“Karbonn’s latest flagship, the Titanium X manages to impress with its loaded specs and features”Indian manufacturers have perfected the art of following the trends started by global manufacturers faster and at more affordable price points. Which is why we see a staggering number of phablets and quad-core devices from Indian manufacturers in comparison to their international counterparts. The latest trend being followed these days is devices toting full HD displays. Karbonn’s latest smartphone, the Titanium X not only manages to offer such high resolution, but also other top-notch features not usually found in devices of its class, such as a unibody design and NFC. Let’s dive into its full review to find out how well does it fare in daily usage.
Robust unibody construction with curved backUnlike the usual boxy design used by many smartphones, Karbonn has taken a different approach with the Titanium X. The display sits atop a back shell and raises its profile a bit. The display panel has extremely thin bezels and is surrounded by metallic edges. Towards the bottom of the display, one can find the usual array of capacitive backlit keys for options, menu and back that are used navigating through Android. The top portion at the front gets the usual earpiece, notification LED, camera and flash. The sides and the back of the device constitutes of matte plastic in white. Similar to the display, the sides also get rounded corners. The right side of the smartphone has a power button, while the left side offers a volume rocker, and both have been given metallic treatment. The top of the device gets a SIM card slot and headphone jack. The slot houses a micro-SIM which can be inserted by ejecting the cover with the use of an ejection tool (available in the box). As opposed to a SIM card tray, Karbonn has made use of a cover to protect the slot. Being small, one should take utmost care not to lose the cover, though it does gets a magnetic lock to keep it attached. The bottom of the device has a microUSB port and the primary microphone. The back of the handset becomes quite interesting because of a vertically-curved design. It offers good handling which is important for a phone of its size. The back comes with a camera with dual LED flash at the top, a secondary microphone for noise cancellation and Karbonn branding beneath it. The speaker mesh is located at the bottom. Being unibody, the back panel and the battery are non-removable. Overall, the smartphone offers good looks and great handling. It might not be the lightest device around, but at 143g, it isn’t too bulky either and is reasonably thin at 9.9mm.
Brilliant full HD displayThe highlight of the device, without a doubt, is its 1,080p resolution on the large 5-inch IPS display. This translates to a high pixel density of 441 pixels-per-inch. Thanks to the use of OGS technology, the display is very thin. It offers good colour reproduction and viewing angles. Watching HD movies on the Karbonn Titanium X is a delight, and so is reading text. The brightness settings are also adequate and we faced no difficulty in using the device in most conditions, barring direct sunlight. We struggled in viewing the screen in sunlight even with full brightness. The multi-touch display supports the usual gestures for pinching and zooming pictures or documents, but it displayed some lag while scrolling through a long list of contacts or the newsfeed on Facebook.
Selfie camera for Instagram addictsEver wanted to take a self-portrait at a wonderful location having poor lighting conditions and got frustrated at the results? Well, the Titanium X intends to change that with its front-facing camera being supplemented by an LED flash. As far as we know, this is the first smartphone offering a flash for the front camera. The 5MP camera is good for HD video calls as well as selfies. Unfortunately, while we’re singing praises for the front camera, the same can’t be said about the main shooter. It’s not that the hardware is poor, the snapper has a 13-megapixel sensor along with the usual features like autofocus, touch focus, face and smile detection, plus modes such as burst, HDR and panorama. However the images lacked detail and showed pixelation when zoomed in. When it comes to low-light conditions, the dual LED flash spoils the picture and makes it look washed out instead of providing adequate illumination. Moreover, there was some shutter lag making it a bad option for clicking action shots. Here are few samples of the camera (click on the image to view it in full size)
Turbo-charged performance provides lag-free experienceThe performance of the Karbonn Titanium X is handled by a quad-core MediaTek MT6589T processor clocked at 1.5GHz. The processor is supplemented by a dedicated PowerVR SGX544 GPU that aids in running high-definition videos and graphic-intensive games smoothly. During our usage, the device felt very responsive and there were no lags whatsoever. Games like Riptide GP2 and Dead Trigger 2 ran without a hitch and the graphics were also rendered well. In the memory department, the smartphone gets 1GB of RAM. This is one thing which works against the flagship tag of the device as most of the flagship devices from Indian or international brands alike offer double the RAM. Talking about real-life performance though, we didn’t face any problem in usage. Multitasking was a breeze and switching between apps was also snappy. For storage, the Titanium X offers 16GB internal memory, out of which 12.9GB is accessible to the user. This is a welcome change from the paltry 4 or 8GB memory available in many devices of its class which can’t accommodate heavy apps or games. However, the memory isn’t expandable as the Titanium X does not offer a microSD card slot. If you’re complaining about the non-expandable memory, then there’s respite in the fact that the Titanium X support USB On-the-Go feature, giving it the capability of attaching a flash drive to it. The device is bundled along with a USB OTG adapter, and can detect USB drives of up to 32GB capacity. The handset is powered by a 2,300mAh battery which keeps it in good stead for more than a day of casual usage. Even while connected to internet via 3G, using the device for making calls and watching a few videos, it has some charge left at the end of the day. In our standard battery test of playing a 720p video in a loop, the device lasted for nearly seven hours.
A few other tricks up its sleeveThe Karbonn Titanium X runs Android v4.2.2 Jelly Bean without much alterations to the stock UI, though the smartphone does gets a host of preinstalled apps. The manufacturer has also added two of its own apps, Karbonn Live for VAS content and Karbonn Zone, which essentially is a wrapper for a mobile website for downloading all kinds of content. There are third-party apps as well, such as Flipboard, Hungama, Kingsoft Office, Truecaller, and more. Strangely, the device has three preloaded browsers: Maxthon, Opera Mini and UC Browser apart from the default Android browser. It also gets some games like Bubble Bash 3 and Modern Combat 4, but unfortunately these are simply demo games and users have to purchase the paid versions to play them. The smartphone provides some simple, yet very useful functionalities like automatically making or receiving calls when it’s brought close to the ear. One can also flip to mute an incoming call or shake the device to answer it. There’s also a power-saving mode which automatically gets initiated when the battery goes below a certain level (user-definable) and disables battery-draining features like data connectivity, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and GPS along with reducing brightness and volume. The phone has standard set of connectivity features, but it also comes with NFC (Near field communication) technology. This is one of the very few devices getting this next-generation connectivity option in this price range. Though, there are not many places where one can make use of this capability, unless you have another NFC device allowing fast transfers or speakers offering seamless one-touch pairing.
VerdictThe Titanium X proves that the Karbonn is ready to take the big boys with its premium specifications and nice design. The fact that it’s one of the cheapest devices flaunting a full HD resolution makes it a great buy coupled with the smooth performance. The Karbonn Titanium X was initially launched at the price of Rs 18,490, but is now available in the market at a price of Rs 15,000. At this price-point, it’d be up against affordable devices from renowned manufacturers such as the Samsung Galaxy Grand Duos and Sony Xperia C. But more importantly, it’ll be pitted against Micromax’s current flagship, the Canvas Turbo A250 which matches the Titanium X spec-to-spec and gains the upper hand in the RAM department, though admittedly, it’s slightly pricier. Editor’s rating: 8/10 Pros
- Unibody design
- Great display
- Powerful performance
- 5-megapixel front camera with a dedicated flash
- Non-expandable memory
- Average main camera
Specs at a glance
|Dimensions||143.9 x 70.5 x 9.9mm|
|Display resolution||1,920 x 1,080 pixels, 441ppi|
|Primary camera||13MP with dual LED flash|
|Secondary camera||5MP with LED flash|
|Network support||micro-SIM with 2G/ 3G compatibility|
|Connectivity||Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, NFC, GPS and USB OTG|
|Operating system||Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean|