Micromax Canvas HD A116: A Fantastic Budget Buy

Micromax Canvas HD A116

Micromax Canvas HD A116

Raj Lalwani tests the Micromax Canvas HD A116, and realises that its camera lives up to the elaborate feature sheet.

Every now and then, there comes a product that tries to disrupt the market by offering a lot at a relatively low price point. In the world of smartphones, the Micromax Canvas HD is one such partypooper. The kind of hardware that this Rs. 14,500 phone packs in is astonishing… a 1.5GHz processor and Android 4.2, amongst others.

The 5-inch 720p HD screen works like a giant viewfinder and is clearly visible, even in broad daylight. The colours are not so accurate though. The tones of the display are cooler than what is actually being recorded.

Delightfully Subtle Tonality in Good Light

Before I inspected the images on a computer screen, I was skeptical. Photographic capabilities cannot be measured by long lists of specifications. Some popular smartphones have sub-par cameras, with their gorgeous displays masking the flaws of their image sensor.

This is where the Canvas HD springs a delightful surprise. Not only are daylight images sharp, the tonality seen in the files is actually quite graceful, much like a budget compact camera. In low light, noise reduction goes overboard, but some B&W processing and added grain in Snapseed gave me usable images without flash.

A Problem of Optics

The lens is sharp, but flares up really badly… I saw a ridiculous amount of pattern flaring and rainbow-like effects. Thankfully, this happens when the bright sun is prominent in the frame.

The Canvas HD is a very likeable camera. It is a fantastic deal and produces better quality than some heavyweight cellphones. It is also an excellent smartphone with a solitary bug that has been widely reported, but not solved yet—Flipboard, a magazine rich with photography-related content, keeps crashing. A pity, really.

The phone captures excellent tones in the shadows and the compression artifacts are lesser than the competition. Photographer/Raj Lalwani

The phone captures excellent tones in the shadows and the compression artifacts are lesser than the competition. Photographer/Raj Lalwani

At A Glance
8MP, LED flash, Android Jellybean 4.1, 5-inch 720p HD, 1.2GHz quadcore processor, 4GB storage (expandable), 2000mAh battery, Rs. 14,499

What We Like
Excellent quality in good light, quick response overall

What We Dislike
Lot of flaring with sun in the frame, Flipboard crashes

Why Buy It?
The Canvas HD is arguably the most value-for-money smartphone in the market, and its camera capabilities are excellent for its price.


Final Ratings
8MP, Android 4.1, shoots continuously up to 99 shots

Image Quality
Admirable quality for a not-too-expensive smartphone

Video Quality
Excellent quality in good light, slightly jerky in low light

Good battery life, OS allows quick access to camera

Speed and Responsiveness
Flipboard bug, otherwise very fast


Tags: Raj Lalwani, May 2013, Micromax Canvas HD A116, Cellphone Review