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India’s Karbonn launches £26 Android phone

Only 2G, but...

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For the same amount of money as an Apple adapter plug, Indian mobile company Karbonn is selling a fully fledged Android smartphone.

The Karbonn Smart A50S is on sale now at a starting price of 2,699 rupees, or twenty-six of your British pounds, SIM-free. It’s only 2G with EDGE support, in part because the IP royalties on 3G are so significant (thank you Qualcomm), but it does have a 2MP pixel main camera, VGA front camera and 256MB of internal memory. It also has 2GB storage – of which they claim 600MB is free. This is expandable to 32GB with a micro SD card.

Its 3.5-inch capacitive touch-sensitive screen has a pixel resolution of 480 x 320 and the phone has a 1100mAh battery that is reportedly good for a day. The size of the screen means it’s small at 61.8x115.7x10.5 mm and light at 120g.

Based on a 1.2GHz dual core processor, it’s not the speediest of things – the small amount of system memory won’t help there – but it supports Wi-Fi, GPS and Bluetooth. The A50S is a dual SIM phone and runs Jellybean.

At 2,699 Rupees, the Karbonn phone is less than half the price of the Rs. 6,299 Nokia X, which is targeted as a super cheap phone for the Indian market. The Moto G, which is generally thought of as a cheap Android phone, officially sells for Rs. 13.999.

Disappointingly for a country where cricket reports and Bollywood films are so popular, the A50S is reported to have quite a poor speaker.

The second-hand market is important in India and the quality of the packaging affects the resale value, so in keeping with this, the phone ships in a decent box. It also has micro USB, which means users won’t need any kind of adapter plugs. ®

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