Here comes the Superstar of budget smartphones as S-CSL unveils 2 more Android smartphones that will meet everyone’s budget. The Switch MARS Mi450 and Switch PLUTO Mi406 are the latest Android smartphones to join their precedents, the Switch Mercury Mi501 and Switch Star Mi460. All of them have Dual SIM Dual Standby capability and all of them are below RM1k. I managed to spend some time with the Switch MARS Mi450 and here’s my take on it so far.
The Switch MARS Mi450 is an Android 4.0 ICS smartphone with 4.5” qHD LCD Capacitive Touchscreen. At first glance, the MARS bears similar outfit with many Android smartphones out there. It has a solid built candy bar form and is equipped with front and back camera with LED flash. Although having a plasticky body, the MARS feels really nice in my hand. It’s slightly non-slip back cover feels really tough too and it doesn’t crack easily when you try to pry it off to remove the battery.
Check out my hands-on video review here:
Under the hood, the 1.2GHz Dual Core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 chipset delivers remarkable performance on the MARS Mi450. Powered with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, the responsiveness of the touchscreen is rather fluid and doesn’t feel that cheap at all. In fact, it feels far greater than certain SONY Xperia range which is about the same price.
Playing graphic intensive games on the MARS Mi450 is pretty fun too. Games such as Temple Run, Subway Surfer and Asphalt run without much fuzz on it. You can also get into multiplayer competition with the integrated Wi-Fi.
The 4.5” qHD LCD Capacitive Touchscreen delivers a moderate 540×960 display which is pretty good for surfing and even to watch video on it. Although the screen doesn’t shout HD all over, it still delivers crisp and rather detailed display. The responsiveness of the capacitive touchscreen is admirable with the Snapdragon chipset.
Equipped with a 5.0 megapixels auto-focus camera with LED flash on the back, the MARS Mi450 snaps pretty good images. The front 0.3 megapixels is nothing to shout about but good enough to make Skype calls.
The MARS Mi450 also comes equipped with FM radio built-in and standard MP3/MP4 player. You can play most multimedia file on it and the sound quality is pretty reasonable. No beats audio or whatsoever but still delivers great music any time.
Now this is probably something you hardly heard of from any other bigger brands but dual SIM phones have been around for quite some time already. Adopting Dual SIM into the MARS Mi450 allows user to switch between two different mobile networks instead of having two different devices. Its dual standby mode allows user to make and calls using their selected mobile network of their choice.
The MARS Mi450 comes with 4GB built-in storage with 512MB of RAM. This configuration is just good enough for this device to run most of the commonly used Apps such as WhatsApp, Waze and quite a lot more. If in need of more storage space, there’s always a microSD expansion slot.
Other notable features are connectivity tools such as v.2.1 Bluetooth, DLNA and A-GPS support. The S-UNNO app allows users to make calls to anyone in the world at low cost rates, regardless of whether they are at home, work or travelling, right off their mobile phone.
It empowers the users with true mobility and economical communication, without having to subscribe to costly mobile plans.
All-in-all, the MARS Mi450 is power-packed device but without the heavy price tag. I like the Switch MARS Mi450 for the fact that it is powerful enough for my day-to-day usage of apps and tough enough even when I stuff it into my jeans’ pocket.
For the price tag of RM699, the Switch MARS Mi450 is definitely a tough contender in the budget phone category.
You can find out more specifications here.