In a list of top smartphone players in the Indian market for the third quarter of 2018, Micromax made a surprise entry after a long hiatus, once again bringing back the domestic handset player into the spotlight.
With a nine per cent share in the overall shipments of smartphones in India, Micromax surpassed OPPO to occupy the fourth position in the list after Xiaomi (27 per cent), Samsung (23 per cent) and Vivo (10 per cent), according to Counterpoint Research.
While much of that lead is attributed to a contract with the Chhattisgarh government for the supply of five million smartphones, Micromax seems to be gearing up to give its Chinese rivals some competition, especially in the sub-Rs 10,000 market.
The launch of its first "notch" series of smartphones -- the Infinity N11 and Infinity N12 -- for Rs 8,999 and Rs 9,999, respectively in December can be seen as a step in that direction.
And the Infinity N12 that we used for some time does surprise with a good front-shooter, big display and a decent battery.
Let's find out how it works.
Powered by the Mediatek Helio P22 processor, the Infinity N12 is 3GB phone with 32GB internal storage. It supports dual SIM and also has a dedicated microSD slot that allows one to extend the memory up to 128GB.
In terms of design, it offers consumers a decent look within a budget. While the dual rear camera set-up and the LED flash are vertically aligned in one corner, the fingerprint sensor is centrally located.
From the front, the power button stands alone on the right sidebar, while the volume buttons are placed on the left. The SIM tray is placed at the top of the device.
The rounded corners of the phone help provide an easy grip and the thin bezels on the sides occupy very little space of the screen, enhancing the video viewing experience. The bottom chin is, however, big.
The 6.19-inch display comes with HD+ resolution and 18.9:9 aspect ratio. The phone runs Android 8.1 Oreo OS and houses a 4,000 mAh battery, which is good enough to last a day after moderate level of usage.
The large battery, however, is not the only highlight of the phone. The 16MP front camera that Micromax offers at sub-Rs 10,000 captured much better pictures than what we could with some costlier devices. The front camera picked up the details well, even of the background.
What did not work?
As much as we liked the front shooter, the 13MP+5MP rear camera was equally disappointing. The camera captured photos well only in sufficient daylight. In most other conditions, they came out very grainy.
While the sound quality was also not to our satisfaction, we also found the face unlock feature full of glitches.
And, even as the phone houses a big battery, it does not offer any fast-charging capability as it supports USB 2.0.
The phone also comes with a lot of pre-loaded apps which users may find useless.
Conclusion: Compared to many of its popular competitors like the Xiaomi Redmi 6 and Honor 7A, Micromax Infinity N12 offers better features in several segments.
With a good selfie camera, ample battery and a big display, the phone has the potential to strike the right chord with the youth of the country.
(Gokul Bhagabati can be contacted at email@example.com)