For Rs. 13,990, the Micromax Canvas HD A116 has a 5-inch IPS LCD display with a 1280x720 resolution. It is 10.7mm thin and weighs a mere 156gms. It has a quad-core 1.2GHz processor, 1GB of RAM and PowerVR Series5XT GPU. It also houses a 2000mAh battery, an 8MP rear camera and a 2MP front facing camera. It runs on Android 4.1 Jelly Bean upgradable to Android 4.2.
The quad-core processor along with 1GB RAM and the 720p IPS screen powering the Micromax Canvas HD surely allows it to compete and challenge the current crop of flagship phones from premium brands. But, barring the core specs and performance, the other elements (discussed below) of the Canvas HD surely are not in the same league as the premium brands.
Here's a list of compromises that you should be aware of before you buy the Micromax Canvas HD:
While the core performance of the device is comparable to smartphones that are twice as expensive, the build quality is certainly not in the same league. The rear panel of the device has a pearl white finish. It is glossy making it a fingerprint magnet and the quality of plastic used isn’t the best. Look at the Samsung Galaxy S III. After all the effort that went in to make it one of the best premium Android devices out there, the plastic rear panel makes it lose its elegance. The same thing can be said about the Canvas HD.
Also, since the rear has a white finish and the front panel has a black finish, there is a distinct disconnect, making the device feel a little uneven. The build of the device gives it away as a budget phone.
No Gorilla Glass
The lack of Gorilla Glass is one of the biggest drawbacks of the device. Gorilla Glass on the display of the smartphone is essential to protect it from scratches, and makes the display sturdy. Considering the price point, we may be expecting a bit much. But, in today’s day and age, it is a requirement, especially on a smartphone that boasts of such impressive hardware.
The 8MP camera does a good job in well-lit environments, but the overall performance is most definitely below the quality that you get from the Samsung Galaxy S3 or the HTC One X. Sure, the camera on the Micromax Canvas HD says 8MP but then again so des the camera on the S III and the Nexus 4. The quality of images obtained from the Micromax Canvas HD isn’t very great when compared to some other devices. You can take a look at our in-depth review of the camera of the Canvas HD here.
Possible software glitches
One of the biggest disadvantages of the Canvas HD is the preloaded skin it comes with. Don’t get us wrong, there’s nothing wrong with it. In fact, the skin is quite minimalistic. But it is plagued with bugs and crashes. The launcher on the review unit we received crashed and didn’t resume even when we tried to reset the device. The preloaded wallpapers too are very gaudy. We have also heard complaints of random crashes and lag which is credited to the preloaded launcher.
Micromax Canvas HD launcher crash
We have seen devices like the Samsung Galaxy S III and the HTC One X bringing launchers like the TouchWiz and the Sense UI. Both these launchers transform the Android experience bringing with them a slew of unique features. The launcher on the Micromax A 116 Canvas HD only brings with it the MZone app, which has local Bollywood and news content. Its not that the launcher is bad, it’s just that it brings nothing new to the tablet.
After sales service
One complain that we have constantly hear about Micromax is the lack of after sales service. Sure, you can log on to http://www.micromaxinfo.com/support.aspx to get the details of the service center nearest to you but we have heard countless complaints from consumers who say that they have faced a lot of difficulty in getting problems from their phones rectified via the customer care. We have heard customers complain about the after sales service of Micromax.
Even though Micromax has said that the Canvas HD will be updatable to Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, no time frame has been mentioned for the update. Google is expected to show off their next Android 5.0 OS, Key Lime Pie in May at the annual Google I/O event. The time frame for the update for the Canvas HD is still unclear. Those users who are ready to toy with their devices can root the smartphone with a number of mods available to access the latest OS as and when it is available. But, the average everyday consumer will have to wait for Micromax to provide the update over the air.
As of writing this article, the device is out of stock with a tag, which says, “tell me when available”. The phone will be delivered in 4 business days after availability. It is only listed on Saholic and is absent from other popular online retailers.