India has the worlds fastest growing smart phone market, and with only 10% of its population owning a smart phone its a trend that is going to continue. The budget segment is particularly vibrant, with Google's Android One and Xiaomi's Redmi 1S handsets making waves in recent months. Now, in an effort to spice things up even more, Spice Mobile is ready to unleash a 5.5-inch phablet for the budget conscious consumer called the Mi-549.
So what is the Mi-549 all about? Well, it doesn't take much time at all to realise that Spice have taken some inspiration from the design of the iPhone 6. In fact, it would probably be fair to say that Spice took virtually all their inspiration from Apple's latest handset. Thankfully, once you look past the exterior design, the similarity ends. As previously mentioned, the Mi-549 has a 5.5-inch Full HD display with a 1080 x 1920 resolution. The grunt is provided by an unspecified brand Quad-Core processor that is clocked at 1.3GHz. As is common with budget handsets, there is 1GB of RAM and 8GB of internal storage. If 8GB isn't enough, you can always add to this via the included Micro-SD card slot. Selfies and video chatting are taken care of by the 2MP front-facing camera, with an 8MP camera with LED flash on the rear panel. Naturally, being a smart phone aimed at the Indian market, the Spice Mi-549 supports Dual-SIM, as well as having the usual 3G, Bluetooth and GPS functions. The battery has a 2,200mAh capacity which should just about get the user through the day. That being said, it's probably safe to say that if you are a heavy user, you will be reaching for the charger sooner rather than later.
We all know how the saying goes – "Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery", and in this case , the company from Cupertino should be overwhelmed. Putting the design aside and looking at the proposed price of Rs. 7,999 ($130), the Spice Mi-549 would appear to offer good value for money, with the first Full HD display to be offered for under Rs. 10,000. And a 5.5-inch one at that. It's a shame that Spice didn't manage to include a 3,000mAh battery perhaps, but for the price that the Mi-549 is being offered at, its understandable. At the moment, the Spice Mi-549's product page on HomeShop18 is showing as 'out of Stock', but its believed that the handset will become available in the coming days rather than weeks. What do you think? Is the Spice Mi-549 better value than the Panasonic P55?