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Newman N2 is a $240 Galaxy S3 alternative with quad-core CPU, 13 MP cam and 720p screen

October 18, 2012

Although it’s still not where some thought it could get, China’s “affordable mobile revolution” has brought some pleasant surprises of late. Tech manufacturers like Huawei, ZTE, Oppo or Xiaomi, which didn’t say much to Westerners a few months ago, have come a long way, teasing us with an entire series of budget-conscious super-phones.

We aren’t going to get into the whole limited global availability debacle, which doesn’t allow phones like the MI-Two or Find 5 to reach all the people that are literally drooling over them, but we are going to bring to your attention a new name to join that above list.

Newman is not exactly a major player in China, but their new N2 phone might help the company get there. This is a 4.7-incher set to go on sale pretty soon for the low price of 1,499 yuan ($237) off contract, and for the most part has an identical spec sheet with Samsung’s hugely popular Galaxy S3.

The slightly tinier display has a 1280 x 720 pixels resolution, under the hood there’s the same quad-core Exynos 4412 processor (actually clocked higher, at 1.5 GHz), coupled with the 1 GB of RAM found on the “international” version of the S3.

On the back of the N2 there’s a “shooter” with a higher 13 MP sensor (the S3 only has 8 MP, though we know it’s not all about the megapixels), while the battery is also larger, at 2,500 mAh battery. Rounding up the spec sheet of Newman’s flagship device, there’s a 2 MP front-facing camera, Android 4.0 ICS and 8 GB of on-board storage.

Those last two details are probably this phone’s Achilles’ heels, although we’re guessing there’ll be microSD support for expanding the memory and a Jelly Bean update coming soon. And after all, the S3 is itself barely getting Android 4.1 updates in some countries across the Globe.

Now we’re not saying that anyone faced with the choice between the Galaxy S3 and the Newman N2 should go for the cheaper phone, but if specs and pricing are all you care about, the Chinese handheld looks in pretty good shape.

And talking about looks, let’s not forget to mention that the N2 doesn’t have a final design yet, with Newman leaving it to the people to pick between the two possibilities illustrated above. I for one think that they’re both pretty nice and elegant, although I’d probably choose the second one if I had a gun to my head. What about you guys, which one would you rather go for and why?