One dilemma that most new Smartphone buyers have in mind is whether to go for a cheap Android phone or a entry level Windows Phone Like Lumia 510 would be a better choice?
We can safely say that last 2-3 years have seen a war of mobile eco-systems. Currently, there are 3 major mobile platforms in the market; Apple’s iOS, Google’s Android and Microsoft’s Windows Phone.
As opposed to Windows Phone, which is just 2-3 years old, Android and iOS have an added advantage of being mature. But we pretty much know that cheaper iPhone is only in the rumours and won’t be a reality very soon. Even if they come up with a cheaper iPhone, it won’t be in the price range of sub INR 10K, so what’s in the store for those who can’t afford such high prices?
We are left with only 2 valid smartphone platforms who offer devices below the INR 10K price point; Android and Windows Phone (with new entrant – Nokia Lumia 510).
Here, we are trying to compare how they perform in this low end price point. Let’s take the battle one-by-one of each important factor.
Applications & Games
Although Microsoft says that they have 46 of the top 50 applications, many useful applications and famous games are still missing from the Windows Phone Store. Take for example the applications such as Instagram, Pocket, Flipboard, Google Drive and YouTube.
Yes, there are applications similar to them from third party developers such as Lomogram (Instagram alternative), MetroPaper (Pocket Client) and MetroTube (YouTube Client) but they are not half as good as the applications from other platforms and they offer just the most basic functionalities in comparison.
It’s even bad when it comes to collection of games that is available for the Windows Phone devices like Lumia 510, there are no popular games except Angry Birds. There is no Temple Run and even the likes of Fruit Ninja are very poorly optimized for the platform. Let alone the games such as Nova and Modern Combat.
No matter how stringent Microsoft gets with the OEM on limiting the upper and lower boundaries to keep its platform safe from the fragmentation issue, it has already started to creep in.
Take the example of Nokia Lumia 510 and Nokia Lumia 610, both of them can’t run the Skype application properly due to low hardware configuration, so it has been barred from being installed on devices which have less than 512 MB of RAM.
On the other hand, the platform full of fragmentation, Android has more and better applications and games compared to the new kid Windows Phone. ONE UP – Android!
Camera & Multimedia
When it comes to multimedia performance, there is a problem in comparison. There are two kinds of cheaper Android smartphones; the ones from internationally well-known brands and the ones from local Indian brands which are in turn re-labeled Chinese branded devices.
When you compare with the ones from well-known brands, the Windows Phone devices offer better multimedia experience with better screen and streamlined interface. When you compare them with the Android devices from local brands, take for example the Micromax A110, you get better video recording and images with higher resolutions but the results may not necessarily be better.
In terms of multimedia playback however, a user can always install the third party players such as DoubleTwist and MX Player and get better results. Such third party players are not available on the Windows Phone platform just yet. It’s a TIE here!
Operating System Updates & Usage Flexibility
Smartphones and their features are not without their operating system updates and upgrades. Let alone entry-level Android smartphones, even some of the best-seller devices in mid-price segment fail to get proper software and OS upgrades. By the time they get the updates, the newer version of OS is already released.
Microsoft on the other hand promises faster and better upgrade processes with Windows Phone. Windows Phone is the WINNER here!
Flexibility is the second name for Android, we have seems Android doing numerous unbelievable stuff. Android is a lot more flexible when compared to Windows Phone. You can have dual SIM Android smartphones, you can have QWERTY and pretty much every possible form factor you can think of!
You can play with the files, ROMs and install applications from outside of the applications store. Microsoft, on the other hand, has put a lot of limitations on the OEMs so they can’t experiment much with the hardware and software. Even in entry level price range, you can get pretty much the kind of Android device according to your needs but not the same with Windows Phone devices. ONE UP – Android!
As Windows Phone operating system doesn’t allow true multitasking and just suspends applications in the background, it needs less processing, providing better battery life than others. You can expect much better battery life when compared to cheaper Android smartphones which if not used properly, can end up being terrible in the battery life. ONE UP – Windows Phones!
It comes down to the same conclusion once again, there is no clear winner as of yet. There is still a year worth of time when app developers start developing applications and games for the Windows Phone platform. Then people will start taking cheap Windows Phone smartphones more seriously.
On top of that, Nokia needs more devices like the Lumia 620 at nearly the price of the Lumia 510, only then can they even expect to compete with Android phones in the lower and mid-price range because mass market consumers just go by the specifications list when buying a phone.