KARBONN A21: Value for money

Written by Sudhir Chowdhary | Updated: Dec 13 2012, 16:21pm hrs
Apple, Nokia, Motorola and Samsung are the multinational mobile handset brands we all know, but what about Lava, Karbonn or Zen Mobile India is a huge market, large enough to support a number of home grown vendors targeting the local market.

As the domestic mobile market surges, few should be surprised to see so many homegrown brands popping up. These upstarts are thinking big and are all trying to establish themselves in the market.

One such promising brand is Karbonn Mobiles, making a conscious effort to get local market share with its affordable range of wireless products. Its Smart A21 has been announced, which runs on the 1.2 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon dual-core processor and is layered with the Android 4.0 Ice-Cream Sandwich for a faster and enriching mobile experience.

As a showpiece, if you want a phone to look good, this is the one to get. The Karbonn phone is aimed at consumers looking for fast processing multi-tasking capabilities. It features an 11.4 cm (4.5-inch) qHD multi-touch capacitive touch screen powered by a 1800 mAh battery and brings other features like 3D gravity sensor, proximity sensor, light sensor, Wi-Fi Direct feature, live motion pictures, a high definition Auto Focus 5.0 megapixel camera with advanced features like Burst Mode & Face Detection; making it one of the stellar smartphones available in the constantly evolving smartphone market of today. That too, at an affordable price of R10,000.

Recently, I checked out this phone and it is really value for money. The Dual-Core Karbonn A21 packs enough computing power to satisfy most of these needs. It features 384 MB RAM (for running programs), 512 MB ROM (for installing programs), 2.5 GB internal SD card memory and upto 32 GB external USB storage (Micro SD slot).

The display quality of 4.5 inch screen (960 x 540 pixels resolution) is crisp and the touch is pretty smooth and responsive. The camera quality is superb, the flash light is also good. The build quality is decent and the overall user interface is good and almost same as any high-end phone. There is fast internet over Wi-Fi and it even plays high definition games without any lag.

However, the processor although Dual-Core is very sluggish. You install a live wallpaper and the phone starts to lag. Moreover, phone charging is fast but discharge even faster. I feel that its 512 MB RAM is pretty less for a R10k phone. Battery was another issue. In my test-run, the phones battery lasted for around eight hours. But if you start watching movies, the battery will get completely discharged in about three hours.

Overall, a good phone when it comes to features and quality.


4.5-inch qHD multi-touch capacitive touchscreen

1.2 Ghz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor

Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) OS

5 MP auto focus camera

Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n service

32 GB expandable memory

Dual SIM support

Front facing 1.3 MP camera

1800 mAh battery

Estimated street price: Rs 10,000