First things first. This is a phone from Micromax, but it does not look like a phone from Micromax. In fact, it looks like a phone from a well-heeled international brand, the sort that Micromax wants to become in the near future. This is the Micromax Canvas Knight, the phone that will take over the flagship mantle for the company from today.
Quick Tech Specs: 5-inch IPS display (1920×1080 pixels, 443 ppi) | 2GHz Tru Octa core MediaTek MT MT 6592 processor | 2GB RAM | 32 GB storage + no microSD slot | 16MP rear camera, 8MP front camera, 1080p Full HD video | 3G, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0 | 2350mAh battery | Android 4.2 JellyBean
Price: Rs 19,999
Design: As I said this phone does not look like a Indian phone. In fact, it has the cuts and sides of the Apple iPhone 5s and even reminded me a bit of the Lava Iris Pro 30, which also had a similar design language. The unibody design is reinforced by what seems, and feels, like a graphite frame. There are mico-SIM slots on both sides that can be accessed by a pin. And, no there is no space for a SD card. Another thing that sets this phone apart is the power key, that is now placed along with the volume keys on the right. This take a bit of getting used to.
The camera, the 16 MP sensor that it houses, results in a significant bump on the rear and there is an extra rear cover to sort of protect it. This feature is a bit like the one on the Nokia Lumia 502 and it becoming common in slim phones with large cameras. The phone is very light and easy to handle despite the large screen.
Screen & Audio: The Full HD IPS panel is one of the best features of this phone. To start with, there is hardly any light bleed on the sides. The phone can be bright enough to be legible in bright sunlight. The audio quality is good, but not great. The overall experience, however, is quite good.
Performance: This is a Tru Octa core phone. So performance should not be, and is not, and issue at all. In fact, the Antutu benchmark scored it in the top draw and exclaimed ‘amazing’. Yes, that doesn’t mean much for an average used. What matter for him is the fact that there is no lag anywhere and that multi-tasking is a breeze. We tried multi-tabbed browsing on Chrome and the experience was superb. However, with some games we noticed that the device did heat up quite a bit near the camera. Remember, the heat is coming through an extra layer of protection due to the rear cover.
Memory: The phone has 32GB internal memory, out of which you get to use about 24GB. That is decent as you can download large apps and run them comfortable. The 2GB RAM should also stand you in good stead.
Software: The phone runs Android Jelly Bean with a tweaked UI that I did not like all that much. I suggest you switch to a new launcher that gives the slick look a phone with these specs needs. There is quite a bit of bloatware that you can easily delete.
Camera: The two cameras certainly show a lot numbers. The rear camera for a change gives decent pictures even in low light and indoors. It is not great, but much better that most other Android cameras in this price range. There is a bit of noise in the images, but then there is also good detail when needed. The 8MP front camera is better than most phones, but is sluggish and is best used only for video calls and the occasional selfie. The camera comes with features like 3D panaroma, which is too much of work if you ask me.
Battery: The 2350 mAh battery lasted a full day with average use and on low brightness. With full brightness and regular use with video and gaming, you will be lucky to get 10 hours out of this battery. This means the phone will be good for a regular day in office or college and last till the time you come back home. But if you are planning to hang out with friends on a gaming face-off, or want to go on a binge video watching spree on a long train journey, you will need to invest on a power bank.
Special Mention: For some time now, Micromax has been packaging its phones in boxes that mean business. It does this again with the Canvas Knight, the packaging gives a reassurance to the customer that they have bought something good. Even the printed material in the box and the accessories make you feel good.
Verdict: If you are looking for a high-end phone, but don’t want to spend a month’s salary on the same, the Micromax Canvas Knight can be a good pick. It packs almost everything you expect from an Android phone. The Micromax canvas Knight shows how Indian companies can also produce world class hardware that is stylish, functional and durable (or feels like it). The Knight is right there in the league of top-end Android phones, even though we know that it won’t cost that much. This one costs just Rs 19,999.