Videocon has been on a rollercoaster ride with its launch of phones, some good some bad. So how does the V1603 feature in? Is it the success story Videocon has been waiting for? It does provide with a host of goodies, but are they any good? Let’s find out.
V1603: Attractive to look at
The handset has a very attractive layout, with a 2.2 inch color display having 262K colors. The phone is quite light in weight and with it’s small dimensions in size is quite easy to slip into your pocket. The display screen is quite clear and the fonts are quite visible and easy to read. The keypad feels a little small (if you have big fingers or thumbs, you will feel it's small) but otherwise is pretty decent.
Dual battery toggle switch
There is a mini-USB charging slot on the right, below which is a 3.5 mm jack for the audio headset. Below which is the switch to toggle between the main and sub battery (its dual battery, remember?) There is a small torch on the top (which did not work, either with the shortcut “0” key or through the menu). On the left is a memory card slot with hot swap with 4 GB expandable memory. On the bottom left is a telescopic FM antenna, which does a good job even when not pulled out in open areas.
The mobile radio
Features and Performance
V1603: from hindsight
The phone, like all low budget multimedia phones, has a decent UI. Nothing too flashy that will catch your eye, but at the same time it’s quite smooth to operate and doesn’t lag unnecessarily. Navigation through menus is quite easy to understand and quite fast. The one problem is that it has a limited preset dictionary when it comes to messaging; also the fact that you cannot add your own words to the preset dictionary is quite sad.
Call clarity both ways is very audible from both sides. It supports Dual SIM which is just there in each and every phone that’s out in the market.
The V1603 has a music player, FM radio, voice recorder, camera that can take still images as well as record videos; an image viewer and a video player makes it a phone with most (if not all) multimedia features.
Accessing songs located in your memory card through your File Manager is a lengthy process; it should have been through the audio player directly. Plus, you cannot play songs in the background and neither can you browse through your playlist while a song is being played. The phone has good stereo speakers placed in the back, and although they are not meant to play refined music, they are quite loud. On the contrary, listening to music through the headphones is quite average.
There are a couple of Java based games, Puzzle and Magic Sushi which are more like excuses in the name of entertainment.
Now coming to the dual memory card slots, both of which are expandable up to 4 GB (that makes it 8 GB combined). As mentioned earlier, there’s one slot on the outside with hot swap. There’s another memory card slot located over the dual SIM card slots inside. It’s a good option if you want to keep one as permanent while the other one can be replaced time and again.
The V1603 is GPRS enabled and has a native browser which works quite slow, but then you never expected it to provide browsing at lightning speeds in the first place. You can also use the in-built Yahoo! and MSN messenger services, which again, are not fast, but manageable. The phone is Bluetooth enabled and transfers files at pretty decent speeds. It can also be paired with a Bluetooth enabled audio headset. The USB connectivity allows you to use the camera as a webcam and the handset as a com port for tethering.
The V1603 supports all the standard features of an Alarm Clock, Organizer, Calendar, Stopwatch and a very useful E-Book reader. It has some good security features too, with a mobile tracker and a “remote control” feature that allows you to wipe out your contacts, messages, call history, format the memory, power off the device, and just in case you want to retrieve your phonebook, you can do that too. Another good feature is the Blacklist where you can add numbers that you want to avoid.
Low res image
The phone has a pretty decent camera, but one that can click good pics only on low resolution. Once you increase the resolution and the image quality, the photos are very blurred when it comes out, especially when you view the pics on a PC. You need to be still and the images take time to process after being clicked.
High res image: blurred
Dual battery: Really?
This is where I was absolutely disappointed. What looked like the USP of this phone turned out to be an absolute bummer, especially for the fact that it doesn’t come an inch closer to what you expect it to deliver. Approximately 50 minutes of calls, 5 pictures clicked, two minutes of FM Radio, and maybe 20 minutes of music played drained “both” the batteries in two days. The usage cannot be termed as heavy, and it simply shows that the standby time is not anything exceptional either.
The first thing that caught my eye was that this phone had “dual battery”, but the excitement turned out to be short lived. Sure, it's fun to switch between battery and might “look cool” but its not serving the basic purpose. The rest of the features are something that so many other phones can offer you. It's priced at Rs. 3,995 MRP and Rs. 3,100 MOP, which is not steep but at the end of the day is definitely not value for money.
Published Date: Nov 19, 2010 12:45 pm | Updated Date: Nov 19, 2010 12:45 pm