If you are on a very tight budget and are looking for an entry-level Android phone which can handle two SIM cards, the iBall Andi 4d from the AND SMART series could be an option.

Video Review


Video Review of iBall`s budget droid

Design and Build Quality
The iBall Andi 4d is the latest entry in iBall's lineup of mobile phones. It has a very sleek design with a completely glossy shell. The product resembles the Motorola Atrix 2 to an extent, but its edges are not as rounded. The phone feels a bit too heavy, and the glossy shell makes it feel slippery with a poor grip. The display featured here is a pretty large 4-inch capacitive touchscreen LCD which sports a resolution of 480 x 800 pixels. A large display is great for those who enjoy entertainment on the go. The front sports four touch buttons for Menu, Home, Back and Search, which are very responsive. What spoils the show a little is a small hole just below the Home button for the microphone, which should be located discretely on the bottom edge. The display has a screen guard preinstalled by the manufacturer which will save you the cost of buying one.

Rear features a 5 MP camera and an LED flash

The rear panel features a 5-megapixel camera and an LED flash

The rear panel has just a large iBall logo and a speaker grill towards the bottom . Also on the top left is a 5-megapixel camera with a single LED flash and another hole for a secondary microphone which is used while video recording or for wind noise cancellation during a call. The rim of the device is chrome plated and gives the Andi 4d a great look. The top features the power button and headset socket while the left side has a volume rocker. The bottom has the usual micro USB interface. Opening the rear panel for inserting a memory card, battery or SIM card is a pain—the back cover is very stubborn and difficult to open, and it feels as though the plastic clips might break at any point. Overall, the design is pretty good and the build quality rugged enough. The phone weighs just 157 grams and is 11 mm thick. There is no eyelet for a lanyard, which many people use to keep their phone safe.

Dual SIM, GSM + GSM / CDMA, 1630 mAh Li-ion battery

Dual SIM, GSM + GSM / CDMA, 1630 mAh Li-ion battery

Features and Performance

The iBall Andi 4d runs on a 1GHz ARM Cortex processor coupled with 512MB of RAM. The internal storage is 148MB, which is just enough for loading a handful of applications. External storage can be expanded up to 32GB via the micro SD slot. Sadly, being a newly launched product, we expected it to be loaded with at least Android ICS, but the operating system installed is Android Gingerbread 2.3.6, which is extremely outdated. The user interface is customized by iBall but there are no user-changeable options for anything such as an app drawer or desktop screens. Installing a custom home launcher is advisable if you buy this phone. The Andi 4d accommodates two GSM SIM cards or one GSM and one CDMA. The operating system includes the standard Android applications with a few freebies thrown in as well, such as Paint, IBNLive, MoneyControl, NimBuzz, CricketNext, Call Blocker and Documents to Go. The interface is not as fluid as we expected even though the touchscreen is pretty sensitive and responsive. There is no information about whether we can expect the manufacturer to release official OS and firmware updates. If it doesn't intend to do so, installing a third party developer ROM to upgrade the operating system to ICS or even Jellybean will be impossible until the phone becomes popular and someone with the right skills decides to crack the kernel and post the result online for the public to use. Until then, you would have to use the outdated Android Gingerbread operating system. We ran the usual set of tests for the phone in which Linpack gave us a single thread score of 23 and a multi thread score of 21. Antutu resulted in a score of 2992.

A plain non-customizable user interface

A plain non-customizable user interface

The Andi 4d supports most regular photo, audio and video file formats, but the missing GPU is quite a big issue. Large video files, especially HD videos and MKV files tend to lag and are very jittery. You will have to transcode these videos to the screen's native resolution if you want to experience smooth playback. Audio sounds good when used with a decent pair of headphones. The bundled headset is a copy of HTC's design and is pathetic in terms of build and audio quality. The bass distorts a lot, and trebles are disturbingly high. If you intend on buying this phone, we suggest you immediately pick up a pair of headphones for a few hundred rupees more.

Below average earphones with an HTC styled design

Below average earphones with an HTC-inspired design

The phone can be connected to a PC via a standard micro USB cable, while other connectivity options include Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. Internet services from your telecom provider can be obtained via 3G, GPRS and EDGE. Maps and navigation apps can take advantage of the built-in GPS.

Micro USB port and the hole for the microphone is visible here

The microUSB port and the hole for the microphone are visible here

The iBall Andi 4d sports a 5-megapixel camera with an LED flash as well as a front-facing VGA camera for video calls. The camera test resulted in very poor quality images with photos being overexposed both outdoors and indoors.

Washed out colors with the indoor shooting. The PC case is actually glossy cherry red in color

Washed out colors when taking photos indoors. This PC cabinet is actually a bright high-gloss cherry red.

What you get in the box is the headset, a micro USB cable, a travel charger and a free 4GB micro SD card. As we mentioned earlier, you will not need to buy a screen guard as the phone comes equipped with one out of the box.

Outdoor pics are over exposed and very grainy.

Outdoor photos in broad daylight are also overexposed and grainy.

Battery life
The phone is powered by a 1630 mAh Li-ion battery, and the manufacturer's talk time rating is 4.5 hours while the standby time is around 450 hours. We did try running our own  video loop tests to determine the battery life, but the device wouldn’t play a file for more than 10 minutes before automatically going into standby. We tried different video players, but the result was the same, so we cannot verify the manufacturer's claimed ratings.

Free apps bundled along with the Andi 4d

Free apps bundled with the Andi 4d

Verdict and Price in India
The iBall Andi 4d is priced at a steep Rs. 9,490, which we feel is pretty high for a product which has a sluggish interface, outdated operating system, no GPU, low RAM and substandard camera. In the same price range, we suggest the Sony Live with Walkman which has far better software support, faster processing, a smoother interface, better audio and camera quality, and more features. However, you will have to compromise a bit on the display size and dual SIM capability. If you need to use two SIM cards, you have another option in the Samsung Ace Duos. The price might be a bit higher, but you are assured of quality and firmware updates.

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