The Super Phone

twitter-logo Nidhi Singal        Print Edition: October 2012

Price: Rs 12,999
Specs: Android v4.0; 4.3 inch capacitive display; 1GHz processor; 4GB internal memory, 32GB expandable; Wi-Fi, Bluetooth; 8MP camera; 1600 mAh battery.

There is something special about the A90's design . The front is all clear with a 4.3-inch display with the three capacitive touch keys integrated. The Micromax branding is neatly placed on the lower half of the textured back. The hardware is so good that even some of our tech-tuned colleagues could not recognise the brand when we covered the logo. Some said it was a 'Samsung', maybe because this looks a lot like the Samsung Galaxy SII. The Gorilla Glass is a good addition, especially for Indian users.

The touch input and user interface complement the hardware. The touch input was so responsive that we could easily type long mails, without the extra effort needed while using capacitive displays. This user interface, meanwhile, is the stock Android Ice-Cream Sandwich's. Since there is no dedicated key for the camera, we could use the locked screen for unlocking the phone and launching the camera. The homescreen had three capacitive touch keys-back, home and multitasking. Just above these was the set of five keys with application tray in the middle and four shortcuts. The main menu was divided into apps and widgets with a Play Store icon on the top left.

When Micromax announced the A90, it was supposed to have a dual-core processor. But our review unit was testing a sample that runs on a 1GHz single-core processor combined with 512MB RAM. Even then the phone did fairly well. We used it for browsing the Web, downloading apps and even operating our email accounts. There wasn't a single moment where we thought the phone was slow. It scored decently in the benchmark tests we ran.

The A90 has an 8MP camera with LED Flash. But don't nurture high expectations - though the images captured in daylight were crisp without much noise, the results in low lights were not impressive. We are not complaining because at this price everything can't be the best.

Dual-SIM phones have always been Micromax's forte. So even the A90 has two SIM card slots behind the back cover. The phone has 4 GB onboard memory of which only 2 GB is available to users. With a 1600 mAh battery, it managed to squeeze in over a day and a half of use.

BAG IT OR JUNK IT? Micromax is readying to kill the likes of Samsung by making its dual-core smartphone very affordable.

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