Wait and expectations with the Micromax’s first Android phone were pretty high when it was launched recently and has it performed to those expectations, we will find out in our review. In this review we will look at every aspect which makes Micromax Andro – A Hit or a Flop.
We first heard about Micromax’s Android dream back in October, and then the rumor about Diwali launch. But finally we have Micromax Andro A60 and it is retailing for a dirt cheap price of Rs 6,999, which also makes it the most affordable Android phone in India.
First, Micromax Andro Full Specifications:
- Form – Full Touch
- Band GSM – (900/1800MHz) + WCDMA900/2100MHz
- Weight – 105gms
- Dimensions – 106.8mm x 59.2mm x 14.0mm
- Display – 62K TFT, (320*240 pixels) 7.1cms Touch Screen
- Version – 2.1 Éclair
- HSUPA – 7.2Mbps
- HSDPA – 5.76Mbps
- Camera – 3.2MP, Auto-Focus Camera
- Audio Player – Yes
- GPS – Yes
- WiFi – Yes
- Video Streaming – Yes
- Video Player – Yes
- Video Recorder – Yes
- Messaging – SMS/MMS
- GPRS/WAP/MMS – Yes
- Internal Memory – 150MB
- Expandable Memory – Up-to 32GB
- Battery Type – 1280 mAh Li-ion Battery
- Talk Time – Up-to 4 hours*
- Standby Time – Up-to 10 days*
As a budget Android smartphone, and being touted as the first Android for many [at least in the TV commercial], Micromax Andro is a pretty decent looking phone. It’s smaller than many Android devices and lighter too, so it fits and feels nice on your hand. And, interestingly, all my friends and colleagues, who have seen Andro – have liked the looks. Although, its back cover feels plasticky, you cannot ask for more in this price and yes – that Android figure on the back cover just adds more to the feel of it being an Android phone.
Coming to buttons, there is a D-Pad, three touch sensitive buttons, and two more buttons, which do a lot of stuff including one, which acts as the camera button as there is no dedicated button for that. On the left side of the phone is the volume-rocker, on the top 3.5 mm headset jack and on the bottom the micro-USB port. And finally we have a 3.2 MP camera, about which we will talk later.
Let’s talk about one thing that disappoints me the most – the resistive display. Andro comes with 2.8 inch display with 240X320 resolution. The use of resistive display across the manufacturers have gone down, and apart from some smartphones including HTC Tattoo, LG Optimus, which came almost a year back, there are very less resistive screen Android phones right now in the market. Even Huawei Ideos, which will be priced similarly, has a capacitive display.
The problems with resistive display start as soon as you buy your phone and switch it on for the first time – touch screen calibration. It takes multiple attempts and you start getting irritated and if you have not calibrated it rightly, you will have problems using touch all the time – like you will try to press ‘Z’ on the virtual keyboard and ‘A’ will appear.
Using the default Android keyboard on Andro is a big pain, but the presence of Swype is a big respite. Although you might not be able to make use of Swype’s true capabilities, but it provides a clean keyboard, which is useful in normal typing in portrait mode.
In other usages, touch screen can be problematic at times, but once you get used to it and have low expectations, things can be adjusted. And we Indians are so used to adjustments.
Leaving Display saga behind, let’s talk about the processor. Micromax Andro comes with a 600 Mhz processor, which provides a good experience and is a true value for money. Even the pre-loaded racing game Speed Forge 3D works smoothly.
In overall daily use, Micromax Andro will not disappoint, you unless you start expecting a N1 out of it. Call quality is good, voice comes loud and clear. There are ample number of connectivity options – including Bluetooth, HSPDA, Wi-Fi and GPS.
We could not confirm the exact size of internal memory, as according to Micromax, Andro A60 has 150 MB of internal memory, but we could easily see 182 MB free in our test unit, while some apps reported even over 200 MB of free memory. Well, that’s good for users; you will have a lot more space to install apps.
Android 2.1: Thank goodness, it comes with Android 2.1. While it might not get the FroYo sweetness, but unlike other budget phones, Andro does not leave you with obsolete Android 1.5/1.6. The presence of Android 2.1 gives you improved Web browser, as well as native support for Microsoft Exchange. There are also the user-interface tweaks that were introduced with version 2.1 and you get the stock Android UI.
Pre-Installed Apps: Micromax has pre-loaded a few apps considering the memory limitations. There is Root Explorer, Speed Forge 3D, RSS Reader and the usual Google Apps suite. There is one thing interesting here that Root Explorer is actually a paid app, which provides access of system files on a rooted phone, so why has Micromax put in that. When we asked them, it is the normal file explorer for them, and you cannot play/edit with system files, but we were able to copy system files and even take out app installer files from system/app folder. So, if you are one of those geeky types Android users, you can do a lot with Andro.
Micromax Andro comes with a 3.2 MP camera, which performs decently in outdoor shooting, but indoor shots can be seriously underexposed. So, do not expect Andro to replace you compact camera :P. There is no dedicated camera button either.
Video recording quality is so-so, although the sharing via YouTube, Bluetooth, Messages and Gmail options are straightforward ways of distributing the content online and to your friends.
Micromax Andro scores on the battery life. We did not expect much from the 1280 MaH battery, and it seriously outperformed. If you are not much of a heavy user, it can go for two days easily, and even to the third day. For heavy users, it will not disappoint you either, but you might need to charge it daily to avoid any intra-day battery blues.
Finally, the wrap up. Despite its resistive screen, and other flaws, we still are quite impressed with the phone and in this budget seriously one cannot expect more and if you have more money to spare, there are other Android smartphones as well in the market to charm you.
But as the company is targeting the first time Android users, we know they won’t complain with what they are getting with Micromax Andro. Andro is more than value for money and is the right buy for those who do not want to spend a fortune for just trying Android.
That is all for now, if you want to know anything else, drop your questions in comments, I will be happy to answer. If you want to check out more hands on pictures and unboxing, check out our earlier post here.
Update: Oh..we missed accessories. Micromax Andro comes with a 2GB card, charger and headset in the box. Headset works fine but we would have been happy if it was a little more louder. Even on the full volume, it is sometimes hard to hear at noisy places.
Update 2: As some commentators wanted to know about Wi-Fi, and accelerometer sensor. Yes, Wi-Fi is a problem, after being connected for a long time, it stops working and you have to reconnect to get it working. Accelerometer sensor works fine, we had no problems with that.