The holiday season in India usually signals a time for discounted sale on existing products, and brand new ones ready to ship. Indian Smartphone maker Micromax does not disappoint, with the Micromax Canvas A250 Turbo, their first full-HD phone, all set for a Diwali launch.
Expectations are high, with the not-so-successful run of the Micromax Canvas 4, and the rumored INR 19,990 price tag, which is higher than any other phone in their product-line. We’ve also seen the Canvas Magnus A117 release recently at INR 14,999. Micromax releasing a penultimate flagship can be interpreted as a sign that Micromax has really packed enough features and quality on the device to warrant the 5k difference on a similar base specification set. Micromax even set up a dedicated website for the Canvas Turbo. Almost everything we know about the device hints at it being premium and an aspiring competitor for the top smartphones in the market. We hope to make sense of the mystery, by doing a First Impressions analysis of the soon-to-be flagship.
Before we dive into the analysis, we have a short clip from brand ambassador Hugh Jackman which recently surfaced on YouTube, adding to the virality surrounding the Canvas A250 Turbo.
Form Factor and Design
The Micromax Canvas A250 Turbo is the first phone in its line to have a full Aluminum body. In contrast, the Canvas 4 had glossy plastic with partially aluminum body. The full Aluminum is characteristic of Major flagships, Apple is often praised for every product in their line ( except the iPhone 5C ) having a full-metal body, making every device feel like a polished one. The phone is a stunning 8.66 mm thin, and has an anodized aluminum body. This cleverly doubles up as an antenna and boosts signal.
Processor and Memory
The Turbo comes with a MediaTek MT6589T quad-core processor, clocked in at 1.5 GHz. It is easily forgotten that the processor is the heart of the phone, and almost all possible features ultimately boil down to how powerful the processor is. The MediaTek processor seems to be the best choice for budget and medium range smartphones, as explained here.
With an Cortex A7 architecture, and a PowerVR SGX 544 GPU, it beats the competition such as the Snapdragon 200, and the BroadComm BCM28155 processor seen on the Galaxy Grand Duos. It also readily supports high camera pixel-age, and 1080p recording. Lack of openGL support on the GPU, and several other small points make it seem dwarfed compared to the Snapdragon 600 or 800, but it holds its own in the budget segment.
In short, it is more than enough for a great deal of multitasking, and has quite the battery life too. The phone also comes with 2 GB of RAM, which is a great performance boost over the Canvas 4. It comes with 16 GB of flash memory, with around 1 GB for Apps, and 12.5 GB for user storage.
The Canvas Turbo is the first Micromax Phone to feature a full-HD display. The phone comes with a 5-inch full-HD Continuous Grain Silicon ( CGS ) IPS display, elevating it above the stature of the (x)VGA phone. It packs 441 pixels-per-inch, and has a 1920×1080 px resolution, paving way to a very sharp screen in league with the giants.
The Turbo comes with a 13 MP rear-shooter with LED flash, and a 5 MP front camera. While we have come to expect this camera spec on most high-end devices, the MediaTek SoC lets it come to the lower price range too. The phone is capable of 1080p HD recording.
We are more excited about the software related to the camera, and post-click image processing. So far, Nokia has been the leader of the pack on this front, with the ProCam app, but what Micromax has in store sounds more alluring. The Canvas A250 Turbo is to arrive with atleast 3 distinct features, and the website has tiny videos relating to each of them. These include
- Cinemagraph – Convert portions of a still-picture into an animated GIF
- 360 degree panorama capture – Which looks to include an almost 3D reconstruction, making a very promising feature
- Object eraser – Get rid of unwanted portions of the picture by erasing them out. This is very different from cropping, and maintains the background / foreground chosen.
These features look great on paper, and shows that Micromax is really beginning to care about Software, differentiating it from the horde of I’m-just-another-smartphonemakers. The features seen look extra-ordinary, We eagerly await the device for review to test out some of the algortihms put in place to implement these catchy features
Battery, Software and Features
The phone comes with a 2000 mAh battery, promising nearly 105 hours of standby time and 75 hours of talktime. The phone comes with Micromax-es customized version of Android 4.2.1 JellyBean , and we hope that it will possibly get an upward bump once KitKat releases.
There are several other additional features that look very promising. While the Canvas 4 really missed the mark with ‘Blow To Unlock’ ( Which remains present for fans of the feature ), Micromax has added many more features ( majorly proximity sensor based ), which could add to lead to increased ease-of-use and productivity.
- Slide ( hand ) to Unlock – While Slide to Unlock is almost entirely owned by Apple, the Micromax Turbo can be unlocked by sliding your hand over it, and it also has an auto screen-off based on proximity sensor reading
- Intuitive Calling - These include, Answering a call by placing phone on ear, dialing a contact by selecting and placing the phone to the ear, and some other cool ones like Flip down to silence, and Flip up to put on Speaker, as on the Nokia 925
- Camera Clicks – We can now click away by entering proximity mode, and waving your hands over the phone.
- Blow To Unlock – Self-explanatory but still present
- Pop-up Browser and Pop-Up Video – The Turbo Software now lets you overlay a new video as a pop-up on the screen, or shrink the browser to half-the-screen, allowing for dual-productivity and entertainment too.
- Multi-Video – You can now simultaneously run and switch between multiple videos on the Turbo. It also comes with a pause-when-looking-away feature seen on the Galaxy S4
- iFloat – While the ‘i’ may irk Apple devs, the feature that users love on their Samsung and Apple phones is now on Micromax. There is now an ever present assistive-touch button on the screen with instant access to dialer, SMS, multimedia and browser apps. This is a much awaited addition to Micromax’s arsenal.
Pre-Loaded Apps and Connectivity
While most of us absolutely loathe pre-installed bloatware ( software without much utility), Micromax actually packs some very necessary apps. It comes with BBM, Hike, Kingsoft Office and Opera, some very useful apps for social connects and productivity. It also comes with M!Security, M!Unlock, M!Live, Game Hub, Spuul and much more M(icromax)! applications.
The Canvas Turbo is dual-SIM ( 1 SIM + 1 micro-SIM, both GSM ) compatible, which seems to be all-the-rage in India, with 3G GSM HSDPA ( download at 42 Mbps ) and HSUPA ( upload at 11 Mbps ) . It is WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS and FM Radio compatible.
The Micromax Canvas Turbo A250 is certainly a worthy Flagship for the rising-star Indian Smartphone maker. An All-aluminum body, full-HD super-sharp screen, and many software additions and cool features, elevate it to a whole new level of game, in the playing field of the biggest names in smartphones. The Canvas Turbo is priced at INR 19,990, and is up for sale at the Micromax Store. It is a very polished device, and gives a flagship feel with great specs at a great price.
Micromax A250 Canvas Turbo Quick Specs
|OS||Android 4.2.1 Jelly Bean||Processor||Quad-core 1.5 GHz|
|Touchscreen||Capacitive touchscreen||Display Resolution||1080 x 1920 pixels|
|Display||5" IPS-LCD||Primary Camera||13 MP|