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Karbonn Titanium S5 review: smart and affordable

By Salman Ravoof on Friday 10th of May 2013

http://gdgt.ro/16041

INTRODUCTION

Karbonn Mobiles has been clocking sequential growth in the competitive Indian mobile phone market and seems to be the only company giving real competition to Micromax as far as Indian manufacturers are concerned. The Canvas 2 A110 and Canvas HD A116 from Micromax have been blockbuster hits in the Indian market and Karbonn has answered the call with their own Titanium S5 launch.

The Karbonn Titanium S5 is a great device to look at initially; It sports a 5-inch IPS LCD screen, a quad-core processor, 1GB RAM, Jelly Bean OS, 8MP auto-focus camera, Dual-SIM support and to top it all, it is available at a jaw dropping low budget price. Does it hit enough points to drive through the competition? Or is it a close miss and could’ve been done better? This review aims to find out just that.

PROS

  • 1.2 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon Quad-core processor
  • 1GB RAM
  • 5-inch qHD IPS LED display (540 x 960 resolution)
  • Android 4.1 Jelly Bean OS
  • Dual-SIM support (3G/2G)
  • 8MP camera with auto-focus, LED flash
  • 2 MP front-facing camera
  • 4GB in-built storage
  • 3G / WiFi
  • microSD slot with external memory expandable up to 32 GB
  • Accelerometer, Proximity sensor, Compass
  • 2000 mAh Battery

CONS

  • Heating issues when demanding apps are used
  • Network stability issues
  • Questionable build quality
  • Average camera

DESIGN & BUILD QUALITY

karbonn-s5-titanium-400x400-imadjth9tmddqtxeThe Karbonn Titanium S5 retail package comes with a user manual, charger, data cable, battery and of course the handset. There is no microSD supplied along with the handset, considering only 1.4 GB of the internal memory is accessible to the user. It can be overlooked given the price of the handset, which is ?11,990 MRP.

The handset looks decent from far and suits the bill it is being paid for. While the design does resemble a premium looking Samsung Galaxy S3, it’s far from feeling the same once it is in your hands. The plasticky feel is hard to ignore with this one and the weakness urges one to be extra careful with the handset at all times; it’s not a handset which you’d want to play around with.

DISPLAY

The 5-inch display is surely bound to please the users leaning towards Phablets, but the qHD resolution of 540×960 pixels at 220 ppi pixel density doesn’t leave that sharp an image on the screen as its nearest competitor, the Canvas HD A116. Apart from that, the screen looks bright indoors, has good viewing angles and is good for watching videos. In brighter environments you’d have to adjust your viewing angles to work on your smartphone.

CAMERA

The Karbonn Titanium S5 is equipped with an 8 MP auto-focus camera on the rear and comes with LED flash. The image quality is decent in this budget range, except for when you compare it with the likes of Nokia Lumia 520/620. The camera won’t take the best of images, but it will suffice for one’s average needs and we’re quite happy with it.

The front-facing camera is 2 MP and does its job well when called for; its use is limited mostly to video-conferencing and the occasional self portrait.

SOFTWARE

karbonn-s5-titanium-400x400-imadjtg4mfypqhghThe Karbonn Titanium S5 runs on Android 4.1 Jelly Bean OS and comes loaded with all the standard services and apps one expects in such a phone: Google Play, Gmail, Google Search, Messenger Google Plus, Gtalk, WhatsApp, YouTube, News and Weather. Apart from these standard apps and services, other apps such as We-Chat, nexGTV, TOI, Flipboard, PoPi and PayTM are also included.

The music player included supports file formats such as MP3, AAC, AAC+, WAV, MIDI and AMR, and the video player supports formats such as .264, H.263, 3GP, MP4 and AVI.

USER INTERFACE

The user interface on the S5 does take getting use to initially and would be confusing for the average user. The notification area is not as smart as the one Micromax uses, which in itself isn’t that great. Another complaint is that the notification area cannot be closed down, further adding to the already disorienting experience.

CONNECTIVITY

The Karbonn Titanium S5 supports dual-SIM: 3G on SIM1 and 2G on SIM2. The network connectivity isn’t the best as far as smartphones are concerned and one can experience call drops at times, though it remains to be seen whether it is the same across all handsets or just the one we laid hands on. The WiFi works flawlessly and it is a great experience to browse on the big screen of this phone.

BATTERY

The 2000 mAh battery included with the handset does its job and juices up the smartphone for well over a day on average usage. A jarring point to note here is that the battery heats up more often than one usually expects, especially when a demanding game or app is being used. As long as the user keeps his programs limited to basic usage, the battery runs fine and keeps its cool.

CONCLUSION

The Karbonn Titanium S5 is a good start from Karbonn to address the growing competition in the Indian market. It ticks many positives and does so at an affordable price of ?11,990, but it is also hindered by a few disadvantages. For a user wanting to experience Android at a strict budget, the Karbonn Titanium S5 is one of the best options out there. On the other hand, the Canvas HD A116 from Micromax looks like a far better prospect, but it is priced a couple grand more; and it is worth it for its stellar screen and comparatively superior hardware. As far as the build quality is concerned, the Lumia series from Nokia is the better option for those willing to try the Windows Phone OS. It also helps that network connectivity is one of the best in Nokia phones with no dropped calls.

Finally, we’d like to say that the Karbonn Titanium S5 serves its purpose in a highly competitive mobile phone market and drives the growth for Indian manufacturers while also offering the customers varied options at an affordable price.

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