Swipe is an Indian company that is trying to make its mark on the budget segment with devices that are ideally targeted at youngsters who are getting their first android device and the cost conscious folks who are looking to buy phones that do not bite their wallet and yet are functional and look decent. They have now come up with the Elite2 that stakes claim to be the cheapest 4G capable Android device in India. Let us look at this device today.
The Specifications are very straightforward, it has a quad core processor running at 1.3 Ghz, comes with a 4.5′ display which is qHD IPS. Has 1 GB RAM and internal storage is 8 GB which can expand upto 32 GB using the card slot. Dual SIM, Dual 4G support, has a 8 MP rear shooter and a 5 MP front camera. Runs Freedom OS that is based on Android 5.1 (Lollipop). This device is powered by a 1900 mAh battery. Supports Bluetooth, WiFi, FM and is GPS equipped.
Look and feel is decent and useful. Frankly, given the price of less than 5k, I am not complaining. Care has been taken to give the plastic a decent matte finish on the rear. If they had tried to cut corners, it would have ended up looking chunky and cheap. They have ensured that the feel is good and the grip is better. The big improvement in the design department after the Elite was released is the fact that the logo has been removed from the back and it certainly makes it look a lot better in terms of overall color appeal.
The display is average and did not pose any major issues. The colors were a little bit washed out, but again, I am not expecting flagship or mid-range performance here. Under sunlight, the legibility suffered a bit. Videos played well. The screen guard that was part of the packing is very useful as the screen is a fingerprint magnet otherwise.
The volume rocker and the power button are plastic with a chrome finish. The headphone socket and the charger are at the top and there is a lone mic at the bottom. There is a lot of plastic used, but I must say that the effort taken to not make it feel very cheap has definitely showed result.
The Rear has a very pronounced camera bump. The possibility of the camera getting scratched or hit is a little bit high with this. Hence Swipe has shipped a Silicone cover for the back with the packing to offer a level of protection. The absence of a metal ring around the camera is good. This makes the device light and comfortable to hold. The speaker grill is on the rear of the phone, hence when placed on a surface, muffling happens. I liked the tangle-free USB cord that ships with the phone.
Freedom OS is both the highlight and a bit of a problem for the experience. Thoughtful App store where you get customized app at discounts is a good idea. A lot of the widgets, like the weather widget have been thought out well. But the sheer number of customization options are simply mind boggling and totally confusing to the first time user. There could have been a few thoughtful once and the rest could have been left out.
A concern that I have is that the RAM and ROM are both close to half full, meaning that the user gets far less memory and storage to play with. Given that they are targeting the young user who may want to use FB and Whatsapp a lot, this will simply not cut it. And needless to say that the heavier games like Asphalt 8 also stutter quite a bit with this device. But the mind tells one that given the very economical price of Rs 4666/- it is unfair to even think of complaining about it.
The camera is very decent. The full light and natural light photos are good. There is a lot of noise in low light and indoor pictures. Moving subjects are a problem due to the tad bit of time that it takes for the camera to actually focus.
The ideal case study for this device is the first time user, who is probably getting a feel of android and a smartphone for the first time. And for that target group, this device is very decent. But in Tier-1 cities kids grow up wanting flagship gadgets due to high penetration of devices and high speed internet.
What Swipe has tried to do is make an operationally useful device that costs only Rs 4666/-. This is very useful in a country like ours where not everyone changes phones every quarter to buy only flagship devices. I see that the government is pushing hard at internet penetration and e-governance, given that scenario, this device is perfect for the first-time tier-2 city based or rural young buyer who needs a device within his/her reach.
But personally I would like to see a flagship device from Swipe targeting the urban buyer soon. Given their expertise with tablets and hybrid devices, I know that this is just around the corner! Eagerly waiting for that.
Price versus Utility this is a decent device, the very young and first time users will be ideal for this one, also the rural market that is now opening up will be ideal.