28 October 2014

Micromax Canvas A1 [ Android One ] Review:

Android One..

Huge buzz, huge response, great price, looks impressive....
But can it take on the competition ?? Can it be the new Budget King ??  The 1st Tier Market in India is getting tougher and tougher... Is this the device you are looking for ? Let's find out in my review below:

The Search: 

I was looking for the perfect Android One device, had 3 options to choose from. So I took a look at all of them:
1) Spice Android One Dream UNO,  (Rs 6299)

2) Micromax Canvas A1  (Rs 6499)

3) Karbonn Android One Sparkle V.  (Rs 5999)

As all of these devices have the same specs so my decision was based on the looks and I selected the Micromax Canvas A1 (+ I feel Micromax is better than the other 2 brands)..  So I ordered the device from Amazon.

The Wait: 

It took Amazon 2 days to deliver me the product. I couldn't wait, was excited and was impressed with the packaging. Great work Amazon..

I was impressed with the packaging of the device. Unboxed it and the device was lying in its full glory. So I took it out and time for the setup..
I finally had the device up and running and here are my impressions:


Simple, Solid and Minimalistic..
That's it i'm in love with it and it's solid and has a rubberized back cover. The build quality is great, way better than the other micromax devices out there.. I'm impressed that a device with such a small price tag offers a great build quality. The bezel around the screen is a bit on the larger side but it looks good and the earpiece is similar to the Nexus 5 (It looks classic).

The device has a 4.5 inch display and it offers great one handed usage. You can easily reach all 4 corners of the screen without much movement. It is totally possible to use the device with one hand without a lot of effort.

Overall the device looks good, the camera looks different and the build quality is great... I'm impressed.

CPU: 1.3Ghz Quad Core MediaTek MT6582 chipset.
GPU: Mali 400
Ram: 1GB
Screen: 4.5'' 480x854 i.e. approximately 218ppi
OS: Android 4.4.4 KitKat (Android 5.0 Lollipop has been announced)
Camera: 5MP Rear Shooter with Flash and a 2MP front facing camera.
Storage: 4GB internal, expandable upto 32GB (microSD card)
Battery: 1700mAh

The device has pretty decent specifications for the price tag. It is not as fast as the Nexus 5, HTC One M8, LG G3 and the other flagships out there. But it is fast enough to compete with the Moto E,G, Asus Zenfone 4,5  and that's great. It provides a lag free experience and that's all possible because of the 1GB ram along with stock android. The device has 1 GB of ram which feels enough for day to day usage, it's possible to game, text and watch a video or play some music simultaneously but you can easily put the 1 GB out of breath with hardcore multitasking. But for the average user the device performs great and the 1GB ram should suffice.

Gaming ?? The device has a Mali 400 GPU which is pretty old, but is still capable enough to play games such as Real Racing 3, Asphalt 8, FIFA 15, Bombsquad etc without any lag or shutter. Though the graphically intense games do take a while to load but after the loading process the games run smooth.

So overall the device performs great and anyone can use the device for most of their day to day tasks and occasional hardcore usage. The performance level is at par with most of the budget devices out there and this has an additional advantage, the 2 year update policy which is valid on the Nexus devices apply on this too. So you can have the latest android for the next 2 years* and considering the price tag, this is a great device and is backed up by Google for the update procedure.

Battery Life:         

The device has a 1700 mAh battery which I though was very low but with my average usage I was able to squeeze 3.5 hours of screen on time and a standby time on 18 hours. This usage included browsing, video playback, audio play back, occasional voice calls and texting.
The battery unit is user replaceable so all the utilitarians out there can grab a few extra batteries and you can go on and on without stopping at all :)
1700mAh user replaceable battery
So in short, the battery life is decent enough to get you through a days usage with a full charge.

Here comes the one drawback of this device. The display is a 4.5" IPS LCD panel with a screen resolution of 480x854 pixels i.e approximately 218 ppi which is pretty low. You can easily detect the pixels on the screen. I am not saying that the display is a disaster, considering the price it is great it's bright and offers good outdoor visibility, a decent media consumption experience and come on what do you expect for such a low price.
So considering the price, the display is decent and offers great outdoor visibility.

What can you possibly expect from a device that offers great specs and a 2 years update policy at such a small price tag ? The device has a 5MP rear shooter with LED flash capable of recording videos upto 720p. The image quality is average and that's what I expected since almost everyone was cribbing about the camera performance of the Nexus 5 so I never expected this camera unit to pull off something great and I was right, the camera is average, the day light shots are decent but low light photography is a disaster.

2MP front camera
5MP rear camera with flash
It is great that this device has a front facing camera, I never expected it to have one because the Moto E which has a similar price tag doesn't have one. The 2MP front facing camera is good enough for video calls and random selifes.

Being backed up by Google for the update process means one thins that this will be one of the first few devices to get the next Android. The devices in the Android One program will be updated for 2 years just as any Nexus device is done. Luckily Android Lollipop was announced and the Android One devices will be one of the 1st few handsets to receive the update.
Android Lollipop has a lot to offer, so if you are someone who desires the latest android then this device is a great option.

The device is a bang for the bucks. Performs great, has a great build quality, will get updated for the next 2 years directly from Google (Super Fast updates), great developer support (if you plan on flashing Custom Roms). What else does someone need from a device with such a small price tag?
I'm pretty much satisfied with the device and I'd easily recommend this to anyone who needs a device that isn't crappy and has a super small price tag.

Rating:  7.5/10

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Enjoy !! 


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