Karbonn K10 Dual SIM (GSM + GSM)

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The Karbonn K10 is just one more BlackBerry rip-off. But this handset takes it to a slightly deeper level and just makes me wonder how really lazy designers are becoming. The lack of creativity is appalling. Nevertheless these ‘clones’, as they were, are out there, but just remember if you can’t afford the original the ‘clone’ is in no way the next best thing. Other than similar looks these are not smart phones. Take a closer look at the K10.

Form Factor

Brutal honesty says that the K10 is more than a cheap rip off of the older BlackBerry Curves sans the Pearl trackball. The 2.0 TFT LCD display may be smaller than the Curve 8520 but it does sport the same resolution i.e. 320 x 240 pixels. The navigation system is simple, no issues here. The QWERTY keypad seems quiet small and although it wasn’t difficult to use, will take a little while to get used to. Once you have it’s a breeze. A 3.5 mm handsfree socket is located on one side above the mini USB port. One serious issue that came up was with the 3.5mm socket. Even with the bundled handsfree, audio still streamed through the speakers even though it was playing via the handsfree. I had to keep plucking at the pin to adjust it. It was the same with any other set of earphones I used. This could, however, be attributed to the test piece being faulty.

So even though the K10 is another BlackBerry clone, it’s not a bad looking device and is quite user friendly.

Features and Performance

The K10’s UI is identical to any of the new BlackBerry’s. From the desktop scene with shortcuts at the bottom, the option of changing the Profiles to the menu icons and background colors the K10 could be easily confused with a BlackBerry. The difference is in the sub menus, where the Java OS becomes clearly evident. There was a bit of a lag while navigating through the menus. Response was not instant. Other than that everything else was just fine.

The audio player was a problem. As I mentioned earlier, there seemed to be an issue with the socket as it required quite a bit of ‘giggling’ before I was able to hear clearly. Audio quality is not too good. The volume is too low and the in-ear handsfree has a very hollow sounding tone. The EQ presets make an insignificant difference to overall quality. On the plus side the handset’s FM radio with recording functionality worked just fine providing a decent amount of clarity in reception in most places. Videos will only play properly if the resolution is dropped way down and they still ended up framing a bit. But with the resolution so low, the quality was quite shoddy obviously. For short clips it’s ok, but I don’t recommend watching full length movies.

The K10 supports GPRS and WAP. The same java browser that’s available on all handsets in this class is available. It’s extremely basic and don’t expect it to render full HTML pages in all their glory. There are a few social networking shortcuts provided as well which include Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo!. They aren’t built in apps but merely links to their mobile sites. However Karbonn has included an Ebuddy app as well as an eMSN app for chatting. Bluetooth with A2DP and USB 2.0 are also available. It also supports POP and IMAP email accounts.

Misc. Features
All basic functions like an Alarm clock, calendar, Ebook reader, etc. are on board along with one puzzle game.

A 1.3 megapixel camera is loaded onto the device. This feature also had serious flaws. For some reason, the display went bonkers every time the video recorder was activated. It happened quite a bit with images as well but at least things were far more visible. Although it says it’s a 1.3MP camera on the back and the Photo settings allows you to select the 1280 x 960 pixel setting, pictures always ended being captured in a 640 x 480 size. This could have been a redeeming feature as picture quality was not bad at all.

The battery life averaged in at just about 3 hours of talk time. That’s not too bad. With frequent use of the net, emails, messages and calls you’ll get about a day and a half of usage before having to charge it up again.

The Bottom Line
With a price tag of Rs. 4,000 (MOP) the Karbonn K10, as close to a BlackBerry it may seem, is not worth it. The camera was almost a complete bust, the music player was not up to par and even with the social networking features it’s just plain average. If you do want something that looks like BlackBerry and offers as much functionality as the K10, better options would be the Fly Circle or the Zen Z77.

Published Date: Feb 10, 2010 03:52 pm | Updated Date: Feb 10, 2010 03:52 pm