The lava Iris 501 sports the same hardware that the A110 houses and in fact comes with 2 extra sensors that are missing on the A110. When it comes to the price factor the Iris 501 is cheaper than the A110 that is now available for over Rs. 10K.

Box Pack
Inside the sleek box pack you will find the handset, a protective case, free 4GB memory card, earphone, 2300 mAh battery, charger, USB to micro USB cable and user manual. Online stores are selling it for Rs. 9,999 but from local stores you can get it for as low as Rs. 9,500. (Price now updated to 7999).

Design and display
On the first look I did not find any difference between the Micromax A110 (read review) and the 501, they looked almost identical. Since I got the off white color you can easily make out otherwise it would have been a bit difficult.

There are 3 touch sensitive buttons on front side that are not visible until activated. On front side there is the in call speaker, front camera and sensors. On rear side there is the 5MP auto focus camera, single LED flash light and speaker out. Volume rockers are placed on the left, the power button on the right and micro USB plus 3.5mm jack on the top.

The display screen is 5 inches supporting resolution of 800×480 pixels (16 M colour and 186.59 PPI). Touch is smooth / responsive.

Lava Iris 501 box pack

Inside the Hood
The dual SIM Lava Iris 501 comes with the same dual core processor – MTK6577 chipset with powerVR SGX 531 GPU. Same features as on the A110. There is 512MB RAM, 4GB internal storage, micro SD support, 3G, Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth etc.

Unlike the A110 that comes with proximity and GSensors only, the 501 is a step ahead with light as well as magnetic sensors.  Add to it the battery capacity is also a little more at 2300 mAh. The rear camera however is of a 5MP resolution, but it can click excellent pictures and can even record videos in 720p resolution. It will be hard to make out any difference between the 5MP and 8MP output.

lava iris 501 review

OS, interface and apps
The Iris 501 runs on the Android ICS OS version 4.0.4. The home screen, icons look a bit different.  The handset comes loaded with few apps and games like Asphalt 6, Cricket fever etc.

lava iris 501 with protection case

Performance
It performed as good as the 6577 handset should.

  • Of 512MB RAM you get around 233MB free.
  • Internal storage for apps is around 786MB of which 721MB is free.
  • Internal storage is 1.96GB. (Even if you select external SD card for preferred install location the apps are saved on the internal storage).

The benchmark scores.

  • Quadrant Benchmark : 2698.
  • Antutu Benchmark : 6107.
  • NenaMark 2 : 23.5fps.
  • Linpack : Single : 30 , Multi : 41.
  • MultiTouch : 5 point.

Camera
As mentioned its with 5MP resolution with single LED flash. The quality is as good as compared with A110. You can record videos in 720p resolution.

Check the sample images shot using Iris 501 : – http://www.flickr.com/photos/gogirana/sets/72157632534232219/

Gaming
The Asphalt6 came pre-installed, unfortunately you will need to download the data which is over 300 MB. I downloaded the data that was saved on the internal storage. The game played smooth with no issues. The handset can even play Modern Combat 3.

Entertainment
Just like other MTK6577 powered handsets this one too cannot play full HD videos i.e. 1080p resolution; however you can play 720p videos with ease using MX player. There is built in FM for live music on the move, it works well when you are in the open.

Connectivity
There is 3G, Wi-fi, GPS and Bluetooth. The GPS does take some time to get a lock for the first time I got the lock within 30 seconds. Other features worked fine.

Others
The sound quality is good, as good as on the A110, loud and clear. In call volume and in call speaker mode is loud and clear.

2300 mAh Battery
The battery is 300 mAh more than as on A110, but I guess the battery backup will be the same cause of 2 sensors that have been included on the Iris 501.

Lava Iris 501 review
This does seem a good alternative to the Micromax A110. The price of A110 has been increased which is just over 10K as of now, moreover it is rather difficult to get the handset as it goes out of stock easily.

Until now we had few options like the Lava Xolo A700 that was with a 4.5 inch screen but now there are a few 5 inch screen with similar hardware configuration as the MMX A110 with some extra features and at a lower price.

To sum up the Iris 501 is with 5MP camera as compared to the 8MP on A110 but the 501 also comes with light and magnetic sensors that are missing on A110, plus a 2300 mAh battery and not to forget the free 4GB SD card and the protection case. There is another phone called the Byond B63 that was also recently launched for under 10K with Jelly Bean OS.

Image Gallery

Lava Iris 501 unboxing and review video

720p video sample shot using the Iris 501

Iris 501 Gaming review (Modern Combat 3)

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