Spice Mi-425 review & unboxing – 1 GHz with 5 MP auto focus camera

The Spice Stellar Mi-425 is an Android phone powered by 1 GHz Snapdragon Qualcomm (S1) processor and comes with 5 MP auto focus camera. The Spice Mi-425 actually comes with 512 MB RAM, 512 MB ROM, but with an internal memory of around 203 MB of which about 140 MB is available for the user.

Karbonn mobiles were the first to launch the low cost 1 GHz powered android phone. And now they have competitor, the Spice Stellar Mi-425 which comes with improved feature but performance wise both are the same.

Here is the complete review of Spice Mi-425 (Stellar)

Box pack

The compact box is all yellow and white, which is the traditionally yellow colour often seen associated with Spice mobiles.  Within the box pack you get the handset, headset, a 2000 mAh battery, USB charging adapter, USB to micro USB cable, warranty card, user guide and Spice service center booklet. The packing style is similar to what we have seen with the Karbonn A7.  The box pack also contains a CD with the necessary drivers.

Spice Mi-425 box pack

Design

The handset is a bit heavy, bigger in size and the battery is of a higher capacity. The 4 inch screen takes up most of the area with 4 dedicated buttons (touch Sensitive) placed at the bottom.

On the back side there is the 5 MP camera with LED flash and speaker out along with the spice logo. Volume rockers are present on the left side and on the right there is micro USB slot. On the top you will find the power button along with a 3.5 mm audio jack.

Mi-425 Performance

This is a dual SIM phone and 3G is supported only via the SIM 1 Slot. The 1 GHz processor powered by Snapdragon (by Qualcomm) with Adreno 200 processor does a pretty impressive job with the 512 MB RAM. All handsets that do not come with built in internal storage will have a small storage of around 200 MB which is more than sufficient to store apps. These handsets depend on the microSD card and hence you need to insert the external card to get most of the things working.

Dual SIM Slot on stellar

You can move the apps installed on the internal storage to the external microSD card. Internal storage memory is faster and many high end phones have started adding more space to it.

The Spice Mi-425 shows 148 MB free internal storage which is what they have mentioned on their site. When compared with the Karbonn A9, specifications are the same, but A9 comes with 1 GB internal memory as compared with 203 on the Mi-425. The internal memory or storage is where all the apps, cache and some logs files are stored. This means you get more storage space for apps (internal) on the A9, but performance wise both handsets are the same.

The only disadvantage of having a low internal store space is you cannot install too many apps especially those which cannot be moved to external storage. If you are a heavy user or want more out of the hardware then you shouldn’t be looking for low cost handsets.

Check out the video at end of the article on how to check the internal RAM, internal storage and also a comparison between the Karbonn A7 and Spice Mi-425 memory’s.

Upgradable to ICS?

Spice had mentioned that the handset can be upgraded to ICS though it is not mentioned on the box pack, I am not sure if they will really support it but most of the online sellers are mentioning that it is upgradeable to android 4.0.  Furthermore the minimum requirement for running the ICS OS is 256 MB RAM and a decent GPU.

One screen Keyboard

This handset is using the TouchPal Keyboard app that adds extra feature to it.  I did not encounter any issues with the keyboard, both in portrait and landscape modes. But when composing the message you only get to use the portrait mode.

Spice Stellar Camera

The camera quality is good, its auto focus and the results seems pretty good when you are viewing it  on the handset. But when you download it on the PC you realise that it could have been better. Check out the sample images I have shot using this camera. The ISO is automatically selected.

5MP auto focus camera on Mi-425

There is a front camera for video chats for use with SKYPE only. There is no option in the phone dialer for native video calls.

Issues with Mi-425

The handset heats up quickly, I felt it when I was playing games or watching movies, though it’s not very hot but kind of uncomfortable. The off-white back cover does not really look that attractive.

You can play avi files directly using the stock player, the quality was superb, but I had issues with the lip sync. I then downloaded MX player and it worked perfectly fine. MP4 movies worked well without issues on the both the players.

movies on Mi-425

Screen quality

The resolution (480 x 800 pixels) is simply superb something hard to find on low cost brands. The viewing angle is okay not very good but not so bad either. I did not notice any blue tint anywhere especially when viewing movies, but when you change the viewing angle you will notice the blueish tint, but not visible when looking directly at the phone.

The screen is hardly visible when viewing under direct sunlight, even with full brightness. Also under direct sunlight you can clearly see the proximity and light sensors chip.

High resolution screen on the Spice mobile

Connectivity

The Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and the GPS worked pretty well. On the 3G network I got the H symbol (HSPA). The stock browser did well and what impressed me was that there was no rendering lag for text or for images.

Games

I just tried the “Angry Birds Space” game, the screen quality made it look even better.  The Adreno 200 GPU should support many 3D/ 2G games.

Battery performance

I have yet to check the battery performance. The 2000 mAh battery I think should last for 2 to 3 days of moderate users and about a day for heavy user.

I charged the battery to full 100% and when I disconnected the charger it shows 93% almost instantly. It could be a battery calibration issue or a defective battery. I have disconnected the battery and after few minutes its 99% and now seems stable. I will use the phone for now and see what happens, and when it completely drains off, I will recharge again with the phone switched off and see if the issue is fixed.

Even though the battery is of a 2000 mAh capacity as you can seen in the image below, I did not find any extraordinary performance out of it. My Karbonn A7 gave me about 2 days of backup and so does the Mi-425. For heavy users the handset can last for about a day and for moderate users about 2 days. If left in standby mode with Wi-Fi / 3G / GPS off then after 8 hours battery drops 2 or 3 % (example 68% battery after 8 hours of standby drops to 65% or 66%).

Stellar Mi-425 battery (2000 mAh)

Benchmark

I ran the quadrant Benchmark and the Mi-425 got a score of 1414.

quadrant benchmark score for Mi-425

Which is better Spice Mi-425 or Karbonn A9?

Karbonn A9 does have an advantage when it comes to the 1 GB internal storage. The more the storage the better as it will allow you to add many more apps. But 200 MB is more than sufficient for many users. Apart from that Mi-425 has a bigger screen and Spice may also support ICS upgrade.

Spice is a bit costlier than the A9 but what you get is a bigger screen, a higher battery mAh, ICS upgrade, but with a mere 203 MB internal storage. For most users who are not heavy downloader’s there will be no difference between 203 MB and 1 GB internal storage.

Price

At under Rs. 9700 this is worth it. The built is good and some may say that the screen resolution is not very good, well for the price it is awesome, at least a better choice than the Samsung Galaxy Y.  If you can spend about 10k go for this model or the Karbonn A9.

Photo Gallery

You can view the sample images taken from Mi-425 at the end.

Spice Stellar Mi-425 unboxing video and review

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