However, things have changed dramatically now. There are not only Indian brands that are trying to get affordable, feature-packed smartphones to the Indian masses but even companies such as Samsung, Sony and Nokia are trying to make sure that they address the needs of price sensitive consumers.
Given that it's now getting difficult for one to pick up the right smartphone, this gifting season we bring you the list of Top Five smartphone under the Rs. 10,000 price bracket that are currently available in the market.
1) Samsung Galaxy Music Duos
Samsung had started selling smartphones at the fag-end of December for Rs. 9,199 through its official store. However one can find it on some of the leading online retail websites for Rs. 8,990.
Samsung in October 2012 had announced Samsung Galaxy Music (single SIM version of this smartphone), but there's no word yet on when that'll be launched in India.
2) Sony Xperia tipo/ Sony Xperia tipo dual
Sony had launched Sony Xperia tipo and its dual SIM variant Sony Xperia tipo dual in September 2012. Sony Xperia tipo is now available at a street price of Rs. 8,990 and Xperia tipo dual for Rs. 9,990.
3) Nokia Lumia 510
Nokia Lumia 510 is the cheapest Windows smartphone available in the market. It carries the price tag of Rs. 9,999 and comes with a 4-inch WVGA screen. It is powered by 800MHz Qualcomm processor along with 256MB RAM and 4GB internal storage. There is a 5-megapixel rear camera on board.
The only read drawback for this smartphone is that it runs on Windows Phone 7.5, and will get an upgrade only to Windows 7.8, which means no Windows 8 for this baby.
4) BlackBerry Curve 9220
Launched in April 2012, BlackBerry Curve 9220 is an interesting smartphone to look at especially if you want to connect with their BlackBerry Messenger Gang. Available for Rs. 10,990 this is slightly above our cut-off, but worth looking at nonetheless.
Some of the notable features of this smartphone includes 2.44-inch TFT Screen, 2-megapixel camera, 1450 mAhbattery, 512 MB internal memory (expandable up to 32 GB via microSD). BlackBerry Curve 9220 is powered by 800 MHz processor with 512MB of RAM.It runs on BlackBerry OS 7.1 but given that BlackBerry will soon be unveiling a brand new operating system BlackBerry 10 on January 30, this smartphone and all existing counterparts will likely become obsolete very soon.
5) Micromax A110 Superfone Canvas
If you are looking for an affordable big screen smartphone, then Micromax A110 Superfone Canvas 2 is an enticing option. It sports a 5-inch TFT capacitive touch screen IPS display and powered by a 1GHz processor. The other features of this smartphone are 2GB internal storage (expendable,by 32GB), 2000 mAh battery, 8-megapixel auto focus camera and a VGA front camera.The smartphone is available at a street price of Rs. 9,999 and runs on Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich).