There are a lot of value for money smartphones in every price category these days, especially in the mid-range price level. The price range of INR 10K – 20K is like a sweet spot for smartphone buyers these days as both the well-known international brands as well as new and upcoming local and Chinese smartphone brands are competing out there, giving the end-consumer a great product at a cheaper price.
Let us compare the higher mid-range Android smartphone competitors in the price range of INR 15K – INR 20K. Micromax has released the Canvas 4 while the new Chinese brand entrant in India, Lenovo has recently released the P780 in India. Both have their advantages and disadvantages. Let us compare them in detail and give you the best option.
Design & Build Quality
The Micromax Canvas 4 comes with the same quality materials for the front and the back like the Canvas HD but it is the first from all the Micromax mobiles that comes with Aluminium on the sides. The sides feel very nice and the buttons are very solid and clicky. But the whole design felt a little disjoint because of the use of two different materials.
The Lenovo P780 on the other hand comes with an all plastic body which is not as nice as the aluminium sides on the Micromax but its the quality of plastic on the Lenovo P780 is better than the one used on the Canvas 4. The overall design of the Lenovo P780 felt uniform but it is a significantly larger sized than the Micromax Canvas 4, thanks to its beefy battery under the hood. According to me, I prefer a uniform design even if its larger but people might disagree as it’s a matter of personal choice.
Screen & Multimedia
Both the devices come with 5 inch IPS LCD displays. Both have a resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels and a pixel density of 294 PPI. This screen size and resolution in a mid-range price category is very common these days. Both offer decent brightness and good screen sharpness, although the screens on both of them are a bit on a reflective side, so it can be a problem when you are using the device under sunlight or any indoor lighting.
The displays on both the devices are essentially the same, might be from the same screen supplier. Viewing angles are good on both of them due to IPS panels, so is touchscreen accuracy. The Gorilla Glass protection used on top of Canvas 4 screen protects it from scratches. There is no use of Gorilla Glass in the Lenovo P780 which might be a bit of disadvantage and you may have to use the screen protectors. Overall, the Micromax Canvas 4 has a slightly better screen than the Lenovo P780.
The Micromax Canvas 4 comes with a 13MP AF camera at the rear while a 5MP camera at the front. The Lenovo P780 on the other hand comes with an 8 MP AF camera and a VGA FF camera on the front. Both the devices have LED flash accompanying the rear cameras. The Canvas 4 can record full HD 1080p videos at 30 FPS while the Lenovo P780 can do it only in HD 720p resolution.
When it comes to real image quality, the Lenovo P780 manages images with accurate colour rendering but there is too much digital noise in them. The Canvas 4 on the other hand, produces crisp images with low noise better overall image quality in comparison to Lenovo P780. Canvas 4 has a lot of scene settings and modes such as Panorama (horizontal & vertical), HDR, Smile Shutter, etc. The Lenovo P780 comes with a dedicated on-screen button in the camera UI for setting various camera effects such as lens effects, colour effects and magic effects.
Hardware & Performance
Both the devices come with a quad-core processor (MediaTek MT6589) clocked at 1.2 GHz. The CPU cores are based on power-conservative ARM Cortex A7 architecture. It also comes with a decently powerful pixel-cruncher; PowerVR SGX544 GPU from Imagination Technologies. There is 1 GB of RAM on both the devices, which means good multitasking performance. The Lenovo P780 has just 4 GB of internal storage while the Canvas 4 has 16 GB of storage. Both come with MicroSD card slots though, supporting up to 32 GB of additional storage expansion option.
Both of them are very good performers, be it web browsing, gaming or multimedia. They score around 44 FPS in Epic Citadel, which is better than many flagship smartphones from last year. This means that user won’t find any difficulty in performance department from both the devices unless they are looking at some really high end stuff.
Software, Connectivity & Battery Life
The devices come with Android v4.2 JellyBean onboard but Lenovo has a better skin over it, with a lots of customisation options and overall a better software layer than the one found on the Canvas 4. The skin designed by Lenovo looks attractive too but the one on the Micromax Canvas 4 appears downright ugly, or designed by design senseless guys. Anyone would prefer Lenovo UI over Micromax UI. Lenovo also provides a custom app which can be used to manage the processor and battery life of the device.
The Micromax Canvas 4 has better connectivity than the P780 as it comes with HSUPA 11 Mb/s, Dual-Band Wi-Fi b/g/n, Bluetooth v4.0 and MicroUSB v3.0 as opposed to HSUPA 5.76 Mb/s, Single-Band Wi-Fi b/g/n, Bluetooth v3.0 and MicroUSB v2.0. Both have dual SIM card slots and can be connected to 2 different cellular networks at the same time (dual-standby).
The Lenovo P780 has much better battery performance though, compared to the Micromax Canvas 4. P780 has a absolutely gigantic 4000 mAh Li-Ion battery while the Canvas 4 has an average 2000 mAh Li-Ion battery. As a result, the P780 has an ability to browse the web for 15 hours continuously or more than 17 hours of continuous video playback. In comparison, the Micromax Canvas 4 is no where close, with 6 hours of video playback or web browsing after a full single charge.
Overall, the Canvas 4 has better connectivity and camera but the Lenovo P780 wins in the design, user interface and battery performance. If you are looking ahead to buy the Lenovo P780, you must be more skewed towards better battery life of your smartphone than camera, slightly better connectivity or better software support and after sales service. I personally would prefer the Lenovo P780 over the Micromax Canvas 4 but the end choice is always up to you and what suits your needs the best.
About the Author:
Ashwin works with Mysmartprice.com which is a price comparison website that helps users find the best price of mobiles, books, camera and lots more. Ashwin is a graduate of State University New York with an MS in Information Systems and an MBA from Amrita School of Business Bangalore. He writes on smartphones, gadgets, technology , ecommerce and marketing.