By: Anil Satapathy, The Mobile Indian, New Delhi
Last updated : Tuesday, November 11, 2014 - 18:04
The Lava Iris X5 has a 5 megapixel camera and an LED flash in the front which makes it one of the best budget phones for selfies.
Has a great front camera with LED flash
Decent battery back up
Decent looks and storage
Ain't the best gaming device in its segment
Rear camera isn't that great
Back in September this year, Lava had announced the Iris X5 for Rs 8,799. The highlight of Iris X5 is its 5 megapixel rear camera; Lava also sells it as a phone "made for selfies". It has a decent looking 8 meagpixel rear camera too. Besides camera, the Iris X5 looks great in other departments too with 5 inch touchscreen with high definition resolution, Android KitKat operating system and a 1.2 GHz quad core processor. It has 1 GB RAM, 8 GB internal memory and 32 GB expandable storage slot. Moreover, the Lava Iris X5 has a 2100 mAh Li-Ion battery. At the time of writing, the Lava Iris X5 was being offered by various e-retailers for Rs 8,649.
These days, almost all Android smartphones above Rs 6,000 offer similar features. Thus we put the X5 into some rigorous tests to see whether it is a paper tiger or a real one.
Lava's smartphones are always known for their design. Especially, its X series devices are known for their killer looks such as the older Lava Iris X1. The craftsmanship reflects in X5 too. The Lava Iris X5 features a 5 inch display but is quite slim (Dimension: 143.5mm X 71.5mm X 7.7mm, Weight: 134 grams) and thus is easy to hold. The matte finished back panel feels smooth while the thick side panels with curved edges give it a stylish look. All this ensure a good grip as well.
The X5 comes in black and white colours. In the black version, which we got for review, the back panel was in slight grey while the front and side panels are in pure black. Thankfully, the supplied cover is in black and hence matches the front part well. Here I should mention that the flip cover particularly impressed us with its quality. The faux leather cover panel gives it an executive look.
In the back panel, there are two LED flash lights below the rear camera unit. The rear camera lens is surrounded by a chrome circle and is at a lower level than the back panel surface and hence is not prone to scratches. A speaker grill is located towards the bottom of the rear panel. Note that the front camera too is flanked by an LED flash - which is quite a rare scene. There is an LED indicator besides the front LED light as well below which Lava has kept a speaker grill. Below the display, lies three off screen touch buttons.
All in all, the Lava Iris X5 seems to have been manufactured with care. It is though not the best handset in terms of look in this price range but it is certainly one of the lightest and is comfortable to use.
The Lava Iris X5 comes with a 5 inch display. Lava has wisely armed this display with high definition resolution (1280x720 pixels) while many devices under Rs 10,000 come with qHD or 854x480 pixels resolution.
The X5's display however has no Gorilla Glass or any other scratch resistant glass and hence one should use a protective cover or you will ruin the display pretty soon. A protective cover will also ensure less smudges. There is however no solution to its lack of brightness. The display looks great indoors but you would find it a bit hard to use outside under the blazing sun. The display of Lava Iris X5 though has good touch response.
The Lava Iris X5 is one of the few devices which come with 5 megapixel front camera and among even fewer phones with a front LED light â€“ that's why it is promoted as phone which is "made for selfies". The front camera comes with BSI sensor with wide angle lens.
Its rear 8 megapixel camera comes with BSI II sensor and has 1.4 Î¼m pixel size. However, the rear camera failed miserably during our test. Not only it takes too much time to focus, it also captures few detail. Though it has no issues in capturing colour but it fails in capturing moving objects.
As claimed the X5's front camera manages to capture colours and plenty of detail for a selfie which you can crop and modify to share on social networks.
The Lava Iris X5 has Android 4.4.2 KitKat operating system, to run which there is a 1.2 GHz quad core Broadcom VideoCore IV processor and 1 GB RAM. Of 1 GB RAM, you will get about 600 MB for operations. The combination managed to score a meagre 12584 on Antutu which says it has poor gaming capability.
So I decided to run few games on the device. It did well in normal games like "Batman & The Flash - Hero Run". So I decided to raise the bar a bit so I downloaded a bit heavy game - Six Guns. The Iris X5 did managed to run the Six Guns too but it was clearly in pain in doing so.
The bottom line is that the Lava Iris X5 is good for less heavy games like Temple Run, Subway Surfer etc.
The Lava Iris X5 has 8 GB of internal storage and has an expandable storage slot that can accommodate a micro SD card of up to 32 GB. Note that most smartphones under Rs 10,000 come with 4 GB of internal storage but off late 8 GB is becoming quite common to this segment too while few devices like Huawei Honor Holly even has 16 GB internal storage.
In Lava Iris X5, about 6 GB is available for storage which is pretty decent nonetheless. Moreover, the X5 has USB on the go feature, so you can directly use a pen drive with this phone using a USB OTG cable to further expand its memory.
The Iris X5 has a 2100 mAh Li-Ion battery. Like all other Android smartphones, it comes with normal 1A charger that charges the phone in about three hours which is quite appreciable. The battery back up is also quite appreciable; the phone manages to run for about a day with mixed usage. To give you some idea, in about an hour of YouTube video browsing via WiFi with maximum brightness, the X5 consumes about 30 percent charge.
In another instance, it lost about 10 per cent charge in playing video for half an hour with maximum brightness but during this we neither were using any SIM card or WiFi.
The X5 has two SIM slots of which one is meant for a micro SIM which allows 2G connectivity and a full size SIM slot for 3G connectivity. Besides, it has Bluetooth and WiFi. You can also use this phone to create personal WiFi hotspot. Using its micro USB port you can transfer files to and from your PC or laptop.
For navigation, the Iris X5 has GPS with A-GPS support. The X5 has FM radio besides the stock Android video/music player for entertainment.
Images by Sushil Kumar
The best aspect of Lava Iris X5 is undoubtedly its 5 megapixel front camera. Since it has an LED flash in the front as well, you can take great selfies in relatively low light too. The second best aspect, which also makes it one of the best phones in sub-Rs 10,000 segment, is its storage facility. Battery back up of X5 is also above the average mark and is perhaps one of the best in this segment. Though it certainly isn't the best looking smartphone in this category but it certainly quite good looking. Only in terms of display and overall processing power, the X5 looks a bit unimpressive but still it is not the worst in this segment. So if you are not looking for a gaming device (though in under Rs 10,000 segment there are hardly any), you could go for Lava Iris X5.