Karbonn A21 Review

Karbonn has been making news recently with its dual-core Android-based smartphones and the A21 is the latest entrant in its Android smartphone line-up. The recent advertisements state that the phone can do two jobs at a single given time, which is true to quite an extent given that it is equipped with a dual-core processor. Well, let's find out if the phone is really smart enough.

4.5-inch display, Android ICS OS.

Design and build
The A21 from Karbonn has a great design and an aesthetically appealing exterior. The dual-tone black and white body makes it look a class apart and trust us, it does not feel like any of the cheap phones. Though the handset looks classy, the chassis is made from a strong and durable plastic with a semi-matte and glossy finish. It can get pretty ugly looking after a bad fall or if it is not properly handled. The edges especially are glossy and the white rear panel can get smudged with dirty hands pretty fast. The front panel features four capacitive buttons for Home, Menu, Back and Search along with a large 4.5-inch LCD display. Towards the top is the earpiece and a front camera, and next to it is a translucent window that hides the proximity and light sensors. The rear panel sports a camera and an LED flash towards the top and a speaker grill on the bottom. The volume rocker is placed on the right while the power and audio jack are seen on the top. The right side has the micro USB interface. Overall, the design looks impressive and does sport a good look for a phone priced in the the Rs 10,000 bracket (approximate price in the local market). Lastly, the rear panel opens up to the battery compartment where you can see the two SIM slots and a hot-swappable microSD card bay.

5 MP rear camera with single LED flash.
Features and performance 
The A21 from Karbonn’s Duple series of smartphones features a dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor clocked at 1.2GHz. As per our benchmarking utilities, we found the processor running on a maximum 1.15GHz—so either the processor is underclocked for stability or the speed of the processor is rounded-off to 1.2GHz for the spec sheet. Coupled with the processor is an Adreno 203 graphics processor and 512MB of RAM. Here again, as per the benchmarking apps, the information passed out about the RAM is that 386MB is in use by the operating system itself and the rest is available for user apps. This amount of memory does not feel sufficient enough for a dual-core based hardware but is good enough for casual and basic operations. The internal storage provided is 4GB, which can be extended using a microSD card. The display is a large 4.5-inch LCD with a resolution of 480 x 800, but all our tests reveal a resolution of 540 x 960 pixels. A 5MP camera with an LED flash is provided on the rear and a 1.3MP camera for video calling is available on the front panel.

Dual tone black and white body with glossy front and back panels
Dual-tone black and white body with glossy front and back panels

The A21 features dual SIM support, of which one is capable of 3G while the other is 2G. So you have an option of using one SIM for the Internet channel while the other can be used for voice calls. The Internet can also be connected using the Wi-Fi b/g/n interface. Other connectivity options are Bluetooth and a micro USB PC interface. A-GPS onboard can be used for your navigation purposes. Lastly, a 1800 mAh battery completes the phone’s specification section.
Volume rocker on the right side
Volume rocker on the right side

Power and audio jack on the top
Power and audio jack on the top

On the performance front, we did find the phone faster than most single-core processor based Android phone in the market. However, after using it for a while with a few apps and games, we did find it getting a bit sluggish thanks to the insufficient memory provided for the user apps, which runs out in no time if you use memory-heavy apps including a live-wallpaper. Casual free games downloaded from the Play store would suffice, but keep away from high-definition and GPU heavy games as they could get sluggish in no time and you will lose out on battery life in no time.

Source: Tech2


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