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Lava V2 (3 GB) Review

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We have dozens of smartphone manufacturers from India, and not many go noticed in the Indian market. Lava, mostly popular for its low and mid-range handsets, is one that has been among the masses. With the V2 (3GB), the company is aiming to provide satisfactory performance under Rs. 10,000, so, let’s see how worthy this new phone really is.

The Lava V2 (3GB) sports a shiny Royal Black colour and has thin coating for protection. As soon as you pick the phone up, you realise how light it weighs (under 130 grams) and also feels decent and not really cheap. It doesn’t have any creeky or loose sounds but the whole body is quite a fingerprint magnet, so you would have to wipe clean it quite often. The V2 (3 GB) has a familiar block design with no curves to the body expect for the four edges, making it quite grippy and comfortable to carry around. Above the 5-inch LCD IPS, you have the 8 MP front-facing camera, ear-speaker grille and sensors along with an LED flash. Below it you have a strip of touch keys that don’t lit up — Back, Home, Menu (from right to left). The sides have metallic strip all around that carry primary mic and microUSB 2.0 port at the bottom; Power/ Lock and volume keys on the right; and 3.5mm headset jack at the top. The back has the 13 MP camera with dual tone LED flash, plus the Lava logo and loudpeaker near the bottom. Though you can feel the phone isn’t meant to premium (just open the back cover to check it), the company seems to have done a decent job given the budget here.

The 5-inch HD (1280×720) screen is pretty bright when compared to phones in this price segment. It scores okay on the sharpness level. Colour reproduction does appear a bit dull at times, but overall, HD videos and images look decent on it.

The device features a 2,500 mAh battery unit. I found it lasting me about 15 hours on moderate to heavy use, meaning having to plug-in the charger more than once a day even with moderate use. Oh, and the bundled charger takes a little over two hours to charge the phone from 0 to full, which a bit on he higher side. With two SIM cards inserted, brightness at 30% and no heavy games played, the phone cannot be called a good performer in this regard as it falls in the average where most phones this side of 10k would.

On the back, there is a 13 MP (Largan lens) camera (f/2.0). Here are a few sample images: http://imgur.com/a/1QxMx
I wasn’t really expecting this phone to impress with its camera, the camera is just an average performer here. It can take okay shots on good daylight conditions, but even then you would have to be really still and focus on your subject to capture a good shot as it takes its time to focus and then complete a shot. In low-light, pictures look grainy. The camera app itself is pretty nice to use. There are a few useful modes like night mode, beauty mode (brightness mainly), and you can change ISO as well as exposure settings to play around.
The phone supports 4G LTE with VoLTE, but I couldn’t really try it because of unavailability of proper 4G reception at places I visited while using the phone. I didn’t find much of a problem with 3G, GPS, though it can take a few seconds longer than usual to connect to a known WiFi network at times. Call quality and network reception with both SIM slots filled in is on par.

This Lava device is powered by MediaTek’s MT6735 SoC (1.3 GHz quad-core processor, Mali-T720 GOU), along with 3 GB of RAM. It runs on Android 6.0 (February with no custom skins on top. The overall look and feel is pretty much stock Android except for minor additions. The Homescreen can rotate in landscape and you can uninstall an app right from there other than dragging it from the app launcher. Long-pressing the Menu key gives you the recent apps list, while long -pressing the Home button open Google Now on Ta. Its lockscreen is pretty simple — swipe the lock icon up to unlock or you can also straight away open the camera or call app. Every day performance of the phone is satisfactory. Swthcing between apps is a smooth task more often than not, while scrolling in Settings and swiping between Home screen doesn’t cause stuttering. Its animation can be a bit daunting and you may like to reduce the duration animation from developer options. Playing games like Drag Racing Bike and Trials Fortune didn’t cause too many frame drops, but don’t expect this phone to handle heavier games too well. This is a 16 GB model with about 11 GB of available space, which you can expand using a microSD card.

Wrapping up our review, the 8,000 to 10,000 price segment has been only getting better in the last one year or so. We have seen a lot of companies, including non-Indian ones, emphasize on this segment. The Lava V2 (3 GB) is an option with a good screen, decent design and performance, but where it lacks is battery life and camera – both are just not up to the mark here. The phone will certainly have an uphill battle against the likes of the Lenovo K3 Note and ASUS Zenfone Laser (ZE550KL), but can stand on its own well quite well.

Student. I also write a bit about phones, apps, and stuff here and there. Almost nobody.

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