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Karbonn Sparkle V review: This Android One phone is like a Bollywood masala potboiler

Priced aggressively, the Karbonn Sparkle V competes with the likes of Moto E and Xiaomi Redmi 1S.

Prajakta Hebbar | http://imsopraj

Updated:October 30, 2014, 2:05 PM IST
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Karbonn Sparkle V review: This Android One phone is like a Bollywood masala potboiler
Priced aggressively, the Karbonn Sparkle V competes with the likes of Moto E and Xiaomi Redmi 1S.

New Delhi: One of the major differences between marrying a guy your parents picked out for you versus dating the college hottie is the thrill of chase and rebellion. Your 'susheel' husband might not sport 6-pack abs, or gel his hair with the precision of television commercials, but more likely that not, he'll make you happy in the long run.

The same parallel can be drawn between the humble Android One Karbonn Sparkle V (which has been developed in partnership with Google) and the dazzling array of smartphones available in the market.

So without further ado, here's what we liked and disliked about the phone:

Look and feel:

If looks could kill, Karbonn Sparkle V is totally a non-violent phone. With a severe nondescript look, the phone does not carry any brand name or logo on the front - something that a few companies have adapted in recent times. A simple rectangular bar with a screen size of 4.5 inches, the Karbonn Sparkle V scored a point with us for being easy to use and handle with one hand. Given its price, the phone offers satisfactory viewing angles. The phone's earpiece speaker is located exactly on top. Turn it around and the only contour on the otherwise flat back is the two small squares that house the flash and the back camera. The power button and the volume buttons are located on the right side of the phone, which took me a while getting used to.

Quite like other phones in this price segment, this phone too supports a microSD card for additional storage. The matte finish at the back adds to its looks, but is prone to smudges.

Getting to know:

Confession: I have been spoilt by the pure Android experience of Google Nexus 4 for over a year. So I had some reservations - fine, withdrawal symptoms - while swapping it for Sparkle V. I was happy to see that Google brought the similar stock Android experience (as we have seen on the Nexus devices and the Google Play editions of the some flagship smartphones) to entry-level Android smartphones. We tried all the usual apps - Whatsapp, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Gmail, Hangout, Maps and cough cough Tinder, and the phone didn't stagger courtesy of its quad-core processor clocked at 1.3GHz. The Karbonn Sparkle V, currently, runs Android 4.4 KitKat, but as the phone has been jointly developed by Google, we expect it to soon get the Android 5.0 Lollipop update. (Google is expected to globally start the Android 5.0 Lollipop rollout process sometime next month.)

Mingling and social interaction:

I was happy to see that the 2 megapixel front camera was very good for Google Hangout video chats, and the 5 megapixel rear camera was good for Instagram-type use, but the quality of photos seen on the big screen left something to be desired. Music streaming sites such as Saavn and TuneIn work really well; so does YouTube. With the power and volume buttons located on the same side, it was a little cumbsersome to take screenshots.

Battery and speaker
The phone's speaker located at the back produced fairly loud and quality sound - even in noisy environments. Its speaker, however, is trumped by the Moto E - in terms of loudness. Even with the heavy usage, the phone's 1700mAh battery had enough juice to last for almost a day.

Verdict:

For a price tag of Rs 5,999 (on Snapdeal.com), this dual SIM (3G+2G) phone is like a Bollywood masala potboiler. The ingredients are all there and it makes for an action-packed combination; but the 'wow factor' is missing. Priced aggressively, the phone competes with the likes of Moto E and Xiaomi Redmi 1S. The phone fared well but we suggest you to take a look at other available options in the same price bracket before making a buying decision.

Rating: 2.75/5

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