Google formally unveiled the Android One program family smartphones which includes Karbonn Sparkle V, Spice Dream UNO and Micromax Canvas A1. All three smartphones are priced roughly around Rs 6399 and will be sold starting today from prominent websites. All three smartphones carry same hardware and software but differ only in terms of brand name apart from looks.
New Micromax Canvas A1 and other models arrive to compete with the already popular budget smartphone – Mi Redmi 1s. All the Google Android One smartphones are being sold for roughly Rs 6,399 while the Mi Redmi 1s is being sold for Rs 5999. We shall take a close look at these handsets based on the specifications.
Micromax Canvas A1 bears a design which hints that Google Android software engineers may have contributed to the looks of the Canvas A1. The aesthetically clean and minimalistic looking Canvas A1 does remind us of the Google Nexus family. No capacitive buttons exist in the front since the Menu buttons are incorporated in the user interface. With rounded edges, the back panel has curved corners with a circular protruding section on the top left corner at the back. There is a speaker output hole on the removable back cover which accommodates the battery, dual-SIM slot and micro SD card slots inside. Overall, it looks well designed and styled compared to the other budget smartphones available in the same price range. The Canvas A1 is offered in Black and White colours.
Mi Redmi 1s comes with the usual mono-block design with rounded corners. The Redmi 1s has a removable backpack. Slightly curved edges at the removable back makes it look elegant. In the front, there are three capacitive red coloured buttons but without backlight – which is a deal-breaker. At the back, the camera module is in centre with an LED flash below it. Mi India offers the Redmi 1s in Red, White and Black colour option.
In terms of design, the Micromax Canvas A1 does manage to look interestingly better compared to the Redmi 1s.
Micromax Canvas A1 is packed with a standard hardware carefully tested and approved by the Google Android software engineers to easily run the next few Android version updates. The Canvas A1 features 4.5-inch IPS display supporting 480×854 pixel resolution. Micromax has powered the Canvas A1 with a quad-core 1.3 GHz MediaTek MT6582 mobile chipset and 1 GB RAM. This basic hardware can easily drive the pre-loaded Android 4.4.4 KitKat operating system smoothly. Not only that, Google has promised to make the next major update ‘Android L’ available for it too.
The Canvas A1 offers only 4 GB on-board storage out of which only 2.5 GB is available for users to download apps. There is a memory slot to add up to 32 GB micro SD card. For connectivity, it comes with two SIM slots of which one can hold 3G network enabled SIM card while the other is meant for a 2G SIM. Micromax Canvas A1 has also WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, FM Radio, standard audio port and micro USB port. On the sensors front, the Canvas A1 is loaded with G-sensor, Proximity sensor and Light Sensor.
Mi Redmi 1s is a feature loaded budget phone with 4.7-inch IPS display supporting 1280×720 pixel resolution which makes images as well as text crisp. This multi-touch display is made of the AGC Dragontrail scratch-resistant glass to provide protection against normal usage. Redmi 1s is powered with a quad-core 1.6 Ghz Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 MSM8228 mobile chipset coupled with Adreno 305 GPU for graphics and tagged with 1 GB RAM. The phone offers dual microphone noise reduction where one microphone is placed below the phone and other at the back on the top. Even this smartphone offers Dual-SIM support with 3G network enabled SIM and other 2G network SIM. Other usual set of features are included Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, FM Radio, standard audio port and micro USB port. Mi has loaded Gyroscope, Light Sensor, Accelerometer, Proximity Sensor and Electronic Compass in the Redmi 1s.
On the hardware front, clearly the Redmi 1s appears to be unbeatable.
The objective of the Android One program is to deliver the pure Android experience on the affordable smartphones. Micromax Canvas A1 runs the Android 4.4.4 KitKat out of the box and is upgradable to the ‘Android L’ update set to arrive later this year. No third party customizations have been added but it will come pre-loaded with handful of apps.
The Redmi 1s runs the Android 4.3 Jelly Bean based MIUI version with several MIUI family of apps. Mi has promised to release the Android 4.4 KitKat update based MIUI update in coming few weeks.
On the software front, the Canvas A1 does look good and can get Android L update faster.
The Canvas A1 packs a 5 megapixel camera at the back with LED flash and auto-focus. This camera can be used click decent quality images and record full 1080p HD videos. In the front is a 2 megapxieil camera that can support HD videos.
Meanwhile, the Redmi 1s promises great images with the 8 megapixel camera at the back with LED flash and auto-focus. Even this camera can be used to click high resolution photos and record full HD videos. The camera offers f/2.2 aperture to capture more light and reduce as much noise as possible. Boasting of zero shutter lag, the camera offers HDR, face recognition and offer real-time filters.
Obviously the Redmi 1s manages to stand ahead of the Canvas A1.
Micromax Canvas A1 features 1700 mAh battery capacity and the company promises talk time of respectable 6 hours. Meanwhile, the Redmi 1s packs 2000 mAh battery which can offer talk time of 7.5 hours roughly.
Though there is a Rs 500 difference between between both handsets, each has strong side. The Canvas A1 promises great software experience, pleasing design and quick future update. Meanwhile the Redmi 1s bags the cake with HD display, powerful processor, great camera and decent battery. However, we did note that the Redmi 1s would get really warm after clicking several images or gaming. The Android One family of handsets deliver pure Android experience while the MIUI based Redmi 1s has several optimizations included inside.