Intex launched a breakthrough (in terms of price only) mobile handset along with Firefox last month called Cloud Fx smartphone. Touted as the cheapest available smartphone in India, it is targeted to those who are using a feature phone and wishes to upgrade to a smartphone.
The mission of Intex and Firefox is very clear- empower people to connect to Internet through the cheapest possible device. So, in a way, both the brands have accomplished it. However, is it enough? Can both the brands grab the mind share of users who are still using an alpha-numeric keypad-based handset or a Nokia Asha?
While Internet connectivity is just one aspect of a smartphone. The Intex Cloud Fx will not able to satisfy the multimedia needs of most users. We cannot blame Intex given the phone is priced at just Rs, 1,999.
Even if users stay contended with the fact that they are getting the most out of a smartphone priced just Rs. 1,999, one thing is certain that he or she will soon feel like buying a better device. It’s purely a bait to draw people into buying a low cost smartphone first and then spend more in the future to get a better device for a better experience.
Who should think of buying this device?
The majority of mobile users in India are still using a feature phone. So, there are plenty of mobile users out there who are looking at grabbing this opportunity to get a smartphone at a cheap price. However, if you are expecting anything great, then don’t.
If you are on a real tight budget and cannot spend anything more and you want the comfort of using a feature phone and wish to check your E-mail, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ , etc and surf the Internet occasionally then it might suit you. Music, FM radio, basic games works fine. However, the camera is just for the namesake and you might as well forget it.
Remember, the smartphone supports 2.5 G connectivity only. So, Internet browsing speeds are expected to be slow and depends on the service provider.
Intex Cloud FX without Internet
Without Internet connectivity, the device works as a normal feature phone. However, you cannot open social apps like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc in offline mode but you can access your E-mail account.
Key specs: 3.5-inch capacitive display,1 GHz processor, 2 MP rear camera, Firefox OS, WiFi, Edge, BlueTooth, G-sensor, 1250 mAh battery
Price: Rs. 1,999. Add the price of a 4GB microSD card if you don’t have one.
Included accessories: in-ear plugs, USB cable with charging adapter.
Design: Looks simple. The build quality is decent. The front face of the device features a 3.5-inch display along with one capacitive home button located at the middle just below the screen. At the back, the device mounts a 2 MP camera. The back cover is removable and users will have to remove the battery to get access to the microSD card slot and the two SIM card slots. Overall, the device offers good grip and is light weighted.
Display: Very basic. Viewing angles are, of course, bad given it’s a low-cost phone. Nothing much to comment about it.
Performance: The device is powered by a 1 GHz processor. It is not meant for multitasking at all. I tried listening to music while surfing the Internet but after opening just two tabs, the device froze completely. I experience several lags while operating the device, especially, when closing a particular app.
Coming to application performance, surprisingly, I couldn’t download any app from the Marketplace at a single go. After 50 per cent, the download stops automatically and a shortcut gets created. On opening the shortcut, the app starts to download again. In fact, few apps never got downloaded. Downloading applications from the marketplace is a pathetic experience.
Performance of this device might easily frustrate any average user. The phone appears to work smooth only when used to take or make calls, listen to music or FM Radio and a bit of Internet usage.
We understand that it’s a low-cost device; however, sometimes users might feel that they are better off with a feature phone or Nokia Asha because the experience on such devices is pretty stable.
Camera: Forget that the device comes with a camera. In bright sunlight, you expect some form of images to get captured. However, when in-doors or in medium to low lighting conditions, everything appears to be blackish. What else can you expect from a 2 MP camera?
Connectivity: No issues as such with basic connectivity. However, you might expect sudden drops in Internet connectivity while using .
Apps: The Firefox OS is pretty nascent and for this device, you will not find many popular apps. There is no direct WhatsApp application. You can use WhatsApp via third party apps via ConnectA2 or Loqui IM. However, it’s pretty unstable and unpredictable. Games available for this device are very basic.
Apps make or break the experience of a smartphone OS. As of now, there are not much of applications available to woo users.
Storage: Internal memory is very low. You get only around 60 MB. So, you will have to get a microSD card. The device supports up to 4 GB microSD cards only.
Battery: The device is powered by a 1250 mAh battery. The battery backup is decent.
Verdict: The Cloud Fx is more like a trophy won by Intex. Yes, they might have won the trophy by making the cheapest smartphone in India. But then is it usable? Is it worth spending your hard earned Rs. 2,000 on this phone? Well, tough to say yes because you will feel like moving back to your old feature phone soon or would want to buy a better device, preferably Android.
If you really want a smartphone then it is better to save a bit more money and opt for a low cost Android device.
Got any specific query? Feel free to ask at the comment section below. Also, please share your experience with the Intex Cloud Fx smartphone if you have one.