Micromax Canvas Knight A350 – India’s iPhone

Homegrown smartphone maker Micromax has launched its first octa-core smartphone: the Canvas Knight A350 at Rs 19,999.

Micromax Canvas Knight might just be India’s answer to the iPhone. The device has a unibody design and sports a full aluminium body and from a distance reminds you of iPhone 5S and a bit of the Lava Iris Pro 30. It has micro-SD card slots on both sides. The power key of the phone is now placed along with the volume keys on the right.

Micromax Canvas knight A350 Images

One of the best features of the phone is its 12.7 cm (5-inch) SHARP FHD IPS display that delivers a resolution of 1920×1080 pixels, resulting into a pixel density of 443 ppi.

The new flagship device from the company is the first Micromax phone to run an eight-core processor. It sports a 2 GHz Tru octa core MT6592T processor along with 2GB of RAM. There’s no expandable memory unfortunately so 32 GB internal storage is all you get.

On the imaging front, the Knight comes with a 16MP rear snapper paired with OmniVision’s CameraChip sensor and a new generation M8 Largan Lens. It is capable of 1080p HD Videos. The camera on the Knight has voice command capabilities wherein all a user needs to do is say ‘Cheese’ or ‘Capture’ to click images.

The OmniVision CameraChip sensor is capable of capturing high resolution images in rapid succession, fulfilling image processing functions, image size, frame rate, exposure, gain, cropping and orientation are programmable through the Serial Camera Control Bus (SCCB). Other important camera features include 360 Degree Panorama, Cinemagraph and Object Eraser.
The phone also has a whooping 8MP front cam to woo selfie-lovers.

On the speakers front, the smartphone sports a Yamaha Amplifier for improved music output and better audio. There’s no special head-set bundled in though and the experience will be restricted to the speakers.

The Knight runs Android Jelly bean version 4.2 instead of the now popular Android KitKat. But it is capable of supporting the latest OS. The device may get an OTA in the near future.

The device comes preloaded with apps such as BBM, Hike, GetIt, Truecaller, Spuul, Kingsoft Office Suite, Opera Mini, M!Live, M!Vault, M!Security and Games (RealSteel WRB, Where’s My Perry and Where’s My Water).

Though we expected a juicy battery, the device only offers a 2300 mAh battery which seems to be far too less for a high-powered smartphone like Knight.

“Canvas Knight is another milestone for Micromax to bring the best combination of technology, style and affordability for the masses. With the launch of Canvas Knight, our first octa-core smartphone, we have yet again raised the bar of affordable innovation in the country,” said Rahul Sharma, Co-Founder, Micromax.

Costing just Rs 19,999, the Knight would be exclusively retailed from www.micromaxinfo.com in three colours – Black, White & Gold and Black & Gold.

Clearly, with Canvas Knight Micromax has made its intentions clear that it wants to be a global player looking to capture other important markets. For under Rs 20,000, the smartphone is perhaps the best devices available in the market.

Micromax Canvas Knight A350 Review – Best in Canvas Series

Micromax is India’s second biggest smartphone company. But that is what market research firms say. Over 16% market share of Micromax is a fact. It is not a perception.

In the minds of consumers, Micromax is a local company. Few consumers put it in the league of Sony or LG even though Micromax sells more smartphones than both in India. The perception is that Micromax makes smartphones that are affordable but not necessarily top class.

For over a year now, Micromax is fighting, and fighting hard, to change this perception.

In 2013, Micromax launched Canvas HD, Canvas 4 and Canvas Turbo with an aim to show that it can make and sell phones that match the quality and finish of global products. The company did not hit the home run in its attempt but largely it succeeded. All three Canvas devices were better than anything else it had sold earlier.

Micromax Canvas knight A350 pic

Knight A350 is the next flagship Micromax phone. And it continues the company’s quest to win the respect that it feels it deserves. This time, in our opinion, it hits the home run.

Build and design
Knight A350 is a phone unlike any other Micromax made earlier. Though when compared to devices sold by companies like Sony and Apple, Knight A350 doesn’t look all that different.

micromax canavas knight back

The phone uses a glass and metal body. The back cover and the front of the screen is topped with tough – but not of Gorilla variety – glass. Except the protruded camera module on the back, it is all smooth glass. The phone looks similar to Sony’s Xperia Z phones, which too use glass and metal body. But there are some differences. Unlike the Xperia Z1 and Xperia Z1 compact, which have rounded edges, Knight A350 has edges that follow the pattern set by iPhone 5.

Knight A350 has chamfered edges, though they are not as shiny as what you get on iPhone 5 or iPhone 5S.
Knight A350 has a slim – and a little tall – profile. The tall profile means it is not as wide as some other 5-inch phones out in the market. The slim and tall profile of Knight A350 makes holding and using the phone quite easy. It is possible to use it with one hand.

Overall, we like the design and build quality of Knight A350. The glass feels tough and while it will inevitably collect scratches – it is glass, after all – it is nice to see Micromax not going for some cheap materials here. The finishing, especially the way glass bonds to the metal frame and how the buttons and edges feel, is also good.

That said, we have two minor complaints. Knight A350 attracts smudges easily and because of shiny glass body, these smudges are very much visible. Also, glass, or for that matter metal back covers, tend to absorb the heat from the processor inside the phone and make the device feel hot to touch, especially if you are playing a game on it. It happens with iPhones and it happens with Knight A350. If you are playing a game or browsing a few websites on Chrome, the back cover on Knight A350, especially under the camera module, gets warm.

Knight A350 has a 5-inch screen with a FullHD resolution of 1080 x 1920 pixels. For a phone that costs less than Rs 20,000, A350 has a very good screen. It shows punchy colours and has good viewing angles, which means colours don’t fade or lose contrast when you look at it from a different angle. The high-resolution means it shows sharp text and images. Even the level of brightness is good. Unless you are going to be directly under the sunlight, the screen on A350 remains legible during outdoor use.

A350 is powered by Android 4.2.2. That is an older version of Android – the latest one is Android 4.4 – but in terms of features there is not much difference. Micromax is using a customised version of Android in A350 but there are not many tweaks or user interface changes. The biggest change is the launcher, which uses different icons and theme. The default icons for apps like Phone Dialler and Camera in Knight A350 have square shape. It also has a translucent background in the app drawer, which is available in the stock Android 4.4, but not in stock Android 4.2.

By and large, the changes in the Android user interface in A350 are minimal, which is good. User interface on A350 will feel familiar to anyone who has used an Android phone before.

A350 comes with some third-party apps installed by default. These include BBM, Hike, True Caller and Kingsoft etc. While some of these apps will be useful to some users, we prefer phones that don’t have third-party apps installed by default. Users who require these apps can always get them from the Android app store. But when they are installed by default, users who don’t need them can’t uninstall them.

A350 has a primary camera that shoots 16MP images. We all know that number of mega pixels doesn’t matter much when it comes to image quality. Thankfully, the camera in A350 is a decent performer. In good light, it clicks images that have lots of details and right amount of contrast.

In low light, the images tend to have some noise but unless you are shooting in really dim light, for example in a restaurant while having dinner, you will get images that are good enough to be shared on a social media site.

What about video? A350 can shoot videos in 1080P aka FullHD resolution. But the video format is 3GP, which is not as nice as MP4 that other smartphones use. The videos we shot with A350 showed that the camera can record footage that is clear and where subjects are in good focus. But it also over processes videos. It bumps up the colours and they look too rich to be real. It also tries to reduce the colour noise very aggressively and that makes objects look smoother than they actually are. That said, given the price of the device we will call video recording in A350 acceptable.

The front camera can snap images in 8MP. But don’t get excited about the big number here. The performance of the front camera is just average. It works for occasional selfies and video chats but don’t expect it to click stellar 8MP images for you.

A350 is powered by MediaTek’s MT6592T processor. It is an 8-core processor capable of running at 2GHz. However, don’t let the 8-core moniker fool you. The processor uses A7 architecture from ARM which is aimed at providing mainstream performance and not high-end performance. While 8 cores matter, they will not be properly utilised unless there is an application that can use all these cores simultaneously.

Currently, no popular app can utilise an 8-core processor properly. More important here is the 2GHz speed. MT6592T is a fast processor, capable of handling the everyday work load with ease. Combined with 2GB RAM and 32GB internal storage, MT6592T provides Knight A350 with good enough hardware to deal with web browsing, multimedia playback of videos in various formats and photo editing etc with ease. While there is some lag from time to time, especially if you are multi-tasking or scrolling through a list quickly, it is barely noticeable and rarely a factor that affects the experience.

GPS in the phone works well and reliably. While making calls we found the call quality to be good and we never had to shout in the phone to make the person on the other hand hear what we were saying.

One area where, Knight A350 really excels is the speaker. While it is a mono speaker, it is very loud. This helps while playing games or watching movies on the device.

The battery life is where Knight A350 stumbles. When used with a 3G connection, the device lasts around 9 to 10 hours. This is 2 hours less than what we typically see in an Android phone.

The MT6592T processor in A350 has four core of Mali 450 for graphics processing. While this is not a cutting-edge graphics, it is capable of handling most of the current Android games. During our test, we played casual games like Angry Birds and demanding games with high quality graphics like Asphalt 8 on A350. In both types of games, we had a good experience. In Asphalt 8, we played with graphics quality set to maximum and the game ran without any lag or dropped frame rates.

It is easy to like Knight A350. Its design is good, performance satisfactory and screen best in its class. Even camera is decent. We feel Knight A350 is worth Rs 19,999, the MRP Micromax has set for it.

However, if you are looking to buy a smartphone with a budget of less than Rs 20,000, our first recommendation remains Motorola Moto G, which is available for Rs 13,999. Overall, Moto G is a better value for money. It is also slightly faster – though not in games – than A350 and has a much better battery life.

But if you decide to give Moto G a pass, A350 is a very good choice. It has a bigger (and sharper) screen, a better camera, more graphics performance, 2X internal storage, extra 1GB RAM, and a much more attractive design.


Micromax Canvas Knight A350 Specifications

micromax canvas knight a350Micromax Canvas Knight A350 is a Smart Phone Powered by Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean and 16 MP Auto Focus Camera. Following are the specifications of new Micromax Canvas Knight A350.

Micromax Canvas Knight A350 Specifications:

Brand Micromax
Model Name Canvas Knight
Model ID 350
Form Bar
SIM Size Micro SIM
SIM Type Dual SIM, GSM + GSM
Touch Screen Yes
Business Features Document Viewer, Kingsoft Office
Call Features Loudspeaker
Handset Color White & Gold, Black & Gold
Operating Freq GSM – 850, 900, 1800, 1900; UMTS – 2100
OS Android v4.2.2 (Jelly Bean)
Processor 2 GHz MT6592T
Size 5 Inches
Resolution Full HD, 1920 x 1080 Pixels
Color 16.7 M
Other Display Features IPS Display
Primary Camera Yes, 16 Megapixel
Secondary Camera Yes, 8 Megapixel
Video Recording Yes, 1920 x 1080
HD Recording HD, Full HD
Other Camera Features Auto Focus, Flash Support, CameraChip Sensor, 1.34-micron Omni BSI 2 Pixel Architecture, Electronic Image Stabilization, Cheese, Burst
Type 2350 mAh
Talk Time 7 hrs (2G)
Standby Time 175 hrs (2G)
Internal 25 GB for Mass Storage and 1.5 GB for Applications
Memory 2 GB RAM, 32 GB ROM
Internet Features Email
Preinstalled Browser Android, Opera
3G Yes, HSPA
Wifi Yes
USB Connectivity Yes, micro USB
Navigation Technology with Google Maps
Bluetooth Yes, v4
Audio Jack 3.5 mm
Music Player Yes, Supports WAV, MIDI, MP3
Video Player Yes, Supports MP4, AVI (MJPEG), 3GP, Full HD
FM Yes
Sound Enhancement Yamaha Amplifier
Call Memory Yes
SMS Memory Yes
Phone Book Memory Yes
Sensors Proximity Sensor, Gravity Sensor, Gyroscope Sensor, Magnetic Sensor, Light Sensor
Additional Features Smoother User Interface, Games, FOTA
Important Apps Hike, Spuul, M! Live, M! Security, M! Vault, Real Steel, Where is My Water, Where is My Perry, Getit, BBM, True Caller
Warranty Summary 1 year manufacturer warranty for Phone and 6 months warranty for in the box accessories

Micromax Canvas Knight A350 Key Features

Micromax Canvas Knight A350 is the first device by this Indian smartphone maker to come with an Octa- Core processor – MediaTek 2GHz Tru Octa-Core MT6592T processor – to be precise. The processor is aided by 2GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage. The Micromax Canvas Knight sports a full aluminium body casing adding style, oomph and sturdiness.

Micromax Canvas Knight Picture

The smartphone features a 5-inch Full HD IPS display. It comes with a 16MP rear camera that is paired with OmniVision’s CameraChip sensor and M8 Largan Lens. This camera is also capable of recording videos in Full HD. There is also an 8MP front camera on board.

Micromax Canvas KnightMicromax Canvas Knight A350 also comes with a Yamaha Amplifier. The smartphone packs in 2350 mAh battery. Running on Android 4.2.2 (Jelly Bean), the smartphone comes with bunch of pre-loaded apps such as BBM, Hike, GetIt, TruCaller, Spool et al.

Key features:

  • MediaTek 2GHz Tru Octa-Core MT6592T processor
  • 12.7 cm (5″) SHARP FHD IPS display
  • 1920×1080 443ppi resolution
  • 16MP Rear camera with OmniVision CameraChip sensor and M8 Largan Lens with voice command & 8MP Front Camera
  • Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean
  • Camerazzi Camera Feature
  • Yamaha Music Amplifier
  • 2350 mAh battery
  • 32GB Internal Memory
  • Full HD 1080p video recording & playback
  • Smart Gestures – Proximity Answer Phone, Upside Silent, Upside Speaker and Proximity Dial Phone
  • Available in Black, Black & Gold and White & Gold