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Micromax entered the quad-core smartphone race with the announcement of the A116 Canvas HD on the January 21. The device is finally available through Snapdeal for Rs. 13,990 and as of writing this article, is listed as sold out.
The sub-Rs. 15k price point has seen the launch of quite a few devices with decent power under the hood, along with impressive displays and build quality. We have the likes of the Huawei Ascend G600, which has some impressive specifications along with an impressive display, and we have also seen the Sony Xperia Go, which is built like a tank along with a good display.
But the problem with these devices is that where one shows off a unique feature, it compromises on another. So, here we list for you some reasons why we think the Micromax A116 Canvas HD might be the first device that will break this trend.
The header says it all. The A116 is not only the first device to be announced in India to run on a quad-core processor, but it is also the first one to be available. We are still waiting for a concrete launch date for the Karbonn Smart Titanium 1 and the Jiayu G4, which also boast of quad-core processors. The Micromax A116 Canvas HD has a 1.2GHz quad-core MediaTek MT6589 processor coupled up with a PowerVR SGX5 GPU, and 1GB of RAM making it a powerhouse of specifications.
Just how impressive is something we will tell you once we get our hands on a review unit. On paper however, the power of the processor and chipset is more than enough not only to run all the apps on the Play store but also give the users a lag free smooth user interface. According to MediaTek, the combination of the MT6589 processor and the PowerVR SGX5 GPU allows for the processor to provide support for full HD content, along with being able to handle a 13MP camera. It also supports 3D content, and is capable of shooting in 3D and convert 2D footage to 3D on the fly.
Up till now, the best we have seen are dual-core processors clocked at 1 to 1.2GHz in this price bracket from devices such as the Xperia Go, Xperia Sola, Micromax A90S, Micromax Canvas 2 A110, and Lava Xolo A800 to name a few.
720p HD screen
The above-mentioned device fall in the sub-Rs. 15k price bracket but the maximum display resolution you will get from those devices is 960x540 pixels. The A116 Canvas HD gives users a 5-inch display with a 1280x720 pixel resolution (a whopping 294ppi pixel density). This means that the display will be quite clear. Since a majority of the past 5-inch smartphones have a 480x800 pixel resolution, this will be a big jump for budget device users not only in terms of resolution of the display but with the pixel density, sharpness and viewing angles as well.
In the market we have the iBall Andi 4.5q. On a 4.5-inch IPS display, the device has a 960x540 pixel resolution giving it pixel density of 244ppi. That’s still less than the A116. We have also seen the WickedLeak Wammy Sensation with a 4.7-inch IPS display with a 1280x720 pixel resolution, giving it a pixel density 312PPI. This is the only device that has a higher pixel density than the A116.
Android Jelly Bean
Many devices have promised to be upgradable to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, but few budget smartphone makers have delivered. The A116 Canvas HD not only runs on Jelly Bean from the word go, but also promises to be upgradable to Android 4.2 JB. The only other budget device to have JB straight out-of-the-box is the iBall Andi 4.5q.
We have yet to see Jelly Bean become the next standard OS coming out of the box of Android devices. There are a lot of premium and mid-range devices from HTC, Sony and more that are yet to receive the Jelly Bean update making the Canvas HD a more attractive device if having the latest OS is a criteria for you.
Having a whopping 1GB RAM is a big deal especially if one likes multitasking and playing games. Coupled with the quad-core processor and JB, the Canvas HD will probably be a very smooth device. This isn’t the first budget device to launch with 1GB RAM. In the market today, we have devices such as the WickedLeak Wammy Sensation, iBall Andi 4.5h and Spice Stellar Pinnacle Mi-530 to name a few.
Budget smartphones as a rule always seem to make some compromises. With the Micromax A116 Canvas HD however, at Rs. 13,990, we seem to have (on paper) a device with all the features under one roof, without any obvious compromises – great power under the hood, a gorgeous display and the latest Android OS. Of course, we will discover just how good the Canvas HD is, when we give you our in-depth and detailed review.