Micromax Canvas Nitro hands-on review: good value for money

With the launch of Canvas Nitro, Micromax is trying to retain the mid-range Android market that it once ruled. The first phones of the Canvas series revolutionised the market by offering phones with good hardware specifications at a affordable price.

Micromax launched its Canvas HD in January 2013, a year before the Motorola Moto G was launched in India. It was one of the first decent Android phones priced less than Rs 15,000. It was followed by Canvas 4 a few months later.

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Now vendors like Xiaomi, Asus, ZTE, Motorola and Xolo provide more choice for the consumer. With Canvas Nitro the company is hoping to return in the segment by bringing high-end features to budget phone users.

Is Canvas Nitro worth buying? Will it be able to  compete with phones like ZenFone 5, the Moto G and the Xiaomi Mi3? Let’s find out in our review of the device.

PROS

  • Long battery life
  • Good camera
  • Powerful performance

CONS

  • Heats up after a while
  • Irritating bloatware

DESIGN

The Canvas Nitro has the classic candy bar design with rounded edges and a back cover. Micromax Canvas Nitro looks better than the company’s previous budget offerings.

The front panel has the 5 inch 720p  display. There are no chamfered edges or curved back. It fits well in one hand and is suitable for single hand usage.

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The device looks similar to Samsung Galaxy Note 3 with its faux stitched-leather finish.

The power button is placed on the right edge while the left edge has the volume rocker. A 3.5mm audio jack can be found on the top of the phone, and the Micro-USB port for data transfer and charging is on the bottom.

Above the screen are the notification LED, a front-facing camera and an earpiece. The back cover removable and under it there is the battery, two slots for Micro-SIM cards, and a slot for a microSD card.

DISPLAY

Canvas Nitro sports a 5 inch HD display with 720 x 1280 pixel resolution. The display is capable of showing sharp images and text.

Touch is smooth and responsive and the colour reproduction and viewing angle are also good. The screen is not totally scratch resistant.

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The screen is also very bright, which makes it possible to read the text on the phone even when you are in sunlight.

The light ambience sensor is not tuned all that well and in dark rooms, it tends to be very aggressive in reducing the brightness.

Brightness setting can be accessed from the quick controls housed in the notification shade.

Touch sensitivity is also very good with the phone being able to recognise the slightest of taps on the screen.

USER INTERFACE

The Canvas Nitro runs on Android 4.4 KitKat but Micromax has customized the OS in some features.

The notifications appear on a colourful ribbon on the lockscreen. different kind of notifications, the ribbon has different colour.

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Micromax is also using the Swiftkey app, which is arguably the best keyboard app available for Androids and iPhones, on the Nitro.

The Quick Look feed lets user select topics of their interest and populates content from select websites on that basis.

The software also supports on screen finger gestures that can be enabled by long pressing on the home screen and tapping on the Gestures button.

The phone software also features some preloaded apps including BookMyShow, Clean Master Getit and Where’s My Water. These apps cannot be removed from the phone.

CAMERA

The Canvas Nitro boasts a 13MP rear camera with LED flash and a 5MP front camera. The rear camera takes decent shots which are above average in its class.

These images have good amount of detail, sharp focus and punchy colours.

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Video is recorded in .3gpp format but the quality is not up to the mark. The camera couldn’t stay focused on any subject.

The front facing 5MP camera takes decent selfies and works fine during video chats.

Canvas Nitro has a widget for camera with quick control that Micromax puts on the home screen. This widget allows a user to quickly opt for the camera function that he or she wants.

UNDER THE HOOD

Micromax Canvas Nitro is powered by a 1.7GHz Mediatek MT6592 octa-core processor, along with 2GB RAM.

The phone works fine without any lag while navigating through the phone’s menu, launching apps, browsing websites, scrolling inside apps like Twitter and Facebook, and switching between apps.

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It packs 8GB of internal storage out of which 5.68GB is available to the user, and also boasts a microSD card slot to expand memory storage.

The device is juiced up by a 2500mAh battery which provides full-day with mixed to heavy use including about making calls, playing games, clicking some pictures, listening to music and browsing the web.

The network performance of the phone is also satisfactory while using it with a 3G or Wi-Fi network.

WRAP UP

Priced at Rs 12,990, the Canvas Nitro is good value for money. Although its camera does not compete with other phones that fall in the same price bracket.

The Moto G is good alternative at the same price but is only available at one online retailer.

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If you are looking for a budget phone that covers all bases,  the new Moto G can be purchased over Canvas Nitro. But the Nitro offers slightly better performance.

The phone brings a clean understated design back to the market, and only comes in white and Blue backs with faux leather at the back.

 

Vishal Kawadkar

editor@gizmolead.com

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