New Delhi: I was not very upbeat about the Micromax Canvas 4 in my first impressions review and hoped that my opinion might change after using Micromax's new flagship phone for a longer period. I took the Canvas 4 for a long rough ride and here are the results.
At first glance, the phone is reminiscent of Samsung's large-screen phones under the Galaxy series, so much that someone could mistake it for a copy. Except for the the metal band running around the edges, there is nothing in the design that I found impressive. The glossy back is prone to scratches and catches smudges. The Micromax logo located in the centre of the back spoils the look. Though the rounded edges make the phone comfortable to hold, but the design lacks freshness. Previous Micromax phones have had this issue of looking more like popular phones for major manufacturers. But Micromax's aggressive pricing made these look trivial.
At the Canvas 4 launch, Micromax showed off features pretending them to be innovations, but as it was very evident, they were not. Well, there was one that I hadn't seen before where you have to blow air or shake to unlock the phone. But that is also a dud. I had to exert my lungs very often to be able to unlock the phone. Shake to unlock, though seemingly easier, is another misfire. It's touch and go. There's no certainty if it would work or not when you wanted it to.
The phone has a removable back and houses two SIM slots. Between the two SIM slots there is a microSD card slot that supports a microSD card up to 32GB.
The Canvas 4 does come with a pair of stylish-looking earphones, but the attempted style in the USB cable makes it look more like a pyjama cord.
At times, I did not find the phone powering on at a single press, and had to struggle and press the power button multiple times to be able to switch the device on. While swiping across the screen was smooth, but on some occasions, the touch responsiveness was disappointing. Very regularly, pulling down the notification bar was a pain. Also when I tried to log in to my Twitter account. I had to tap multiple times before it finally allowed me to log in.
The phone has a 5-inch 720p IPS display. While Micromax was expected to come up with a 1080p display, it did not happen. The colour reproduction is good and acceptable, but not impressive. Viewing angles are great. Though the display is reflective when used under bright sunlight, but I was still able to read text under direct sunlight.
The Canvas 4 does not run the latest version of Android and comes with Android 4.2.1. Micromax is trying to justify the Rs 17,999 price tag by pointing to the features. But the feature's don't seem to merit the price. While the video pinning feature worked fine, the "pause on look away" feature did not work well. Out of 10 times, my video paused only once while looking away.
The Canvas 4's 13 megapixel rear camera captures pictures of acceptable quality in all light conditions - bright to soft to low. Colours are vivid and details are sharp when clicked in outdoor, but in soft or low light conditions snaps are of only acceptable quality, but not impressive. There is some noise in pictures captured in soft or low light conditions. The video quality is good and the phone supports 1080p video recording and playback. The phone has a 5 megapixel front camera which is good for the uses it is meant for. The vertical panorama feature that Micromax was making such a show of at the launch event is nothing innovative is already present in most phones with panorama feature.
The phone is powered by a 1.2GHz quad-core processor and has 1GB RAM. While I have a few gripes in regard to the design, software features and pricing of the phone, I have no complaints with its performance. I could easily multitask and did not fall behind anytime during the review phase.
In the Antutu benchmarking test, the phone scored 13309 and ranked above Galaxy SII and Galaxy Note.
The battery life is good and easily lasted for a day on a little more than normal usage. The phone has an internal storage of 16GB (user available is 12.48GB). Its memory is expandable up to 32GB.
The built-in speakers were another letdown. The sound produced was neither loud nor quality. The similarly-priced Samsung Galaxy Grand Quattro comes with better speakers than the Canvas 4. But with earphones plugged in, the sound produced was satisfactory.
As I had pointed out in the first impressions review, Micromax this time around seems to have taken a wrong turn and the Canvas 4 doesn't seem to merit the Rs 18K price. There are some phones that promise better specifications at a similar price, but we are yet to review them.
The Micromax Canvas 4 falls short of making it to our recommended list.
Aluminium band wrapping the edges
Lacks of freshness