After Apple SE, Xiaomi’s Mi 5 and Samsung J3 fuel smartphone war

smart phones smart phonesBy Sourabh Kulesh

New Delhi : (IANS) The heat is finally on. Come April and the Indian smartphone market is set to witness a war between top smartphone players – across all price bands – never seen before.

It began with the Apple announcement of its smallest 4-inch iPhone SE this month. The pre-booking in India has already begun from Tuesday midnight for the two variants: The 64 GB version of the phone available at $499 and the 16 GB model that will cost $399 (US pricing).

Beetel Teletech Limited, a subsidiary of US-based Brightstar Corporation, will make available Rs.39,000 (retail price) iPhone SE in India beginning April 8.

The firm, however, declined to provide pre-booking figures for iPhone SE as of now.

On Thursday, the much-awaited Xiaomi’s flagship Mi 5 — with 5.15-inch full HD display powered by Qualcomm’s most powerful Snapdragon 820 processor — will hit the Indian market.

Rumoured to be priced below Rs.25,000 (in China, it costs 1,999 yuan or Rs.21,000), the device is available globally in three variants – 32GB, 64GB and 128GB on board memory. However, it is still not clear whether all three variants will be available for the Indian consumers or not.

The smartphone — launched at the Mobile World Congress 2016 in Barcelona, Spain — wears 16-megapixel primary camera with 4-megapixel secondary camera. It will run MIUI 7 based on Android 6.0 Marshmallow.

According to, the design of Mi 5 is almost similar to Galaxy S7.

The Xiaomi Mi 5 Pro — the premium version — comes with 128 GB of flash memory, 4 GB of RAM and a ceramic back. The base model has 32 GB of flash and 3 GB of RAM.

Same day, South Korean smartphone maker Samsung is set to launch Galaxy J3 especially for Indian bike riders. The device was unveiled earlier this year in the US at $179 so we can expect the price to be around Rs.11,000-Rs.13,000 in India.

According to, Galaxy J3 has a 5-inch super AMOLED display with a 1.2 GHz quad-core processor.

The handset will feature a new “Bike Mode” which will allow bike riders to go on an uninterrupted ride every time it is turned on.

Once the phone is on “Bike Mode”, it will automatically send a text in reply to callers as a way of telling them that they can try to call again at a later time.

With “Bike Mode”, riders can simply concentrate on their riding and stop worrying about checking notifications on their phones or answering phone calls while they are in the middle of the road.

It has a 1.5 GB of RAM and 8-megapixel rear camera (5MP in the US version). The phone has 16 GB of internal storage which is expandable upto 128 GB through microSD card.

Earlier this month, Samsung launched its flagship smartphone Galaxy S7 and its curved-screen companion Galaxy S7 Edge at an irresistible price of Rs.48,900 and Rs.56,900, respectively.

The 5.1-inch Galaxy S7 and 5.5-inch Galaxy S7 Edge are constructed with 3D glass and metal and given ergonomic curves for a comfortable grip.

The smartphones come with innovations in design, imaging, software functionality and connectivity with a host of other services.

The company also gave away free Gear virtual reality (VR) to it customers who pre-ordered the devices between March 8 and 17.

In a bid to take the lion’s share in the mid-priced smartphone segment, Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi also launched Redmi Note 3 — the world’s first device equipped with Snapdragon 650 processor in India – this month.

The 5.5-inch device is available in two variants – 2GB RAM/16GB ROM for Rs.9,999 and 3GB RAM/32GB ROM for Rs.11,999.

(Sourabh Kulesh can be contacted at


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