Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Chai Time: Why Major OEMs will need to step up their game-Sahen Rai

On, almost, the latest version of Android, 2gbs of ram, 8 mp camera, and fast charging. A couple years ago, that would have probably described a flagship. But today, that's a 100 dollar phone. The Yu Yuphoria,

Yu Yuphoria/91 Mobiles

released in India on May 19, 2015 comes packed with some pretty solid specs. While I don't live there, I still find it super impressive that such a cheap phone can pack such premium specs.

Companies like Oneplus, and Asus have shown us that you don't need to pay a lot of money for premium devices. Both have created sub-400$ phones that pack a real punch in the One Plus One

One Plus One/One Plus

and the Asus Zenphone

Asus Zenphone/Asus

One carrying 4 GB of ram on its higher end model, and the other boasting flagship level specs(at the time) with its processor and solid hardware feel. With devices like these, it's difficult to see how I can justify purchasing a phone that's double the price and not twice as good. OEMs either need to really step of their game or start losing a large part of their userbase. 

How can they improve?

Carriers cannot just churn out the same phone every year, because as the competition gets fiercer they will begin losing profit. They need to innovate, take for example the Yota Phone 2.

Yota Phone 2/Yota
While the phone hasn't yet been released, it's already getting praise for being so different. I'm not saying HTC needs to throw an E-Ink display on the back of the M10, but they need to do something to make themselves different. The BoomSound speakers are a good example, they're something you can't get on any other phone, Flagship or not. But they have to go even further. Perhaps take an example from Big S,  because Samsung is a company, that with the release of the S6, is doing things right. 

Galaxy S6, Samsung
With some quite nice hardware design, and wireless charging with both standards. They are starting to give people features that they actually want. Not useless bloatware they think will be helpful. Why would I buy a powerful phone loaded down with Touchwiz and bloat, when I could get a cheaper phone with stock Android that will end up being faster? I'm not saying Samsung has always been bad about making cool products, the Note line is one of the most different phones out there, but for them to keep up with stronger competition they're gonna need to get even better.

Oh Apple, you used to be a beacon of innovation. You were the one who introduced the phone that revolutionized the way we see our mobile companions today: the iPhone.

Original iPhone/The Inquirer
Since you had such an innovative and amazing past, it's sad to see that your more recent offerings are just iterations of the same thing with additions from other people. Take, for example, the iPhone 6.

iPhone 6/Apple

Sure Apple FINALLY made their first big phone, but they did it after literally everyone else. They didn't pioneer the path to the bigger phone, they just knew they were losing and had to upgrade. Yes, they succeeded in a massive way, but how long can this insane growth last? It won't be long before the aforementioned OEMs are able to make their cheaper phones good enough to compete in the US. Companies can really only grow so much, and I don't know if Apple can keep this up.

Have other awesome budget phones I should know about? Let me know on twitter @masala_tech, and remember to always keep things spicy. 

By Sahen Rai