Monday, November 21, 2011

Limited Budget MTS Android smartphones Review

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With the Livewire and Mtag CDMA smartphones (both priced below Rs 6,000), MTS is making Android smartphones available for consumers with limited budgets. Both phones have a 2.8-inch touchscreen display - the Livewire has a resistive display, which is the primary reason for the lower price (Rs 4,999).

Mtag is priced slightly higher at Rs 5,499 and features a more sensitive and higher quality capacitive display. The display resolution on both is same (240 x 320 pixels), though the colors and brightness on the Mtag is clearly better than the Livewire. The build quality of both phones is surprisingly good.

Touch-sensitive Android buttons:

The Mtag has a matte finish on the back - providing better grip whereas Livewire has a white glossy finish on the back with a slot for stylus on the bottom left. Both the phones have touch-sensitive Android buttons at the bottom of the display.

An issue with the Livewire is that it does not have backlit buttons. The Livewire features dedicated call receive/end button at the bottom - helpful for voice calls as the display is resistive and at times does not recognize the finger swipe for receive/end at one go. The power button and the 3.5mm jack are present on the top. However, the power button of the Livewire is a bit too small for comfortable use.

600Mhz processor & Android 2.2:

Both phones run a 600Mhz processor and come with Android 2.2. The Mtag runs a custom user interface with large icons that makes it easy to use the phone on its 2.8-inch display, whereas the Livewire's user interface resembles stock Android. Interestingly, Livewire offers a few more options as compared to Mtag, like call recording and a preloaded task manager.

Connectivity feature: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, AGPS and high speed EVDO:

The good thing is that they do not lack any connectivity feature - Wi-Fi with hotspot, Bluetooth, AGPS and high speed EVDO connectivity with full Android market access is present on both devices.

Do you want your own?

A 3MP fixed focus camera is present on both devices (with VGA video recording). The camera quality from both cameras is good enough to view on phone or for occasional posting on social networks. Audio output from both internal and external speaker was loud with good clarity in both phones.

Battery life:

Battery life on both phones came to just about a day - average for most android phones. The only other option for CDMA users is the Samsung Galaxy Pop (Rs 7,500) that has similar hardware with a 3.2-inch display and a 3MP AF camera with Android 2.2 OS.

Specifications & Conclusion:

2.8-inch display - Livewire (resistive), Mtag (capacitive), 600Mhz processor, microSD slot, EVDO, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, 3MP camera, 3.5mm audio jack, Stereo FM, Android 2.2

Positive: Well-built, all connectivity options, Android market access, sound output

Negative: Poor camera, resistive display on Livewire, small power button on Livewire


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