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Handset Review: Karbonn K1616

By: Nilabh Jha, The Mobile Indian, New DelhiLast updated August 24, 2013 5:50 pm

Handset Review: Karbonn K1616

impressive

Large responsive touchscreen with long battery life and a good user interface makes this a good value for money.
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Pros

  • Responsive and large touch screen
  • Excellent battery life
  • Good User interface and decent multimedia

Cons

  • No WiFi
  • Few apps in its app store (though at least it has one)

The way this phone looks you can confuse it for a smartphone - a 3.5 inch capacitive touch screen, just one physical button, even the unlock gesture looks exactly like Android. But does this also perform like one? Let's find out.

Specs

A look at the features tells you that it only looks like a smartphone but is a feature phone only, as there is no WiFi, 3G, push mail or GPS. However it does boast a 3.5 inch capacitive touchscreen which is very responsive, and several inbuilt apps that are useful too. The battery (1150 mAH unit) is the most notable feature of this phone; it gave full three days of backup with low usage and there was still some life left in it.

The processor specs have not been shared but it is sufficient for the phone as it never gave any trouble and performed smoothly.

There is a proximity sensor in the phone that switches off the screen when you place it near your ear for taking calls. However, there is no accelerometer to change the orientation of the phone.

Karbonn K1616 is a dual SIM phone with both SIM remaining active all the time. Other features include a 3.2 megapixel camera that is fixed focus and does an ok job, there is no flash though. FM radio is there and the reception is pretty good, even the loud speaker of the phone is sufficiently loud. The video player and the audio player are also there and are designed well. The screen resolution is not very high but for a feature phone it is good.

For connectivity, K1616 has Bluetooth and GPRS.

Looks

The build quality of K1616 looks sturdy. Though the design is not very stylish, the front part looks good with the 3.5 inch screen with a single round button surrounded by chrome circle.

The battery cover is all metal with deep black colour, while the rest of the device is dark grey in colour. The top back has the camera with chrome hints surrounding it. There is a camera button on the right while the volume rocker is on the left. Power lock button is at the top and the bottom of the device has both the USB port and 3.5 mm jack.

User interface

Apart from the Android look-alike locking action, there is another one which looks like an aquarium and you have to pick a star fish and bring to a unlock point to open the phone - an interesting but slightly cumbersome process.

Inside there are several applications like Email, Alarm, Calculator, Facebook and Twitter. An app called Phone rail is also inbuilt that helps you check availability of railway tickets and also your PNR status etc. Karbonn has also started an application store called 'K Zone' that currently has only few apps but all of it are free. There are more apps that will help you get through your daily tasks like currency converter etc.

One thing that's lacking is games. There are no preinstalled games and even in the K Zone there is only Tetris.

The supplied accessories, which include charger, handsfree and USB cable, are of average quality and nothing much to talk about.

Performance

Karbonn K1616 is a decent performer for a feature phone, though no hardcore processor-heavy applications have been built-in. The phone does a good job of having no lag in responding to commands and playing videos very smoothly. The battery performance is something everyone will love about this phone.

Though the FM reception and sound output are on the higher side, it does not provide a very refined sound that one want to hear but it is passable and will not annoy you if you are not an avid listener of music. The touchscreen is excellent for a feature phone and so far the best I have come across from an Indian handset brands feature phone.

Verdict

For Rs 4,400, the phone is a good buy. It performs well and does a good job of what it is meant for. However when you look at the competition you have Samsung Star Nxt, Champ, Chat, Nokia C2-03 and X2 and many more from Sony Ericsson, LG. This makes the choice difficult. Having said that, this phone has many pluses and can be considered as a good choice.

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