Karbonn Alpha A18 Price in India is Rs.3999. It was launched in December 2017. Karbonn Alpha A18 is packed with WVGA Display, 1400mah battery, 12.GHZ Quad core processor, 2MP Rear camera, Android 6.0 and more. Now this phone has been discontinued. You can buy other good smartphones in this price segment.
The Karbonn Alfa A18 priced at Rs. 3,999 is not a very worthy contender in this segment. Don’t get us wrong, the build quality is excellent, the display is also acceptable, but above all, it lacks 4G support which is the biggest requirement for users currently. Not just 4G, the performance, battery and the cameras are also a deal-breakers. So, if you’re in the market looking for a phone, we suggest you consider the Intex Aqua Lions 3, Xiaomi Mi 5A, LYF C459.
Karbonn has been in the Indian market for quite some time, yet they were never able to top the charts when pit against Intex, Micromax, and others. There are reasons for that, but the company did manage to create an image for itself primarily in the sub Rs. 5,000 price segment. It started off as a feature phone vendor, and slowly evolved into the smartphone space catching up with the trend. However, it is not able to catch up with the trend that is happening in India in the past two years which is the reason why it is falling behind in the competition. The newly launched in the list is the Alfa A18 which is purely aimed at first-timers. In our today’s review, we shall see how well it fares in real life and does it offer value for your money.
The Karbonn Alfa A18 sports a 4-inches WVGA (480x800) IPS display and is powered by the 1.2GHz dual-core processor with 512MB RAM and 4GB storage with a microSD card slot for memory expansion. It runs on Android 6.0 Marshmallow out of the box. In the camera department, there is a 2MP rear camera with a LED flash and a 0.3MP front camera for selfies and video chats. A 1400mAh battery is on board for battery needs. Connectivity options include 3G, WiFi, Bluetooth, Dual SIM, and USB port.
Since we are talking about a phone in the entry-level segment, there are various compromises to be made in terms of hardware and design. The Karbonn Alfa A18 is built out of plastic which is very ordinary in terms of quality. The edges are rounded making it fit perfectly in-hands and smallest of hands. The dual color tone on the front and back really makes it look unique. We also liked the rear camera arrangement making it sit in a separate module rather than just fitting in the back panel. The silver rim running around the device gives good grip. Since it sports only 4-inches, one-handed usage is very comfortable. The back panel has smooth textured finish making it non-slippery. The company is also bundling a silicon rubber case within the box which comes in handy if you drop the phone accidentally.
Moving to placements, above the display, you have the primary earpiece, a 0.3-megapixel front camera, the usual set of sensors. Down below are three capacitive buttons which aren’t backlit making it hard to access them in the dark. On the left side, you find the volume rockers and power button. To the right, there is nothing. Flipping the device to the rear, you have a 2MP rear camera, LED flash, Karbonn branding, and speaker grills. Up top, we have the 3.5mm audio jack and the microUSB port. While the bottom just has the primary microphone. Strip opening the back panel gives you access to SIM and microSD card slots and removable battery. Overall, the build quality and design are decent for the price.
The Karbonn Alfa A18 sports a 4-inches WVGA (480x800) IPS display with no protected glass. Since it is a low-resolution panel, colors look a bit dull, but it just gets the job done for a first-timer. The viewing angles are decent since it is an IPS panel, we didn’t notice any significant color shifts or distortion even from extreme angles. There is no auto brightness sensor, so you will have to adjust the brightness all the time manually which can get annoying.
The phone sports a 4-inches display, so you don't get enough screen real-estate for media consumption and gaming, but we wouldn't mind. We were able to access the content outdoors with maximum brightness, but it gets relatively bright even in dark conditions where we want the light a bit dim so that it won't hurt our eyes. The company didn't bundle a screen guard within the box, so it quickly attracts fingerprints and smudges. Overall, the display of the Karbonn Alfa A18 is quite good for the price. Since the color reproduction is near accurate, we did have a pleasant experience.
The Karbonn Alfa A18 is powered by the 1.2GHz dual-core processor with 512MB RAM. We are usually used to see phones with Quad-Core processors, but with dual-core, the performance is very average. Apps open up and process relatively slow and sometimes we felt like it was testing our patience when opening apps or switching between them. Though the U.I doesn’t freeze or lag, the delayed responses are making it quite frustrating. There is lag even in the dialer app, message and or even Chrome browser for that matter. It can suffice as a secondary phone, but if you’re considering it to be your primary device, the user experience is not very pleasant.
Moving to gaming, we played games like Subway Surfers, Temple Run 2, Dr. Driving, Leo’s Fortune and more. The default 4GB internal memory allows you install few apps and games so that you don’t run out of storage. However, the gameplay wasn’t the smoothest, but it gets the job done if you desperate enough to play games on a phone of this range. There are frame drops and hanging issues while playing games, but that is inevitable. Overall, the performance of the Karbonn Alfa A18 is pretty average even for casual to moderate user.
The Karbonn Alfa A18 features a 2MP rear camera with a LED flash and a 0.3MP front camera for selfies and video chats. The camera U.I is very minimal with limited options including a front camera, flash, and more toggles on the main screen. The image quality in good daylight and outdoor conditions is decent. The 2MP camera produces relatively decent colors and details. Though the images are dull, we wouldn’t mind as long as they are usable. There is autofocus support luckily, so you can rely on it to focus the objects correctly. However, we found it to be a little slow. The landscape images have acceptable dynamic range, but the macro shots are not that impressive though.
Moving to low-light, the pictures are thoroughly washed out, grainy, and they aren’t usable even on social media. The LED flash does brighten the photos, but they look unnatural and overexposed. The front 0.3MP is there just for the sake of it as it does nothing worth considering. The pictures are grainy and noisy. Overall, the camera performance of the Alfa A18 is just ordinary and reasonably decent.
The company did bundle a pair of earphones within the box, and they are of basic quality and no in-ear style. So, we tested out the sound experience with the headphones we have with us, and the audio quality was fairly decent. There were no distortion issues even with maximum volumes which is a good thing. Since the loudspeaker is placed on the rear side, the sound gets muffled when you put the phone on a flat surface.
In the video department, the Alfa A18 can only play 480p SD quality videos but lacks 1080p and 720p. There were no heating or freezing issues no matter what. As we said, you need to invest some more on a good pair of earphones for a better experience. Overall, the audio and video department does a good job.
The Karbonn Alfa A18 packs a generic 1400mAh battery which on moderate to casual usage can only last until the afternoon. Our usage usually includes a bunch of calls, messages, browsing and slight multimedia. This usage only resulted in a battery life that is not very exceptional and only lasted until mid-day. You will have to carry the bundled charger with you all time since you will have to charge it back up again in order pull through until the end of the day if you are on the run.
The 1400mAh battery unit is not something that can fetch a full day battery life regardless of how minimal your usage is. There is no idle battery drain, but it does drop drastically even on casual usage. The bundled charger took 2 hours 20 minutes to fully charge from 1% to 100% which is again a stretch. Overall, the battery of the Karbonn Alfa A18 is just average even for first-time smartphone users.
The Karbonn Alfa A18 runs on Android 6.0 Marshmallow with the interface that is close to stock. First off, we are in 2018, and yet it is very surprising to see phones launching with a two-year-old OS. Being an entry-level phone, we're pretty sure the company wouldn't be pushing software updates any further. Moving along, the interface is clean and minimal making it very easy for first timers to quickly acquainted with the interface. There is an app drawer where all the installed and downloaded apps reside. The icon pack, the notification shade, and the settings page look vanilla Android which is a good thing. Apart from Google app suite, there are a bunch of pre-loaded applications like Amazon, Xender, Daily Hunt, Gaana and more. There is no way you can uninstall them unless you are rooted.
There is 512MB RAM out of which around 250MB is free on first boot. The available RAM is very less for it to handle most of the essential and updated apps hence there is occasional lag and stutters in the U.I which might make the user experience quite annoying. We were to do casual multitasking with 2-3 apps, but it is better if you clear up the background running app to make enough room for applications that are running actively. Overall, the software experience of the Karbonn Alfa A18 is pretty impressive despite running on a two-year-old OS.
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