Shenzen, China-based Zopo Mobile is a new smartphone maker in India, but it hasn’t really made much of an impression thus far, compared to other Chinese counterparts. Its latest budget smartphone Color C3 looks like an attempt to get the basics right rather than overwhelm the users with more features. Priced at Rs.9,599, the new phone faces stiff competition from Xiaomi Redmi 3s Prime, which is selling at Rs.8,999.
Design: Plain but handy
The Color C3 is an ordinary looking phone with a plastic body. It is made of good quality plastic with matte finish on the back which feels and looks better than phones with a glossy back. More importantly, it gives the phone a better grip. At 154g, it weighs a little more than the Redmi 3s Prime (143g). The Redmi 3s Prime with its metal finish and curved edges looks a bit more premium than the Zopo smartphone. The Xiaomi smartphone also includes a back-facing fingerprint sensor.
Display: Small and bright
The phone comes with a 5-inch 1280x720p display. The lack of resolution is mostly evident with games, but in terms of colour reproduction, it is quite impressive. Colours look natural, which makes videos lively. Wide viewing angles are good and so is the visibility in bright sunny conditions. You can make display a bit livelier by tuning the colour in the display settings. Its rival Redmi 3s Prime also comes with a bright-looking 5-inch display with screen resolution of 1280x720p. It looks more or less similar to it. However, features such as reading mode and submit display give it a slight edge over the Color C3.
Software: Near clean Android
The Zopo smartphone runs Android 6.0 (Marshmallow) out of the box with a near plain Android interface. It is a bit surprising to see a Chinese phone maker not trying out funky themes and too many features.The clutter-free interface and fewer apps brings in an element of familiarity and takes a load off the processor and RAM as well. The MIUI interface running over Android 6.0 in Redmi 3s Prime is a typical Chinese phone interface with plenty of customisation options.
Performance: Can handle most tasks
Driven by MediaTek MT6737 quad-core processor and 2GB of RAM, the Color C3 can handle most everyday tasks such as reading, web browsing, video playback and social networking very well. We noticed a slight lag while switching between apps, but the overall experience was largely jitter-free. It also gives 16GB as internal storage and up to 32GB via microSD card. It is also a dual SIM phone and supports all 4G networks. The big letdown in the Color C3 is the 2,100mAh battery which couldn’t even last through a whole day of modest usage.
What makes the Redmi 3s a better proposition is the more powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 processor which can handle heavy games and tasks with more ease. It also offers 32GB internal storage, can take microSD cards up to 128GB and packs in a bigger 4,100mAh battery that lasts about a day and half on one charge easily.
Camera: Average picture quality
The Zopo C3 comes with an 8-megapixel rear camera. The camera interface looks user-friendly and has some interesting features such as beauty mode and gesture mode. The beauty mode irons out facial imperfections and the gesture feature allows users to click a picture by making a V sign with fingers. The camera takes a little time to process images. The picture quality, even during day time, looks washed out and also a bit pixilated on a bigger screen. Low-light shots are equally noise-ridden. The 13-megapixel camera of the Redmi 3s Prime is no benchmark in terms of picture quality, but can muster a brighter and sharper shot during the day.
Zopo’s new smartphone looks on a par with most of the average budget smartphones, but compared to Redmi 3s Prime, it is just not in the same league. The Redmi 3s has an edge over it in terms of overall performance, battery backup, storage and camera. Maybe Zopo needs to go back to the drawing board and make a fresh attempt at the budget Android smartphone space.