Micromax’s previous attempt at a cheap Android phone didn’t go down very well with the public. It was certainly affordable, but it was far from easy to use as the screen wasn’t responsive and it made you wonder if saving a few bucks was really worth the shoddy Android experience. The company is back with a new offering, hoping to recapture the sub-10K price bracket with the A70, a more grown up version of the A60. Let’s see if they’ve managed to pull it off.
Design and Build
Micromax have done away with the quirky, toy-like design and have stuck to a standard candy-bar form factor. The phone is quite light at just 85g with the battery and due to its rounded edges, fits snugly in your hand. Even though it’s built mostly of plastic, it feels solid and well-built. The dual-tone colours make it quite pleasing to your eyes too. Overall, the matte finish won’t easily attract fingerprints, although the same cannot be said for the screen. Apart from the standard set of shortcut buttons, we also have a physical ‘Home’ button, which wasn’t really needed. The arrangement of the shortcut buttons feels a bit odd as we are used to the back button being towards the end, whereas here it’s the first one.
Good looks and build shows Micromax has evolved over the years
The 3.2-inch capacitive screen sports a 320x480 resolution and comes with a proximity sensor, but sadly no ambient light sensor. Around the back, we have the 5MP auto-focus shooter and the speaker grill. The power/sleep, microUSB and headphone jack is placed at the top, while the volume rocker and camera shutter button takes up room on the side. The memory card and SIM slot is placed below the battery, so it’s not hot-swappable.
Neatly designed connectors
We really liked the design and build of the A70. It has evolved quite a bit from its predecessor and won’t be out of place amongst the other new droids in the market. In fact, it’s a hell of a lot better than Dell’s XCD35.
The A70 runs on Android Froyo 2.2.1, with no news on whether it will be getting Gingerbread in the near future. The phone is powered by a 600MHz processor, which puts us off at first, but after actually using the phone, we were in for a pleasant surprise. The A70 is actually very easy to use and although the interface is not very fluid, it’s not sluggish, either. Navigating through the menus is relatively quick with slight slowdowns seen here and there. AnTuTu gave me a score of 1436, while Linpack gave a score of 6.95 points.
Stock Froyo greets you upon boot up
Micromax hasn’t really done a lot of customizations, which is fine and not something we expected. The notification bar only shows you alerts, there aren’t any toggle switches added there. What they have done is bundle a whole bunch of useful apps, so you have something to play around with straight out-of-the-box.
The stock video and audio player supports the basic MP4 and MP3 video and audio codecs. If you want a better multimedia experience, there are plenty of apps to fulfill your desires. There aren't any audio enhancement options, so the audio quality is strictly average even through EP630s. On a brighter note, the loud speaker is exactly that, loud. The quality is pretty good, as well. FM radio is also present.
Worldwide radio stations at your fingertips
Micromax has also bundled along some nice multimedia apps like miRoamer, which is a streaming radio app with Shoutcast FM integration. It’s very straightforward and easy to use giving you access to hundreds of radio stations from all over the world. munduTV lets you access a mix of Indian TV channels like 9X Tashan, Zoom, Headlines Today, BBC World News, Travel XP etc.
Watch TV on-the-go with munduTV
The video quality is not the best, as it’s heavily compressed, but it’s viewable. Finally, we have an Indian radio app called Saavn. The interface is actually very well-designed, which shows you ‘Top 15’ tunes along with album art and everything.