With the mobile industry began to shelf in terms of hardware, a number of companies seem to turn to virtual reality (VR) to stimulate interest and make their products seem more appealing. Lenovo was one of the first in India to offer a VR helmet with Vibe K4 Rating.
Today we tried to get the masses hooked Karbonn with Quattro L52 VR. Priced under Rs. 10,000, this smartphone comes with its own VR headset and preloaded content. Let’s see if he’s any good or if it’s just another marketing tactic.
Look and feel
The Quattro VR L52 has some good aesthetic attributes like its compact size, the metal frame and curved glass front, but otherwise the design is pretty ordinary. The 5-inch HD screen has high levels of brightness, although the colors are a bit jarring the first time you start. Fortunately, this can be adjusted in the Display settings menu. There is thick black border around the screen and a fair bit of bezel on the top and bottom as well, which makes the phone more than he could be. Despite this, it is quite manageable for use with one hand.
You get capacitive buttons at the bottom for navigation, which are not backlit. A notification LED is also missing. The side buttons have good tactile feedback while the headphone port and micro USB take their respective places in the top and bottom.
The back cover is plastic and is removable, but the material quality is not great and it easily draws scratches from everyday use. Below we have a removable 2250mAh battery and slots for two SIM cards. The second SIM slot can accommodate a microSD card for storage expansion. You also get an 8 megapixel camera and a rear mono speaker cuisine.
The Karbonn VR headset feels pretty crude and poorly constructed, but it is a free accessory, so you can not really complain much at that price. The helmet is shaped around Google cardboard concept, except that it is made of plastic. There is a thin strip of foam on the edges resting on the forehead and cheeks. There are circular biconvex lens to magnify the screen and the phone slides into the slot in the front. More details on its performance in a bit.
The L52 RV is reasonably robust thanks to its metal frame, but the aesthetics have been better. Little touches like the backlit navigation buttons and a LED notification would have been nice to have. In addition to the VR headset, you get headphones, USB cable, charger, silicone covers, brochures and instruction in the box.
Specifications and Software
The Karbonn A52 VR is powered by a quad-core MediaTek SoC MT6735P, and has 2GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage. This can be expanded up to 32GB via a microSD card. You also get Bluetooth 4.0, Wi-Fi b / g / n, GPS and FM radio. There is no NFC or USB OTG support. The phone also supports 4G LTE on Indian bands. With the basic sensors, a gyroscope is also present to use the phone with VR applications.
Karbonn uses a highly customized version of Android 5.1 Lollipop, which takes some getting used to. There is a layout with an app drawer, but the icon style, it is difficult to find what you want at first. The capacitive buttons displays the leftmost additional options in an application when the function requires you recent long-press the home button.
There are some additional features in the Settings application, including VR Calibration, which allows you to recalibrate the gyroscope if it does not work well. The View menu allows you to change themes, but there are only three to choose from. There are some experimental features hidden in the Accessibility menu, including color inversion, which does exactly what it says, and color correction. There is an option to turn too fast start, but it has no significant effect on startup time.
The L52 VR is loaded with Karbonn applications and third-party developers. The Karbonn Zone folder allows you to access Karbonn Klinik, which shows service centers around your area; Karbonn Fun Zone allows you to buy wallpapers of Bollywood movies and music; Karbonn AppMall shows you a selection of popular applications on the Play Store sorted by category. In addition to this, it is a snap-n Buy, which gives you fashion deals; Gesture mode, which allows you to call applications and functions by tracing the letters on the screen; and many other familiar applications: Amazon, Clean Master, TrueCaller, NewsHunt, Snapdeal, Flipkart, Saavn and Paytm. You also get Nitro asphalt and All Star Cricket. These third-party applications and game can be uninstalled.
The main reason why we could buy this phone is for the VR helmet, and indeed, the experience could have been better. The construction of the headset itself does not inspire much confidence, but it does the job. You SLOT phone in front, and it is held in place by two rubber suction cups. The lenses are not adjustable, but that’s okay because it is designed to work only with this phone.
The application VR Centre gives you a VR menu for diving in videos, games, 3D content and a gallery. There are some videos and games to 360 degrees of the test sample. The gallery takes pictures you’ve taken with your camera and the video that you might have. The application worked well for the first two days, but later we found that we need to constantly recalibrate the gyroscope to function properly. The elastic straps of the helmet also tend to rub against our ears, that got boring after a short time.
Due to the low resolution of the screen, images and videos appear very pixelated so it is not the best material to enjoy the contents of VR. In addition, since there is no way to adjust the lenses, applications and games like Jaunt VR and third card sisters are blurred. There are two openings on each side of the helmet, allowing you to access the headset and charging port of the phone. Overall, the helmet is good for games Karbonn VR (however limited that the selection may be at present), but not much.
As a smartphone, the VR L52 is quite light and not very hot in regular use. 4G works well and the rear speaker is decently strong for alerts. Audio is muffled when the phone is placed on a flat surface. Touch screen response is good, but the phone is not bogged down from time to time, if switching between applications simply access the certain parameters. We got an AnTuTu score of 24,031 and 8.4fps GFXbench right. 3D games work but not as they should, as the load times are quite long.
The phone supports 1080p video playback with some of our high-speed test file, with ease. VR L52 also provides audio improvements for headphone and speaker. The audio quality of the supplied headphones is below average, but it works if you use a good pair of headphones. music rights are managed by Google Play Music app.
The 8-megapixel main camera is quite disappointing because of the weak development of speed, shutter lag and image quality than normal. Most pictures taken in daylight appear dull and lack of sharpness. HDR mode brighten some details, but the overall tone of the image is washed out feeling. Video recording is limited to 720p and the quality is just about passable. The front camera of 5 megapixels is not the best tool for selfies either. The application of the camera is pretty basic. You only obvious shooting modes like panorama, beauty mode and gesture.
The 2250mAh battery lasted 6 hours and 14 minutes in our video loop test, which is less than the average. In regular use, we found ourselves having to load it by the end of the day. The phone ships with a standard 5W charger to charge all the way is not the fastest.
The Karbonn A52 VR is priced at Rs. 8790 but sells for a little less online, but unfortunately it always turns not be of great value when you can get something like the Lenovo Vibe K5 Plus at approximately the same price. In addition to being a better all-round, offering Lenovo also supports its own Theatre Max VR technology, which is a much better experience. Karbonn VR helmet is not something to shout about, so you’re better off spending a little more and buy better headphones separately.
VR L52 has some good points like its metal frame, light and responsive screen, and comfortable enough size, but that’s about all. The overall performance is rather disappointing; the camera is less than normal and the battery life is low. We also lack some basic features like backlit navigation buttons.