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Best Android Phones (Under Rs. 10,000) : Sept-Oct 2010

Back in June, we gave you a list of the best Android phones that you could choose from. Since then several new phones have been released that we have reviewed. So, here’s a list of top phones sporting Google’s ‘tasty’ Operating System.

Under Rs. 10,000

For people not very keen on lightening their wallets for a mobile phone, but yet want features of this celebrated mobile OS, here’s a phone that can do it all – the Samsung Galaxy 5 i5500. We had a brief hands-on with this phone, and going by what it offers at Rs. 9,000, we think it is a sweet deal.

Packaged in a cute and petite body, the i5500 has a decently sized 2.8-inch display, (unlike the tiny 2.55-inch one on the X10 mini) with a QVGA resolution. Being of capacitive nature and running a 600 MHz processor, this phone is snappy in its functioning. The phone has got good connectivity options given the price range — 3G (HSDPA), Wi-fi and A-GPS. It also has a 3.5mm headphone jack that lets you plug any earphone to it.

It runs Google’s one-generation-older Android 2.1 OS, with access to the Android Market, which was surprisingly missing on the Acer beTouch e110. However, the 2 megapixel fixed focus lens is the only sore point of this phone. The X10 mini is cuter but paying almost Rs. 15,000 is just criminal, as the only thing that’s brighter about this phone is its 5 megapixel camera. Incidentally, this is exactly what I’d said months ago even before the X10 mini had launched.

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Samsung Galaxy 5 i5500 Preview:

Samsung Galaxy 5 i5500

Imagine a Samsung Corby without the cheerful back plate colors; that’s the first thing that’ll strike you when you see the Galaxy 5 i5500. It is a handset with a petite form factor and snugs in the hand well. That’s due to the smaller 2.8-inch display; which is equally responsive due to the capacitive nature, but bears a lower QVGA (320 x 240 pixel) resolution. There are more physical buttons on the device and a D-pad as well, which should make the overall operation easier for some people. Once again, the i5500 isn’t as tough as it looks in the press images. The back cover is as plasticky as the Corby’s and the overall build quality isn’t great.

This phone too comes with Android 2.1 built-in. The TouchWIZ UI enhancement on it is a little different than the others, it seems more suited to cater to a smaller screen. The i5500 too has 3G, Wi-fi 802.11 b/g and Bluetooth 2.1 support. Along with that is A-GPS – we’re finally at that stage where a GPS chip isn’t a premium feature in a phone anymore. There’s no DivX support on this one. The camera is a pitiful 2 megapixel without autofocus and LED flash.

The on-screen keyboard on the 2.8-inch screen definitely felt a little too cramped to type on. Again, Swype could save the day if you can adapt to this style of user input. The Galaxy 5 i5500 sells for an attractive Rs. 9,000. Even without seeing the similarly priced Acer beTouch e110, we can safely say this phone will be a better buy. However, one tough competitor will be the Huawei Ideos, which sells in the same price range and has similar features; except that it runs Android 2.2 Froyo, and has a slightly higher 3.2 megapixel sensor.

But for any Corby lover, this phone is a great upgrade as it addresses almost all of my colleague’s complaints in his otherwise positive.


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