India is somewhere of a happening region at the moment when it comes to smartphones. There are a few structural reasons for this, including how the Indian networks are busy rolling out their networks to cover the rural and urban population, who are rapidly becoming aware of how they might benefit from the Internet. Smartphone penetration and Internet use is currently very low in the region but is looking to substantially increase over the coming years. These facts are not lost on either the Indian government or on the Android device manufacturers: in a cunning move, the Indian government has put in place a number of schemes designed to increase investment into India with a “Make in India” policy, which has encouraged manufacturers to build factories in India to build smartphones and at the same time, is encouraging Indian citizens to buy products built in the country. And today, the first product of the “Make in India” is being released, the Gionee F103.
Gionee are a Chinese smartphone manufacturer and the F103 had originally been launched in China back in September. The Indian-built F103 is being assembled in the Foxconn Sri City plant, Andhra Pradesh – better yet, this factory is not only building the F103 for India but also for other South Asian and African countries, too. Gionee’s President, William Lu, said this on the matter: “We are very excited to have begun out India manufacturing. We are very excited to have begun out India manufacturing. We would be working towards making India manufacturing a hub for not only India, but nearly countries too.” The F103 is being sold at a price of Rs. 9,999, approximately $155 or £100, and is designed for the Fashion market (hence the “F” in the smartphone model designation). Gionee describe the F103 as having “a premium design with a metal build… With our F series we have achieved to get both design and performance in one device and consumers gets the best from both the worlds. F103 is a power packed device a great design which not only gives great performance but also adds the style quotient to the consumer who carries it out.”
However, the F103 is not just about looking good. The device is built around a 5.0-inch, 720p display complete with thin bezels. There’s a 64-bit, quad core, 1.3 GHz MediaTek MT6735 processor backed up by ARM’s Mali-T720 GPU and 2 GB of RAM. The device comes with 16 GB of internal storage (11 GB free) plus a MicroSD card slot, which takes cards of at least 32 GB capacity. Around the back, there’s an 8MP rear camera complete with a flash and a 5MP front facing camera for selfies and video calling. The device is powered by a 2,400 mAh removable battery, which is claimed can give the F103 up to thirty hours of talk time. The device includes 4G LTE, WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0 and Android 5.0 Lollipop under Gionee’s Amigo 3.0 user interface.