Karbonn and Micromax have been fighting to get the top spot in the mid-range phablet market in India. Micromax are with their fourth Canvas phone – the Canvas 4 while Karbonn are struggling to establish a single series and they have a very able Karbonn S5 Titanium.
The Canvas 4 was launched in July while the Karbonn S5 Titanium was released back in May. Both the devices have quite a lot of differences starting right from their internals with the Micromax Canvas 4 being powered by MediaTek’s Quad-core processor while Karbonn S5 Titanium is powered by a quad-core processor from Qualcomm. Both the devices also have different price points with the Canvas 4 on the higher mid-range while the S5 Titanium falls into the low mid-range category.
Lets check out how the two devices stack up against each other.
Design, Build Quality and Handling
The Micromax Canvas 4 and Karbonn S5 Titanium follow different design approaches. The Canvas 4 has a plastic body with brushed aluminum at the sides giving it a highly premium build and feel. The S5 Titanium on the other hand has an all plastic build. Both the devices are highly glossy and become finger magnets within few minutes of usage.
On the front, above the display, the Canvas 4 has the 5MP camera at the right of the earpiece along with the proximity and ambient sensors. On the S5 Titanium, the front facing 2MP camera is at the left of the earpiece and the proximity and ambient sensors are to the left of the camera.
Below the display we have the capacitive touch keys on both the phones. The keys remain hidden in the Canvas 4 and are lit only when they are pressed while they are always visible on the S5 Titanium .
The location of the power button and the volume rocker is same on both these phones with the power button being placed on the right side and the volume rocker on the left side. However, the finish and build quality of the keys is completely different and the Canvas 4 is better than the S5 Titanium. The keys are made of brushed aluminum and feel pretty solid while the S5 Titanium has plastic keys.
In the Canvas, we have the 3.5mm Audio jack at the top and the microSD card at the bottom, while both these ports are found at the top on the S5 Titanium.
On the back, the Canvas has its 13-megapixel camera at the top left corner with the single LED flash to the right of it and on the S5 Titanium, the 8MP camera is at the top center with the LED flash right next to it. The speaker grill on the Canvas 4 is at the bottom center, while it is slightly to the left side in the S5 Titanium.
Removing the battery cover on both the phones reveals a 2000 mAh Li-ion battery. In both the phones, the SIM cards are placed nearby the battery . However, to remove the SIM card, you need to take the battery off. The microSD card is hot-swappable only in the S5 Titanium.
On the whole, the build quality of Micromax Canvas 4 was better and it felt solid in hand though slippery at times. The Karbonn S5 Titanium did not match up to Canvas 4 in terms of build quality, but was solid and easy to handle.
The Canvas 4 has a 5inch HD display while the S5 Titanium has a 5inch qHD display. We found that the Canvas 4’s display has a slight blue tint to it and the blacks are not completely black. In terms of contrast, we definitely liked the display on the Titanium S5.
The display on the Canvas 4 was better because of higher resolution, better viewing angles and higher brightness but there was blue tint that was very prominent. On the S5 Titanium, the display had true colors and the contrast was quite good.
The Canvas 4 is powered by the 1.2GHz Quad Core processor MT6589 MediaTek processor, has 1GB of RAM and the graphics are taken care by the PowerVR SGX544 GPU. The S5 Titanium on the other hand is powered by a Snapdragon 200 MSM8625Q Quadcore processor, has 1GB RAM and graphics is handled by Adreno 203 GPU.
Canvas 4 has 16GB of internal storage while the Karbonn S5 has just 4GB internal storage. The user accessible memory in the Canvas 4 is 10GB while that in the Karbonn S5 is just 1.7GB.
Out of the 1GB RAM, the total available RAM was around 970MB and when the devices were idle, the free RAM was 570MB in the Canvas 4 while it was 600MB in the S5 Titanium.
In daily use, the apps opened slightly faster on the Canvas 4 and switching apps was better, but only by smaller margin.
The benchmarks showed mixed results with Canvas 4 leading the AnTutu, GFX Bench 2.5 Egypt HD, GFX Bench 2.7 T-Rex HD, Nenamark 2, Linpack Multi-thread and Vellamo while the S5 Titanium had better scores in Quadrant and Linpack Single Thread. The Canvas 4 performed better in all te GPU intensive benchmarks, while the S5 Titanium was slightly better in the CPU related ones.
Overall, both the devices are good, but the Canvas 4 felt slightly faster and smoother.
The Micromax Canvas 4 has a 13MP rear camera and records 1080p videos while the 5MP front camera records 720p videos. The Karbonn S5 Titanium on the other hand has an 8MP camera at the back that records 720p videos and a 2MP camera at the front that shoots 480p videos.
The Camera UI on the both devices are different. The camera app on the Canvas 4 has more shooting modes and has a single screen for both the videos and photos. However, the S5 Titanium has only three shooting modes – normal, panorama and speedify. It can shoot only horizontal panoramas, while the Canvas 4 can shoot both vertical and horizontal panoramas. The Canvas 4 camera app lets you choose a lot of settings like image size that , but on the S5 Titanium, there is no option to specify what size your image should be and there is only one option for aspect ratio which lets you pick between 16:9 and 4:3. The 4:3 options shoots an 8MP photo while the 16:9 shoots a 6MP photo.
In terms of both image quality, the Canvas 4 had better images. The colors were rich and the level of details was better than the S5 Titanium. Canvas 4’s Full HD videos were much better than S5 Titanium’s 720p videos in terms of colors, saturation and details.
Overall, the camera on Micromax Canvas 4 is much better than the one on the Karbonn S5 Titanium and you can check out the video below to know more.
The Canvas 4 runs on Android 4.2, while the S5 Titanium runs on Android 4.1. Both the devices have near stock UI with very little customization. However, the Canvas 4 comes with a few software goodies from Micromax. One of them is the blow/shake to unlock , then an improved video player which has live thumbnails, smart pause and pop out features.
In terms of software, the Canvas 4 is a clear winner with more software features and a more recent version of Android.
Battery and Connectivity
Both the phones have 2000 mAh Li-ion user removable batteries. The battery life was almost similar with the Karbonn S5 Titanium lasting little more than the Canvas 4 because of a lesser resolution screen and a more power-efficient processor.
Both the phones have the usual smartphones connectivity kit including WiFi, Bluetooth, 3G, GPS and micro-USB along with Dual-SIM connectivity. The Canvas 4 has HSDPA+ that allows download speeds up to 42 Mbps while the Canvas HD has usual HSDPA modem that has a maximum download speed of 21 Mbps.
The Micromax Canvas 4 is priced at Rs18,000 while the Karbonn S5 Titanium is available for Rs. 11,000. The difference of Rs. 7000 gets you a better cameras, more internal storage, better display and better build quality. The Canvas 4 is the smartphone to go if you are looking to get a smartphone around Rs. 20,000, but if you are looking for a budget device around Rs. 10,000 , then the S5 Titanium would be a better choice.
Advantages of Micromax Canvas 4 over Karbonn S5 Titanium
- Better display
- Better Build quality
- Newer version of Android and software features
- Much better camera
- Higher internal storage
Advantages of Karbonn S5 Titanium over Micromax Canvas 4
- Much cheaper
- Better value for money
- Slightly better battery backup
Contributed by Monish Kumar