A Brief Overview Of The Phone
The device is a package of great specs at a fairly affordable price. The dual-SIM 3G phone is fueled by a 1950 mAh battery and sports a 4.5-inch FWVGA screen with IPS technology and is run on an Android KitKat v4.4.2 OS platform with a chipset frequency of 1.3GHz Quad-core. The Canvas Xpress A99 features a 5MP primary camera with LED flash and a 0.3MP front camera, on the imaging front. The phone has got a storage capacity of 8GB as internal memory, 1GB RAM and upto 32GB expandable memory. The phone is available on sale with several e-commerce dealers and at outlets all over the country.
A brief overview isn't something that is enough for a phone like the Canvas Xpress A99. So let's start dissecting and analyzing the phone in a better and more detailed manner.
Design and Styling
With a sleek body build, this phone is one of the most beautiful phones, that you could instantly fall in love with its design. Though it is placed in the budget category, the Micromax Canvas Xpress A99 has a design that would outsmart any of the high-end smartphones. It has got something like a metallic addition to both the left and right sides of the frame, while the flat panels at the top and bottom of the frame add to the premium look of the phone. The Canvas Xpress A99 is available in two colour variants namely the Electric Blue and Classy Silver.
The device has got a matte-finished back panel, which is curved to some extent to provide a good grip over the phone. Moreover the phone is really slim and compact that by just seeing the pictures of the phone, you would want to hold it in your hands. The rear panel houses the device's battery and features the phone's camera lens as a square unit with an LED flash right below it.
The top end of the right side of the frame houses the power button while the volume-adjustment keys sit on the left side of the frame. The top panel features the 3.5mm audio jack and the micro USB charging slot.
Display and UI
This sleek and pretty smartphone offers a 4.5-inch FWVGA display which has a screen resolution of 854 x 480 pixels (~ 218 pixels per inch) which is seemingly low, when taking into consideration, the fact that there are many more smartphones which offer HD display at a lower price range. The display seems to be pixelated which is a very serious negative point for a phone priced above the Rs 5000 range.
The UI of this device does not offer much customization options from the manufacturers. However, the phone is loaded with too many applications like the M! Games, M! Security, M! Live, M! Insurance and the MAd app which are there just to eat up the internal memory.
However, the phone has got pretty good viewing angles and quick responsive touch, which seems to be at a better level than the Micromax Canvas A1. Perhaps this was a feature added to compensate over the low resolution display of the phone.
Processor and Performance
This smartphone works on an Android v4.4.2 KitKat OS mated to a 1.3GHz MediaTek Quad-core processor with 1GB RAM memory. The phone, as mentioned earlier is pretty much responsive and does not have unnecessary lags while flipping through apps, which makes the device a fairly good multi-tasker. But due to the low resolution display and poor graphic quality, the gaming experience was not that impressive enough.
The Canvas Xpress A99 is powered by a 1950mAh Li-Ion removable battery, which, the company claims to offer an estimated talk time of around 7 hours, while the standby time is expected to be 240 hours. The battery is quite powerful enough to last an entire day long, even while using the 3G network and several apps running in the background.
Storage and Connectivity
The device comes with a 1GB RAM memory and 8GB of internal memory, of which, only 5.86GB is available for the user, due to several unnecessary apps that come pre-installed in the phone. However, this wasted memory can be caught up with an expandable memory of 32GB, which can be availed using a microSD card.
As any other smartphone would offer, this dual-SIM 3G smartphone also features connectivity options like Bluetooth v4.0, Wi-Fi hotspot connectivity, microUSB v2.0 with on-the-go connectivity options and GPS with A-GPS support.
Besides the usual connectivity options, what makes the Canvas Xpress A99 to stand out from the rest of the crowd is its HotKnot connectivity and Smart Wake. By using the HotKnot connectivity, which is an exclusive feature of MediaTek processors, you can transfer files by just tapping this phone's display on another phone's display, provided the other device also has the same HotKnot connectivity option. The devices get paired through touch and instant transfer of files and browser URLs are possible.
The Smart Wake feature allows you to access your favourite apps directly from the locked screen. So if you want to open your messages, you just need to draw the alphabet “M” on the locked screen display while the phone is in its sleep mode. And this is another impressive feature.
Camera and Recording
The camera on the Canvas Xpress A99 is a 5MP rear shooter with an LED flash, along with a secondary VGA camera that supports video-calling. The rear camera lens is placed in a square panel, on the phone's back cover, with the LED flash right below it. And this cluster is placed right above the infamous logo of Micromax.
The camera interface is loaded with easy-to-use features which include normal mode, Panorama, Beauty Face (for editing selfies), HDR and full HD 1080p video recording. However, the device's camera is quite an average for an entry level phone and is fit for capturing some great photographs in daylight. The hues were really excellent, yet the sharpness lacked as the 5MP shooter cannot catch on an excess of subtle elements. Low light photography is not a good idea with this camera due to high noise levels and yellowish tinge in low-light pictures. However, with the flash enabled, this negative point could be rectified to some extent.
The Micromax Canvas Xpress A99 is a decent buy with a great design and powerful processor and battery. Though it may not catch up with the competition set by the Xiaomi Redmi 1S and the Huawei Honor Holly, if you are on the look out for a budget smartphone with fairly good features and an impressive styling, then the Micromax Canvas Xpress A99 is that phone that you should definitely go for.