The year gone by saw a host of budget smartphones entering the Indian market. It seems nothing will change this year too as several low-cost devices are lined up in Rs.6,000-Rs.8,000 ($90-$120) price band. The Karbonn Quattro L50 HD 4G smartphone is one such device that offers a seamless customised 4G experience.
Domestic handset maker Karbonn Mobiles launched the device in January for Rs.7,990 and then updated its user interface to Kandy to offer a customised 4G experience for its users.
What works for the phone?
The looks. A soft plastic body and coffee colour makes the smartphone look stunning. A golden metallic finish frame outlines the in-demand 5-inch high definition IPS full lamination display that comes with a resolution of 720 pixels by 1280 pixels.
The right bumper has the lock button and the left one has the volume buttons. However, the device lacks an integrated camera button.
The device is powered by a 1.3GHz Quad core processor and 2GB RAM, making it run applications without any delay. It offers reasonable performance -- not too fast and not too slow.
The 16GB internal memory (9.5GB for users) offers ample space for apps. The dual-SIM phone also has a memory card (32GB) slot. The Quattro L50 offers fast and snag-free net browsing and app navigation experience with 4G/LTE support with talk time of over four hours on 4G.
The 2,600mAhz battery lasts for almost a day with normal usage including "data on" for nearly 10 hours and two hours of video playback.
The 13-megapixel autofocus rear camera with flash has a f/2 aperture and PDAF sensor and it kind of auto-corrects the photo before user clicks it. Good performance in low-light conditions.
The 5-megapixel front camera works quite good and captures movement impressively. For example, I took a photo while revolving on a chair. The background was captured in motion-blurred effect but the subject (me) was clear.
It also has a manual camera mode and comes pre-loaded with beauty, night shot, sport, panorama modes and nine filters.
The lightweight smartphone has Kandy -- Karbonn's UI that is specially developed to bring user friendly, stable and secure 4G experience to customers on Quattro L50 HD.
Kandy runs on Android 5.1 lollipop and has cut down multiple menus offering an integrated PCM wherein users can access the dialer, contacts, logs and messages within a single menu with one swipe.
With Quattro's Kandy UI, users can also customise the entire look and feel of the device by choosing from a diverse range of themes, icons and colours to reflect their personal style and preference.
What I found most interesting on the phone was the "smart somatosensory" feature.
It has a "smart answer" for receiving an incoming call by placing phone on ear; a "smart call" that automatically calls a contact (when open) when near the ear; "flip silent" to put the phone in silent mode by just flipping and "prevent misoperation" option to prevent misoperation while phone is in pocket.
The sound from the speaker was clear and I did not experience heating of the smartphone.
Apart from a number of pre-installed apps such as Saavn, Flipkart, Clean Master and Snapdeal, it is loaded with games like Spiderman and Asphalt Nitro.
What doesn't work?
Customers looking for an original Android platform in a low-cost phones may skip this device; even the Kandy UI makes the phone quite simple to operate.
Photo processing could have been better. The device takes a few seconds to complete the processing. An integrated camera button could have been a good addition.
Verdict: At this price, a very good deal. The device is not for high-end games but can run average graphic games smoothly. I rate this as one of the best "Made in India" smartphones in the low-cost price category.
(Sourabh Kulesh can be contacted at email@example.com)