India’s Micromax A116 Canvass HD vs. Apple’s iPhone 5: A Powerful Local Smartphone Flavour Poised to Turn Back the Apple Invasion

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By Erik Pineda | January 22, 2013 6:49 PM EST

Some countries where the iPhone 5 is being released are coming up with likely contenders to challenge Apple's smartphone supremacy. In India, the Micromax Canvas HD is set for market launch on February and is touted as the first quad-core handset from the leading Indian phone maker.

What exactly are Canvass HD offerings that would merit second look from consumers long-pampered by Apple's smartphone environment?

Platform, chips and longevity

This is another Android versus iOS scenario and in the particular case of pitting the A116 Canvas HD against the iPhone 5, it'll be JellyBean 4.1 combating iOS 6. Now that is Siri and Google now besting each other or the infamous Apple navigational app going against the well-loved Google Map. At most, this is a matter of preferences or which ecosystem is where a user is already heavily-involved.

On the processing front, the iPhone 5 and Canvass HD are powered by 1.2GHz with different technology. The former is of A6 architecture that Apple paired with a triple-core GPU, making for a snappy smartphone experience that delivers HD image and video servings as bonus.

For its part, Micromax said that with the 1.2 GHz quad core processor from MediaTek and an HD IPS screen with a HD resolution of 1280 x 720 resulting to a colour depth of 16.7 million, the Canvas HD's 5-inch screen will deliver par excellence multi-media experience in a very portable device.

Despite its promise of textured experience, the A116 should last long enough on its battery pack of 2100mAh while the iPhone 5's 4-inch LED-backlit IPS LCD screen with 16 million colour and 326ppi will have to make with a 1440mAh battery.

Communication, storage and camera

The two handsets are designed for fast mobile Internet access though Wi-Fi and cellular connectivity but the iPhone 5 is a tad step up with its 4G/LTE capability, ensuring for constant, superfast but pricey access to the world wide web.

What Canvas HD offers is respectable 3G connection that anyway is already in widespread deployment around the world. In India at least, "the 3G-enabled A116 will help users in faster browsing, downloading attachments and watching streaming videos with excellent quality," said Micromax.

Owners of iPhone 5 enjoy storage capacity of up to 64GB to accommodate all the files they want to stuff with their smartphone and Micromax claims that the same goes with the Canvas HD, though tempered a bit on 32GB external memory slot.

For shooting clips and pics, iPhone 5 is capable of capturing 1080p and 720p videos on its rear and front cameras, respectively, with 8MP and 1.2MP sensors. The A116 was not specific enough on this respect, promising only superior production of still and moving images with night mode and 4X zoom as among its enhancements.

Pricing

The tussle all boils down into a pricing showdown. Apple sells the unlocked iPhone 5 starting at $US600 while units with contracts roll out beginning at $US199.

Coming from Micromax, the A116 Canvas HD "is the ideal phone for the young generation," hence the base price of roughly $US280, which in India, where the handset is primary geared for full-throttle distribution, is around Rs15,000.

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