Design: Well-built and handy

As far as design goes, Lava has got the basics right. The phone weighs 142g, which is impressive, and has used a texture-based finish on the back cover so the phone for a good grip. The back is sharply curved along the edges to mask the thickness of the device. Due to the gold finish, it almost feels like metal. Overall, the phone feels well-built and should fit into most hands with ease.

Display: Not up to the mark

The A82’s 5-inch screen packs in a screen resolution of 854x480p which is what most phones in this price range usually offer. The screen resolution is not much of an issue for casual users who are more into web browsing, messaging or checking mails. What actually dampens the experience is the phone’s narrow viewing angles, as even the slightest of tilts renders the text unreadable and the colours look pale. To get a good view, one has to hold the screen straight in front all the time, which is practically impossible. The other niggle with the screen is that it smudges too much, which impacts visibility even further.

Like most budget smartphones in its range, the A82 runs the two year-old version (Lollipop) of Android. What we like is that Lava has retained the original Android interface with slight changes such as the option to apply new themes. None of them look very appealing, though. You can also the change the background colour of the app drawer and switch from the white to the more transparent background.

Performance: Works well with most tasks

Powered by a 1.2GHz quad-core Arm 7 processor with 1GB RAM, the Lava A82 delivers a steady performance throughout. It doesn’t feel very nippy at any point but there was anything holding it back either while switching from one app to another. Even when we had 6 to 8 apps running simultaneously, we didn’t notice any dip in performance. Games like Temple Run Oz and Smash Hit played smoothly too. The A82 offers only 8GB of storage but you can always expand it to another 32GB via micro SD card. We can’t fault it for storage as we haven’t’ seen more than this offered at this price. What is missing though is the 4G support on the SIM cards, which is a bit of a letdown.

The 2,000mAh battery struggles to give even a full day’s backup.

Camera: Poor in daylight

The 5-megapixel camera is basic and meant for casual users only. Getting the focus right is a challenge as it doesn’t support touch to focus, so the only way to know if the object is in focus or not is by taking the shot and checking the image in the gallery. The picture quality is poor even in outdoor conditions colours look washed out.

Verdict

Lava A82 scores in performance and build quality but is letdown by a poor quality display, camera and lack of future proofing. You can consider the Phicomm Energy 653 ( 4,999) as it offers a superior HD display, supports 4G networks and has a better camera.

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