Mobile phones are getting bigger and bigger, but what about those of us with smaller hands? Not everyone wants a smartphone that barely fits in their pocket or something that eclipses their face when held against the ear. Like the Sony Xperia Z1 Compact and the Moto G, the Micromax Canvas Turbo Mini asks the question: do good things still come in small packages?
Specs: 4.7-inch IPS touchscreen (1280×720 pixels) | 1.3GHz quad-core Mediatek MTK6582 processor | 1GB RAM | 4GB internal memory, microSD up to 32GB | Dual-SIM (microSIM + standard SIM) | 8-megapixel rear camera, 5-megapixel front camera, 720p HD video recording | 3G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4, GPS | 1800mAh battery | Android 4.2 Jelly Bean
Price: Rs 12,000 approximately
Design: With a unibody design, the Canvas Turbo Mini manages to look pretty good from a distance. It’s got a back that’s made to look like brushed aluminium, although it’s made out of plastic. And it’s light when you first hold it too. But that’s not what you notice. You notice the cheap quality of the materials. You notice the way the chrome trimming along the corners has started discolouring. You notice the innumerable scratches and blemishes on the back. And you notice how the flaps on the top and bottom of the back don’t sit flush with the plate in the middle. The Canvas Turbo Mini is that unit which is great when you take it out of the box, but quickly starts aging.
Screen: Not having a Gorilla Glass or other scratch-resistant surface is always bothersome for me and that earns the Turbo Mini some negatives. But what’s nice is that it makes full use of its 4.7-inch screen, unlike the Moto G and the Z1 Compact. There are capacitive touch buttons under the screen instead of virtual on-screen buttons. When screen space is already limited, it’s nice that a manufacturer gives you full use of it. Plus, the screen itself is pretty decent. Its failings lie in the colours being a little washed out and the fact that applying a screen guard distorts its legibility in sunlight. But apart from that, it’s everything you can want.
Performance: The Canvas Turbo struggled to have its processor keep up with the FullHD screen and a similar problem plagues the Turbo Mini. It’s simply not a smooth experience, unlike other phones priced in this range like the Moto G or even Micromax’s own Canvas 4. Multi-tasking, especially, is a nightmare as apps crashed and the phone hanged twice. And since it’s a non-removable battery, I had to wait till things resolved themselves. This inconsistent experience of the Turbo Mini makes it a deal-breaker for me.
Camera: The 8-megapixel camera on the back of the Turbo Mini matches up to the Moto G’s 5-megapixel camera, but that’s not saying much. Neither of these are great and you will get usable images in the daylight, but forget about these giving you anything worthwhile once the light isn’t good.
Storage: There is a big problem with Android phones that come with 4GB of internal memory, especially since what’s available to the user in the end is just about 2.5GB. Going forward, you won’t be able to install big games or applications, so what’s the point of Android? Even right now, I couldn’t directly download games like FIFA 14 and Asphalt 8 both and had to resort to installing APKs manually. This is one of the two things that really matter when buying an Android phone at this price, so it’s a big miss.
Connectivity: Micromax has stepped up its game in the antenna segment of its smartphones recently and the Turbo Mini lives up to these high expectations. Among phones in this range, this is the best that you get for network.
Software: I like that Micromax doesn’t mess around too much with Android’s default interface, but there are some tweaks made that seem unnecessary, like the special theme for messages and contacts or the icon pack. However, if you know your way around the Play Store, you should be able to fix these to how you like them–and even otherwise, they aren’t unusable.
Battery: The battery life of the Micromax Canvas Turbo Mini is middling to poor, depending on what you use it for. In regular usage, you should get about 13 hours before needing to recharge this, while it lasts for just about 5 hours of pure video playback. But for some reason, it does poorly when the Wi-Fi is on and drains battery faster.
Verdict: It’s not often that a phone gets a clear “don’t buy” from me, but the Micromax Canvas Turbo Mini is just not a sensible purchase. At the same price, you can purchase a Motorola Moto G or the Micromax Canvas 4, which are both far better than the Turbo Mini. Skip this one.