For the last few years, Lava has been steadily improving its Iris series. But one thing always stayed the same: built quality. This time around, we've seen a drastic change with Lava's Icon smartphone, which comes with an impressive design.
While a refreshing change from the depressing plastic designs, the Lava Icon still felt like a mediocre offering. The Icon's design does raises eyebrows in a good way, but everything else about the phone appears to be unattractive. Looking at a sheet, it's easy to assume that that the Icon might be a tough sell in this crowded handset market.
The Lava Icon is now available for purchase at a price point of Rs. 11,990 at selected retail stores in India. You can also find the device exclusively on Snapdeal.
We've had witnessed the Lava Icon in an event held in Delhi. Here are our first impressions.
Lava Icon First Look: Form Factor, Design, Display and Operating System
At first glance, you'll suspect someone's just used a new logo on the Xperia Z3. But look a little closer and you'll notice a few tweaks that really do make a difference. Unlike the Sony Xperia Z3, which has a scratch proof rear back, the Lava Icon has a mirror finish back, though it's mostly plastic.
While the design layout gives it the look of a Sony Xperia Z3 knockoff from some sides - there's plenty of Lava's own touch to set apart the two devices.
At 7.7mm think, the Lava Icon felt really nice in the hand. Everything from the design to its built quality gives it a look of a premium design.
You certainly won't be disappointed with the Lava Icon's 5-inch display. As we've come to expect from a mid-end phone, the Icon has a screen resolution of 720p HD.
It has the HD resolution (very common these days) and its surprisingly sharp. The screen is impressive (at least, under normal light settings) and text looks crisp and clean. If you're looking at the screen outdoors, the device can be very reflective in direct sunlight.
Lava has customized Android KitKat with its Star OS. Lava's take on the Android KitKat won't please everyone. Lava hasn't really evolved its Star OS to a very usable state. It retains much of Google's visual language, but we found it less pleasant to use. We'll talk more about Lava Icon's user interface (UI) in our review.
Lava Icon First Look: Processor, RAM and Connectivity
The Icon uses MediaTek's 1.3GHz quad-core processor along with 2GB of RAM. Despite its unimpressive-sounding internals, the Icon is consistently smooth and snappy. But you might not get the top-notch experience one should deserve from a device that's going to cost a cool Rs. 12,000. So, the device will be utterly good for those who don't care for games and multimedia content.
It's worth noting that there's no LTE connectivity on the Lava Icon, so you'll have to rely on the phone's 3G connectivity.
On the up side, the Icon will be made available with 16GB of internal space, instead offering you a mere 8GB of on-board storage. As expected, users can always expand the internal storage via a microSD card slot.
Lava Icon First Look: Camera and Video
For starters, Icon features a 13-megapixel rear-facing camera with dual-LED flash, SONY EXMOR sensor with 5P lens and a blue glass filter. Lava claims the Icon's camera is capable to capture 27% more light under low light conditions.
Despite using the 13-megapixel sensor on the Icon, the device is not quite as polished as we hoped for. Nevertheless, we'll be testing the phone's camera in the coming days.
The Icon shoots Full HD 1080p video at 30fps. The handset is still a respectable video shooter and delivers footage that offer similar results when compared to the Honor 4X.
Up front there's the 5-megapixel front-facing camera. As front-facing shooter go, the results are pretty good making it perfect for taking front-facing shots.
Lava Icon First Look: Battery and Early Verdict
There's a smaller 2550mAh battery (versus the Honor 4X's 3000mAh unit) for starters. And Lava reckons the Z Icon will last a day or so in the normal conditions.
If performance does matter to you, however, then think twice to buy the Lava Icon. The 5.5-inch Huawei Honor 4X still holds the crown as its cheaper price (now available on sale at Rs. 10,499) gives you a 5.5-inch 720p HD screen, a 64-bit processor, 4G LTE and a bigger battery life. Or else you can also opt for the Lenovo A7000, which has a 5.5-inch HD screen, a 64-bit MediaTek chipset, 8MP camera, 4G LTE and more for Rs. 8,999.