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Spice MI-410 Review

Indian Consumers have always waited for a Android smartphone with awesome features under a price tag of 15K, and this spot was empty for a very long time. One wouldn’t expect the known manufacturers like Samsung or HTC or even LG to release a new device under 15K featuring a 1 GHz processor. Only options were in the form of companies like Olive or Spice – who release rebranded OEM products in the country. OEM products are affordable and value for money.

Coming to the point, we finally saw the launch of Spice Mi-410 in India recently – priced at INR 13,999, it was a dream come true, but is this dream sweet or sour – we will try and find out in our review below.

Spice Mi-410 is also known by some other names around the world,. I am listing down some of them.

  1. Spice Mi-410
  2. Huawei ideos X6 [original device built by Foxconn]
  3. Olive Smart [India]
  4. Cherry Mobile magnum HD [Philippines]
  5. WellcoM A99 (Thailand)
  6. CSL Blueberry Mi 410 [Malaysia]
  7. Motorola Triumph [United States]
  8. Viewsonic Viewpad 4
  9. AXIOO VIGO 410
  10. Commtiva HD710

Price in India: INR 13,999

Specifications:

  • 4.1 inch WVGA display
  • 1 GHz Qualcomm Processor
  • Android 2.2.2
  • 3G/HSPA
  • 5MP Rear Camera/ Front VGA Camera
  • HDMI Out
  • 1400 mAh battery
  • aGPS, FM Radio, Bluetooth 2.0 + EDR, WiFi
  • 32 GB microSD card support
  • 800 MB internal Memory

In the Box:

Spice Mi-410, Screen Protector, Data Cable, Battery, Headset, Wall Charger, Pouch and Guide

Review:

Hardware:

Talking about the build quality, Spice Mi-410 is a solid and bulky device, and comes with a square’ish form factor, there is very less curviness in the device making it a little odd while holding. It is a big device, and people with smaller palms will find it hard while holding it in one hand in daily use.  Company has put in a metal battery cover; rest of the build is plastic but sturdy.

Spice Mi410 is 10mm thick and weighs 140 grams – not the leanest or lightest of the devices available in Indian market right now, but we can’t be too greedy in such a budget.

On the downside, you won’t find a gorilla glass in the device; display is prone to fingerprints and smudges.  Other form factor details include power button on the left, volume rocker on the right, 3.5mm jack on the top, HDMI and microUSB ports are on the bottom. There is no dedicated camera button and two speakers have been placed on the sides.

Display and touchscreen:

One of the most important features of the phone is the big 4.1 inch display, which comes with 480X800 pixels resolution. Don’t expect the vibrant Super AMOLED display here, but colors and brightness are decent and we couldn’t find anything to complain. But there is one problem – the touch sensitivity of the screen – it is below par and mars the whole user experience. Combined with sweat and all the dust in Indian summers, touchscreen becomes one big problem. Removing the screen protector does not help either.

I hope the Gingerbread update for the smartphone might solve the sensitivity issue, but no official update was released at the time of writing the review. If you are willing to part with the warranty, two of the variants of the smartphone have already got Gingerbread, which can be easily flashed on the smartphone.

Battery Life:

Spice Mi410 comes with a 1400 mAh battery inside, which is lower than the market standard these days – 1500 mAh at least. Despite this battery gives a good performance and will last a full day for you under moderate to high usage. If you are a normal/low user, you might even get 48 hours backup.

Performance:

It comes with the same SoC, which is present in HTC Desire HD, Incredible S, SE Xperia Arc and many other devices. Processor is a known solid performer and despite being an OEM device, it offers great performance.

There are visible lags time to time, but that might because of poor optimization done by OEM while putting the stock build of Android, which I hope will be sorted out in the Gingerbread update. The unofficial build have already given some good results to users.

At the current price, you cannot buy any other device with this level of performance in the Indian market.  Only thing which lets me down this device from being a great device is the touch sensitivity, which we have talked about earlier in the review.

Playing games like Angry Birds or Stupid Zombies is a charm on the big screen, and there is no lo lag whatsoever, however resource hungry games might not be as smooth.

Software:

MI-410 comes with the stock build of Android 2.2.2 with small-small tweak here and there.  Tweaks are welcome edition, and there are few pre-installed custom widgets as well.  Lockscreen has been changed, which offers options similar to SGS2. Users can open dialer, contacts or messages directly from the lock screen.

Stock keyboard has been replaced with TouchPal, which looks weird and does not stand anywhere near the stock Froyo keyboard.

Coming to the pre-installed apps, company has not bundled a lot of apps here, but you get few essential options like Documents To Go, File Manager, Facebook, Notepad, Muvee Video Editor, and RSS reader.

Sound/GPS/Bluetooth/WiFi/HSPA

Any processor or big screen can not do any good if phone is not able to offer some basic functionalities decently and the first problem arises in the form of sound on Spice Mi-410. Speakers are poor quality and your only option is a good headset as company provided option is so-so.

GPS: GPS performance is good, device locks in your location within a few seconds only. There is presence of AGPS also; so it will help you in getting better location accuracy. There is no navigation software bundled with the device, so you are on the mercy of Google Maps or you can spend some money on NDrive or MapmyIndia navigation apps for the smartphone.

Bluetooth: Spice Mi 410 comes with Bluetooth 2.0 + EDR, so there is no fancy 3.0 + HS here. It works fine and there is no problem while transferring the files or pairing with other devices.

WiFi: WiFi works decently and because of the presence of FroYo, you can also make your device a WiFi hotspot and share your 3G/Edge connection with other devices.

Spice Mi410 also supports HSPA, so you can get download speeds upto 14 Mbps from your 3G connection .

Camera:

Mi 410 comes with 5MP rear camera with LED flash as well as a VGA front camera and it might be the only Android device under 15K to have a front camera. Primary camera quality is below par, indoor photos are always dark and camera does not adjust properly to the bad lighting, LED flash is of not much use.  There is no touch to focus, and autofocus is just bad in close shots.

Outdoor shots are fine, but don’t expect great images. It can just work as the emergency shooting device, but never as a replacement for main camera.

Sample Shots:

Spice Mi410 Spice Mi410 Spice Mi410

Call Quality/Browsing: Internet browsing in big display is always a pleasure, and 4.1 inch display comes to use here. Download your favorite browser, or just use stock – internet browsing just works great combined with the HSPA download speed from your telecom operator.

Call Quality is decent, but the speaker sound is low, so you will have to use headset to have decent conversation.

Wrap Up:

Spice Mi410 comes with great specs in 14K on-paper, but due to the various problems in the smartphone it leaves a lot of be desired. If you can let go of these small problems and poor touch response – MI 410 is good smartphone for this price. With Gingerbread update around the corner, you might not regret spending this money.

Pros:

  • 1GHz processor gives snappy performance
  • 4.1 inch display
  • Sturdy build
  • Stock Android
  • Gingerbread update soon
  • Price [Value for Money]

Cons:

  • Poor touch response
  • Camera is below par
  • Speakers

Deal:

Saholic, the Spice group venture is now offering the MI 410 for just 12,999 under the ongoing Android festival on their website. You can go to their FB page and grab the coupon code to get this 1K discount.

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