The Micromax Andro A70 was one of the most anticipated phones of this quarter, especially in the sub Rs. 8000 bracket. To be honest, at first we thought of it as just a minor upgrade to the existing Andro A60. But as we reviewed this little marvel we began so see a major change in its operation. Lets see why the Andro A70 is our pick for the price range.

Build Quality and Design

Reminiscent of the Nexus One’s design, the Micromax Andro A70 is built with sturdy plastics. Nice curvaceous ends make it an extremely attractive design, and very comfortable to hold in the hand. The screen on the front is tough and provides the extra protection required for a touch phone of this nature. The buttons are tactile and easy to use, the overall standard of construction is quite impressive.

The front of the display is also glass and not plastic unlike its predecessor, Which makes the overall build of the device impressive. The phone is sturdy and does not make rattling noises even when tossed around.

 

Hardware 

  •   Android 2.2 (Froyo)
  •   Camera Primary 5.0 MP Secondary – VGA
  •   600MHz Processor
  •   3.2 inch Multi Touch Capacitive Screen
  •   Mi – apps –  application store by Micromax
  •  Full Android Market
  •   WCDMA 2100 MHz
  •   HSDPA 7.2 Mbps
  •   Mi-Fi Pocket Wireless Internet
  •   GPS             
  •   Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g
  •   Battery 1450mAh
  •   Proximity Sensor
  •   Gravity Sensor

Camera and Multimedia

A surprisingly interesting 5 MP camera with autofocus that delivers exceptionally good pictures. The camera displays great skill when it comes to auto-focus and cannot be tackled down by any other device in this price range. Although colors appear washed out at first but a little playing around with the settings gives a good picture.

Video on the other hand is simply OK, you cannot expect much from the VGA video capability. A simple tweak, by changing the video quality settings to custom in the camera we were able to get VGA video. If you leave the video quality to high, it captures a much lower resolution video. A sample of the video can be seen in the videos below.

The Front facing camera, is a simple VGA camera and can be used for nothing but clicking self portraits and video. We tried several times to initiate a camera response from Skype /fring etc, but failed to do so.

The screen of the Andro A70 is great for watching videos and browsing the internet. It is also a capacitive 2 point multitouch screen, so pinch to zoom works great and with the 3.2 inch 320x480px screen text is crisp and easily read. 

Speakers are loud and clear when it comes to watching videos or simply listening to music. Overall multimedia experience was satisfactory and a lot more than you can expect from a device which costs only 7500 Rs.

Phone and Messaging

No complaints here, the phone call capability was excellent , little or no dropped calls, clear speaker and earpiece. the microphone also pics up sound aptly and delivers to the other side. One thing with mentioning is the number of connection errors faced in process of dialing a number were far more than any other device tested.

Messaging and emailing has also improved vastly over the previous A60 thanks to the inclusion of the capacitive screen. This makes the device almost brilliant, keyboard is nice and spread out and easy to type on even with relatively large fingers. The keyboard can also be easily replaced with customizable keyboards from the Marketplace, including Better Keyboard. Swype however does not work with the Andro A70.

 

Internet and Portable Hotspot

This section is dedicated to connectivity and utilization of the Internet, Data and WiFi. 
The A70 has a very weak WiFi antenna, and mostly requires you to be relatively close to the router to get a decent signal. This was kind of a let down especially after the excellent WiFi antenna on the Andro A60.

The Portable Hotspot also fails throughout the board, dropping WiFi and asking for reactivations several times.

Apart from the above, browsing works great on the A70 especially 3G networks perform as good as high end phones.

Battery Life

We were quite impressed with the battery life on the A70, with over 5 hours of talk time, and a good 7-8 of internet usage, upto 3 days of standby, make it an excellent device in terms of battery life. But with Android as an OS, you never know what app you install, suddenly battery life is critically lower than before. Overall great battery , be sure to inspect your apps if you face battery issues.

Conclusion

While its an extremely awesome device for its price, it definitely has its ups and its down . With limited WiFi range and useless front camera this device lacks little and gives more. Good things include impressive build quality, a great photo camera, Android 2.2, wifi hotspot, easily root-able ( with possibility of custom rome). This device is a little understated by the company. The UI is much improved and a launcher from the market like ADW launcher can make this device a gem with pinch home screens, and smooth scrolling. 

The Micromax Andro A70 is a good package for someone who wants to enter the Android ecosystem, or even a good upgrade for an A60 user. This device is also an excellent secondary device for a expensive smartphone. 

We say go for it!

[xrr rating=3.5/5 label=”We Rate it: ” imageset=shiny_yellow_star display_as=fraction_stars]

Video Sample

Unboxing Video

Full Review

Image Gallery

Developing……

 UPDATE: 

We got news from Micromax for Gingerbread and Video Calls : Read Here

iG Test Labs