Micromax Canvas Turbo Review
Micromax finally launched their first device with a full HD device after launching two devices, the Canvas HD A116 and the Canvas 4 A210 with HD displays. The Canvas Turbo features a 5-inch display, similar to other flagship Canvas series smartphones. Is the phone worthy at a price of Rs. 19,990? Let’s dive into the review to find it out.
We unboxed the device earlier this month. Here is the unboxing video.
The box contents include:
- Micromax Canvas Turbo smartphone
- Black tangle free in-ear headset with mic
- Flat and tangle-free micro USB cable
- Extra ear buds for the headset
- Travel charger with USB port
- Information booklets for SAR, features, Warranty and user manual.
- Micromax branded SIM ejector tool
The phone has a 5.0-inch (1920 x 1080 pixels) IPS display at a pixel density of 440 ppi. Micromax says that the display is based on CGS (Continuous Grain Silicon) technology. The display is bright and has great viewing angles. The colors are vibrant and the sunlight legibility could be better. Since it is glossy, it is prone to fingerprints.
There is a 5-megapixel fixed-focus camera on the front, which can record videos at 720p HD resolution. It also has a usual pair of proximity and ambient light sensors. There is also a LED notification light next to the camera, similar to the Canvas 4.
There are the usual set of capacitive touch buttons for menu, home and back, below the display. These are backlit and offer haptic feedback.
The phone is 8.66mm thick, bit thinner than the Canvas 4, which was 8.9mm thick. It weighs just 137 grams even though it is made of aluminum. The Canvas 4 was a bit heavier than this at 158 grams, which just had an aluminium frame.
On the right side there is a power button on the top and the volume rockers are present below it.
On the left side you can see two micro SIM slots. Both the trays are made of metal. Even though the phone has aluminium casing on the back, the sides are made of plastic. This might be due to the presence of 3G radios on the sides of the device.
Micromax also offers a SIM card removal tool in the box to remove the SIM card trays easily.
The micro USB slot is present on the top.
Unlike most of the smartphones, you have the 3.5mm jack on the bottom. You also have a tiny microphone hole next to it.
The phone has aluminium back cover, but the top and bottom part of the back are made of plastic. The Canvas 4 that had aluminium frame and the Doodle 2 had full aluminium back panel. Even though this has an aluminium back cover, it is not slippery, however it is prone to fingerprints. Since the SIM card slots are present on the sides, the back is not removable. Overall, the build quality is better than both the Canvas 4 and the Doodle 2.
On the back there is a 13-megapixel rear camera with single LED flash. The is a chrome ring around the camera, and the phone also has a secondary microphone next to the LED flash.
There is a loudspeaker grill on the bottom part of the back.
The 13-megapixel is likely to pack a Sony Exmor sensor similar to the Canvas 4. The camera UI is quite difference from Android phones from local OEMs running Android 4.2. Micromax is calling the camera as Camerazzi camera. On the right side you have the toggle for image and video, shutter button and image previews. On the left side, you have toggles to switch to front or rear camera and flash. Additionally you have a GIF Animation, 3D panorama which is similar to the Google Sphere and Object Removal, which is a popular feature that lets you remove a moving object by taking burst shots. It is probably developed by Scalado and licensed to OEMs. You can also easily switch to different camera modes including, HDR, Panorama, Scene shot. The settings menu lets you enable GPS location, adjust exposure, white balance, add color effects, and adjust anti-flicker mode. It also has burst mode that lets you capture 4 or 99 burst shots at once.
Images were decent, but you can see color noise in the images, when you zoom it. We did not face any auto focus issues like the Canvas 4 and the Macro shots were pretty good. Low light shots without flash had a lot of noise and the LED flash is overpowering, making the image look washed out. The front-facing camera is good, which also has face detection feature. It also has options to make the images much smoother and adjust the color.
Since the phone runs on Android 4.2, you get option to launch the camera directly from the lock screen, you can also Smart Gestures that lets you capture pictures by waving your had over the proximity sensor. The camera software was buggy, which crashed at times and took photos randomly. This could be fixed by a software updates.
Here are some photo samples
For sample samples check out the Micromax Canvas Turbo Camera Samples post here.
The phone can record videos at full HD 1080p resolution at 30fps. The video quality is good, but the color noise is clearly visible in the video too. The phone also has Electronic Image stabilization (EIS), similar to the Canvas 4.
Check out the full HD video sample below.
Check out the demo of the camera features, Cinemagraph, 360 Panorama Capture, Object Eraser
Here is the video review that lets you understand about the phone’s camera in detail
The phone runs on Android 4.2.1 Jelly Bean, similar to the Canvas 4. The UI is similar to other phones from Indian OEMs running on Android 4.2 with 5 homescreen. As usual you have lockscreen widgets and option to quickly launch the camera directly from the lock screen.
It has Quick settings and Rich Notifications that are part of Android 4.2.
You also get the M! Unlock app powered by foneclay that lets you unlock the lock screen jut by blowing Air or shaking the device. In the Canvas 4 Micromax introduced Smart Gestures feature with range of gestures options including option to attend incoming calls automatically by holding the phone close to the ear, dial a number by bringing it to close to ear after choosing a contact, change the profile to silent by flipping the phone upside down, put an incoming call on silent by flipping the phone over and keeping it down, and switch on the speaker phone on a call when you turn the phone upside down. There is also a tutorial to learn about the gesture in detail. In addition to these Micromax has added Proximity unlock feature that lets you unlock the phone by hovering your hand over the proximity sensor after pressing the unlock button. The Proximity incoming call feature lets you switch off the screen just by hovering over the proximity sensor when you receive a call. You can also capture an image in the camera mode just by hovering over the sensor.
Micromax has added popup browser, similar to the Canvas 4. It shows a popup window with a URL bar to open up a website. You can maximize to open it in the stock Android browser, but you can’t get back to the popup browser again after you maximize it. You also get the pinning feature to play videos in a small window. Again, you can minimize it to the notification bar and click the maximize button to open it in the video player. You also have a iFloat Tray which is a new feature that lets you access both these apps, in addition you have iFloat SMS and iPhone Phone, which offers pop-up SMS and Missed call notifications. You can directly reply to a SMS from the popup screen.
Out of 2GB of RAM, you get 1968MB of usable RAM. About 1205MB of RAM is free when the phone is idle. Out of 16 GB of internal storage you get 12.46 GB of user storage. The free phone memory is 0.98 GB.
The Canvas 4 had a SD card slot, but this lacks it. However you can move apps to the Internal SD card. The phone also comes with built-in OTA update feature that lets you download the latest update directly from the Micromax’s server.
The phone comes with lot of pre-loaded apps. The Utility apps include, Calculator, Calendar, Clock, File Manager, NoteBook, Email, Sound Recorder and ToDo . It also comes with the usual set of Google Apps. Other apps include, Opera mini, foneclay ( to download wallpapers), Hike messenger, Kingsoft Office (to view and edit documents) and Spuul (to view free movies). It also comes pre-loaded with couple of games, Jelly and Fruit Devil.
The M! Security app powered by NQmobile is an antivirus app with built-in features including privacy advisor, Anti-theft, anti-span and option to back up contacts. It has a Premium Zone that lets you purchase additional features. You also get the Game Hub app that lets you purchase games.
Music Player and FM Radio
The music player has a new user interface similar to the Canvas 4. It can play different audio formats and the slide-out bar shows lists the songs in the music library under different categories. You can enable the equalizer for Bass boost and 3D effect features when you are listening using earphones. Audio from the bundled ear phones with tangle-free wire is good, loudspeaker output is also decent, but it could be better. The Music Store inside the music player lets you purchase the songs. The phone has FM Radio with auto search, RDS and recording.
The Video player can handle full HD 1080p videos and supports range of formats. It has pinning feature, option to preview a video when other video playing and pause on look away, similar to the Canvas 4. You can also adjust the brightness and volume by swiping on the left and right side of the screen respectively, while the video is playing.
Calls and Messaging
Since this is a dual SIM phone, you get options to switch to either SIM cards from the notification bar. There are two buttons in the dialer that lets you choose the SIMs while placing a call, as well as option to select the default SIMs from the drop down notification bar. Sending an SMS is similar to the other dual SIM phones. The keyboard is stock, similar to the other Micromax phones running on Android 4.2.
Dual SIM and Connectivity
The phone has SIM manager option that lets you set a default SIM for several operations including voice call, video call, Messaging and Data connection. You can also choose ‘Always ask’ option for voice calls and Messaging that gives you option to complete the operation after you choose either SIM cards. Both the SIMs support 3G, but you can use 3G on only one SIM at a time. Connectivity features include, 3G (HSDPA: 42 Mbps, HSUPA: 11 Mbps), Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth v 4.0 with A2DP and GPS. It has support for wireless display like most of the phones on Android, that lets you share content from the phone to a HDTV by connecting a wireless display adapter to a HDMI-enabled TV. The phone supports USB on-the-go (OTG) feature similar to the Canvas 4.
Performance and Benchmarks
The phone is powered by a 1.5 GHz quad-core MediaTek MT6589T processor with PowerVR SGX 544MP GPU with 2GB RAM. Even though 2GB of RAM is sufficient, the processor is not powerful to handle a 1080p display, which results in laggy UI. Even though the UI mostly stock unlike some of its competitors, the phone takes time to switch between apps when multitasking. You can try an alternate launcher, which might be a bit faster, but you can’t prevent lags completely. Check out some synthetic benchmark tests.
The Micromax A250 scores 4718 points in the Quadrant benchmark and lies between the Elife E6 and the Spice Pinnacle FHD.
AnTuTu Benchmark 3.3
It manages to score 14048 points in the AnTuTu Benchmark 3.3
Vellamo 2.0 HTML5
The Canvas Turbo scores 1588 points in the Vellamo 2 HTML5 browser benchmark. Check out the complete set of Micromax Canvas Turbo benchmarks here.
We tried out some games on the device with a PS3 controller. Here is the Asphalt 7 gameplay on the Canvas Turbo. The graphics quality was good, but the gameplay performance was bad with occasional lags.
Here is the NOVA 3 Gameplay on the Canvas Tubo. Thanks to the PowerVR SGX 544MP GPU, the graphics was good, again the gameplay performance was affected by occasional frame drops.
Here is the gaming review of the Canvas Turbo, which features the gameplay videos of Riptide GP2, Asphalt 8 and Gangstar Vegas.
Overall, the gaming performance it average on the Canvas Turbo.
Micromax has been using a 2000 mAh battery on all their recent flagship devices, the Canvas HD, Canvas 4 and the Canvas Turbo. With few calls, SMS, few image captures, few hours of music playback and some 3G usage, it lasts less than a day. If you use 3G data, watch some full HD videos and play high-end games, it’ll last less than half a day. Battery life on the device is strictly average. Lack of power saver apps or implementation of some kind of battery tech to improve the battery life is disappointing.
Even though the Micromax Canvas Turbo is a major upgrade compared to the Canvas 4, performance and the battery life of the phone is not impressive. Display and build quality is good as usual, but this lacks a expansion slot. At a price tag of about Rs. 19,990, if you can compromise on the performance and the battery life, for the display and build quality, go for it.
- Good display
- Good build quality
- Good Camera
- Average performance
- No expandable storage
- Battery life could be better