For long, CDMA users, especially those of Reliance Communications and Tata DoCoMo, had no real choice of decent 5-inch Android phones on offer.
To some extent, the Micromax Canvas Blaze HD EG116 filled the gap for a 5-inch Android CDMA Evdo phone, but the phone’s availability is severely restricted. Besides, at nearly Rs 16,000, the Blaze HD EG116 is not cheap.
Now, Reliance Communications is introducing the Orizon, a near replica of the Micromax model with very similar features such as a quad-core processor, HD IPS display (1280 X 720 Pixels), 1 GB of RAM, 2 Ah battery and an 8 megapixel camera.
And the Orison 5 inch CDMA-GSM dual-SIM phone is priced at about Rs 14,200. One important distinction to keep in mind is that while the GSM SIM slot will support any operator, the CDMA service is likely to support only Reliance Communications services.
Like the Micromax Canvas Blaze HD EG116, the Orison will only support 3G on CDMA, also known as EVDO. Unlike HSPA 3G, EVDO Revision A, found in the above models, only supports a speed of 3.1 Mbps.
The other SIM supports only GSM voice and not 3G.
The Orison is supposed to come with 8 GB of internal storage, though some of that would be eaten up by the operating system and applications.
The Orizon also ships with Android 4.1.
The large-screen CDMA Android phone is comparable to GSM dual-SIM phones of the same configuration, and is priced in the same range of Rs 12,000-14,000.
Reliance is also introducing a 4-inch Android CDMA phone from Jive, which is a well known brand in the CDMA market. The phone, which will have 4 GB of internal memory and 512 MB of RAM, will be priced at about Rs 6,500. It will have an 800*480 pixel display and a 2 megapixel camera.
The paucity of models has long been the bane of the CDMA sector in India. Despite having much better coverage and voice clarity than GSM services, CDMA services have seen users leave in droves after the introduction of mobile number portability due to the lack of high-end models.
Reliance is trying to reverse the trend by introducing higher-end models.