itel A44 First Impressions

Along with the S42, itel has also catered budget segment with the launch of A44 smartphone that includes a Fullscreen 18:9 display, fingerprint scanner and Bike mode. The itel A44 is the company’s attempt to provide high-quality hardware at a price that appeals to the mass market consumers. With this device, the company is looking to up their smartphone game in the offline market. Now, let’s take a closer look at the interesting mix of both hardware and software on itel A44.

The itel A44 is visually appealing with 5.45-inch IPS 18:9 aspect ratio FWVGA+ IPS Full Lamination display amidst the black bezel that tends to fade away once the display gets off. The phone feels well-built, sleek and offers good grip despite being plastic finish.

On the top of the display, we have a big camera module with a 5MP sensor of 1.4µm and f/2.0 aperture, an earpiece and a front flash.

The right side of the device has the power button and volume rockers, while the left side has Smart Key located perfectly for easy access. 3.5mm audio jack is present on the top, loudspeaker grill, primary microphone and micro USB port are present on the bottom.

The back cover of the phone is removable, inside where we have dedicated Dual SIM slot, MicroSD slot, and a removable battery too.

The back panel is clean and brings emphasis to the 5MP Auto Focus camera module placed up top while the symmetrically placed single LED flash is placed below it. This device at this price point has a multi-function fingerprint scanner and it works fast as well, surprisingly. All the buttons are easy to reach out to and with lightweight, it fades away when it’s in the pocket.

In terms of software, the itel A44 uses a near-stock build of Android 7.0. The combination of a quad-core MediaTek MT6737M processor and 1GB RAM ensure that the phone keeps running pretty smooth.

One of the main highlights of the smartphone is its customizable smart key that can be mapped to perform several functions when you click it once, double-click or long press. It can also be used to launch Bike Mode that lets you  auto mute, hang up or auto reply to incoming calls with an SMS while you are driving.

In reality, the performance is satisfactory as it flies through most tasks and even handles gaming with ease. For a device of its class, the A44 performs admirably well and performance was satisfactory as well. It has an on-board storage of 8GB with an expandable option through MicroSD card up to 32GB. The device comes with a range of connectivity options including WiFi 4.0, Bluetooth, GPS, 4G VoLTE and USB OTG as well.

The itel A44 is powered by 2400mAh battery with up to 240 hours of standby time. Perhaps the most important feature of this device is the Smart Key that helps to enable Bike mode and also lets the user take photos and manage calls easily. When it comes to multimedia consumption, the 5.45-inch display and loudspeaker grill at the bottom combine to deliver an improved multimedia experience.

Priced at Rs.5,799, the itel A44 indeed offers good competition in a market that is budget sensitive. The itel A44 balances design, ergonomics, software features like Bike mode and decent performance to offer a well-balanced device for anyone looking for a smartphone in the price range.