I know that many of you have preconceived notions about the build quality and reliability of gadgets manufactured by companies less known in the Western World. And I also know that many times these “discriminatory” ideas prove to be spot on and most phones and tablets launched by no-name Indian or Chinese manufacturers are in fact… modest. But what if…
What if an Indian technology firm would launch the perfect gadget, with an excellent balance between reliability, snappy hardware and affordable pricing, and you would simply ignore it because of your stubbornness? That’s exactly what you should ask yourselves when looking at Micromax’s freshly unveiled gadgets, both of which look pretty great in theory.
Surprisingly for some, “phablets” are the bomb right now, with many tech users basing their purchases on the saying “the bigger, the better”. However, if there’s one thing we are yet to see in the Android world, that’s a phone-tablet hybrid with decent pricing.
The Canvas A100 might not have the “oomph” of the Samsung Galaxy Note (or half of it), but, at just 9,999 rupees (around $180) off-contract, it’s as fine piece of technology as one would expect. Powered by a 1GHz dual-core Mediatek 6577 processor, the A100 sports a 5-inch touchscreen with 854 x 480 pixels resolution.
Micromax’s “phoneblet” might be a first when talking about another detail aside its pricing: dual SIM support. The 5-incher also runs Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, while the 2,000mAh battery should be able to hold for at least five hours of talk time between charges.
The rest of the tech specs aren’t quite spectacular and include 512MB of RAM, 4GB of on-board memory, microSD card support, 5MP / 0.3MP dual cameras, GPS, Bluetooth 3.0, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n connectivity, and USB 2.0.
If phablets are still not your thing and you keep putting a big price on portability, Micromax has something new for you too. The Pixel A90 resembles its “cousin” in terms of overall design, but comes with a few intriguing technical tweaks.
Powered by the same Mediatek 6577 1GHz dual-core processor, this little guy sports a 4.3-inch Super AMOLED touchscreen with 800 x 480 pixels resolution. Although it has a smaller capacity 1,600mAh battery, the A90 comes with a much cooler 8MP rear-facing camera with Flash, as well as an 0.3MP front-facing webcam.
Running Android 4.0 ICS out of the box, the 4.3-incher has A.I.S.H.A pre-installed, an “artificial intelligence speech handset assistant” similar to Siri. The rest of the specs are almost identical to those of the A100, including the same 512MB of RAM, microSD, dual SIM support, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and GPS.
The camera and AISHA voice feature do come at a price though, with the A90 costing 12,990 rupee (around $235) over in India. I personally think that’s a bit too much to ask, compared with Micromax’s 5-incher, but it’s still a very low price for an ICS-powered mid-ranger.
So, have you given it any thought? Would you be willing to at least give these two new gadgets a shot, despite not being manufactured by one of the “Western big guys”? How much would you be willing to pay for either of the two if they would ever come to the U.S. or Europe?