So you thought Lenovo, Xiaomi and Huawei are going to run-away with the low-priced LTE market in India and Samsung would just stand aside and watch?
It seems that may be a wrong assessment as the Samsung Galaxy J7, arguably the most value-for-money offering from the Korean giant in recent years, will set the record straight.
In terms of specifications, the Galaxy J7 is almost exactly the same as the Lenovo A7000 and Huawei Honor 4X. The only major deviation is that while the Lenovo and Huawei models have 2 GB of RAM, the Galaxy J7 has only 1.5 GB of RAM. However, that is unlikely to make a huge difference in many consumers’ eyes.
UPDATE: Prices of Galaxy J5 will be around Rs 11,500 and J7 around Rs 14,500.
The Samsung J7 represents a huge leap forward in the company’s attempt to target price-sensitive buyers. Just one year ago, such a phone from Samsung would have cost Rs 20,000.
The J7, like the Lenovo A7000 and Honor 4x, is also a 5.5-inch model. Like the others, it too comes with a 720p HD display. Unlike the E7, priced at Rs 19,000, the J7 does not come with an AMOLED display but a normal LCD screen, and this is seen bringing down the price of the J7 by about Rs 4,000 compared to the E7.
According to our source, Samsung could further optimize its pricing to the Rs 12,500-13,000 range if it chooses to tie-up with Amazon as it had for the launch of its J1 back in February.
At the time, Amazon had launched the phone at just Rs 7,199. But when the J1 became available with other retailers, it was priced at Rs 7,600. The cost of distribution using online retail is much lower than that of traditional retail, and therefore, companies are able to price their handsets lower on e-commerce portals.
However, there is no clarity yet on whether Samsung would go for a tie-up with Amazon for the J7 as well. “If it does, it can bring down the retail price by 1,000-1,500 rupees,” said an industry source. Even without such a tie-up, Samsung is likely to price the phone aggressively in the Rs 14,000-15,000 range to see off competition from the A7000, Honor 4x etc.
One of the differentiators of the J7 will be its processor. For the model, Samsung has chosen to tap chipmaker Marvel, popular in China, but a newcomer to the Indian market.
The Galaxy J7 will be powered by the Marvel PXA1936 octa-core processor with 64-bit support and built-in LTE. In terms of power, the PXA1936 is comparable to the MediaTek MT6752 processor that lies inside the Lenovo A7000.
The phone will be launched in India before the end of April. No word, yet, on when the Galaxy J5 will be launched. Besides, there is much confusion about the configuration of the J5.
The higher-end Galaxy E5 is priced at Rs 16,000, and the J5 will have to be priced in the Rs 12,000 range to make it attractive viz a viz the E5. The key difference between the J series phones and the E series phones is the display technology.
The E series come with AMOLED displays, while the J series come with normal LCD displays. AMOLED displays offer better color and contrast as each ‘dot’ emits its own light, unlike LCD panels, where the light is emitted by a panel of LEDs behind the screen.
The point of confusion about the J5 is the underlying processor. While many expect it to be Snapdragon 410, chances are that the model would also come with Marvel PXA1936.
Samsung’s new line-up consists of the following sub-brands:
Top-end ‘S’ Series, which will be priced around Rs 50,000 for regular versions and Rs 40,000 for the compact versions.
The high-end ‘A’ Series, of which the A3, A5 and A7 have already been released, and the A9 is expected soon. This will be aimed at the value-conscious buyer who does not want to compromise on specifications. As a result, all top-end specifications, such as LTE, quad-HD displays etc, will be found in this category. However, in terms of looks and processor-capability, the Galaxy A series would trail the S series. Both the A5 and the A7 come with LTE. The A9 is expected to come with a quad-HD display.
The A5 was priced around Rs 25,000, while the A7 is priced at around Rs 30,500 at launch. The A9 is expected to be priced around the Rs 36,000 mark.
The Galaxy E Series is meant for the ‘mid range’ market, where people are willing to compromise on specifications to save money. The E7, which is a 5.5-inch model, is priced at Rs 19,500, while the E5, a 5-inch model, is priced at Rs 16,000. Neither have LTE, and come with 720p displays super AMOLED displays.
The entry level Android phones would be launched under the ‘Galaxy J Series‘ brand. Being entry level, the display will not be super Amoled, but PLS LCD. Only the J1 has been launched yet, and is priced at Rs 7,200, with both J5 and J7 in the pipeline.