Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Review: Micromax Canvas 4 A210 – One Heck of a Smartphone!

For: Build Quality, Specifications, Features, Camera & What Not.
Against: Loudspeaker sound quality could have been better, Long term reliability factor.  

The Micromax Canvas 4 A210 has been launched in India in July 2013 with a price tag of Rs. 17,000. The smartphone is powered by a Quad-core 1.2 GHz Cortex-A7 processor, MTK 6589 chipset, 1GB RAM, PowerVR SGX544 GPU, 16GB internal memory, SD card support upto 32GB, 13MP primary camera + 5MP secondary camera, 5.0 inches IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen with HD resolution 720 x 1280 pixels which gives 294 ppi pixel density and Android OS v4.2.1 Jelly Bean.

Micromax Canvas 4 A210 is a phone which you can’t simply ignore. The specifications it offers, the design it wears and the price at which it is made available makes this phone simply outstanding. Other than that this phone is also a threat to the likes of Samsung, Sony, HTC etc counterparts. Let’s have a closer look at the device and find out why it is one of the best mid-high range smartphone.

Screen & Build Quality

The Micromax Canvas 4 A210 is an exquisite phone in terms of design. The sleek anodized aluminum body makes it very premium. Build quality is good. Micromax claims that the aluminum body acts as an antenna which results in superior call quality.   The side panels are surrounded with fine finish chrome strip. The phone weighs around 158 grams and it is not very light of the lot but feels sturdy. Overall the design is similar to Samsung S3.   

It has 5.0 inches IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen with HD resolution 720 x 1280 pixels which gives 294 ppi pixel density. Screen is Corning Gorilla Glass protected. Touch response is decent. Color saturation, contrast ratios are good which makes watching videos/photos & playing games a delight. Viewing angles are also very good – Thanks to the IPS display. The screen is bit reflective but still under the sun visibility was good. At this price point, overall display is just fantastic.

Below the display you'll find the three capacitive touch keys for Menu, Home and Back. A 5MP camera along with couple of sensors is placed above the display near the chrome grill earpiece. Back cover is removable made of fine plastic, upon removing the cover you will find two sim card slots and an sd card slot above the battery compartment. A 13.0 Megapixels camera & LED flash is placed on top left corner of back cover with couple of Micromax brand logos.

Camera, Buttons & call/audio quality

 The Micromax Canvas 4 A210 comes with an excellent 13.0 MegaPixel primary camera with LED flash and features like autofocus, Geo-tagging, touch focus, face and smile detection, HDR & panorama. Image quality is very impressive in both indoor and outdoor photos. It is capable of recording full HD videos @ 30fps. A dedicated camera button is missed. A 5.0 megapixel secondary camera is provided for vide calling purpose. Quality is very good.  When was the last time when you heard of a 5 MP secondary camera on a smartphone!

Like every other smartphone, Canvas 4 has power button on the right side, volume rocker on left side, data cum charging port below and 3.5mm audio jack on the top of the phone. All buttons are very nice to feel and operate. Call quality is good but loudspeaker quality is mediocre. Though the supplied earphones are of good quality.

OS/Performance and Battery

The Micromax Canvas 4 A210  is powered by a Quad-core 1.2 GHz Cortex-A7 processor, MTK 6589 chipset, 1GB RAM, PowerVR SGX544 GPU, 16GB internal memory, SD card support upto 32GB and Android OS v4.2.1 Jelly Bean. It is expected to have Android 4.3 soon on this device.  Similar to most other Android devices, there are five customisable home screens that can be filled with app shortcuts and widgets. Micromax has not tweaked the OS as such but has provided few proprietary apps mzone  mlive, mgame hub, msecurity etc. It has features like smart stay & smart video pause.  It also has an interesting feature of unlocking the phone by simply blowing air over it or shaking the phone. One can increase and decrease the volume or brightness while playing a video by just swiping up and down the screen at the left and right hand sides.

Canvas 4 screams performance! It handles every app very smoothly and with ease. The performance is very fluidic and snappier due to the quad core Cortex A7 processor & 1GB RAM. No lag and no hiccups at all. Gaming is handled by PowerVR SGX544 GPU which results in excellent gameplay and graphic rich games like real racing are treat to play on this device. Navigating through different screens and switching between apps is lightning fast. It scored a very promising 4074 score on quadrant benchmark test. With 10GB user available internal memory and 32GB SD card support, one can store huge multimedia content on the device.

Canvas 4 is powered by Li-Ion 2000 mAh battery which the company claims to give around 8 hours of talk time. In general day to day use this should last a day but it would have been much better if the battery capacity was at least 2200 or 2500 mAh because gaming on this phone will suck lots of battery juice.


Micromax has expanded its Canvas range by offering Canvas 4 which is basically a niche product for people who wants a power packed device with premium looks and build quality. The only concern would be the long term reliability and service support of Micromax which needs to be at par. Micromax Canvas 4 is an excellent device and recommended for anyone looking for a new smartphone in 15k+ smartphone segment. Since its Diwali season, the phone is available for around 16.5k, rest depends on customer’s bargaining skills.

Ratings (out of 5 stars)

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

IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen with 720 x 1280 pixels resolution
Quad-core 1.2 GHz Cortex-A7 processor
16GB internal storage(10GB user available), expandable up to 32GB via microSD
13-megapixel autofocus camera with LED flash and 5MP front camera
Network Type
Dual SIM, 3G, Wi-Fi Hotspot, Bluetooth 4.0, EDGE, GPRS, GPS
2000mAh removable battery
Android 4.2 (Jelly Bean)
144.5 x 73.8 x 8.9 mm
158 grams

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Review: Lenovo Essential G580 (59-358346) Laptop – A Value for Money Machine!

For: Value for money pricing, Hard disk space
Against:  Glossy Surface - a finger print magnet

The Lenovo Essential G580 (59-358346) is a budget Laptop featuring a 3rd gen Core i3 processor with clock speed of 2.5 GHz and 3MB cache, 2GB DDR3 RAM, 1 TB SATA HDD, Intel HD Graphics 4000, 15.6 inch HD LED Backlit Display and DOS operating system (User installed Windows 8). All this for around Rs. 30,000 makes this laptop a value for money machine.

Design, Build Quality & Display

The Laptop is made of rich glossy black panels which looks quite pleasing. It is however a finger print magnet and the user has to maintain the gloss by cleaning it frequently. Build quality is not very premium and the feel of a budget laptop is quite evident. However the laptop is quite sturdy and will last well in day to day working conditions. At 2.7 KGs it is bit on heavier side defeating the ease of mobility. So this will be best suited for desk use at home or workplace.

The laptop has a Glossy 15.6 inch HD LED Backlit Display with Resolution 1366 x 768 Pixel. Image quality is decent with crisp and clear text and vibrant photos & videos. There is a ‘Lenovo’ logo placed on the bottom right of the top panel. It has 0.3 Megapixel 720p HD Webcam which offers average quality photos/videos which is acceptable on a budget laptop.

Speakers, Ports, Keyboard/Touch Pad & Drives

The Dolby surround speakers are quite impressive which will suffice for movies/videos and music. Sound quality is really good and loud with minimal distortions at max volume level. This laptop has all necessary basic ports including 1 USB 2.0 port, 2 USB 3.0 port, mic in, RJ45/WiFi LAN, HDMI port, VGA port & multi card slot. It also has a DVD-RW drive. The touch pad though smooth can get bit sensitive at times. Buttons are nice to use.

The Chiclet Keyboard is well laid with full size num pad and all necessary function keys. Typing is effortless and easy with no ergo related problems. Lenovo has provided Smart Fan feature which controls the fan speed for quieter operation. A one key recovery option is also provided for system recovery purposes.  

Performance, OS, Storage & Battery life.

The Lenovo Essential G580 (59-358346) is powered by 3rd gen Intel Core i3 processor with clock speed of 2.5 GHz, 2GB DDR3 RAM, 1TB HDD & Intel HD 4000 integrated Graphics. The motherboard is based on Mobile HM76 Express Chipset. For all day to day applications the i3 processor is suffice. 2GB RAM looks bit low on paper but honestly speaking it handles most applications & even Windows 8 without any hiccups. The memory is expandable upto 8GB for future upgrades.  On Windows Experience Index this machine scored a rating of 4.8. With integrated Intel HD 4000 graphics, it is not really a gaming machine but will handle basic to moderate games easily. Don’t expect high end games to run on this machine due to the absence of dedicated video memory.

Now the best part of this laptop which makes it incredible value for money – 1TB SATA HDD spinning @ 5400RPM. In this budget most laptops comes with 500GB HDDs or at max 750GB. 1 TB is ample of space to store all those photos, music, videos, and movies and still there will be room for more. There is hardly any overheating problem with this laptop. It is powered by a 6 cell battery which provides backup of 4+ hours under normal working conditions. It comes with only 1 year onsite warranty support.


Specifications along with pricing makes this laptop a well-balanced proportion. If you are non-gamer and wants a laptop for everyday use then this machine offers real value for money factor.   

Ratings (out of 5 stars)

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

Overall ****