It’s desi vs Chinese as Micromax makes a comeback in the smartphone market

Micromax is set to make a comeback in the smartphone market and their new ‘IN’ series devices, with their specs and their marketing, look ready to rumble

When it comes to the smartphone market, there aren’t many Indian brands competing with the rather well-established Korean and Chinese brands. Especially when one looks at the budget segment of the smartphone market, the likes of Oppo, Vivo, Xiaomi and Samsung dominate sales in the Indian market.

Not long ago, this wasn’t the case. In 2014, an Indian smartphone manufacturer looked poised to take on the ever-increasing presence of Chinese smartphone brands in the country. However, things didn’t go according to plan and Micromax, one of India’s largest smartphone companies that year, soon ran out of steam.

However, on 3 November, in an online event Micromax, riding the wave of nationalist sentiment and growing calls for a boycott of Chinese brands by some sections on social media, announced its ‘In’ series. Taking motivation from the Aatmanir Bharat call of the Prime Minister, the new series is set to hit the stores on 24 November.

The new series of smartphones from Micromax is aimed primarily at the budget section of the Indian smartphone market and prices start at Rs 6,999 going up to Rs 12,499.

The ‘IN’ series, to be powered by MediaTek chipsets, focuses on offering some of the key hardware specs with a stock Android experience and assured two years of software updates. This puts them in a good position to take on their much more well-established Chinese and Korean counterparts. From triple-camera setups, expandable storage options to fast charging, they seem to have it all.

The Micromax IN Note 1 will be powered by the MediaTek Helio G85 SoC and will sport 4 GB RAM with up to 128 GB of internal storage. The device will come with a full HD+ display which will be lit up using the 5,000 mAh battery that supports 18W fast charging. To make itself even more competitive, the device even supports reverse charging and uses a USB C port, a rarity in this segment. The phone also sports a quad-camera setup with a 48MP sensor, a 5MP camera and two 2MP sensors. For the front camera, there is a 16MP shooter housed in a hole punch setup, all of which combined will cost Rs 12,499.

Credit: YouTube

Similarly, the in 1b phone is powered by the MediaTek Helios G35 SoC, which will run with 4 GB RAM coupled with up to 64 GB internal storage. The handset also sports an HD+ display with a 13 MP dual camera at the back and 8 MP selfie camera. Despite its lower cost, the phone will be powered by a 5,000 mAh battery, support 10W charging and will cost Rs 7,999.

Thus, on paper, at least the new series that marks the relaunch of Micromax in the Indian smartphone market seems to have a lot going for it. However, as is always the case with Android, good hardware specs do not necessarily translate to good performance. So the performance of the new devices are yet to be tested.

However, festive season sales and the marketing message of being Indian do give Micromax the edge which may help it to finally dethrone the Chinese brands. And with border tensions between the two countries flaring up from time to time, the emotive message of the boycott of Chinese brands may very well be the ‘X’ factor that establishes Micromax as one of the key players in the budget segment of the smartphone market in the country.

(Cover credits: Twitter/Micromax India)

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