With big screen phones, popularly known as phablets, gaining prominence,
and the increasing demand for budget alternatives, Micromax decided to
upgrade its Canvas line-up, within two months of launching its first
5-inch phone, the A100. The successor to the A100, the A110 or Canvas 2
features a Dual Core processor, an IPS panel, and an upgraded
8-megapixel camera. Here's our review of the device.
front of the phone looks strikingly similar to the Samsung Galaxy S III
and the Note II, except for the absence of a physical home button. The
chrome speaker grill, front camera and sensors are positioned similar to
that of the Note 2. There are markings for three capacitive touch
buttons below the display. There's no Micromax branding on the front of
the phone. There's a chrome trim around the phone that was a little too
shiny for our liking. On the right side, there's a big power key, while
the volume rocker sits on the left hand side. Both these keys also
sport a chrome finish, but kind of lack refinement, in our opinion. The
Micro-USB port and the 3.5mm audio ports sit on the top of the phone.
The back cover is made of plastic and has a matte finish. The material
used feels durable, and offers a good grip. The camera lens, however,
protrudes out towards the top, and feels awkward. There's a dual LED
flash besides the camera. The back also sports Micromax branding and a
In terms of hardware, the device is powered by a 1GHz
dual-core processor with 512MB RAM, and has 4GB internal storage
expandable up to 32GB with microSD card.
The Micromax A110 is a
dual-SIM smartphone and supports GSM SIM card in both the slots. The SIM
Card slots and a slot for the micro SD card hide behind the back cover
just above the battery slot. Unfortunately, the SIM cards and the Micro
SD cards are not hot-swappable and you'll have to take the battery out
if you want to replace either of them.
A110 comes with a 5-inch 262k colour capacitive touch screen with an IPS
panel sporting a resolution of 480x854 pixels. We found the screen
resolution to be pretty low for a device of this size, and the graphics
and text appeared to be less sharp. The viewing angles looked good, and
the under-sun visibility on the phone was decent, though we found the
screen to be highly reflective.
autofocus shooter takes decent images in daylight, although we feel that
colour reproduction could have been better. Also, we observed that
pictures taken in low-light conditions and indoors (without the use of
the LED flash) were a bit grainy. The dual-led flash fulfills its
intended purpose. The quality of videos captured through the back camera
was average. Overall, we feel that the phone's good for casual
A daylight shot taken with the Micromax A110 Canvas 2
There is also a 0.3-megapixel front camera, which
takes average pictures, and can be used for video conferencing. We wish
the phone had a dedicated camera button to help click a quick picture.
Micromax Canvas 2 runs Android 4.0.4 (Ice Cream Sandwich). Micromax has
skinned some elements of the user interface, such as the app icons and
the notification tray. The notification tray includes toggles for
settings such as Wi-Fi, Brightness, Rotation, Bluetooth, GPS, Data and
profiles (for alerts and other notifications). Similar to other ICS
devices, there are five customisable home screens that can be filled
with app shortcuts and widgets.
Micromax has also included some of its
own apps including its own apps and content store, M! Store, and
services store, M! Zone, in addition to its messaging app, HookUp, and
friends locator app, M! Buddy and a few games (Fruit Devil, Cricket
Fever). The handset also offers FM Radio.
The handset sports three
capacitive buttons - a Menu key, Home button and a Back key. Long
pressing the Home key opens the app-switcher for switching between
open/previously accessed apps. To be honest, we find the menu button
redundant. Perhaps, Micromax could allow users to use the menu button
exclusively as the app-switcher, on the lines of newer HTC phones.Also,
the phone could do with stock icons, and we're not sure why Micromax
decided to skin them. We also noticed that Micromax's app store was
offering apps such as Viber and Nimbuzz, which are otherwise free, as
paid apps.We checked with Micromax and they informed that their app
store offers ad-free versions of the apps.
During our use of the
phone we noticed some minor lag, especially while playing games, but
other than that, we'd rate our overall experience as above average. We
expected a bit more from a phone that runs on a dual-core processor.
We're not sure if the phone would get updated to Jelly Bean, which
offers a smoother user experience compared to ICS.
Performance/ Battery Life
phone is powered by a 1GHz dual-core processor that is a MediaTek
chip, and has 512MB of RAM on board. We did not encounter any crashes
while working on the phone and multitasking was comfortable. We did
notice some lag while navigating through the menu, and while playing
some games. We were not able to play 1020p HD video clips, and 720p
clips also stuttered. The phone also doesn't support .avi videos
natively, but that can be easily fixed by downloading third-party video
The phone comes with the native Android browser and
renders all webpages well. The phone doesn't come with Adobe Flash. The
speaker on the phone delivers good quality sound but volume levels are
low. Also, since the speaker is located at the back, the volume levels
further decrease when the phone lies on its back. The phone
surprisingly doesn't include an ambient light-sensor, so there's no
setting for automatic brightness, and the user would need to manually
set brightness levels for the screen.
Call quality was good. The phone is a dual-SIM GSM phone with support for one active and the other in active-standby mode.
Micromax Canvas 2 comes with a 2000mAh battery and we were satisfied
with the backup that it offered. We were able to get around 7 hours of
video playback, even with the display on full brightness levels. With
intermediate usage during the day, including playing games, a few calls,
and e-mail and Twitter notifications turned on, we were able to get
about one-and-a-half days of backup. The phone would easily give 7-9
hours of usage on a single charge.
A110- Canvas 2 is a decent upgrade to the A100. A 5-inch screen phone at
a price point of Rs 9,990 is indeed a value for money proposition. We
wish Micromax could have offered a better screen, and shipped this phone
with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. Micromax has already announced the
successor to the Canvas 2, the A116 or Canvas HD, which is expected to
be available in February. The Canvas HD features a Quad-core processor
(again a MediaTek chip), a 5-inch 720p display and Android 4.1 Jelly
Bean. It's expected to be priced below Rs. 15,000. So if you can spend a
little more, we'd recommend waiting for the Canvas HD. There's also the
Karbonn S1 Titanium, which also has a quad-core processor, and sports a
4.5-inch qHD (960x540) multi-touch capacitive touch display and runs
Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. The phone's been priced at Rs 10,990 and
pre-bookings have already started. But we'd wait until we've had a
chance to run that unit through our tests before recommending.
Micromax A110 Superfone Canvas 2: First look