First Impressions: Micromax A116 Canvas HD
| by Shayne Rana
Micromax’s all new Canvas HD aka the A116 has finally made it out of the shed and into stores. This is yet another highly anticipated launch from the Indian smartphone maker. So far the Canvas HD is the third installment in the series and could very well become the top handset in the under Rs 20,000 bracket all things considered.
We unboxed it as soon as it hit our labs and here are our first impression of the A116.
Like the others in the series, the Canvas HD is also a rather large device, but that’s not a bad thing. It’s slim, sleek and not quite unlike the HTC Butterfly that we recently reviewed. It has a glossy, off-white rear panel that doesn’t help too much with grip, but doesn’t hinder it either. The large 5.0-inch PS display sports a whopping 720p resolution positioning the handset at the very apex of the budget smartphone segment as one with the highest display resolution. From what we saw, it looks quite vivid and very sharp, quite a visual treat at first glance.
A 5.0-inch display with 720p resolution at this price seems like a good deal
Under the rear panel is a 2000mAh battery that should be capable of allowing you to use the handset for a full day with quite a decent amount of usage. Above the battery are the Dual SIM slots (standard size SIMs) and a microSD card slot in between. The Micromax Canvas HD comes with 4GB of onboard memory with the capability of adding on a 32GB memory card. It’s a pity it’s not a Hot Swap slot.
Another slightly off putting design feature is the protruding lens of the A116’s 8 megapxiel camera (LED flash below). The handset rests squarely on this extension of the chassis and without a screen guard the lens could possibly get damaged. The volume rocker is on the left and the power/sleep button is on the right. Both are moulded well into the design of the handset and are raised perfectly to allow for easy access whenever required. The USB/charging port and earphone jack are both located at the top. A 2 Megapixel camera is placed in front near the earpiece for video calls.
A thin, lightweight design
The handset comes off as a slightly plastic-y but sturdy product that might not make a style statement but it makes a statement nonetheless.
Let’s start off with the fact that the Micromax HD is equipped with a 1.2GHz Quad Core processor and 1GB of RAM to run Android 4.1.2 aka Jelly Bean. From initial usage, it’s swift and almost lag free. The stock Jelly Bean UI makes for comfortable use. A PowerVR Series5XT GPU is also on board to help the handset make the best of gaming and media playback.
For app support Micromax has added a few of their own options like M! Live, M! Store for content and App support in addition to the Google Play store and M!Zone+. Micromax’s answer to Whatsapp, BBM and Samsung’s ChatOn is their very own HookUp application for chatting via the net. The regular host of Google services like G+, Local, YouTube, Gmail, gtalk, Maps etc. are also on board.
With regard to Internet connectivity Micromax has included 3G, Wi-Fi with hot spot capabilities, USB 2.0 and Bluetooth with A2DP.
Dual SIM slots, but no hot swap for the memory card
The 8MP camera includes features like burst mode that allows you to capture up to 90 pictures with a single press of the shutter release in one go. An HDR option and few scene modes also add to the feature set of the camera. According to the company website the video recording capabilities of the handset max out at 720p.
The stock music player features all the settings including the graphic EQ and Bass Boost option available for Jelly Bean. We haven’t had a chance to review what file formats the native video player supports and judging by the video capture resolution, we’re eager to see if the device will support 1080p playback. What we did expect is slightly better quality peripherals with the device. The handsfree kit could easily have been better produced and all in all, for a few hundred more, the entire kit could have been a little more enticing.
Here's a quick look at the device-
The price tag on the Micromax Canvas HD is Rs 13,990 (MOP) as of now which is at a 20% discount. There’s no telling how long this will last. The official price without the discount is Rs 17,499 (MRP). So, keeping in mind the current price with discount, it makes the A116 one of the better devices, on paper, to be available in this price bracket. With features that include an 8MP camera, 4GB of storage and a 720p IPS display, the HD has tremendous potential to rule this space.
Check out our full review of the Canvas HD here.
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