Towards the end of quarter one of this year Micromax revealed is revamped avatar, which it called Micromax 3.0, and marketed with the tagline, “Nuts. Guts. Glory.” The company talked about its ambitious plans to become the largest consumer electronics brand in India, and along with that, unveiled its highly anticipated flagship in the form of the Canvas 6 duo. Launched for the same price, the Canvas 6 and Canvas Pro (first impressions), are targeted at two different sets of consumers, the former claimed to be designed for lifestyle users, which essentially refers to people who use their smartphone for longer periods of time in one go. We spent a fair amount of time with the Micromax Canvas v6, both as lifestyle, and as power users, and here’s our take.
Specs At A Glance
|Resolution||Full HD (1080 x 1920 pixels)|
|CPU||Octa core, 1.3 GHz, MediaTek MT6753|
|Internal memory||32 GB|
|External memory||Up to 64 GB|
|Capacity||3000 mAH, Li-Polymer, Non removable|
|Primary camera||13 MP|
|Secondary camera||8 MP|
|Network support||Dual SIM 4G|
|Other options||Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS|
|Operating system||Android 5.1 Lollipop|
Design: Interesting But Not Innovative
Unoriginality seems to be becoming a trend. As saddening as that might be, every new smartphone these days sports a design “inspired” by a more popular device. The Canvas 6 is no different. The smartphone slightly resembles the Google Nexus 6P, with the plastic inlay on top, at the back panel. The Canvas 6 sports matte finish on its all-metal unibody chassis, and is available in a single Champagne Gold colour variant. It does not look bad at all. It might not turn heads, though. The build quality seems solid, but phone feels bulky in the hands, and in no way can you operate it with a single hand. It’s slippery as well, and interestingly, in this matter, the bulkiness, or the girth to be precise, works for the phone, because it gives you more flesh and body to grab on to. Otherwise, the device could slip right through your hands.
Just like the Nexus 6P, the plastic inlay on the back panel houses the primary camera module. Down below, you find the fingerprint reader, and the trail is culminated with some minimal branding. There’s nothing special about the rest of the port placement of the Canvas 6.
The right edge houses all the keys – volume and power. The left one gets an ejectable SIM tray. Up top, you find a 3.5mm audio jack, and a secondary microphone, and on the bottom edge, a micro-USB port comes sandwiched between two sets of precision drilled holes, one of which hides the primary microphone, and the other conceals the loudspeaker grille.
The display comes flanked on top by the usual assortment of sensors, an earpiece and a notification LED. Below the display, you just find thick, unnecessary bezels, wasting a lot of space, as the navigation keys come as part of the software.
The design of the Micromax Canvas 6 does not scream style. But it’s still an attempt from the brand to deliver something flaunt worthy. Considering that it was specifically targeted at lifestyle users, the design could have been more innovative and stylish. However, if you compare the phone with its older sibling, the Canvas 5, it’s a great improvement.
Display: Meant For Indoor Use Only
Size: 5.5 Inch
Resolution: Full HD (1080 x 1920 pixels)
Display Type: IPS LCD
Pixel Density: 401 ppi
While a 5.5-inch full HD display might sound stunning, it’s not the case with the Canvas 6. The display seems decently sharp, and the colours just pop, so overall the display looks vivid. The screen brightness was adequate indoors, but the screen on the Canvas 6 is pretty reflective, which causes problems. The situation worsens in daylight, as the sunlight legibility of the phone is poor. Even at its brightest, the display looks completely washed out, and the need of covering your smartphone’s screen with a hand to be able to read it gets you all nostalgic. The viewing angles are average. Hints of purples and blues appear on the display when you look from extreme viewing angles. The display is prone to scratches, and you will have to invest in a screen protector, because our screen looked like we played Fruit Ninja on it with a real knife by the time we were done with the review.
Camera: Average At Best
Primary camera: 13 MP
Flash: LED Flash
Secondary camera: 8 MP
If you consider just the megapixel count, the set of shooters on the Micromax Canvas 6 are on par with the standard. A 13MP primary camera, and an 8MP snapper for selfies do sound decent. But you know that’s not how it works. Let’s check out the default camera app in the Canvas 6 first, and then we’ll move on to determining whether or not is the camera on par with the standard.
The default camera is neither loaded, nor complicated to use, but it might look like so, as the viewfinder comes packed with toggles. On the bottom left you find the settings button which gives you access to options like controlling the picture size, white balance, ISO, exposure, etc. Tapping on the bottom of the viewfinder reveals a bunch of effects, which can be applied to images or videos in real time. Apart from that, you find a few shooting modes in plain view, like HDR, Smile Shot, Live Photo, Motion Tracking, Beauty, etc.
The overall picture quality in almost all the shots was average at best. While the long shots appeared sharp enough on the phone screen, the details vanished as soon as we zoomed in. The image looked dull, as the primary camera didn’t manage to capture good colours. However, the macro shots turned out pretty nice. The phone captures good depth, and great detail, all of which remains intact even after zooming in. The camera struggles quite a bit in low light, and the shots you take in such conditions are flooded with grain. That said, the shooter manages to capture some colour, which is a positive. The flash overcompensates, and burns out the subject slightly. The night shots were simply disappointing. There was noise in the images, and let’s just say that the primary shooter will capture enough for you to remember what the place looked like in a broad sense if you click a picture somewhere at night… but that’s about it.
The front camera captures decent selfies in daylight, but it does not capture great amount of detail. However, the colour reproduction will be more or less accurate. Indoors, the selfie shooter delivers average results and the selfies turn out slightly grainy.
To sum it up, the camera configuration of the Canvas 6 might sound great on paper, but it does not deliver. One of the qualms we had with the Canvas 5 was its average camera performance. It’s disappointing to say that we haven’t seen much improvement.
Below are some images clicked by the primary camera of the Micromax Canvas 6.
Software: (Unnecessarily) Loaded
Operating System: Android
OS Version: 5.1, Lollipop
The Micromax Canvas 6 runs Android Lollipop, with the company’s custom skin on top. As a result, you find a change of icons.
Before we talk about what software features it offers, here’s a fun fact. The Micromax Canvas 6 comes preloaded with 23 first party and third party apps and games, excluding all apps from Google. While some of these apps are useful, for instance, Amazon, Facebook, or Skype… some are absolutely pointless and annoying. There’s an app called Recent Apps, which shows a pop up of all the recent apps you’ve used, every time you unlock your phone after a while. While, we do understand that there might be some apps that you use more than others, having a shortcut on the homescreen solves the purpose of accessing it quickly, and there is no need of having another app to shove it in your face. Fortunately, this app can be uninstalled. Then there are games like 2048Extra, Monster Truck Racing, and Temple Paradise Rash.
Swiping right from the homescreen, gives you access to Micromax’s Around app, which is basically your one stop shop for everyday needs like shopping online, booking a cab or a flight, booking hotels, or even recharging your phone, data or DTH connection. If implemented as fluidly as claimed, this is a really useful feature, since you do not exactly need to install separate applications to do these things.
On its own, the smartphone does not offer any customisation options. However, if you choose the APUS home launcher, instead of Steroid, which is the default one, you get a theme store to change the look and feel of the interface. We didn’t like using this launcher as it looked gimmicky, and made the overall UI look really messy. It also comes with some apps and games of its own, like APUS Club, APUS Browser, I’m Lucky, and Shuffle. Swiping right on the APUS homescreen reveals APUS Headlines, and not Around. It’s simply a dedicated homescreen for all the news from around the world.
The Canvas 6 does not offer gesture and motion support, which is a tad disappointing, given than budget smartphones these days ship with those features. Since the phone runs stock Android Lollipop, you don’t get a ‘clear all’ option, which is something all of us have gotten used to.
The fingerprint reader on the Canvas 6 is easily accessible. It’s not the fastest we’ve seen, but it definitely is one of the most accurate. We can’t think of a time when it missed to recognise our fingerprint. But you do notice the delay between placing the finger on the sensor and the unlocking of the device. You can store up to five fingerprints on the Canvas 6, which can also be used to protect applications from prying eyes.
The software on the Micromax Canvas 6 is decent overall. While the preloaded apps are a bit overwhelming, a bunch of those can be uninstalled. If you can work with the designed-for-5-year-olds APUS launcher, you get to customise the look too. Otherwise, its plain old stock, which is never a negative.
Performance and Battery: A Mixed Bag
CPU: Octa core, 1.3 GHz, MediaTek …
GPU: Mali-T720 MP3
RAM: 3 GB
Memory: 32 GB + Up to 64 GB
SIM Slots: Dual SIM , GSM+GSM
Battery: 3000 mAH
The Micromax Canvas 6 is powered by a MediaTeK Helio MT5753 processor, which is an octa-core processor, clocked at 1.3GHz. This is an old processor, and something we’re used to seeing in budget smartphone, not on mid-rangers. The processor is aided by 3GB of RAM. The phone handles everyday usage easily. Shopping online, instant messaging or browsing through web happens smoothly, and that is what the company intends to deliver with the Canvas 6, so that’s a plus.
However, our job is to stress the devices to their maximum limits, and that is what we did when we played games like Asphalt 8: Airborne, and Dead Trigger 2 on the phone. While we acknowledge the fact that the Canvas 6 is meant for lifestyle users, which essentially means people who do not use their phones heavily, we still expected it to deliver decent results while gaming, but we were disappointed. The games took an eternity to load, and there were major amount of lag and jitters. The graphics rendering was poor, and overall, the gaming experience was unpleasant.
Multitasking on the Canvas 6 was average. Switching between apps happened hassle-free while regular usage. However, you might encounter some jitters after exiting a heavy game, and immediately trying to open and use another app. The smartphone does get slightly warm after heavy usage, which is justified. The temperatures do not rise up to uncomfortable levels.
The smartphone ships with 32GB of built-in storage, out of which you get about 25GB for your personal use. You can top up the storage as well, using a microSD card.
While we’re on the topic of overall performance, it must be mentioned that the Canvas 6 has major issues in terms of call quality. It was very difficult for the other person to hear our voice. We switched between three carrier networks to test it, and the result was poor quality in every case.
The Micromax Canvas 6 is backed by a 3,000mAh battery. In our standard battery test, the phone only managed to play an HD video on loop for about 8.5 hours. While this number is just average, the Canvas 6 performs better in real life. The smartphone easily delivers a day worth of use, including using 4G data, chatting on WhatsApp, scrolling through Facebook and Instagram, and watching videos on YouTube. There’s a power saving mode as well, for you to extract the most juice out of the battery.
The Canvas 6 seems like a big step up for Micromax, at least theoretically. Offering a full metal body, inclusion of a fingerprint reader are steps in the right direction. However, they are not enough. The competition is far ahead. Let’s put it this way. In a college where students are trying to join societies, manage stuff, doing extra-curriculars, Micromax is like a student just trying to score well in the exams. That’s not bad, but you know extra-curriculars have their points.
Around its price, which is Rs 13,999, you have options like the Lenovo ZUK Z1 (review), and the Moto G4 Plus (review), both of which offer far better specs and performance. The recently launched LeEco Le 2 (first impressions) is another loaded smartphone, with a better processor, camera, and battery than the Micromax Canvas 6. We’ll recommend the Canvas 6 only if, for some reason, you are a die hard Micromax fan. Otherwise, there are better options out there.
Editor’s Rating: 3 / 5
- Long battery life
- Solid build quality
- Poor sunlight legibility
- Average cameras
- Lags with heavy use
- Older version of Android
Photos by Raj Rout