The affordable smartphone range in the country is booming and is offering customers a gamut of options to choose their first smartphone. Indian handset maker Fly has come up with the latest Android offering in the low-cost category— Fab F 350, a feature-laden dual-SIM smartphone.
The over-all look of this smartphone is quite impressive and the build quality is solid as well. The plastic back cover with texture allows tight grip over the device. It comes with a front VGA camera on the right side with no physical buttons on the front panel, though there is a 2 megapixel camera given on the back side of the device. There are three touch keys placed beneath the screen—for Home, Back and Settings. There is a power/ wake-up button given on the right panel of the device, which is well-placed and offers ease while handling the device. Along with this, the device features a voice controller on the left panel, which is yet again smartly placed. There is a 3.5-mm jack given on the top of the device, and a mini USB slot sits on the bottom.
The device is equipped with 1 GHz Mediatek processor that makes it work fast and perform decently. It comes with an internal memory of 235 MB, which could be expanded up to 32 GB through external SDcard slot. The dual band device is outfitted with dual SIM capability (GSM+GSM), eliminating the need to have two different phone for two different mobile numbers. On the connectivity front, it offers Bluetooth, USB, GPRS, EDGE, WLAN and WAP. The 2G and 3G network support let the user stay connected always. Additionally, users can also leverage the location-based services through this device with built-in GPS. The 3.5-inch capacitive touch screen is not responsive at times, and makes problem while typing, although the screen is bright enough and offers enough visibility in the sunlight. The SIM cards and memory card are not hot swappable and one has to remove the battery for it. The phone comes with a 1,650 mAh battery, which can easily last a day and offers almost 5 hours of talktime.
The device runs on the outdated Android 2.3.6 Gingerbread OS, although the operating system is customized and offers a unique user interface (UI) and redesigned icons, similar to the Android 4.0 ICS. Similar to Android ICS, the main menu of the device is divided into three sections—All, Recent and Running applications. There are five customisable home screen panels given on the home screen, which can be extended further just by sliding it on the left side. Users can jump into the settings for further customisations with the settings touch button, placed on the screen. The unlock touch feature is also useful and gives a feel of Android 4.0 ICS. Users can straight away enter four preset destinations—Camera, Messages, Call and Home Screen just by playing with the touch in the locked mode. The FLY F 350 is packed with several pre-loaded utility based applications such as money control app, Shazam, HD called ID, Zenga TV and IRCTC Easy app. Moreover, the device is fairly connected to all the social networks with pre-loaded apps for Facebook, Twitter, Nimbuzz, Whatsapp, WeChat, Yahoo Messenger, Gtalk and many more. FLY has also loaded its own FLY store in the device along with Maps and some games. The device also has a Smart Auto Call Record, A2DP, Hindi /English/Urdu/Telugu/ Many International Language Support.
The sound quality of the device is not at par, as the sound scatters at times while playing video and audio files with high bass. Although the loud speaker is loud enough and let you flaunt your collection of songs. The music player comes plain with no additional settings. The phone is capable of playing high-quality videos, although the experience of HD videos diminishes as bit due to low-resolution screen of the device. It supports almost all video codec exist in the market. The 2-megapixel primary camera clicks decent pictures and comes with face recognition feature. The camera also consists of a Burst shot and Smile shot mode along with other camera features such as white balance, ISO and color effects. Interestingly, the front-facing VGA camera works with all features, available for the main camera along with face recognition.
The overall performance of this device was acceptable, given at its affordable price. The device impresses the most with its processing speed and the customizable user interface (UI). Additionally, there are very few low-end smartphones available in the market that offers face recognition on both primary and front cameras. The design of the phone is satisfactory too. If we compare it with Samsung’s Galaxy Y smartphone, it certainly offers more choices and more features at a much lower price.We tested the phone out with Quadrant and it gave us a decent score of 1,667.
The FLY F 350 is available for Rs 4,700 and we would consider it a good buy for those who want value for their money. Those seeking alternatives can also consider the Micro Max A 50 smartphone which is an Android powered device and is available for Rs 4,450, and the Micromax A57 which also runs Android, and is available for Rs 4,550.