Wednesday, August 21, 2013

IDEA Aurus III Hands-on Review – Screams Value For Money!

For: Value for money pricing, distributed by a trusted service provider, excellent build quality.
Against: None at this price point. Nit-picking is what all you can do.

Idea Cellular launched ‘Aurus III’ at a price of Rs.7000 in May 2013 – this value for money 3G smartphone is equipped with 4” capacitive TFT touch screen,1GHz single core processor, 512MB RAM, 4GB internal memory, SD card support up to 32GB and Android Jelly Bean  v4.1

The smartphone market these days is spoilt for choices. There are so many devices available at every possible price range by so many manufacturers. And of all segments the 10K segment is the densest with maximum number of phones available for prospective customers. This healthy competition is in fact good for customers. Because of this manufacturers are bringing phones at attractive prices with best possible specifications. Idea’s Aura III is one such example. Manufactured by Alcatel – which is a subsidiary of TCL, China.

Screen & Build Quality

Aura III is an impressive smartphone with excellent build quality and value for money pricing. The dual sim Aura III comes with a 4” capacitive TFT touch screen that has a resolution of 480x800 pixels. Touch response is good, the screen produces nice rich colours and contrast ratios.

Above the screen panel there are couple of sensors and a VGA front camera. The front panel is chrome plated which makes the phone look and feel premium.  Build quality is very impressive and I would not hesitate to state that it is way better than the Samsung’s offering in the market. The back panel is glossy white plastic which has an ‘Idea’ sticker on it.  There is also a 5 MP camera sans a flash which is acceptable at this price range.

Camera, Buttons & call/audio quality

Aura III has a fixed focus 5MP primary camera which means it has no auto focus feature; there is no flash either. Picture quality is good in day light conditions. It has burst shoot, HDR photo capture & Panorama photo capability. Front camera is VGA type and is a welcome addition in a device which comes within 7k range

On the top there lies a chrome plated power button which is nice to press and a 3.5mm audio jack. Volume rocker is on right side which is also chrome plated. Data cum charging port is on left side just like most of the smartphones. Call quality is very impressive; speaker-phone is decent if not very loud. It comes with push in type ear phones which are surprisingly of very good quality.

OS/Performance and Battery

Aura III comes with Android JellyBean v4.1 and performs seamlessly on a device with 1Ghz single core processor and 512 MB RAM. Though I don’t expect this phone to be upgraded to 4.2 and higher Android versions in future due to limited RAM capacity. Idea has thrown in few proprietary apps like Idea TV, Idea Fresh and Idea Mall.

Switching between applications and screen is smooth and there was hardly any hiccup noticed during my usage of the phone. Games like temple run and subway surfers play smoothly. It comes with a 1400 mah battery which will easily last you for a complete day without looking for charging point through the day. The device scored 2893 points in the Quadrant benchmarking application.


If you are tight on budget but still wants a fully functional smartphone with basic bells and whistles then look no other than Idea Aura III. It is available at all major mobile retail stores and Idea outlets across the country.

Ratings (out of 5 stars)

Build Quality ****
Screen ***
Performance ***
Value for Money *****
Overall ****

Thanks folks for reading.

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