Micromax Canvas 4 Review: Gimmicky Yes, But Impressive Looks

Micromax-Canvas-4Micromax took the wraps off its latest flagship device, the Canvas 4 a couple of months ago. The only thing that has remained constant among all of the four Canvas phones is  the screen size of 5 inches. So what’s special about the new phone?

The specifications and features along with the price have gradually increased. We take a look if the Canvas 4, priced at Rs 18,000 in India is worth the money. Here’s a detailed review.

Hardware: The Best Looking Canvas Yet

The phone has a 5-inch HD IPS display which has surprisingly good viewing angles. Outdoor visibility on low brightness is not so great. Just like most other smartphones this is also a fingerprint magnet. The great thing about the display is Gorilla Glass which will make it scratch resistant. Something you may not find on phones at this price range.

The front camera is a 5 megapixel one while there is a 13 megapixel camera at the back, along with an led flash. You will find the usual and ambient light sensors next to the ear piece in the front. There is also a notification sensor which is hardly visible.

The capacitive touch buttons for menu, home and back, which light up when needed are at the bottom and the volume rocker is on the left. The sides of the device are covered with anodized aluminum which gives the device a premium feel, but makes it slippery.

The back cover like the rest of the device is made of plastic and our white model tended to get dirty a bit. Also the Micromax logo looked a bit plasticky on what was otherwise a great looking device.

On opening the back cover, one can see the 2000 mAh battery as well as slots for two SIM cards and a memory card. The phone comes with 16GB of storage and 1GB of RAM.

Camera: Could be Better

The rear 13-megapixel camera performs pretty average. The user interface of the camera app has been skinned slightly and adds a few functionalities like HDR, Panorama, Burst mode, Smile shutter and more. It also lets you adjust exposure, white balance, add color effects, change the scene mode and adjust anti-flicker mode. The burst mode lets you shoot 99 shots at once.

Pictures clicked with the camera as I said were not impressive. It definitely takes long to focus and low light shots tended to have a lot of noise. Video quality on the other hand was quite great.

Operating System: Lots of Unnecessary Pre-installed apps

Micromax-Canvas-4-apps

The phones comes with Android 4.2.1 which has been skinned slightly. Micromax has promised OTA updates for the phone, but we will just have to wait and see if that happens. Micromax has also pre installed a number of apps including Opera mini, foneclay ( to download wallpapers), Hike messenger, Kingsoft Office (to view and edit documents) and Spuul (to view free movies).  There are also some games like The Dark M, NFS Shift and Fruit Devil. It also comes with The Game Hub and M! Live apps which lets you purchase games.

Micromax has improved on the Quick Settings and has added more settings here when compared with the stock Android.

A whole Lot of Software Gimmicks: Some Good, Most for Novelty

One of the apps that come with the phone is M! Unlock that lets you unlock the lock screen by just blowing air or shaking the device. This is also available on the Play Store for other devices. It does work quite well but we don’t see the point of this feature once the novelty wears out. Thankfully one can choose to disable this feature.

Apart from this it also has a couple of other smart gestures which allow you to attend incoming calls automatically by holding the phone close to the ear, dial a number by bringing it to close to ear after choosing a contact, change the profile to silent by flipping the phone upside down and put an incoming call on silent by flipping the phone over and keeping it down, and switch on the speakerphone on a call when you turn the phone upside down.

As we mentioned there are a number of pre-installed apps but the one we really liked was the Pop-up browser. One can easily browse the web on top of any other app with this and it functions really well.

Similar to the browser one can also use the default video player to pop out the video. Another feature which is borrowed from Samsung is that a video pauses when you look away. All these features actually work as advertised.

Connectivity

Network reception and calls quality was quite good and we faced no dropped calls.

We did face some issues while using Google Maps, the phone did take longer to usual to lock onto GPS and also while navigating was not perfect.

Performance is up to the Mark

The phone is powered by a 1.2 GHz quad-core MediaTek 6589 processor with PowerVR SGX544 MP2 GPU similar to the A116 Canvas HD. The processor did get through most tasks without any lag at all.

Gaming on the device with games like NFS most wanted was also smooth and the device did not lag or crash.

Better Than Expected Battery

The 2000 mAh lithium-ion battery performed very well and in our testing  with average use was able to get through the day with a little bit of juice left at the end of the day.

Conclusion: If Only the Pricing Was Slightly Lower


The phone, available at Rs 18,000 is a bit premium and for a couple of thousand less this phone could have been a steal. It is definitely not a big upgrade from the Canvas HD but does have a better build, cameras and also more storage along with all the extra software features. If you are looking at a sub 20k phone you should definitely consider this along with the Lumia 720 and also the Galaxy Grand.

If you are looking to upgrade from a Canvas 2, then this would be a good buy but not if you own the Canvas HD. If you can spend a bit more money then we definitely recommend the Nexus 4 or even the year old Galaxy S3.

While the phone itself is great, one thing that is a big roadblock for Micromax is that its after sales service is still not up to the mark. Considering they are the number two smartphone manufacturer in India we are hoping they make a serious effort at improving this.

Pros

  • Great Build quality
  • Screen
  • Battery

Cons

  • Average camera for 13 MP specification
  • Too Many Preinstalled apps

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