The new entrant on smartphone front – Android One certainly looks set to make wave with its third proposition in the form of Micromax Canvas A1. While the earlier Android One phones were Karbonn Sparkle V and Spice Dream Uno Mi-498, which were priced at Rs 6399 and Rs 6299, expectations were certainly little more when Micromax floated its Android One phone at the similar or say comparatively higher price of Rs 6499.
Google has completed a lot of the homework with regards to R&D, which permits Micromax to happily keep the cost of the phone at reasonably low Rs 6499. The use of the MediaTek processor contributes to it too. Mozilla got to set the price bar super low with its Spreadtrum deal, in case you’re comparing.
The worst thing about the Micromax Canvas A1 is that it shares similar specifications as the Sparkle V and Dream Uno. It’s got just 1GB of RAM and we’re also not fans of the main 5MP camera highlighted by a prominent, brushed metal ring. Amazon’s selling the phone with an 8GB memory card right now.
As budget handsets go, the A1 sets a high benchmark for performance, surpassing the Moto E quite comfortably. We think this is one of the biggest benefits of Android One and it really shines on the Canvas A1. HD games were not an issue and we rarely found the phone staggering. At times we found the recent apps screen would be slow to come up, but it only happened once or twice. There were no big stumbles.
The Canvas A1 has surprisingly good audio chops even though there’s just the one speaker on the back. The speaker is round in shape like the Nexus 5 earpiece, and gets loud enough to fill up a room. It does get slightly muffled when the phone is face up.
The biggest drawback with the Android One devices right now is that you cannot use the camera without an external microSD card. While Micromax and Karbonn are bundling 8GB cards with their Android One phone, Spice does not and it would be extra expense for the user. This limitation is crippling, if you are not interested in buying a card, and sort of forces the user to buy one. We think it’s a terrible move, and one we hope is sorted out through in a future update, possibly Android L.
The camera could be the biggest letdown in the phone that has all the right ingredients. Don’t get us wrong, the camera is quite good for the price tag, but we just wish it were better. The app is the Google Camera app so you get all the bells and whistles such as Lens Blur, Photospheres, Panoramas, along with HDR mode, exposure adjustment, WB adjustment and more. This is a lot of settings in a phone that retails for under Rs 6,500.
Customisations are great but not at the cost of user experience. It’s a sure recommendation in the budget category over the likes of the Moto E and the Xiaomi Redmi 1s, and if you are looking for a budget smartphone this winter, look no further.
Micromax Canvas A1
– Android v4.4.4 KitKat OS
– 4.5-inch FWVGA IPS touchscreen
– 1.3GHz quad core MediaTek chip
– 1GB RAM, 4GB ROM, 32GB expandability
– 2MP and 5MP cameras
– Dual SIM support
– 3G, Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth
– 1700mAh battery