Hands On: Micromax Canvas HD

The Micromax Canvas HD is perhaps the most highly anticipated smartphone priced south of Rs 15,000 and with good reason too – it packs a quad-core processor, a 720p HD screen and runs on Android 4.1 Jelly Bean.  We have managed to get our hands on one. So read on for our first impressions of the product.

The moment we opened the box and laid our hands on the device, it was pretty evident that Micromax has pulled all the stops with the device. This is the best built Micromax product we have ever seen. Build quality wise, its almost as good as a Samsung, but when one takes a closer look one does realize that its not perfect.

The highlight of the show is the 5-inch display, which packs in a resolution of 1280×720 pixels and has 294 pixels per inch. Of course at a price of Rs 13,990, one should not expect the best in the business, but it is a very good display nonetheless. It’s definitely very washed out when compared to the Nexus 4 or the iPhone 5, but at the price we believe its pretty good.

The other star of the Canvas HD is the quad-core processor clocked at 1.2GHz made by MediaTek. Now people hear a buzzword like ‘quad-core’ and get excited, but the reality is that it’s a quad-core based on the ARM Cortex A7 design not the Cortex A9 design. This means it will not be as powerful as than a Cortex A9 based quad-core like on the Galaxy S III. It will be closer to a dual-core ARM Cortex A9 chip and when we ran the Quadrant benchmark our theory was proven as it scored in the vicinity of 3500, a score that is quite similar to the one we have seen on the Galaxy S II that has a dual-core Exynos processor. Now, this performance is better than most ARM Cortex A9 dual-core SoCs but its way below a Cortex A9 based quad-core chip. The one advantage is that the battery life could be better, but we have not tested that, yet.

General performance seems smooth and the GPU that the device leverages is the PowerVR 5XT. While this is a pretty new GPU some how the user experience feels artificial in the sense that everything feels a nano-second slower. It is consistent, but there is this ethereal lag that just stops short of making the experience wonderful. It’s still very good. But if one compares it to a device like the Galaxy Nexus then one understands the difference better.

The biggest surprise of the Canvas HD package is its camera. Last evening when we received the unit we decided to take a few shots and they turned out to be surprisingly good. Of course it has a 8-megapixel sensor, but at this price one normally does not expect much of the camera, but the results seem to be promising, we will test the camera in great depth for the full review. Micromax has heavily customized the camera UI which allows users to shoot video and click photos simultaneously, but on the down side it has also buried the flash setting in a nonchalant corner so switching the flash can take some time to begin with.

Overall, the Canvas HD seems like a very promising smartphone and as Android has reached this level of maturity in fluidness, it can hurt Windows Phone right where it hurts the most. User Experience. Of course the Canvas HD is a culmination of fast processor, good display, a great OS and a decent camera, but its biggest weapon is its price – Rs 13,990. That said, today Lava has announced the Xolo A1000, which also packs in similar features for more or less the same price, so Micromax will have some competition. This however is not our final verdict on the device and we will soon have the full review up.

Photo Credits: Rohit Sharma

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  • sri_tech

    I was excited about micromax canvas 2 phone after seeing the ads about it.

    My friend bought it. There are few things like build quality that can be considered OK because it costs only 10k.

    But the biggest problem is the display. Its really bad quality. Not just the resolution. Colors looked very blurry.
    It lags a lot.

    I did not see this canvas HD.

    But dont compare micromax phones with samsung. Samsung is much better even though it costs much more.

    “Android has reached this level of maturity in fluidness, it can hurt Windows Phone right where it hurts the most”
    I dont think windows phone need to worry about android in this regard. Single core 800 Mhz lumia 510 never lags for normal operations.
    Android needs high processing power when compared to iOS or windows phones. Its pathetic that even after 5 years android lags on phones with 1Ghz processors.

    • akshay

      I read exactly same thing on engadget..maybe ur true or maybe just spamming..

    • Abhijeet Mishra

      Android will never be as fast as other OS on these low specs since it is Java-based and runs things in a java virtual machine, which is slower than other languages such as C or HTML5 etc. so 5 years or ten, lag will still be there comparatively. however, I’ve noticed myXperia tipo launches apps at the same speed and sometimes faster with an 800 mhz processor compared to the low-end Windows Phones, so it’s not that bad, even on ICS. well optimized apps also run quite smooth. WP is surely smoother though, but just saying that lag will show its face unless Google changes the entire core of Android, which it cannot do.

  • Trishit

    So what is the video recording resolution? and are the videos good enough? i mean, compareable to droids like Samsung galaxy S2 etc?

  • http://www.shypal.com palvinder singh

    awesome phone .
    just purchase it.
    8 megaphixle camera, jelly beam processor. and was affordable to everyone.!

  • shaurya

    Wtf!people are saying about canvas hd..i knw it’s nt that great as cmpare to samsung..i dnt knw y sum pepls dnt believe on indian mobile carridr…for me it’s best i dnt cre abt othrs.