Spice Stellar Virtuoso MI-495 Review
pice has been seen in a heavy competition with other manufacturers such as Micromax, Wicked Leak and Karbonn in the Android smartphone market space. Adding to the recent launches of large-screen and dual-core Android-based smartphones in the market, Spice has introduced the Stellar Virtuoso which features a dual-core processor and a 4.5-inch qHD display. Let’s see how well it fares in our tests.
Power button on the right, the top features the Micro USB and earphone slots
Design and build quality
The Virtuoso looks similar to the iPhone 4S from afar due to the slim look, the black front and rear panel and the silver banding around it. However, one can spot the difference immediately when up close with the missing home button and the larger screen size. The phone's build firm and rugged but has glossy front and rear panels which highlight fingerprint smudges immediately in broad daylight. The front panel has just a camera and the display panel. The bottom half of the front face has provisions for capacitive buttons, but there are none. The bottom wide bar which could hold the capacitive buttons for home, back and menu is a wasted space and could confuse the user as to the presence of non-functioning buttons. The buttons are incorporated on the display inside the user interface itself.
Moving on, the rear panel is neat and clean except for the large company logo on the bottom beside the speaker grille while the higher side is complete with a rear camera and an LED flash. The power button takes its place on the right side while the volume rocker is present on the left. Finally, the top features the micro USB PC interface and a 3.5-mm headphone jack. The rear panel houses the SD card, SIM cards and the battery. The rear panel is made out of a flimsy thin plastic which could break after a period of time if not handled properly while replacing the SIM or SD cards within—so be careful when opening or closing the rear panel. The phone has a thickness of just 9.5 mm and weighs about 150 grams.
4.5-inch qHD display with a resolution of 540 x 960 pixels
The Spice Stellar Virtuoso is a dual SIM (GSM / WCDMA) dual standby Android-based smartphone. It is powered using a 1 GHz dual-core processor coupled with 512 MB of RAM. Escorting the processor is a PowerVR SGX 531 graphics processor. The phone has a 4.5-inch display with a qHD (Quarter of HD) resolution of 540 x 960 pixels. The internal storage is 4 GB which is shared between the ROM and app/data (1 GB) and the remaining 1.58 GB is left for the user. No doubt you can expand this capacity by using the SD card. The Virtuoso has two cameras, a 1.3 MP front facing one for video calls and an 8 MP rear shooter. Connectivity options are Wi-Fi, 3G and a-GPS apart from a micro USB PC interface. The phone runs on the Android ICS v4.0 operating system and is powered using a 1700mAh battery. Bundled along with the product is a charger, earphones, a micro USB PC cable, a protective screen guard and a leather cover.
Rear panel with the 8 MP shooter and LED flash
Being based on a dual-core processor, the phone tends to behaveat first. Run it for a while and it starts getting sluggish. Installing a proper RAM optimising app and an app killer would keep the phone running smoothly. The 512 MB RAM seems to be a bit low for the phone. We tested the phone to check if the hardware within performs as it should be and here are the scores after running a few benchmarking apps. AnTuTu scored 6741, Quadrant scored 2682 and Nenamark2 gave us a frame rate of 24.3 fps. Lastly, Linpack scored 40.402 MFLOPS and 48.974 MFLOPS in the Single-thread and Multi-thread tests respectively. The phone fares well when compared to similar dual-core platform based Android phones.