3G Ready Devices – Smartphones and Data Cards – A Telecomtalk Review

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Festive times are going on, so on shopping. Upgrading your phone is not an easy job, there are chances you may get confused with the features handset makers are included with the phones.

Below Rs 5000 range is flooded with basic Nokia/Samsung phones and lots of dual SIM desi branded handsets. Micromaxx, Spice, Karbonn, Videocon offer good deal at this range, but not a true 3G phone comes in this range.

Though Nokia 2730 3G comes in this range, it supports maximum downlink of 384kbps, just a bit advanced to GPRS/EDGE (240kbps). If you are looking forward to experience high speed wireless internet you have to get a 3G phone which supports HSDPA of minimum 3.6Mbps.

There are lot of misunderstanding of UMTS, WCDMA and HSPA (HSDPA + HSUPA). Keeping aside these terms, currently there are mainly 3 types of handsets according to their HSDPA support of 3.6Mbps, 7.2Mbps, and 10.2Mbps. There are few phones supporting 10.2Mbps HSDPA, Nokia C5 is one of them.

In sub Rs 10000 range there are some Samsung phones with a tag of 3G but they are merely true 3G supporting 384kbps only (eg Star 3G, Nano 3G). Stay away from these. It is always better not to believe sellers and cross check the specifications from manufacturer’s site.

In the range of Rs 5000 – Rs 7500 you will get some good handsets from Nokia & Samsung but they are hardly supports HSDPA. Sony Ericsson Naite comes at Rs 6000 around and its best deal for an entry level 3G handset.

In the range of 10K-12K-15K you will get some really good handsets, a lot of good Android phones are also in this range. Samsung Galaxy 3 & 5, Sony Ericsson XPERIA X10 Mini, Sony Ericsson XPERIA X8, HTC Wildfire, and LG Optimus GT540 are good choice if you are looking for Android 3G phones. In this range Nokia has a very good 3G portfolio. But as I used Galaxy 3, I can say Android is way better than Symbian phones – Google’s Android apps are way better than Ovi apps. But do not buy an android device which is loaded with old Android v1.5/1.6 and no option to upgrade it to Android 2.1 or 2.2.

If you have no limit on budget, think about these smartphones – HTC Desire, Motorola MileStone, Dell Streak, Samsung Galaxy S, Nokia N900, Nokia N8, HTC Touch HD2, Motorola Backflip, Acer Liquid S100 and glamourous Apple iPhone 3G S (officially locked with Airtel & Vodafone). I am not considering Blackberry is good buy as it prevents choosing regular data plans from most of the operators.

After BSNL introduces new unlimited data plans which costs Rs 700 per month if you take 6 months validity pack, 3G data is going to be mainstream proving everyone wrong that 3G would go mainstream in 2 years later or it can’t replace wireline broadband. BSNL already started deploying HSDPA 7.2 Mbps series – you can enjoy download at around 800kBps, and all these coming at Rs 700 per month.

But accessing internet over 3G network via mobiles will affect battery life of phones negatively either you use it on mobile or connecting it to computer as modem. So better get a 3G USB Modem for using on desktop or laptops. In coming days there will be certain craze for such devices as 3G from private operators are just few days away. Importantly these devices are backwardly compatible i.e. you can use these with 2G GPRS/EDGE networks also.

3G Data Cards (found in Kolkata Chandni market/Internet):

Data Card BrandsModelsPrice approx value
Micromax300G, 310G, 350G (all 3.6Mbps HSDPA )Priced around Rs 2500
BeetelMF160, MF180(3.6Mbps HSDPA), MF190 (7.2Mbps HSDPA)Around Rs 2200
TeracomSupplied from BSNL

Rs 2000 (3.6Mbps HSDPA)

Rs 2500(7.2Mbps HSDPA)

iLemonSupplied from MTNLRs 1799
HuaweiSupplied as Idea Netsetter (E155) or Vodafone USB stick (K3570) [locked to operators]Rs 1999/Rs 1600
Visiontek82GH (3.6Mbps HSDPA)

There are some tablets, netbooks and laptops which are supplied with a slot for USIM (UMTS SIM for accessing 3G network). And now-a-days tablets are coming mostly with Android OS, cheaper than Apple iPad and offer you more than 1, 00,000 apps from Android market.

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