iBall has been releasing a number of Android-based mobile phones and this time it is the Andi 5c on the shelf. One can easily mistake the iBall Andi 5c for the Samsung Galaxy Note because it resembles the latter to quite an extent. The only difference is the brand name on the front of the Galaxy Note and the difference of the back panel. We checked out the phone to bring you the inside story.

Video Review

 

Video review of the iBall Andi 5c


Design and Build Quality

The iBall Andi 5c, as we stated above, is a good copy of the Samsung Galaxy note, but has vast differences under the hood. The device is just 2 mm shorter in height and thickness as compared to the Note. The build quality is pretty good and the entire shell is very sturdy. The front features a large 5-inch IPS display. The Home button is a physical type, while the Menu and Back buttons are capacitive. Towards the top of the display is the speaker and front facing camera along with the light and proximity sensors.

The 5c resembles the Samsung Galaxy Note to quite an extent

The 5c resembles the Samsung Galaxy Note to quite an extent

There is no company name or branding whatsoever. The back panel has a matte finished surface with the company logo and model number in raised silver printing. Towards the bottom is the speaker grill and the top hosts the rear camera with an LED flash. The volume rocker and the power button take their respectively places on the sides and the microUSB and audio jack are seen on the top. The sides are made of a chrome finished-material and the entire phone looks very presentable. Holding the phone is a little impractical as the grip is not firm enough—thanks to the large size and the matte finished back panel.

Dual SIM dual standby, large 2300 mAh battery

Dual SIM dual standby, large 2300 mAh battery

Features and Performance

We expected the Andi 5c to sport some powerful hardware, but were disappointed when we saw the technical specs. The phone is built using a single core 1GHz Cortex A9 processor and has just 512MB of RAM. The internal storage stated by the manufacturer is 4GB, but the fact is that the 4GB storage is shared by the ROM which is around 1.2GB and app storage of around 820MB, with only the remaining 2GB free for the user to store other data. This storage can be expanded via a hot-swappable microSD card up to 32 GB. These features almost match the iBall Andi 4d, which sports similar tech specs but a smaller display size.

We did test the phone for performance using benchmarking apps and found the phone to be performing normally as an Android with a 1GHz processor would. Linpack offered a score of 30.7 MFLOPS in single thread and 35 MFLOPS in multi thread tests. AnTuTu and Quadrant gave us scores of 3678 and 2309 respectively.

The phone is 12 mm thick and has a rugged build

The phone is 12 mm thick and has a rugged build

The audio jack and micro USB port on the top

The audio jack and microUSB port are featured on the top

Display and Interface

The Andi 5c features a large 5-inch IPS display, but the downside is the screen resolution, which is just 480 x 800 pixels. We did expect to see a higher resolution panel on a screen this large. Being an IPS panel, it has very good viewing angles and the images are also crisp. But sadly, the refresh rate of the display seems to be a bit lower than usual as the text tends to get hazy and distorted while it moves. This is noticeable when surfing the Internet with a lot of text on the screen using the menu system or anything that has a list in text format. The backlight also seems to bleed out a bit from all four corners, but this can be ignored. The touch panel is very sensitive and helps making the interface mode interactive and enjoyable. As mentioned earlier, the operating system is Android ICS and the user interface is stock ICS. Those who prefer the stock ICS launcher can enjoy the features right out of the box, while others will have to install a home launcher for a better experience. The user interface is very fast and fluid and does not feel sluggish at all even though there is no GPU present for acceleration. There are no unwanted apps pre-installed and this gives the user a completely stock Android-based handset and also keeps the internal storage free for user apps.

Swift and smooth stock Android ICS user interface

Swift and smooth stock Android ICS user interface

Media

The phone plays standard definition videos as well as any other phone. High definition videos up to 720p also played almost flawlessly, but 1080p videos simply failed. The HD videos thrown at it look great because of the bright display and IPS panel, but when noticed carefully, there is a slight frame loss in the videos and jittery images are clearly noticed, especially in fast motion videos and action movies.

Android Ice Cream Sandwich 4.0.3 installed

Android Ice Cream Sandwich 4.0.3 installed

Connectivity

The Andi 5c is a dual-SIM mobile phone and can accommodate either two GSM networks or one GSM and one WCDMA each. Both networks function simultaneously, but the phone functions in dual standby which means that when one network is active in a call, the other one remains offline. Connectivity options are the same as with any modern Android handset, ie 3G, GPRS, Wi-Fi, GPS and Bluetooth. A microUSB cable is bundled as the PC interface and for charging the handset. Acceleration, proximity and light sensors are also part of the standard features.

The camera interface

The camera interface

Camera

The saddest part of the phone is the camera. The rear camera is a 5 megapixel shooter with autofocus and is coupled with a single LED flash. The images shot by the camera are completely below average and look good only on the phone's screen. When transferred to the PC, you can see the grainy and pixilated images even when slightly zoomed in. Colours are smudged and the image is completely useless for being printed. Casual shots can be posted on Facebook and similar social websites, with decent enough quality. Videos aren’t good either. Though the camera is rated at 5 megapixels, the videos are shot in 3GP format and the resolution is limited to 640 x 480 only. If you choose this phone expecting a decent camera, we suggest you look elsewhere.

Indoor shoots are not pleasing

Indoor shoots are not pleasing

Overall imaging in broad daylight are average

Overall imaging in broad daylight are average

Battery Test

Though the display is large and the backlight requirement is that much higher, the battery does not drain too fast. The Andi 5c is blessed with a large battery which has a capacity of 2300 mAh. We managed to get around 9 hours and 50 minutes of continuous movie playback time while testing it. We used the phone for a few days with basic usage such as  talking, browsing the Internet, checking emails and casual messaging and found that we could get around 8–10 hours of battery life still around an hour or so more to go before finally re-charging it. So if you are a road warrior, this phone should suffice for your daily commute. We also noticed one flaw; there is no notification LED to inform the user when the phone is charging. You have to press the power button, which lights up the display, and only then can see how much the phone has charged.

Verdict

If you are looking for a phone on a low budget with all the connectivity features you could possibly have, or if you just want to show off a phone with such a large screen, then the Andi 5c can be considered. Though the phone sports just a single-core 1GHz processor, it is pretty smooth and fast enough for daily use. Media entertainment, email, chat and web browsing are great on the large display. But the quality of the 5 megapixel camera is completely below average. Priced at an MRP of Rs 15,999, this device is a bit expensive, but we have news of an offer price of around Rs 12,999, which seems good enough for a phone with a large IPS display. On the other hand, the Wicked Leak Wammy Note stands as a tough competitor to the Andi 5c as it sports similar specifications and is priced still lower at around Rs 11,000. The Wammy Note will be upgraded to Jelly Bean, which also adds to the value of the product. Hopefully, iBall makes changes to the pricing and updates sooner.

Publish date: September 8, 2012 10:33 am| Modified date: December 19, 2013 12:52 am

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