Many Indian brands have come out with interesting feature-packed handsets to challenge the supremacy of global brands, but not many have done so as effectively as Micromax. The indigenous handset maker raised the bar for the competition with its Canvas 2 a few months back, and now has launched the Canvas HD with even better hardware. But will the improved hardware and amazing price be enough to make it a success?
Looks: Subtle, yet noticeable changes
The Canvas HD is the successor to the verym popular Canvas 2 and follows the same designing aspect. However, this one is sleek and stylish with rounded edges and curved sides. The front is dominated by the 5.0-inch IPS display with around 294 PPI pixels density, which is very acceptable considering the price. Also on the front is the earpiece with the hidden notifications light, along with a 2.0-megapixel camera on the top right. The back panel houses the 8.0-megapixel camera that protrudes and is accompanied by a dual LED flash, with the speaker grille on the bottom, just below the Micromax logo. The right side sports the power key while the volume rocker is on the left. On top of the device is the earphone port and the charging slot. All said and done, the phone exudes smartness.
Hardware: Quad-core, yeah baby!
The Micromax Canvas HD comes with a quad-core Cortex A7 processor clocked at 1.2 GHz and 1GB RAM. The device fared better in every aspect of its speed and performance, if compared to other devices in the segment. The smartphone has support for dual SIMs which can run on 2G and 3G and can be changed in the settings. However, both the SIMs and the microSD card are not hot swappable. On the storage front, it comes with 4GB (only 1.77GB is available to users), which can be expanded up to 32GB through a microSD card. For connectivity, the Canvas HD includes options like Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, GPS, and 3G with HSUPA and HSDPA support.
Software: A Jelly Bean cometh
The Canvas HD runs on the Android 4.1.2 version operating system which is not the latest (4.2 has been out for a while), but if our sources are to be believed, the company is likely to upgrade the OS in the coming days. The user interface is standard Android, with no great tweaks in the interface by thecompany. The unlock screen appears with options to directly launch camera, Google or simply unlock the device. On board are Micromax’s own apps like M! Live, M!Zone+, M!Store and the new proprietary ‘Hookup’ text messaging app.
Multimedia: Smart, consistent
The Canvas HD is no slouch in the multimedia department. The camera lets you click 8.0-megapixel images and comes with options like touch-to-focus, face detection and Freeze
Frame. The Freeze Frame feature lets you shoot up to about 99 images at one go, very similar
to the burst shot. Image quality, however, is not too impressive. We were expecting better colours and certainly more detail in normal light shots, and our recommendation is not to bother using the camera if it happens to get dark – even the flash does not improve matters much. On the video front, one can even record videos in HDR mode, which is quite impressive. Web browsing and gaming on the device is smooth with even heavy graphics games running with no lag, and multitasking working smoothly. We did however, feel a bit let down by the display, which in spite of its specifications, did not deliver the level of colours we expected.
User Experience: Yes, we ‘Can’
The Canvas HD is the first quad-core processor smartphone from Micromax and the only one of its kind in its price segment. And the processor is not a piece of jargon – the Canvas HD delivers a performance that’s on par with some of the high-end devices we have seen. We tested the device on Quadrant benchmark tests and it scored 3,860. It has its problems – we would have preferred a better camera and superior call clarity, not to mention a more responsive power button, but even with those reservations we were more than satisfied with the device, considering its price. Just do not stray too far from a charging point if you are using 3G – the battery drains very fast indeed and will struggle to make it through a day.