Spice has entered the smartphone market with Spice Mi 410, an attractively priced Android powered phone with enticing hardware specifications. The phone is with me for over a week now and I should say I’m impressed with this Android phone. Let’s dive in.
Spice Mi410 is one sturdy piece of metal. The phone is built with all metal and has a solid feel in your hands. It’s one flat and slim slab with no protrusions (including the volume toggles). The back cover of the phone which harbors the SIM, battery and microSD card is a metal plate which hugs the phone tightly giving Mi410 a great finish. Mi410 has a 5 megapixel camera (which I found a little too big to my liking) at the back with flash next to it. On the outside, it has the volume toggles, miniUSB port, power button and a 3.5 mm audio jack.
Spice Mi410 comes with ARM 1 GHz processor and 512 MB RAM. The manufacturer name given in the system info is CSL the company Spice bought. But the original manufacturer of this phone is Foxconn/Hon Hai. That is the Android manufacturer ID we see when probed by connecting to a computer.
Screen and browsing
Spice Mi410’s strength is its big 4.1 inch screen. The difference to me is clearly visible when I just go from my iPhone to Mi410. An app looks crowded on a iPhone but the same app from the same developer looks like a well arranged app and the real estate is something which I can really use.
I am a great fan of the Kindle app and read on it whenever I can. Spice Mi410 screen resolution and the screen real estate made my reading on Kindle app a pleasure. The strain on my eyes is almost negligible and I went on a longer read which I don’t usually do on my iPhone. Browsing and reading a relatively long articles on other blogs and mobile optimized websites is a breeze.
On screen keyboard in landscape mode is an excellent way to type in on this 4.1 inch screen. I have picked up some good typing skills in the past week.
The rear camera is a 5 megapixel camera and the photo quality is decent but not great. It also has a digital zoom and LED flash which gives out some good images in the night time too. Its front-facing camera is a VGA camera and the video quality is what we expect from a VGA camera.
The battery on Mi410 is 1400 mAH which provides 300 hours of standby time and 300 minutes of talk time on 3G network. Testing any of these things individually is a very hard task. I have used the phone normally and found that I only had to charge the phone once every day. That is with talking, browsing, videos, music and playing them Birds. The power management is one of the excellent things I have seen. The phone doesn’t idle after I let it go. It goes to sleep mode almost immediately.
Audio and video
To be fair to the phone, I have tested all the audio and streaming video on a WiFi network. The audio quality is very good and the ear phones that come with the package work very well. Video quality is terrific on the phone. I have cleared my backlog of videos to be watched in one afternoon on Mi410. I have used the Android app Saavn for some streaming bollywood music for two hours and the sound quality was very good throughout.
WiFi on Mi410 is one of the strong features. Bluetooth is good too in recognizing and pairing. Mi410 also come with WiFi hotspot option which is very nifty. WiFi is extremely vigilant. When it is configured, it immediately connects to the WiFi, if it is not configured and is just out of the box, it shows up the WiFi networks immediately.
- Touch screen is generally responsive. The only place I have hard time getting it to work is in the lock screen. Screen responds during the unlock period but the lag time is more than 2 seconds which shouldn’t be the case.
- The power button : This might be a personal preference but I found the power button on Mi410 inconvenient. When you hold the phone, for you turn on the phone you need an extra hand. This operation should typically be handled with just one hand. At least that’s how I grew up with. A southpaw might find the placement perfect because I was able to hold and turn the phone on with my left hand. The design should be agnostic to your dexterity. I have also mentioned about how the power button can be accidently pressed on while taking a picture in my first impressions.
Saholic is offering a Rs. 1000 discount on Spice Mi410 which puts the price on it at Rs. 12999. At that price, Spice Mi410 is the best value for money Android phone or even a smartphone out there. Spice Mi410 carries the specs of a 20K smartphone (read our coverage of phones in that price range). Providing the same functionality with at least 5000 less rupees, I would say, is a steal. Mi 410 can also be upgraded to Android 2.3, which makes it a compelling option.