[sch i=”description” c=”Spice, another Indian company as we all know is doing business for a long time and have recently launched their new Android based Smart Phone ‘Spice Mi-530 Steller Pinnacle’ with a price tag of INR. 13,999, similar to the Micromax Canvas HD A116. This is a large phablet (phone + tablet) with a Dual Core CPU and 5.3 inch qHD touch screen.”] When you can easily own a Dual Core device with this screen size under INR 10,000/- these days, Spice is still there sticking with old Dual Core processor at little higher price. It is surprising to note that Micromax is now offering their Canvas HD A116 at the same price tag with a Quad Core processor, then how Spice will manage their business strategy with this device. We are disappointed with this new [sch i=”itemReviewed” c=”Spice Mi – 530 Stellar Pinnacle phablet”] having an old factory build Android v4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich Operating System.
The look of this phone is sturdier and the design is sleek with rounded edges, no front facing buttons. The power button is on the top of the device reminds you the old smartphone design, we feel this is the flaw in the design for putting the power button on the top instead of giving it on the right side for easier access while considering the big display. Otherwise, we are happy as the volume rocker is on the right side of the housing and the company is also providing a “free flip case cum protector” with the new Mi – 530.
Spice Mi-530 is launched in India at the end of January 2013 and this is also a dual SIM handset capable of Dual Standby. Both SIM are 2G and/or 3G enabled, that means you can use both GSM or both 3G SIM or one GSM & one 3G SIM cards at the same time as both SIM cards are capable of handling GSM & 3G networks. The display size is huge as we mentioned earlier of 5.3 inch, comes with 540 x 960 pixels resolution (~208 ppi pixel density), Capacitive IPS Multi-touchscreen and 16 million color. The Processor is A9 Dual Core; clocked @ 1.2 Ghz with 1 GB of RAM. We are happy to have 16 GB Internal Memory which can be further extended up to 32 GB with the help of an external MicroSD card as there must be no issue regarding the shortage of User Memory while trying to load large applications and games. The factory loaded Android ICS version can be upgradeable to v4.1 Jelly Bean.
The internet connectivity speed is good via 3G or Wi-Fi and the internet surfing , YouTube HD video watching (1080p) experience are fine, no flickers or buffering issue we faced. The gaming experience is good on this 5.3 inch phablet, we have not faced any problem playing Asphalt 7, Temple run2 ,Fifa 2012 and Contract killer. You can play full HD games on this device. We have used the stock HTML browser and web pages are loading in real time in between 3-5 seconds, pinch to zoom-in/out works flawlessly but sometime touch response can be late while loading websites with lots of animations and textures. Display color is vibrant and contrast is good, no problem while using under sunlight. There is Bluetooth v4.0 coming with the MI – 530.
We have put this device under many applications and games testing scenario but the device survived – only 1-2 freezing issues. The gesture of the device is accurate and call performance is 4 / 5 and signal strength is good. Its call performance is good with both earpiece and loudspeaker; microphone is clear & loud so that the person at the other end can hear you properly with Dual Microphone for Noise Suppression. While playing HD game or CPU and memory hungry applications, if you take any call the device behaves like a child and voice is not transmitted clearly to other end which we have faced – little annoying. The device comes with 3.5 mm headphone jack and FM transmitter also. The Benchmark testing scores are quite satisfactory at this price tag which can be seen in above images. Quadrant Standard total is 3249, Antutu Benchmark score is 7609 and NenaMark 2 score is 25.5 fps.
Given below are few sample images taken from Spice Mi-530 Stellar Pinnacle phone camera:
Now the impressive feature is its camera – having an 8.0 Mega Pixel rear Auto focus camera with a dual LED flash capable of recording HD 720p videos @ 30 frames per second. The image quality is average in contrast to Samsung Galaxy Grand or Micromax Canvas HD A116 handsets’ 8 Mega Pixel snaps. The picture captured under low light using LED flash is also not up to the mark and ample illumination can be seen. Picture captured at outdoor is good compare to indoor mode photography and LED flash’s usability is not so effective unless the subject is close to the lens. Another surprising feature is its 5.0 Mega Pixel front facing camera which also supports auto focus, Video calling, video chat, face reorganization etc. This is the highest front facing camera can be found in any budget smart phone and hard to find in costlier devices as well. Multimedia playback is normal as it should be in a low budget phone, playing songs in low volume will soothe your ears, otherwise will get distorted at high volume. This is another drawback we have found in Mi -530. Document viewing capability is there.
A-GPS is supported by the Accelerometer sensors and compass sensors available in the device. There are G- Sensor, Proximity Sensor, Ambient Light Sensor. Mi-530 comes bagged with a huge 2550mAh battery which is better than Samsung Galaxy Grand and Micromax Canvas HD A116. The device will survive for a single day after medium usage of Internet over Wi-Fi, turning on both SIM on 3G and 2 hrs of game play and around 1.5 hrs of multimedia playing. It will take 1 hr to recharge full and ready to go again; comes with USB mini port for file transfer or charging the phone. It is great that Spice Mi-530 stellar pincacle supports USB On The Go (OTG). The big battery puts more weight and overall battery backup is good for a big screen device.
Verdict: There are added features by Spice such as automatic call while placing next to ear and Video pop out feature, also it has Google Play store, few camera applications, social networking apps, chat, e mail, face unlock ability etc. Our verdict is at this price point where Quad Core devices are available and giving old Android v4.0 ICS instead of jelly Bean can cause Spice a decent setback/headache. We propose this budget device is to come under INR 10,000/- which will then boost the sale of the MI -530 otherwise it will fall down to Quad Core powered Micromax HD A116. There are Dual Core powered 5 inch plablets available from INR 8500/- in the market so the competition is high and achieving the sale target is quite tough for any low budget phones. Otherwise, most of the specifications and features offered by Spice stellar MI – 530 are decent.
Rating: [sch i=”reviewRating” c=”3″]/5 – Review by [sch i=”author” c=”Shubhrajit Chakraborty”].
[Disclaimer: Spice Mi-530 Stellar Pinnacle phone review is written based on inputs from various sources.]