Motorola is largely credited to have changed the face of the affordable smartphone market in India with its Moto G and Moto E smartphones. Local and tier-one companies alike have reacted by launching a plethora of devices to cater to the growing demand in this segment. One such company is Swipe, which launched the Konnect 5.0 in the sub-Rs 10,000 segment last month. Can the Konnect 5.0 carve a place for itself in this crowded market? We spent some time with the smartphone and here’s what we think of it.
The Swipe Konnect 5.0 has a unique design where the removable rear panel curves towards the edges. This curved design makes the smartphone comfortable to hold despite its large footprint. At the back you will find the 8-megapixel rear camera, which slightly protrudes from the rear panel and has a chrome ring surrounding the lens. There is a LED flash adjacent to the camera lens, the Swipe and Konnect 5.0 logos below and the speakers near the bottom.
On the right is the power button, volume rocker on the left and the micro USB and 3.5mm audio jack at the top. Removing the back panel exposes the SIM card slots, microSD card slot and a removable battery. While it is easy to remove the back panel, it isn’t as easy to fit it back as the locks don’t snap back that easily.
Swipe has used a lot of plastic materials and except the curved edges, there is nothing much that will make the smartphone standout in the crowd. Also with the likes of the Asus Zenfone 5 upping the standards in this segment in terms of design and quality, the Konnect 5.0 will have its work cut out.
The Konnect 5.0 flaunts a 5-inch IPS display with qHD (960×540 pixels) resolution, a pixel density of 220ppi and rather broad bezels around it. The display does a decent job at reproducing colors, texts are legible, and so are viewing angles and legibility under direct sunlight. But there is an evident lack in sharpness. The display is also prone to scratches and fingerprints, and in order to save it from the former it is advisable to use the flip cover bundled with the device.
On the photography front, the smartphone features an 8-megapixel rear camera with LED flash, supplemented with a 3.2-megapixel front-facing camera. The primary camera clicks just about decent shots under ideal lighting conditions, but the colors lack punch. Indoors and under low light conditions, there is a lot of noise, which not even the camera’s Night Mode is able to rectify. Things are much the same at the front too, and the 3.2-megapixel snapper is just about average for clicking selfies and video chatting. Nothing worth writing home about.
The smartphone runs on Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, which is largely stock and Swipe hasn’t bogged it down with an unnecessary UI. There are however a bunch of preloaded apps that we could have done without. Swipe had recently announced that it will soon start rolling out Android KitKat updates for its phones, though there is no word on a release time frame.
The Konnect 5.0 is powered by a MediaTek quad-core processor clocked at 1.3GHz and paired with 1GB of RAM. This ensures largely smooth performance and we rarely experienced any lags or jerks even when multitasking. The processor however comes under some level of stress when playing graphic intensive games like Riptide GP2. The game crashed on us a couple of times and we had to tone down the graphic settings to ensure the game ran smoothly.
As far as storage is concerned, unlike many of its competitors, the Konnect 5.0 comes with 8GB of internal storage, of which around 4.52GB is available for users. If that is not enough, there is a microSD card slot which you can use to expand the storage to up to 32GB.
One thing that disappointed us was the battery life with the 1,950mAh battery not able to last an entire day. On heavy usage — involving push notifications from two email accounts, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, about half hour of gaming, and another half hour of calling and messaging — the battery was able to last for about eight hours. On a more judicial usage where we toned down the usage, we could eke out another couple of hours from it.
To conclude, the Swipe Konnect 5.0 is a decent smartphone, but it will find life difficult in the sub-Rs 10,000 segment. It has an interesting design and decent performance, but is let down by poor build materials and battery life. There are likely to be certain improvements when Swipe releases the KitKat update, but there is currently no word on when it would be released. In the meantime, it will face some tough competition from the likes of the recently launched Asus Zenfone 5, which costs Rs 1,000 more.