India's HCL Infosystems unveils ME Connect 2G 2.0 phablet

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HCL Infosystem's latest addition to its product line is the 7-inch HCL ME Connect 2G 2.0 smartphone-tablet, more commonly known as a phablet.

The phablet is powered by a 1GHz ARM Cortex A9 processor with 1GB DDR3 RAM and 4GB internal memory, which is expandable up to 32GB, according to a press release.

indias-hcl-infosystems-unveils-me-connect-2g-2-0-phabletHCL ME Connect 2G 2.0.

The HCL ME Connect 2G 2.0 runs on the Google Android Jellybean 4.1 OS and is also equipped with support for 11 local Indian languages and face recognition to lock and unlock the device. As the name suggests, the HCL ME Connect 2G 2.0 phablet only offers 2G voice-calling.

The cameras are outdated, as it sports simply a 0.3MP camera on the front and the rear camera is no better at just 2.0MP. Clearly, this device would be passed on by consumers who want a device to take decent pictures as the resolution is far below current industry standards.

However, other promising features include 3G connectivity through a USB datacard (WCDMA/EVDO), which is not included with the device. The phablet does include both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, as it also comes with an integrated Wi-Fi router which can be used to create a wireless hotspot. This is an interesting feature not seen on many devices; that is, a built-in router to create a wireless hotspot. This could be appealing for those who want to create mini hotspots in small areas within a small group of users.

The HCL ME Connect 2G 2.0 is priced attractively at just 8,499 rupees (US$150.30). This is quite a steal for the price in contrast to other Indian phablets from either Karbonn or Micromax. If anything, the HCL brand itself carries weight within India, and if leveraged effectively with a slick advertising and marketing campaign, HCL Infosystems could make a decent in the Indian market.

The question is what their intent is, to make a dent in the market or just enough of a presence to be noticed?

After all, HCL is a US$6 billion multinational company (MNC) and HCL Infosystems a US$1.8 billion firm. To be frank, if they really want to be ahead of the game, they need to tweak their products and make them more competitive. Running the latest Google OS is great, but having outdated cameras and the lack of built-in 3G capabilities on a phablet will turn away many users, but for some, perhaps this is in fact something that can be overlooked.