Micromax is making moves in the Bangladeshi smartphone market. Their Canvas 5 is a good example of their apparent strategy – offering good specifications at a competitive price. We can not say how this will affect sales, however we have put the Canvas 5 through its paces and below is our review of the device.
The Canvas 5 looks a lot like the Canvas Nitro 3 we reviewed a while ago. It sports a removable back cover made of plastic which again features the same faux leather texture that we enjoyed on the Nitro 3. It is grippy and the material seems durable. A big difference from the aforementioned device is the presence of a metal chassis. This metal body is rounded and feels very comfortable in the hand. The power and volume buttons too are made of metal however they do not produce the satisfying click we always crave for. The buttons are responsive but just a tad mushy.
The display is made of 2.5D curved glass. If you are not familiar with this, check out the Galaxy Note 4, iPhone 6/6s or the Nexus 6. The glass basically slightly tapers off at the edges making the display appear larger and the bezels thinner. It also is great for phones with curved sides as it feels like the display melts onto the body.
The speaker on the back is decent and the battery is non-removable. A tiny LED light on the top right of the display will let you know whenever you have a new notification or when the device is charging.
The Canvas 5 does great on this department. Micromax has used a 5.2 inch Full HD (1920 x 1080) IPS panel protected by Gorilla Glass 3. With a high pixel density of 423 pixels per inch, everything looks very sharp. Colour reproduction is nice and so are the viewing angles. The display gets bright too and is clearly legible even outdoors on a sunny March afternoon.
The Canvas 5 has a very respectable specifications sheet. Inside the device contains an octa-core MediaTek 6753 processor clocked at 1.3GHz along with 3GB DDR3 RAM and a Mali T720MP3 GPU. It is safe to say the Canvas 5 is powerful at its price point however the GPU combined with the Full HD screen leads to slight slowdown when playing intense games like Modern Combat 5. Asphalt 8 ran smoothly and so did other similar games. The 3GB of RAM allows the phone to keep several apps in memory so switching between them is a breeze and general multitasking is also very respectable.
The 2,900mAh battery lasted us a full day easily. With a bit of screen brightness control, you should be able to get a bit more endurance from the device. One thing to note, the Canvas 5 charges slowly if you are using any third party charger. A pop-up notification will inform you of this and tell you to use the original Micromax charger supplied with the phone. The device comes with 16GB ROM (14.83GB user accessible) which is expandable via microSD up to 32GB.
Android 5.1 Lollipop powers the Canvas 5 with a close to stock experience. The home screen launcher is the only non-stock element but it is very lightweight and does not affect the user experience negatively. It has basic features such as the ability to change transition animations. Micromax also included a smart awake function that allows you to wake your device with a double tap or draw letters on the lockscreen to launch a few pre-selected applications. There is no app drawer so things can get messy if you are not good with folders. The use of a mostly stock experience keeps the Canvas 5 zippy and smooth.
A 13MP sensor has been used for the main camera whilst the front facing camera has a 5MP sensor. Interestingly, both camera come with an accompanying flash module. We use flash in smartphone photography only in dire situations as it tends to blowout the image. Whilst this is true for the front facing flash, some selfie lovers may appreciate this feature.
As for image quality, the main shooter does a good job in broad daylight. It is quite quick to focus and takes sharp images. We found that the camera tends to overexpose sometimes but a bit of care when capturing the image solves that problem. Low light performance was decent. The front facing camera excelled in most lighting situations. If things ever get too dark, the flash can help but will leave you a bit dazed.
The main selling point of the Canvas 5 is its price. At Tk/- 14,490 the device is placed at a spot where its competitors do not pack the high amount of RAM or the metal build. Those that do offer similar specifications cost more. Micromax has delivered a very compelling smartphone however it needs to put more effort into luring customers. The recent sponsorship of the Asia cup has brought the company to the attention of the public but it only has the spotlight for a short period of time to impress. We would recommend the Canvas 5 to those looking for the extra specifications boost without paying a higher premium. All in all, we look forward to what Micromax has in store for the future.
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Display: 5.2 inch Full HD (1920 x 1080) IPS with Gorilla Glass 3, (423ppi)
CPU: MT6753 1.3GHz octa-core
GPU: Mali – T720
ROM: 16GB (14.83GB user accessible, expandable up to 32GB via microSD)
Camera: 13MP main, 5MP secondary
OS: Android 5.1 Lollipop
Standby Time: 275 hours
Talk time: 10 hours
Frequency Band: GSM(850/900/1800/1900)+WCDMA (900/2100) LTE FDD-850/1800 Mhz & TDD-2300Mhz