Micromax A115 Canvas 3D Review
Micromax has recently taken the budget smart phone market with their Canvas Series in India. The Micromax A115 Canvas 3D is another addition to the lineup. Cheaper than the Canvas 2 at launch, the Canvas 3D adds a 3D Stereoscopic Display into the mix. Lets see how it fares out in our full review.
Build Quality and Design
The Canvas series of phones including the Canvas 2 and Canvas HD are nicely built phones from Micromax. The Micromax A115 Canvas 3D takes it one step ahead. The back of the device is now coated with a soft touch material that makes the phone seem more robust and easy to handle. While the whole chassis is made of plastic it is able to withstand a couple of drops and high intensity jerks.
In terms of design the Micromax A115 Canvas 3D will be easily spotted from a distance, the unique build and design will also set it apart for those who want slightly premium looking phones. The ID of the phone resembles more HTC devices vs their previous obsession with Samsung Design. The phone does not appear to be the strongest phone at this time or even price, however it is well-built , looks and feels good in the hand.
The insides are laden with the previous-gen Mediatek 6577 chipset, which in terms of performance lacks behind, in comparison to many of the other devices available at a slightly higher price. Inbuilt storage remains at 4 GB, but the minute you insert a micro SD card the internal storage combines with the card enabling up to 34GB of capacity (32GB card + 2GB onboard). The RAM on the Canvas 3D is lower than required at 512 MB and you will see the grunt of it during gaming and application usage.
The Micromax A115 Canvas 3D’s name comes from the 5 inch 480 x 800 px Glasses-Free Stereoscopic 3D display, which turns on in certain applications including the 3D YouTube videos, certain apps from the 3D HUB and Picture preview. The camera is a 5 MP camera that combines two individually clicked images to make a 3D image, unlike other 3D phones which have dual sensors.
The power source is a 2000 mAh battery pack and is capable enough, read the battery section below.
Micromax A115 Canvas 3D and its Use
[pullquote_left]Economies of Scale vs Economies of Fail[/pullquote_left] So, a 3D display in a budget phone, what does that mean? Essentially, there are only two ways a technology becomes cheaper. One; if a tech has reached its saturation point, and enough development and numbers produced to make the process work for it, to make it cheaper (Economies of Scale). Two; if the technology was not successful to begin with and the stocks and design frameworks liquidate (Economies of Fail?). Well, Glasses Free 3D on mobile phone may as well be a part of the latter, while many companies including LG and HTC tried to make Glasses Free 3D phones. They were just not appreciated by the world, and eventually that technology thrown out. Nintendo used the Glasses Free 3D on their portable gaming console and that just did wonderfully well. The fact remains that the 3D technology is still at far from becoming mainstream, simply because it just does not look that good.
So thanks to the effect of expensive phones with this technology not being successful, the technology became cheaper, cheap enough to get fitted inside an under Rs. 10,000 phone for users to enjoy 3D content. Unfortunately there is no ALL time 3D switch , or any form of 2D to 3D conversion engine.
The content on 3D is also decent enough and enjoyed once in a while, and not all the time. So at the end it only plays to the fact that you have 3D in your phone, but you will not use it a lot.
Camera and Multimedia
The camera on the Micromax A115 Canvas 3D is a Fixed Focus 5 MP camera, that has a software ability to capture 3D images. Unlike standard 3D cameras which have two lenses, the Lens on the Micromax Canvas 3D utilizes time shift and user movement to capture a 3D image. The images are half decent and truly may not pass off as 3D images, unless the user is professionally focusing on the angle and the distance of the shot from the first click. Video shot is also poor quality, and is not shot in 3D mode. You do not have auto focus or tap to focus what so ever, the phone does recalibrate white balance and ISO for every picture taken.
Multimedia performance is good, you can enjoy 3D content on the Micromax Canvas 3D without the need of glasses. The viewing angles improve once in 2D mode, but are not great in 3D mode. The Micromax A115 Canvas 3D also has good sounding audio from the main speaker as well as through headphones.
Performance, Gaming and UI
Basic UI navigation within the interface was fast and fluid, we did face a bit of lag and it seemed that the phone held back when it came to performance. While the Canvas 2 did really well for Micromax, the Canvas 3D has the same performance only reduced by the 3D display’s punch of the graphics card.
In the case of the Micromax A115 Canvas 3D, almost all games are downloadable and installable thanks to the storage on memory card option. But, even though the phone can download, install and run almost all games, only basic games will work perfectly on this phone. The Canvas 3D does not have the capability of performing in games like NOVA 3 and Modern Combat 4, simply because of the lack of power under the hood. See out Gaming Video below.
The UI remains mostly vanilla, with only the addition of basic things like quick toggles in the notification panel, and custom apps and icons. Every other UI element looks and performs vanilla with the Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean OS, which comes as stock on the Micromax A115 Canvas 3D.
Phone and Networks
Phone call quality remained good throughout, with little or no dropped calls keeping the network strength in the high range. While the microphone and earpiece are great to use the Speakerphone is not as loud as some would expect.
Switching b/w Sim cards maybe still a problem, since both SIM slots don’t support 3G outright, only one fixed slot will run 3G at a time, creating issues in low or no network areas for that sim. You will get stuck on 2G or no data network on both sim cards.
The Micromax A115 Canvas 3D has varied battery life as we demonstrate below, in normal usage the phone lasted a good 5-6 hours on talk time, add any online access etc., the battery life for talk time drops to just 3 hours.[tabgroup]
Standby : 48 Hours
Gaming : 2-3
Online : 5 hours
Music 7 hours
Standby : 54 Hours
Gaming : 3
Online : 5 hours
Music 7 hours [/tabgroup]
While The Micromax Canvas 3D brings to the market which no other company is offering in the price bracket, one truly needs to understand the give and take for it. Does one really need the 3D feature? why not. If you are getting the same performance like other products in the price bracket and yet you get additional features, why would you refuse. For the sake of the argument, the A115 is as good as the A110 but with 3D powers.
If you want performance and gaming capabilities, you should seriously reconsider your price bracket, No, you cannot get a Samsung Galaxy S4 replacement in Rs. 10,000 not yet anyway.
More than anything the Micromax A115 Canvas 3D gives you yet another option in this wide array of phones in the market. If you were considering the A110 the A115 is another option to consider. In Our opinion Micromax has held back on their hardware capabilities and should have used the newer Mediatek Chipset instead of the outdated underpowered MTK 6577.
Full Review Video