Spice has been very visible these days in the handset market with their 12MP and 5MP camera phones, touchscreen devices launched in conjunction with new movies and now they’ve taken on Android. The Mi-300 is the first Android device from the company and there will be more to follow come November of this year. But for now, here’s a closer look at the Mi-300.

Form Factor
Spice has managed to fit in a 3.2-inch HVGA capacitive touchscreen display into this device and still keep the price in the affordable range. They’ve even thrown in a BlackBerry style ‘Pearl’ trackball for navigating the menus with touch sensitive menus keys just below the display. Volume keys and a camera button are on one side with a neatly concealed micro USB port for charging and pc connectivity on the other. A 3.5mm handsfree socket is placed at the top. The Mi-300 has a microSD hot swap slot under the rear panel.

I can’t say it’s a just a plain looking handset as it does have that certain je n’est ce quoi factor about it. Its light weight simplistic design makes it easy to carry around and conformable to use.

Features and Performance
The UI, although comfortable as Android is, is riddled with overly colorful icons which does tend to make the handset a tad gaudy. The layout is comfortable to navigate and of course you can choose to install any other on top like Launcher Pro which worked out just fine. The UI is smooth thanks to the MSM7227 chipset and 600MHz processor. Multitasking, Multitouch functions, scrolling through menus, accessing apps and the accelerometer all worked without a hitch or much lag.

The UI is, like I said, quite colorful and does make the otherwise drab Android UI come alive to an extent. For now it’s running on Android 1.6 but will be upgradeable to Éclair (2.1) soon via an OTA update. This does negate a few options like social networking integration with your phone book.

Audio quality for music is just average. The bass tones could have been a little more resounding than they were and the volume should have been a little louder. In a crowded train, irrespective of the kind of earphones I used, the decibel level and overall audio quality was un-impressive. It reads MPEG4 and 3GP files just fine and playback is quite smooth. The display size and resolution makes it comfortable to watch videos in almost any lighting condition.  I was rather surprised to find there was no FM radio included.

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