Micromax was once the biggest phone brand in India. It was known for producing good value-for-money devices that were built to last. Over the years, the brand faded as others quickly filled new voids in the market. After a considerable gap, the company is back with a range of new devices, including the new Micromax in 1, a phone the company claims has been manufactured completely in India. But what is this device like to use, and how does it fare in everyday use? Let’s find out.
Build and Design
The Micromax in 1 comes in two colours – purple and blue. We tested the former, which sports a light purple hue that fades to blue from the top to the bottom. It has a metallic finish, with an X-pattern at the back. The rear panel of the phone has a nice matte finish that feels good to touch.
I also like the physical fingerprint sensor at the back. I still feel these are a lot more convenient than the in-screen fingerprint readers that most flagship phones come with. The device is sleek and feels good to hold. The in 1 comes with a standard flexible plastic case and a screen guard in the box, which you will have to install on your own.
There is a dedicated Google Assistant button on the left and the standard power and volume buttons on the right. The phone also includes a headphone jack at the bottom, right next to the USB-C charging port.
The in 1 supports dual-SIM 4G connectivity and has a dedicated MicroSD slot for additional storage of up to 256 GB. The phone feels well-built, and I think it could take an impact or two with the cover installed. In case you fear breaking your phone, Micromax offers a bunch of paid protection options, including an extended warranty and coverage for accidental damage. You can choose from these options when you order the phone from its website.
The in 1’s display is a huge 6.67-inch screen with a 2400 x 1080-pixel FHD+ resolution. Though it isn’t a fancy Super AMOLED screen, the output is rather good. The screen also has something called "Rainbow Glass Protection 8H Hardness", but I could not find any information about it online. It was only mentioned once during the launch of the device, where it was compared to Corning's Gorilla Glass 3, so I don’t know what to make of it. However, the screen does pick up scratches, and the phone I tested did gather a few during its time with me. You might want to install the included screen guard for added protection if you buy this device. The display makes up a huge part of the front of the phone (there is barely any bezel), which is good if you spend a lot of time gaming or watching videos. The front-facing camera is probably the only other sore point of this display. The punch hole is huge and prominent. There is an option to hide the camera, which I opted for, because the punch hole was rather distracting.
The display has a standard refresh rate of 60 Hz (no fancy 90 or 120 Hz here). The smoothness of a higher refresh rate was missed, but it is an understandable trade-off at this price.
Probably the best feature of the Micromax in 1 is that it comes with a zero-bloatware Android 10 OS. Future updates will bring Android 11 to the phone, and the company has committed to two years of software upgrades.
We tested the 4 GB RAM / 64 GB storage version, and thanks to the software being so clean, there wasn’t much to complain about in terms of performance. I was able to play Free Fire without any issues, and Genshin Impact also played on the lowest settings. On higher graphic settings, both games struggled, though it was more evident with Genshin Impact, which was barely playable.
While the overall performance of the software is impressive, there are a few issues. The one that bugged me the most was the extended screenshot function. Most current phones let you press the power and volume down button to take a screenshot, and expanding the screenshot is a matter of selecting the option on the screen. The button operation works here, but it only takes a snapshot of the screen available – there is no expand function. To take an extended screenshot, you have to open the drop-down menu and then select "Super Screenshot", which then gives you some on-screen controls. It is counter-intuitive, and hopefully they will get rid of this with the Android 11 upgrade.
I also wish there was a standalone Gallery app. Instead, the in 1 only has Google Photos, which shows all photos from your entire cloud collection, rather than only what’s on your phone. To see photos taken from the phone, you have to open the Library and find them under "Photos on Device". It just unnecessarily complicates things.
The Micromax in 1 features a triple-camera setup, with a 48 MP main camera, a 2 MP depth sensor and a 2 MP macro camera. At the front, it has an 8 MP selfie camera.
The camera produces lovely pictures and videos with adequate lighting. Colour reproduction, details and contrast were preserved well in the images captured. The camera app also has a decent 'Pro' mode that lets you tweak settings.
In low light, the camera struggles. Images have very visible grain, which worsens if you decide to use "Night Mode". In every instance, the "Night Mode" pictures were worse than capturing a standard image. Even the Night Mode selfie was essentially a picture brightened with the light from the screen used as a makeshift flash. Turning off the flash made the selfie dark and quite grainy.
"Macro Mode" produced exceptional images, considering it is operating with a 2 MP camera. It isn’t as impressive and as close as a super macro picture from some other camera phones, but the images produced here were clean and crisp.
Videos can be shot at Full HD, and in ideal conditions, the output is rather good. Though I didn’t mind the amount of grain in the night video, any sort of movement would have a terrible impact on the output. It is probably a good thing Micromax didn’t include a night video mode.
The camera app has a bunch of useful features that make the overall experience better. For example, you can select the anti-flicker feature in the video and photo settings to negate flickering caused by low-frequency light sources such as tube lights. There is also an option to assign a function to the volume button, including zoom or shutter. I think an addition of a 'pro' video mode would have made this camera more appealing, despite its flaws.
The in 1’s 5,000 mAh battery is impressive. With regular use, you can squeeze out more than a day’s worth of work. If you are pushing its limits with a gaming or movie marathon, you can get approximately six to seven hours of use. The included 18 W fast charger fills up the battery in under three hours. Regardless of workloads, the phone managed to maintain a decent temperature. Even when it was running Genshin Impact at the highest setting, it did not turn scorching hot.
At this price, there isn’t much to complain about. The Micromax in 1 is an exceptional phone, as long as you aren’t into heavy gaming or nocturnal photography. I don’t feel let down by the Helio G80 processor either, as it works well in most situations. The phone also looks good, and I especially love the matte finish at the back. I feel Micromax has put its best foot forward with the Micromax in 1. The only possible competition comes from Xiaomi’s Redmi Note 9 (Review), which offers better specs in some areas for just Rs 1,000 more, but I prefer the clean Android experience of the in 1.
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