While it's a known fact that Samsung currently leads the 'phablet' (smartphone+tablet) segment hands down, it has not stopped others from trying to topple the giant from its No. 1 position. The latest challenger comes from homegrown handset manufacturer Micromax that has launched its latest phablet -- a 5 inch Canvas HD. Samsung has also launched a low-priced phablet in India called Galaxy Grand Duos. Let us now see how these gadgets match up.
Samsung Galaxy Grand Duos for Rs 21,500
The dual-SIM device has a 5 inch WVGA touchscreen display (800Ã—480 pixel resolution) and runs on the Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean operating system. It is powered by a 1.2 GHz dual-core processor, has 1 GB RAM and comes with 8 GB internal memory that can be further expanded up to 64 GB with a microSD card.
It has an 8 MP autofocus rear camera with LED Flash that can record full HD videos (1080p) and a 2 MP front-facing camera that can also record videos. On the connectivity front, the device has Bluetooth 4.0, Wi-Fi (with Wi-Fi Direct), 3G, and a microSD slot.
The smartphone measures 143.5 mm x 76.8 mm x 9.6 mm and weighs 161 gm. Samsung has provided a 2,100 mAh battery that it claims will provide over 10 hours of talk time and 440 hours of stand-by time. The device will also contain regular features of a Samsung device like S Voice, Smart Stay (doesn't dim the display as long as the user is looking at the device), All share and Chat On, among others.
All in all, the device looks like a toned down version of the company's flagship Galaxy Note products. With this device, Samsung must be looking to capture the under-Rs 25,000 price range, since both Galaxy S III and Galaxy Note II are priced over Rs 30,000.
While the price tag of Rs 21,500 is not that low, people looking to experience a decent large-screen device can opt for this. Else, they can also look at the new Micromax.
Micromax A116 Canvas HD, priced below Rs 15,000
The company's new phablet offering has a 5 inch HD IPS touchscreen display (1280x720 pixel resolution) and runs on the Android 4.1 Jelly Bean OS. Micromax has also partnered with MediaTek to provide (for the first time) an MT6589 1.2 GHz Quad-core processor. The device has 1 GB RAM and comes with internal storage of 4 GB, which can be further expanded to 32 GB with a microSD card.
The phablet has an 8 MP rear camera with LED flash and 4X zoom that can also record videos and a 0.3 MP front-facing camera. Similar to the A110 Canvas 2, the company's earlier phablet offering, this device will also support dual SIMs. On the connectivity front, the phablet will have Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and 3G and will come with a microSD card slot. Micromax has also provided a 2,100 mAh battery. Some of the pre-loaded apps include MiStore app! for downloading wallpapers, ringtones, etc.; MiBuddy to find friends easily and M!SMS, to chat on the go.
There is still no clarity on the dimensions of the device or it's exact pricing, although the company has mentioned that it is priced under Rs 15,000 and will be available in the market from the first week of February. Of late, Micromax has been picking up steam and launching a number of decent devices. Considering the price at which Canvas HD is offered, it is definitely worth a shot.
Other prominent phablets recently launched or going to be launched (not necessarily direct competitors, considering the price range) include Samsung's Galaxy Note II (Rs 36,900), Sony Xperia Z, Huawei Ascend Mate and D2, ZTE Grand S and Micromax's own A110 Canvas 2 (Rs 10,299). Note that Sony, Huawei and ZTE phablets were all showcased at the CES 2013 (read here for more on that).
(Edited by Prem Udayabhanu)