Friday, March 19, 2021

Micromax In 1

Micromax is no stranger to the Indian smartphone market. About a decade ago, it democratized smartphones when feature phones were the in thing. By offering Android and other competitive specifications at affordable prices, it quickly became one of the biggest players in the smartphone space.

However, years later, it failed to keep up with the competition and gave up its market share. In a surprise turn of events, in late 2020, Micromax announced that it will be returning to India with a new ‘In’ series of smartphones made locally.

Today, it added a third device to its portfolio in the form of the Micromax In 1, occupying the sub-Rs 12,000 segment. This time, it has its eyes on the competition from Xiaomi, Realme and Samsung, and claims to beat them when it comes to the overall experience.

We’ve only had the device for a bit, but it does seem quite promising. The display claims seem to be spot on, as the large 6.67-inch screen get plenty bright and sharp for most use scenarios. The bezels are pretty thick, making the phone quite unwieldy, but if you love yourself a big screen, you will like what Micromax has to offer.

Micromax In 1 Specifications

Display: 6.67-inch Full HD+, 60Hz

Processor: MediaTek Helio G80

Software: Android 10 (stock)

Camera: 48MP + 2MP + 2MP

Battery: 5,000mAh + 18W 

Variants: 4GB + 64GB. 6GB + 128GB

The Micromax In 1 has a plastic back with an ‘X’ pattern for added grip and fingerprint resistance. While it doesn’t feel too premium, it’s comfortable to hold and looks nice. There’s a rear-mounted physical fingerprint scanner, along with the cameras and ‘In’ branding on the bottom.

Speaking of cameras, there are three of them on the back, but only one is really useful: the 48MP f/1.79 primary lens. The other two are borderline redundant for most uses. Selfies are handled by an 8MP shooter, which is housed in a punch-hole notch.

The Micromax In 1 is also amongst the cheapest devices to offer the MediaTek Helio G80 chipset, with up to 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. The company claims that it is the best-performing device in this budget segment.

Combined with the perfectly-clean stock Android, it does seem to be pretty responsive for now. Paired with the large 5,000mAh battery and 18W charging, it does seem to tick most of the boxes that an average consumer would look for, in this segment.

Pricing and availability

Check out the Micromax In 1

Available starting March 26 on Flipkart

Rs 10,499: 4GB + 64GB | Rs 11,999: 6GB + 128GB

Launched in India on March 19, the Micromax In 1 starts at Rs 10,499 for the base variant with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage, and goes up to Rs 11,999 for the 6GB + 128GB variant.

However, for the first sale on March 26 on Flipkart, the variants will be available at Rs 500 lower than the final selling prices -- at Rs 9,999 and Rs 11,499 respectively. 

Design

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Micromax In 1 review

(Image credit: Aakash Jhaveri)
Image 2 of 2

Micromax In 1 review

(Image credit: Aakash Jhaveri)

The Micromax In 1 will feel like a budget device the moment you pick it up. This is largely due to the plastic back and frame that holds the phone together, giving it a somewhat hollow and light feel.

The back panel has a matte finish with an ‘X’ pattern engraved throughout which looks cool. The phone is available in two finishes, purple (pink to purple gradient) and blue (silver to blue gradient). The material does a good job at not attracting fingerprints or smudges.

The power button and the volume rocker are located on the right, while the left has the dedicated Google Assistant key and the SIM tray. It can accommodate two 4G SIM cards and a micro SD card. On the bottom are the loudspeaker grille, 3.5mm headphone jack and the USB Type-C charging port.

Display

Image 1 of 2

Micromax In 1 review

(Image credit: Aakash Jhaveri)
Image 2 of 2

Micromax In 1 review

(Image credit: Aakash Jhaveri)

The Micromax In 1 is a pretty big phone, thanks to the large 6.67-inch display and the thick bezels surrounding it. This is an LCD screen with a Full HD+ resolution at a 20:9 aspect ratio. The big talking point is how bright it can get, at 440 nits. We were able to easily use it outdoors.

Other features of the display include a 25ms response time, Widevine L1 support for HD streaming on OTT platforms, and Rainbow Glass protection (supposed to be equivalent to Gorilla Glass 3). It is also one of the only panels in this segment to sport a punch-hole notch for the selfie camera.

While the refresh rate tops out at 60Hz, the display is still fairly customizable in terms of the system-wide theme, display scaling, font size, gestures, colour profiles, ambient display and more. 

There’s a single bottom-firing loudspeaker, but it does get very loud. The phone is good for content consumption.

Performance

Image 1 of 1

Micromax In 1 review

(Image credit: Aakash Jhaveri)

Micromax continues positioning its new phones as gaming devices with the In 1. This one is powered by the gaming-centric MediaTek Helio G80 chipset with the Mali G52 GPU. The company made tall claims about how it is the most powerful device in this category.

In our limited time, the phone has been fast and responsive, with decent memory management. We will reserve our comments till we get to test the phone for heavier tasks such as gaming, multi-tasking and photography.

There’s also support for dual VoLTE, dual-channel Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0 and more.  

Software

Image 1 of 1

Micromax In 1 review

(Image credit: Aakash Jhaveri)

Keeping everything glued together, the Micromax In 1 runs on a very lean build of Android 10 out-of-the-box. There’s no bloatware, unnecessary apps or system ads in the interface either. In fact, the only apps on the phone are the stock apps from Google. The phone was also relatively quick to set up owing to fewer additional services that had to be added.

Only Motorola and Nokia offer similar stock Android experiences in the budget segment.

Battery

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Micromax In 1 review

(Image credit: Aakash Jhaveri)

Another aspect where the Micromax In 1 keeps up with the competition is the battery. The phone houses a large 5,000mAh battery. 18W fast charging is also supported with the included adapter. Combined with the clean software and the frugal chipset, the battery life should be good.

Camera

Image 1 of 1

Micromax In 1 review

(Image credit: Aakash Jhaveri)

As for cameras, the Micromax In 1 has three of them on the back. A close look at the housing might suggest otherwise, but the fourth sensor on top is just for branding.

There’s a 48MP f/1.9 primary camera (Samsung ISOCELL GM1), followed by a 2MP macro shooter and a 2MP depth sensor. An ultra-wide lens would have been nice. There are a ton of shooting modes such as Pro mode, night mode for the front and rear, HDR, GIFs, scene detection and more.

Early verdict

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Micromax In 1 review

(Image credit: Aakash Jhaveri)

The Micromax In 1 goes head-to-head against other budget smartphones such as the Poco M3, Redmi 9 Power, Realme Narzo and others, with a no-nonsense approach — offering all the essentials and few bells and whistles. It is also one of the only devices with stock Android in this segment. With a powerful processor, big display and large battery, there isn’t much this phone can’t do. Stay tuned for our full review to know if it is as good as it seems.

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