With Android gaining popularity by the day, many big and small handset players has come out with their own Android devices in the market in different price brackets.
Micromax was the first player in India to launch a low cost Android handset. Following the footsteps of Micromax, Karbonn has now launched a low cost Android based smartphone, named A1.
Look and Feel
The first thing you will notice in the Karbonn A1 is its unique curvy design, which is similar to HTC Touch Viva smartphone.
The device comes in a full black colour with a matte back cover with glossy highlighting in the centre of the cover. The size and the matter finish on the sides of the handset gives a comfortable grip that allows the users to use it with a single hand.
Display and Keys
A1 has a smaller 2.8 inch display but it comes with a resistive touch. However, the quality of the resistive touchscreen is okay and users will be able to work around with the device without much hassle. There have been some improvements as far as the touch is concerned and it has a better response than most resistive screen we have seen in the past.
The device has then minimum possible set of buttons which additionally makes the device look good. In the front, A1 has call connect and the call disconnect buttons along with the D pad for navigation. The Android default keys have been made capacitive which responds well.
The volume rocker has been placed on the left hand side which is little problematic for right handed users.
Processor and Performance
On the performance side, the snappy 600 MHz processor does most tasks quickly but the moment you start multitasking, it starts slowing down and commands take longer times to execute. One could free up some breathing space for the processor by occasionally closing the unwanted applications for getting the much needed space and power.
The 150 MB internal memory doubles up as the RAM so while installing applications make sure you keep enough space free, otherwise the device will surely choke up.
Surprisingly the A1 shares the same type of hardware configuration as the Micromax Andro A60 but still the A1 gives slightly better performance as compare to that. A major chunk of improvement is brought by the adoption of a new Android OS.
The A1 has Android V 2.2 Froyo as its operating system. The OS has been left in its default state and no changes in terms of UI have been made.
The Karbonn handset is able to run most applications available from the Android Marketplace but sadly applications requiring high performance and related to high graphics won’t be able to run properly on the handset due to the lack of a dedicated graphics core.
Call quality of Karbonn A1 is good. The microphone has been placed intelligently to provide isolation to the speakers’ voice, making it easier for the receiver to hear voice even in noisy places.
The earpiece is loud and clear, and so is the loudspeaker. The supplied earplugs on the other hand are mediocre and the output from the 3.5 mm jack as well. You can change as many earplugs but the phone’s output through the hands free is underpowered and starts distorting the sound when playing at higher volume.
The A1 comes with a free 4 GB memory card and that will really come in handy while saving your music library on to this device. It has an inbuilt audio video player that supports most popular audio and video formats like MP3, WMA, MP4 and 3GP as well. Plus, the A1 comes with a standard micro USB port so users are not likely to face any compatibility issues.
The handset has a 3.5mm audio jack connectivity that allows it to connect to any audio device very easily.
The A1 also features a nice 3.2 megapixel camera, without a flash though. The quality of the camera is good in bright to medium light conditions, while in low light all you get to see in pixels and funky colours.
The performance of its battery is average. Despite having a 2.8 inch screen and a smaller processor, the A1 manages a day’s worth of usage. So start keeping the charger handy if you are buying this phone.
The A1 is a good smartphone for the people with tight budget. But if you have some more cash to spare, then you can probably upgrade to a better low-priced capacitive touchscreen handset like the Spice Mi310.