Spice Stellar Mi-526: Good performance, poor battery life

Aug 28 2014, 02:25 IST
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SummaryA decent mid-range phone with good build quality, but poor battery is its major pain point

Recently, Spice Retail launched its first hexa-core powered smartphone, called Stellar Mi-526. The company aims to provide a premium experience at an affordable price (R11,499) with its new device. Despite the body being mostly made of plastic, the Stellar Mi 526 doesn’t give the feel of cheap plastic at all. The brushed aluminium paint job at the back along with the metallic rim surrounding the glass, which covers the entire front-side, gives it a premium look.

Featuring an irremovable battery design, the device offers good build quality. At the front, it sports a 3.2 MP camera along with the three regular Android navigation capacitive touch buttons at the bottom. On the back side, the smartphone mounts an 8 MP snapper with flash at the top and speaker vents at the bottom.

The top surface has a 3.5 mm earphone port while the bottom surface has the micro USB charging port. The right hand side has the volume rocker keys and power/sleep button. The device can be considered thin and light weight. Despite being a 5-incher, you will have no problems carrying it in your pocket.

The phone’s 5-inch HD one cell IPS display does a great job. The viewing angles are good. Indoors, you will have no complaints with the display. However, once you step outside, the screen literally turns into a mirror! To make calls or read messages, you will have to find some sort of shadow. Even then, the visibility is poor. The screen will disappoint you under direct sunlight. The display of the Stellar Mi 526 is better indoors or best when it’s a dark room.

The Stellar Mi 526 houses a Mediatek MT 6591CPU based on ARM Cortex A7 architecture with six cores. The frequency ranges from 728 to 1496 Mhz. It also comes with Mali 450 GPU. The device scored 22043 on AnTuTu, which is good and supports large apps and multitasking.

Average to heavy users shouldn’t face any difficulties whatsoever while playing graphics intense large games or apps or while multitasking. I played Blood and Glory on it seamlessly while using it as WiFi-hotspot device on my laptop. Background processes like a paused HD video, mail box and other minor activities were still running while I was playing. Throughout my usage, I did not encounter any lags or frozen screens at all. And for most users, I believe, performance shouldn’t be an issue.

The major issue is heating. My

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