Budget phone maker Micromax has added the Canvas 5 Lite, priced at Rs 6,499, to their portfolio of phones in India. The phone is a stripped-down version of its slightly more expensive Canvas 5. The latter was launched in January 2016 at Rs 11,999. With the pricing of the Canvas 5 Lite, Micromax has pitted this in direct competition against Xiaomi’s Redmi 3s, which is selling at Rs 6,999 on Flipkart.com and Xiaomi’s own mi.com. The Canvas 5 Lite, for the moment, will be available exclusively on Snapdeal.com.
Plastic vs metal
Despite the phone’s rather affordable price tag, Micromax has tried to pep up the looks with the leather-like finish on the back, albeit it is just a finish on what is otherwise a rather good quality polycarbonate panel. There is a wood back version of the phone as well, available in maple and walnut finish. It is called the Special edition but will sell at the same price. The back is removable which means swapping SIM and microSD card is going to be easier.
The Redmi 3s is also well built, with a unibody design and a metal casing around the entire back and side panels. The SIM and memory card slots are placed along the side panel.
The key highlight of the Canvas 5 Lite is that its supports all major 4G LTE networks including the band 3 (1800MHz) and band 5 (850MHz) and band 40 LTE networks (2,300MHz). The Redmi 3s not only supports all these mobile networks but it can be used to make VoLTE calls as well a feature the Canvas 5 Lite doesn’t have.
The Canvas 5 Lite is a small screen phone with a 5-inch IPS display, which has a resolution of 1280x720p. There is no scratch resistant layer such as Gorilla Glass or DragonTrail glass on the phone. The Redmi 3s also has a 5-inch screen and a similar resolution as well. It doesn’t have Gorilla Glass or DragonTrail glass either.
Driving the Micromax phone is MediaTek’s 1.3GHz MT6375 quad core processor which has been paired with 2GB RAM. It is a low power processor widely used in budget smartphones in the range of Rs 4,000, to Rs 10,000. This is where the Redmi 3s has a slight edge over the Canvas 5 Lite. It runs on Qualcomm’s latest and more powerful Snapdragon 430 octa-core processor with 2GB RAM.
Battery size matters
The Canvas 5 Lite runs on a paltry 2,000mAh battery which is a bit surprising considering the fact that it has a 720p display. The Redmi 3s runs on a higher capacity 4,000 mAh battery without making the phone hefty or thick. Despite the fact that Xiaomi uses a more resource intensive UI than what Micromax uses, bigger battery gives it an edge.
Flavour of OS
With Android Nougat finally released on nexus phones and expected on another phone by end of the year, launching a new phone with Android 5.1 is a bit perplexing, especially when Micromax has used the fairly new Android marshmallow in most of its recent phones. The phone runs Micromax’s MTK user interface which is a slightly modified version of plain android with slightly different icons and a few third party apps. The Redmi 3s runs Android 6.0 out of the box with its proprietary MIUI over it. It is a funky looking user interface or UI with plenty of attractive themes and customisation options.