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Ever since the launch of the Micromax A116 Canvas HD, we have seen a large number of manufacturers such as Intex, Lava, Spice, WickedLeak, Xolo and others adopt the same quad-core MediaTek MT6589 chipset. So, essentially, we have a lot of homogenous budget Android smartphones boasting of similar specifications with the distinguishing factor being the built-in storage, RAM, display size and resolution, camera and more.
Today, we have with us the Spice Stellar Pinnacle Pro Mi-535. Does this smartphone bring anything new to the table or is it your run-of-the-mill quad-core budget smartphone?
At a Glance
5.3-inch qHD display, candy bar form factor, rubberized back and dual-SIM capabilities are the most obvious features at hand apart from the quad-core processor and 1GB of RAM. The OS is fairly vanilla, and you get some security apps preloaded on it including NQ Mobile Security, Vault and more. Let us take a look at the specifications of the Spice Stellar Pinnacle Pro compared to other smartphones in the sub-Rs. 15,000 price range.
From the specifications table, it is clear that the Spice Stellar Pinnacle Pro Mi-535 has the largest battery along with the highest built-in storage. On the downside, the display resolution is a mere qHD where as the other devices offer a 720p resolution.
Below the display of the Spice Stellar Pinnacle Pro Mi-535 you have the menu, home and back button. These buttons are represented as a series of dots. Three dots in a straight-line represent the menu; four dots in the shape of a square represent the home button and three dots in the shape of “<” represent the back button. It may take a bit of getting used to and we have seen Spice implement these same buttons on their other devices.
The right of the Spice Stellar Pinnacle Pro Mi-535 has the volume rocker and the top has the microUSB port, headphones jack and the power button. The rear of the smartphone is something that we really liked. It has a matte rubberised finish, which adds to the grip and gives the smartphone and overall good feel. It is comfortable to hold, especially when typing. The rear of the smartphone also houses the 8MP camera with dual flash and the bottom of the rear panel has the speaker grill. Rip out the rear panel and you have the battery along with the dual-SIM card slots and a place for the microSD card – fairly standard.
Overall, the Spice Stellar Pinnacle Pro Mi-535 has a pretty good design the biggest plus point being that it is quite comfortable to hold.
We love the vanilla Android experience and that is what you get on the Spice Stellar Pinnacle Pro Mi-535. The smartphone runs on Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, so you also get access to the lockscreen apps on the device. You have access to the five customizable home screens apart from the standard slew of apps and widgets, the Spice Stellar Pinnacle Pro comes with some handy preloaded apps such as NQ Mobile Securty, HiCamera, HiConnect, M Tracker, Vault and more.
You also have access to the Google Play store for all your app needs.
Performance:So far, the Spice Stellar Pinnacle Pro Mi-535 seems to be going good with what it has to offer, but does this translate into performance? Let us start with the benchmarks.
As you can see from the above benchmarks, the Spice Stellar Pinnacle Pro Mi-535 performs quite well when compared to the competition that houses the same hardware specifications.
The touchscreen response of the Spice Stellar Pinnacle Pro Mi-535 is good for the most part. It does however tend to go haywire when you try to use it with the charger plugged in. This isn’t the first smartphone that we have seen with this problem and it isn’t a deal breaker. Just refrain from using it when you have it plugged in.
The keyboard is well laid-out and overall, the typing experience on the Spice Stellar Pinnacle Pro Mi-535 is comfortable. Be it playing games or browsing the Internet, the touchscreen response is good. The video files didn’t play natively and the smartphone didn’t play our HD MP4 file properly even in MX Video player. The MKV HD and AVI SD player however worked on the device.
The biggest downside to the Spice Stellar Pinnacle Pro Mi-535’s display is that the resolution is low when compared to what the competition has to offer. The videos don’t look very crisp and while reading text, the edges look slightly jagged. It would have been great if the smartphone has a 720p display just like the competition. As a standalone device however, the display’s performance is good.
In terms of its gaming performance, Angry Birds Star Wars and Subway Surfer and Dead Trigger ran very smoothly. The response of the touchscreen was good, the audio was loud and clear but the representation of content on the display would have been better if the resolution were higher.
Moving to the calling capability of the smartphone, put simply, it is good; no complaints here.
Coming to the security features of the Spice Stellar Pinnacle Pro Mi-535, let us start with the NQ Security app. This app helps with virus detection on your smartphone, system performance, backup content and anti theft. You have to sign up for an NQ account to activate the features and registering is as easy as inputting your email ID and selecting a password.
One app on the Spice Stellar Pinnacle Pro Mi-535 that we really like is the Vault app. There are so many times when you have content on your smartphone such as images messages and more that you don’t want others to see when they use your phone. You can use the Vault app to simply hide all this content and there wont be a trace of it on the smartphone. So you can hide the content you want no one to see and let your phone be in your friend’s hands without any worries.
A very cool feature of the Vault app is that if someone enters the wrong password, the app uses the front facing camera to capture an image of the person and then notifies you when you log in to the vault. It also gives you details such as the date and the time when the person attempted to enter the vault. It is a really cool security app and we like it.
The camera on the Spice Stellar Pinnacle Pro is great, considering the price of the smartphone. The output during the day in well-lit conditions is simply awesome, the low-lit shots not so much but then again, this is one of the better cameras we have seen on a smartphone in the sub-Rs. 15,000 price point.
In terms of its battery life, the Spice Stellar Pinnacle Pro has enough juice to get through the day average you. In our continuous video playback test, the smartphone lasted for five hours with the brightness on full, as well as the volume. The Wi-Fi was on as well.
If you are looking for a smartphone with a good camera and good power under the hood (with some security features thrown into the mix) then the Spice Stellar Pinnacle Pro should be at the top of your list. It has a quad-core processor, which is great. It has the maximum built-in storage when compared to the competition and the only downside to the device is the display resolution.