If some recent announcements are any indicators then mobile phone market leaders Samsung and Nokia are gearing up to intensify competition and raise the ante in the price segment of just above Rs 5,000.

Both the companies have announced at least one significant product each in the price category. While Nokia said it would be bringing Asha 501, which the market expects to be priced at around Rs 5,300, Samsung too has said it would be bringing its Galaxy Star model to India soon and the device is likely to be priced at Rs 5,240, as per an NDTV news release.

In fact, this is the first time Nokia would be bringing an Asha series phone with a 3.2 megapixel camera at a sub-Rs 5,500 price. Galaxy Star lags a bit in the imaging department and would be having a 2 megapixel camera. However, Samsung edges ahead of Nokia when it comes to the internal memory. It has 4GB of internal memory while Nokia only has 128MB. Looks like Nokia realized this ahead of announcing the device and decided to include a 4GB card in the box, as if in an anticipated response to Samsung’s Galaxy Star announcement.

Neither of the devices, however, supports 3G but that could also help the makers achieve longer battery lives. In fact, Nokia claims a 2G talk time of up to 17 hours, standby time of 48 days and music playback time of 56 hours.
A large number of other features for both the devices are largely comparable. Most notably, both come with dual SIM slots.

There already has been a play in the price segment just under Rs 6,000. Samsung’s most notable device addressing this segment was Galaxy Y, priced at around Rs 5,900. It too featured a 2MP camera though. Asha 303, which was a Nokia play in the sub-Rs 6,000 price segment, again scored better in terms of camera. Samsung, however, claimed a much longer 2G talk time, of up to 17 hours for certain variants (and that is one thing Nokia has obviously attempted to address with Asha 501.)

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