Quick, how many cell phone manufacturers can you think of? Samsung, Apple, Nokia, LG, HTC, Sony, and Motorola are the few names that spring to mind almost instantly, which is not surprising given the popularity of their mobile devices. However, there is a whole bunch of cell phone makers that are so obscure that you've probably never heard of them. Or have you? Well, there's one way to find out! Just flick through the slideshow below and meet the cell phone companies we've picked. How many of them are you familiar with? Or can you suggest a brand that is even more obscure than the ones we've selected? Let us know by dropping a comment!
10 less-known cell phone companies
10 less-known cell phone companies
Geeksphone is a Spanish company that entered the smartphone market in the not-so-distant 2009. Since then, it has released a couple of Android smartphones – The Geeksphone GP1 (now discontinued) and the Geeksphone ZERO, which can be ordered from the company's online store. Rather than relying on any cutting edge hardware to stand out, Geeksphone touts its device as being completely open for modification and for use with any GSM carrier the user prefers.
Emporia is an Austrian company that makes simple, affordable, and easy to use cell phones. And when we say simple, we mean handsets that are stripped down of any kind of advanced features whatsoever. For example, their TALKcomfort model (pictured) has an address book, calculator, LED flashlight, support for sending and receiving texts, and that's about it. With its high contrast screen, loud ringtones, and huge buttons, however, it is a handset suitable for elderly people.
The Verykool brand, which is owned by the California-based InfoSonics, has been around since 2007. Currently, its products are being sold in 20 countries and 5 continents around the world. What you see in the photo is the Verykool s757, which is a 5-inch hybrid between a smartphone and a tablet, powered by an 800MHz processor and Android 2.3.5.
Lumigon is based in Copenhagen, Denmark, and specializes in premium cell phones designed with style and elegance. Their top-of-the-line model is the upcoming Lumigon T2, which is a 3.8-inch handset constructed using stainless steel elements. Something cool about the smartphone is that it has a built-in IR blaster, meaning that you can use it as a remote control. Bang & Olufsen audio technology has been incorporated in order to suit the exquisite taste of music lovers.
India is where the Karbonn company is situated. The smartphone that you see in the photo is the Karbonn KT81 Cosmos, which is an affordable mid-range device. Interestingly, the company is also planning on releasing a budget-friendly tablet running Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. The slate will have a 1.2GHz processor, 3G connectivity, camera, and other features while retailing for about $125.
Cell phone company Micromax is based in India as well. It recently introduced a couple of Android 4.0 smartphones tailored for the local market: the 4.3-inch Pixel A90 and the 5-inch Canvas A100. Hardware-wise, neither of them will make one's jaw drop, but their price is definitely tempting – $234 for the former and $180 for the latter.
From the United Arab Emirates we have the i-mate company, and the smartphone you see in the photo is the now discontinued 810-F. Neither the name nor the hardware specs can impress us nowadays, and yes, as you can see it ran on the now obsolete Windows Mobile. However, the handset was so tough that its maker sold each one with a lifetime warranty. Unfortunately, i-mate went out of business in September of 2009.
Blu's smartphones are marketed throughout Latin America, although the company is considering the opportunity to expand its operations even further. The handset in the photo is the Blu Vivo 4.3, which comes with a 4.3-inch Super AMOLED Plus display, 1GHz dual-core processor, 8-megapixel camera, and Android 4.0.
The INQ company started its business in the U.K., but later opened offices in the U.S., Canada, China, and other markets. Its INQ Cloud Touch smartphone (pictured) is made for young people and heavy social network users. Highlights include a 3.5-inch HVGA display, 5-megapixel camera, GPS and 3G connectivity.
And from the great nation of China we have Xiaomi, which won the hearts of many geeks throughout the country with the outstanding value for money ratio of its Android smartphones. The company's Xiaomi Phone 2 is likely to follow the footsteps of its predecessor with its ultra fast Snapdragon S4 Pro processor and $310 price tag.