Indian affordable Smartphone market is increasingly being dominated by Chinese brands, but we also see a regular influx of domestic players trying to make inroads. One such Indian brand is Centric that launched a handful of offline-centric, affordable phones last year of which the Centric A1 leads the pack. We took it for a spin in order to determine if this is a phone we could recommend. Let’s discuss more in our Centric A1 review.
Key Specifications of Centric A1:
|Display||5.5-inch Full HD, LTPS, Dragon trail glass|
|Processor||1.4GHz octa-core Snapdragon 400|
|Camera||13MP rear and 8MP front cameras|
|Internal Memory||32GB, expandable up to 256GB|
|Dimensions and Weight||152 x 76 x 7.8mm and 175 grams|
|Software||Android 7.0 Nougat|
Design and Build
The Centric A1 is a metal unibody phone. While that’s a perfectly acceptable design philosophy in this price segment, it must be mentioned that the A1 still evades popular design trends. The phone doesn’t have a full view fascia or a full metal finish. The metal plate on the rear is lined with plastic trimmings on top and bottom, and there are generous bezels on the front.
The design isn’t exactly novel, but the phone is solidly built. There are no flexes or creaks in the body. The audio jack is present on the top, the USB Type-C port is present at the bottom along with the speaker grill, and the fingerprint sensor is mounted on the rear. The handset weighs a moderate 160 grams and is comfortable to wield. Centric also bundles a good quality protective case in the box.
The phone has a 5.5-inch LTPS display protected by dragon trail glass. The display has full HD resolution and is bright enough for comfortable outdoor usage. Viewing angles are wide, and display colors are pleasant and punchy. The display quality is above average considering the price.
Centric A1 includes a 13MP rear camera with LED flash and an 8MP selfie camera with front flash. The camera software includes several conventional and unconventional shooting modes like HDR, Night mode, Candlelight, Portrait, etc.
Outdoors under the bright sun, the camera can shoot workable shots. The images aren’t flawless though. The camera struggles with focus and metering, and objects appear a tad oversaturated. Indoors and in low light, camera performance deteriorates further.
The front camera is comparatively a better performer. The front camera flash is also relatively subtler when it comes to lighting the selfie subject. Overall, the camera performance left us wanting for more.
Performance and Software
The Centric A1 is powered by 1.4GHz octa-core Snapdragon 430 chipset. It’s a pretty reasonable mobile platform for the price and consequently helps A1 hold competent performance. The chipset is paired with 3GB RAM and 32GB storage. You can also add up to 256GB of microSD storage.
The Centric A1 managed to handle day-to-day usage very well. It isn’t a snappy phone but there is no lag or stuttering either. High-end games are playable too. The phone runs Android Nougat based software with light customizations on top. There are few preloaded apps on the phone as well.
The fingerprint sensor on the rear is slow but is accurate more often than not. The audio output is decent. We didn’t face any connectivity or calling related issue in our time with the device.
Price, Battery, and Verdict
The Centric A1 has a 3000mAh battery that can last for a day of moderate usage. The battery drain can be erratic sometimes. At times we inconsistently lost a lot of battery juice on standby. This is perhaps due to a software glitch and could be fixed with software update.
Priced at 9,999 INR, the Centric A1 is like most affordable phones in its class with nothing that particularly stands out. It’s still a workable option for offline markets, but it might get redundant after a few months as the new wave of affordable phones kicks in.