Home >mint-lounge >features >Review: Karbonn Titanium Mach Five

Karbonn’s Titanium Mach Five ( 5,999) is one of the most affordable Android phones that you can buy in India, competing with the made-in-India Micromax Canvas Xpress 2 ( 5,999) and the Xiaomi Redmi 2 Prime ( 6,999).

The phone looks good and feels quite handy
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The phone looks good and feels quite handy

Slightly heavy but smartly designed

The Mach Five, tipping the scales at 157g feels a tad heavy for a 5-inch-screen phone. These days even 5.5-inch smartphones weigh less (Lava Pixel V1’s 135g is an example). Karbonn has tried to mask the bulk with some smart design elements such as curved edges and thinner bezels around the screen. The net result is that the phone looks good and feels quite handy, but the weight still remains a nag. The back panel has a plastic cover but the texture almost feels like soft cotton fabric. The fine lines are distinctly visible on the back panel’s champagne colour. The phone is available in three colours, the other two being white and silver.

For a weighty device, it is surprisingly thin. At 8.8mm, it is as sleek as the Redmi 2 (9mm) and thinner than Moto E (12.4mm).

Colours are handled well and don’t fare badly under sunlight
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Colours are handled well and don’t fare badly under sunlight

Pin sharp display

The 5-inch display has a screen resolution of 1280x720 pixels. If you don’t want a big screen phone in particular, you are going to like the Mach Five. The screen size is small by today’s standards but sharp enough for reading, web browsing and watching movies. The good bit about it is that colours are handled well and don’t fare badly under sunlight. Most of the phone displays in this price range look too bright or washed out. Those with sweaty hands will have a difficult time using it as the glass layer above the screen is glossy and smudges a lot.

Touch sensitive navigation keys are placed under the screen and not integrated within the on-screen interface
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Touch sensitive navigation keys are placed under the screen and not integrated within the on-screen interface

Simple UI works for it

The phone runs Android 5.0 with a faintly modified custom interface over it. It is simple and easy on the resources in comparison to phones wrapped in custom UIs which hog the RAM as well as the processor, slowing down everything else in the process. This makes it ideal for low configuration Android phones.

Touch sensitive navigation keys are placed under the screen and not integrated within the on-screen interface as is the case in stock Android phones. Some of the features are annoying to use. For instance, double tapping on the home button which opens the multi-tasking page is a bit inconsistent at times.

Karbonn has installed quite a few third-party apps such as Paytm, Hungama Play, Myntra, OLX and Speed booster by default. In case you don’t want them, you can drag and uninstall them. The phone uses SwiftKey as the default keyboard, which is not the most convenient.

Slow at times

Powered by MediaTek MT6582 quad-core processor and paired with 2GB RAM, the Mach Five was able to handle most of the common usage scenarios, including web browsing and reading and HD video playback. However, the phone became a bit slow when we had more than 10 apps open in the background and also while running games such as Real Racing. However, it wasn’t as bad as some of the affordable phones we have tested of late, and that is testament to the fact that the slicker custom interface isn’t eating up critical processor and RAM resources.

The Mach Five has 16GB of in-built storage, and you can also add a microSD card (up to 32GB).

We feel that the one big letdown is the lack of 4G. Both Xiaomi Redmi 2 Prime and Micromax Xpress 2 support 4G mobile networks, which are being rolled out in India quite quickly. The 2,200mAh battery just about lasts a full day on one charge.

Though it handles colours well, the overall picture quality was average
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Though it handles colours well, the overall picture quality was average

An average camera

The phone’s 8.0-megapixel camera is a tad disappointing. Though it handles colours well, the overall picture quality was average. Most of the non-focus areas look blurry. This is a basic camera meant for casual users. Low-light results were hazy and washed out. The selfie camera gives clear shots but is not wide enough for group selfies.

Verdict

The Karbonn Mach Five is an affordable phone that has a smooth performance and doesn’t feel sluggish. We liked the display, good looks, and the simple UI. In terms of what the rivals offer, the Micromax Canvas Xpress 2 has a better camera and slightly better battery life, while the Xiaomi Redmi 2 Prime, which costs a bit more, offers a very funky custom interface. And both offer 4G.

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