Micromax A116 Canvas HD
There is no doubt that this smartphone will be one of the fastest selling phones in India. If initial reactions of fans is any indication, Micromax has a solid product in its court.
The A116’s MediaTek MT6589 quad-core processor clocked at 1.2GHz is more than capable of delivering a smooth, lag-free experience. Plus, it runs Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, which has Project Butter at its core. The PowerVR Series5XT GPU is known to be highly efficient and will handle graphics acceleration duties. Another big point in favour of the Micromax handset is the 5-inch IPS display with 1280 x 720 resolution, which means a pixel density of 294ppi. More importantly, the A116 is touted to be sold for under Rs 15,000, which is a fantastic price for the specs.
Looking at the flipside, the Micromax only comes with 4GB onboard storage. Even though it is possible to expand this thanks to the microSD slot, it supports cards only up to 32GB. The front-facing camera of the A116 can shoot only VGA (640 x 480) resolution, when most phones these days have front cams capable of shooting 720p at least. The 2000 mAh battery might not be enough to keep up with the quad-core processor, even though the MediaTek processor uses a 28nm manufacturing process.
Another worry is the lack of past updates by the company. Instead, its standard practice is to release a new handset with the latest OS. Possibly the biggest pain point for Micromax and its customers is the lack of good after-sales service. Despite being an established manufacturer in India, this is one of the biggest complaints by past customers. And if you are someone who likes unlocking, ROMs and rooting, then this is not the phone for you. There is a very low support on development for MTK devices. There will be no CM or PACman ROMs for this device at all. On the positive side, Micromax Canvas 2 A110 has got its own XDA forum in Legacy and Low activity devies list.
Samsung Galaxy Grand
Samsung has a huge fan following and standing among Android phone makers; however, it is still trying to get right the formula for a smartphone with the right set of features at the right price. With the Galaxy Grand, Samsung is trying to do just that.
Undoubtedly, Samsung’s brand name carries a lot of weight in the smartphone market. Moreover, the company has developed a trustworthy after-sales service network in the country. In this regard, the Korean company is ahead of Micromax. In the Galaxy Grand, it has included some of the TouchWiz features that were launched with the Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note II. These include the likes of Smart Call, Pop-up Play, Smart Stay, Smart Alert and S-Voice. Samsung has also included India-specific content offerings called My Services. This includes myMovies, myMusic, myMobileTV, myReader and myEducation.
The Galaxy grand offers 8GB of onboard storage, but unlike the A116, the microSD card slot supports cards up to 64GB. Its front-facing camera is of the 2 megapixel variety, so you can shoot videos with a 720p resolution.
The biggest complaint about the Samsung handset is the low-resolution display, which tops at 800 x 480, resulting in a low pixel density, 187ppi to be precise. While there is no official word on the processor ticking underneath, one source reports seeing a Galaxy Grand at the Broadcom booth during CES 2013. So one is led to believe that the SoC is the BCM28155, which comprises a pair of ARM Cortex-A9 cores and Broadcom’s own VideoCore-IV graphics engine. This is not the best option out there. Samsung has priced this handset at Rs 21,500, which means the price will be a big factor in making the buying decision. Ideally, the handset’s official price should have been in the Rs 16,000 to 17,000 bracket. It remains to be seen how soon market factors will dictate a fall in price.