India is a hot spot for smartphone companies; after all, the smartphone industry in the country is growing by leaps and bound. This year we welcomed many Chinese entrants as well as other smartphone players to the already flooded smartphone industry, which took the competition level a step higher.
In order to beat the competition and entice consumers, brands brought higher end specs to lower end smartphones to set up new standards with their devices. Many features and specs that were first seen on premium devices now trickled down to lower end smartphones.
In the year 2015, we noticed octa-core taking over quad-core, 13MP camera becoming a standard feature even on budget smartphones, fingerprint scanner like a mandate feature and much more.
Here we bring to you a list of top 10 trends in noticed in the smartphone industry in the year 2015.
Metal body design:
Metal body design is not restricted to premium smartphones any more as domestic handset makers like Micromax, Intex and others brought premium design to the budget segment. It was not just budget handset makers that went for metal chassis, considering that brands like Samsung finally brought solid metal design in its top breed Note series of smartphones.
Fingerprint scanner was not a rage until Apple introduced it with iPhone 6 last year. However, it did become kind of a must-have feature for all smartphones, including those in the lower end segment like Coolpad Note 3. A few months back Google also launched Nexus 5X and 6P with fingerprint recognition technology. Moreover, considering that Android's latest iteration - 6.0v Marshmallow, also brings more support for fingerprint scanning tech, the feature will stay in trend for longer.
More cores, more power:
Gone are the days when it was quad-core that powered most smartphones. Today, most smartphones including those priced ultra-low feature octa-core chitpsets with 64-bit processing capabilities.
With higher processer came higher RAM and storage space. While 3GB of RAM was specific mostly to premium smartphones till 2014, this year we got higher RAM and storage space even in budget smartphones priced under Rs 10,000.
Battery has always been a major concern with most smartphone users. In the year 2015, companies added the quick charging capabilities to their smartphones in order to attract more consumers. It essentially allows faster charging of the battery of a phone but by up to some percentage that would last for a few hours.
13MP or higher primary camera!
For consumers, camera is one of the key features in a smartphone. Smartphone companies recognize the craze for higher megapixel cameras and used 13MP or higher range cameras even in budget smartphones. This year, we noticed that even smartphones priced around Rs 20,000 featured better cameras, for instance Lenovo Vibe Shot and Motorola X Play are among a few of the smartphones to feature 20MP primary cameras. Companies also focused on increasing the megapixel count for selfie cameras.
Ever since Airtel announced its 4G LTE services in more circles in India, smartphone makers picked 4G LTE compatibility as a selling point for their phones. Most smartphones this year boasted 4G LTE connectivity support. Now that Vodafone and Reliance Jio are soon going to launch their 4G LTE services in the country, we expect 4G compatibility to become a standard features for all smartphones.
Another feature that has become quite popular among smartphone makers these days is the USB Type-C connectivity. It is a reversible charging port that is more powerful than the microUSB. The USB Type-C is all the rage, and we saw many smartphone makers picking it up to replace the standard microUSB port.
Ultra low is the new low:
Indian smartphones market became the launch pad for many ultra-budget smartphones, this year. We saw a flood of low-cost yet powerful handsets in the market this year, which promised good hardware, camera, and other features. Thanks to the new, budget-friendly Android smartphones, the Rs 3,000 to Rs 5,000 category has many options for first time smartphone buyers and budget conscious lot.
Going Online only did help:
When Motorola re-entered India earlier last year with the launch of Moto G and Moto E in an online specific model, not many expected the online only sale model will become so popular that smartphones makers who then criticized it, would be adopting the same model for their smartphones. Owing to the increasing competition from Chinese smartphone makers like Xiaomi, Micromax launched its online specific sub-brand Yu in the market. Similarly, Lava came up with Black, Huawei with Honor, Samsung with J series and many other players launched their online specific brands or series of phones this year.