Lava Mobile is one indigenous handset manufacturer which has an established brand presence in India. But in spite their innovative features put on handsets, it hasn’t got much applause. Anyway it is really hard to ignore the temptation to enter Android market with budget pricing where other Indian mobile phones brands like Spice, Videocon, Olive, Micromax & Karbonn are already present. Lava S12 is Lava’s first offering powered by Android v2.2.
First Impression – Looks
You will be pleasantly surprised when you first see Lava S12 because of its study looks despite a plastic made packaging. The leather texture on the plastic on lower portion of front face and back cover gives it a professional look. Matt finish prevents against scratches. Weight is just 120 gm and very much comfortable to grip. Buttons are easily placed – Volume buttons on left side, right side houses hot-swappable microSD slot, USB port, camera button and 3.5 mm jack; there are some buttons also on the front.
S12 comes with Qualcomm 600MHz processor which is highly optimized for Lava’s 3D UI – there is very smooth UI navigation. Overall it is not sluggish, but certainly this processor power may keep away some users at this price point. Capacitive touch screen experience is gentle & decent.
Android v2.2 is bit of a damper as popular brands like Samsung, LG, HTC and Motorola are loading their phones with Android 2.3.
Preloaded apps caught my eyes as S12 comes with some India-specific apps like Saavn for Bollywood music streaming and the Times of India app for news update. S12 also comes with 1 year free subscription to Zenga Mobile TV, but data charges are applicable. A clarification from Lava Mobiles – the viewer gets access to movies & VODs which are otherwise paid and also he doesn’t get any pre-roll ads.
S12 is featured with WiFi & hotspot capabilities, Bluetooth 2.1, 3G (HSPA – D 7.2 Mbps/U 384kbps) & GPS.
The phone has only rear camera with 5 megapixel and fixed focus – which is as usual very average, but can snap pictures with good enough quality in outdoor. Camera processing speed is very slow, which may not allow you to take a snap in quick. Battery life of the phone is something very impressive; a 1300 mAh Li-Ion battery serves very well to this phone with 3.2’’ display. I found it offers better back up comparing to Samsung Galaxy 3 (with new battery) or Sony Ericsson Xperia ST15i (new phone).
Pricing is the only point which I really dislike at some stores Lava S12 is available at 7.5K.If you are looking for pricing & processor speed you would not go for it. S12 however is the right phone if you are looking for a good looking phone & a novel way of navigation. You may also go for it if you want an Android phone with a relatively better battery back-up.
Telecomtalk Rating: 3/5
Pros: Great battery life, SlideIT keypad, HVGA display
Cons: Costly, Android 2.2, Servicing Issues, No third party development