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Lava Blaze Pro Review: One Of The Best Smartphones Under ₹12,000
Lava is the only Indian smartphone brand that has survived the fierce competition from Chinese companies. Mostly because the homegrown brand has invested in R&D on time and updated its portfolio with decent, if not great, offerings in the segment. Lava currently offers a good selection of sub-12K smartphones, pocket-friendly feature phones, TWS earbuds, neckbands, and power banks.
Blaze is Lava's most feature-rich smartphone series, with two sub-12K handsets: Blaze and Blaze Pro. The Blaze Pro, which costs ₹10,499, is the company's best-looking smartphone to date. The Made in India handset comes in four appealing colors and packs some notable features such as a fluid 90Hz display, a massive 5,000mAh battery, and a 50MP triple-lens camera.
Should you choose the Lava Blaze Pro over the Redmis, Pocos, and Samsung's budget smartphones? Let's find out.
Lava Blaze Pro Design
The Blaze Pro may appear dated upfront (chunky bezels and a dewdrop notch), but it excels in terms of rear design and overall appearance, making it one of the best-looking sub-12K smartphones on the market. The frosted glass back and shiny frame give the handset the look and feel of a much more expensive handset. Add to that the eye-catching rear camera setup, which is easily the most premium-looking camera module we've seen on a low-cost device.
The material selection, as well as the overall fit and finish, are top-notch. We're testing the green color variant, and this pastel shade looks great. You can also get the phone in orange, blue, and gold colors. In terms of design, the Blaze Pro easily outshines the majority of the sub-12K handsets from Chinese OEMs, Samsung, and Nokia.
How Practical Is The Lava Blaze Pro Design?
Due to the massive 5,000mAh battery cell, the Blaze Pro is slightly heavy; however, the good in-hand grip makes it fairly easy to carry around with one hand. In daily use, I didn't find the phone to be slippery, and the frosted back panel stays completely smudge-free. Moving on, the fingerprint scanner integrated into the power button is quick and accurate, and the phone also retains the 3.5mm audio jack. A Type-C charging port, a dedicated SD card slot for storage expansion, and a dual-SIM card slot are also included.
Lava Blaze Pro Display
The Blaze Pro has a 6.5-inch HD IPS LCD display with a refresh rate of 90Hz. It's a good-looking screen with some drawbacks, which is quite acceptable at this price point. The colors appear vibrant, and the brightness is more than adequate for indoor use; however, outdoor visibility may be an issue when using the handset in direct sunlight. The Blaze Pro isn't the best smartphone in its class for video playback. The screen can only stream SD content on the OTT platform, and the 720p resolution has an impact on image quality.
Buttery Smooth UI (90Hz Refresh Rate)
The screen excels at touch response though. The Blaze Pro gets a 90Hz refresh rate that ensures a smooth UI navigation and fluid scrolling experience. If you have been using a 60Hz refresh rate all this while, shifting to a 90Hz screen will feel a lot smoother and fun. Overall, you have to compromise a bit on display clarity and peak brightness with the Blaze Pro.
Lava Blaze Pro Camera- Good For Daylight Photography
The Lava Blaze's camera performance has taken me by surprise. It's a good camera for casual photography, and you can get some great shots in good lighting. The 50MP primary sensor, which captures crisp images in low-light conditions, deserves the majority of the credit. The camera captures images with good details and natural colors, which is difficult to find in this price range. The daylight images are well-exposed and visually appealing. The main sensor also supports 6x digital zoom, but pixelation is noticeable.
Lava Blaze Pro Captures Decent Portraits
Additionally, there is a 2MP depth sensor and a macro sensor. While the macro sensor is unremarkable, the 2MP depth sensor can produce some intriguing images. The bokeh effect is quite impressive for a device priced under ₹12,000. If you have plenty of natural light, this low-cost camera can produce some impressive portraits. Before taking a shot, you can adjust the bokeh effect strength in the camera app.
The Blaze Pro includes a night mode, beauty mode, slow-motion, time-lapse, UHD mode (50MP mode), scanner mode, GIF mode, and even a Pro mode. This is another well-thought-out camera app for a low-cost handset.
Lava Blaze Pro Performance
The MediaTek Helio G37 SoC powers the Blaze Pro, backed by 4GB of RAM and 64GB of onboard storage, which can be expanded to 256GB via a dedicated microSD card slot. There is 3GB of virtual RAM to help with performance. In terms of software, the Blaze Pro runs almost stock Android 12 with no bloatware preinstalled. The software on this low-cost device is surprisingly good, and it bears a passing resemblance to Google Pixel devices.
Sluggish Multitasking Performance
However, the same cannot be said for hardware performance. The Blaze Pro is mostly useful for basic tasks like calling, using the camera and browsing the web. When you try to push the handset, it begins to lose power. This device can feel sluggish when multitasking or playing casual games, which we've also noticed on Motorola and Nokia's similarly priced handsets. Look for a slightly more expensive Poco or Redmi handset if you want better overall performance.
Lava Blaze Pro Battery Life
The Lave Blaze Pro is powered by a 5,000mAh battery that easily lasts a day of heavy use. You can stream videos, listen to music, make calls, take hundreds of pictures, and browse the web all day long and the phone will still have some juice left at the end of the day. With moderate use, the budget device can easily last two days, and in some cases even longer. However, the 10W charging support may put your patience to the test. The handset takes at least 2.5 hours to fully recharge, which is extremely slow even for a budget handset in 2022.
Lava Blaze Pro Audio Output
The budget handset has a single bottom-firing speaker. It is decently loud but don't expect it to produce high-quality audio. The sound is one-directional and lacks substance. I recommend using a good pair of 3.5mm earphones to enjoy music and videos on this low-cost handset. The haptic feedback on the Blaze Pro is subpar and could have been better. We have tested similarly priced handsets with slightly better haptics.
The Blaze Pro is easily the most visually appealing phone in its class, and it also performs admirably in terms of photography. Other notable features that make the Blaze Pro a good sub-12K offering include the 90Hz refresh rate display and the long-lasting battery. The phone performs well on a daily basis; however, the phone's weak MediaTek SoC limits its potential as a good budget device for multitasking and gaming. To address the performance issues, Lava could have offered a slightly better processor.
Nonetheless, if you're on a tight budget and want a good overall handset, the Blaze Pro is a good buy. It is also worth noting that Lava is also throwing in two extra freebies for buyers- free 100 days screen replacement (T&C Involved) and free service at home with the Blaze Pro. The Service @Home is also applicable with Lava's Yuva and Storm series handsets. Lava mentions that the handset will be taken to the service center in case of any major hardware/software issues that can't be resolved at home.