By: Anil Satapathy, The Mobile Indian, New Delhi
Last updated : Thursday, April 16, 2015 - 20:24
Lava Icon is undoubtedly one of the best phones in terms of design in the price bracket.
Sexy glass design
Lags while playing game
Erratic screen response
Battery charge drops quickly
Appearance is one of the important aspects of mobile phones and many do infact purchase handsets on the basis of design only. That is why handset manufacturers these days give a lot of attention to the design aspect. Even budget devices these days have nifty design features such as the new Lava Icon which has a glass finish design along with a silver coloured rim which is made of plastic but looks like metal. Infact, the back panel of Lava Icon resembles a lot with Sony's high end devices.
Lava Icon was launched last week for Rs 11,990 and is available exclusively on Snapdeal. The Lava Icon offers a 5 inch HD IPS display, 5 megapixel front camera, 13 megapixel rear camera with dual LED flash, 1.3 GHz quad core processor, 2 GB RAM, Android KitKat operating system, 16 GB internal memory, 32 GB expandable storage slot, 3G, WiFi, micro USB port and Bluetooth. It comes armed with a 2500 mAh battery that claims to offer 9 hours of talktime on 3G. For detailed specs, click the "Specification" icon appears on the left corner.
We had the Lava Icon soon after its launch in India on April 9 and here is our opinion on the phone.
As I said earlier, the Lava Icon sports an exquisite glass body (front and rear panels) surrounded by a chrome finish plastic thread that covers its four sides. There is a thin metal strip on the bottom of the front display that gives the phone necessary contrast to otherwise full black display. Just above this strip lies three off screen touch buttons while above the display lies the front camera along with speaker grill.
The back panel is much more neat; the fully black rear panel has two LED flash lights and a camera unit at the top left while a speaker grill is located towards the bottom. The brand name "Lava" is aesthetically written on the panel as well.
As many of you have gauged by now, the Lava Icon's back cover is not removable as it has a glass design. The SIM card and micro SD card slots are thus located on its side panels. For both the SIM slots (micro SIM) there is one jacket on the right hand side. With the supplied pin, you need to take it out and place your micro SIMs inside. The micro SD card slot is located on the left side.
So all in all, the Lava Icon is a great looking handset but at the same time I want to emphasis that due to the glass body it is prone to smudges and needs to be cleaned up every now and then. Also, one should take precautions to avoid accidental slipping of the device because the glass body can be damaged as a result of it.
The Lava Icon has a 5 inch touchscreen. This is an IPS panel and as usual allowed wide angle viewing.It also, offers the necessary high definition resolution (720p) for a crisp image output. Brightness also is just sufficient, even in bright outdoors.
However, I found some abnormalities with the touch response of the screen. One can say, it was a bit erratic. Many a times while using camera, playing games, or simply while checking out the phone, the phone did not respond at all to touch inputs. Even the off screen buttons showed erratic behaviour.
Lava Icon has a 5 megapixel front camera with Omni Vision sensor, F2.4 aperture, 4P lens and BSI-II sensor with blue glass filter. The Blue glass filters said to protect the sensitive image sensor against overexposure in the infrared wavelength range and delivers flawless pictures. For the front camera, there is face beauty mode and two sliders are available for whitening and smoothness.
On the rear panel, it has a 13 megapixel camera with dual LED flash, Sony Exmor sensor, 5P lens, F2.0 aperture and blue glass filter. For this camera there is face beauty mode, Face detection mode, HDR, Panorama, smile shot and multi view features. The whitening and smoothness sliders are also available for the rear camera too.
These fully armed cameras delivered as was claimed by Lava. Both the rear and front cameras offer plenty of details as per their resolution. They are equally good in both low lighting as well as bright outdoors. Colour output and focusing could have been better but it is above average for sure.
To check out samples, clickhere.
The Lava Icon comes with Android 4.4.2 KitKat operating system out of the box. This OS runs on a 1.3 GHz quad core processor (Mediatek MT6582) with the help of Mali 400 MP2 graphics processor and 2 GB RAM. The combination should have been enough for both day to day tasks and heavy games. However, during our tests the phone though managed to play Modern Combat 5 with ease, it wasn't the smoothest experience. It takes time to open and close apps; lags were visible too. The result was indeed surprising; with such muscles we were not expecting this result. In all likelihood, there are some bugs in the device which we feeml can be rectified with an update.
Also, if look at the battery the Lava Icon has a good-looking 2500 mAh Li-Ion battery which for a 5 inch display bearing smartphone looks perfectly okay. However, it never offered us even 12 hours of back up on mixed usage, leave alone for a day. Battery power depletes thick and fast no matter what you use it for - gaming, browsing, camera etc. This again might be due to some software issue.
Storage and Connectivity
The Lava Icon has 16 GB of internal memory of which about 12 GB is available for users. There is also an expandable storage slot which officially can handle 32 GB of micro SD card. In our case though the phone managed to accommodate a 64 GB micro SD card. You can also use external storage devices (like pen drive) directly with the Lava Icon using a USB OTG cable.
As I said earlier, the Lava Icon has two micro SIM card slots but it offers only 3G connectivity and not 4G like many of its competitors. There is WiFi for internet access as well while Bluetooth 4.0 and micro USB port can be used for transferring files. The Lava Icon has GPS with A-GPS for navigation.
Images by Sushil Kumar
The Lava Icon at Rs 11,499 looks great with plenty of storage, great cameras, and a sexy glass design. However, its touchscreen issues, battery backup and occasional lags reduces its shine a bit. Let's hope their lava releases some software updates to rectify the above-mentioned issue so that the smartphone becomes beauty with the brains.