Dialog i35: The Comprehensive Review – Click here
That’s the question everyone’s pondering – and today, we’re going to answer it.
For the uninitiated, Dialog Sri Lanka recently launched two budget Android smartphones: the i35 and the i43. As with most devices released by carriers, these phones are locked to the Dialog network. Major networks have been doing this for quite some time now.
But why are we writing about this? The word “budget”. The cheapest of these two, the i35, is just Rs 10, 000. JUST 10, 000. That’s dirt cheap for an Android device, even with the network restriction. In fact, forget Android: almost impossibly cheap for a smartphone.
And as you can see, it’s not some random low-specced slug of a phone that they’re selling – for your money, Dialog promises a 1 gigahertz processor, a 3.5 inch screen, WiFi, front and back cams and all the standard requisites for an Android device nowadays – 3G, 4GB of internal storage, the works. Contrast that with the other offerings on the market. There’s the Samsung Galaxy Y. There’s a Huawei U8180 “GAGA”, which honestly isn’t worth looking at.
None of which measure up to the specs listed for the i35. In fact, you’ll need to look in the 24-30 thousand range to find this kind of power. It’s almost too good to be true. Which naturally makes us wonder: what’s the catch? What’s the compromise here?
Despite Dialog consistently being out of stock, we managed to get our hands on one of these: (someone we know had the good manners to lend his phone to us for a quick run-through). Here’s a first impression. 3.5 inch screen, check. Android 2.3.5, check. 512 MB RAM – yes, check. The processor: that’s where things differ. Let’s get a bit techy. A quick check-up revealed that it’s actually a dual-core ARMv7 processor in there. There’s 4 GB of internal memory, but only around 1.5 GB is actually usable. Which means you’ll be able to play Temple Run, NFS Most Wanted (this we actually played without hiccups) on this phone without lag. The OS itself runs very well, without any perceivable lag. In fact, that’s slightly scary: for 10 K, this phone is within a stone’s throw of the Galaxy S.
In terms of built quality, it’s nothing special. The display is good, fairly legible in sunlight, but apparently scratches very easily. The phone feels light and slightly plasticky, but not much more than a sub-20, 000 smartphone: if fact, it feels pretty much like the Sony Xperia Tipo. Expect the included headset to be complete and utter crap. It’s Dialog-branded: in a spirited effort to figure out who makes this handset, we talked to a few Dialog employees. That line of inquiry failed. Most of them appear to be as clueless as we are. After some lengthy searches, we’ve narrowed it down to one chief suspect – Innos, a China-based smartphone manufacturer. The i35 bears some remarkable similarity to Innos’ a35 smartphone – the screen, specs, odd features – such as dual 3.5mm audio jacks – even the styling of the back panel itself are identical. The Innos a35 lists an 800 Mhz CPU, which is why we doubt Dialog’s claim of 1 Ghz. Sadly, we couldn’t verify whether the CPU on this particular phone was a 1 GHZ processor. That’ll have to wait for another time.
A full-length review we’ll leave for later: but the question – is it worth 10, 000? – is a no-brainer. Yes, it’s easily worth the money. 1Ghz chip or no, it’s still a dual-core: apps run well, the OS is lag-free, and you can even play hefty games on this. It makes Dialog’s own, more expensive Vodafone offerings looks overpriced in comparison. If it’s in stock, grab it. Even if it lasts just a year, it’s still worth the paltry 10, 000 rupees.
*Have something interesting and IT related to share? email the [email protected]