Micromax Canvas Win W121 is one of the two Windows Phone devices launched in India by the company, the first domestic smartphone manufacturer to do so. The Canvas Win W121 is priced at INR 9,500 ($160) and will be available in the market starting early July 2014.
The budget smartphone aims to compete with the Nokia Lumia 520 and Lumia 525, as well as the latest Lumia 630, the only other Windows Phone 8.1 device in the market. I spent some time with the device at the launch event, and here are my first impressions of the phone.
The W121 features a 5-inch HD IPS display, and despite the size, fits pretty well in the hand. The phone is quite slim and has rounded edges which makes it comfortable to be used with one hand and give it a solid grip. That of course is aided by the nice leather-finish back it sports.
The back panel and the metallic edge along the sides gives the phone quite a premium look and feel for a budget phone. It's fairly light too. The bezel is thin as well, which enhances the phone's aesthetic appeal.
The real estate at the bottom is dedicated to the regular Windows Phone buttons – back, home, and search. Unlike the Lumia 630, these are not virtual, soft buttons. The two spines sport one button each, the volume rocker and the power button, while a dedicated camera button is missing.
The Canvas Win W121 is powered by a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 processor clocked at 1.2 GHz and packs in 1GB RAM. The specifications sheet looks pretty well for a sub-$200 phone and the Windows Phone 8.1 operating system is nicely optimized for low-end devices.
The 1GB RAM is a great choice since some of the budget Lumias include only 512MB RAM, which keeps a lot of gaming enthusiasts or specs buyers away. The 8GB internal storage with a memory card slot is decent too, and so is the 2000 mAh battery on paper.
The dual SIM phone also features a Proximity Sensor, Gravity Sensor, Light Sensor, and Accelerometer rounding off the device's capability nicely.
The phone packs in an 8MP rear camera with LED flash and a 2MP front camera. Again, Micromax brings in a differentiated advantage against several budget Lumias which do not feature front camera or flash.
The few photos I clicked in the well-lighted hall at the event looked decent enough. The color reproduction was good, although some of them were a little grainy. Of course, we'll know more when we review the device and try out the camera in different environments.
The Canvas Win W121 is the only phone other than the Lumia 630 which comes with Windows Phone 8.1 out of the box. There's the usual signature experiences from Microsoft, but you'll obviously miss the huge catalog of Nokia apps and experiences.
Micromax has thankfully chosen not to bundle any of their own apps or from their Indian partners. Although, this could change for the retail box since I've only checked out the demo devices as yet.
The Micromax Canvas Win W121 is a pretty good budget smartphone with a great design and decent specifications offering a smooth, and consistent, Windows Phone experience. It's got a tough competitor in budget Lumias and some decent budget Android smartphones, but looks like a good alternative on paper.
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