Earlier this year, an Indian brand named CENTRiC, the child brand of Priyanka Communications has launched four smartphones and even stated that the company will launch smartphones in every price bracket going forward. Sticking to its words, CENTRiC has recently launched the CENTRiC A1 smartphone, which incidentally is also the company's flagship smartphone.
The CENTRiC A1 is priced at Rs. 10,999 and offers features such as Full HD display, unimetal body, 8MP selfie camera, and stock Android. Will the CENTRiC A1 turn out to be a good outing for the company? Let's find out in our full review of the product.
Design and Display: Built Like a Tank
The CENTRiC A1 is a good-looking smartphone. No pun intended here. Like other budget smartphones available in the similar price range, the CENTRiC A1 also offers metal body, but it doesn't look like other budget smartphones though. The smartphone has a shiny metal rim surrounding it, which distinguishes it from the rivals.
The edges of the smartphone are curved in a good way to offer decent in-hand feel. At the back of the phone, we have a rear camera, and a fingerprint sensor placed below. The scanner is quick in unlocking the device. Also, it's an active scanner meaning it locks the phone even when the screen is sleep mode.
The volume rockers and power button of the CENTRiC A1 possibly offer the best tactile feedback in this price range. At the bottom, we have a USB Type-C port, yes, you heard it right, the CENTRiC A1 comes with USB Type-C port, which is a good thing, and a step in right direction. Below the display, there are three keys for back, home, and recent apps menu, which are not backlit.
The USB Type-C port is flanked by two speaker grilles, out of which, one is a loudspeaker. That said, the loudspeaker of the CENTRiC A1 easily fills a big room, thanks to the DTS Sound technology added by the company. There isn't a single letdown when it comes to design aspect.
Display wise, the CENTRiC A1 flaunts a 5.5-inch display with a resolution of 1920*1080 pixels and 2.5D curved glass on top. CENTRiC did not mention the protective layer used to protect the display, but the phone surely has a layer on top as it didn't attract any scratches with keys and coins.
The 5.5-inch Full HD display gets enough bright, and the best part is the panel is not a reflective one. Thanks to that, the CENTRiC A1 offers excellent viewing angles. The sunlight legibility of this display is also great.
Hardware, Software, and Battery
The CENTRiC A1 ships with Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 chipset, clubbed with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage. The storage can be expanded up to 256GB with a microSD card slot. The device comes laden with Android 7.1.1 Nougat on top and there's no skin on top of it, meaning you get pure stock Android experience.
The A1 runs all the tasks with aplomb. It is one of the best-performing Snapdragon 430 SoC smartphones, and the memory management is decent too. It also handled heavy games such as Asphalt 8, Dead Trigger 2 without any issues, and there were no heating issues as well.
Apart from the standard double press the power button to open camera application, the CENTRiC A1 comes with few more gestures such as three fingers screenshot, region screenshot, double tap to awake, and other gestures such as draw a letter to open a particular application. All the gestures worked fine without any issues. CENTRiC might roll out the Android Oreo update to the A1 very soon.
The phone comes packed with a 3000mAh battery, and thankfully, there's support for the fast charge in the form of Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0. The device charges from zero to 100% in close to 100 minutes. The battery life of this phone is good. It offers you a complete day worth battery life, but don't expect beyond a day.
Connectivity options in the device include support for 4G LTE, VoLTE, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, and GPS. Cellular reception was fine, and there were no call drops during my review period on the Reliance Jio 4G network.
CENTRiC A1 Camera
Cameras in the CENTRiC A1 offer decent performance too. The smartphone comes with a 13MP rear camera with an LED flash support, and there's an 8MP front-facing camera which thankfully also comes with support for LED flash. The camera application bundled with the smartphone has features such as HDR mode, professional model, etc.
Images captured with the rear camera came out good without losing any details, but in low-light situations, the CENTRiC A1 delivers mixed bag results. The front-facing is one of the best in the price range, and the LED light addition is a welcome move from the company.
As said earlier, the CENTRiC A1 is priced at Rs. 10,999, and it comes in a single variant. The smartphone can be purchased from the company's official website, and currently, there are three colour options- Gold, Black & Grey, White & Gold.
The standout features of the CENTRiC A1 are the unique design, powerful loudspeakers, 8MP selfie camera, and stock Android Nougat. If CENTRiC manages to deliver the Android Oreo update in early 2018, then this smartphone will give other budget devices a run for their money.