The budget smartphone market in India is becoming increasingly cut-throat and competitive. Competent offerings from the likes of Xiaomi, Lenovo and Motorola such as the Redmi Note 4 and Moto G5S Plus have truly raised the bar for what an affordable smartphone can bring to the table.
Amidst competition of such high calibre, e-commerce giant Flipkart has decided to dip their hands into the smartphone game with the Billion Capture+. Flipkart is extremely bullish about this smartphone – they claim that it has not only been designed, engineered, manufactured and tested in India but also comes with premium features usually found only in flagship devices.
This ‘Made for India’ phone has been apparently developed with the Indian smartphone buyer in mind who according to the company has three major pain points – battery, camera and storage. That is not all. Sachin Bansal, Co-founder and Executive Chairman, Flipkart claims that “the features in the Capture+ have been derived after deep data-mining of millions of Flipkart customer reviews”.
While we will not be able to verify any of these claims until we can test this phone fully, the smartphone does look quite impressive on paper. Flipkart surely seems to have crossed the first hurdle – which is not to compromise on specifications and features.
The first thing that stands out is the choice of processor. The Snapdragon 625 is a tried and tested SoC that is not only powerful but also extremely power efficient. It is also great at thermal management. It is hardly surprising that the best smartphones in this segment – the Xiaomi Mi A1, Redmi Note 4 and Moto G5 Plus – are all powered by the Snapdragon 625 chipset.
Having stock Android on board is no guarantee of a fluid software experience
The Snapdragon 625 is paired to a healthy amount of RAM – 3GB and 4GB depending on the variant – and a sizeable 3,500mAh battery with QuickCharge support. While the version of QuickCharge hasn’t been disclosed by Flipkart, the company does promise 7 hours of use with just a 15 minute charge.
Powerful specifications do not matter one bit if they are paired to software that is cluttered, bloated and laggy. Many smartphones like the LG Q6, Nubia N2 and Smartron srt.phone have suffered from the same fate in the past. This is where Flipkart’s decision to stick with stock Android impresses. The Capture+ is set to ship with a pure build of Android 7.1.2 out of the box with an update to Android 8.0 Oreo guaranteed.
However, having stock Android on board is no guarantee of a fluid software experience. Take the Lenovo K8 Note or srt.phone for example. In spite of having stock Android on board – the software experience on both phones is far from optimal – with bugs and judders abound thanks to poor hardware-software optimisation.
Flipkart has all the tools at its disposal to deliver stellar performance with the Capture+. With both top-notch hardware and stock Android, it is up to the company to optimise them so that they work in tandem with each other.
There are other areas where the Capture+ impresses . It has a USB-Type C port for charging and data transfer at a time when most of its competitors make do with the age old microUSB port, it has a metal body (though Flipkart has not confirmed whether the phone is made entirely of metal or not), it comes with unlimited secure cloud storage and a sizeable Full HD display with scratch protection.
As mentioned above, the budget segment is extremely crowded and cut-throat. Thus, while the Capture+ impresses on paper, Flipkart will have to make sure they do not skimp on stuff like build quality, design, fit and finish and software optimisation. We have seen many smartphones crash and burn in the past despite having stellar specifications on paper thanks to sub-par build quality or bug ridden user interfaces.
At Rs 10,999/Rs 12,999, the Capture+ looks like an attractive proposition. However, the shadow of the Mi A1, Redmi Note 4 and Moto G5 Plus lurk around the smartphone constantly reminding Flipkart that it cannot afford to trip up on the essentials.