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Micromax A110 Superfone Canvas 2 review

micromax-a110-superfone-canvas-2-7Micromax is back with yet another 5-inch smartphone in its Superfone series, a successor to company’s original A100 Superfone Canvas, A110 Canvas 2 comes with a lot of improvements including a dual-core processor for more processing power.

On paper, Micromax A110 looks like a great device, but is A110 worth considering, or is it just a cheap knockoff of Galaxy Note, we will find out in this review.

In the box:

The box contents are pretty basic, you will find the phone, battery, headphones, data cum charging cable and a travel adapter along with phone guide and warranty statement.micromax-a110-superfone-canvas-2-11

Hardware

As you would expect with any device sporting a 5-inch display, the Micromax A110 is huge and if you were using comparably smaller devices till now, you would really need time in getting used to it. Personally, I use a Galaxy Nexus, which is no small device, but still Micromax A110 was too big for me.

Coming to the build, the smartphone is sturdy and should be able to take the occasional falls. The front largely includes the display, apart from the capacitive keys, ear-piece, front camera, LED indicator and sensors.

The back is textured plastic, which helps in holding this large piece of hardware, and houses an 8MP camera, dual-LED flash, speakers and Micromax branding.micromax-a110-superfone-canvas-2-12

There is a grey-silver metal-finish on the curved sides. The power button is located on the right similar to Samsung devices, left houses the volume rocker and both Micro-USB and 3.5mm headphone jack are present on the top.

Overall, the Micromax A110 is a thin and solid device, which looks decent, but unless you are really looking for a big display, you are better off with smaller phones.

Display

Micromax has gone with an IPS display on the A110, which is quite good. The 5-inch screen looks nice and colour reproduction is also good, although we would have liked better blacks. Thanks to IPS, the viewing angles are better than average phones at this pricing.

On the resolution front, the display has 854x480p resolution, which isn’t really great and we would have liked at-least qHD resolution, but considering the pricing, we can’t really expect too much.

The touch sensitivity is good and we have no issues whatsoever, which clearly shows how even budget phones have come in the last couple of years. I remember using capacitive displays in LG Optimus One or Samsung’s Galaxy Spica, and Micromax A110 is a lot better than them.

Overall the large display on the device is a boon for heavy media consumers, watching Youtube videos or movies and even reading content is great on this phone.

Camera

Micromax has included an 8MP rear camera on the A110, which is an improvement from 5MP in its predecessor A100. Although we were left wanting more from the camera on-board, clearly in-order for fit the phone in this budget, Micromax hasn’t used a great sensor, thus you won’t really get the camera output, you might expect. That said, the performance of the camera isn’t bad either, it is okay, and should satisfy your basic imaging needs.micromax-a110-superfone-canvas-2-2

The low-light performance is on the downside, but the outdoor or even indoor shots in decently lit locations turn out fine.

There is also a VGA front camera on-board, which is so-so but should be more than enough for your Skyping needs or for 3G video calls. As there is no Face Unlock feature, you won’t be able to use your front camera for that.

The camera app on the phone is pretty much stock, but we did find a cool new feature – multi-angle shot. It is very much similar to what Google has introduced in the Android 4.2 – Photo Sphere, but unlike Photo Sphere, you can only take a multi-angle shots in one direction on A110. The default gallery app supports viewing of these photos in different angles.

The camera also include HDR mode, colour effects and scene types.

Software/ Interface

Screenshot_micromax-a110-4Micromax has pre-loaded Android 4.0.4 on the device, and the interface is largely untouched apart from odd tweaks here and there. The company has however used its own icon-set, rather than stock icons, which makes the UI look more third-party than vanilla.

Considering the rate at which Micromax is dropping phones and we don’t expect to see Jelly Bean on this phone, although we would like it and Project Butter improvements and Google Now will certainly be welcome additions.

The capacitive button placement includes usual menu button apart from home and back, unlike the Google way, where the search giant is trying to get rid of menu button. You can get the task-switcher by long pressing the home button.

The re-sizable widgets, revamped UI and most of these Ice Cream Sandwich features are here, but you won’t find any Face Unlock.

Thanks to the pretty-much stock interface, the performance is smooth and snappy.

In terms of the tweaks, quick setting toggles are present in the notification shade; good-old Nokia type profiles have also been included along with a new setting to schedule power-on/off for the device.

Company has pre-loaded some third-party trial games on the device including its own bloatware like Hookup (a Whatsapp alternative from the company), M! Zone, M! Store and M! Buddy. Most of these are useless and I don’t think most of you even going to open them.

The phone also supports 3G video calling natively, which is a plus and some of you might find it a welcome addition as older Android smartphones often did not have 3G video calling support.

Performance/ Battery Life

Screenshot_micromax-a110-10Micromax’s first phablet A100 had a single-core processor and that has changed to dual-core in A110. Company has included a 1GHz MediaTak 6577 dual-core processor along with 512MB RAM, which is enough for a decent performance.

The overall performance of the device is good and we had no issues during our normal usage apart from odd hiccups and some slowness in the stock browser with the image-heavy websites.

You can play all the casual games smoothly; however some of the games like Shadowgun were not support probably because of the processor. Somehow NOVA 3 also kept giving me lack of memory despite SD card having over 2GB of free space. Dead Trigger however worked flawlessly.

The stock video player on the smartphone does not support 1080p playback, but you can play these files using the software decoder on MX Player.

On the battery front, 2000 mAh battery on-board packs a lot of juice and would last more than a day on the medium usage.

The smartphone supports two GSM SIM cards (dual-Standby), one of which can support 3G, other is 2G only.  There are detailed options for what, you want to use which SIM in the settings menu and also the first time you place a voice call or send a message or such action, the phone will prompt you the selection of SIM to use for that particular SIM.

Bluetooth, GPS and Wi-Fi also worked fine and we had no issues.

Verdict: Should you buy Micromax A110 Superfone Canvas 2?

Micromax has come out with a quite good 5-inch smartphone in the form of A110 Superfone Canvas 2. The performance is decent, as is the IPS display on-board. There are odd issues here and there but nothing seems to be a deal-breaker. Camera performance is okayish, not really the quality one would expect from an 8MP camera.

Overall, if you are looking for a big-display Android smartphone in a limited budget, A110 is good choice and we don’t think you will be disappointed, however if you are just looking for a smartphone with normal sized display, A110 is not for you, you are better off with something like A90S or similar.

Micromax A110 Price: INR 9,999

Ratings (out of 10):

  • Display: 7
  • Software/ Ecosystem: 8
  • Performance: 7
  • Value for money: 9
  • Camera: 6
  • Battery Life: 7
  • Design/ Build: 7
  • Overall: 7

Special thanks to Saholic for providing the review unit.

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