Creo Mark 1 first impressions: A good mix of software and hardware, but would you pay Rs 19,999?

Today, at an event held in Delhi, Bengaluru- based startup Creo (makers of Teewe) launched a new smartphone called the Creo Mark 1.


Today, at an event held in Delhi, Bengaluru- based startup Creo (makers of Teewe) launched a new smartphone called the Creo Mark 1. We have been hearing about this smartphone for sometime now that claims to transform into a new device every month in the form of timely OS updates. We got to spend some time with the device and here's what we think.

Design and build:

Creo Mark 1 first impressions: A good mix of software and hardware, but would you pay Rs 19,999?

The smartphone measures 155.4 x 76.1 x 8.7mm and weighs 190 grams. The front and back has a Gorilla Glass covering along with an aluminium frame.

Creo Mark 1 (4)

The right edge features volume buttons (separate rounded) and a power button. The left edge has dual SIM slots - a micro SIM slot and a nano SIM slot that also transforms into a microSD card slot with support for up to 128GB. The upper edge comes fitted with an audio jack and the lower edge has speakers and a microUSB port.

Creo Mark 1 (5)

The form factor appears to be slightly bulky and the device clearly won't be considered among the sleek options.. We would reserve our comments on the durability, but the device did feel pretty sturdy in palms.

Display:

Creo Mark 1 (1)

The Creo Mark 1 sports a 5.5-inch Quad HD display with 2560 x 1440 pixels of resolution. The icons appeared sharp and bright. In the limited time we spent with the device, the viewing angles seemed fine. However, we didn't play any high res videos to comment any further. But there doesn't seem to be much to complain about on the display front.

OS:

Creo Mark 1 (2)

Creo has put a lot of emphasis on the software. The device runs new Fuel OS based on Android Lollipop. Though it is based on a rather older Lollipop iteration, one won't be disappointed as it comes with some cool and handy features.

Sense:

The Sense feature is aimed at making search quicker and cuts down the search process by a couple of steps. On double tapping on the home button, it took us to the Search with Sense page. Just key in the search word and all related content will be displayed. For instance, on keying in Gaana, the screen was populated with the Gaana app, options to search Gaana on Wikipedia, Youtube and so on. We could also search content from the email client, contacts, calendar events and more. However, it didn't show content directly from the Gmail app, unless the Gmail account is added in the Email client.

Retriever:

This is a security feature aimed at tracking a stolen smartphone. It can help track a phone, even after a factory reset. Furthermore, if someone inserts a new SIM in your stolen device, it immediately alerts you via an email about the time, location and also shares the phone number. This seems like a novel feature, but we can talk about its accuracy only after a thorough test.

Echo:

Echo will receive calls and also take a message for you. It is nothing but an in-built answering machine for your smartphone. In the call log, you will find the last icon for Echo. Under Echo settings, you can enable it by default for all. However, the new update slated for May 13 will bring personalised Echo options. We tried this feature, and it worked quite fine.

Some other features include notification manager, giving control over notifications and allowing to mute a notification right from the lockscreen. A built-in SMS inbox automatically detects spams and sorts SMSes into different categories.

An app called Refuel is the hub for all your software updates. So, this is where you can check all the new software and their uses. Overall, the UI appeared slick and one won't take too long to get a hang of it.

Camera:

Creo Mark 1 (6)

The device features a 21MP rear snapper and an 8MP front- facing camera. The rear snapper took some decent outdoor shots and macro shots, but we can't say the same about low light photos. However, we can talk about the camera in detail only once we do a thorough test in varying conditions. There are options like Live Photo which is like a gif, and Quick photos means your usual stills.

Creo Mark 1 (7)

It also supports 4k recording and a feature called 3D selfie is again a live photo that turns into a gif when shared via social networks. The camera UI is simple and one will easily get a hang of it.

Other specifications:

The smartphone is powered by a 1.9GHz octa-core Mediatek Helio X10 processor coupled with 3GB RAM. It is the processor seen in the Le 1s, which is priced lower, and we didnt face any stutter or lag while using the device. The 3GB RAM is enough to handle all your applications. The connectivity options include support for 4G, 3G, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi with support for 'ac' draft. It also supports a plethora of sensors including accelerometer, gyro, geo- magnetic, hall sensor, proximity, light and indicator light. It offers 32GB onboard storage, out of which 25GB is available for users.

Battery:

The smartphone comes with a 3100mAh battery, which is pretty good and will get you through a day. It promises 21 hours of talk time on 3G. However, we cannot confirm this until we have taken it for a spin in our labs. The smartphone also features high voltage fast charging promising 2 hours talk time in 10 mins charging.

Bottom line:

The Creo Mark 1 comes with a good mix of hardware and software. However, the focus is evidently on the OS and software updates. The Android features and monthly updates clubbed with the large display, fast processor, 3GB RAM, 21MP camera and 3100mAh battery could make it a good pick. However, the only hiccup is the price that reads Rs 19,999.

We have seen devices with better specs at lower prices, but Creo is betting big on its software. However, it is a new entrant in the fierce smartphone market and we wonder if users in India with no dearth of options will be willing to shell out the amount.