AK NAYI SOCH
Micromax DUAL 5Micromax DUAL 5Fasten your seatbelts as Micromax is ready to #RevolutionizePhotography with the new Dual 5. With its two 13 MP rear cameras and one 13MP front camera, 13.97 cm (5.5) FHD Super AMOLED screen, and high-end SecureVault technology, Micromax Dual 5 will change the way you take pictures.
Domestic manufacturer Micromax was one of the top smartphone vendors in the first half of 2016. An IDC study for Q2 2016 pegged Micromax as the second highest ranked smartphone vendor, following only Samsung. However, the industry has seen massive changes since then, and Chinese brands had taken over by the end of the year. As per the latest numbers, no domestic manufacturer is even in the top five.
Micromax is responding with the launch of a new smartphone series called Dual, and the first model to launch is called the Dual 5. On paper, the Micromax Dual 5 packs a lot of punch in terms of specifications as well as some software enhancements. The company also claims that the Dual 5 sports the best camera in its segment.
Micromax plans to use this new series to achieve a 10 percent market share in the premium smartphone category (phones above Rs. 20,000), but the road ahead won’t be easy. Will this new phone be able to take on some of the biggest names in the market? We try to find out in our review.
The Micromax Dual 5 has an all-metal body with chamfered edges, and it feels solid right away when you hold the device in your hand. 2.5D curved-edge glass on the front adds to the overall appeal and makes this device feel premium. This phone looks familiar from the rear, with antenna bands running across the top and bottom. You can also find the two cameras, dual-tone LED flash, and fingerprint scanner at the back, all arranged in a symmetrical column down the middle. A Micromax logo can be seen lower down, and we quite like this minimal branding, as the phone looks neat without multiple logos. The curved edges offer good grip and also help the phone fit comfortably in your palms. Micromax calls it an “Arc design.”
The power and volume buttons are on the right, and there’s a customisable “smart key” on the left. The hybrid dual-SIM tray is also located on the left. There is a 3.5mm audio socket and an infrared emitter for controlling electronic appliances on the top. The bottom packs a USB Type-C port and speaker grille. The Dual 5 has capacitive buttons for Android navigation right below the display. They aren’t backlit, which is a problem for a phone at this price.
Despite featuring a 5.5-inch display, the Micromax Dual 5 was manageable in terms of holding and using with just one hand, though our recommendation would be to use it with both hands because the metallic back panel can be a little slippery. Considering its screen size, the Dual 5 is light in weight at 164 grams.
In our opinion, the Dual 5 is one of the best-looking smartphones that Micromax has ever launched. It definitely looks appealing compared to other phones in its price segment.
The Dual 5 is powered by an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 652 processor, which has four Cortex-A72 cores clocked at 1.8GHz and four Cortex-A53 cores clocked at 1.4GHz. There’s 4GB of RAM and a massive 128GB of storage, which is one of main highlights of this device as there aren’t many options in this price segment with that much in-built storage. Xiaomi Mi Max Prime is another handset with 128GB storage and Snapdragon 652 processor, but these are the only things common with the Dual 5.
It also features a 5.5-inch full-HD (1080×1920 pixels) Super Amoled display with 2.5D Corning Gorilla Glass 3 protection. Micromax says that this screen can reproduce 100 percent of the NTSC colour gamut. Additionally, the Dual 5 supports storage expansion using a microSD card (up to 128GB) if you forego a second SIM. Connectivity options include 4G with VoLTE, Wi-Fi 802.11ac, and Bluetooth 4.1. The phone also has an accelerometer, ambient light sensor, gyroscope, infrared sensor, and proximity sensor. It packs a 3200mAh battery and supports Quick Charge 3.0, which the company claims enables the smartphone to be charged to 95 percent in just 45 minutes, a claim we will put to test.
This phone runs Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow with the company’s own UI on top. Micromax has developed a new UI which is likely to be seen on more devices in the future. The new interface doesn’t have an app drawer which means all the apps are placed on the home screen. App icons, quick setting toggles, and the Settings app have received a complete makeover. The new skin packs a lot of animations, and we especially liked the look of the preinstalled Speedup memory management app. You can set “smart key” to launch any app without having to unlock the phone first.
There’s a Themes app that lets users select from six default themes as well as choose wallpapers, ringtones, and fonts. Unfortunately, there is no way to add more themes at the moment, but we hope that this will change in the future. There’s also a separate Wallpaper app that lets you change the wallpaper just by tapping on the app icon, which can be amusing. A Freezer app lets users drag and drop apps that are not used often, which might help make the phone run faster.
Users can set up the Anti-theft app by linking a Google account to the phone. You should then be able to track the device if it gets lost. We were impressed with Micromax’s new SafeSwitch feature which is meant to prevent loss of data upon theft. At the launch of the Dual 5, the company explained that the phone’s physical buttons will automatically lock if its SIM card is pulled out, and the only way to disable that is by entering a password within 30 seconds. This will prevent the phone from being turned off, and thus could help users track the phone. Further, if no password is entered within 60 minutes of the SIM being pulled out, the phone can be wiped clean of personal data. Additionally, if someone attempts to unlock your phone, a photo of them can be taken and sent to an account of your choice.