Domestic cellphone brands always play the price card and their pitch has always been about how their phone’s offer more features for almost half the price of established global brands. Micromax can be credited for kickstarting the trend and the angle has played in its favor, having overshadowed most of the global players in India. However, the company is now experimenting with stretching its products pricing to some extent. The Canvas Doodle 2 is the company’s most expensive handset till date, but the question remains whether it also offers features worth its price? Here is what we found out about the phablet.
We must say that design-wise the Doodle 2 is the best looking handset in Micromax’s portfolio of products. It is made out of plastic like all other smartphones priced around Rs 20,000, however adds a metallic rear panel that makes it appear sturdier and gives a more premium finish to the phone. The metal back also adds a bit of heft to the device, making it much heavier than other phones with the same display size.
The box comes with a stylus but there is no space on the phone itself to house it. One cannot even dangle it on the phone, a la LG Vu. This means that the stylus has to be carried separately, increasing chances of it getting misplaced. It seems as if the stylus was an afterthought than something that was a part of the original product.
The volume rocker and power button are placed on the left side and the right side respectively and are easily accessible while operating the phablet. The audio jack is placed on the top and a micro-USB port finds its place at the bottom.
The front of the Canvas Doodle 2 comes with a 5.7-inch display with thinner bezels than the previous Canvas handsets. It is an IPS display with good viewing angles but lacks Gorilla Glass protection, which means users will have to be extra careful. Also, it is a major fingerprint magnet and will require you wiping it clean from time to time.
The back is divided into three parts which are two smaller parts on top and bottom and a bigger part in the middle. These smaller divisions are made of plastic because this is where the company has placed the radio antennae in the phablet. The larger middle part is all aluminum, which makes it look nice but at the same time also adds weight to the device. While the inclusion of metal is welcome, the large footprint of the device means it is uncomfortably heavy.
The first part on top is the only amongst the three which can be removed to place the two SIM cards. The middle section holds a 2,600mAh battery beneath it, but the battery is non-removable. The bottom again cannot be removed and has a speaker grille.
Over all, if you keep the weight-factor aside, the phablet is built well and is pretty comfortable to use despite holding a massive display. The use of metal of the back makes it slightly slippery at times, but we still liked the smooth back finish. Micromax also provides an ‘origami’ flip cover in the box that can be folded to convert it into a stand for the device.
The 5.7-inch HD IPS display of the Doodle 2 offers 720×1280 pixels resolution, which we must say is far better than all the other Micromax smartphones including the recently launched Canvas 4. The color reproduction is good and the display is not overly bright or flashy and is rather subtle than reflective. However, while it is clear and crisp indoors, its performance under direct sunlight is not exceptional.
The Doodle 2 is mainly publicized for doodling and scribbling with the stylus, and thus features this big a screen. The pencil-like rounded stylus offered with the phablet has a matt aluminum finish but is made of plastic. However, the smooth finishing also makes it a bit slippery. As mentioned earlier, the stylus cannot be placed within the phablet and thus you will have to keep it either in your pocket or in a bag. The stylus does not make any significant improvement in the user experience of the device, unlike what Samsung has managed in its Galaxy Note series. It is simply an add-on with no real benefits.
The Doodle 2 runs on a MediaTek quad-core Cortex A7 chipset with PowerVR SGX544 GPU under the hood. It ticks at 1.2GHz and is paired with 1GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage. Basically, it offers only 13GB of user-available memory, and one cannot even expand it any further as there is no microSD card slot. One also gets a 12-megapixel rear camera with auto-focus, dual-LED flash and a 5-megapixel secondary camera.
Besides this, the phablet supports 3G, Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi hotspot and Bluetooth. We did not not face any network reception issues with the phone and it operates well on simple Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi sharing with other devices.
The Doodle 2 runs on Android 4.2.1 Jelly Bean and does not feature any major visible tweak on the software front. However, after we downloaded some apps to test on phone and utilized some storage space with new apps, music and other things, the phone suddenly started giving some issues. For instance, it happened a couple of time when the phone would freeze or the screen would not wake up. In the latter case, the phone did not respond to any the functions till the time we pressed both the power key and the volume key simultaneously to reboot it.
The Micromax Canvas A240 Doodle 2 offers a good experience in general with its decent set of specs, but doesn’t offer any exceptional performance. The phone stutters while playing games and the overall lag in UI transitions is quite visible.
The camera too fails to impress. While the rear camera is better than what we have seen from Micromax in the past but the results continue to be sub-standard. Don’t get fooled by the megapixel count. We noticed considerable noise in photographs and the colors did not look natural either. There is no consistency and photograph results vary between different shots clicked under same lighting conditions. The secondary camera is not worth writing home about, either.
If we talk about the audio and video bit, the video quality on the phablet is still better. Considering that the Doodle 2 does not come with any enhancements in the audio department, we found the performance of speaker and the audio playback quality at par for the course. However, in-call audio level could have been a bit higher.
On a single charge, the Doodle 2′s 2,600mAh battery lasted for close to 10 hours, which included 2 hours of calling, an hour of Internet browsing, an hour of listening to online music streaming via the Hungama app. We also had three email accounts, Twitter and Facebook accounts with push notifications. The Wi-Fi was always on, though we had EDGE and not 3G when we were out of a Wi-Fi network. On minimal usage which only included Internet browsing for an hour and receiving push notifications for all the aforementioned accounts, the phablet managed to even stretch out for a day which is 24 hours, on Wi-Fi network. In both the cases, we did have the display brightness level to minimum throughout which helped the battery last longer.
Over all, for Rs 18,900, the Doodle 2 is a unique offering from Micromax with a 5.7-inch display, though it is not the best when compared to its counterparts. Unless having a 5.7-inch display is of utmost importance, you would like to consider the Karbonn Titanium S9, which has a 5.5-inch display and specs similar to the Canvas Doodle 2. It is currently available for Rs 17,000.