First off, I have to admit that I was not sure what the actual name of this phone was – whether I should call it the Zeus, Evolve or V7500. Zeus is printed on the handset but the website also calls it the V7500 Evolve. It seems that Videocon is going all out for this handset, but does it live up to the Android users expectations or will it fare just as well as Spice’s Mi-300 and be content with mediocrity? Read on to find out in our exclusive review.
When I said earlier that Videocon is going all out for this handset, I wasn’t being metaphoric. The Zeus (I’m going to stick to that, it’s easier to remember) comes in a packaging that looks like a whole forest was taken down for the one box. Completely unnecessary. It seems Videocon just clean forgot, Green is IN! The large jazzy packaging does however come with quite a few goodies for the handset, aside from the standard USB, charging cable and handsfree kit, an 8GB microSD card, car charger, extra battery and carry case have also been thrown in.
The Zeus is a neat handset and is quite like Spice's Android offering except for a few details. For one thing, this one comes off as far more elegant. The specs are almost identical though as the Zeus also has a 3.2-inch capacitive touchscreen with a 320 x 480 pixel resolution (HVGA) with multi-touch capabilities, a 3.5mm handsfree socket on top, concealed micro USB port on one side, volume/zoom keys and the camera button on the other side and a hot swap microSD card slot under the rear panel. Suffice to say, the OEM for the shell etc. has got to be the same. I do however, prefer the large call Take and End keys on the Zeus and the overall design and bronzed coloration gives it a sophisticated look.
The touch sensitive key arrangement under the display, just like the Mi-300’s, does not light up. I suggest memorizing their placement as you’ll need to know where the Home, Return or Options keys are in the dark, if you ever require them.
Features and Performance
What really annoys me is the total lack of originality that manufacturers have sometimes. Videocon has adopted the very same gaudy and slightly kiddish looking UI as the Mi-300. It’s a stark contrast to the device’s elegant look. Android’s standard look would have been a better option in this case. The icons are slightly oversized and a little too colorful for my taste. The layout is however not really an issue considering it’s running on Android 1.6. It’ll get an upgrade to Éclair (2.1) in November is what I was told and the buck stops there, no more updates after.
UI handling is smooth. It’s responsive and easy to navigate. Of course 2.1 will add quite a bit more as Facebook and Twitter integration with your contacts is not available with this version. You can however Sync your phone book to your Google account.
Audio quality was a step up from Spice’s offering. The volume was loud enough to comfortably listen to even in a crowded train with quality being quite decent. You can create playlists on the go. The lack of an FM radio is quite a stinger, not that there’s great stuff on the air these days but for the price it should have come with the feature. The Zeus handles iPhone MP4 videos and 3GP files with no issues. Use Rockplayer if you want to play other video formats although the display resolution isn’t high enough to make them look great. Nevertheless playback was smooth with little to no framing. __PAGEBREAK__
Like any Android device out there, the Zeus is quite well equipped with connectivity. It’s a 3.5G handset with EDGE/GPRS for us non 3G countries. Wi-Fi, Bluetooth with A2DP and GPS with Google Maps (also has a GPS tracker app pre-loaded) are all present and accounted for. Of course there’s also USB 2.0 for file transfer. It’s not like it takes a whole lot of time money or effort to get the FB for Android app, so I can’t understand why Videocon, like its brother Spice, would include just a silly link to the mobile site. This is a Smartphone, it would have been a smart choice to have included apps and not links. Gtalk and YouTube apps are pretty standard for Android phones and are included.
Setting up your Gmail or other email accounts with Push services is a pretty streamlined process with Android so no complaints here. Images can be uploaded via the ‘Share’ option to Picasa, FB or Twitter apps, emailed or backed up via the RoadSync preloaded apps. The browser works without a hitch, no complaints here either.
There’s no real out-of-the-box functions that Videocon has included that are worthy of mention. A few of the extras include an RSS reader, Notepad, Voice Dialer, preloaded File Browser and Voice Note. Standard apps like a Calculator and Calendar that syncs with your Google Account are included. Here’s what’s really weird, there’s a Festival option in the Calendar settings with country options that don’t include India just – the US, China and Taiwan. Documents to go (Read Only) is also preloaded.
The Zeus also comes with a 5MP autofocus camera with very limited settings viz. White Balance, a few color modes and geotagging. VGA is the highest resolution that the video recorder can capture and store footage at. Image quality isn’t anything spectacular as 5MP camera phones go but it’s not a feature that you’d end up cribbing about either. In-door images when there’s plenty of light come out quite well. When it comes to outdoor pictures, while they appear relatively focused for a mobile phone camera, in bright sunlight certain brighter colors have a tendency to get over-exposed. Compensating with the brightness control will only make the rest of the picture duller.
It’s a good thing Videocon included a car charger and second battery. The Zeus doesn’t really make the very best of the 1230mAh battery. On a full charge it’s good for a little over a day and a half. Talk time averaged in at about 3 hours and change. Quite average at best.
The Bottom Line
Now the official MRP of the Videocon Zeus is Rs. 19,995 which is way too much and I would not recommend buying this handset at this price. However, I was informed that the MOP is actually not too bad with a best price coming in at about Rs. 12,500. Its biggest competitor is of course Spice’s Mi-300 but the fact is, other than the shell, this is pretty much the same phone. The only difference is that Spice throws in a lot more preloaded stuff and is about Rs. 2500 cheaper. However, Videocon’s ‘box’ is bigger, if you’re into that, and they thrown in a little bit of class with the design making the Zeus look like it’s worth Rs. 12,500 easy. The 8GB card, additional battery and car charger do make a little more appealing.
But at the end of the day, if you’re looking at going in for an Android handset with a low budget, the Samsung Galaxy 3, even with its ugly design, is the best choice in this range.
Published Date: Oct 27, 2010 01:17 pm | Updated Date: Oct 27, 2010 01:17 pm