Nowadays even budget smartphones come packed with a host of features. You can easily find a budget phone that can surf the Internet really quick or play N.O.V.A. Legacy without any lag! VoLTE connectivity has brought down data costs while further improving the speed. Let’s explore a little more about 4G VoLTE and some of the best 4G VoLTE smartphones in the market that come within a budget of INR 10,000.
4G VoLTE connectivity
4G provides nearly ten times faster data transfer than 3G. Further upgrades to 4G have been introduced by the name of Long Term Evolution (LTE). However, one major drawback with 4G LTE connection is loss of data connectivity during voice call. Enter, Voice-over Long-Term Evolution (VoLTE). Reliance Jio has made this name a buzzword, and rightfully so.
A phone that supports VoLTE can perform voice calls while keeping the data speed intact. It also improves the quality of video calls and has made data transfer even faster. Therefore any mobile that supports 4G VoLTE should be the optimal choice.
Before diving into the 4G VoLTE smartphones directly, let’s look at the features that will help you determine which smartphone suits your needs the most.
Processor choice. Sub-INR10,000 phones can pack processors that offer you a good value for money. You can find phones with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon series processors, which can run some high-end applications smoothly in addition to supporting your daily mobile activities.
So if you plan to run some strong games or apps, choose a phone that packs a Snapdragon 600 series processor (625 or higher). These processors come coupled with Adreno graphics processing units (GPUs). Snapdragon 400 series processors are slightly less powerful, yet quite capable compared to competing processors.
Mediatek processors offer better power-efficiency and higher load capacity. These come packaged with a Mali GPU. Mediatek Helio series processors (P20 onwards) are as fast as Snapdragon 600 series—some are even faster. Mediatek processors are suitable for multi-tasking and battery-sensitive usage. Exynos processors, mainly found in Samsung phones, are also a good choice.
Also look for more number of cores and faster clock speed (mentioned in gigahertz on the box). Quite a few smartphones come with over 2GHz octacore processors.
Display. If you are comfortable carrying around a big phone, go for at least a 12.7cm (5-inch) screen. Phones with 14cm (5.5-inch) screen provide better viewing experience.
To get the best display, tally the resolution and pixel density mentioned alongside the screen size. It is recommended to ensure a screen resolution of 1920×1080 pixels (Full HD) on a 14cm display. 1280×720-pixel (HD) resolution will suffice for a comparatively smaller screen (12.7cm). Pixel density determines the compactness of the display. It should be at least 320ppi.
The final consideration point is the display and panel technology. Liquid-crystal display (LCD) screens cost less but are quite reliable. Active-matrix organic LED (AMOLED) displays have better visibility under direct sunlight and consume less battery power than LCDs. However, AMOLEDs are costlier and may age faster than LCDs.
For panel technology, go for in-panel switching (IPS) over thin-film transistor (TFT) since IPS provides better colour contrasts and viewing angles.
RAM. The phone’s operating system (OS) and user interface (UI) consume a major portion of the RAM, leaving the rest for the applications to run. While at least 4GB should be the optimal choice, it is advisable not to settle for phones with RAM below 3GB.
Battery life, camera and storage. For all three of these specifications, follow the rule “the more, the merrier.” Look for a phone that offers a battery life of over 3000mAh.
Cameras have become the USP of many phones. A phone with 13-mega pixel (MP) or higher-resolution rear camera is a good choice. Front cameras are also improving dramatically. Pick a front camera with 8MP or higher resolution.
Also, ensure internal storage of at least 32GB that can be expanded up to 128GB or more. Some phones come with a hybrid expansion slot. This means you can either add another SIM card to the slot or expand the memory with an SD card.
What to buy
Year 2017 was good for smartphone hunters and year 2018 looks promising as well. Here are a few good picks from the market (list created based on availability as of January 2018).
Lenovo K8 Plus. Launched in the last quarter of 2017, Lenovo K8 Plus packs almost all the recommended features. The base model, priced at INR 9999, is powered by a 2.5GHz Mediatek Helio P25 octa-core processor and 3GB RAM. The rear of the phone homes a strong 13MP+5MP dual camera with dual LED flash. The front camera is 8MP. The 13cm (5.2-inch) Full HD display uses IPS technology. The phone also has a fingerprint sensor. It can support dual SIM, 4G and VoLTE. The internal storage is 32GB, which can be expanded up to 128GB through an additional slot. The phone comes with a powerful 4000mAh battery. It packs Android Nougat, upgradable to Oreo, and has Microsoft Office tools pre-installed!
Panasonic Eluga Ray 700. This model from the Eluga series has 3GB RAM and 1.3GHz Mediatek MTK6753 octa-core processor. It has an impressive battery capacity of 5000mAh. The dual-SIM phone also has a dedicated slot for expanding the internal storage up to 128GB. Internal storage is 32GB. The 14cm (5.5-inch) Full HD screen is based on IPS technology. Both front and rear cameras are 13MP. The phone supports VoLTE and Panasonic’s own AI assistant Arbo. Ray 700 costs INR 9999.
Xiaomi Redmi Note 4. This model was one of the best-sellers of 2017. Its starting price is INR 9999. The phone packs a strong Snapdragon 625 octa-core 2GHz processor with Adreno 506 GPU, 14cm screen with Full HD resolution and powerful 4100mAh battery. The base model packs 2GB RAM and 32GB internal storage. The phone has a dedicated SIM slot and another hybrid slot, which can either hold another SIM or a microSD card up to 128GB. In addition, it has 13MP rear camera, 5MP front camera and fingerprint sensor.
10.or E. Huaqin Technologies made a surprise entry into the Indian mobile market with its 10.or series via Amazon.in. Priced at INR 7999, 10.or E is an Android Nougat smartphone with 14cm Full HD IPS screen and fingerprint sensor. It includes 3GB RAM, 1.4GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 octa-core processor and 4000mAh battery. Internal storage is 32GB, which is expandable up to 128GB with an additional microSD slot. The dual 4G SIM slot supports VoLTE.
Moto C Plus. A more economical option, Moto C Plus was released in June last year. Priced at INR 6999, this phone packs 2GB RAM and 1.3GHz 64-bit quad-core Mediatek MT6737 processor. It has an internal memory of 16GB with a slot for expansion up to 32GB. The 4000mAh battery can last up to 30 hours of usage. The screen has HD resolution. There are two SIM slots: The primary SIM supports 4G and VoLTE, while the secondary SIM can only run on 2G.
Redmi 5A. Xiaomi again makes to the list because of this budget smartphone costing INR 5999. The 12.7cm HD phone packs Qualcomm Snapdragon 425 processor, 3GB RAM, 32GB internal storage and 3000mAh battery. It also solves the problem of Redmi Note 4’s hybrid slot by allowing dual-SIM along with a separate microSD slot. The storage is expandable up to 128GB. SIMs support 4G and VoLTE as well. The phone packs a decent 13MP rear camera and a 5MP front camera.