The entry level smartphone segment in India is gradually adopting noteworthy features from mid-range and value flagship handsets. The most notable features include 18:9 aspect ratio display and dual-lens camera setup.
iVoomi, a Hong Kong based brand of SUNTEX which started its innings in India last year has managed to offer both in its latest product. Priced at Rs. 5,999, iVoomi i1 is the most affordable smartphone in India with an 18:9 aspect ratio screen. The smartphone also offers a dual-lens camera setup and a fingerprint scanner.
Interestingly, the company claims that it sold out its stock of i1 and i1S in a record-breaking time of less than half an hour in a flash sale on Flipkart on 10th January, 2018.
It can be possible considering the fact that smartphone enthusiasts are quite fascinated by two-lens camera implementations and taller screens. Even first time smartphone users look for features that are in trend which could work in favor of iVoomi's new handsets.
However, our job is to find out whether the on-paper specifications actually translate to real-life performance or not. We used iVoomi i1 for over a week to find out its true potential. Our experience might help you out if you are looking for a new entry-level smartphone. So let's get started.
Sturdy build and premium outlook
iVoomi i1 clearly looks like a smartphone priced in mid-range price segment. It does not come across as a budget handset if I precisely talk about look and feel. The taller screen, curved edges and a dual-lens camera module are the reasons for modern look and feel. But not everything is perfect here. The smartphone has thin borders on sides but the bezels on top and bottom of the display are rather thick and make the handset a bit unappealing.
iVoomi i1 is made out of polycarbonate and feel quite sturdy in hands. The rear panel has been given glossy finish that looks appealing but at the same time it also makes budget handsets prone to smudges and fingerprints.
The buttons are placed on the right side and are slightly positioned high than the usual arrangement, which can trouble one-hand usage. Even the positioning of fingerprint scanner placement is a bit off. Thankfully, the rounded corners and curved edges come to rescue. Moreover, iVoomi i1 also feels slightly bulkier than Infocus Vision 3, which also offers taller 18:9 aspect ratio display at slightly higher price-point. Interestingly, Infocus has managed to fit a larger battery without bulking the overall weight of the handset.
Ivoomi i1 has a microphone and a speaker unit at the bottom edge. The 3.5m headphone jack and the charging port are placed at the top edge. What is rather interesting is that the company has managed to squeeze in a dual-lens camera setup and a fingerprint scanner at such affordable price-point.
Overall, iVoomi has done a decent job in giving i1 a modern look and feel but has failed to make it ergonomic and as practical as other handsets in this price-point.
Experience immersive multimedia playback at affordable price-point
The highlight feature of iVoomi i1 is its screen. The company has raised the bar by integrating an 18:9 aspect ratio screen at an entry-level price-point. The new iVoomi handset sports a 5.45-inch HD display that allows you to consume more content in compact form factor.
But the resolution is not something to drool upon as the display only delivers 640x1280 pixels. The display is vibrant and works well indoors but is not very comfortable to use in direct sunlight. The viewing angles are not very good as the glass on the display is quite reflective, which makes it tough to check notifications and watch videos in direct sunlight.
Compared to iVoomi i1, the display on Xiaomi Redmi 5A and Infocus Vision 3 delivers better visual experience. However, you must know that Xiaomi Redmi 5A offers an HD display with the dated 16:9 aspect ratio. Infocus Vision 3 has a taller screen and can be a good option for multimedia lovers, but you have to spend an extra Rs.1,000 for it.
Dual-lens camera setup that can deliver Portrait shots
Coming on to another key feature, iVoomi i1 sports a dual-lens camera setup that comprises of a 13MP primary camera and a 2MP secondary camera. The camera can sense depth of field information to create bokeh effects. The image output is not that brilliant but camera did surprise us, especially with its ability to deliver depth of field images. I managed to get some good portrait shots with the affordable iVoomi i1 in natural light. However, there's a noticeable lag while taking bokeh shots and you have to be patient with the camera.
Image Quality and competition
Talking precisely about the image quality, the images captured by 13MP+2MP rear camera and 8MP front camera on iVoomi i1 lack sharpness and textures aren't reproduced well. The detailing in images captured by iVoomi i1 is not as good as we experienced with the 13MP rear camera on Xiaomi Redmi 5A. The images captured by Xiaomi Redmi 5A have warmth and are more pleasing to eyes. If you can compromise with the detailing part, iVoomi i1 can be a good option as the handset has the ability to capture decent bokeh shots, which in this price-point is a steal.
Here, i would also like to mention that Infocus Vision 3 (Rs. 6,999) also has a dual-lens camera setup which is slightly better than the camera setup on iVoomi i1 in terms of image quality and camera functionality; however it has one big drawback. The portrait mode in Vision 3 only delivers bokeh shots when it recognizes a face in a frame. the two-lens setup fails to sense depth of field information when you are shooting any objects. On the other hand, Xiaomi Redmi 5A work on a mono lens and cannot deliver portrait shots.
Strictly for basic tasks
On the hardware front, the smartphones run on the MediaTek 6737 quad-core processor along with Mali-T720 GPU. The iVooMi i1 comes with 2GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage. You can also buy iVoomi i1S, which offers 3GB RAM and 32GB internal memory. The internal storage can be expanded by up to 128GB via microSD card. You will be happy to know that iVoomi has offered a dedicated microSD card slot with this budget handset.
iVoomi i1 is an entry-level handset and works only like one. You don't expect this device to run games and multiple apps without any performance slowdown. iVoomi i1 performs well in everyday tasks such as web browsing, YouTube, camera usage, calling, etc. and can also be used to play some light games in Google Play Store. If that suffice your needs, the smartphone will not disappoint you.
Android 7.0 Nougat with some useful tweaks
The user interface is clean and easy to use; however the handset is still stuck with Android 7.0 Nougat. There are some useful features in the UI. You get gesture controls, Quick Touch with useful shortcuts to important apps, two-finger swipe gesture to switch wallpapers, Duraspeed that speeds up the performance by restricting background apps, etc. Moreover, iVoomi has also added a special service app- ivoomi care centre that gives information about the company's service centers and helpline numbers. You can also give feedback and check for warranty from within the app, which is appreciable.
Battery and Connectivity
iVoomi i1 can last a day with light to moderate use. The smartphone is backed by a 3,000mAh battery unit, which does not come with fast charging support. On the connectivity front, both the devices support 4G VoLTE, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, dual-SIM and a dedicated microSD card slot.
iVoomi has done a good job and has given some noteworthy features in its latest budget offerings. The dual-lens camera setup and taller display will appeal smartphone enthusiasts. However, the execution is not entirely flawless and only serves for basic smartphone requirements. The other smartphones that you can consider are Infocus Vision 3 and Xiaomi Redmi 5A, however if your prime focus is on bokeh shots, iVoomi i1 is the handset you should buy.