Micromax Canvas Spark review: Pocket friendly smartphone

Motorola made a huge splash in the budget smartphone segment by launching Moto E last year. First time smartphone users adopted this product of Motorola. Low price and great specifications, both these features made this mobile phone the leader of the market. As soon as this product was launched, brands like Asus, Lenovo, and Xiaomi also focused on this price segment. Although Micromax products were already available in this price range, there was not much enthusiasm in the market regarding their performance.

Recently Micromax has launched Canvas Spark smartphone. The price of this phone is less than Rs 5,000 and it runs on the latest version of Android, Lollipop. It also has a quad core processor. Should you buy this phone? We tell you.

Look and Design
Looking at the product, it seems that Micromax has tried hard to give it a premium look. We received a white/gold unit for review but a grey/silver option is also available in the market. The thickness of the phone is 8.5 millimeters and its edges are curved. The weight of this phone of 135 grams is uniform in all the parts, due to which it feels good when held in the hands. The gold trims on the edges of the phone are actually plastic. However, Micromax has given metallic coating to make it real. A similar color scheme was also seen in Micromax Canvas Gold A300.

The screen of the smartphone is 4.7 inches. There is a place for ear piece, front camera and light sensor in the upper part. Touch sensitive buttons for navigation are made at the bottom of the phone. The outlines of these buttons are very thin and they do not have pre-lit lights, due to which there is difficulty in using them.

Power and volume buttons are located on the right edge of the phone. The performance of these buttons is average. A space has been made for the speaker at the bottom of the rear part of the phone. As far as the rear camera is concerned, it is slightly protruding from the phone due to which there is a risk of scratches on it. There may also be difficulty in maintaining balance on a flat surface. There is a metallic logo of the brand below the camera. The rear cover can come off, but you can only access the SIM card slot and micro SD card slot. Battery does not come out.

Specifications and Software
Micromax has expressed confidence in the tried and tested product MediaTek MT6582 SoC for Canvas Spark. This SoC uses four 1.3GHz processor cores and has integrated Mali 400 graphics. The phone has 1 GB RAM and its internal storage is 8 GB which can be expanded up to 32 GB via micro SD card.

The primary camera of Canvas Spark is 8 megapixels and it can also shoot videos in 720 pixels. The phone has a 2 megapixel front camera. This phone supports dual SIM and at least one SIM card can work on 3G network. As far as other connectivity is concerned, it also has the option of Wi-Fi a/b/g/n and Bluetooth v4.0. This device has a 2000mAh battery, which gives a talk time of 7 hours and its standby time is 335 hours.

The 4.7-inch IPS screen has a resolution of 540×960, which is also found in the Motorola Moto E (Gen 2). The Canvas Spark’s screen is average and delivers below-average performance in sunlight. It is a matter of relief that the display is not too saturated due to which the warm colors are soothing to the eyes. And Corning’s Gorilla Glass 3 has been used for the screen, which is good.

Micromax has not tampered much with the Android Lollipop version, except that it has changed the background of the app drawer from white to transparent dark grey. The company has also provided third-party apps to its customers, most of which are useless and cannot be removed.

Performance and camera
There are several shortcomings in the performance of the Canvas Spark. On many occasions, after touching the app icon, I had to wait for 15 seconds for it to become active. The screen was not responsive at times during standby mode. Due to these shortcomings the phone did not appear smooth. The shortcomings of the phone became clearly visible while playing high-end games. However, there was no lack of performance during casual games.

The phone scored 19,499 and 5,494 points during AnTuTu and Quadrant benchmark tests. These figures are at par with other smartphones with similar hardware. The Canvas Spark achieved 9.3fps in the GFXbench graphics test and a score of 3,231 in the 3DMark Ice Storm test.

There were many problems in playing 1080 pixel video files, many times frames were dropping. The sound of the speaker is good but it starts breaking at high volumes. The sound in the headset given by the company is fine but in good earphones, there is a lot of improvement in the sound. The sound during phone calls was good and we did not face any problem like dropped calls.

The Canvas Spark’s battery lasted 7 hours and 16 minutes during the video loop test, which is a similar performance for most phones in this range. However, there was a huge drop in the battery life of the phone during processor intensive tasks.

The camera disappointed a lot. The photos taken from the rear camera had shortcomings like under exposure and over saturation. The camera app hung several times while shooting video at 720 pixels. However, the recorded video footage did not have that many shortcomings. By the way, the problem of under exposure was also visible in the video footage. There were a lot of grains in the shots taken in low light, the performance of the front camera was also nothing special.

our suggestion
We appreciate what Micromax has tried to achieve with the Canvas Spark, but there are glaring shortcomings in terms of performance. This smartphone is a winner in terms of design and price. The Canvas Spark is priced at Rs 4,999, which is Rs 1,000 less than other budget range smartphones. If budget is an important issue then this phone is for you. But, we would suggest you to spend a little more money and buy Motorola Moto E (Gen 2) or Xiaomi Redmi 2, your smartphone experience will be better.

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