Karbonn A9 & Spice Mi-425 - Hands-on


Pat

Well-Known Member
Adept
So, I was just writing a small post detailing my first impressions on the Spice Mi-425 and the Karbonn A9. Having bought both of them and used it personally, I thought it would be good to share my thoughts on the phones. So here we go:

Bought the Karbonn A9 from infibeam.com for 8999 and Spice Mi-425 for 9999 from saholic.com (with a free 8 GB card). Buying experience from saholic.com was not that good but that is for some other post


Both are solid phones and I really like the VFM factor that both of them offer. Both of them are re-branded chinese phones from the same company (K-Touch). One look at both the phones and you can easily say they are made by the same manufacturer.

Design:
When seen from the front, both the phones look exactly the same (bar a slightly bigger display on Mi-425). The back on the A9 is slightly more glossier and much better IMO than on the Mi-425. A9 is(feels) both thinner and lighter than it's competition. A9 definitely feels more premium'ish of the two.

Hardware differences:
Both are very identical in specs with three major differences:
a. Mi-425 has a 4 (4.1?)" display compared to 3.8" on the A9.
b. Battery on Mi-425 is 2000 mAh compared to 1600 mAh on the A9.
c. Mi-425 has a measly 140 MB of internal storage compared to A9 that has ~ 1 GB.

Display:
Cost cutting is pretty evident here on both the phones. Colors appear slightly washed-out. Due to a bigger screen with the same resolution (800X480), text/font clarity does take a beating on the Mi-425 due to lower ppi. Also to my naked eye, colors appeared slightly better on the A9.

Having said that I believe it's great that the phones offer WVGA resolution display (800X480) at this price-point.

Software:
Both run identical versions of Android (not surprising since both the phones are made by K-touch). Both offer some sort of customization with Karbonn offering a Smart Browser and some other apps and Spice offering Spice Gang, amongst other custom apps. Not a big difference here at all. Infact, both phones come with the same launcher with identical dock icons. Everything except the default screen transition animations is the same.

Spice has promised an upgrade to ICS, but I wouldn't hold my breath for that.

Performance/Experience:
Again, both of them are very identical in performance. I haven't used Spice much as yet, so can't really comment on the internal storage (or rather the lack of) but I guess people who download a lot of apps/power users will not be too happy. Both the phones need a SD card before you can take a photograph or download an app through Play store. So, I am assuming that all apps are installed directly on the SD card.
As mentioned, I haven't had spent enough time with the Spice yet, but I should mention that there was a glaring issue with the A9's proximity sensor. The screen would go off on dialing or accepting calls and would never come back on. On most occasions it turned back on only after a few minutes and at time I had to remove the battery and hard-reboot the phone to get the display back. Going by a XDA thread, I am not the only one who had this issue. Luckily, someone over at XDA shared a small tip to hardware reset the proximity sensor by going into the service menu. I did not face any issues once that was done.

Camera/Battery:
A9's camera is average and that is to be expected. You need a sd card before you can take a photograph. Battery life on A9 is pretty decent. It lasts for slightly more than a day on medium to medium/heavy usage. Battery life and camera on the Mi-425 are untested.

Closing thoughts:
Though Spice does have a slightly bigger display and as such, a bigger battery, I like the A9 more than the Mi-425. It feels good in the hand(thinner and lighter), has a slightly more premium look to it and the display does appear slightly better to my naked eye.

Some comparison pictures/videos that I have taken from my Galaxy Nexus


https://plus.google.com/116549132957261731607/posts/Gb6oWnq13GM

https://plus.google.com/116549132957261731607/posts/3SDZzjUGXwa

Guys, if you have any specific questions or things you want to know, feel free to ask.

Disclaimer: I have't proof read this post, so please excuse the typos. Also, I am not a professional photographer, so please don't laugh if the videos/photographs appear amateurish :p
 

?dOuBtFiRe?

Well-Known Member
Adept
Nice work there @Pat. You sure did a nice comparison. Will look at the photos later.
I was in a dilemma over these 2 phones at one time but left them for HTC Explorer.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

ch@ts

Well-Known Member
Veteran
Thanks for the mini-review.

Could you take some pictures and videos with both phones and post them here? The cameras on these phones haven't been reviewed anywhere as yet.
And could you also comment about the sim management features on the Karbonn? Is it easy to choose which sim to use to make a call?
I'm going to buy one of these phones, and am finding it hard to choose between the two.
 

viralbug

Well-Known Member
Adept
Nice work Pat!

Can you please check if both play 720p videos smoothly? According to specs they should be able to, but I read in a couple of places the Spice wasn't able to play successfully.
 

uziel

Techie The Grandos
Adept
How about the speakers, also does any of these have a separate camera button? Any alternatives you can suggest?
 

getcyy

New Member
Recruit
hey can you solve my confusion? which 1 is better??!! the only thing m hesitating to take spice is the internal memory,, is spice 425's internal memory is enough? & the 3 things bcz of which m hesitating to take Karbonn is that Karbonn is lil less known than Spice & Karbonn has stopped A9's manufacturing & no promise on ics updation.

2 things spice attracting me is Promise on the ics updation & bigger screen as well.
2 things Karbonn attracting me is lil less cost & look n feel ,quality of colors compare to mi 425

plz help me asap..
 

Pat

Well-Known Member
Adept
How about the speakers, also does any of these have a separate camera button? Any alternatives you can suggest?

No camera button on either. Loud-speaker, I would say both of them probably have the same loud-speaker and hence are equally loud.

---------- Post added at 06:50 PM ---------- Previous post was at 06:38 PM ----------

hey can you solve my confusion? which 1 is better??!! the only thing m hesitating to take spice is the internal memory,, is spice 425's internal memory is enough? & the 3 things bcz of which m hesitating to take Karbonn is that Karbonn is lil less known than Spice & Karbonn has stopped A9's manufacturing & no promise on ics updation.

2 things spice attracting me is Promise on the ics updation & bigger screen as well.
2 things Karbonn attracting me is lil less cost & look n feel ,quality of colors compare to mi 425

plz help me asap..

I din't know Karbonn has stopped manufacturing A9. Do you have a source for that news?
Although Spice has been in the market for relatively longer than Karbonn, I don't think their service centres/ product quality would be any better (or worse) than that of Karbonn.

Karbonn is definitely the better looking of the two. Also, we might see ICS update for A9 in future through custom ROMs if not official one. If you absolutely need a bigger screen (which is by the way only 0.2" bigger than A9), go for Spice (I think there are ways to work-around the internal memory limitation after rooting), else stick to Karbonn.
 

getcyy

New Member
Recruit
yes , i have confirmed it through a Karbonn Distributor (which are actually very few , so they know it for sure) even The Distributor have just 1piece left but he was not sure if it stopped for permanently or temporally (u n me r smart enough that why he must have said this line).
So my main ques. is,, is it worth buying any cell phone when we know its manufacturing has been stopped? I mean i guess its scratch guard n all nothing is available & now its stopped so there never will be any more accessories specifically for this model.

I am not a heavy downloader but can you tell me out of 100% apps in market how much apps needs a phone memory for installation? & what is the avg. size of 1 app?
 

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