Spice Stellar Virtuoso MI-495: Hands on Review

By: Anuj Bhatia

This year bigger screen phones made their entry in the ambitious world of ‘connected devices'. Some of them succeeded in wooing consumers others fall flat. Spice, who is one of among many Android players present in the Indian handset market, has introduced the Stellar Virtuoso MI-495.

The device which has a 4.5-inch qHD display along with 1-GHz dual core processor, and 512MB RAM, hit consumer market recently. GizBot conducted a detailed analysis of the Spice Stellar Virtuoso. Can it pass with flying colors? Would you like to consider this handset or recommend it to your friends? Let's groove it.

What's inside the box?

  • Spice Stellar Virtuoso (Handset)
  • Adapter cum USB cable
  • Headset
  • Design and Aesthetics

At first glance, the device manages to make an impression, on your mind. It has no physical home button neither you have standard traditional Android 3-way on the surface. There is a volume rocker button the top left side, power button on the right side, microphone on the bottom , 3.5mm jack on the top left , and finally USB 2.0 port on the top.

A 1.3-mega pixel front facing camera has been provided by the manufacturer. On the back, you will find an 8.1-mega pixel camera with LED flash and Auto Focus. The battery is removable, and speaker grill is at the lower end side of the back. Edges are clean and very straight forward. The device is just 9.44 mm thick. You can imagine yourself how lean the device is. It weighs around 150 grams.

However, it feels way comfortable to hold in a single hand. Being made from complete plastic, it didn't feel cheap. The front end is glossy and prone to finger print magnet. The back side is bit more relaxed, and gentle looking. Overall, the device has a well -toned structure.

Display

Good thing about the Spice Stellar Virtuoso is its quality of display used by tech vendor. It has a screen size of 11.43 cm. Well, in layman terms a 4.5-inch qHD display with resolution of 960 X 540 pixels is what you get. The display is not HD; still the screen is crisp even in the bright sunlight. In our tests, the display performed above average.

But an added bummer is the diluted viewing angles. When you tilt the handset, while the video is being played, it was found that colors were bit washed out. Otherwise, it played both 720p and Full HD videos with ease. The device successfully displayed natural colors. You can always change the brightness level by going to the settings. Apart from viewing angle problem, the display is ultra sharp and vivid too.

Operating system, apps and UI

The device comes loaded with Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich. As it is powered by Google, naturally, it comes with host of native apps. The first thing you will notice is the three -way directional buttons synced with the OS. So, no physical buttons on the top. As usual, there is a back button, a home button in the center, and third button will let you open system settings, managing apps among others. A long press on the home button will open up your recent activities.

You can remove them from the list, as per your convenience. Coming to the User Interface, it is heavily skinned by the manufacturer. The menu is divided into apps, widgets and recent tasks. The device comes pre-loaded with SpiceGang and Stringo apps.

Processor, Browser performance, Multimedia

The Spice Stellar boasts of 1-GHz dual core processor along with 512MB of RAM fitted in the device. In our tests, it can manage to run Temple Run with ease. But in general usage over a constant period of time the performance falls a bit. It's not that the device completely stopped working, but in one such case (especially in times of running heavy applications), it happened. In our tests, the accelerometer didn't perform up to the mark. The pinch-to-zoom functionality worked like a charm.

Browsing on a device is quite enjoyable. The embedded speakers are quite powerful. The bundled earphones are above average, but bass was missing. Running videos via YouTube was an enthralling experience - thanks to the display. The makers should have opted for 1GB of RAM to make the experience buttery.

Camera

The handset is powered by an 8.1 -mega pixel rear camera with LED flash and Auto Focus. You can check out the samples below. Well, the camera performed better in taking outside pictures. When it comes to taking pictures in the low light-sorry, it failed miserably. Even in the indoors, it slips out badly. Yes! It gave better results when taken close-ups. The front facing camera performed average.

Battery life

Although, the makers have come up with 1,700mAh battery to power up the Spice Stellar Virtuoso, still battery life is not great. Again and again, it needs to be charge. In our tests, the device went out of battery in just 5 hours of continues usage. And another thing is the heating up of the handset (could be battery) after 15 minutes of usage. This might be limited to review handset or in reality, the device has a major problem like this, need to be answered by the tech vendor.

Conclusion

The Spice Stellar Virtuoso is an above average handset by all standards. Like other budget handsets, this device also has some major faults: battery issue and average camera. The performance is not great, but the dual core processor manages well.

Design wise, it is it not iconic, but quite decent. The device sells for Rs. 10,499 in the market. Now the results are in. Whether you are impressed with the handset or not is the real question arises. Stay tuned to GizBot.

Hits

  • Display
  • AGPS
  • Thin profile
  • Android 4.0 ICS
  • Misses
  • Battery
  • Camera
  • UI

Stay tuned to GizBot for more updates!

Spice Stellar Virtuoso MI-495

Spice Stellar Virtuoso MI-495

Spice Stellar Virtuoso MI-495

Spice Stellar Virtuoso MI-495

Spice Stellar Virtuoso MI-495

Spice Stellar Virtuoso MI-495

Spice Stellar Virtuoso MI-495

Spice Stellar Virtuoso MI-495

Spice Stellar Virtuoso MI-495

Spice Stellar Virtuoso MI-495

Spice Stellar Virtuoso MI-495

Spice Stellar Virtuoso MI-495

Spice Stellar Virtuoso MI-495

Spice Stellar Virtuoso MI-495

Spice Stellar Virtuoso MI-495

Spice Stellar Virtuoso MI-495

Spice Stellar Virtuoso MI-495

Spice Stellar Virtuoso MI-495

Spice Stellar Virtuoso MI-495

Stay tuned to GizBot for more updates!

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