Karbonn Mobiles recently launched another budget dual-SIM Android smartphone called Karbonn Smart A2, priced at Rs 4990 in India. The phone offers good value for money in this price segment.
I was looking for a decent budget droid for spare SIM card and VOIP calling with good battery life. Saw Karbonn A2 on a store and decided to pick it.
Here are the specifications of Karbonn Smart A2 :
- Dual SIM (GSM + GSM)
- Android 2.3.6 Gingerbread OS
- Mediatek MT6575 Chipset With 1 GHz Processor
- PowerVR SGX531 GPU
- 256MB RAM , ~ 222MB internal storage for applications
- MicroSD card slot ( up to 32GB)
- FM Radio
- Wi-Fi a/b/g , EDGE, Bluetooth , microUSB, 3.5mm jack
- 1750mAH battery
Initial impressions -
The phone came in small white box similar to other Karbonn phones. The box shows the specifications and features of the phone. Inside the box you will find the phone itself, battery, USB cable , charger , headset and manuals.
The orange/black colored headset looks funky but quality seems poor.
The battery is huge in size and it has 1750mAh capacity which should provide enough juice for the phone ( we will find it out later ).
The phone came with pre-applied scratch guard. The built quality of the phone is impressive, it does not feel like cheap plastic and it feels quite solid to hold. The design is quite simple and decent.
Thankfully there is no branding logo on front of the phone. It has three capacitive buttons ( back, home and options ) below the screen. It also has proximity sensor which is absent in many budget droids , it is placed on the left of the ear-piece along with the VGA front camera.
The 3.5mm jack and microUSB ports are on the top. On the back , there is 3MP camera without LED flash and speaker below the Karbonn logo.
Under the battery slot, there are 2 Mini SIM slots and one microSD card slot.
It has 4 inch LCD display with 800 x 480 WVGA resolution. While most of the Android phones in this segment have smaller displays ( 3-3.7 inch ) with lower resolution QVGA or HVGA, this smartphone offers a nice display in terms of size and resolution.
The display is quite sharp, and touch response is also good. Typing on the on-screen keyboard is easy in both portrait and landscape modes. Much better than other lower priced smartphones like Galaxy Y etc.
However, the screen is not much bright at lowest levels and needs brightness to be turned up to medium-high to look good. Colors are average and not vivid and contrast levels are also mediocre. But, you cant expect more in this price range.
Quality Comparison -
See the display quality of Smart A2 when compared with HTC Sensation XE -
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The Karbonn Smart A2 runs Android 2.3.6 Gingerbread and its vanilla version without any skin or bloatware.
The phone is powered by single-core Mediatek MT6575 chipset along with PowerVR SGX531 Pro GPU. The processor provides decent performance and the phone is quite snappy. It doesn’t feel laggy and apps open quickly.
One of the biggest drawback with the phone is its RAM which is only 256MB. While idle, about 60-100MB of RAM is free. But for someone who does not want to do much multi- tasking , the RAM should not be big issue. It handled big web pages in browser easily in single tab.
Synthetic Benchmarks -
The phone scored 1500+ on Quadrant benchmark and 4300 on AnTuTu benchmark. In NenaMark2 , it scored 21.3 FPS which is quite good.
Most of the games ran fine without much lag on the A2. But Temple Run occasionally crashed ( maybe due to low available memory). Angry Birds Star Wars ran lag free and smooth. So, for casual gaming , the phone is good enough.
Skype also worked good on the phone and video calling worked fine. I was able to use both the front and back camera in Skype, but the front camera exposure is really low ! so the other person sees really dark video.
It comes with a 3MegaPixel camera on the back which lacks Autofocus or LED flash. However, the camera is shown as a 5MP one in the interface and can click 5MP images. The image quality is bad and lacks sharpness and looks like 2MP or lower and its only good for casual clicks.
Sample Pictures -
Front camera quality is OK , but the default exposure is very low. So, while using camera you can change it to +1 EV and photos will be ok. But while in video chat apps like Skype, it will make video look very dark.
The audio quality of the phone is average. Through the built in speaker, the output is nice and clear. It is loud as well. But the headphone jack has medium-low output volume level while playing music.
The supplied headset is also not that good, but does the job for basic listening experience. Using a Philips headset, the output was good with decent volume and sound quality.
The default music player has various sound effects including Bass Boost, Virtualizer, Reverb and Equalizer. There is FM radio also with recording function.
The phone has quite big battery with 1750mAh capacity. Will update on battery life once tests are complete.
The Karbonn Smart A2 offers excellent value for money in the under Rs 5000 segment. For someone looking for a smartphone with big screen it is a good buy. It also has front facing camera which is absent on most phones in this range. The looks and built quality is also a plus.
However it lacks 3G , GPS and has only 256MB RAM. So, if you use 3G or want to run heavy apps / multi-task , this is not a good option.
I will give it 4/5 rating for the VFM and features it offers. 1 less for low RAM and absense of 3G.
Got any questions or comments ? Post Below .
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