Home grown OEM Micromax have yet another budget offering for the Indian customers. After an over whelming success with the online only Micromax Canvas Spark, the company decided to up the ante by launching the new device at Rs 5,999.
With an octacore SoC inside and a 13MP camera on the back, the deal seems too good to be true at this price tag. The company even goes on to tout that it is the country's most affordable smartphone! Hence we decided to pit the device against the king of the budget segment, the Xiaomi Redmi 2. Can this newbie from Micromax match up with it? Let's find out.
Build and Design:
The Redmi 2 doesn't come with any swanky materials on the outside. It is plain simple polycarbonate. Nevertheless the device is pretty well built with no sweaky parts. The back is a soft touch matte plastics which feel more like the the Baby skin back cover of the OnePlus One.
On the other hand the Canvas Xpress 2 has been treated generously with a metal rim running down the side profile of the device. The back has a matte finish too, which is a nice change by Micromax. Generally we are used to seeing device from them with a shiny and slippery back in the budget segment.
Personally I would prefer the back of the Redmi 2 but as a whole the Canvas Xpress 2 is a better package. Plus its slimmer too.
It's a close match in this segment, since both devices feature an HD (1280x720) display. But do note that the Xpress 2 has a 5 inch display in contrary to the 4.7inch in the Redmi 2. Hence the ppi is better on the Redmi 2.
The display panel on the Redmi 2 is sourced from either of the top display manufacturers JDI/AUO. This is visible in the real life performance too as it renders perfects colours with excellent viewing angles. Xiaomi has included an OGS display in the device as well. This is not the case with Canvas Xpress 2 though. It has a good display at its price point but still can't match up with the Redmi 2 when it comes to brightness and viewing angles.
Under the Hood:
This is where the Xpress 2 beats the Redmi 2 by leaps and bound. While the Redmi 2 features a low range quad core Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 SoC inside with an Adreno 306 GPU, the Canvas Xpress 2 comes with an Mediatek Octacore SoC. To be precise it is actually the MT6592M with 8 cores clocked at 1.4GHz each. Despite coming at an age where MT6752 is flagship midrange chip, we can't complain - considering the price point at which Micromax is providing the chip. Still now most manufacturers don't use this MT6592M SoC in sub 10K range.
Benchmark wise the MT6592M is the king, when compared to the SD410 - it scores round 28,000 in Antutu v5.7. The SD410 on the other hand tips the scale at somewhere between 20,000 - 21,500.
Both the devices come with a decent, 1GB of RAM to fulfil multitasking needs. A 2GB variant of Redmi 2 will enter India soon though.
This had always been the USP of the Redmi 2. It all started with the Redmi 1S and the company carried over the same rear camera sensor to the next gen Redmi 2. The camera is an 8MP f2.2 unit using an unknown Omnivision Sensor. The images are crisp and the colour reproduction is excellent. Having personally used the device for over a month, I am more than pleased with what this device has to offer. But now I believe that Redmi 2 has a fierce competitor in its segment post the launch of the Xpress 2.
The Canvas Xpress 2 too comes with a beefy camera specifications - a 13MP f2.0 unit using Omnivision 13850 with a dual LED flash. The Redmi 2 on the other hand has a single LED. The camera on the Xpress 2 also comes with a Largan 5P lens and a Blueglass filter. I am really optimistic regarding the aperture of this camera - f2.0 is an awesome, considering the fact that even flagship devices like One Plus One came with the same aperture. But the main problem with Micromax is that they generally mess up the camera algorithms. Thus despite using top notch camera hardware, the real life performance from the devices are not up to mark. Hope Micromax has improved here and if so I can surely say we have a winner down here!
The front camera on both devices are a fixed focus 2MP unit. So far it seems that it is better on the Redmi 2, but we will keep the final decision on hold till we publish the full review on the Canvas Xpress 2.
Both the devices come with Android Kitkat 4.4.2 with their custom UI on top. The UI on Xpress 2 is nearly vanilla interface with very little tweaks. It does have a no of bloatwares though just like any other device from the company.
On the other hand Redmi 2 runs on MIUI v6 which provides a lot of customisability as well as utility. The USP of the firmware is the lack of bloatwares, regular updates, Security app (it has Clean Master bundled in) and the Permission Manager (it gives granular control to the user to manually set each and every app permission).
Nevertheless both companies claim that they will upgrade the devices to Lollipop soon.
This another area where the Redmi 2 has an edge. Both devices support dual sim but the Redmi 2 features dual 4G, which is contrary to the Xpress 2 (dual 3G). Other connectivity options are same for both devices - Bluetooth 4.0, Wifi a/b/g/n.
To be perfectly honest, it is quite a tough choice between both the devices. I will try to make yoiur choice as simple as possible though.
Redmi 2 is for you if:-
- Multimedia usage is high i.e. watching movies, reading e-books on the go. It has a better display
- Camera is a top priority. Despite having a lower resolution it does have a phenomenal rear camera for the price tag.
- Software updates are an issue. Xiaomi is known for providing frequent updates, but that's not the case with the Xpress 2.
Go for the Canvas Xpress 2 if:
- You are a hardcore gamer and need the best performance at a budget.
- Build quality matters for you - after all it has the ever hyped ‘metal' in the side.
- Battery life: It has a 2500 mah unit when compared to the 2250mah in the Redmi 2.
Hope this helps. Do let us know which device you would opt for in the comments section below.