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VideoconNEW DELHI: Videocon, which has started taking smartphone segment a bit seriously in the recent months, has recently launched its A55 HD handset, a device that rivals the popular Micromax Canvas HD. This new smartphone, priced at Rs 13,499, seems quite similar to its Micromax counterpart on paper. Let's look at whether Videocon A55 HD is a potent contender in the budget smartphone segment or a fringe player.

The new Videocon A55 HD smartphone features a 5-inch OGS screen with 1280x720p resolution and 294ppi pixel density. The phone runs on a 1.2GHz quad-core processor with 1GB RAM and comes with 4GB internal storage and 32GB microSD support. The connectivity suite of the phone consists of 2G, 3G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0 and microUSB. Powered by a 2,000mAh battery, this phone has an 8MP rear camera with LED flash and a 3.2MP front-facing unit. Going by these specifications, the phone shares the hardware with Canvas HD except for the display type.

The design of the VideoconA55 HD has been heavily influenced from the beautiful HTC Butterfly. It has the same curved design, metal grille on both sides and glossy back. Even the pattern used on the volume rocker and Power/Lock key is the similar to the one we saw in HTC Butterfly. Sure, the Videocon smartphone looks beautiful due to this, but we would have liked something original rather than a copy of a successful design. Nevertheless, our black coloured review unit looks very beautiful in the hand and feels good to the touch.

The Power key, earphone jack and microUSB port are located on the top, while the volume rocker is on the left. The back panel has the primary camera and LED flash, along with the logo of the manufacturer. Below the display are the three touch-sensitive Android keys (Home, Back and Options).

Among the few changes made here is the change to the layout of Android keys of new devices. Recently launched gadgets running on Jelly Bean OS have the Task Switcher key instead of the Options key. However, the latter remains in this phone, while the former appears when you long-press the Home key, which otherwise gives you the digital voice assistant Google Now.

We have regularly felt frustrated reviewing the glossy back phones. VideoconA55 HD is no exception as it keeps getting smeared with fingerprints that are extremely hard to remove. The phone is also a tad heavy, but not so much that it could bias our judgement against it.

The latest phone in Videocon's portfolio runs on Android 4.2 (Jelly Bean), with practically no customization. All you get from the manufacturer on the software side is its own app store and a few pre-loaded apps (TOI, Facebook, Kingsoft Office etc). With stock Android at its heart, the VideoconA55 HD is a smooth performer, delivering a user experience that we liked a lot during our time with it. However, this left us with nothing much to explore on the software side that we have not previously seen in other Android devices.

The first thing you notice about the screen of A55 HD is how beautifully done it is and how different it looks in stark comparison to the Micromax Canvas HD. Though the two phones seem to have the same screens on paper, there is vast difference between the two due to the panels involved. The Micromax phone has a TFT screen, while the display of the Videocon handset uses the One Glass Solution (OGS) technology. This technology not only melds the touch-sensor and protective layer, but also increases the level of light transmittance in screens.

Thus, we see a much brighter display in the new A55 HD, with deep blacks and excellent reproduction of brighter colours. Moreover, the viewing angles are also superior and contrast is also better compared to the Canvas HD. Needless to say, we feel the display quality of VideoconA55 HD is its distinguishing factor.

To assess how this smartphone performs on the processor side, we ran it through the popular Antutu benchmark that evaluates gadgets on parameters like memory performance, CPU Integer performance, CPU floating point performance etc. The Videocon handset delivered a score of 13120 on this test, whereas Canvas HD secured close to 14000 points on the test. While difference of nearly 900 points can be seen between the two phones, it is quite small considering Spice Stellar Pinnacle Mi-530 delivers just 7578. Overall, VideoconA55 HD may not have the most computing power in its arsenal, but it is still not a slouch in its segment.

The 8MP camera of VideoconA55 HD delivers good outdoor photos, with sufficient detail and natural colours. However, we are sad to say that the same is not true for its performance under lowlight conditions, where images lose sharpness.

The 2,000mAh battery of the phone enabled it to remain working for approximately 12-14 hours, which is quite good. The usage pattern included five hours of music playback, two hours of web browsing and video playback and an hour of gaming, with mobile data and push notifications turned on during the whole period.

The biggest rival of the phone is Canvas HD, of course. The two have similar specs, but the Videocon handset gains the upper hand due to its screen, while Micromax's phone has a slightly beefier processor. We are inclined to give a recommendation to the A55 HD as the difference between the benchmark scores is not too much, plus it looks much better than the Canvas HD.

While Spice Stellar Pinnacle Mi-530 is not much of competition due to a relatively poor benchmark score, the Lava Iris 504Q is a smooth performer that can give the A55 HD a run for its money. The Lava phone has a similar 1.2GHz quad-core processor that delivers excellent scores, but loses out badly when it comes to camera quality.

The VideoconA55 HD is among the better options among the sub-Rs 15,000 phablets. It has all the makings of a good performer, with the design (though inspired from a different phone) and screen quality being its two biggest strengths. It has proven it is not a slouch in the performance department either and the battery as well as camera are decent too. Overall, we like the VideoconA55 HD and would recommend it in case you are looking for a phablet and don't want to be yet another Canvas HD buyer.

Sourse : Times of India

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