HTC One DS, India’s first CDMA EVDO Rev B phone with 3G, has been launched by Reliance Communications at a price of Rs 43,299. Add Rs 16,500 and you’ve got unlimited SMS, phone calls, roaming and data on Reliance as well.
What must be noted is that not only is this India’s first EVDO Rev B phone, but it almost certainly also India’s first EVDO-cum-HSPA 3G phone as well.
So why is Rev B important? Because it’s fast, and currently supports speeds of up to 9 Mbps. Of course, in practice, you get about 3-4 Mbps. But considering that the typical 3G network speed on the ground in India is only 512 Kbps to 6 Mbps, it doesn’t sound too bad.
But the biggest advantage of EVDO Rev B is not its speed alone, but its availability. The availability of CDMA EVDO services from MTS, Tata DoCoMo and Reliance Communications is considered to be much better than those of HSPA 3G services from Bharti Airtel, Idea Cellular and Vodafone for one simple reason – the 800 MHz spectrum used for CDMA EVDO is far superior in indoor penetration than 3G spectrum.
In many areas, especially outside the metros, 3G signals are practically unavailable inside buildings, especially on the lower floors of multi-storeyed buildings like hotels.
In addition, EVDO operators provider cheaper data. For example, RCom provides 40 GB of EVDO Rev B data for Rs 1120 per month (including taxes), while for the same amount, you get only around 8 GB from the HSPA providers.
Of course operators like MTS and RCom are in the process of extending their Rev B footprint, but a large part of the country has already been covered by these signals, especially where MTS has operations.
The HTC One DS, therefore, is significant from the data viewpoint, coming as it does with both an HSPA sim slot and an EVDO Rev B sim slot, one of the few phones yet to do so.
Other specifications are on expected lines, if a bit below the high end. ILt has a 4.7 inch full HD display with Gorilla Glass 2, and is powered by the quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 chipset, a middle-of-the range solution in terms of power. It has 2 GB of RAM and 32 GB of internal storage memory.
It also has a 4 MP camera at the back — a bit of a disappointment certainly — and comes with Android Jelly Bean. As you can guess from the Android version, the phone is a little dated, and was released in August 2013.
But as a rare EVDO Rev B phone, and a rarer EVDO-3G phone, the HTC One Dual Sim is a welcome addition to the smartphone mix in India.