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Aakash maker DataWind enters Indian smartphone market with PocketSurfer range starting at Rs 3,499

In October 2011, DataWind Ltd, a wireless web access products and services developer, took the world by storm by launching the world's cheapest tablet called Aakash for Rs 2,500. The tablet was built in partnership with IIT Rajasthan, but turned out to be a super flop. However, this did not stop the company from capturing the second highest market share (12.3 per cent) in the Indian tablet market, after Samsung.

The company has now entered the Indian smartphone segment by launching a range of low-cost smartphones. Christened PocketSurfer5x, PocketSurfer5c+ and PocketSurfer3G5, the smartphones are priced at Rs 3,499, Rs 4,999, and Rs 6,499 respectively. According to the company, at Rs 3,499, the PocketSurfer5x is the world's cheapest 5 inch smartphone.

DataWind

Here is a look at the specifications of the devices:

All three smartphones come with FM radio & dual-SIM capability, and offer a 5 inch touchscreen display. While the costlier versions offer a 5 inch TFT WVGA capacitive touchscreen display (800×480 pixel resolution), the entry-level device PocketSurfer 5x offers a 5 inch TFT WQVGA touchscreen display. It runs on the Linux operating system, and is powered by a 1GHz Cortex A8 processor. On the connectivity front, it has Bluetooth, and a microSD & microUSB port. Its dimensions are 153mm x 78mm x 10.5mm and according to the company, its battery will provide up to 3 hours of talk time and a day of stand by time. The device also features a front facing VGA camera.

In comparison, PocketSurfer5 runs on the Android 4.0 (which is ancient history now) operating system and is powered by a 1GHz Cortex A9 processor. On the connectivity front, this one has Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and a microSD & microUSB port. The dimensions of the device are 144mm x 79.6mm x 10.6mm and it will provide up to 3 hours of talk time and 48 hours of stand by time. In addition to a front facing VGA camera, this one also features a 2MP rear camera.

The costliest offering by the company runs on the Android 4.2 Jelly Bean operating system and is powered by a 1.2GHz Cortex A7 dual-core processor. On the connectivity front, this one has Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and 3G (like the name already states), and a microSD & microUSB port. The dimensions of the device are 140.9mm x 72.9mm x 9.5mm and it will provide up to 4 hours of talk time and 48 hours of stand by time, according to the company. This one also features a front facing VGA camera, while the rear camera has been bumped up to 5MP.

"The new products break the affordability barriers of smartphones and bandwidth constraints of cellular networks to deliver calling facility and internet access to anybody who can afford a feature phone," said Suneet Singh Tuli, CEO, DataWind. "Globally, the massive shift from feature phones to smartphones is being driven by the appetite to get on the internet. We want to be an enabler for the same."

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