Beijing-based Lenovo Group has upped the ante in the fast-growing market for affordable 4G handsets in India, with the introduction of a new device that is priced below two potential competitors.
Lenovo’s A6000 phablet was showcased at the recently concluded Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas and will soon go on sale in India. At 6,999 rupees ($113), the A6000 is currently the cheapest 4G smartphone in India, with competitive specifications, including dual-SIM support, and digital Dolby speakers. Its closest rivals are the YU-branded Yureka (about $145) handset from Micromax Informatics and Xiaomi Inc.’s Redmi Note 4G (about $160).
Xiaomi’s success in building up hype about its handsets with online-only sales has rubbed off on its competitors. The A6000 will be the third handset Lenovo will sell through the online shopping site Flipkart in an exclusive tie-up, after two of its Vibe smartphones. Registrations are on for the sale set for Jan. 28.
The Vibe user interface will also be found on the 5-inch A6000, which has a 1280×720 pixel display, a 1.2GHz Snapdragon 410 quad-core 64-bit processor, 1GB of RAM and 8GB storage. The handset also has an 8-megapixel main camera and a 2-megapixel selfie shooter. The smartphone will run on Google Inc.’s Android version 4.4 KitKat, powered by a 2,300 mAh battery.
Discerning buyers might still choose to wait for Xiaomi’s next flash sale and think the 9,999 rupees they would fork out for the Redmi Note 4G was money well spent. The smartphone has a bigger 5.5-inch screen and a 1.6GHz Snapdragon 400 quad-core chip. Its cameras are 13-megapixel for the primary and 5-megapixel for the selfie version. The Redmi Note 4G, which also offers dual SIM card support, has better storage as well, with 2GB RAM, and a more capacious 3100 mAh battery.
The YU Yureka 4G, which at 8,999 rupees sits squarely in between the A6000 and the Redmi Note might appear to be the real deal, offering most specifications that match the Xiaomi competitor and one or two that might even do better. The Yureka will go on sale on Jan. 22, on Amazon.com’s Indian site.