“The Canvas Spark 3 is the first device in its class to offer a 5.5-inch display with HD resolution”
While in terms of buzz, flagships and mid-range phones seem to be stealing all the headlines, in reality, it’s the entry-level devices priced below Rs 5,000 that form the major chunk of launches in the Indian market. In fact, in the year 2015, as many as 405 smartphones were launched in the sub-Rs 5,000 segment. This growth is largely driven by Indian smartphone makers, with Micromax taking the lead. To keep its leadership position intact, the manufacturer recently pulled the curtains off its latest offering dubbed Canvas Spark 3.
Continuing the popular lineage of the Spark series and targeting first-time smartphone users, the Micromax Canvas Spark 3 brings forth decent set of specs at the attractive pricing of Rs 4,999. We were able to get up close and personal with the handset and its retail packaging, and here’s how our experience went.
The Micromax Canvas Spark 3 comes packed in a compact rectangular box, opening which brings up the phone itself. Underneath the tray holding the handset, you get the usual goodies – a wall charger, a micro-USB cable, and a pair of stereo earphones. You also get a screen protector, and lastly the documentation in the form of a user manual, warranty card, etc.
While both the Canvas Spark (review) and Spark 2 were compact handsets, the Micromax Spark 3 targets the mushrooming phablet audience with its large 5.5-inch display. With a resolution of 1,280 x 720 pixels, the screen manages to offer good sharpness. Though if you notice closely, you might see some pixelation since the pixel density is 267 pixels-per-inch. Colour output is pleasing, and so are the viewing angles. Protecting the display against scratches is a layer of the Corning Gorilla Glass 3.
Due to its large size, the phone isn’t suitable to one-handed use, although its lightweight build and sleek frame makes it comfortable to use. The Spark 3 is also ergonomic with its curved rear panel.
In terms of the design language, the front of the Canvas Spark 3 is primarily covered by the display panel. The forehead features an earpiece, front shooter and a few sensors, while the chin is empty since the navigation keys are available as part of the software interface.
Both the power switch and the volume buttons can be found on the right, while the left spine is completely bereft of any controls. The 3.5mm audio socket is available up top, whereas the micro-USB port is present at the base.
The rear panel features a matte finish, offering a good grip and can be pried open to expose the non-removable battery, a pair of SIM card slots and a microSD card slot. Here you’ll find the primary camera along with an LED flash, Micromax branding and a speaker mesh further below.
Under the hood, the Micromax Canvas Spark 3 comes powered by a quad-core CPU with the clock speed of 1.3GHz, which is mated to a gigabyte of RAM. The combination is quite decent, and should be able to handle regular use comfortably. In our brief use, the phone was able to offer a smooth navigation, and switching between apps was quick too. The real measure of the performance aspect though will be while playing 3D games. For storage, the smartphone has 8GB of memory on board, out of which approximately 4.5GB is available to the end user. You can also expand the storage via a microSD card of up to 32GB.
Handling the software affairs on the Canvas Spark 3 is Android 5.1 Lollipop, with the custom Indus OS skin on top. The interface is aimed at first-time smartphone users with larger icons on the home screen. The highlighting factor of the OS is that it supports various regional languages. There are also a variety of preloaded apps such as Clean Master, Hike, Quikr, and Skype, among others.
For imaging, the Micromax Canvas Spark 3 flaunts an 8-megapixel shooter at the back and a 5MP front-facing camera. The camera interface is minimal with basic modes. The shutter speed is decent, and the image quality also seemed be fine, though we’ll wait to give a proper verdict till we capture pictures in a variety of conditions.
Targeted at multimedia enthusiasts, the Canvas Spark 3 also promises good sound output thanks to integrated 1.5CC box speakers.
The Micromax Canvas Spark 3 sips juice from a 2,500mAh battery, that should provide a day’s worth of backup. Connectivity options include dual-SIM support, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and GPS. Sadly, the phone doesn’t support 4G, which is quite odd.
The Micromax Canvas Spark 3 will be up against the likes of the Intex Aqua 4G and Phicomm Energy 653 (review). While it manages to stand out because of its phablet form factor, it also loses out due to the lack of 4G.