Move over the iPhone and the Galaxy; budget is the new premium!

If you go back a few years, there was a huge gap between devices such as the Apple iPhone or the Samsung Galaxy range (what was considered 'premium') and the rest of the lost that was 'budget'.

If you go back a few years, there was a huge gap between devices such as the Apple iPhone or the Samsung Galaxy range (what was considered 'premium') and the rest of the lot that was 'budget'. There were a few mid rangers floating somewhere in between, but they didn't really offer anything close to a premium device.

It was simple maths, if you have lots of money to splurge, then there are premium devices such as Apple's iPhone, Samsung's Note and some S range handsets. Likewise, flagships from Sony, LG and HTC also add up to the list. Other devices, even mid range products didn't match up to what premium had on offer, so let's not even consider the uber-budget devices.

Over the years, this has changed. If you remember, Micromax was one of the first companies in India that decided to stand against Samsung with its canvas series offering superior specs at affordable prices. It catered to 'value for money' Indian audiences at the right level, by bringing to you everything you ever desired but couldn't afford.


This trend has sort of caught up over the years, especially after the onslaught of Chinese vendors in the Indian market such as Xiaomi, Gionee, Oppo, OnePlus and so on. These companies have been offering the best at a much lower price. Motorola, a seasoned OEM, was also among the first to hit the right chords with its Moto series and help establish price brackets like sub-Rs 7k and sub-Rs 12k. Today, we have companies fighting out to bring the best device at these price points.

Oneplus 2

Bigger brands are known to launch their flagships each year. The best from the company. However, as the trend shows, most of these flagships quickly come down the slippery slope to enter the mid-range market. Earlier this year, OnePlus introduced what it called the '2016 flagship killer', and the marketing campaign aimed at these premium products. For instance, the OnePlus 2 offers a nifty specs sheet including a 5.5-inch 1080p display and Snapdragon 810 processor starting at Rs 23,000. Snapdragon 810 is a high-end processor offering elevated performance found in devices priced over Rs 40,000. And this is one of the reasons, why companies like Xiaomi and OnePlus are performing very well. This has also helped in shedding the stereotype image of the Chinese products.

In the last couple of years, the number of such affordable devices has increased. Even Apple is said to be working on an iPhone 6c that will be a watered down variant of its 6s model. In the past, we saw the company attempt the same with iPhone 5c, but failed to attract audiences. However, given the market trend, the Cupertino Company knows how essential it is have a presence in the low to mid-range.

Today, a premium device will not dig a hole in your pocket, unless you are brand conscious. Today, you will find premium features like full HD display, high-res camera and even fingerprint scanners in devices priced under Rs 30000. All will eventually lead to plateauing of premium devices as most companies will start focussing to churn out superior specs at affordable prices.

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