THE BEST CANVAS TO-DATE, ALBEIT IN A STRANGE GOLD COLOR
Micromax has recently transitioned into a newer dimension of phones, from bulky and dated phones running older versions of Android, the trend is now to get shapely, sleek devices with Android KitKat out of the box. The current flagship, aka the Micromax Canvas Gold A300, is a testament of that, and while the Canvas Knight was burning our desires (quite literally), the Golden boy here may have turned our mood around. Let’s see how it holds up.
The oddly questionable gold colour is far from that of the iPhone 5s
The Canvas Gold A300 is yet another flagship Canvas phone from the company that promises a roundup of interesting elements. A good set of specifications, great build quality, design and good optics, giving it a big thumbs up on the premium look and feel. Even though most have called it a replica of the iPhone 5s in a bigger version, the oddly questionable gold colour is far from that of the iPhone 5s.
HARDWARE AND BUILD
Running the Canvas Gold A300 is an Octa-Core Mediatek 6592T chipset clocked at 2.0 GHz tied up with 2 GB of RAM and 32 GB of Storage. 25GB of the 32 GB is available to dump your media, games and files. The rear camera is a 16MP shooter with a 5MP front camera which does an impressive job with selfies (see camera section)
The front has an impressive and vivid 5.5 inch 1920 x 1080p display this is surprisingly visible outdoors and has good viewing angles. The phone has dual SIM capabilities and can run data on 3g on both cards. The Sim slots comprise of a full size SIM slot and a micro SIM slot on either side of the device.
The phone is manufactured out of a “single billet” of aluminium alloy with slots for antennas in plastic on the rear of the device. The phone is readily available in two variants, a Gold+White and the Gold+Black, the only difference being the plastic inserts and the colour of the bezel.
Apart from the exceptionally golden – gold colour the phone has a pretty good design, and the metal is nicely finished to give a great feel in the hand. The beveled edges of the phone quite replicate the iPhone look, seen specifically iPhone 4 and up. The flat lay-on-the table design will be appreciated by owners quite a lot, although a fatter lip for the front would have given a strong protection to the screen albeit taking away a bit of the slim profile of the smartphone.
PHONE AND NETWORKS
The phone is unique in many ways, instead of selection your data network, you can have data on either SIM, which is great. The weird combination of Sim card sizes may work for some people, especially if they don’t want to cut/get micro SIM cards vs. regular sized ones.
The networks are strong and audio in and out of the phone is impressive. The network remains positively active even during tower switches, and we didn’t see a huge problem with dropped calls.
The WiFi seemed a bit low to us, and in our initial tests seemed weak.
MULTIMEDIA, DISPLAY AND CAMERA
For most media is playable on the Canvas Gold A300, and we found nothing to complain about, the audio could be a little bit louder in our opinion. The music output from the headphones is a lot more impressive when compared to any previous handset, the “flaming knight” included.
As far as the video playback goes, the display does a fantastic job, jitter-free vibrant video playback. The phone is capable enough and will deliver a good experience to most users.
The camera system is a good hardware and software upgrade, and the 16 MP sensor is big enough to give a noise free low light performance. The day shots are noteworthy and brilliantly saturated to give a larger than life photography experience. The camera app is simplistic and new features like 99 shot continuous burst along with tap-hold to track subjects actively will come in handy for video.
Video capture frame rates are slow to display on the screen, in fact when you are capturing video there seems to be a lag in the screen aka the viewfinder. But, we were testing a pre-production software and apparently this has been fixed in the final build. Video is captured at a resolution of 1920 x 1080p at 30fps just like many other handsets in this bracket.
PERFORMANCE AND GAMING
The Canvas Gold A300 is a star performer scoring great results on benchmarks and showing excellent performance in daily use overall. You will be happy multitasking on this handset as it can handle app switching very well and thanks to inbuilt RAM management the phone automatically drives resources to the active application. The apps in the background use the adaptive suspend from Android KitKat.
Thanks to all this software and management goodness, the gaming experience is excellent, with heat at a minimum. The device does heat up from around the camera with extended periods of use, however the minute you are done you will be happy to put the phone in your pocket and move out. Games have a superfluid experience along with excellent touch screen feedback and responsiveness.
BATTERY LIFE AND CONCLUSION
The battery on the Canvas Gold A300 lasts a good full day of use, and thanks to KitKat and power management you will not be searching for the charger in a hurry. The bloatware on the Canvas Gold A300 has been brought down to a minimum, and most of the preloaded apps useful, those which are not required can be gotten rid of.
With a software update thanks to FOTA, the device may get Android L (hopefully) and with the company working to fix their service issues the Micromax Canvas Gold seems like a good overall product. With little or no complaints from the hardware and excellent UI including a new keyboard (Swiftkey) pre loaded for use, most will be happy with the device out of the box.
With more options in this price bracket including Gionee Elife S5.5, the Motorola Moto X and the Desire 816 it will mostly come down to user requirements.