Google announced their Android One program during June this year in Google I/O conference to bring some feature-rich affordable Android phones for the developing world. The first lot of this generation has three budget phones, manufactured by Karbonn, Spice and Micromax.
We got our hands on the Sparkle V handset crafted by Karbonn; it's high time to find out whether it can perform as per our expectations.
Design and Build
The Sparkle V looks surprisingly decent at its price point. The curved edges, less thickened device looks pretty similar to Google Nexus and Motorola G devices. Featuring an all-plastic body, the device looks pretty decently built too.
The back plastic consists a rubberised matte finish, helps to grip the device pretty well. But its finish didn't help out to stay away from smudges and fingerprints.
The front features a 4.5 inch IPS panel display with a resolution of 854x480 at a pixel density of 218 points per inch. The screen is bright enough and gives decent result with optimum colours.
We didn't understood the reason behind leaving the some blank space at the bottom of the screen, as Karbonn didn't feature any physical touch buttons on that place.
A 2MP camera shares the top space with a round speaker covered behind a metal mesh, which is identical to Nexus 5 front speaker. Beside this, the Sparkle V features a notification LED and a series of sensors.
The 3.5mm audio out-port has been housed on the top and the micro USB port on the bottom. The Volume rocker and power button shares the right side space while the left side has been left blank.
The back features a 5MP camera with an LED flash on top and a loudspeker at the bottom. A OEM and Android One logo can also be found there. Removing the panel reveals the battery, dual-sim slot and a microSD-card slot. Like most of the latest smartphones, Sparkle V accepts micro-SIM cards only.
The design of Sparkle V is pretty impressive considering it's a sub ₹6,000. Phone. It looks decent in hand and happily doesn't heavy or bulky at all.
Operating System and User Interface
After Android 5.0 Lollipop came out, there is a huge buzz going around the Android One handsets as Google claimed they will be the first handset to get all the major release.
Currently, the Karbonn Sparkle V features Android Kitkat's last version 4.4.4. However, the handset didn't feature any customised interface and like Nexus devices it features only the stock version. Karbonn has added a few indian content-based apps like OLX, Moneycontrol and Snapdeal.
The interface feels smooth in hand with any visible bugs. It also runs all apps well without any noticeable lags. We tried a few games including Fast Outlaw: Asphalt and Temple Run: OZ on the phone. And it served all of them decently.
Even in our multi-tasking test, we opened 8-10 apps including some memory hogging apps like Facebook, Twitter and a few online-shopping apps, and the device managed the entire operation smoothly.
The Karbonn Sparkle V features a rear camera with 5MP, 2592х1944 pixels with auto-focus and LED flash plus a 2MP secondary front camera.
Testing the rear camera in ambient lighting condition we were impressed with the quality of images. We are not claiming it as top notch, but the quality it provides is just what we expected from it. The auto-focus is quite a utility and comes handy to click images, especially while shooting indoor.
Storage and Battery
The device features 4GB Rom inside out of which only 2.27GB is accessible to the user. Unlike previous Android devices, Sparkle V doesn't allow you to snap images until an external microSD card is inserted.
Karbonn has fitted a 1,700mAh removable lithium polymer battery. Testing the battery stamina we surfed a couple of hours in 3G then an hour more in WiFi, watched a short-length movie along with all the regular works and found it lasts almost a day and that's what our expectation was.
The Karbonn Sparkle V is a good handset we found in every aspect. The raw android experience with a decent performance is just what was expected form it. The device comes without any bloatware and pretty decent consideration as budget Android phone.
- Good Design
- Decent Performance
- Decently Priced
- Less Internal Storage
- Camera don't work without microSD card