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Micromax Canvas Spark review


Micromax Canvas Spark review

TOP FEATURES

1. Excellent build quality
2. Good battery life
3. Compact & lightweight design

The sub-Rs 7,000 segment of the Indian smartphone market is pretty much saturated, what with Motorola, Xiaomi, Yu, Lenovo etc launching smartphones at a regular clip. Thus, it comes as no surprise that Micromax is now focussing at the sub-Rs 5,000 segment, with the Canvas Spark as the first warrior in its arsenal.

We review the Micromax Canvas Spark to see if this smartphone is worth buying at Rs 4,999 or you should go for some other device...

Design



Design is the one of the biggest positives of Micromax Canvas Spark, which employs an all-plastic body but still does not feel cheap. The grey-silver review unit we received is easily among the best-looking smartphones we have seen in the sub-Rs 10,000 segment.

The back is curved, so your hand wraps around the sides of the smartphone quite comfortably. To be clear, the curve in Micromax Canvas Spark is not as much as that of the Moto E. At 134 grams, the smartphone is pretty light too, so slipping it in and out of your pocket will not be much of a problem.

The back sports matte finish that attracts fingerprints to an extent. The sides are lined with chrome, with the volume as well as power buttons on the right side; the positioning of the two hardware keys makes them easily accessible.

Unfortunately, Micromax Canvas Spark's haptic keys below the screen are not backlit.

Display



The 4.7-inch screen of Micromax's new smartphone offers only middling display quality, with the 540x960p resolution not helping matters much. Pixilation is apparent from the get-go and colours are not bright enough for our taste. Moreover, viewing angles are not very good; you can easily notice the discolouration when you tilt the phone at any angle.

On the plus side, the brightness levels are pretty high, so it is pretty easy to read text and view images without missing out on details even under direct sunlight. Additionally, the screen is protected by Gorilla Glass 3 to protect it against scratches.

Hardware
Micromax has equipped the Canvas Spark smartphone with a quad-core MT6582M chipset, running at clock speed of 1.3GHz, backed by 1GB of RAM. The handset comes with 8GB of internal storage and has microSD card support up to 32GB capacity.

The rear camera has 8MP resolution and is backed by LED flash, whereas the front camera has a 2MP sensor. The connectivity features are pretty standard: 2G, 3G, Wi-Fi, microUSB 2.0 and Bluetooth. The smartphone packs a 2,000mAh battery; it is 8.5mm thick and weighs 134grams, making it pretty compact despite the 4.7-inch screen.

Software
Micromax Canvas Spark is among the few sub-Rs 5,000 smartphones to come with Android 5.0 (Lollipop) out-of-the-box. The software is largely untouched, even though Micromax has preloaded several apps to add some features to the handset.

With as many as 15 apps pre-installed on the smartphone (in addition to the usual set of Google apps); you can uninstall many of them, even though the Micromax services can only be disabled, not deleted.

While the Back and Home haptic keys below the display perform the usual functions, the Task Switcher key does not. Pressing the button once opens the options menu, while a long press brings the task manager to the fore.

Performance



Android Lollipop, quad-core processor and 1 gig of RAM sounds like a good enough combination to ensure a smartphone runs smoothly, right? Nope. Micromax Canvas Spark's biggest problem is that it suffers from considerable lag. With just a few apps running, you will get a doable performance, but if 10 or more apps are running in the background, most apps will refuse to work to satisfaction.

Many a times Canvas Spark refuses to open apps, while some apps suffer with enough lag that you would want to just give up. You can play light games like Subway Surfer without problems on the phone, but the Mali 400 GPU is not able to render graphics for heavier games without too much frame-drops.

This is the biggest issue that hampers the user experience on Micromax Canvas Spark. It is especially surprising since the first-generation Moto E still delivers substantially better performance despite being almost over a year old.

Battery life of Canvas Spark, on the other hand, is pretty good. The smartphone delivers one full day of battery life with moderate usage. Even with heavy usage, you can eke out 7-8 hours of juice on one charge. However, it takes approximately 2.5 hours for the rather small 2,000mAh battery of the smartphone to charge from 0 to 100% even with the bundled charger.

Another highlight is the network connectivity this phone offers. On a trip outside Delhi-NCR, we had trouble getting 3G signals on a Moto E 4G as well as an iPad mini 2. No such problem with Micromax Canvas Spark, which caught on to 3G signals throughout the trip.

Camera



The 8MP rear camera of Micromax Canvas Spark has autofocus, and the camera app is pretty minimal. In terms of image quality, the camera delivers images that are good, but nothing worth gushing over.


In well-lit areas, the smartphone takes images that are fairly detailed, even though some photos seem underexposed. The colours are a little oversaturated in some shots, but not all. Shots taken indoors are pretty grainy, as are the selfies taken with the front camera.

The camera can record videos at up to 720p, but HD videos recorded on the phone made the camera app stutter a lot.

Verdict

Micromax Canvas Spark is a decent smartphone for the price, but the lag in the software affects the user experience way too much to ignore. While the build, battery and network connectivity are counted in its strong suit, the camera is another chink in its armour.

Recently, Motorola dropped the price of the first-generation Moto E smartphone to Rs 4,999. This makes the game tougher for Micromax Canvas Spark since the original Moto E is a proven performer.

Frankly, we cannot recommend Canvas Spark due to the performance issue and would rather suggest options like Moto E and Infocus M2.
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