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Micromax Canvas Nitro A310 Review: Not the best value for your money

Buy the Micromax Canvas Nitro only if you can't get Asus Zenfone 5, Motorola Moto G2 or Xiaomi Mi3 online.

Written by Mihir Patkar | New Delhi |
Updated: October 15, 2014 4:07:37 pm
Micromax Canvas Nitro A310 Review Buy the Micromax Canvas Nitro only if you can’t get Asus Zenfone 5, Motorola Moto G2 or Xiaomi Mi3 online.

Not too long ago, Micromax was the king of the mid-range smartphone market. Slowly, it was challenged and overtaken by the likes of Asus, Motorola and Xiaomi—at least in terms of what the best value for your money was. The Canvas Nitro aims to snatch that crown back. Has Micromax hit that sweet spot yet again?

Specs: 5-inch touchscreen (1280×720 pixels, 294 ppi) | 1.7GHz octa-core Mediatek MT6592  processor | 2GB RAM | 8GB internal memory, microSD card slot up to 32GB | 13MP rear camera with FullHD video recording, 5MP front camera with HD video | 3G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS | 2500mAh battery | Android 4.4 KitKat OS

Price: Rs. 12,900

Screen: The Canvas Nitro doesn’t have the best screen in its price range, but not the worst either. However, it has two major problems. First, there is no scratch-resistant glass protection, which also means the plastic screen doesn’t feel that great to touch. Built-in screen protection is uncompromisable at this price. Additionally, you can’t see content clearly when under direct sunlight, so using it outdoors is a pain.

Look and Feel: Micromax isn’t fooling anyone with the faux stitched-leather back, inspired by Samsung phones. Just like Samsung got it wrong with the Galaxy Grand 2 (read our full review), Micromax looks and feels like the plastic it is. The device actually feels worse than it looks, which is a pity because it doesn’t look all that great in the first place.

Performance: No lack of horsepower here. The Canvas Nitro outclasses every smartphone apart from the Xiaomi Mi3 at this price. It’s fine for gaming, multi-tasking, and any other sort of power-hungry usage. Full marks.

Camera: Don’t go by the big “13-megapixel” number, this camera is a dud. A slow shutter and constant focus problems make it displeasing to use, not to mention the base quality of the images or videos is sub-par. The Asus Zenfone 5 (read our full review) has a much better camera for a lower price, as does the Xolo 8X-1000 at the same price.

Storage: With 8GB of onboard storage (5.5GB available to the user) and a microSD card slot to expand it, there are no complaints with the Nitro on this front.

Interface: Micromax has made several changes to the default Android interface and preloaded a few apps. The interface changes, while unwelcome, aren’t a deal-breaker because you can easily get rid of customizations. However, the preloaded apps are a problem, especially TrueCaller. This app is a phone directory of sorts, sourcing the contact books of other TrueCaller users to identify any incoming call. Yup, that means it reads your phone book. More importantly, there is no way to uninstall it, and even if you choose not to use it, it will constantly keep throwing popups to activate. Other preloaded apps like trial versions of games unnecessarily take up storage space. The only app we are glad Micromax preloaded is Swiftkey keyboard, one of the best keyboards for Android—but it doesn’t make up for the other horrors.

Connectivity: The Nitro drops calls often and consumes a lot more battery for 3G connectivity than other phones. In fact, we tested it alongside the Xiaomi Mi3 in a moving car on multiple occasions, both running on the same network with the same apps installed. The Nitro’s battery decreased 1.5 times as fast as the Mi3.

Battery: If you switch off 3G, the Canvas Nitro’s battery life is fantastic. Those who are usually connected to a Wi-Fi network will be very happy, as it goes 15 hours on average. But if you are dependent on 3G networks for a large part of the day, then expect it to clock 9-10 hours, which is below par.

Special Mention: You know what sets the Micromax Canvas Nitro A310 apart from its major competitors? You can go to any store and buy it. It’s easily available in brick-and-mortar stores as well as online retailers, and there’s almost no waiting period. Who would have thought that would be a selling point for a phone?

Verdict: The Micromax Canvas Nitro is not the best value for your money. At Rs. 12,900, it’s better to spend your money on the Motorola Moto G2, or save some money and buy the Asus Zenfone 5, or if you can, extend your budget and buy the Xiaomi Mi3. Buy the Nitro only if you can’t get any of these phones.

However, all of these phones are only available online. We think buying online is as good as buying offline, but if you can’t or don’t want to do that, then consider the Nitro. It’s not worth what it charges, but if it’s all you can get, then it’s all you can get.

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