Spice MI-535 Pinnacle Pro Review
Spice has consistently done a good job of providing well built phones with decent performance and affordable price points. With the Spice Stellar Pinnacle Pro, the company aims to continue this tradition.We spent some time with the Spice Pinnacle Pro and here’s our review of the handset.
The Pinnacle Pro is one of the more generic looking handsets out there and as such Spice hasn’t done much to make it stand out from the herd. The front of the phone is dominated by the 5.3 inch screen. Three capacitive buttons line up below the screen and work as expected.
Above the screen is a front facing camera. With dimensions of 152 x 79 x 10.3 m, the Pinnacle Pro is one of the larger handsets in its category. Weighing almost 196 grams, you definitely feel the heft of the phone however it is evenly distributed and isn’t really an issue in day to day usage.
Spice has bestowed the Pinnacle Pro with a power key, volume rocker and even a dedicated camera key in terms of buttons. The buttons provide decent feedback and are fairly easy to access given the dimensions of the phone.
We really like the material used by the company on the backcover of the handset. The back panel looks like brushed aluminum even though it is made of plastic and feels great in the hand. The soft touch material also helps keep fingerprints to a minimum and makes the phone less prone to slipping.
There is no forgiving the fact that the Pinnacle Pro falls behind the competition with its qHD screen considering the competition has mostly moved on to 720p panels. That said, the IPS display is one of the best looking ones we’ve so far in the category.
Color reproduction is absolutely fantastic and images, videos appear bright and vibrant. The lower resolution can be noticed in the browser and soft edges can be spotted on close inspection. In daily usage however, it is perfectly serviceable though we’d have most definitely preferred a higher resolution panel given the size of the screen.
Spice has kept the software customizations to a minimum which leaves us an almost clean build of Android. A few popular applications like Facebook and Google Currents come preinstalled on the phone.
Looking into the settings pane of the phone, it is possible to set up scheduled switch on and off times for the Pinnacle Pro which will be appreciated by users who prefer to shut down their phone at night.
Beyond that, the interface is clean and bereft of any additions that come in the way of usage. The stock interface definitely contributes to keeping things running smooth all around.
The Spice Pinnacle Pro is powered by a 1.2 Ghz Quad Core Processor and PowerVr SGX 544 graphics chip. 1GB of RAM allows users to multitask freely. In our usage, we felt that Spice has done a great job optimizing the software build for this phone as we struggled to find event a hint of lag. Synthetic benchmarks tell only half the story and as can be seen below, the Pinnacle Pro is definitely not a scorcher in the benchmark department. That said, general performance on the handset was very satisfactory.
The GLBenchmark test stresses the GPU on the Pinnacle Pro. The PowerVR SGX 544 chip manages to score 12FPS in the Egypt HD test.
In the Quadrant test, the Pinnacle Pro scores 3981 points which is about in line with handsets like the Canvas HD. Not the most powerful but enough to provide a very decent user experience.
The camera has an 8MP sensor and manages to take acceptable images in bright lighting. Low light images are predictably below average and we wouldn’t really recommend using the Spice Pinnacle Pro for night time shots. A dual LED flash can be seen to the right of the camera for those situations when you really must use a flash to take a shot.
As can be seen below, images are usable but the camera doesn’t capture much detail. This is particularly evident in the trees on the left where all the leaves have been smudged to create one green mass.
The camera can capture video in up to 720p and results tend to be crisp. That said, we experienced hit or miss focussing because of which the end result wasn’t all that great.
Battery Life & Connectivity
The Spice Stellar Pinnacle Pro comes with a 2,550 mAh battery pack that provides well over a day of autonomy. In fact, it is possible to get up to 2 days of usage time with frugal usage.
Connectivity options include bluetooth, WiFi. A micro SD card slot is provided to augment the built in 16GB of storage. The handset is of the dual SIM variety.
The Spice Stellar Pinnacle Pro is a commendable effort by the company and provides a solidly built handset for not too much money. The IPS display impresses even though the resolution isn’t all that great.
The camera proves to be a let down for what is otherwise a great phone. The stellar performance on the other hand makes up for this. The Spice Stellar Pinnacle Pro is a great phone but prospective buyers should also take a look at alternatives like Zen 701HD before making a decision.
- Build quality