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The Cloud N runs on Android 4.4 (KitKat) out of the box
The Cloud N runs on Android 4.4 (KitKat) out of the box

Review: Intex Cloud N

Looking to upgrade from a feature phone to an Android smartphone? Consider the Intex Cloud N

Gone are the days when affordable smartphones came packed with low-end specifications that affected performance and experience. The latest among the new, improved devices is the Intex Cloud N ( 3,999).

Design: simple and handy

The Cloud N has a simple-looking design but it doesn’t look or feel cheap. Despite an all-plastic exterior, it is well-built and comfortable to use. At 9mm, it’s slimmer than the Moto E’s 12.3mm ( 6,999). In this age of oversized phones, the Cloud N has a small 4-inch display, but it scores points for being easy to hold. The bezels are a little wider, which gives the Cloud N the width of a typical affordable phone with a 4.3-inch screen. The soft-matte finish on the back protects it against smudges and improves grip.

Display: not short on quality

Intex has packed in a screen resolution of 800x480 pixels on an LCD display but there are limitations, such as slightly restricted viewing angles, and some videos don’t have the rich colour reproduction you might expect from an in-plane switching (IPS) display. But for a phone that does not cost much, these are minor problems. The brightness levels are extremely good and the text is sharp for Web browsing, social network apps and other basic phone uses.

Software: runs on Android 4.4

The Cloud N runs on Android 4.4 (KitKat) out of the box. It is an older version of Android, but it is still the default operating system available on smartphones below 5,000. The user interface (UI) hasn’t been customized much—and while it largely retains the plain Android look, Intex has attempted to add a bit more colour with the big square app icons. The UI also has some interesting tweaks. For instance, the four main apps on the home screen show on the screen all the time, even when the app drawer is open.

Performance: for basic tasks only

The MediaTek processor paired with 1 GB RAM is adequate for basic tasks. During our test, we noticed a slight stutter from time to time, but it doesn’t affect the experience as long as you don’t open more than three apps at a time. The storage is limited. It offers 4 GB internal storage, of which a user can access about 2 GB—the rest is taken up by the operating system. The phone does have a microSD slot which can accommodate another 32 GB.

The small 1,400mAh battery is a bit disappointing though, because you really need to cajole it (reduce screen brightness, turn off the Wi-Fi when not in use, etc.) to get a full day of backup on one charge.

Camera: needs steady hands

The Cloud N has an 8-megapixel (MP) camera. The picture quality looks rich in daylight, but still requires steady hands or the pictures end up looking blurry. The camera lacks image-stabilization features. The colours looked a little washed out.The phone’s 2-MP front-facing camera is acceptable for selfies and video calls in good lighting.

Verdict

For its price, the Intex Cloud N ticks a lot of the boxes for an affordable smartphone. It is meant for basic use, and is ideal for those who aren’t comfortable with big-screen phones.

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