Priced at Rs 13,990, the phone actually took me by surprise. Before I brought it out of the box, I expected yet another drab-looking run-of-the-mill phone, but its design impressed at the very first look. The Canvas HD A116 is slightly lighter than the Samsung Galaxy Grand. The phone has a curved back and curved edges, making it comfortable to hold. My review unit had an ivory-coloured rear panel with a black front. I believe that the Micromax Canvas HD A116 is the best looking Micromax phone till date.The phone has a 5-inch IPS display with a resolution of 1280×720 pixels. The display produces reasonably good colours. The touchscreen is quite responsive and navigating the phone is fast and smooth. The text appears sharp, and reading books and other content on the screen is quite convenient. It offers good viewing angles. The screen though pales in comparison to the high-end phones from Samsung, LG or Sony. But at its price, we should put come constrains on our expectations.The phone sports an 8 megapixel rear camera with LED flash, and a 2 megapixel front camera. The rear camera captures quality snaps in both outdoor and indoor lighting conditions. It gives you various options to cunstomise images including colour effects and scene modes. The 2 megapixel front camera is also decent for video chats.The best thing about this phone is the brawny Mediatek MT6589 quad-core processor clocked at 1.2 GHz. The phone has 1GB RAM that lets you multitask easily. It performed smoothly while launching apps, switching between the apps, playing games with high graphics and scrolling webpages. The phone lets you run numerous apps at a time. I could comfortably run 7 to 8 apps, simultaneously, and did not experience any lag throughout the review period. The results of the benchmarking app Quadrant Standard additon ranks the phone at number three after the HTC One X and Asus Transformer Prime. The phone supports both 1080p video recording and playback. Having a phone with a powerful processor at this price makes it a clear winner in this price range. The phone has 4GB of internal storage, of which around 2.75GB is user-accessible. Its memory is expandable up to 32GB using a microSD card.
The phone does not run the stock Android 4.1.2 OS. In fact, the Micromax has tweaked it a little and has added some good elements to enhance the end-user experience. The notification tray has a quick settings panel that includes some toggles for major settings like WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, Data connection, Auto rotation, brightness. Also, it has a shortcut for settings. Clicking on the settings shortcut will take you directly to the settings of the phone. Micromax has also added some of its native apps including M!Live, M!Store, and M!Zone+.
The phone has an excellent speaker that produces loud and quality sound. The phone comes packed with a 2000 mAh battery; it can easily last for a day on normal usage including web browsing, calling, social networking and playing games. It takes around 2 hours to get fully charged. Also, I could use the fully-charged phone for around 17 hours when I had watched a 2-hour long movie on the phone.However, the phone got along quite well, but one thing that miffed me was the faulty accelerometer. The accelerometer of the review unit was defective. Many a time, the phone abruptly stopped auto rotating. And because of it while playing Temple Run 2, the faulty accelerometer stopped determining tilt and movements.. So, I could only play the game using swipe-based commands to jump, turn and duck. However, the problem would get solved on powering it on again, but temporarily. Sometimes the bug returned within a few minutes, at other times after a few hours.As I have not heard anyone else griping about the issue, it is likely that the fault was specific to the review unit I received. Another problem that I stumbled across was when I switched from the front camera to the rear camera.
The camera stopped working and a window stating “Couldn’t connect to camera” started popping on clicking the camera icon, until I powered it off and turned the phone on again. But this happened only once during the review period that lasted for around 10 days.In all, the Micromax Canvas HD A116 makes it to our recommendation list. Other phones with similar features and a quad-core processor have already started making their appearance, but the Canvas HD does have the first mover’s advantage.Pros- Powerful processor- Competitively priced- Large and quality display- Attractive design- Good battery lifeCons- Faulty accelerometer (could be specific to the review unit)Ratings: 4/5