Indian smartphone vendor Karbonn made the headlines a few days back for releasing a smartphone that unbelievably cheap – just £26. The company is known for its budget friendly smartphones in India, but surprisingly the latest smartphone took the UK media world by storm despite the fact that the smartphone isn’t available in UK.
We managed to get one of our friends in India to review the smartphone and here’s what he has to say!
Karbonn A50S is powered by a dual core 1.2 GHz MTK processor and has lowly 256MB RAM helping it out in the multitasking segment. You might be questioning that in the world where smartphones are literally packed with RAM equivalent to what you find in laptops, how on earth will 256MB RAM suffice. We will come to that in a moment!
Moving onto other specifications, the A50S packs 2-megapixel rear camera and has a 0.3-megapixel front snapper. It runs Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean out of the box and if you have a question if the smartphone can be upgraded to Kitkat we will like you to stop thinking about that because we are sure that the phone won’t be getting KitKat – officially at least!
For £26, one should expect a phone to be encased in top of the line material. Let’s see what the Karbonn A50S has in store. The smartphone has a 10.5mm thickness and if we compare it with Moto E it is definitely thinner. The smartphone’s dimensions are 61.8mm x 115.7mm and it would definitely fit your palm and feels quite sturdy.
The 3.5-inch display makes up most of the front part of the smartphone with the call speaker located at the standard place. On the left you will find the volume rocker while the power button and the microphone jack are on the top. The micro USB port is located at the bottom.
Hardware (CPU, GPU, RAM, Camera)
We know that the Karbonn A50S packs a dual core processor and 256MB RAM. The smartphone also packs a Mali 400 GPU. The trio isn’t impressive and we are not pleased with what we get as far as performance is concerned. The primary reason behind the bad performance of the handset is that Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean is not tuned for such low RAM devices. If it would have been KitKat, the device would have definitely fared better.
The 3.5-inch TFT display has a resolution of 480×320 pixels – not impressive! However, for £26 price tag the display is definitely descent enough. The pixel per inch information isn’t available to us at the moment and in the review we found that the viewing angles are not that great. As far as display in heavily lit areas is concerned, you might again be a little disappointed.
The 2-megapixel rear camera and the VGA front snapper are not great. Images have a lot of noise and if you try to capture something in low-light areas, noise is the only thing you will see! We recommend that you do not try video calling as you will definitely be disappointed. Skype’s performance as far as video call was concerned was horrible!
You get GPRS, EDGE, Wi-Fi as Bluetooth as far as connectivity is concerned. Karbonn A50S doesn’t support 3G and one shouldn’t expect to either from a £26 smartphone. The smartphone has dual-SIM capabilities; Bluetooth is version 2.0, which is definitely outdated; but, one surprising thing is that the smartphone does support Wi-Fi tethering.
The phone does have G-sensor useful in GPS tracking and Google maps. However, there is no accelerometer and neither there is any ambient light sensor.
Storage & Battery
The Karbonn A50S has 512MB onboard storage! Yes, you read that right. However, the smartphone does support microSD cards allowing you to bump up the storage to 32GB.
The Li-ion 1100 mAh battery doesn’t seem to be offering a lot more. But because there is no 3G connectivity, the phone works for hours on 2G surfing and normal voice calls and text messaging.
The Karbonn A50S is definitely the cheapest smartphone. If you’re looking for basic smartphone functions you won’t be disappointed. However, when the world is moving to 4G connectivity, 2G seems to be definitely dated and disappointing. But, for £26 you shouldn’t complain. Right?