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Micromax's Costliest Offering Till Date, Is It Worth The Price Tag?

Home grown mobile handset brand Micromax made its name with feature packed phones at mass end pricing that sold like hot cakes. Now the Indian handset firm has launched its latest and the priciest smartphone 'Superfone A85' that runs on the Android 2.2 operating system (OS).

Although it has not been officially announced by the company, it is available for purchase online for Rs 18,990.

The mobile phone has a 3.8 inch capacitive touchscreen (480x800 pixel resolution) and runs on the Android 2.2 (Froyo) OS. It is powered by a 1GHz dual core processor and has 512MB of RAM. The internal memory of the device is 8GB which can be expanded up to 32GB with a microSD card.

The device comes with a 5 mega pixel autofocus rear camera which can also record videos, but no LED flash which is a downer. There is also a 0.3 mega pixel front facing camera which has been provided for video calling. On the connectivity front, the device comes with Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and 3G. The device also has stereo FM radio, A-GPS support and a microUSB port.

The dimensions of the device are 118.7mm x 60.1mm x 13.8mm and its weight is 128 grams. The device has a 1500mAh Li-Ion battery that should provide up to 3 hours of talk time and up to 250 hours of stand-by time. The device is available in black colour.

The mobile phones direct competitors in the Indian market include LG Optimus Black P970 (18,990), HTC Desire S (Rs 21,500), Sony Ericsson Xperia Ray ST18i (Rs 19,000) and Dell Venue (Rs 21,850)

Home grown handset makers have been making their presence felt in the Indian mobile market since Micromax, along with the other top 5 Indian vendors accounted for 19 per cent of the mobile shipments in India in Q2 2011.

The company had earlier partnered with Nazara to pre-load their handsets with EA games, it also overtook LG to become the third largest player in India in terms of revenues for FY2010-11, behind handset giants Nokia and Samsung.

Our Take

The Superfone A85 is the costliest mobile phone offering by Micromax so far and the company looks to target the mid-range segment with the device. As far as specs go, the mobile phone is decent enough, although the company should have provided Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) OS and at least a LED flash.

Also, considering the fact that its competitors include popular mobile phone brands like HTC, LG and Sony Ericson, whether the consumers will actually shell out money for the device is something we will have to wait and see.

Till now Micromax buyers would have had a trade-off between a more recognized brand to go with or choose value for money and if Micromax sales numbers are anything to go by, they chose the latter. Cutting into a market packed with global brands is always tough for home grown brands associated with mass end of the business, though as many consumer goods firms have shown, it's not impossible. The endgame could be decided by distribution presence offline as well as online.

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