For someone looking for a dependable smartphone under Rs5,000, the options are very limited. Most smartphones do not even support 4G, run old versions of Android and have shoddy design. Indian company Reach has introduced a smartphone called Allure Secure (Rs4,499) which offers 4G and fingerprint sensor too, at this rather affordable price point. It is currently available on ShopClues.com.

Design: Well-built and handy

The Allure Secure is a typical entry level smartphone with a plastic body and a removable back panel. However, it feels better in the hand, thanks to the chamfered edges and the matte finish on the back. It is available in black and gold colour options. The smartphone’s USP is its fingerprint sensor. It adds an extra layer of security and offers a faster alternative to unlocking your smartphone than tying a password or drawing a pattern. The sensor is placed on the back and falls under the index finger when you are holding the smartphone. It’s accurate on most occasions but a little slow. This is one of the few smartphones at this price point to offer a fingerprint sensor. Karbonn K9 Kavach 4G (Rs4,799) and Zopo F1 (Rs4,499) are some of the other options. The navigation keys are placed on the lower front bezel. They are not backlit but have been highlighted in gold colour.

Allure Secure’s USP is its fingerprint sensor.
Allure Secure’s USP is its fingerprint sensor.

Display: Low resolution, poor viewing angles

The 5-inch screen has a resolution of just 854x480 pixels. For someone upgrading from a feature phone, this is a definite improvement. The 5-inch screen is big enough for reading, web browsing, typing and watching movies. Colours in games and videos look acceptable, while texts in webpages is readable. Visibility from wide angles is poor and typical of a sub Rs5,000 smartphone.

Software: Plain Android with some handy apps

The smartphone runs Android 7.0 (Marshmallow) with a near plain version of Android. At this price very few smartphones offer that. The interface feels familiar and easy to use. The smartphone offers some useful pre-loaded apps such as Auto call record, Xploree keyboard and Quick Touch. The Xploree keyboard offers users to type in 23 Indian languages such as Hindi, Urdu, Tamil, Marathi, Assamese, Bengali, Punjabi and Gujarati. Quick Touch adds a shortcut button on the screen. It allows user to access Camera, Settings, take screenshots from any app.

Allure Secure runs Android 7.0 (Marshmallow) with a near plain version of Android.
Allure Secure runs Android 7.0 (Marshmallow) with a near plain version of Android.

Performance: Meant for casual users

It runs on Spreadtrum’s modest SC9832A quad-core processor with 1GB RAM and struggles with the most basic tasks if there are four to five apps in background. It is strictly meant for casual users with very limited requirements.

It has 16GB internal storage which is impressive at this price. It accepts microSD cards of up to 32GB. It is also one of the few smartphones which offer 4G and VOLTE calling. The Karbonn A40 (Rs3,190) is the most affordable 4G smartphone in the market right now.

The smartphone is powered by a small 2,500mAh battery, which lasts a day on casual use.

Camera: Struggles even in daylight

The 8-megapixel primary camera is sluggish. Even in daytime, photos look washed out. You also need still hands to get the focus right as the smartphone lacks OIS (optical image stabilisation) and touch to focus. The front camera is also an 8-megapixel affair with a selfie flash and camera modes such as Make up (remove facial imperfections), GIF, and Gesture control (take snaps by making finger gestures). Picture quality is a letdown, though. Selfies look blurry even in well-lit rooms.

Verdict

Features such as fingerprint sensor, 4G and Android 7.0 are rare at this price point. The only other rival to offer all these is the Karbonn K9 Kavach. But it offers only 8GB internal storage. All these doesn’t hide the fact that the Allure Secure is a basic smartphone with modest hardware. It strictly meant for first time users with limited requirements and tight budget. However, if you can spend a little more, go for the Xiaomi Redmi 4A (Rs5,999). It doesn’t have a fingerprint sensor, but has a better-looking 5-inch screen with higher resolution of 1,280x720p and runs on a more capable Qualcomm Snapdragon 425 quad-core processor with 2GB RAM.

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