Micromax quietly launched the Canvas Nitro 4G back in August, priced at Rs 10,999. As the name suggests, the smartphone brings in LTE-capabilities without burning a hole in one s pockets. This price range however is seeing a lot of activity these days, and the Canvas Nitro 4G will face some stiff competition from the likes of the Yu Yureka Plus, Lenovo K3 Note and Motorola Moto G (third-generation) to name a few. Is Micromax s smartphone good enough to stand tall in such a crowded segment? We spent some time with it to find out. Also Read - Micromax In Note 1, In Note 1b launched in India: Price, specifications and other detailsAlso Read - Micromax teases In Series smartphone design, resembles Honor smartphones
In terms of design, the Canvas Nitro 4G is a step up from its predecessors. It boasts a pair of chrome strips that act as a frame, and also house the volume rocker and power button on the right. At the back, Micromax has opted for a removable panel, which has been given a sandstone finish. This texture is reminiscent of the OnePlus One and the Yu Yureka Plus. The panel though isn t very easy to pry open (which isn t a bad thing), and is equally difficult fit it back into place (which is). The overall design, and build quality is impressive and is on par with the smartphone s competition.
Up front is a 5-inch HD 720p IPS display, which does a good job at reproducing colors and has some impressive brightness levels as well. This in turn also results in good legibility under direct sunlight. Viewing angles too are good, courtesy of the IPS panel. With Gorilla Glass 3 protection, you won t need to worry about scratches or accidentally dropping the handset on its face.
Under the hood, the Canvas Nitro 4G is powered by Qualcomm s Snapdragon 415 octa-core chipset clocked at 1.4GHz and paired with Adreno 405 GPU. The processor is also paired with 2GB of RAM. The octa-core chipset and 2GB of RAM together ensure a largely smooth and lag-free experience.
It is able to comfortably handle multiple apps, as well as graphic intensive games like Marvel s Contest of Champions and Angry Birds 2. It is also able to handle full-HD video playback comfortably without any stutters, and the audio from its speakers is quite decent as well.
One small issue that we did face was with the handset heating up after about 20-odd minutes of heavy usage. It doesn t get uncomfortably hot, but it is quite noticeable.
In the storage department, the smartphone offers 16GB internal storage, of which around 11.5GB is free for users. One can easily expand the storage up to 32GB using a microSD card.
In the photography department, the Canvas Nitro 4G features a 13-megapixel snapper at the back with dual-LED flash, and 1080p video recording capabilities. On the front is a 5-megapixel selfie camera. Both the cameras are a tad disappointing, especially when you consider the price tag and its rivals.
The primary camera is able to capture some decent landscape shots in well lit conditions, and even indoor photos clicked with the help of natural light are quite decent. Macro shots too are able to capture quite a bit of details, but focusing is not always consistent. You need to click a few photos to get one right. There is however a drop in details when lighting conditions are not ideal. While the dual-LED flash is ideal for indoor photography, the photos are low on detail and have quite a bit of noise as well. It s a similar scenario with video recording as well.
The selfie camera, on the other hand, is satisfactory at best. If you are looking for details, you won t find much, but the camera is good enough for photos that you can share on social media.
On the software front, the Canvas Nitro 4G runs on Android 5.0.2 Lollipop, and thankfully Micromax has kept things relatively simple on the customization front. In other words, what you get is near-stock Android experience and it is a good thing. We use the words near-stock, because Micromax has preloaded a few apps like Clean Master, Hotstar, App Center, Chaatz, Housing, NewsHunt, Quikr, Snapdeal, SwiftKey and Saavn. One can however remove all of the aforementioned apps, except the App Center.
One of Canvas Nitro 4G s talking points is its connectivity options. It supports 4G LTE on both SIM cards, Wi-Fi b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, FM Radio, and USB OTG. In the time spent with the smartphone, call quality was satisfactory and we didn t come across any call drops.
Making sure everything ticks is a 2,500mAh removable battery, which according to Micromax is good enough to provide eight hours of talking and up to 11 days on standby mode. In our usage, the battery struggled to last an entire day. Our test included about half hour of calls, an hour of messaging on WhatsApp, push notifications from two email accounts, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, and gaming as well. With this usage, the battery was able to last about eight hours. A more judicial usage will push the battery life to around the 10-12 hours mark.
In conclusion, the Micromax Canvas Nitro 4G has quite a few positive like a good design and build quality, stock Android, LTE support, and overall performance, but is let down by the camera and disappointing battery life. As mentioned at the start of this review, Micromax s smartphone faces stiff competition from rivals on either side of its price tag, and unfortunately it is not able to leave its mark.
The likes of the Yu Yureka Plus and Lenovo K3 Note are priced lower and offer features like 1080p display and better battery life. While the slightly more expensive Motorola Moto G (third-generation) offers timely software updates, and water resistant capabilities.