Micromax is one of the leading Indian shareholders in the mobile phone and smartphone trade in India. After a short hiatus, the brand is back with a bang offering competitive features to consumers at par with the Chinese smartphone manufacturers.
I recently reviewed the Micromax Canvas Infinity and fell for its design and ergonomics. Micromax Evok Dual Note also has some appealing features and specifications. I put the device through some harsh situations and tested its limits.
So let's get ahead with the review
The device offers a 5.5-inch full HD display. It packs in an octa-core Cortex A53 processor clocked to 1.5 GHz. It is coupled with 4GB of RAM and 32GB of inbuilt storage. It offers SD card support to expand the storage to 64GB.
The camera on the device is the key feature and is also the USP of the product. It has a f/2.0 13 MP dual camera on the rear while a 5MP snapper in the front along with a selfie flash. It also has a dual tone LED flash for the rear camera. The device has a 3,000 mAh battery and USB type C port.
The device runs Android Nougat and has been priced at Rs. 11,499. A 3GB variant of the smartphone is also available which costs Rs. 9,999.
Looks like Micromax wants to offer best in class specifications to consumers for the most competitive price which is nothing different from what Micromax has been doing. However, has the quality of its smartphones been enhanced to come at par with foreign rivals or not, is the big question that remains unanswered. So let's find out.
Design: Looks classy and feels great in hands
Micromax Evok Dual Note boasts a glossy front panel with a micro speaker on top accompanied by a single LED flash and the front camera on either side. A notification LED rests on top as well.
The front panel has a home button with a fingerprint sensor on it. It also has two touch enabled buttons for switching between apps and back button.
The rear panel boasts a matte finish and the device has a unibody metallic design. The vertical dual camera setup takes the center top position while the dual tone LED flash rests in between the two lenses.
The speakers rest behind the grills on the bottom edge of the smartphone. The speaker grills have fine orifices. USB Type C port rests between the speakers on the bottom edge while 3.5 mm audio jack is placed on the top edge. Volume rockers and power toggle are on the right side. The left side houses the SIM tray.
The smartphone's front panel looks quite attractive despite the fact that the device has a considerable amount of bezel around the display. The device has a large screen yet it fits comfortably in hands. It feels really comfortable in hands and is also quite slim. The design of Micromax Evok Dual Note is very similar to that of Nubia M2 Play. The form factor is almost the same for both the devices.
Camera: Namesake dual camera?
Micromax Evok Dual Note has a 13MP dual camera setup with dual tone LED flash. The camera offers aperture value of f/2.0 which should make it capable enough to click decently lit pictures indoors. Its front camera is a 5MP snapper that offers filters and 'Beauty' mode.
The camera app is not loaded with presets and customizations that are very widely available in the smartphones in the same price segment.
Let's talk about the dual camera setup before we head any further. The 13MP dual setup captures images with depth of field effect. Please note that I mentioned the feature to be an effect which means it is software generated. The focus area is very small so portraits from a considerable distance turn out to be good. The depth of the picture can be increased or decreased after clicking the image and so can be the focus area. So, what exactly is the dual camera setup good for. The pictures clicked in normal mode are crisp and detailed and do not have the artificial structuring to increase sharpness.
Now consider this, Canvas Infinity has a similar feature which goes by the name portrait mode. It has much wider focus area and the pictures carry the artificial bokeh much efficiently.
In the normal mode, the Dual Note's camera clicks pictures with detail in ample light but in low light conditions or eve indoors the camera fails to perform. Objects with well lit background are underexposed in pictures. HDR on the device is also not impressive.
The low light performance on the camera is also not up to the mark, however, pictures with flash are saved to some extent. Now, Evok Dual Note gets a 5MP front camera with flash. It clicks decent pictures for its specifications.
It makes me wonder why did Micromax even bothered to put a dual camera on the device. It hardly does any favor to the smartphone apart from the fact that consumers might get attracted to it just for the feature.
Performance: Good for occasional gamers
The 4GB RAM coupled with octa-core Cortex A53 processor is good enough to pull you through heavy apps as well as games such as Mortal Combat 5 and Asphalt 8. It is worth mentioning here that although the gameplay is smooth, the processing while loading up games is notched down.
Evok Dual Note is great for users who hardly care to optimize their RAM every now and then by closing unused apps. Moreover, its gaming performance is also satisfactory which earns the device an above average rating.
Software and UI: Nougat with handful of features
Micromax Evok Dual Note runs Android Nougat 7.1.1. Micromax has already promised that its devices will receive Oreo update once the OS is widely available.
The user interface of the device is quite a catch. Gesture control and motion controls add up to device's UI prowess. It also offers multi window option which is a feature Indian users are adapting themselves to quite rapidly. Micromax has given the UI a very similar look and feels of interfaces present on several smartphones from Chinese manufacturers which in manner goes against the device.
Display: Bright and crisp FHD
The device has a 5.5-inch display. The resolution on the smartphone's display is 1080 x 1920 pixels with 401 ppi pixel density which is an impressive number. The screen is amply lit and the contrast ratio is impressive. In fact, one of the most striking features for me on the smartphone is its display which has impressive sharpness and clarity. Video playback on the device is more than just enjoyable and it will certainly captivate movie buffs and video lovers.
Battery and fingerprint sensor: Battery charging could have been faster
The battery on the device is a 3,000mAh powerhouse. The USB Type C support on the smartphone gives you hopes that the charging time on the smartphone must not be too long. The case is simply opposite to what one might presume. The device takes a couple of hours easily to juice up, which is close to the time taken by efficient smartphones in the same price segment to charge a battery of same capacity using micro USB 2.0 port and cable.
Compared to its competitors, the smartphone certainly has a smaller battery and at least a 4,000 mAh battery is not too much to ask for. Yet the smartphone manages battery drainage quite well. Watching videos and playing games does take a toll on battery performance but the well-sorted optimization gives it enough juice to last more than 16 hours.
The fingerprint sensor of the device is quick and responsive. It is located on the home button on the front panel. It is accurate and fast.
Conclusion: Is Micromax playing a safe card?
The Micromax Evok Dual Note offers good performance in its price segment. We have seen handsets with poor performance that are equipped with even octa-core processors. Evok is not one of those mobile phones.
The smartphone looks great and has a feature rich UI. The display is also something that I loved staring at while reviewing the smartphone.
However, the lack of quality has the device rolling down the turf. The dual camera is nothing more than a fad, couple it with slow charging for a USB Type C device and you have a device that gets noted for its bads rather than its goods.
The performance paired with a great display makes it a device for gamers who occasionally get their hands on some demanding games. As already mentioned, movie buffs and video watchers will love the device.
Micromax is playing it safe with a device that has both good and bads in drastic measures. If you are planning to buy the device you may want to head to Nubia M2 Play review and compare for yourself which of the two suits your boots or pockets.