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This week in tech: March 28, 2015
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Micromax recently impressed us by stealing the first mover’s advantage in the quad-core budget smartphone market, with the launch of the A116 Canvas HD. The Canvas HD boasts of a 720p HD display, and has an 8MP camera.
But that isn’t the only smartphone that launched with impressive features. We have seen Samsung launch the Galaxy Grand Duos. The smartphone brings with it a slew of Samsung-exclusive features found on premium devices in a 5-inch form factor. The performance of the Grand Duos is quite impressive too.
Last week, we saw the launch of the Intel Atom Z2480-powered Xolo X1000 in India for Rs. 19,999. The smartphone impressed us in the 20 minutes that we spent with it, and we can’t wait for our review unit to arrive.
Since all the three smartphones are the budget representatives of their respective brands, we thought we’d compare the performance of each of them to see how they stack up against one another. Let us start with the specifications:
Display resolution (pixels)
Single-core Intel Atom with Hyper Threading
Processor clock speed (GHz)
Built-in storage (GB)
Rear camera (MP)
Front facing camera (MP)
M!Store, M!Buddy, M!SMS, M!Zone and Hook Up.
S Voice, Smart Stay (the display won't go to sleep if it knows that you are reading), All share, Chat On and my service
The Xolo X1000 has the smallest screen of the three smartphones but only by a minor margin and shouldn’t make much of a difference to the average user. The resolution of the display is what makes the most difference. Both the Canvas HD and the Xolo X1000 have 720p HD displays whereas the Galaxy Grand Duos has a 480x800 pixel resolution giving it the lowest pixel density of the three smartphones.
The display of the Canvas HD looks gorgeous and very vibrant. The same can be said about the X1000. The brief time we spent with it, the response was smooth, and we also saw a few YouTube videos on it. Even though the Galaxy Grand has the lowest resolution of the lot, the display still gets the job done for everyday usage. It’s only when watching videos that we saw a yellow tinge in the display. This isn’t a big deal for the average consumer but it is present nonetheless.
The Canvas HD has a mere 4GB built in storage whereas the other two smartphones have 8GB built-in storage each. All of them support expandable storage via a microSD card.
Both the Samsung Galaxy Grand and the Micromax A116 Canvas HD support dual-SIM capabilities whereas the Xolo X1000 is a single SIM device. All three smartphones have an 8MP shooter at the back.
The Xolo X1000 has a battery capacity of 1900mAh, which is the lowest of three, whereas the Micromax A116 Canvas HD has a 2000mAh battery, and the Samsung Galaxy Grand has the highest capacity battery with a 2100mAh battery.
The only place where the Samsung Galaxy Grand Duos and the Micromax A116 Canvas HD share an advantage is that they run on Android 4.1 Jelly Bean straight out of the box, giving users access to features such as Project Butter and Google Now. The Xolo X1000 runs on the aged Android 4.0 ICS and will receive the Jelly Bean update this year.
If you are someone who likes a vanilla Android experience, you are better off sticking to the Micromax A116 Canvas HD or the Xolo X1000 as the skin on them is relatively light. The Samsung Galaxy Grand Duos has Samsung’s famous TouchWiz skin. TouchWiz is one of the better preloaded skins out there and gives users access to a bunch of features such as S Voice, Smart Stay (the display won't go to sleep if it knows that you are reading), All Share, Chat On and My Service.
Under the hood, different SoCs power the smartphones. The Canvas HD has the MediaTek MT6589 where as the Grand Duos has the Broadcom SoC. The X1000 houses the Intel Atom Processor Z2480, which is Intel’s venture in the smartphone hardware segment. Below are some benchmark comparisons of the three smartphones.
Quadrant is a CPU, I/O and 3D graphics benchmark. The higher the score, the better optimized the smartphone is. Here, surprisingly the Xolo X1000 scored the highest whereas the Micromax A116 Canvas HD scored the lowest, despite having the most powerful processor on paper. The Samsung Galaxy Grand Duos landed right in the middle.
In NenaMark2, which measures the frames per second performance on the smartphone, Samsung Galaxy Grand emerges as the winner by quite a margin – possibly because of its low-resolution of its display. The Canvas HD comes in second, while the scores of the X1000 are surprisingly low.
The AnTuTu Benchmark tests the ‘Memory Performance’, ‘CPU Integer Performance’, ‘CPU Floating-point Performance’, ‘2D 3D Graphics Performance’, ‘SD card reading/writing speed’, ‘Database IO’ performance testing on the smartphone. Once again, with AnTuTu, the higher the score, the better - the Canvas HD lands the highest score, with the Galaxy Grand emerging at the bottom. The score of the Xolo X1000, placing in between, is very close to the score that was leaked before the launch of the device and is quite close to the score of the Canvas HD.
SmartBench 2012 is a multi-core friendly benchmark application that measures the overall performance of your smartphone. It reports both productivity and gaming indices. Simply put, if you need to run games and heavy duty apps, then SmartBench score should help you decide the device for you. Here there is no surprise that the Canvas HD has come on top and the score of the other smartphones is way behind. The Galaxy Grand comes second and the Xolo X1000 scored the least.
We are quite impressed with all three smartphones. However, each device will suit different usage scenarios: