Fingerprint scanners make little sense in India: Lenovo

first_imgChinese company Lenovo on Tuesday launched its budget-friendly 4G LTE-capable phone, aka the Vibe K5 Plus in India at a price of Rs 8,499. The Vibe K5 Plus offers a well-rounded spec-sheet for the price that it commands. But, it does not have a fingerprint scanner. This is because Lenovo thinks it’s not important, for a market like India. “Many (smartphone) companies are offering a fingerprint scanner (in their phones). Even Lenovo has done that. However, the use of a fingerprint scanner is very limited in India. People (largely) use it to unlock their phone, while its actual use lies in its ability to make secure mobile payments possible. This is why fingerprint scanners make little sense here,” said Sudhin Mathur, director, smartphones, Lenovo India at the launch event.Secure mobile payment services (like Android Pay, Samsung Pay et al) are non-existent in India, at the moment. Lenovo clearly has a point here. It’s certainly no big deal should a mainstream phone (like the Vibe K5 Plus) lack one. But there are companies — read rivals — which think differently. The fact that most of these companies come from China accentuates this difference in opinion further.While Coolpad was the first company to launch the under Rs 10,000 fingerprint scanner-totting Note 3 phone (and later the Note 3 Lite) in India, Xiaomi recently jumped on to the bandwagon with the Redmi Note 3 . Fingerprint scanners must make some sense for Coolpad and Xiaomi. Following closely is Huawei’s Honor that launched the Honor 5X here. Although the Honor 5X may not be in the same league here, from a pricing point of view, but it’s also one of the first few phones to sport an all-metal build and fingerprint scanner at under Rs 15,000. Ironically, Huawei also comes from China.advertisementNot to mention, all ‘Moto by Lenovo ‘ phones are supposed to have one this year. Of course, there’s also the condition that these would only be premium phones. Maybe, what Lenovo actually means is that fingerprint scanners make little sense on a budget phone.The Vibe K5 Plus also lacks a fingerprint scanner because its priorities lie elsewhere. Lenovo is pitching it as a full-on entertainment device and it is multimedia prowess, not fingerprint scanners that drive mobile sales, according to the company. Again, Lenovo has a point here. The company sold over 2 million phones last year and emerged as the top smartphone brand of 2015 on Flipkart . The A6000 Plus and K3 Note were the top two most sought after smartphones in 2015, as per the analysis. Both of them lack a fingerprint scanner.According to a Lenovo study, about 65 per cent people use their phone to access multimedia content. The company wants to tap in to that potential space with its new phone. It’s relying a great deal on two technologies: Dolby Atmos sound tech and TheatreMax. The Vibe K5 Plus comes with twin stereo speakers on the back that sadly don’t support Dolby Atmos. You’ll have to connect headphones to make use of the technology. The K4 Note launched not long ago came with Dolby Atmos supporting speakers (on the front). The Vibe K5 Plus is therefore closer to the K3 Note in this aspect as even the latter came with Atmos limited to headphone out.Lenovo’s TheatreMax technology meanwhile enhances multimedia content to offer a 3D virtual experience on the phone when paired with a supported AntVR headset (sold deparately). It made its debut with the K4 Note. The key highlight of Lenovo’s take on VR is that you don’t need specialised content for it to work. It works on any content.To add to the grand scheme of things, the Vibe K5 Plus comes with a 5-inch FullHD screen and is apparently 3 times faster and 2.5 times more efficient in terms of graphical output over its predecessor, the A6000.last_img read more