iBall Andi 5c – one more to India’s cheap 5-inch Android ICS phone family

The iBall Andi 5c is a curious mixture of affordability and high-end technology, and comes in as the latest addition to the category of cheap 5-inch Android models launched by Indian brands in the last two months.

It competes with the Spice Stellar Horizon, the Micromax A100 and the Mercury magiQ.

The Spice Stellar Horizon sports a 5-inch touchscreen, Android 4.0 ICS, a 1 GHz dual core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor and a dedicated 300 MHz GPU. There’s a 5MP auto focus camera and is priced at Rs 12,000.

The Micromax A100, which too comes with a 5-inch display, 5 megapixel camera etc. and is priced in the Rs 12,000 range, is also in the same category. The final, and perhaps the most interesting competitor is the Kobian Mercury magiQ, which comes with a 12-megapixel camera. Kobian, like iBall, is a PC peripherals brand in India and owns the Mercury series of speakers, keyboards etc..

Like the magiQ, the Andi 5c is also priced at the Rs 13,000 range, slightly on the higher side compared to the other two models.

As may be guessed by now, the latest Andi 5c comes with all the features of an entry-level ‘high end’ phone — 1 GHz single core processor, 5 MP camera and IPS (in-plane switching) technology-enabled screen. In addition, the Andi has a feature others from the likes of Samsung and HTC lack – it supports dual sim.

Unlike most other ‘desi brand’ phones in the 3 inch category, the iBall Andi 5c comes with a processor that has the latest version (version 7) of ARM technology. Nearly all high end mobile phones are built on ARM’s processor designs. While many Indian brands have launched phones based on older ARM architecture such as version 5 (ARM 9E) and version 6 (ARM11), the Andi 5c processor is based on the Cortex A9 design.

That said, the downside is that it’s a single core processor while nearly every other 5-inch phone in the market has a dual core processor. However, till now, the starting price for a 5-inch Android phone was about Rs 18,000 and the Andi 5c brings that down by a neat Rs 5,000.

The price, therefore, is going to be the biggest plus factor for this phone, along with the dual-SIM feature.

That said, the company’s announcement has is not clear about which graphics processor is used in the model.

Other specifications given in the official announcement include a 7.2 Mbps 3G downlink (as fast as most USB sticks), a decent 2300 mAh battery, GPS, G-sensor, proximity sensor and light sensor.

The phone comes with Android 4 or Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS), one of the few to be launched with the operating system in India.

“The IPS 5-inch screen adds to its appeal to keep looking at everything on this phone; apart from giving a multi-angle view with crisp display,” iBall, which is known for its computer peripherals and its tablet, said.

The 5-megapixel camera provides “various options of multi-shot and panorama capture which lets one capture a wide area of space and combines all frames to make a single picture,” it added. The phone also has a front camera.

Software features include face unlock, control over network data, a gallery app with photo editor, red-eye remover, redefined notification panel and multitasking functions.