Samsung is trying to target the young and still budget buyers with this phone but it fails to impress. The phone may attract people with it’s low price tag and a speedy processor but, trust me you gonna repent your buy. You can only do basic functionalities with this phone and nothing great.
One sentence verdict : Not for the Youth !.
We would definitely not recommend this phone to you. Go for a Dell XCD35 or Micromax A70 instead. You can also spend more bucks and go for LG Optimus One P500 phone, which is our best pick in Below 10,000 Android phones.
This phone is available for pre-order on Letsbuy website for a price of 7499 and you can use discount coupons like “ICICILB” , “AMEXLB” or “HSBCLB1″ to get additional discounts.
Sony Ericsson released the Mini Pro version of it’s popular Xperia series and this is a clear superior to the Xperia X10 mini pro phone that attracted many eyeballs last year.
A good QWERTY keypad
Sony Bravia Engine for display enhancement
XLoud technology for sound enhancement
Flash support in browser
Relatively smaller screen
Some noise in videos taken in quiet environment
Insufficient battery for a 1GHz processor powered smartphone
The phone has a 3 inch LED backlit display which is a little smaller than standard 3.2 inch displays that flood the Android market. Thanks to the Sony Bravia Engine support, you would not complain about the display. Such impressive is the 320 * 480 pixel resolution display.
You have two touch-sensitive standard android button for options and back one on either side of the center hard home button.
Volume rocker and camera buttons are on the right side. The impressive QWERTY slider keyboard slides along on the left. The buttons are fairly large and nicely spaced. Those with large fingers might find a little difficulty pressing the buttons.
The camera can shot great pictures in day light. In dark, the shots were not that impressive despite the help of an LED flash. Coming to videos, it can capture videos at 720p which were pretty good. Take a look at the following video sample to get a feel of it. There’s a glitch here that you need to know. In silent environments, you notice a strange sound along with the video which is possibly from the earpiece. Guys at Sony Ericsson have promised to solve this problem with a software update though the problem seems to be with a hardware component.
The front-facing camera is quite good for video-chatting.
Listening to music on Sony phones has been a awesome experience and this doesn’t spoil that reputation. Surprisingly, the sound quality was inferior to LG Optimus One P500 phone but still better by normal standards. The Xloud technology adds some zing to enhance the sound. You can notice the difference with and without XLoud technology in the following video(credit to http://www.youtube.com/user/sonyericssonrus):
Watching videos is also an awesome experience and the colors were very crisp. Without the default video player you can only play mp4, 3gp files. You got to get some other video player from the Android market like the Mobo player to extend support to mkv,Xvid and DivX files.
You get a 2Gb Micro SD card free with the phone which is obviously not enough for today’s phones. But the Micro SD card is hot-swappable which means you can change the memory card without removing the battery. That’s impressive but you will have to remove the battery cover to do this.
The 1200 mAh battery for such a high-end phone was definitely not enough and disappointed us. A 1500 mAh battery would have been good. On 3G network, the phone doesn’t provide much juice if you are playing with it for most of the time. Follow some standard battery saving rules to get more battery life. The charger set is a must-carry with this phone and you will need to charge this twice a day if you are a power user.
In normal use, and on 2G network, you can save the charge through a day and a half. By normal use, I meant 2 hours of browsing, 3 hours of music playback and an hour of video watching coupled with an hour of calls.
I would seriously cannot think of alternatives to this phone. Such awesome is the phone and the price that you would want to get this phone without much thinking. But, if you still want some, here they are:
If QWERTY slider is a must for you, consider Samsung Galaxy 551. But this is an unsuccessful model from Samsung because of it’s bad battery life and inferior specs. Understandably, Galalxy 551 is cheaper at sub-10K price and it even lacks the front camera.
You can consider Spice Mi-410 which is equally powerful but less costly. With this, you get a bigger 4.1 inch but unimpressive display without QWERTY slider.
The recently launched Motorola Fire XT is also a cheaper options sans the slider keyboard. Fire XT has a inferior processor @ 800 MHz and a larger battery.
I just can’t stop from recommending my all-time favorite budget Android- LG Optimus One P500 to you. This model is highly successful, surprisingly faster, has good features and most importantly, very cheap.
Motorola Fire is a pretty good entry level Android smartphone that can respond to your messaging needs. Sporting a full QWERTY keypad with pretty attractive colors, it can be your perfect Android QWERTY phone if you can sacrifice a few things.
Going into the Pros and Cons of the device,
Good design, stylish
Fair battery life
Not so good UI
Lagging at times
No LED flash,autofocus for Camera
Less RAM,slower processor
Motorola Fire has a 2.8″ capacitive touch screen with QVGA resolution(240*320 pixels). There is also a full QWERTY keypad below the screen,so, you need not feel pain typing out messages on the touch screen.
The phone is available for pre-order on Flipkart at a price of 9199. As you know, the prices will drop within 2-3 months if not earlier. So, if you are not in a rush, you can wait a little longer.
LG Optimus Net is another Android phone from the company. This phone was announced together with Optimus Net model which we have reviewed earlier. This phone comes with a physical QWERTY keypad which is why the tag of ‘pro’ is attached with it.
The phone comes with a 800 MHz processor with 256 Mb RAM included in the system. Now ,we have to say that RAM would not keep the power users happy.Atleast 384 or 512 Mb of RAM would have been great. The on-board storage is just 150 Mb but a 2Gb memory card is free inside the package. As usual, the memory is extendable upto 32 Gb using SD card.
With 3.15 MP camera, you can take great pictures. But it lacks an LED flash and autofocus. It supports geo-tagging, though, so you can geo-locate your photos. Video recording ,too , will be a good exercise as it records VGA at 24 fps. This is a little better than Optimus One which records at 18 fps.
The phone comes with Android Gingerbread (2.3.3) version pre-installed on it, which is pretty nice. It has support for WiFi b/g/n and it can also act as a Wi-fi hotspot which means you can use the data plan of your phone wirelessly on your PC. This has support for bluetooth 3.0 as well.
There is not much choice we could make with colors as it is only available in black color as of now.
The battery life , again , will be nothing short of great. This is because of the 1500 mAh battery present in the phone. The same battery is used in the Optimus One P500 and Optimus Net phone also.Moreover, compared to the full-touch versions, battery should logically last a little longer in this phone as it has only a 2.8” screen compared to the 3.2” one in others. Ofcourse, the back-lit QWERTY keypad consumes a little battery.
The performance of audio is great. There is support for mp3, wav files. Video playing on the screen is only so-so as the resolution of the phone is at 240*320 pixels. A resolution of 320*480 pixels would have been great.The phone supports mp4 and other formats. Support for Divx and Xvid videos is not known yet.
The price in India is around 10k. Flipkart, the best rated e-commerce store in India is accepting pre-orders for the phone if you pay 9990. That seems to be a fair price for such a nice phone. It is available for pre-order from Letsbuy also, where, it is priced at 10,199. By using the coupon code of “RCOMLB1″, an discount of 1000 can be availed, making the phone yours for just Rs 9199. This is the cheapest price for the phone in an online store.
Micromax is surely making it’s mark in the Android smartphone segment. After A60 got a bad response, A70 was a breather for the company. The next Android phone, we thought, would be named Andro A80. But, getting a little deviated from our expectations, the new Android phone from Micromax was named A85.
Here are few highlights of the phone which is not yet officially confirmed.
1 GHz NVIDIA Tegra 2 Dual Core processor
5 MP primary camera with autofocus, a VGA secondary camera on the front for video calling( Hopefully, Micromax learnt from A70 experience that secondary camera is meant for video calling over the network)
512 MB RAM, 8Gb internal storage
3.8 inch screen with 480*800 pixel resolution ( Not gorilla glass display !)
A 1650 mAh battery( really huge)
Comes with Android Gingerbread version (2.3) on board.
We obtained a leaked image of the Micromax A85 thanks to Bharat of iGyaan.Here it is:
The details of full specs are available at http://www.gsmarena.com/micromax_a85-4146.php. The expected price in India is around 14k. Spice Mi410 which, more or less has similar specs and specifications is available in select stores around 13-14K.
While it is unlikely that Micromax will announce an Gingerbread 2.3 update for Micromax A70, owners of this phone are very anxious to run Gingerbread on their phone.
Tech-savvy users are installing several ROMs onto their rooted Andro A70 to see if it works. But sadly, no one was successful so far. There are users who are trying to install CyanogenMod as well and found some success. One user ‘himraj13′ posted on http://forum.cyanogenmod.com/topic/29370-micromax-a70 that there is a way of installing CyanogenMod on A70 but the success of that trial is yet to be known from him.
He says that Clock work recovery mod 188.8.131.52 is supported on Andro A70 and so, by installing a ROM manager, CyanogenMod can be booted on the smartphone. But again, it was unknown whether this procedure has been successful or not. So, trying this can cause unknown harm to your Micromax A70 ( you are responsible for yourself !.).
Even Bharat from iGyaan is confident of running Android 2.3 on the phone and promises a video tutorial once he manages to do it.
I would closely follow the developments around updating Andro A70 to Gingerbread v 2.3 and would be updating you on this very page. So, keep coming back to this page once in a while. You can also contribute your findings through comments.