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Smartphone makers bait their hooks with luxe design and better cameras

Mikael Ricknäs | June 3, 2014
As they battle for dominance in the cut-throat smartphone category, vendors are betting that luxury-evoking designs and features such as better front cameras will get consumers to open their wallets.

With the high end of the smartphone market growing saturated, it's no surprise that vendors are spending more energy on developing good low-end products. Cheaper chipsets from the likes of Qualcomm and MediaTek have opened the door for low-cost LTE smartphones such as the Moto G LTE from Motorola (US$219), Microsoft's Lumia 635 ($189) and the Kestrel ($140), which was developed by Huawei for British operator EE. In all three cases those relatively low prices buy you a smartphone with a 4.5-inch screen, a 5-megapixel camera and powered by a quad-core Snapdragon 400 running at 1.2GHz.

You can expect to see even more quality features migrating downwards, which is going to require a tricky balance on the part of vendors. After all, if the low-end models get too good, consumers will likely pick the cheaper phones. Then high-end phones will have to offer even more flash for the status-conscious to part with a load of cash.


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