Micromax's Canvas smartphone series has been considered by many to be
the best thing that the popular Indian handset maker has ever done.
After forging a formidable reputation for itself in the budget Android
smartphone segment, Micromax of late has begun to aim a bit higher, with
products such as the Canvas Doodle 2 (Review) and Canvas Turbo (Review).
After lots of
speculation, Micromax has now finally bitten the octa-core bullet and
has done so with a vengeance in terms of both specifications and price
with its latest launch, the Canvas Knight. Just as PC makers used to
boast about the clock speed of the processors powering their devices,
smartphone manufacturers are now doing the same.
The Canvas Knight
is the first smartphone from Micromax's stable to use MediaTek's
octa-core MT6592T chip, which is an upgraded variant of the MT6592. But
does the Micromax Canvas Knight, with its octa-core processor and
full-HD display, pack enough punch to overcome heavyweights like
Samsung, Sony and HTC in an increasingly competitive market? We took it
for a spin to find out.
Look and feel
The first thing that
you will notice about the Micromax Canvas Knight is its refreshed
design; however in many ways, it reminds us of another device, the
Our immediate reaction after we took the smartphone out
of the box was: we have seen something similar before. We would not be
totally wrong to say that the Canvas Knight is inspired by Sony's former
flagship smartphone, the Sony Xperia Z, while the sides look a bit
reminiscent of an Apple iPhone 5 or iPhone 5s.
The front and rear
panels noticeably borrow design cues from the Xperia Z (Review). However, a
closer look at the Canvas Knight reveals differences. For instance, it
doesn't have a rounded power button on the right panel, which is a
hallmark of the current Xperia aesthetic, and the camera placement is
also different. Next, there is no physical camera button on the Canvas
Knight, unlike the Xperia Z.
The rear panel is dominated by a big
slab of glass that curves nicely till the bezel at the sides, much like
the Sony Xperia Z's rear panel which is non-removable.It arches
outwards gently, with a 16-megapixel camera accompanied by an LED flash
right on top. We wish Micromax had provided a layer of protection for
the protruding rear camera.
The Canvas Knight's side panels
feature rounded edges and metal styling, which at times reminded us of
the iPhone design. The glass rear and metal styling on the edges of the
Canvas Knight is impressive and gives a premium feel to the device.
front is totally dominated by a 5-inch touchscreen. There are no
physical buttons on the front of the phone; only three soft touch keys
below the screen which become visible when it's in use. The Canvas
Knight also has a secondary camera which is placed above the screen and
to the right.
The 3.5mm audio jack is placed on the top panel,
whereas the volume rocker keys and power button are on the right
side.The two SIM card slots are placed on either side. All of these
blend smoothly into the phone's frame. The Micro-USB charging port is
placed on the bottom, alongside an elongated speaker grille.
were disappointed to see the power button of the Canvas Knight placed a
bit low on the right edge; we wish it had been placed a little
higher,which would have made it easier to hit. We ended up pressing the
volume up button instead of the power key quite often, thanks to their
Both the front and back panels of the Canvas
Knight are dominated by glass, so we expected at least Corning Gorilla
Glass for protection.
The Canvas Knight is surprisingly compact
for a device with 5-inch screen, and although it is hardly super thin,
it easily fits in most hands. However, stretching a thumb all the way
across the screen feels awkward at best, unless you have big palms.
have always been fascinated by new designs in the devices we see, and
as far as looks go, the Canvas Knight is a complete departure from
company's previous smartphones. We were impressed to see a new design
sensibility applied by Micromax for this device.
No, the Micromax
Canvas Knight does not scream 'cutting edge' but it is all about
understated class. Just remember to keep a cloth handy to wipe
fingerprints off the glass. On the whole, the Canvas Knight is a very
The Micromax Canvas Knight features
a 5-inch full-HD IPS screen with a resolution of 1080x1920 pixels and
an impressive pixel density of 443ppi (pixels-per-inch).
of performance, the screen offers vibrant colours and respectable
contrast. Viewing angles aren't so great, but still pretty decent for a
phone in this price range.
Unfortunately, Micromax has given a
miss to toughened glass that resists scratches, which was not expected
since it's a relatively high-end phone. Notably, Motorola used Corning
Gorilla Glass 3 on the Moto G's screen and it is still cheaper than the
The IPS screen doesn't give the fullest colours or
the deepest blacks like the Samsung's high-end Galaxy smartphones with
Super AMOLED would, but the panel is bright enough nearly all the time.
resolution and pixel density of the Canvas Knight is also far higher
than some of its competitors in this price segment, such as the Nexus 4
and Samsung Galaxy S4 mini. Touch sensitivity is impressive and we did
not encounter any issues while using the device.
Knight's screen produced bright whites and vibrant colours. Images and
text look sharp. Readability in direct sunlight was good, but only with
brightness set to the highest level.
The screen is also highly
reflective. In day-to-day use at regular brightness levels, the Canvas
Knight's screen will offer higher quality than an average user expects.
Micromax Canvas Knight sports a 16-megapixel autofocus rear camera with
electronic image stabilization (EIS) and a M8 Largan lens, which the
company touts, can capture high resolution images in rapid succession.
camera app carries forward a lot of features from the company's
previous Canvas models, including a customisable quick menu which
includes controls for switching between the front and rear cameras,
turning on the Intelligent Auto (flash) mode, switching between Normal,
Panorama, HDR, Scene Detection, and Smile photo shot modes, and for
accessing the deeper camera settings.
Notably, the Canvas Knight
offers the same settings for voice activated shutter which are found on
some high-end smartphones from LG, Samsung and Sony, which lets you take
pictures with voice commands such as 'cheese' or 'capture'.
camera app on Canvas Knight also offers options like focus, zoom,
brightness, image size, scene modes, ISO, white balance, colour effects,
timer, geo-tagging, shutter sound and image storage. Video can be
recorded at 1080p.
The continuous or burst shot mode takes up to 99 images in one go when you press the on-screen button.
tested the Canvas Knight's rear camera in outdoor, dim and indoor
conditions and found that it produced very good results in well-lit
conditions and even did reasonably well when the lights dimmed, although
we recommend using the flash only when it gets really dark.
shots came out well except that colours were a little over-saturated
and at times there was noise at edges; you can also see missing details
if you zoom in to a saved image. However, the indoor and dim light shots
did show a quality drop, and images weren't as crisp as those taken in
The smartphone also features an 8-megapixel
fixed focus front facing camera that can be very handy for selfies and
video chats. We found videos and images captured with this camera
indoors and even outdoors a bit grainy.
a time when the world is expecting Android KitKat on modern phones,
Micromax has stuck with Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean for the Micromax Canvas
Knight, which is extremely disappointing. Considering that Android
4.4KitKat has been out in the market for quite a while, we hope that
Micromax soon rolls out an update to at least Android 4.3 Jelly Bean.
the Canvas Knight does not run the stock version of the OS. Micromax
has customised the UI, skinning some elements such as the notification
tray, besides including additional apps, widgets and features.
no doubt that the UI skin on the Canvas Knight is not as radical as
Sony's XperiaUI or Samsung's TouchWiz, but it does add a few neat
touches to the OS without intruding too much on its essence.
Canvas Knight offers five customisable home screens that can be
populated with apps and widgets. There are four app shortcuts which
remain visible across all home screens.By default, these are the
dialler, contacts, messages, and default browser apps.
notification tray on the Canvas Knight features a Quick settings
shortcut and a clear all notifications button, along with expandable
notifications (using the two-finger pull gesture). It features the same
setting toggles that are found in stock Android and adds some of its own
as well, for quick access to profile, battery status, airplane mode,
Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, data connection, data usage, user (audio)
profiles, brightness, screen backlight timeout, auto rotation, reboot
and wireless display.
Lock-screen widgets are a standard Android
feature. Users can choose from the Clock, Camera, Gmail, Google Now and
Messaging widgets in addition to those offered by third-party apps.
These widgets offer glanceable information from the apps and allow users
to perform certain actions even when the phone is locked.
the Canvas Knight offers only one unlock shortcut by default, which
takes you to the Micromax Store online. We tried to change the lock
screen options but were unable to do so.
The Canvas Knight also
offers another Android 4.2 feature, Daydream, which displays photo
albums or the clock while the phone is charging. You can also wirelessly
mirror the Canvas Knight's display to a wireless display adapter
connected to your TV or projector via HDMI.
The Canvas Knight
offers FM radio with recording. It also offers 'smart' gestures like
flip to silence the ringer, and the ability to answer the phone or
auto-dial a number on screen when the user brings the phone to his ear.
a Jelly Bean device, the Canvas Knight features Google Now, which is a
voice-based information assistant. You can ask questions and the tool
returns answers or search results. The Google Now feature uses 'cards'
which are essentially small boxes that offer different sets of
information such as a weather forecast, directions, traffic information,
scores, appointments, and currency conversion, among others. Notably,
the Google Now feature collects information based on the user's
behaviour, location and even email inbox to offer
It's worth mentioning that the Canvas Knight's menu shows newly downloaded app and game icons with a 'New' tag on top.
Some of the preloaded apps are Opera, Real Steel, Where'sMy Water?, Where'sMyPerry?, Getit, BBM, Truecaller and Kingsoft Office
replaced its own instant messaging app, HookUp with a Micromax-branded
version of Hike, the mobile messaging app from Bharti Softbank. The
smartphone also comes preloaded with the movie streaming app Spuul that
allows users to watch movies for free.
Performance/ Battery Life
claims that its MT6592 SoC is the world's first 'true octa-core' mobile
processor. The MT6592 and MT6592T chipsets are built on the 28nm HPM
(high-performance process) and include eight CPU cores, each capable of
clock speeds up to 2GHz. MediaTek says the MT6592 can run both
low-power and more demanding tasks equally well by using any number of
cores at a time.
The processor is complemented by 2GB of RAM. It
comes with 32GB of storage,out of which only 25GB is
user-accessible.There's no slot for expandable storage.
like to note that the typing experience on the smartphone was not very
great;messaging junkies will feel a bit frustrated with the stock
Micromax keyboard, though this can be fixed by downloading a third party
On the sound front, the Canvas Knight impressed us
with its Yamaha amplified speaker, which is located on the bottom and is
quiet loud. The supplied earphones are not that great, and we now
expect Micromax to work on the quality of the accessories supplied with
The 5-inch full-HD screen of the Canvas Knight is
excellent for watching movies and videos. The device was able to play
full-HD videos and supported popular video formats like .AVI, .MOV, and
.MP4. The Canvas Knight also managed to play the .MKV video, a format
that has not been fully supported on other Canvas smartphones. In our
rundown video loop test, Canvas Knight was able to able to last more
than 10 hours.
Call quality on the Canvas Knight was impressive
and we did not encounter any problems with clarity through the earpiece.
Users can talk for long hours on the Canvas Knight without any issues.
Notably, the Canvas Knight is a dual-SIM device and supports micro-SIMs,
instead of the regular SIM size.
The Canvas Knight scored
impressively in benchmark tests and made it through our synthetic
benchmarks, all thanks to the octa-core processor. The Canvas Knight
scored 30,223 in AnTuTu, and 16,061 in Quadrant. On the graphics front,
the Canvas Knight reached only 9.4 frames per second in the GFXbench
test, and a disappointing 4171 in the 3DMark Ice Storm Extreme
Without any doubt, the Canvas Knight's processor is
impressive. Unfortunately, real-world graphics performance is severely
lacking. The major downside of the Canvas Knight is that it cannot
handle heavy graphics in games like Asphalt 8, Real Racing 3 and Real
Apps like Instagram, Twitter and Facebook ran just
fine, though. In day-to-day activities, the Canvas Knight feels smooth
enough and you are not really left wanting for more power.
Canvas Knight ships with a 2350mAh battery that can deliver up to 175
hours of standby and up to 7.5 hours of talktime, as rated by the
company. Based on our testing period the Canvas Knight is a decent
performer when it comes to battery performance.
We were able to
get about 10-12 hours with normal usage, which included Wi-Fi switched
on all the time, Web browsing for more than an hour,and a few calls
lasting for about an hour in total,with the display set on
auto-brightness and with the usual notifications for messages, emails,
Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp.
With heavy usage of the Canvas
Knight, which included the screen brightness level set to its maximum
level, calls lasting for about two hours, 3G turned on all time, casual
photography with some tweaking in the default camera app, two hours of
YouTube and locally stored videos, an hour of gaming, and with usual
notifications for messages, emails, Facebook, Twitter, Google Hangouts
and WhatsApp, the device lasted for only about 7-8 hours. Clearly, the
settings you use will help in increasing the phone's battery life.
we had told you at this time last year that it would be possible to buy
an Android smartphone with an octa-core processor for less than Rs.
20,000, you would have laughed at the notion. The Micromax Canvas Knight
however, is just that.
It looks good (we would call it
refreshing, even), performs impressive in day-to-day use, and at Rs.
19,999, costs a whole lot less than Android flagships from Samsung, HTC
Frankly, we have no reason not to recommend the Canvas
Knight. Even though it has a 5-inch screen, the device is slim and
easily fits into one's palm. Oh, and it is available in a number of
colour combinations, including Black, Black and Gold, and White and
Gold. Having colour options is always welcome.
competitor is the Intex Aqua Octa (Review) which retails at roughly the same
price. Those willing to put up with a Windows Phone device can go for
Nokia Lumia 1320 (Review).
Micromax Canvas Knight in pictures