There’s something disappointingly normal about the Micromax A60—even the advertising campaign for the phone is devoid of the firm’s usual over-the-top histrionics. In the TV commercial, a beatifically Afro-haired young man trades his baggies for a crisp suit to win his dad’s approval and, therefore, his “first Android phone” (this is our interpretation, at least). For most other companies, this would be quirky and offbeat but it’s almost sombrely serious when compared with this firm’s earlier efforts (cue, sound of Akshay Kumar’s dry laugh). In many ways, though, the A60 is Micromax’s most serious phone.
For one, it’s missing the usual bombastic hook the company loves so much— “lightest touch-screen phone in the world!” or “Gravity sensor!”. Instead, it has a more compelling statement of purpose: It is, simply, the cheapest Android-powered smartphone you can buy in the country. This puts Google’s mobile operating system in a whole new category, one currently dominated by LG’s Cookie, Samsung’s Corby and Nokia’s Symbian-powered touch-screen feature phones.
For its price, Android is an easy choice. The breadth of apps available, the modular functionality you tack on to it, the seamless integration with Google services, all make it easy to recommend. Internet browsing is a breeze and the A60 is able to handle most apps thrown at it with comfort.
The A60 bundles the usual impressive Android feature set—Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth and a normal headphone slot. It has access to the Android Market, which has more than 100,000 applications for download. It has better battery than its high-end robot siblings and the speakers at the back are pleasingly loud.
The A60 has a resistive and low-resolution touch screen. Which means that elegant swipes won’t do it if you want work done. Jabs and hard pokes are required to coax a response from this device and typing on the on-screen keyboard is nigh impossible with your index finger. Use a stylus, though, and the experience improves dramatically—but one is not provided with the phone.
The camera at the back is advertised as 3.2 megapixels, but performs poorly. It seems to have a fascination for Andy Warhol-esque pop art, and meticulously captures just darkness if you’re unfortunate enough to have to use it in low light. One of the defining advantages of Android is how fast the software iterates, but the A60 seems content with settling for version 2.1, which is already two versions behind. There’s no update software provided, and no place online to check for them.
The A60 is priced at Rs6,990. Despite its foibles, Android’s strengths are enough to put it above anything else available at that price.