Lava Iris X1: High on looks

Written by Sudhir Chowdhary | Updated: Sep 4 2014, 13:52pm hrs
LavaLava Iris X1 come in an attractive design with a judicious mix of hardware and software features.
Is that an iPhone, asked an eight year-old girl, on seeing the Lava Iris X1 mobile phone in my hand when I went to fetch my little one from the neighbourhood park. Two things startled me: first, the awareness levels and interest of a young girl in todays gadgets; second, the rapid strides made by a homegrown brand in coming up with a phone design that is remarkably similar to the best-selling device in the world.

My takeways from the park encounter: Much to the discomfort to the well-entrenched MNC phone companies, domestic phone makers like Lava are redefining the marketplace with attractive and easy to afford mobile phones. Offerings like the Lava Iris X1 come in an attractive design with a judicious mix of hardware and software features. They are for consumers who not only want a high performance device but also a beautiful design. Most important, they do not burn a hole in your pocket.

At first look, the Iris X1 is indeed mesmerising in its looks. The handset has excellent build quality and looks beautiful. Iris X1 sports a 4.5-inch FWVGA IPS (854 x 480 pixels) display that offers high-quality colour-reproduction and great viewing angles. The fully laminated touch screen eliminates the air gaps between LCD and glass and makes it look perfectly black in sleep mode. With an 8.9 mm of thickness and 138 grams in weight, the handset is also very convenient to carry.

On the performance aspect, the smartphone provides an excellent experience on the back of a 1.2 GHz Quad-Core Broadcom BCM23550 processor powered by 1GB RAM. Iris X1 provides an excellent 3D gaming experience and video performance with help of a specialised graphics engine based on Videocore multimedia technology.

Iris X1 sports an 8 MP rear camera with LED flash and a 1.4 m pixel BSI+ sensor. The sensor increases the amount of light that gets captured and improves low-light photography significantly. The rear camera supports full HD (1080p) video recording and playback, comes with Auto focus, touch to focus functionality and HDR mode that automatically snaps a rapid burst of photos to select the best possible shot. It also includes a 2.0-MP front-facing camera for video calling.

The device comes with 4 GB of internal memory that is expandable up to 32 GB via micro-SD card. On connectivity front, the dual SIM Iris X1 comes with 3G connectivity apart from Wi-Fi, Bluetooth v4.0 BLE (Bluetooth low energy), micro-USB and EDGE. It offers OTG support to enable file transfer through USB drive on the move. The device promises crystal clear calling experience by using dual mic for active noise cancellation. The phone packs a long-lasting 1800 mAh battery providing ample back up for multimedia payback, talk-time and stand-by.

In my test-run, while the interface of Iris X1 is slick and easy to use, it has some drawbacks. For instance, I occasionally encountered freeze of the device during an ongoing conversation. I also noticed that the screen went blank on some occasions. Other than that, the user experience is by and large smooth.

The phones Android 4.4.2 KitKat platform offers fast multitasking through optimised memory and improved touch responsiveness. It also comes with a bunch of new and useful features. Its new phone app automatically prioritises contacts based on the people a user talks to the most, and its smart caller ID looks for matches from businesses with local listing on Google Maps. It comes with an intelligent Flip cover powered by hall sensor that puts the phone automatically in sleep mode ensuring reduced battery consumption.

Priced at R7,999, it is the beautiful design of Iris X1, plus its decent performance that makes it unique to stand out in the over-crowded mobile phone market.

Estimated street price: Rs 7,999