With the advent of touch based smartphones in the last ten years or so. devices with keypad have almost vanished from the market. One example of this change is apparent when you look at the US Smartphone market, where over the last ten years the share of BlackBerry devices, which exclusively came with keypads, has reduced form an enormous 43% to below 5% in 2014.
But, there are still amongst us few who prefer the ease of an attached keypad, instead of a software keyboard. To appease these consumers of the Indian Smartphone market, Spice has come up with a new Android based device with a QWERTY keypad, the Spice Stellar 360. We have had the device for a couple of days now. Let us have a look at the specifications and features offered in this device.
Camera and Internal storage
The device sports a 3.2 MP primary camera on the rear end. Taking good pictures with this camera turns out to be a hit-and-miss – pictures may come to be grainy, or good, depending upon the moment. Users can stabilize themselves and use third party apps with stable shot to take better pictures. The front camera is a VGA unit and performs just as any VGA unit should.
The device comes with an inbuilt storage of 4GB, which is adequate for the price tag this device is being offered at, and a memory card slot is provided which allows the user to expand the storage using a micro SD card of up to 32 GB.
Processor and Battery
The Stellar 360 comes with a MediaTek MT6572 dual core processor clocked at 1.3MHz, with a Mali 400 GPU. Coupled with the processor is a 512 MB RAM. While this configuration is a bit low for multitasking and for users who are into heavy gaming on their Android devices, the Interface scores in overall smoothness and we did not notice any lags. We also tried graphically less intensive games such as Temple Run on the device and they run flawlessly.
A 1500 mAh battery is available with the device to fulfill the power requirements of the smartphone. The battery would offer 5 hours of 3G talktime as per the company.
Display and Features
The device features a 3.5 inch Display with a resolution of 480X320 pixels, giving it a pixel density of around 165 ppi. The display is thus quite soft and grainy and Viewing angles were not good.
The device comes on Android 4.2 JellyBean. The primary feature of this device is naturally the QWERTY keypad. We were however not that impressed by the keypad design – it seems as if the keys are placed too close to each other and for beginners it is quite tough to use it. However, over time users will however feel more familiar with the keypad, and it’s compactness will help users in typing with just one hand.
Not many devices are available with a QWERTY keypad in this range, or in the smartphone market, specifically which come with the Android OS. The Spice Stellar 360 will compete against smartphones such as the Nokia Asha 210, Intex aqua Qwerty, LG Optimus Pro C660 etc.
|Model||Spice Stellar 360|
|Display||3.5 inch, 480X320|
|Processor||1.3 GHz Dual Core|
|Internal Storage||4 GB, Expandable to 32 GB|
|OS||Android 4.2 Jelly Bean|
Poor Primary Camera
Price and conclusion
The Spice Stellar 360 has been launched at a price of Rs.4799. It might be the only Android device with QWERTY keypad available in this range, and this fact will entice that portion of the market that desires to acquire an Android device, but wants the ease of a decent keypad. Spice will tap into this small market with this device and it wouldn’t be a huge surprise if other manufacturers also follow suit in launching different QWERTY smartphones for this range.