Entry-level devices are either meant to be your first phone, pretty much like your first car, which you use to test the waters and improve your driving skills, before upgrading to your dream flagship car. Now, imagine if your entry-level Alto came with air bags, a four-wheel drive, and an electronic sunroof! That's precisely what's happening in the smart phone market today. Small, budget phones boast of features that were earlier only available in mid-range devices. Let's take a look at two entry-level phones that impressed us with their specs and performance, this month:
Nokia 2.2 - Pocket Rocket
Fueled by Nordic engineering and rugged craftsmanship, the new and renewed Nokia brand has been steadily releasing products at every possible price bracket. With the Nokia 2.2, the brand has created what it claims to be the most affordable Android One device. Android One is Android's commitment to stock Android users, to provide an authentic and pure Android experience, along with the quickest updates. Nokia 2.2 is the only device in its price-belt to feature a combination of a biometric face unlock, a dedicated Google Assistant button, a camera setup featuring the AI-enabled low-light image fusion technology that bins together multiple images in low-light to churn out bright and sharp images.
Nokia goes a step further and actually offers integration with Google Lens, an edge-to-edge 5.7inch display, powered by a MediaTek A 22 processor, which means better optimization of the 300 mAh detachable battery. The hand feel of this device is optimum and the size, along with its curved edges makes it a device that fits snuggly and is optimized for one-hand usage. The Nokia 2.2 is available at Rs. 6999 (2 GB + 16 GB) and Rs. 7999 (3 GB + 32 GB), a very attractive price for an Android One device with AI features never seen before in any entry-level device!
iOne - The micro mini from Micromax
When any brand makes a 'made in India' budget phone, it automatically makes the news. Micromax made things even sweeter with the Micromax iOne by creating a device with an aspect ratio of 19:9 and a notch display, two flagship features, along with face unlock and an optimized selfie camera. Peppering it up with small, but useful features such as a dual-SIM and a separate micro SD slot, and Android Pie out of the box, Micromax, has created an entry-level monster, with an asking price of Rs. 4999 (2 GB + 16 GB), with a 5 MP + 5 MP camera module and an octa-core processor, powered by a 2200 mAh battery.
Until now, we couldn't dream of a sub-Rs 5000 smart phone with an octa-core processor and biometric face unlock. While this device may not choose to challenge the biggies, it is a reflection of how technology is rapidly levelling the playfield. The iOne is a prime example of this trend.