Indian handset manufacturer Spice has launched this beautiful handset which has appealing features as well like a 1 GHz dual core processor, an 8 megapixel auto focus camera, Android Ice Cream Sandwich operating system etc. We have an unboxing video where you can check it out.
But before a thorough review, we thought it apt to give you our first hand experience of the handset.
Spice has included many good parts from popular handsets in the Stellar Virtuoso. For example, it has an iPhone like body with a wide metal strip on its side that not only gives it a premium look, but also some protection from accidental drops. The phone has a bulky smooth back panel, with a big camera and bezel. The back panel is not slippery and it looks quite good. In short, the Spice Mi-495 has been made with a good grip and is comfortable to hold.
Operating it with one hand could be a bit tricky especially for those with small palms as it has a big 4.5 inch display.
With the growing demand for large handsets, Spice could not have fixed a lesser display in the Stellar Virtuoso. The 4.5 inch screen makes it an ideal handset to watch movies and videos. Its display is quite bright and shows true colours. The screen’s touch response is also quite admirable.
It comes with 960 x 540 pixel resolution, which is very good in this price category.
As with the current Android trend, the phone has a few physical buttons. The power key is on the top right side while the volume rocker is on the top left . The 3.5 mm jack and USB cum charging port are on the top of the Stellar Virtuoso. Strangely, there are three touch buttons on the bottom of the screen; usually such buttons are found on the non-display part of handsets.
What purpose they serve can only be decided after using the handset for a while, so we are reserving our judgement on it for now. The fonts used in the smartphone would certainly remind you of the iPhone. There are three touch buttons on the extreme bottom of the display, namely Return, Home and Menu. These are fixed and cannot be replaced by other apps, but you can place an app shortcut anywhere in the display. As you move to the main menu, you will find apps and widgets arranged in their respective folders. There is a Recent Tasks section too, which lists all the recently used apps. All other functions are like normal Android ICS devices.
Processor and performance
The Spice Stellar Virtuoso comes with a 1 GHz dual core processor with 512 MB of RAM. We did not expect much from it, but we could play a few good games without noticing much lag. The phone also opened and closed apps fluently.
Spice has fitted an 8 megapixel camera with LED flash on the Stellar Virtuoso. The camera seems a good one, and better than those of its Indian competitors. Its auto focus capability, especially, seems far better than many handsets in its price range, including smartphones of MNC brands.
The images this camera captures are stunning. The front 1.3 megapixel camera also looks decent and you can use it to click pictures. The camera app has a nice user interface. It provides some quick shortcuts to modify images by applying effects or settings.
First and foremost, Spice Stellar Virtuoso comes with FM radio, which most smartphones give a miss to for technical reasons. Moreover, you can record FM content as well. The quality of reception too is commendable.
Its display makes it an ideal device to watch videos and movies on the go. The Virtuoso also provides good music rendering.
The Spice Stellar Virtuoso Mi-495 is an attractive option at Rs 10,499.
Considering its features our first impression is that the Virtuoso is a really good handset. But come back for our full comprehensive review.