Hands On: Idea Ivory. Has Idea Compromised Too Much To Keep Price Low?

A quick look at Idea''s first ICS smartphone in the market.

 
Hands On: Idea Ivory. Has Idea Compromised Too Much To Keep Price Low?

Idea has launched another Android phone, with a more earthly name, ''Ivory'', a couple of days back. With the phone having hit the market, the mobile operator held a Bloggers meet to showcase its latest phone in India. TechTree was there to get a feel of this phone.

The dual SIM, 3G Ivory is based on a Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) platform. Despite the Idea branding, the phone can be used with other SIM cards. If you go with Idea, however, you get benefits like 1 GB of free data every month for first 3 months (that should amount to about Rs 100 per month) and internet TV at a price tag of Rs. 150 per month.

The handset is manufacturer by Alcatel and is globally known as the One Touch 930D. I wouldn''t complain about this though, as rebranding or rebadging is not objectionable by itself. After all, even the larger manufacturers do not make the entire phone themselves, but source components from a variety of suppliers. Some companies, including the lot of the Indian ones, take this a step further and buy in bulk (and also order a customized model) fully assembled phones.


Design
The phone looks like a run-of-the-mill budget Android device, which it is. Or let''s put it this way: it has all the attributes of an entry-level phone such as mediocre plastic quality and faux metal on the sides. The only visible difference (compared to a standard Android phone) I could spot was the additional button placed below the default capacitive Android keys. This tactile button allows you to create a list of your favourite apps for quick access. While the idea sounds good, I didn''t find it very useful in real world usage (Android allows you to pin apps to your home screen(s). If this button was customizible for other tasks, it would have been a nifty feature.


 


Screen And Specs
The phone''s 3.5" capacitive screen has pixel dimensions of 320x480. During the testing, I didn''t encounter any issue with its touch response. I can live with low-resolution, but the screen''s colour reproduction is disappointing, even at this price range. And, no, am not comparing it with AMOLED or IPS panels. This screen looks extremely washed out, and the refresh-rate became very annoying when scrolling through text in the browser. This surely has to be one of the worst screens I''ve seen on phones after the Spice Stellar Horizon Mi-500. The Ivory is powered by a 1 GHz processor, and has 512 MB of RAM. Apart from that, you get a 3.2 mp camera and 4 GB internal storage. The detailed list of features is placed at the end of this article.


Software
Idea hasn''t made many changes to the stock Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich), which is a good thing. The 1 GHz CPU and 512 MB RAM do well in keeping the basic operations smooth. I tried multitasking with few apps, and it all went well except for a slight stutter. The default browser offers decent page rendering speed. Idea''s 3G connection worked reliably during my brief test. The handset comes preloaded with Facebook, Twitter, Chrome, and Documents To Go. Since indoors photography isn''t ideal to judge the camera performance, am not making comments on that front. 


Hands On: Idea Ivory 


Closing Thoughts
The Idea Ivory is priced at Rs 7400, and is available through major mobile retail stores across the country. The handset is competing in a very crowded entry-level smartphone segment, where Micromax and Lava are offering better spec''d phones for cheaper. For example, Lava''s Iris N400 offer bigger and better screen for the price tag of around Rs 6500. Even after taking Idea''s data offers into consideration, I think it''s a rough road ahead for the Ivory unless Idea reduces its price.


Specification:

  • 3.5" capacitive screen with 320x480 pixels.
  • 1 GHz processor, 512 MB of RAM.
  • 4 GB internal storage, MicroSD card slot (supports up to 32 GB).
  • 3.2 megapixel camera.
  • Dual-SIM (GSM), Supports 3G.
  • Wi-Fi, A-GPS, Bluetooth.
  • 1300 mAh battery.
  • Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich).


Tags : Mobile Phones, ck, Android, Multi-SIM, Idea

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