Wide aspect ratio screens on smartphones are no longer a thing of the past, with Samsung and LG already in the market with phones that boast of an 18:9 or higher aspect ratio. Many upcoming phones are expected to launch with wider-than-usual screens, including the upcoming Apple iPhone 8. It s no surprise then that manufacturers are preparing for the inevitable shift to wider screens, and one such manufacturer is India s own Micromax.
With an aim to bring the wide-screen and good looks that come with it to the masses, Micromax has launched the Rs 9,999 Canvas Infinity. With a 5.7-inch 18:9 aspect ratio screen, the Micromax Canvas Infinity has a bigger screen, but is there more to the phone apart from the dominating display? We ve reviewed the phone, so read on to find out.
Micromax Canvas Infinity: The Good
With its 18:9 5.7-inch screen, the Micromax Canvas Infinity boasts striking good looks at the front. Although the non-screen space at the sides is about the same as you d expect on any smartphone, the difference can really be seen below and above the screen. There s very little space in both these places, including no capacitive buttons at the bottom and the speaker grille, proximity sensor and front camera squeezed in at the top. The curved corners of the screen also add to the look and design of the phone.
As a result of the reduced non-screen space, the Micromax Canvas Infinity manages to squeeze in a 5.7-inch screen while being slightly smaller than a typical 5.5-inch screen phone such as the OnePlus 5. The phone doesn t feel too big, and will appeal to buyers on a low budget looking for a phone with a bigger screen that doesn t feel quite as big.
While the competing LG Q6 disposes of the fingerprint sensor, the Micromax Canvas Infinity manages to include this now-expected feature. The sensor is at the back of the phone, and is fairly accurate and quick to unlock the phone, with very little delay between the phone accepting your fingerprint and actually waking and unlocking the phone. Other key advantages of the Micromax Canvas Infinity is the fact that the battery is replaceable under the removable back panel, and there are separate slots for both SIM cards and a microSD card, which means that you can have two SIMs and expandable storage on the phone as well.
With 4G connectivity and support for VoLTE, the Micromax Canvas Infinity is also suitably well set when it comes to connecting to data networks. You also get 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage out of the box, which isn t often seen on smartphones priced at under Rs 10,000. The phone comes with Android Nougat 7.1.2 out of the box, with a single-layered user interface on top. The Android navigation keys are on-screen, and the icons, settings menu and styling closely resemble those on iOS. It s fairly well laid out and doesn t have too much bloat; just a handful of apps are pre-installed (Amazon, Asphalt Nitro and surprisingly, the Narendra Modi app), and these can be uninstalled easily. ALSO READ: LG Q6 Review
The Micromax Canvas Infinity comes with a 16-megapixel front camera. Although there s no flash, the high resolution of the camera allows for decent pictures, even in lighting conditions that are less than ideal. There are a couple of additional modes as well, including real-time bokeh with the front camera, and super pixel technology. Additionally, you can reduce the overall resolution to allow for 18:9 aspect ratio pictures, which uses the entire screen as the viewfinder for the camera and takes wide shots. Pictures are sharp and well composed, and although the bokeh uses software to determine depth-of-field rather than a dual-camera setup, the results are interesting enough.
Micromax Canvas Infinity: The Bad
For all of its pros, the Micromax Canvas Infinity comes with as many cons, if not more. The first significant shortcoming is in the screen resolution; the Micromax Canvas Infinity has an HD+ resolution screen, with a resolution of 720×1440 pixels. The pixel density ratio is around 282 pixels-per-inch, which is rather low and this lack of sharpness shows. Although the screen is decent when it comes to color and brightness, the low detail will be noticeable, particularly when gaming or watching videos, which would ordinarily be the key benefits of the large, wide screen of the Micromax Canvas Infinity.
The phone is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 425 SoC, a basic chipset that is also seen on the Xiaomi Redmi 4A, a phone that costs Rs 5,999. Indeed, the chipset is meant for basic entry-level smartphones at best, and the lack of capability in performance does show. During my time with the phone, I often experienced stutter and unpleasant lag, even with three or four apps running.
Gaming with graphics-intensive games is pleasant as long as you don t keep too many other apps running in the background, and there is a slight amount of heat generated during intensive tasks. Certain apps, including the pre-installed Asphalt Nitro, did crash on occasion when other apps were also running. While the phone can handle most tasks with only the sacrifice of low frame-rate or the occasional frame drop, the slow loading times and stutter means that it s meant for basic use at best.
The rear camera of the Micromax Canvas Infinity is a 13-megapixel shooter capable of recording video at up to 1080p resolution. However, pictures aren t quite as good as they can get, particularly due to a fair amount of grain on shots even in good lighting conditions. Detail takes a hit, and colors tend to wash out as well. With the price in mind, pictures aren t bad but aren t particularly good either.
Battery life is again, just about average. On occasion, you may be able to run the phone for a full day on a single charge, but it usually drains out before the day is over. Considering that the phone is powered by the otherwise frugal Qualcomm Snapdragon 425 SoC, this comes across as a bit of a disappointment.
The Micromax Canvas Infinity may be a budget phone at heart and by price, and when it comes to performance, there s absolutely no doubt of its credentials. It s a basic phone at best and doesn t quite perform to the standards of the similarly priced Xiaomi Redmi Note 4. Additionally, just an HD resolution for a 5.7-inch screen also has its shortcomings, as the screen isn t very sharp.
But if you can get around those shortcomings, the Micromax Canvas Infinity is among the better looking smartphones you can buy at under Rs 10,000. The front-filling screen and lack of non-screen space make for a good looking device, while 3GB of RAM, 32GB of internal storage, a removable battery and separate slots for both SIMs and a microSD card only serve to sweeten the deal. It s definitely worth looking at for these reasons, but if you want a more powerful device that serves your usage needs better, you ll be better served by the Xiaomi Redmi Note 4.