It is no surprise that cheap quad core smartphones will make its way into Indian markets pretty soon, especially with the launch of budget quad core chipsets based on ARM Cortex A5 and A7 architecture by multiple companies such as Qualcomm (Snapdragon S4 Play) and Mediatek (MT 6589). These chipsets further come with enhanced graphics. For example the Snapdragon S4 Play with 4 x ARM Cortex A7 CPU cores has the new Adreno 305 GPU, while the Mediatek MT 6589 has the powerful PowerVR SGX 544 GPU. Sweet ain’t it?
Cheap Quad Core smartphones
Presently, the Indian market is dominated by dual core smartphones of 4.5″ qHD (960 x 540 resolution) displays or 5″ WVGA or FWVGA (16:9) displays. Almost all phones (save some such as the iBall Andi 4.5h) invariably pack only 512 MB of RAM (paltry) and Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. And that landscape is about to change, soon.
Enter new budget quad core chipsets such as the Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Play and Mediatek MT 6589 (Rockship is another manufacturer who will produce cheap quad core chipsets) which will bring quad core smartphones at a budget price. The Mediatek MT 6899 should be seeing immense popularity among Chinese (and as a result, Indian) smartphones in the coming 2-3 months. Watch out for new launches. These smartphones are sure to pack Android 4.1 Jelly Bean (the Mediatek chipset is already optimized for Android 4.2 Jelly Bean), 1 GB of RAM and 4.5″ to 5″ display panels with qHD or even HD (1280*720) display resolution. Finally, these budget smartphones will be complete, and a product for say INR 15,000 by an Indian manufacturer might be able to compete with a top dog (or just below flagship) smartphone from a MNC (Samsung, Sony, HTC, etc.) smartphone which costs say INR 30,000. This can only be good, if not great news for all prospective Indian smartphone buyers looking for a new handset to rest on their palms.
Lava XOLO packing nVidia Tegra 4
Lava is on a device release spree. After remaining known in the market for the better half of 2012 with it’s Intel XOLO X900 smartphone, Lava has finally started launching it’s own smartphones such as the XOLO A700 and A800 and the more budget oriented Iris series.
Fresh news by Sunil Raina, business head, Xolo at Lava International:
“In the next 30 days we will be launching five ICS based and one Jelly Bean based handset in the market.”
“They will have mix of Intel, Qualcomm and MediaTek processors with display size varying between 3.5 – 5 inch.”
Lava has also confirmed that they are in the process of evaluating a smartphone based on the latest nVidia Tegra 4 quad core chipset, and that they may launch a smartphone based on the same around March, 2013. That is real soon. Unlike all other budget smartphones, or the upcoming budget quad cores which might be priced between Rs. 14,000 to Rs. 16,000, the XOLO Tegra 4 smartphone might end up with a premium price tag of around Rs. 20,000 which still justifies such high end hardware.
A quick look at the Tegra 4 chipset:
- 4+1 ARM Cortex A15 cores
- 72 ULP GeForce GPU cores
“We are in the process of evaluating the option to launch an Nvidia Tegra 4 smartphone.While Nvidia is yet to release a reference design based on the latest quad core chipset, we are hopeful that we will be able to bring a product based on the chipset by the end of February or March this year.”- SN Rai, co-founder and director of Lava International
Karbonn quad core packing Mediatek MT 6589
Karbonn is another company that has confirmed that they are working on a quad core packing smartphone and will launch it soon. Karbonn has opted to go for a Mediatek MT 6589 chipset based quad core, which is totally opposite to their new product launches such as the high end Karbonn A21 packing Qualcomm’s Snapdragon S4 Play chipsets, albeit the older ARM Cortex A5 based ones with a weak Adreno 203 GPU.
The Mediatek MT 6589 chipset will pack 4 x ARM Cortex A7 CPU cores. You can immediately tell that this chipset will be nowhere close to a Tegra 4 quad core by Lava (XOLO), but will still hold it’s ground against almost all current dual core smartphones in the market. The Mediatek MT 6589 chipset is already Android 4.2 optimized, and such a smartphone would easily pack a 4.7″ to 5″ HD display, (at least) 1 GB of RAM and decent multimedia capabilities as well.
Karbonn’s quad core smartphone will undoubtedly end up cheaper as well, say between the earlier mentioned Rs. 14,000 to Rs. 16,000 range.
[NEW] Micromax Quad Core phone coming soon
Micromax has confirmed plans to be working on a quad core smartphone as well. The quad core chipset in question will be made by Broadcom.
Micromax’s co-founder and business director, Vikas Jain said:
“Micromax will be launching a quad core Android smartphone based on Broadcom processor in March for around Rs 15,000. The quad core smartphone will have a 4.5 inch qHD IPS display, ICS or Jelly Bean operating system, 8 megapixel camera, and 4 GB of internal memory.”
Now we can only hope Micromax does it completely right by including launching the smartphone with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean in favor of the older Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. Additionally a Rs. 15,000 phone will hopefully pack the bare essential (nowadays) 1 GB of RAM as well.
Cheaper quad core smartphones by Global Brands
It is now the turn of Global Brands such as HTC, Samsung and Sony to show what they are working on to tackle these companies. We have to keep in mind that budget smartphones make up the maximum share in the market, and clearly with the incoming smartphones there simply is no place left for entry level smartphones from Global Brands any longer (no Galaxy Y phones anymore). Sony is already working on it’s own cheap quad core smartphone (based on Mediatek MT 6589), which may be showcased at MWC (Mobile World Congress) next month.
We eagerly await the next couple of months to see how the Indian smartphone market landscape will be molded by the incoming army of budget quad core smartphones.