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Spice Mi-310 Review – The Cheapest Android phone Available!

Last year we reviewed the Spice Mi-410 and I loved the device it was fast it had great specs (it still does!) and it was cheap, you still didn’t find many Androids with their CPU clocked to 1GHz in just Rs. 12,000 a year back. This year it’s the Spice Mi-310, it has pretty decent specs and for an awesomely low price (revealed at the end). So with out much talk let’s get on with the review.

But first,

Spice Mi-310 Specifications

Display 3.1 inch 480 x 320 px
Data Connectivity 2G + 3G
Camera 2MP + VGA Video Recording
Memory Internal : 85MB
External : up to 16GB
RAM 162MB (approx)
OS Android 2.2 Froyo
CPU ARMv6 600MHz
Battery 1200mAh
Others 3.5MM Headphone Jack
FM Radio
WiFi Hotspot

Hardware

Unboxing and Design

Unboxing the Spice Mi-310

  • Spice Mi-310 Handset
  • Headphones
  • Charger
  • Datacable
  • Carry Pouch
  • User Guide, Manuals and warranty card


Usually you get a charger in which you insert the data cable to charge the phone but Mi-310 has got charger and data cable separate. The carry pouch is good and does protect the phone well but it’s just that when you put the phone in it you can’t hear the phone or feel the phone vibrate in the pocket. You don’t get a Memory card out of the box so I would recommend you get one (you can get a 8GB memory card in under Rs. 250 post a request here if you need to know from where)

Let’s start from the front, on the upper part you have the Ear Speaker to the left of the proximity sensor and at the lower part you have the four soft keys (left to Right) Home, Menu, Back and Search. Below that is the Optical Track pad and next to it is the hole to the microphone.

My experience tells me that spice phones have the best Proximity sensors i.e. when it comes to managing brightness on auto brightness mode they are very responsive which also adds to better battery management.

There is also one odd thing I noticed on the device, the Soft Navigation keys at the button didn’t give a vibration feedback, even after modifying the settings and even resetting/ formatting phone.

Spice Mi310 Front

On the Top you have the  3.5mm head phone jack and the power button. The height of the power button is same as the body of the phone and is of the same colour, so that makes a little difficult to button with the finger without looking and even after weeks of using it still can’t get used to it but it’s nothing you can’t live with.

Spice Mi310 RightOn the Right you have Volume Rocker and the Camera Shutter Button.

 Spice Mi310 Bottom

At the Bottom of the phone you have the Micro USB port used for charging the phone, transferring Data, tethering internet etc.

Spice Mi310 BACK

At the back of the phone you have the Camera and below that the Battery cover, under it comes the battery and under battery is where you put the Sim and the Memory card. Since they are below the battery , both SIM and Memory card are not hot swappable i.e. you can’t change them with out turning off the phone and taking out the battery.

The phone’s Body is mix of good quality Plastic and Metallic back which makes the phone very durable and also feels very sturdy in the hand

Call Quality

What is a phone without good call quality ? The Mi-310 doesn’t disappoint here either. The call quality of the phone is pretty decent, it got through in the areas with low signal strength with pretty Audible sound quality though it did get choppy when the signal dropped to just one bar, that’s normal. The person on the other end also claimed to be the sound quality to be clear even at low signal strength.

Loud Speaker

The sound quality of the loud is good, not to low and doesn’t distort the sound at high volume. If you are sitting alone in a room it’s usable then for listening as the sound is very much audible but if you are in a crowded place where there are other noises I would recommend you using a headphone.

Dispay

The 3.1 inch display is big enough to do most of the task with out any issues and the resolution is also good enough to view images and videos on the phone. The Spice Mi-410 had a software bug which made the screen unresponsive during typing but the Mi-310 has no such issues, the screen is very responsive and unlike other touch screen phones in the same price range which support up to two multi touch points the Mi-31o can support up to Four points.The display is bright enough to view comfortably in direct sunlight when brightness set to Automatic.

There is when draw back though that the screen has 256K colours instead of 16Mil that other android phones have, but I don’t think that will bother you alot as many apps don’t need that rich colour and looking at the resolution, screen size and price it is something you can let slide under the rug.

Camera

The interface of the camera App is very basic and with minimum options or settings.

The phone has a 2MP that can shoot VGA videos and it doesn’t have a front camera for video calling, if you ask what is the best part about the Mi-310, camera will not be one of the choices. The camera doesn’t have Flash so forget about low light pics, as when you take pictures in day light the images to look a little washed up/ under-saturated but then again in this budget camera ain’t that bad. Here are few Samples to compare.

Spice Mi310 Video Camera Sample

Spice Mi-310 Camera Images Sample

Click on the Images Below to see in Full Size

Spice Mi-310 2MP Camera SampleSpice Mi-310 2MP Camera Sample 2Spice Mi-310 2MP Camera Sample 3Spice Mi-310 2MP Camera SampleSpice Mi-310 2MP Camera SampleSpice Mi-310 2MP Camera SampleSpice Mi-310 2MP Camera SampleSpice Mi-310 2MP Camera SampleSpice Mi-310 2MP Camera SampleSpice Mi-310 2MP Camera SampleSpice Mi-310 2MP Camera SampleSpice Mi-310 2MP Camera Sample

 Battery

The Battery life of the phone is great, with average usage (Few Hours of Songs, half hour of calling,checking Facebook, solving/replying to questions on TechGoggles Facebook Page , checking Emails and a few photos through the camera then push mail, auto sync & internet turned off when the phone not use) left the phone at 30-20% battery at the end of the day (2200Hrs)  which is pretty good as many phones would just give up in the middle of the day with average usage.

 User Interface

The User Interface of the phone is basic Android 2.2  UI which is a good thing and a bad thing for the phone. The good thing is that some times manufactures overlay custom UI on the phone that instead of improving the experience of the phone slows it down which be comes a major performance issue. The bad thing is Android UI is not perfect and even Google knows that and hence it has upgraded the OS to 4.0. More Goods and bads below.

Lock Screen, Home Screen & App drawer.

The lock screen is the default Android 2.2 style slide left to unlock and slide right to change to silent / Loud profile.

When you unlock the phone you are greeted by 5 home screens you can widgetize and place apps and shortcuts on, two on the left, two on the right and the middle one being the default one. on the bottom of the home screen you have three icons Phone App, App Drawer and the browser app, if you press and hold the app drawer icon it will reveal all the home screen and which you can jump to directly without sliding.

All the icons in the App Drawer are arranged in vertical sliding format and are sorted alphabetically  and default option to change that otherwise.

Keyboard

Every person who has used an Android phone will tell you the Stock Android keyboard specially the ones below Android 2.3 are a PAIN to use, the keys are thing and very close to each other and since it’s a smaller screen it’s very tough to type on it and hence all big manufacturers Like HTC, Samsung, LG, Motorola, Sony , etc use their own custom built keyboards.

Browsers & Facebook

The Browser is also the default Android browser, though the multitouch and scrolling does feel a little laggy, thus install an Opera Mini Browser, its faster. Also the default browser opens the older mobile version Facebook, so does the Facebook App and there is no way to upgrade to App so better open it on the opera Mini Browser.

Android Market/ Google Play & Apps

The phone comes preloaded with default Android Apps like Gmail, Maps, Gallery, facebook, latitude ,youtube etc and other Apps like ibibo, naukri.com, yahoo launcher , spice gang ,file manager, nimbuzz, vuclip, wapedia etc also come preloaded with the phone.

The phone by default comes with the Android Market App which is slow to load and boring so you can download the GooglePlay.apk and go on from there. Since this is not a Official Google Registered phone you will not find MANY popular Apps in the Google Play Store or the Android Market (like Angry Birds, dolphin Browser, evernote, cut the rope, temple run, etc) but you can download the .apk file from the Internet and run it on your phone, most apps run fine on it. Another effect of not being Google registered is when you log in to your Google account on your browser you will not see the your phone in the list.

Performance

The device has a 600MHz ARMv6 processor, 160MB RAM and 85 MB of internal MB which can be considered very low compared to the market’s greatest but for the price of this Device it’s ‘A Lot’.

BenchMarks

Quadrant Standard Score : 493 (higher is better)
Real PI:
5.37secs (Lowers is better)
NeoCore : 29.97FPS (higher is better)
CPU BenchMarks: 1500-2000ms (Lowers is better)

Quadrant Benchmarks Results for Android with similar specifications.

Neo Core (FPS) Quadrant standard
HTC Wildfire S 36.2 658
HTC Explorer 58 532
Samsung Galaxy Mini 42.9 511
Samsung Galaxy Fit 46 564

The Gaming Performance of the Mi-310 was also pretty smooth, even though the apps were not available through Google Play store, still they worked fine on the phone.

 

Summary

Pros

  • Android 2.2 phone in just 3,900 Rs,
  • 3.1 inch Display with 4 Multitouch Points
  • Bright Display with good visibility in direct sunlight
  • Long Battery Life
  • 600Mhz Processor gives pretty good and smooth performance

Cons

  • Default Keyboard is not Good, either use Swype or Big Buttons Keyboard
  • 256K colour screen and not 16Mil Screen
  • Not Google Registered phone Many apps missing from the Android Market/ Google Play Store
  • Camera Performance not very good and no Front facing camera

Price

The Spice Mi-310 is available for Rs. 3,989 on Saholic.com

Conclusion

The Spice Mi-310 is an all rounder for people looking for a good phone under Rs.45000, it has a good processor which can rum and play most of the Apps, games and videos very smoothly. The phone is not without it’s flaws but they are nothing that will come in your way, if you wondering about the Apps not in the Google Play store you can download the APK file to your phone and install directly from the file manager.

Verdict – Buy or Not to Buy : Definitely Buy!

If you need any help or clarifications you can ask us Facebook or in the comments below.