As soon as Motorola Moto E entered the market, there was a buzz created amongst the low-end smartphone buyers for the reason that not a Tier-2 but an Internationally well known brand has come up with a device which can beat several devices in the similar price range. That did make the other brands rethink about their pricing strategy and in no time, Lava came up with the Iris X1 smartphone.
The Lava Iris X1 was priced at Rs. 7999 and for that price range, this one looks pretty neat. The most catchy part about this, which could hit the minds of the consumer base, was the inclusion of the latest Android OS version, i.e. Android 4.4.2 KitKat OS. To add to that, Lava hasn’t attempted to tweak the OS and thus, just like in the Moto E, you would be noticing the stock ROM experience of Android in the Iris X1. But does the device fare good in all the aspects to call itself a good Moto E competitor (or in the same range, a Micromax Unite 2 competitor?).
Design, totally inspired by the Apple iPhone from the sides and back, but this is not something new from Lava, because the Iris Pro 30 had a design similar to this earlier. The sides have a metallic strip going all around, while on the front, there is a large sensor on the left (which has the proximity and ambient light sensor, and notification LED) and a front facing camera on the right. Below the display, there is quite a large area for the three touch buttons – Options, Home and Back. The physical buttons are placed ergonomically, with the power/lock key on the right and volume rocker on the left side.
The rear side has the camera lens nearly touching the top, along with the Dual LED flash, and the speaker grill is located in the bottom. The two ports, i.e. MicroUSB port and the headset jack are both located on the top of the X1. The back cover is removable, thus allowing you to remove the battery at will, while having the Dual SIM card slot, as well as the slot for MicroSD card for storage expansion.
Overall, design wise Lava has done a pretty good job with a sturdy looking and comfortable-to-hold device which has everything one would expect in a decently priced smartphone.
Check the Lava Iris X1 unboxing!
Before we jump into the performance, camera and battery testing, here’s some specifications you need to look at.
Lava Iris X1 Specifications
|Specification||Lava Iris X1|
|Screen||4.5-inch capacitive touchscreen|
|Display||FWVGA display, 854 x 480 pixels resolution|
|Processor||Broadcom chipset, Quad-core, 1.2 GHz|
|Storage||4GB internal, expandable to 64GB (MicroSD)|
|Rear camera||8-megapixel, Dual LED Flash|
|OS||Android 4.4.2 KitKat|
|Connectivity – Network||2G / 3G WCDMA (Dual SIM)|
|Connectivity – Wireless||Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0|
|Connectivity – Wired||USB 2.0|
|Dimensions||66 x 8.9 x 134 mm|
The FWVGA although isn’t the best out there, it does give a good color output under controlled conditions. Under sunlight, the full brightness too didn’t put out the content well. The display size of 4.5-inch is pretty good though, and the low resolution can be easily noticed when trying to view high-res images. The viewing angles are good and except for the dark images, everything was looking quite decent.
The pixel density of 281 PPI was good enough for us to browse the content using the Chrome browser, zoom into the text and noticing no loss of saturation. The multi-touch support is limited to two fingers and although that isn’t really an issue, it could be a problem for only those who wanted to do some gaming and sometimes when support for more fingers is needed.
The 8-megapixel rear camera does do the magic with both, the number and quality against the Moto E. But note it, we are comparing only with the Moto E for the camera because Moto E came in with a very bad camera and although a 5MP one, it doesn’t have autofocus and thus, you cannot do much with it. On the other hand, the Lava Iris X1’s 8MP shooter does quite a decent job, although not something one would expect from that number. There is a Dual LED flash support which at least would come handy, either while capturing a low light photo, or to use as a torch when needed.
Lava Iris X1 Camera Samples
The maximum resolution one can record a video with, is 480p which can be a little disappointing. And for that resolution, the quality is simply bad. There is nothing you can do to control the shakes, unless you are stabilizing the phone somewhere, or even the little shakes are quite easily noticeable in the video.
Although not what one would want, the rear camera is better than the 5MP cameras of the other smartphones in the current market. The front facing 2MP camera for the selfies and video chat is quite decent as well.
Performance & OS
We did the three standard benchmark tests with the Lava Iris X1, and here’s the results. In the AnTuTu benchmark, the score was a bit above 13500 while in the Quadrant Standard test, the score was about 3500. The Nenamark2 benchmark which measures the graphics output in frames-per-second showed a score of 44.9 fps for the Iris X1. For the benchmark scores, it is all decent and considering the internal powering that is given, you would expect a little better score, but that is fine as far as you don’t take only the benchmark scores into consideration.
But the actual performance doesn’t impress either, because there are several lags you would notice. The lags are especially when you are trying to multitask and while switching between apps. It is the same even when gaming with some high-graphic loaded games, but if you prefer doing the basic usage such as browsing the web, making calls and using social apps, there is no disappointment and everything runs normally.
Thanks to the stock UI of Android 4.4.2 KitKat, you won’t notice anything cluttered and everything is well organized and simple, given the fact that there is nothing much except for the big list of settings and the Google Play Services apps installed already in the phone. The notification panel and quick settings section can be accessed even from the lock screen, and the settings section has the dedicated Dual SIM settings, apart from the other standard settings.
Office Suite, FM Radio, Backup, Torch and Translate are a few handy apps you get out of the box, apart from the Google apps. Overall, the performance is quite good unless you wanted to do some extra stuff which is not easily possible, and the OS is very simple and would always impress with the stock ROM experience.
Call, Media and Speaker
The calling is good, with the sound quality on both the sending and receiving end being clear, thanks to the noise cancellation with three mics included, and the volume was quite high. Media playing is possible through the Audio and Video players which are pre-installed, although there is no restriction if you have to install any third party app for that. The speaker quality is decent enough, and it is not really loud. The position though is not really the best, as the back area is on which the phone usually rests, and thus there is a compromise with the sound levels.
Storage & Battery
The storage available actually to the user, is just 1.3GB out of the 4GB internal storage provided by the company, and this is quite less but you get the MicroSD card slot for the apps and media storage. Lava claims that the storage could be expanded to a maximum of 64GB, but we tested it with a 32GB card and it was detected instantly.
The battery capacity is 1800 mAh but don’t go with the numbers, because the battery drains a little faster than one would want it to. We would be posting the battery test results very soon with the detailed test results for each type of usage. But again, if you are using it for normal usage and not doing some high-end stuff, it could go throughout the day on a full battery to start with.
Lava has done quite a good attempt by bringing out the Iris X1 at a price segment where not many decent smartphones were available, and it all started with the Moto E. The phone is good to hold, quite light and has a decent camera. The OS is quite good too, and the phone doesn’t disappoint with the performance and battery on normal usage, but you are in a wrong budget range if you want a phone with a real good performance, because the Lava Iris X1 doesn’t take the load of multitasking that well. The Dual-SIM connectivity does give an option for users to have this phone as a secondary device with the extra SIMs for whatever purpose they are for.