The Budget Segment has been seeing a lot of action these days and there are so many handsets that are in that segment that have killer specifications and a brilliant price. This is a segment ruled by Lenovo, Xiaomi, Motorola and YU to name a few. Indian Company Swipe has launched their budget handset Swipe Elite targeting this segment. On paper there is a lot of promise from this handset. Freedom OS that this handset brings has created a bit of buzz on the circuit. Let us take a look at this phone today
The phone has a 5-inch HD display. Runs on a 1.3 GHz MediaTek MT6582 quad-core processor. Comes with 2GB RAM and 16GB internal storage expandable to 32 GB. It has a 13MP rear camera and an 8MP front camera. Powered by a 2500 mAh battery. It is a Dual-SIM handset that comes with Freedom OS based on Android Lollipop 5.0. It supports 3G connectivity.
The notable absence is that of 4G connectivity. All entry level budget phones have it now.
The phone looks plain and simple. It has a black matte finish at the back that is a bit of a fingerprint magnet, but given the price and the other specs, one can overlook that or get a cover for it. The front panel has the customary sensors, LED and camera with a earpiece grill on top and three navigation buttons on the bottom. The back camera juts out of the rear quite literally and there is a possibility of damage when placed on rough surfaces as the camera will touch the surface and not the rest of the phone. It has a removable battery. Also the battery is removable. The phone is pretty light and comfortable to handle. The overall feel in the hand is decent. I found the branding on the back panel a bit loud. Just that fact actually nullifies the impressive specs that the phone has under the hood by giving it a cheap look. The makers could have easily avoided this by going for a less louder branding. The high contrast white that the branding has been done with on the black panel adds to this problem
The display is decent, no issues when viewing it in sunlight or indoors. The finish is a bit too glossy and hence results in smudging and sometimes reflections on the screen. The screen guard is a must for this one. Video rendering and colors are decent.
The 13MP rear camera is useful. The pictures are ok. The low light and night time pictures have problems though. The front 8MP camera is average and sufficient for selfies.
The phone heats up a lot on use. Average use also tends to heat it up considerably. This is an issue given the rubbery finish on the back. The makers will do well to address this in future devices.
The USP of the phone is the Freedom OS that it comes with. I wouldn’t go as far as calling it an OS, but it is a dense skin on Android Lollipop. Comes with a whole host of customization options and gestures. Mind boggling number of gestures to control the phone.
Swipe has introduced a dial-pad with DIY themes support. With this feature, one can now apply different themes to the dialer, change the color combination as well as the look-and-feel of the dialer. Users can also select themes, define the theme that they want to use and change color according to their preferences. The user can now not only customize primary colors; dial-pad color and digits color, but can also do a lot of other customization with these themes. And all this, just for the dialer!
And the dialpad tabs aren’t static anymore, Dialing pad tabs come with the facility to rearrange and change the visibility of the tabs. With the updated Freedom OS, changing of sequence of tabs and customizing tabs according to users preference is possible.
If any contact picture is of a low resolution, the new Freedom OS automatically refines it to look sharper and better. If there is no photo for a particular contact, the UI color-codes the contact list automatically.
Forgetting your password will no longer cause any heartburn with the new feature available on Freedom OS 1.1. If the device is not connected to the Internet and the user has forgotten the password/pattern code, he can now unlock the phone by just answering a security question.
Performance was mostly okay. No noticeable drag/lag initially, but stutters a little bit when running Asphalt 8 and in the 3D rendering test by AnTuTu
Swipe has boldly entered a segment where we are seeing devices push the envelope to mind boggling levels while retaining an affordable price tag. The entry is not a bad one at all. The Specs are good and features too are okay. Freedom OS has issues like notification toggles leading into the settings menu that need to be fixed. At a price of Rs 6,499, it will have a tough time fighting the Redmi 2 and the YU devices. I am keenly awaiting the next one from Swipe.