Idea seems to be betting heavily on its self branded range of handsets, which deliver a number of features at a relatively low price. And the latest to join this brigade is the Aurus, which throws in a large 3.5 inch display at an affordable price. But is it really worth it?
The device has been manufactured by Alcatel and the company has clearly stuck to a â€śkeep it simpleâ€ť formula. The front of the device is all about the 3.5 inch display (large for this price segment) with one hard key below it, accompanied by three touch keys for Menu, Search and Back functions. A front facing camera is placed on top of the panel, the volume rocker is on the right of the device, and a dedicated camera key with the charging slot on the left. The screen/power on/off button and 3.5 mm audio jack are placed on top of the device, and the back comes with a matte finish, housing the camera and speaker. No, we do not expect it to stop traffic or turn heads, but it is by no means an eyesore either and does not look too bad for a budget device.
The hardware highlight of the Idea Aurus is its 3.5 inch capacitive touchscreen with 320 x 480 pixels resolution (the same as the iPhone 3GS) which we feel is a good offering at this price point. Powering it is a 800 MHz processor that handles most tasks well. The phone supports up to 32 GB of storage and comes with a 4 GB memory card in the pack, which again is a decent option considering its segment. In terms of connectivity, the phone comes with dual SIM support, with support for both 2G and 3G networks on one SIM and just 2G on another. That apart, it comes with Wi-Fi, GPS and Bluetooth. Ensuring that all this keeps ticking over is a 1,300 mAh battery, which however, delivers average back up you need to recharge it at least once a day if you are a moderate user and if you are a power user, then straying too far from a power outlet would not be wise.
The Idea Aurus runs on Android 2.3, which is a bit of a disappointment in these times when a number of budget devices come with Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich). Although the user interface of the device is nothing unusual, it does provide a fair bit in terms of functionality. It comes with five homescreens which can be customised with shortcuts and widgets as per oneâ€™s need and choice. There are three touch keys on screen for main menu access, calling and messaging. Idea has preloaded the phone with a number of apps like Idea Fresh, Idea Mall, Idea TV , Currency Converter, Nimbuzz, Shazam and even an anti-virus software link which needs to be installed free of cost (an excellent idea, we think. Pun intended) Browsing the Web on the device is a pleasant experience, thanks mainly to the large display, although the relatively low resolution makes some fonts look jagged.
On the multimedia front, the Idea Aurus is a steady rather than a spectacular performer. The audio quality of the device was decent in both earphone and loudspeaker mode, and the handset also comes with a number of audio tweaking effects like party shuffle, shuffle all, bass boost, virtualizer, preset reverb and equalizer. For those who prefer their music â€śliveâ€ť, there is an FM radio onboard and FMâ€™s reception was good. The large display is great for viewing videos and we were able to play 720p HD videos with a degree of ease on the device. The 5.0-megapixel camera of the device is however disappointing on both the stills and video front, which is quite a bit of a letdown as the relatively large display makes it easy for one to edit and tweak images and in some cases, even videos (processor speed permitting). user experience: Value for money.The Idea Aurus is a decent option for those who are looking for a smart phone with a relatively large display and are on a tight budget. The display could have been of a higher resolution and the camera could have been better, but when one thinks of the price of the device, the Aurus does deliver decent bang for oneâ€™s buck, with a decent Internet experience and very good audio quality, with preloaded apps thrown in for good measure. As it stands, the Aurus delivers a decent viewing experience of websites and videos within a decent build and at a very reasonable price, when you consider the competition in the market.
It is a good option if you are looking for a budget large screen, dual SIM smart phone. Those looking for alternatives can consider the Samsung Galaxy Lite Duos for Rs 6,990 and Micromax Ninja 4 A87 which costs Rs 5,999.