Chinese smartphones up-and-coming in India

India is set to have the world’s third largest mobile subscriber base by 2017--an attractive market for foreign vendors such as Chinese brands, who are increasingly penetrating the market.
Written by Nitin Puri, Contributor on

Recently, several Chinese brands have silently entered the Indian market with their attractively designed and priced smartphones. They are against stiff competition from local brands such as Karbonn and Micromax, in addition to Korea's Samsung, the United States's Apple, and of course Finland's Nokia.

Time will tell if these Chinese brands, such as Gionee or Jiayu, will become household names. That's more so for China's Huawei mobile division which has already been in India for years. Of all the Chinese brands, Huawei does have the lead, as they also have research and development facilities within India.

Among the newer player from China are the Gionee Dream D1, which has a 4.65-inch HD (1280 x 720) display with Corning Gorilla Glass 2 protection.

Gionee Dream D1
Gionee Dream D1

It runs on a 1.2 GHz quad-core Cortex A7 processor with Google Android 4.1 as the OS. It has a 8 megapixel (MP) autofocus rear camera, with LED flash, 1 GB of RAM, and 4 GB internal memory, expandable up to 32 GB with a Micro SD card. The phone is 3G, with GPS, Bluetooth 4.0 and WiFi. The Gionee Dream D1 is priced at INR 17,999 (US$331).

Another new entrant into the Indian market is the Jiayu G4, priced at just INR 9,000 (US$166). This smartphone comes equipped with 4.7-inch (1280 x 720) display also with Corning Gorilla Glass 2 protection. It has a 1.2 GHz quad-core Mediatek MT6589 processor and also runs on the Google Android 4.1 OS platform. The Jiayu G4 also has both a 13 MP rear camera, with LED flash, and a 3 MP front camera, along with 2 GB of RAM.

Jiaya G4
Jiaya G4

Finally, there is also the Xiaomi MI-2, priced at INR 17,000 (US$313). This smartphone has a 4.3-inch (1280 x 720) IPS capacitive touch screen display and runs on a 1.5 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor, with Google Android 4.1 as the OS once again.

Xiaomi MI - 2
Xiaomi MI - 2

It also has both a 8 MP rear camera with both autofocus and LED flash, and a 2 MP front camera. In terms of memory, it has 2 GB of RAM, with 16 GB of internal storage, expandable up to 32 GB. This phone is also 3G with both Bluetooth 4.0 and Wi-Fi.

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