Micromax has launched its new smartphone the Canvas 4 in India for a price of Rs 17,999 only. The smartphone which has a quad-core processor clocked at 1.2 Ghz comes with a 5-inch screen and 16 GB memory space.
Here are our first impressions of the smartphone based on three key areas:
Pricing: For Micromax this has always been the key as it has traditionally been known for offering smartphones with high technical specifications at a low cost. The Canvas HD was an example of this as it was one of the first quad-core phones to be launched in India for a price which was under Rs 15k.
Will a Rs 17,999 price tag for the Canvas 4 anger users? That's too early to say but the quad-core competition is heating up with other manufacturers like Karbonn, Intex also launching devices for under Rs 15,000. There's also the fact that Nokia's device such as Lumia 720 and 520 have done well and Nokia is currently the fourth largest vendor in India, according to IDC numbers.
The Canvas 4 likewise is not highly priced but doesn't come with any radical new features in terms of technical specifications. The Canvas 4 might appeal to those who are buying their first smartphone and perhaps are okay with pushing their budget from Rs 15k to 18k. Micromax is India's second largest mobile phone vendor according to IDC data and continues to do well with its budget smartphones.
Technical specifications: The biggest disappointment in terms of specifications is the screen resolution. The 5-inch screen has 720 pixel resolution and not the 1080 Full HD resolutions that many tech critics were expecting. This is strange given that the company has used the MT 6589 chipset from Media Tek which supports the resolution.
The other disappointing feature is the battery which is a standard 2000 mAh with 8 hour battery life. The Canvas HD had the same battery and thus the Canvas 4 has nothing new to offer in that area.
Micromax has given a bumped up camera with 13 megapixels and 5 megapixel front camera as well. Two high-resolution cameras should appeal to the young, urban users who want to click good pictures. Micromax has also given more memory to the phone, offering it with 16GB memory space. Now, we don't actually know how much of this is actually available to the users given that the phone is bundled with a lot of software.
Software features: For the first time Micromax has tried to emphasise software features as well. It's offering burst mode for the camera that shoots 99 pictures in 15 seconds, video pinning, simultaneous video playback, look away to pause video and other gesture controls. One of them is rather unfortunately named as 'Blow to open' which seems to have generated a lot of chatter on social media.
These features are of course very similar to what the Samsung Galaxy S4 offers but again Samsung has started rolling out these gesture-controlled features to low-priced smartphones such as Galaxy Mega series, Samsung Galaxy Core (priced Rs 15, 350 and has features like Smart Pause, Smart Stay, etc). Also if the S4 mini does come to India, it will have these features as well and it could be priced at Rs 20,000. (S III mini though never officially launched in India is available in grey markets for Rs 17,750.)
The software features at the end of the day are quite gimmicky and many fans tend to see them as hogging space on their smartphone.