Features:
- Dual SIM with Indian 4G support.
- Fast charging support.
- Features a 3000 mAh battery.
- Solid build quality
- High pixel density
- Fluid performance
- Guaranteed Android N upgrade
- Great for photography
- Fingerprint reader does not perform any other function
From this discussion, it is pretty clear that the Moto G4 Plus is a great smartphone. Motorola has also equipped it with every feature possible at the price point. It is for people who want a durable smartphone with long lasting OS upgradability support from the manufacturer.
- Microsoft Lumia 650 Dual SIM
The Lumia 650 is the third Microsoft smartphone to run Windows 10 OS out of the box. Currently, it is available for around 15,000 rupees in the Indian market. Microsoft is optimistic with this phone but its success will totally depend on the response from customers.
Lumia smartphones always come in attractive outer shells and this device also maintains that reputation. Its brick design feels highly appealing to the eyes. A metal frame enhances the build quality and aesthetics of the Lumia 650. It offers a good grip and does not catch smudges easily.
The 5-inch screen of the Lumia 650 offers an HD resolution of 720 X 1280 pixels only, which is much low considering the Android alternatives. I would like to point out though the quality of this display is exceptional. The AMOLED panel produces life-like footage by illuminating each pixel separately.
Microsoft has also equipped its screen with Clear Black technology for reducing reflection during outdoor usage.
This smartphone is not for performance lovers. Even at the price of 15,000 rupees, it sports Snapdragon 212 chipset. The quad-core processor is based on an age-old Cortex-A7 architecture and clocks at a mere 1.3 GHz.
Just 1GB of RAM limits the user from opening multiple apps at once. In my opinion, the Lumia 650 is not for multitasking. Its onboard storage of 16 GB is expandable up to a whopping 200 GB via microSD card.
Highly Optimized OS
As I mentioned in the introduction also, this Microsoft phone runs Windows 10. The manufacturer has greatly optimized this operating system as per the hardware of the phone. You will not notice a single lag or stutter while browsing through the interface.
This optimized OS also helps in enhancing the battery life. Users can expect one full day of power backup from its 2000 mAh battery.
Not A Great Phone For Photography
The Lumia 650 comes with an 8MP rear and 5MP front camera. Both these cameras capture decent images in bright situations but in low lighting conditions, the picture quality degrades eventually. Microsoft Lumia 650 can only record 720p videos on this phone.
Other Important Features:
- Features two SIM card slots that are compatible with 4G networks.
- Corning Gorilla Glass 3 screen protection.
- Mind blowing design
- Durable build quality
- Optimized operating system
- Long battery life
- Good display quality
- Cannot record 1080p videos
- No fingerprint reader
We cannot compare Android with Windows: both these operating systems have their own eco-system. Android users demand more hardware power, but for Windows users that are not necessary. This is the reason why the Lumia 650 appears to be a good Windows smartphone even when it features a mediocre processor.