The Best Android Phones Coming to India in 2011

The Android revolution began about 3 years back and its stunning growth has dwarfed the growth of even iOS (iPhone) as a mobile platform. It is now the most popular mobile OS in the US, and is on its way to becoming the most used mobile OS in the world. It is expected to overtake Symbian soon, and will soon be the Windows of the mobile world.

Unlike Apple which always ignores India when launching new products, most Android manufacturers have made sure that they launch new Android smartphones in India at the same time as the worldwide launch.

As I’ve said before, 2011 is going to be the year of Android. We have seen a lot of exciting devices at CES, MWC and CTIA 2011. Most of these devices will either be launched soon, or have been launched already.

In this post, I will show you the best Android phones that money can buy. Despite the title, the list is relevant to users around the world, not just Indians.

1. Samsung Galaxy S 2

This is definitely the best Android smartphone that money can buy. It has received the best reviews yet, and offers the best overall package, compared to any other Android phone. It is the successor to the most popular Android phone of 2010 – the Samsung Galaxy S.

It has an excellent 4.3 inch SuperAMOLED Plus display which has a resolution of 480 x 800 pixels. It comes with an 8 MP camera which can record 1080p video, a 1.2 GHz dual core Exynos processor, 1 GB RAM and 16 GB internal storage. It runs Android 2.3 Gingerbread with TouchWiz 4.0.

It is expected to be launched by the end of May 2011 and will be priced at around Rs. 30,000 to Rs. 35,000.

Samsung Galaxy S 2

2. HTC Sensation

The HTC Sensation is probably the only phone which can rival the Samsung Galaxy S 2 in terms of specifications and features.

It will come with a 4.3 inch S-LCD touchscreen display with a resolution of 540 x 960 pixels. It will come with Android 2.3 Gingerbread and has the HTC Sense 3.0 UI, which is widely regarded as the best third party Android UI.

It has a dual core 1.2 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, an Adreno 220 GPU and 768 MB RAM. It also comes with an 8 MP camera with dual LED flash which can record 1080p video at 30 FPS. It has 1 GB internal storage, and is a bit heavier than the Galaxy S 2, at 148 gms. It will likely be launched soon, but we have no idea about the pricing.

HTC Sensation

3. LG Optimus 2X

The LG Optimus 2X was the first Android smartphone with a dual core processor. While it was launched some time back, it is still one of the best Android phone options in India. In the US, you can buy the T-Mobile G2X which is identical to the Optimus 2X, and comes with pure Android 2.2 Froyo.

It comes with a 4 inch LCD touchscreen display with a resolution of 480 x 800 pixels. It also has a 1 GHz dual core Cortex A9 processor (Tegra 2) and offers 1 GB RAM. It has an 8 MP camera and can also capture 1080p video at 24 FPS. Though it’s not as good as the Samsung Galaxy S 2, it is much cheaper. You can get it for as much as Rs. 28,000.

Buy the LG Optimus 2X on Amazon.

LG Optimus 2X

4. Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc

The Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc was recently launched and is probably the most stylish Android smartphone to date. It is extremely slim, and has a very sleek design. It comes with a 4.2 inch display and has a 1 GHz Qualcomm MSM8255 Snapdragon processor, an Adreno 205 GPU and 512 MB RAM. It also offers an excellent 8 MP camera, which makes it the best Android camera phone. It is powered by Android 2.3 Gingerbread and has the Sony Ericsson custom Android UI.

It is available for Rs 28,000.

Buy the Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc at Flipkart.

Buy the Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc at Amazon.

Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc

5. Sony Ericsson Xperia Play

The Sony Ericsson Xperia Play is another notable Android phone. It deviates from the touchscreen only trend in Android phones, and features a unique gaming keypad which slides out from under the display. It has the same hardware as the Xperia Arc – 1 GHz Qualcomm MSM8255 Snapdragon processor, an Adreno 205 GPU and 512 MB RAM.

It also has a 5 MP camera and Android 2.3 Gingerbread, but the main attraction is the library of exclusive PSP games which it supports. If you are a gamer, and want an Android smartphone, the Xperia Play is the device you should get.

It is priced at Rs. 30,000.

Buy the Sony Ericsson Xperia Play at Flipkart.

Buy the Sony Ericsson Xperia Play at Amazon.

Sony Ericsson Xperia Play

6. HTC Incredible S

HTC was the top dog in the Android arena an year back, but since the launch of the Galaxy S, Samsung has become the dominant player. HTC, though, has been trying to get back to the top.

The HTC Incredible S is one of the best Android smartphones by HTC. It comes with Android 2.2 Froyo and the HTC Sense 3.0 UI, probably the best third party Android UI. It will definitely get an upgrade to Android 2.3 Gingerbread and comes with a 4 inch, 480 x 800 pixel display. It has a 1 GHz Qualcomm MSM8255 Snapdragon processor, 768 MB RAM and comes with the Adreno 205 GPU as well. It has a very good 8 MP camera which can capture 720p video.

It is the cheapest of the lot. It is priced at Rs 26,399.

Buy the HTC Incredible S at Flipkart.

Buy the HTC Incredible S at Amazon.

HTC Incredible S

We might see many more Android smartphone launches soon, but for the next 2-3 months, this list should guide you well, should you want to buy the best Android smartphone in India, or the world, for that matter.

Update: Also check out our news Smartphone Buying Guide in India for 2011

LG Launches The Android Powered Optimus Me In India For Rs.8999

After the huge success of the LG Optimus One, LG announced the Android powered Optimus Me smartphone in March. This handset is the cheaper version of the LG Optimus One. The LG Optimus Me runs on the Android 2.2 (Froyo) operating system and it comes with a 3.2 inch touchscreen display, 600 MHz processor, 3G Connectivity, 32 GB expandable storage and so on. This handset have been finally launched in India. Check out the complete specs below.

lg optimus me

LG Optimus Me Specifications:

  • 3.2 inch TFT capacitive touchscreen display
  • 320 x 480 pixels resolution
  • 600 MHz processor
  • Android 2.2 (Froyo) Operating System
  • GPRS/EDGE
  • 3G Connectivity
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
  • 3 megapixel camera
  • Video recording
  • Audio and video player
  • 3.5mm headset jack
  • Bluetooth 2.1
  • GPS
  • 512 MB RAM
  • 140 MB internal storage
  • MicroSD card slot
  • 32 GB expandable memory
  • Up to 510 hours of stand-by time
  • Up to 7 hours of talktime
  • 1250 mAh battery

LG Optimus Me comes with a price tag of Rs.8,999. This handset will be updated from Android 2.2 to Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) OS later this year. This handset is available in 5 different colors Black, Silver, Blue, Red and Pink. This handset will compete with other budget Android phones such as Samsung Galaxy Pop and LG Optimus One in India. To learn more, head over to this page.

Apple iPad 2 Coming To India On April 29

Last week, we reported that there is a very strong possibility of Apple officially launching the iPad 2 in India. Well, it’s official now!

Apple has just announced that they will be officially selling the second generation iPad in India. The magical tablet device will be available across India beginning from April 29th.

Apple_iPad_2

Along with India, the iPad 2 will also be available in Japan, Hong Kong, Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, Israel, South Africa, UAE, Turkey and Mac on April 29th. The iPad 2 packs in a dual-core A5 processor, a GPU which is nearly 9x times more powerful than its predecessor, and 512MB of RAM.

Apple has also gone ahead and unveiled the prices of the iPad 2 in India. The 16GB Wi-Fi model of the iPad 2 will carry a MRP of Rs. 29,500, while the 32GB and the 64GB will retail for a MRP of Rs. 34,500 and Rs. 39,500, respectively.

The 16GB 3G+Wi-Fi model of the iPad 2 will cost Rs. 36,900, while the 32GB and 64GB will set back users by Rs. 41,900 and Rs. 46,900.

It is really nice to see Apple launch the iPad 2 in India, in line with the rest of the world. Apple was heavily criticized for not launching the original iPad in India.

Cricket Fuels 50% Mobile Downloads In India: BuzzCity Report

Cricket is no doubt one of the most hyped happenings throughout in India. Not only a lot of businesses in India thrive around the sport but a lot of them (whose business is not related to sports) use Cricket as means of garnering users and new customers. Mobile Advertisement Network BuzzCity has come up with their quarterly report which again proves that India is one of the fastest mobile markets.

According to the report published by BuzzCity, India topped the ad-impressions table with an increase of 44% in the ad-impressions volume in Q1, 2011 as compared to that in Q4, 2010. This shows how more and more Indian users are jumping to mobile web content via various applications and internet.

India also topped the Game / Mobile App downloads rankings table with almost 15 Million apps / games download for mobile phones. This is a whopping 26% growth as compared to the last quarter. Most of the mobile apps and games that were downloaded were Cricket centric and 50% of game downloads in India were related to cricket. Advertisers and
developers have taken this advantage and launched various cricket-themed applications, games and marketing campaigns and have tasted success!

India’s Internet Control Laws: As Vague As It Gets

Pssst: don’t tell anyone. Sneaking this post in before Techie Buzz gets blocked for posting articles that threaten the unity or integrity of the country, and before my free speech right is taken away because I have been blasphemous in a secular country. Yes, I will be clapped in irons because one of my posts deals grossly harmfuldamage on some entity of the Indian nation like calling him enna rascilla!and I will be put to trial for reading Wikileaks because that threatens friendly relations with foreign states. These are the kinds of clauses in the new Internet Control Laws which might soon become Internet Control Acts. You can download the original PDF of the Law here.

ICL

As MediaNama reports with righteous anger, it appears that these laws have been made specifically to curb free speech, instead of aiding and abetting free speech. It seems that in this country, free speech is a curse that must be lifted bit-by-bit by the bureaucracy in order to make life easier for them since once the Laws (especially this one) are turned to Acts, there is very little chance of recourse. It also seems that whenever the lawmakers make these laws, they make sure it is so ambiguous that everything can be turned against the alleged perpetrators.

While the number of IT crimes are on a rise these days and unethical cracking is a menace, curbing the free speech rights and making ambiguous laws against such crimes is definitely not the answer. For what it’s worth, I believe the MPs need to use the internet and see the differences between the knowledge part of the internet with its free and unadulterated sharing of free knowledge and very easily accessible, and the seedier parts of the internet which are accessible only to those with an already criminal intent, and make their laws according to their observations.

That, or a huge proportion of us internet-using Indians need to stand for elections next year.

N.F. Indian Railways Email System Hacked By PCA

India and Pakistan have never been good at relationships either offline and online and this has been apparent with the Indian hackers hacking Pakistani websites and the Pakistani Cyber Army (PCA), as they call themselves hacking several high profile websites like the CBI website and more.

However, it looks like things had calmed down as the PCA offered a Ceasefire on hacking Indian websites. However, it looks like that the war is on again. Some Indian hackers hacked the Pakistani Air Force Backup server and several other servers on the same network and in retaliation the Pakistani Cyber Army has hacked the email system for the Indian Railways.

Indian Railways Email Hacked

In a Press Release sent to us by the PCA from an email address [email protected], which is an email address for the Indian Railway system. In addition to that, they also send us screenshots of the administration panel of Indian Railways email and a screenshot displaying a welcome message for the new email they created (click to enlarge).

Indian Railways Email Admin Panel Hacked

Indian Railways Email Welcome Message

In their message to us the PCA said that they have extracted email addresses and passwords for the Indian Railways and also downloaded confidential emails that existed in the system, however, they did not delete any messages from the servers. The email system they hacked seemed to be the N.F Railways which is also known as the Northeast Frontier Railways.

However, it does not look like any of the Indian Railways servers were compromised at all because the N.F. Railways uses a service called Atmail as their mail solution and it looks like the PCA discovered vulnerabilities in it and exploited them. We have contacted Atmail for more insights into this and as to how they are going to tackle this.

Such kind of things are really not acceptable, however, it does go to show that people can take national enmity to any level including the internet. You can read the entire message sent to us by the PCA below.

Dear All, Answer to Indian hackers for hacking the server of Pakistan Air Force

We are Pakistan Cyber Army (Real PCA is Reality). Many times we told Indian hackers out there from various groups that don’t mess with any Pakistani site or server especially systems from government organizations. We observe another attack on 22nd April 2011 at Pakistan Air Force Server backup server and other 8 machines on the same network. We would like to tell you that Pakistan Cyber Army is looking at each and every move you do on the cyber front of Pakistan. Indian hackers were unable to do anything accept taking screenshot of the server. We told you before that we will smoke your door off but we think you more like to be burned in fire then accept some. Go read some course books else you will lose both your name and this game.

We hacked Indian railway’s email system and download all of the confidential emails as well as email addresses and their passwords. Next time we will attack your more sensitive areas where it will hurt you more. We did not delete anything on the mail system although we thought about it for a while but we are not out to destroy. Never under estimate capabilities of Pakistan and the sons of the land. Your Central bureau of investigation still looking for our clues keep on Looking CBI and use all of your investigation Agencies, keep on searching us in USA, Latvia, China, India and all of the countries listed on the MAP. We are for peace as long as no offensive attacks from your side. We are Nationalist and we are on our mission and that is the retaliation. We can’t stop Indian hackers to hack servers on our side but we can give you the best of answers possible. Your National Informatics Centre team is useless you guys can’t stop us.

We don’t accept your supremacy in Information Technology as well as in any other field. We have the minds to answer your every move. We are for Pakistan and Pakistan Cyber Army Knows its responsibility and we will never shatter the hopes of our Pakistanis. We are sleeping but not dead.

Pakistan Zindabad

Pakistan Cyber Army (Real PCA is Reality) Peace

BlackBerry Style 9670 CDMA Launched In India For Rs.24,990

Last year, BlackBerry announced the launch of BlackBerry Style 9670 flip smartphone exclusively on the airwaves of Sprint in the US. Finally after waiting for more than six months, this handset has been officially launched in India. BlackBerry Style 9670 is a CDMA phone, so it can be used only with Reliance, Tata Docomo and MTS in India.

This handset runs on the Blackberry 6 Operating System and it comes with a two large display, full QWERTY keyboard, 3G Connectivity, 5 megapixel camera and more. The external screen can be used for quickly viewing notifications and messages, while the high-resolution internal screen can be used for web browsing and watching videos. Check out the complete specs below.

blackberry style

The CDMA segment represents a significant portion of the overall mobile subscriber base in India and we are pleased to further our commitment to Indian consumers with the introduction of this powerful and stylish BlackBerry smartphone,said Frenny Bawa, Managing Director, India, Research In Motion. The BlackBerry Style is a new and exciting choice for customers, offering an attractive flip design and an intuitive user experience powered by the new BlackBerry 6 operating system.

BlackBerry Style 9670 features a 2.7 inch QVGA internal display with 360 x 400 pixels resolution, 2 inch QVGA external display, BlackBerry 6 Operating System, Full QWERTY keyboard, Trackpad, Wi-Fi, 3G Connectivity, 5 megapixel camera with flash, continues auto-focus and image stabilization, VGA video recording and so on.

Other features include a 3.5mm audio jack, Multimedia player, Bluetooth 2.1 with A2DP, GPS, 512MB internal memory, 32GB expandable memory, 8GB card included, BlackBerry Maps, 14 hours of music playback, 4.5 hours of talk time, 10.5 days of stand-by time and a 1150 mAhr battery.

BlackBerry Style 9670 comes with SNS apps for accessing YouTube, BBM, Facebook, Twitter and MySpace. This handset comes with a price tag of Rs.24,990.

Acer Liquid Mini Launched In India For Rs.11,990

Earlier this year, Acer announced the Android powered Acer Liquid Mini smartphone at the CES 2011 in Las Vegas. Acer finally launched this budget smartphone in India. Acer Liquid Mini is the cheaper version of the popular Acer Liquid smartphone. This handset runs on the Android 2.2 (Froyo) Operating System and it comes with a 3.2 inch HVGA touchscreen display, 5 megapixel camera, 3G connectivity and more. Acer Liquid Mini will compete with budget Android phones such as LG Optimus One and Samsung Galaxy Pop in the Indian market.

acer liquid mini

Acer Liquid Mini features a 3.2 inch HVGA touchscreen display, 480 x 320 pixels resolution, 600 MHz Qualcomm 7227 processor, Android 2.2 (FroYo) OS, 3G connectivity, 5 megapixel camera with 480p video recording, Bluetooth, GPS, stereo FM radio, DLNA connectivity, Wi-Fi, 512MB RAM, MicroSD card slot, 32 GB expandable memory, 2 GB MicroSD card included, up to 6.5 hours of talk time, up to 20 hours of stand-by time and a 1300 mAh battery.

This handset measures 110.4 x 57.5 x 13 mm and weighs just 109g. Acer Liquid Mini is available in 3 different colors – Jet Silver, Royal Blue and Piano Black. It allows you to view and edit popular office files (Word, Excel, Powerpoint and PDF) and send them through your work email with support for Microsoft Exchange.

Acer Liquid Mini comes with a price tag of Rs.11,990. Sadly, this handset does not have a front-facing camera for video calling. Are you planning to buy this budget smartphone? Let us know your views in the comments below.

Apple iPad 2 Launching in India by April End?

Apple launched the iPad 2 more than a month back, but like always, it ignored India during the initial launch phase. Besides, it just launched the iPad in India, so it was unlikely that it would launch the iPad 2 anytime soon.

However, Apple COO, Tim Cook revealed during its Q2 2011 earnings call that the iPad 2 will be launched in 13 new countries next week. That was a ray of hope for Indian Apple fans who have been dying to buy the iPad 2.

Apple has also been featuring the iPad 2 quite prominently on the Apple India homepage, which would usually mean that it is contemplating a launch in India. Today, OnlyGizmos reported that a “trusted source” has confirmed that the Apple iPad 2 will be launching in India next week. It will be launched at Croma, Vijay Sales and Reliance iStores. It will be priced at the same price points the iPad was originally launched at. The 16 GB Wi-Fi iPad 2 would be priced at Rs 27,900 while the 16 GB 3G+Wi-Fi iPad 2 will be priced at 34,900.

The exact launch date is expected to be April 28 or 29.

Apple iPad 2

While this hasn’t been made official yet, all indicators point towards the same thing – that Apple will be launching the iPad 2 in India soon. I have my fingers crossed.

Samsung Galaxy S 2 Coming to India in May

The only country where the launch of the Samsung Galaxy S 2 had been announced was the UK. According to Samsung UK, the Galaxy S 2 will be launched there on May 1.

Today, at the Samsung SWA Forum 2011 in New Delhi, India, the company informally announced the launch dates for the Galaxy S 2 in India. It will be launched in May, with a price tag close to Rs 30,000, likely higher. Samsung representatives hinted that the Galaxy S 2 will be launched in the range of Rs 30,000 to 35,000. The exact pricing hasn’t been revealed yet.

The Samsung Galaxy S was the most popular Android phone of 2010. The Galaxy SL is currently priced at Rs 19,500 in India. Many Android fans are eagerly awaiting the launch of the Galaxy S 2. Pricing it above Rs 30,000 will probably hurt sales. I certainly hope it is priced in the Rs 25,000 to 30,000 range, but I doubt that would be the case, given the intense demand for the successor of the Galaxy S. You can expect a small price drop though, after the initial excitement subsides.

The Samsung Galaxy S 2 comes with a 4.3 inch SuperAMOLED Plus display with a resolution of 480 x 800 pixels. It has a 1.2 GHz dual core Exynos processor and 1 GB RAM with 16 GB internal storage. It is powered by Android 2.3 Gingerbread and has an 8 MP camera with autofocus and LED flash. It also has a 1650 mAh Li-ion battery.

Check out the detailed Samsung Galaxy S 2 specifications here.

Samsung Galaxy S 2