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Chinese smartphone manufacturers have gained a lot of popularity in the Indian smartphone market today. Providing consumers with quality products and at a moderately cheap price, Chinese brands have in fact started to take over the demand of smartphones from the leading player like Samsung as well as from the local phone makers like Micromax, Lava, Intex amongst others.
- Decent battery life
- Sturdy design
- Manageable computing and multitasking performance
- Budget friendly
- Software is optimized
- Battery charging takes a long time
- Sluggish performance at times
- Heating issues
While brands like Oppo, Lenovo, Huawei, Xiaomi, OnePlus, and Vivo amongst others have slowly solidified their hold on the market, it has been evident that there were more brands to come into the scene.
And our expectations did come true! Just at the starting of this month, another Chinese electronic major iVoomi made its entry into the Indian market and announced that it would be launching mid-range and budget smartphones to specially cater to the needs of the consumers.
And making customers' needs a top priority while looking to create a stir in the smartphone domain, the company unveiled its first smartphone in the budget segment earlier in March. Dubbed as the iV 505, the company has launched this smartphone at a price of Rs. 3,999 with some decent features and specs.
On the other hand, being a budget smartphone we can't expect the iV 505 to carry out high-end performance or deliver flawless user experience but there seems to be some interesting and unique bits that may surprise anyone.
Moreover, we had a chance to test out the device for a week and here is what we think about it.
Design and Display: Sturdy design with feel good display
Starting off, the overall design on the iV 505 looks appealing and surprisingly feels good in the hands. The smartphone comes with a plastic body design with a removable back cover. The back cover does feel to be coated with some rubber element and it makes your grip more firm while holding the device.
Coming to the display, this smartphone packs a 5-inch qHD display and do note that the "q" is small meaning that the resolution will be relatively low compared to full HD. So basically you will be getting 960 X 540 resolution at a 16X9 aspect ratio with pixel density of around 300dpi. Further the display seems to have slight rounded edges.
Further, there are capacitative keys at the bottom but they are not backlit. The volume rockers and the power button are on the left hand side of the phone and feels solid and tactile. At the top you have the 3mm jack port and a micro USB port. The speaker grill is at the rear and the memory card as well as the dual SIM slots are inside phone.
Overall the phone can be used easily and single handedly.
UI and OS: Refreshing and custom UI
The iV 505 does come with Android Marshmallow OS with a custom UI known as SmartMe OS on top. The apps interface and the stock icons does look refreshing but the drop down settings feature or the control centre looks similar to other Android phones.
Coming to other aspects, the UI is smooth offers smart gesture features such as double tapping to wake the phone where screen will light up, slide to control music, paint c to open camera, paint m to open music player and there's a lot more. You can also customize notifications settings.
Further, there's a dedicated theme store that let you change the complete look and feel of your smartphone and there is also a floating action button similar to iPhone for shortcuts. Overall, the software is pretty well optimized and comes loaded with useful tweaks to enhance the overall smartphone usage experience in everyday life.
Do note that there is no app drawer.
Well the specs that you get with a Rs. 3,999 smartphone can't be as efficient compared to what higher-end smartphones offer. But this smartphone does ensure that it offers the best experience as possible. The iV 505 packs a 1.3GHz quad-core processor (possibly a MediaTek chipset) coupled with 1GB of RAM. It further comes with a 8 GB storage which can be expanded upto 128 GB via a microSD card.
On a daily use basis, the smartphone handles day-to-day tasks such as opening social network apps such as WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram, etc. easily, but the phone will start exhibiting occasional lags when we have 10 or more opened in the background. Well that's basically because of the low RAM capacity.
Don't think that you can play high graphic-intensive games on this handset as it will deliver a sluggish performance. Notably one more negative aspect is that the handset does tend to heat up a bit with long usage.
However, regarding the basic aspects, we did not face any issues with the call quality using an Airtel and Jio SIM card. The sound quality on both the in-ear and the main speaker was decent.
Camera: No great expectations but few surprises
Cameras again within this budget range are typically of low standard. You can't expect sharp vivid images with great details or some epic night shot or some good selfies. Most of the budget smartphones don't tend to offer quality images.
While we were not expecting anything great, the iV 505 did manage to take some decent pics. The pictures come out well with good and sufficient lighting but in a low light scenario the cameras struggle and the photos do tend to get a lot of noise and grains.
The phone locks the focus at a reasonable pace and the camera app has a Beauty and time-lapse mode as well. The interface though is similar to that of an iPhone camera application.
Likewise, the selfie cam does a decent job and we can't exactly blame the smartphone for the quality because in this case you get what you pay for. As for video the highest resolution that you can shoot on is 720p.
Battery: Better than the competition
Well, battery is the most important aspect any phone. And while testing out the battery of iV 505, it seem to deliver relatively an "all right" performance with an average battery life as it comes with a 3000mAh battery. This might just be the selling point of this phone apart from the price.
Having said that, on using the smartphone from morning to night with some light gaming, replying messages using various apps, browsing the net with YouTube viewing, Facebook, and making some general calls, we ended up putting the smartphone for charge at the end of the day. However, just to make a point, the smartphone was charged to 100 percent the previous night.
So, basically the smartphone does give an easy one day backup and there are lot of battery saving as well as monitoring features in the phone. On the negative side, while the company says that the smartphone comes with fast charging support, it took us roughly three hours to charge the device to it maximum capacity.
Considering all that we have said about the device above, the first question that we can think of is; will this be a good buy?
To answer that question, iVoomi has done a lot of with this budget device and what we have not mentioned earlier, the device does come with some pretty interesting stock apps and customization options that will enhance the user experience.
Additionally, the iV 505 will be a good buy as this entry level Android handset will be suitable for users who are looking for a smartphone that does not fall heavy on the pocket and offers a reasonable performance. It does offer more compared to other smartphones in the same price range and category.
The battery again is the distinguishing feature as other smartphone brands don't offer such capacity at this price range and further it has support for 4G.
Besides, as iVoomi has just entered the market with iV 505 and is trying to establish high-trust and credibility of consumers it is worth mentioning that the smartphone is only available for purchase at shopclues.com.