Flagship smartphones are not just about raking in sales. For most smartphone manufacturers, it is also about optics. They need a premium phone to show the world they can do a good job at the top end too, and this has some resonance across the company’s product range. Micromax did this successfully a few years ago with its Canvas Knight. Now, after relatively quiet couple of quarters, the Indian mobile phone major hopes it will be able to infuse some new life into its brand with a new flagship, the Micromax Dual 5.
Micromax Dual 5
The Micromax Dual 5 is costliest phone ever from this company. And while the phone is still mid-range, it’s a leap of faith for Micromax, which has usually focused on the budget segment. The focus this time is clearly on the camera and as the name suggests, this phone packs two.
Actually, three because along with the two 13MP cameras in the rear, there is another 13MP selfie camera up front too. This 13+13+13 combination is a first for any smartphone company, and that is how Micromax hopes to get some serious attention. But this phone is not just about the camera. The phone packs so many features that even after owning it for a few months you will be stumbling on things you hadn’t noticed before.
Price: Rs 24,999
Specs: 5.5-inch Full HD AMOLED display | Qualcomm Snapdragon 652 processor | 4GB RAM +128GB storage (expandable to 128GB ) | 13+13MP rear camera +13 MP front camera | 3200mAh Battery with Quick Charge 3.0 | Android 6.0.1 | For Full Specifications go here.
Well, the Micromax Dual 5 has a classy design. It is also a time-tested design as it looks like Qiku Q Terra, which came to India a year ago. The metal unibody finish is classy, though I didn’t really like the gold finish on the review device. This phone will look better in a grey or black finish. There is an extra button on the left, which be customised to do what you want it to. The phone’s cut edges give it a good grip. The phone features a Full HD display that works well even if you are in using it in bright sunlight.
While with pricing and positioning, the Micromax Dual 5 would like to compete with the likes of the OnePlus 3T, this phone is powered by a mid-range Qualcomm Snapdragon 652 processor. It might look underwhelming on paper, in the week or so that I used the phone, there was not a single instance that I found the phone lacking in processing power. It also stayed relatively cool during intensive tasks like gaming. The Dual 5 comes with 4GB RAM and the overall combo should keep most users happy.
In the end, a lot of people will look at this phone for its dual camera. After all, this would be the most affordable with two lenses. This is clearly the best camera Micromax has ever made. In fact, I would even say this is the best camera from an Indian smartphone maker. The camera offers everything that you might need and a lot more. There is a Pro mode, 4K video along with 3D video and great macro mode.
Since one of the two 13MP lenses in the rear is black and white, the monochrome photos on this one come out really well. The dual camera is good too, though it is not the default for taking photos. You have to switch to the dual tab and select either blurry or night. The results are very good especially with portraits though you need steady hands for the second or so that the camera takes to process the image. But the night mode seemed better in this aspect. There is enough camera power on this phone to fill up the 128GB storage space faster than intended.
Micromax’s offering has a lot to do with software as well. The phone offers an extra layer of security added keeping the Indian user in mind. So there is a anti-theft feature that locks the phone as soon as the SIM is removed, and there is a unique security locker, which can be accessed only via the fingerprint scanner.
A lot of these featured are clearly borrowed from Chinese security firm Qihoo 360. But there is a hardware side to it as well and the phone uses a security chip with CC EAL5 + security certification.
The phone comes with a 3200mAh battery with 3200mAh QuickCharge 3.0. On Jio 4G the phone lasted well over 12 hours with mostly data usage. The battery can be charged to full in under an hour, and that is an added advantage.
What is not so good?
Since Micromax has added so many software features, this phone does not run the latest version of Android. In a few months, it will be a bit behind on this aspect. Also, there is still too much skinning on the phone at a time when everyone seems to be veering towards pure Android.
The default theme is too blingy. It feels you are in a jewellery show and when I finally switched to a much sober theme, I had to spend a few minutes figuring out what the browser icon was.
Also, someone forgot to run a grammar check before releasing the UI on this phone. So there is some unintended humour in some screens.
Should you buy?
Yes, if you are looking for a mid-range phone that packs more than what you paid for. The cameras, the extra storage and the abundance of features should keep you happy for the money you have spent. The only problem might be that the phone offers a bit too much.