Micromax Canvas Nitro 4G detailed review

Last year, the Micromax Canvas became a brilliant small budget phone in the Nitro Sub-15K segment. It performed so well that it got Digit Zero 1. This year Nitro is back in a new 4G incarnation. Last year, the powerful octa-core processor and reliable battery life put the phone ahead of its competitors. This year though, things have changed and the phone has faced more intense competition. There are plenty of new entrants here, which offer a reliable power packed performance among other things.

The Canvas Nitro 4G, on the other hand, runs on a new processor that we haven’t tested yet. It is the first phone in India powered by the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 415 SoC. It is an octa-core SoC with a clock speed greater than the current Snapdragon 410. So, has the Canvas Nitro 4G done enough to keep the competition away? Find out.

Construction and design
Unlike last year, Micromax has radically changed its build quality. Like many other Canvas brand phones we’ve seen recently, the Micromax Canvas Nitro 4G offers a well-built body. The phone is made entirely of plastic but the quality is comparable to HTC’s Desire range. It is light weight and feels tough on the hands.

Design is another important aspect that Micromax has worked on. Whether the metallic finish on the side or the matte-ish back is pleasant to the touch, the design looks good polish for a budget phone. The curved back adds even more to the ergonomics of the phone. The side keys are well spaced and provide good travel and feel, as well as being available in this budget section.

Display and UI
While the Xiaomi Mi 4i still has the best display in the sub-15k segment, the 720p display on the Nitro 4G isn’t bad. Display life offers truth for color and saturation. It is viewed from extreme angles and provides a very light and responsive touch experience. Glass also has Gorilla Glass 3 protection, which adds to the whole experience.

The UI on the other hand is the same old same old. The Android experience of the phone is kept in stock for the most part. The opacity of some sub-menus, animations, and menus has changed, but that’s all. Micromax has always used a custom camera app and this hasn’t changed here, though there is a new one. This new camera app serves the camera better and we will talk more about it in the camera section. One small issue we want to point out is that Micromax needs to reduce the number of pre-loaded apps on its device.

As mentioned earlier, this is the first phone to bring Qualcomm Snapdragon 415 to India. We’ve been using the phone for a week now and we can say that while the performance seems satisfactory, it’s not as fast as the Snapdragon 615. However, it is able to surpass the Snapdragon 410, which is currently used in almost every sub-8K smartphone and even some sub-15k phones like the Moto G (3rd Gen).

The Canvas Nitro comes with 2GB of RAM and handles everyday tasks without hassle. Moreover, heavy games like Asphalt 8 were also reasonably easily tackled. When we pour RAM with background apps, the phone starts to stutter a little. Comparing the synthetic benchmark with the competition though we have seen that the phone is only an average performer. This is of course a simulation, which means that the practical application of real life is suitable for relatively light users.

The Canvas Nitro 4G manages about 6 hours of screen time, which is higher than average, though we’ve seen better. On a typical workday, including calls, music streaming, texting and occasional gaming, the Nitro 4G was able to last us until the evening before the need for a fast charge. This again makes it quite average, in terms of battery performance. By comparison, last year’s Canvas Nitro created an almost impossible (at the time) 15-hour screen on-time.

The camera
In contrast to the midling processor and battery performance, the 13MP rear camera is better on the Canvas Nitro 4G. It’s not as good as the Xiaomi Mi 4i but still very close. The images taken by the camera are somewhat oversaturated, but the dynamic range is decent and we believe that Micromax can fix this with a software update, unless of course it is a conscious choice, since many users prefer extra saturated colors. The camera is supported by a new camera app with many more filters and settings. Image processing time, camera shutter speed and autofocus are among the best in this category. However, the shutter lasts a little longer when taking pictures in low light.

Micromax Canvas Nitro 4G

The last row
Unable to beat the field with Micromax Canvas Nitro 4G Moreover, the new phone is unable to repeat what last year’s model achieved. But recently, like other Micromax phones, the Nitro 4G proves that Micromax has come a long way in terms of design, camera and overall building a smartphone. While phones like the Xiaomi Mi 4i or Asus Zenfone 2 will give you better performance at the same price, to people against offline shopping, the Micromax Canvas Nitro 4G will serve as an alternative at the retailer’s counter and will enable it to work for lighter users.

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