The main USP of Micromax Canvas Knight is it’s octa core processor and its price point. It’s like Micromax has shoved everything it could into one phone and thought it will become a best seller. Although there’s nothing wrong with that, what’s wrong is the execution of idea. The idea of putting powerful internals in a phone was a very good idea but they forgot one crucial thing. They forgot to optimize the phone around that hardware by optimization i am talking about software portion of the phone here. I don’t think even Android itself is capable of taking full advantage of an octa core processor. But right now it is becoming thinking among the consumers that more is better. Well, sometimes it is, sometimes it’s not. In this case it’s not. It could have been better, Canvas Knight has so many plus points that i am going to tell you about in this review but that half-baked software really left a bitter taste in my mouth. The user experience could have been way smoother. If just had Micromax put a little effort in optimizing the software to utilize that octa core.
Hardware & Design
If you want to imagine what an iPhone 4 with 5 inch screen would feel like in hand? This phone is your answer. It will feel like Canvas Knight. This phone is of unibody design which means the it can’t be opened. The battery of this phone is fixed inside the phone and you can’t remove it. Its buttons and housing around the phone are all made of metal whole body of the phone feels really premium and solid in hand. Except for that camera bump on the back, it looks like it’s made of cheap plastic. It gets scratched pretty easily. It would’ve been better if it was more flushed in the back. Even Micromax know about this i guess, that’s why they are giving away a back cover free with every phone which makes the camera bump more flushed with the cover’s back at least. This phone doesn’t have a camera button which is odd looking at the price of this phone. The phone is fingerprint magnet especially if you have sweaty hands you are going to need to wipe the front and back of the phone time to time. It’s got a red notification light. It glows when you have notifications pending and during charging. Dimensions of this phone are height = 144 mm, width = 70 mm, thickness = 7.7 mm/8 mm with camera bump, weight = 154 grams.
It has got 5 inch full hd IPS display with pixel density of 480ppi with very good colour reproduction and viewing angles i always say i test these things through my eyes and not technically if i like what i see then i like it and recommends it. The colour reproduction is on the warm side which makes it very easy on the eyes and the screen looks of very high quality too It has glass on top of it not sure if it is gorilla glass or not because it is not stated anywhere on the Micromax’s website. If you want to see the durability of front glass check out this Micromax Canvas Knight tortured.
Software & Memory
This phone runs on Android 4.2.2 with a little customization from Micromax on top of it. It would’ve been better if Micromax had done optimization instead of customization of the software or OS. The user experience could have been way smoother. The UI feels very clunky and it stutters a lot even in between simple functions like scrolling or pinch to zoom. This phone needs a software update badly.
Memory wise it has got 2 GB of RAM and 32 GB of ROM, out of which 27 GB in total is available for the user, app storage and mass storage combined. App storage and internal storage(mass storage) is nothing to be confused of, just think of it like this phone has automatically install to micro sd or move to sd feature and you will get what i mean. In simple words it installs apps on the app storage and it’s downloaded data on the mass storage. So you can install as many apps as you like. You’d like to check the storage time to time though because it doesn’t have expandable memory option you have to put like music, videos, photos everything on the same storage but i think you will be fine as 32 GB is more than enough at least for me it was. After stuffing it with lots of heavy games(above 1.5 GB) and everything else i still had around 10 GB left. Memory performance was pretty fast as it is onboard memory so it is going to perform faster than the traditional micro sd card.
It has 16 MP auto focus camera at the back and 8 MP camera in the front. The numbers are high as you can see but does that mean the image quality of the the cameras are high too? It is. But only the still image quality it takes very beautiful still images with lots of details and colours. It supports full hd 1080p video recording but unfortunately the format of the recording is only limited to 3gp which makes the video look horrible. It has touch to focus and various other camera options as you can see in the video below. It doesn’t have simultaneous video and image recording which means you can’t take photos while shooting a video. There’s just a toggle to switch between still image capture and video recording i thought it’s for that simultaneous video and image recording but it’s not i stated wrong in the video.
The quality of the front camera is very good too talking about still images here. The flash is very powerful. But i don’t think you are ever going to need it because the camera module captures enough light itself which makes the photo looks very clean and clear. It’s also got electronic image stabilization or EIS for video recording which makes the video stable in real time not some after processing effect. Below are some image samples and video sample is in the review video below.
Music & Video
As it turns out that ‘Yamaha’ amplifier starts to deliver, when you plug in the headphone/earphones. The music quality of this phone is very good especially in ears. It’s clean and clear even the provided Micromax earphones in the box sound good because of yamaha amplifier. At first i thought its got a yamaha loudspeaker but it doesn’t and the yamaha amplifer doesn’t do much for the loud speaker it is not meant to anyway. Although as a smartphone’s loudspeaker it’s decent enough and i like it’s placement, it’s at the bottom of the phone. I still hear very little distortion when the songs hits high notes but that could be because of earphones. With Sony earphones the sound was much more smoother and softer. If you have even high end headset maybe you would get an even better experience. It supports full 1080P video playback. You can see more in the video below. Below are also some pics of tangle free earphones that comes in the box, although i still manage to get them tangled somehow.
Frankly speaking, in terms of raw performance there’s no phone around this price range that could come close to this phone. It has Mediatek MTK 6592T (t stands for turbo) Octa core Cortex A7 processor clocked at 2.0Ghz(maximum frequency) and Mali 450MP GPU which is the newest mid level GPU from ARM for smartphone. The combination of which has beaten the Galaxy S4 in Antutu benchmark don’t believe me? See for yourself in the benchmark and gaming post. It’s performance could have been way better if the phone’s os was optimized for the octa core processor. The phone stutters and lags a lot even while simply scrolling through album art. Although it still didn’t even crash once for me which is a very good thing. The software of this phone is acting like bottleneck for the hardware. Otherwise this phone could have been a true beast in performance. It can play all the demanding smartphones games easily. Its GPU is located around the camera area and on heavy load it gets little hot there.
It has 2350 mAh battery and its non removable. Micromax knows that the battery inside this phone is very small in size not physically talking in terms of mAh that’s why they themselves honestly stated on the website a talktime of 7.5 hours in one charge. I can confirm this. It is going to last you around 7 hours if you use it heavily. Around 8 hours if you use it moderately and now how to preserve the battery. While playing GTA San Andreas on it constantly for around 3 hours the battery came down to a little under 50%, so that means it is going to last you around 5 or approximately 6 hours if you constantly play games on it. If you know how to manage and preserve the battery sensibly then you will get more than 8 hours out of it from one charge.
Connectivity wise it has dual sims(micro sims), wifi, 3g, bluetooth 4.0 and the clarity of the phone’s speaker is very good. On 3G it loses a battery little faster but you can’t blame the phone for that all the time because sometimes it happens due to phone constantly searching for network.
It always comes down to this, choice. The choice in the end is going to be yours if you are skeptical about things like “I don’t want to spend this much on a Micromax phone” then i can’t do much about it. But i can advise you that the phone is worth its price in terms of its performance only and looking at the value for money you are getting with it. Xperia C, Galaxy Grand 2, Xperia SP, iPhone 4 are some other phones that are available in this price range and none of them comes even closer to this phone in terms of performance. It only needs a little software optimization which can be delivered just with a simple software update(Micromax i am talking to you). Nothing can beat raw power which this phone possess. Raw power always comes handy in the future when software gets updated and becomes more efficient and more and more developer starts to optimize their apps for the chipset that’s when phones like this really shines. You can say this phone is future proof, and if the companies don’t provides the updates then there are always custom roms and stock roms. So all in all, if you can live with a not so smooth os, i would totally recommend this phone.