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HindustanTimes Wed,03 Sep 2014

Technology

Rich features, cheap price
Shruti Dargan, Hindustan Times
January 25, 2013
First Published: 17:34 IST(25/1/2013)
Last Updated: 02:22 IST(26/1/2013)

At a time when it’s almost ‘uncool’ to not possess a smartphone, Spice Stellar Virtuoso Mi 495 can come to your rescue without burning a hole in your pocket. We tested the phone and here’s what we have to say.

Priced at Rs. 10, 499, this dual-sim phone will instantly catch your attention with its iPhone-like slim body and a 4.5-inch screen. The only physical buttons on the phone include a power button on the right side, and volume control on the left.

The handset is neither too light nor too heavy and has a sturdy built. Scratches don’t form easily but you’d often have to wipe the fingerprints. The phone’s large screen (with 960 x 540 pixel resolution) and bright display with good colours make it an ideal device to watch videos and play games on. The phone is user-friendly and navigating between the apps and Home (screen) is easy due to a neat layout. Popular apps (gtalk, facebook, whatsapp, youtube, maps, news and weather) are pre-loaded, and you can customise their placement on the various homescreens.

Performance wise, there are very few lags, and games, apps run smooth. The touch response of the screen is good (there may be a few irritating misses though). Unlike many other smartphones, this one has FM with good reception quality, and you can also record its contents.

Coming to its 8.0MP auto focus camera with flash, it ensures clear pictures and stable videos, that you can zoom in/out as you shoot. The sound quality, too, is
impressive, though not best when compared to other phones at a similar price.

The battery output, however, is unsatisfactory. Play games or browse the internet often, and you’ll need to plug the charger very soon. Also, the phone takes unusually long to reach full charge.

Another drawback is the placement of the Return, Home and Menu touch icons on the bottom of the screen. Not only does it waste display space, often accidentally touching one of these while playing games or using an app, causes unnecessary interruption.
highlights

 Android version 4
(Ice Cream Sandwich)
1 Ghz dual core processor
4.5-inch qHD screen
8 MP autofocus rear camera with flash and a 1.3 MP front camera
Internal storage: 4GB; expandable to 32GB (microSD card)
3G, Wi-Fi, proximity sensor, among others
Verdict
Stellar Virtuoso not only has a sleek and classy look, but is also loaded with features and popular apps. However, it’s not one-of-its-kind in the market. The phone’s performance is satisfactory, with an exception to the low battery output. Go for it if you want a wholesome smartphone experience without having to spend a bomb.


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