Recently Micromax announced their flagship smartphone, the Micromax A116 Canvas HD. Around the same time, Samsung released their first sort-of budget phablet, the Samsung Galaxy Grand. Now consumers are in a dilemma. Should they opt for the Micromax A116 with it’s better hardware or the Samsung Galaxy Grand and it’s brand (and Samsung’s premium software)?
Micromax A116 Canvas HD
The Micromax A116 Canvas HD is Micromax’s flagship phablet smartphone which has been recently announced. Also, it is the first quad core smartphone by an Indian manufacturer, and to cost less than Rs. 15,000. The Micromax A116 Canvas HD has impressive specifications, which you can view below:
Micromax A116 Canvas HD Specifications
- MediaTek MT6589 chipset
- 1.2 GHz quad-core ARM Cortex A7
- PowerVR SGX544
- 1 GB RAM
- 5″ HD (1280 x 720 pixels) IPS display
- 8MP rear camera, LED Flash
- VGA front facing camera
- 4 GB of internal storage
- up to 32 GB expandable memory via microSD card
- 2100 mAh battery
- Android 4.1 Jelly Bean
The phone design isn’t too shabby as well. 3 capacitive buttons replaces the 2+1 design of the Canvas and Canvas 2.
Let’s head on to Samsung’s offering.
Samsung Galaxy Grand
The Galaxy Grand is Samsung’s first attempt at taming the budget phablets market. However, it’s missed it’s mark by some few thousands in price to target that market. Priced at Rs. 21,500 the Galaxy Grand isn’t exactly an excellent phone considering it’s 5 inch WVGA (800*480) display which puts off half the people right there. Have at look at it’s internals.
Samsung Galaxy Grand Specifications
- 1.2 GHz Dual Core chipset
- 1 GB of RAM
- 5″ WVGA (800*480) capacitive display
- Dual SIM version
- 8 MP rear camera, auto focus & LED flash
- 1080p video recording @ 30 fps
- 2 MP front camera
- 8 GB of internal storage
- expandable storage upto 64 GB via micro SD card
- 2100 mAh Li-Ion battery
- Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean
Great, a 5 incher with WVGA resolution. Doesn’t that remind us of (the low end Indian phablet smartphones) something?
Now let’s compare the features of both these smartphones head on!
Micromax A116 Canvas HD v/s Samsung Galaxy Grand
Chipset (CPU, GPU & RAM)
The Samsung Galaxy Grand packs an unknown 1.2 GHz dual core chipset. It might be a Broadcom or a Mediatek (more likely) chipset. The CPU is of unknown make, but for the time being let’s say it’s based on ARM A9. The Micromax A116 has a quad core SOC, 4 x ARM Cortex A7 CPUs running at 1.2 GHz each. The Micromax A116 easily pulls ahead in this round. A quad core chipset these days marks the high end territory, and Micromax A116 enters it (albeit at the lowest end).
The GPU of the Galaxy Grand is again unknown, but it might be a Broadcom Video Core IV or a PowerVR SGX531. In either case, the Micromax A116 with it’s powerful PowerVR SGX544 pulls ahead for a smoother and better gaming experience. The PowerVR SGX544 is also used in MP4+ configuration in the Sony PlayStation Vita, to give you a rough idea about it’s power (performance).
Both devices have 1 GB of RAM. In this respect, it’s a tie.
The Micromax A116 Canvas HD is true to it’s name with a 5 inch HD resolution display. That’s 1280 x 720 pixels on a budget smartphone. Impressive for a sub-15k device. The Samsung Galaxy Grand on the other hand has a paltry 5 inch WVGA 800*480) resolution display.
We do not understand why Samsung decided to make a premium device calling it a budget device then pricing it high and then not even giving it premium features. We understand that if the feature set would be too close to the Galaxy S3 or the Galaxy Note for the price at which it offers, it would threaten their sales. Perhaps that is why Samsung chose to put a cheap WVGA display across a 5 inch phone which is guaranteed to give you pixelation.
Multimedia & Storage
Both the Micromax A116 and Galaxy Grand have 8 MP cameras. Out of these two, the Galaxy Grand has 1080p video recording at 30 fps. Now the chipset used in the Micromax A116 has 1080p recording support, but it is not known whether the phone camera supports the same or not. Front camera in the A116 is of VGA resolution while the Galaxy Grand has a better 2 MP front camera sensor.
While the Micromax A116 Canvas HD has only 4 GB of internal storage, the Samsung Galaxy Grand offers 8 GB of internal storage. Huge internal storage is useful for storing apps without having to use mods or apps to transfer files to external SD card. Hence phones with high internal memory are preferred. Nevertheless, both the devices are backed up with expandable storage upto 64 GB via micro SD card for the Galaxy Grand and 32 GB for the Micromax A116. So the Galaxy Grand might be better suited for those who want plenty (if 32 GB + 4 GB isn’t plenty already) of storage.
The Galaxy Grand packs a capacitive styles, very much like the Galaxy Note II. Many people love this feature.
Battery & OS
Both smartphones have 2,100 mAh battery. However thanks to the more core chipset and higher resolution display, the Micromax A116 will definitely consume more power. Unless some software magic happens, we believe the Galaxy Grand to offer much better battery life than the Micromax A116 despite the same battery rating.
Both smartphones will come with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. Micromax A116 will have a lightly skinned Stock Android 4.1 Jelly Bean OS while you’ll get the Galaxy Grand packed with TouchWIZ as well as other premium software goodies that Samsung recently released for the Galaxy S3, Galaxy Note and Note II.
Buy the Micromax A116 if…
- …you want a better priced smartphone
- …you want quad core power
- …you want the HD display
Buy the Galaxy Grand if…
- …you want Samsung’s premium apps
- …like the TouchWIZ UI
- …want the capacitive stylus
- …are okay with the higher price
Buying a new phone? Or a tablet? Need help with something everyday-tech related? Ask me and I’m sure to help!
— Preetam Nath (@hipreetam93) April 18, 2013