With the Micromax Bolt A51, phones are still launching with Gingerbread


It’s 2013, folks, but some OEMs seem to be stuck in 2010. Micromax has announced the Bolt A51, a new entry-level smartphone that looks like it will appease mighty nicely to those who don’t want to break the bank. It’s a 3.5 inch HVGA smartphone with an 832MHz Broadcom chipset, has 256MB of RAM, 512MB of internal storage, a 2 megapixel camera on the back and a VGA camera on the front. With those dated specs — they’re quite low even for entry-level standards these days — comes the real disappointment: this smartphone will launch with Android 2.3 Gingerbread.

I understand Micromax appeals to a very niche market of those looking for affordable smartphones, and that people in that market might not care about having the latest and greatest, but how hard is it to launch with at least Ice Cream Sandwich in this day and age? It’s bad enough that Gingerbread still commands almost 50% of the Android version market share, and fresh device launches with the obsolete version don’t help anyone at all.

Predictably enough, the phone won’t be aimed at many regions. Our friends in India will have a crack at it, though we’re not sure how much they’ll be asked to pay for it just yet. For comparison’s sake, the slightly more powerful Micromax Bolt A35 (with a 1GHz processor and a 4-inch display) costs around $78. The Bolt A51 should be a good deal cheaper, and that certainly better be the case if Micromax expects anyone to pay for such an antiquated experience.

[via NDTV]

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. Devices this bad should be illegal. You couldn’t pay me to touch that thing.

    1. At least deny them the play store. Google doesn’t allow $79 tablets access, so why not this?

      1. Wait, really!?

      2. They should deny not only play store, but all not opensource apps like gmail, maps, youtube, etc. Google can do this, they have a certification process to get Play access and GB or 256MB RAM is too old to provide a decent experience

    2. It’s to compete in the markets Firefox OS is going to launch in. That’s it!

    3. These are typical “value phones”. Take it or leave it.

      I personally leave it, but an OS eco-system with plenty of choice is a great thing.

  2. Ice Cream Sandwich is much slower to respond and operate generally on such low-end hardware, so it’s better this came with Gingerbread. Sure, that’s bad too, but I wouldn’t put ICS on an 832MHz processor coupled with 256MB RAM.

    By the way, Karbonn (another Indian manufacturer) also launched competing Gingerbread phones just today, so it’s not only Micromax. :P

    EDIT: It’s a shame Symbian was killed and wasn’t continued (and wasn’t open sourced as well), it was the only OS really fit for such specs, was the most complete OS ever (and yes, very user friendly on the latest iteration), could do advanced stuff like emulate games, had awesome true multitasking and could run more apps in the background with 256MB RAM than Android or any other OS can ever dream of, etc. Nokia should have kept it around for such devices, though I guess apps would be hard to come by.

    1. They shouldn’t have given it such low end specs to begin with. Their are several prepaid phones that run ICS for well under $200.

      1. This is India, sub-$200 is not affordable for quite a few people, who they’re aiming at. This phone will not cost more than $70 (Rs. 4000 in Indian currency), which is just too low and only gets you feature phones like Nokia Asha (which are nice but in the end not exactly smartphones despite what Nokia might say).

        Of course, the experience will be poor, but the people this is aimed at won’t care about that anyway. I don’t justify Gingerbread phones, but with this hardware, it’s better off at GB.

  3. id say sell this thing for 12 bucks and a prepaid minute card…got a deal LOL.

  4. I want this and a new pc running Windows 95. Then I can drive my IROC and listen to my cassettes.

    1. Wicked mullet, dude.

      1. Thanks my mom perm’d it for me.

  5. This concoction is the poster child for all statements implying that Android is for those who cannot afford an iPhone. Set aside the obvious conclusion that this phone won’t even be heard of in first-world markets (save for mention on sites such as Phandroid); we can’t use (assumed) facts in this case.

    No; when it comes to the Android-iOS pissing match, the Micromax level of device is Android’s top contender. The Galaxy S line, One series, RAZR lines, and Nexus family aren’t first to come to mind when this topic arises in the mainstream media.

    Fair or unfair, it is what it is.

    1. Holy bezel Batman!

      1. There’s a screen on that thing?!

  6. It’s probably due to the fact that there is so little RAM. I’m imagining ICS needs a a specific amount of RAM. I mean it isn’t hard to come out with an ICS device. I don’t respect their decision. If it’s too hard to make a device to support ICS, you probably should just leave the phone manufacturing to the other companies.

    Gingerbread is a horrible experience compared to ICS. And Ice-Cream Sandwiches taste way better. =.P

  7. To bring a sense of perspective here: I’m all for Micromax to continue releasing these phones here in India. I typically consider these devices as “the new feature phones”. They’re meant for a certain sizable segment of our society that cannot afford to pay more than this for a device, but at the same time can greatly benefit from a smart device. There are several developers creating apps targeting these people, too, and generally the requirements of the demographic is pretty basic in terms of performance, with ruggedness and cost the biggest factors.

    What I can’t justify, however, are devices like the Galaxy S Advance, costing ~$300 and releasing with Gingerbread. And neither can I defend those who buy them, when they can instead go for the HTC One V.

    1. but it’s got the galaxy Raveesh! the galaxy……

  8. What’s the big deal? Would anyone flip out if iPhone was selling iPhone 3S phones to India and other smaller, developing markets? I don’t think so.

  9. What’s the big deal? Would anyone flip out if Apple was selling iPhone 3S phones to India and other smaller, developing markets? I don’t think so.

  10. How lovely! The phone is using HTC’s camera icon and HTC’s statusbar with HTC’s statusbar icons aswell…. I hope this company vanishes faster than the Galaxy S4’s sell numbers increase!

  11. Still does more than an iPhone.

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