Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Spice Mi-350 Review

Spice Mobiles, over the years, have carved a name for themselves by launching innovative and affordable handsets in the Indian handset market. The latest addition to its range of affordable Android based smartphones is Spice Mi-350. The device, intended to target first time smartphone users, provides customers an affordable yet performance loaded choice.
The device boasts of rugged build, Dual GSM network support, Mediatek MT6573 chipset with 650MHz ARM11 processor and 200MHz GPU for graphics acceleration, 3.2MP camera with DVD quality video recording and Android Gingerbread (v2.3.3).  With such specifications, the device, no doubt, towers over its competitors. 


A quick look at Mi-350’s tech specs:

Pros
·         Tri-band GSM and dual-band 3G support
·         Dual GSM (2G+3G) network support; Dual standby
·         7.2 Mbps HSDPA support
·         3.5" TFT LCD capacitive touchscreen
·         650MHz ARM 11 processor; Mediatek MT6530 chipset; 200MHz GPU
·         Android OS v2.3.3 (Gingerbread) with custom Spice UI
·         3.2MP autofocus camera, front camera; Geo-tagging, face detection
·         DVD quality videos@20fps video
·         MicroSD slot (up to 32GB)
·         Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
·         GPS with A-GPS connectivity
·         MicroUSB port (charging)
·         Bluetooth v2.1 with A2DP
·         Standard 3.5 mm audio jack
·         FM radio
·         File manager preinstalled
·         SpiceGang and tons of other apps
·         Accelerometer and proximity sensor
·         Battery 1500 mAh Li-ion

Cons
·         No LED flash for camera
·         No ambient light sensor
·         No shutter key for the camera
·         No support for Adobe Flash in the web browser

Looks n feel
From the first looks, the device looks quite sturdy. Measuring 118 x 60 x 13.4 mm and weighting 135 grams, Mi-350 is quite a handful. The black coloured device has a glossy front panel, with a 3.4 inch TFT capacitive touchscreen much of it. Below the screen are three hard key buttons given for accessing option, home and back functions. Going with hard keys in era of touch buttons appeared odd. Front camera and earpiece could be found on the upper left corner of the device. A metallic ring runs around the edges, accentuating the look of the device. 
The spines are bare, except a volume rocker and camera key provided on the left panel. Power/lock key has been placed on the top, along with 3.5 mm audio jack and microUSB charging slot. Battery cover has a rubberised finish, which is quite conducive for good grip on the handset. Loudspeaker grill and 3.2MP camera has been placed on the upper half of back panel. Build quality of the phone is good but the screen is prone to getting scratches. Proximity sensor has been incorporated as well, which deactivates the screen during calls and saves battery life, but there is no ambient light sensor.
The TFT LCD display has maximum resolution of 320x480 pixels. The images appear crisp with vibrant colors. Screen legibility in sunlight is good too. The touchscreen responds beautifully. Removing the battery cover reveals a 1500 mAh Li-Ion battery, promising good battery backup. The SIM card and microSD card slots are accessible only by removing the battery.

OS and UI
Mi-350 is the first Gingerbread running smartphone in Spice’s arsenal. It comes with custom Spice user interface. Three buttons – dialler, menu and messages, have been given at the bottom of the homescreen. Small dots, representing the homescreens appear on the either side of these touch buttons and can be used to navigate through the screen panels.  Alternatively, you can also swipe horizontally across the screen to change homescreen panels. The notification bar has been further bolstered by addition of power buttons for WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, Data Communication and Accelerometer sensor. You can also select the default SIM to make calls and send SMS from the notification bar itself. However, you can also access detailed SIM management settings by going to the settings menu.
Long pressing the homescreen reveals menu to add shortcuts, widgets, and folders or change wallpapers.  Live wallpapers are also supported and the 12 come preinstalled on the device. Alternatively, you can download more wallpapers from Android Marketplace if you don’t like the default bunch.
The menu is also side scrollable and you can rearrange the menu icons by long pressing the screen.
650MHz ARM 11 processor does its job well and can handle multiple applications with ease, adding to the fluidity of Gingerbread user interface.

Voice and txt
Spice Mi-350 is a dual SIM phone and can support two GSM (one 2G and one 3G) networks. Though, only one SIM remains active during a call and the other one appears online. You can select the default SIM for calling, sending SMS and for data connectivity by going to the settings option in main menu or through notification bar. The phonebook uses main memory to save the contact details so you can store virtually unlimited numbers in your phonebook. Same goes for storing SMS and MMS too.  
Pressing the dialler button at the bottom of the homescreen opens the call menu, which is divided into four tabs – phone, call log, contacts and favourites. The dialpad opens by default, with recent call list in the background. Dialling a number reveals further six options namely - mute, hold, speaker, contacts, conferencing and dialpad, for ease of access. You can go back to homescreen anytime during a call by pressing the back key. The active call menu can be retrieved again from the notifications bar.
Smart dial feature is also available and alphanumeric search can be used to look for contacts. Proximity sensor automatically switches off the screen during a call, avoiding unwanted inputs and saving precious battery charge.
The SMS menu is a typical Android affair. SMS and MMS are listed as threads in the menu. To send a new SMS, you just need to tap the compose message button provided on the top of SMS menu. Clicking on an existing SMS will open the touch keypad for typing new SMS.  Long pressing on an SMS will open the SMS management menu, where you can forward, edit or delete the selected message or the whole conversation thread. You can also copy the text from an SMS and paste it on any other menu or application across the OS platform. Adding Multimedia content like pictures, videos or sound clips automatically turns SMS into an MMS.

Data connectivity and Internet browsing
The handset comes equipped with all forms of connectivity modes to satiate your needs. For starters, the handset is 3G enabled and can be used as a mobile WiFi hotspot.  HSDPA/HSUPA speeds of up to 7.2Mbps/ 5.76Mbits are supported by the device. Furthermore, you can also hook on to WiFi network and exchange files with other devices through Bluetooth, a feature which only become available with Android Gingerbread version. A microUSB port has also been provided for charging and USB tethering purposes.
The stock Android Web browser takes care of all your Internet browsing needs and loads pages with blazing fast speed. The browser UI is pretty simple and you just need to punch in the website’s address to get going. However, the lack of Flash support in the browser cannot be justified in a Gingerbread device. This limitation forces users to watch streaming video content only on apps like YouTube and Vuclip.
The browser supports tabbed browsing and the pages can be zoomed in/out tapping on the screen itself. You can further add the website to bookmark list, or share the link with your friends through SMS/Email.

Apps and utility
One thing is for sure that Spice Mi-350 comes preloaded with truckloads of apps. Tons of apps, ranging from Google app suite to Yahoo messenger, BSE/NSE stock news, System Info, Facebook, Ibibo farms, Rail Yatra, Spice Gang etc come preloaded on the device. You can add further to the collection by going to Android Market or remove the ones you don’t like by going to the Apps manager in main menu.
We have become used to the presence of Google apps on Android devices now. The Mi-350 doesn’t deviates and comes preloaded with Gmail, Google maps and Google search apps. Having a Google account is mandatory as you won’t be able to download access Android Market and download more apps. Facebook and ibibo and Gtalk chat clients also come preloaded to take care of your SNS needs.  
Utility apps include calendar, calculator, Stopwatch, Timer and voice recorder. You also have a fully functional file browser and app manager to help you with house cleaning.

Camera
For shutterbugs, Spice Mi-350 comes armed with a 3.2MP full focus camera with maximum image resolution of 2048x1536 pixels and 8X zoom. The photo quality is very good as you can see in sample pictures.

 Close shot
Long shot
While in motion
Indoor shot

However, again on the downside, lack of flash limits the usability of camera in low light conditions. To sweeten the deal though, some goodies like geotagging and face detection have been thrown in. You can access the camera either by going to main menu or directlyby pressing the camera key on left spine.
The camera interface is pretty easy to understand. You can zoom in/zoom out of the frame by tapping on the screen itself. You can jump to video recording mode by tapping on the switch provided on the camera menu. Videos can be recorded in high quality DVD resolution (720x480 pixels).  The samples shot during the review came out to be very nice, though slight pixilation was found while recording at maximum zoom.

You need to plug in a microSD card to start shooting though as the camera uses SD card memory as default storage space.

Multimedia
Finally, we come to last leg of our review – the multimedia performance. The Spice Mi-350 comes with stock Gingerbread music player. The songs on SD card get automatically segregated on the basis of artists, albums, songs and playlists. You can make your own playlist by going to the playlist menu.
Sound quality is good on both the headphones as well as on the loudspeaker. You can further adjust the audio quality of handset by enabling equalizer settings and bass boost from the music player options menu.
The 3.5mm audio jack gives you freedom to use headsets of your choice with the device.
The device also come equipped with FM radio. The interface is pretty much plain. There is an automatic search option, which configures all available FM stations automatically for you. There is no internal antenna so you need to plug in your headset to start radio. 

Playing Raging Thunder on Mi-350

Verdict
The Spice Mi-350 definitely packs quite a bang for bucks. It has solid built quality, lines up good hardware specifications, and backs it all with smooth performance with Android Gingerbread. Lack of flash content support in browser and LED flash in camera are definitely a dampener; but the price of the device wins the ultimate battle. There are very few decent Android powered handsets available in sub Rs 10,000 price range and The Spice Mi-350, with all its features is definitely recommended for consumers looking for their first Android touchscreen experience, but is apprehensive in venturing into uncharted territory by burning a hole in their pockets. 

72 comments:

  1. Please Post the Battery performance of this handset.

    Also can flash 10.1 or 10.2 be downloaded and installed from android market or 3rd party providers

    ReplyDelete
  2. Battery performance of the handset is good and one full charge lasted us around 4 hours of calling, listening to music and browsing on 3G.
    Yes. There are certain tweaks available to install Adobe flash on Android devices above v2.2 Froyo. But there may be certain performance issues after installing it.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I wonder, how a 3.2MP camera can click such crisper images! If it is, Spice Mi-350 is really a good phone.

    ReplyDelete
  4. It's a myth that megapixel is the only factor that affects the image quality. A higher megapixel will benefit you only when you need to take a large printout without pixilation. 3.2 MP is good enough to give crisp images for social media uploads and small printouts. This phone has really good camera.

    ReplyDelete
  5. 1)Can you tell us how the call quality is? Call voice on both the ends & call on speaker phone mode.
    2) Can we install office for read/write

    ReplyDelete
  6. does it support skype audio calls over 3g....

    ReplyDelete
  7. Pls update the RAM / ROM details of the phone.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Does it have E-compass sensor inbuilt ? what is the Ram / ROM configuration.

    ReplyDelete
  9. i m using this phone but facing some problems which i m sharing with peoples,sky pee and yahoo vedio call not possible,message coming from android market is that this hand set does not support it.i have idea 3 g connection,and message from operator is that it supports 3 g,but not support high speed internet and video call.we recommend u to upgrade to atleast 3.6 mbps handset that support vedio call

    ReplyDelete
  10. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Does it has office applications like document viewer, spreadsheets and acrobat reader just like Nokia E Series.

    Manish

    ReplyDelete
  12. At present I am having Nokia E71. Is this mobile worth switching over. Your views folks.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Hello Vrinda,

    Thank you for the review. I am planning to buy this phone.

    Can you help me with experience of Wi-fi on this phone. Also, does it has a GPS tool?

    ReplyDelete
  14. @Joon.. you can make audio calls through VoIP clients like Skype, Fring etc over 3G or WiFi.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Hi Vrinda,

    Nice review!!! :-)
    Actually I'm thinking of buying my 1st android. And highly confused about Samsung Galaxy Y S5360 and Spice Mi-350. Can you please guide me?
    BDW which is better 832MHz processor or 650MHz processor+200MHz Graphics?

    ReplyDelete
  16. @Manish.. It doesn't come with a full-version of office suite, however you can read the docs with that. To edit and create new docs, you will have to purchase full version from the Android Market.

    ReplyDelete
  17. @Raj.. Internet browsing experience over 3G and WiFi is excellent. Since this phone has GPS with A-GPS support, the performance of the same is good.

    ReplyDelete
  18. If you are comfortable with touchscreen interface, this is worth a try!

    ReplyDelete
  19. It is an informative one... Vrinda!

    ReplyDelete
  20. @ dr vikas.. The device supports 3.5G high speed network with HSPA speeds of up to 7.2Mbps(DL) and 5.76Mbps(UL).You should get your firmware updated to the latest version. Post here the results.

    ReplyDelete
  21. i want to buy this mobile bt tell me it suport skype video call or not ,,, and its touch responce and all games are supported or not and g sensor avilable or not plz mail me at fntskmr48@gmail.com
    or call me at 9687500682 thxs

    ReplyDelete
  22. features of Spice Mi-350 from offcial website

    3G+ 2G Dual SIM Android
    Video Calling
    Android 2.3
    3.5” HVGA Capacitive Touch Screen
    WIFI Tethering
    HSPA (3.5G)
    650 MHz Processor + GPU 200 MHz
    Mediatek MT6573 chipset
    G Sensor
    Proximity Sensor
    Accelerometer sensor for display auto-rotation
    3.2MP Rear Camera + VGA Front Camera
    Battery 1500 mAh
    Expandable up to 32 GB
    3.5mm Audio Jack
    inbuilt memory=188 MB

    ReplyDelete
  23. does it support android market?? I mean, can we download apps from android market on to spice mi 350??

    ReplyDelete
  24. AJAY SHARMA( ordered @ saholic )7 November 2011 03:33

    currently skype supports only a number of handsets, just a few. Untill it develops newer version which supports all handsets, it wont run video on mi-350, other things are working.
    Includes angry birds, adobe flash, call recording. handset is good, no problem with battery or anything.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Hi Vrinda
    Is this mi 350 phone support to watch live streaming through browser using adobe flash player???? please reply me.. Advance Thanks …

    ReplyDelete
  26. @anonymous:

    Yes. Spice Mi-350 comes with Android market preinstalled. Log in with your google account credentials and start downloading apps.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Hi Vrinda,
    Does Spice Mi-350 supports multi-touch and pinch to zoom? Can we install applications in micro-SD card? Does it supports high graphics games? Please let us know...

    ReplyDelete
  28. @Shaan,

    It supports Multi-touch/pinch zooming, the touch response is good.
    You will be able to move applications which support move to SD card option.
    It has 200MHz GPU for graphics acceleration, which will give you good gaming experience. Post here the game which you are interested in. Will try creating a video of that and put it here :-)

    ReplyDelete
  29. hii pls tell me about its battery performance when we using internet without wifi....
    and does we can play videos from browser of 480P

    ReplyDelete
  30. Hi Vrinda
    Is this mi 350 phone support to watch live streaming through browser using adobe flash player?

    ReplyDelete
  31. Hi Vrinda,
    Thanks a lot for the reply.
    I am mainly interested in the games like :
    Raging Thunder,Asphalt 6, Modern Combat, Death Worm and of course the famed Angry Bird Rio.

    ReplyDelete
  32. You can stream videos though the YouTube app. Its browser doesn't support flash player.

    ReplyDelete
  33. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  34. @ Shaan.. You can watch video of playing Raging Thunder on this device http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i51QMt6vIkE

    ReplyDelete
  35. why don't you make a review video?

    ReplyDelete
  36. HI VRINDA CAN WE WATCH STREAMING LIVE TV LINKS IN REAL PLAYER.CAN WE INSTALL REAL PLAYER.PLZ ADVICE AND CAN OFFICE SUIT IS INSTALLED LIKE SYMBIAN .I HAVE NOKIA 5530 WANTING TO SHIFT TO SPICEMI 350.CONFUSED I AM ? SACHIN K

    ReplyDelete
  37. REAL PLAYER IS NECESSARY ,CAN WE GET IT AND INSTALL?

    ReplyDelete
  38. instead of real player android market has other players which can play all sorts of file formats including avi, mkv, mov etc. i have purchased this mobile 6 days back, the only reason being dual sim. this is my first spice, android, touch screen mobile. and i am very happy with it. battery back up is ok. i use internet over wifi for almost over 2 hrs and read books. chm viewer, office documents like doc, docx, ppt, pptx, xls, xlsx, pdf can be opened using free software available on android market. for me preloaded apps is one of the drawbacks of this mobile. some services open automatically and eat up my ram. it has 188 mb ram, 202 mb internal memory. palyed games, and its awesome. saving contacts from other mobiles is easy if we make a copy of all contacts into one csv file format (i did it from linux instead of windows) and copy it in sd card and import it in contacts from phone. and it copies all contacts in its list! if any one has more queries i can respond.

    ReplyDelete
  39. Thanks Amer... for posting such an informative comment here :-)

    ReplyDelete
  40. mohammed real player is necessary for me can we install it from android market ? .rm files to be played for streaming links.its necessary plz give advice and does it have ambient light sensor. sachink can u post a video of mi350?

    ReplyDelete
  41. can we install adobe flash from android market.

    ReplyDelete
  42. can we upgrade the o.s. later

    ReplyDelete
  43. @ Anonymous: 1) Yes you can download real player from Android market. It is in beta at the moment so there might be some glitches.

    2) The phone comes with Android Gingerbread v2.3.3 preinstalled, which you can further upgrade to v2.3.5.

    ReplyDelete
  44. hi vrinda,
    i read the review and must say it is very informative.i want to buy my 1st android phone.but i am really confused between samsung galaxy y and spice mi-350.i would really appreciate if would tell me which is better,considering all the aspects.
    awaiting your reply,
    thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  45. hi vrinda,
    i read your blog and must say its very informative.i want to buy my first android and i am confused between samsung galaxy y,spice mi-350 and sony ericsson W8. i would very much appreciate if you would tell me which one is better considering all the aspects.
    awaiting your reply,
    thanks,
    mita.

    ReplyDelete
  46. Is it possible to receive a call when other sim is connected to internet?

    ReplyDelete
  47. @ Mita.. I would suggest one among Mi-350 and Galaxy Y.
    You can compare all features here http://www.saholic.com/compare-mobile-phones?p1=1002143&p2=1002160&p3=1001688

    ReplyDelete
  48. hi vrinda. Plz tell me about the camera of the spice mi-350. Is it a fixed focus camera or an autofocus camera?. Also how is the quality of the photos in low light.?

    Thnxxxx.....

    ReplyDelete
  49. It doesn't have autofocus. The 3.2 MP camera delivers good quality stills in all kind of lighting conditions. An indoor shot is uploaded. Have a look :-)

    ReplyDelete
  50. vrinda where can i get pc suite software for this handset? i could not able to find in official webpage spiceglobal.com. and I could not able to install the software which is given in webpage. please mail me
    prasannakannadiga@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  51. @prasca..

    Only one SIM is active at a time.

    If you are browing on 3G network, you can receive the call and browse Internet simultaneously.

    But such simultaneous actions are not possible if you are using 2G network.

    ReplyDelete
  52. Nandkumar Jadhav30 November 2011 01:38

    HI Vrinda

    I am using this phone for last three weeks i am quite satisfied with this phone. but i found some features missing flash plugin is not preinstalled also you can not install it from android market as there is no support for this device.battery backup is good. internal memory is very less and after downloading application from market everytime you have to tranfer it manually to SD card. Preinstalled applications are taking memory and you can not uninstall it also.
    other than this handset is very good at this price. i recommend this for new buyers.
    Is anybody have information about this hadsets OS upgradation availability ?

    ReplyDelete
  53. Where can I find the calendar application in MI-350? I dont see it in any menus.

    ReplyDelete
  54. It's there in the menu :-)

    ReplyDelete
  55. hi..vrinda,
    I have found New model of Spice Mi-350n with same specification bt except Battery is 1400 mAh from old one has 1500 mAh.
    I want to know that New madel has anything bad as from old model like Camera quality,Touch respones, Playing 3D games,etc.....
    Plz tell me I wanna buy it from Saholic.....

    ReplyDelete
  56. @ Krunal: Mi-350n is a revamped version of Mi-350 with all new UI and runs latest Android Gingerbread v2.3.4 OS. The camera quality is good too. As for rest of your queries, please wait for our comprehensive review of the device.

    ReplyDelete
  57. Hi....Singh Sir,
    Please tell me, Is this New Spice Mi-350n's browser support flash player....?

    ReplyDelete
  58. @ Krunal, as with Spice Mi-350, Mi-350n also lacks in Adobe Flash support on web browser.

    ReplyDelete
  59. hi vrinda..
    i want to purchase dual sim touch screen mobile... which one i hav to purchase samsung b7722 or spice MI-350... tel me about brands

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Spice Mi-350 upgraded version Mi-350n is now avaailable in the market, which is a dual-SIM Android touch phone while Samsung B7722 Star Duos is runs on Samsung proprietary software with a 5MP camera being only attraction among its specification. So, Spice Mi-350n will be a better choice. You can compare the phones here - http://www.saholic.com/compare-mobile-phones?p1=1001228&p2=1002292

      Delete
  60. How is Micromax A 75. Does it overcome the limitations of this phone?
    Rajev

    ReplyDelete
  61. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  62. Tarita Kulkani thanks a lot for ur information

    ReplyDelete
  63. Tarita Kulkani thanks a lot for ur information

    ReplyDelete
  64. i would like to know if the pre-installed apps continously use internet....

    ReplyDelete
  65. @ Anonymous.. The pre-installed apps will not use internet, when you are not using it. You can easily manage your connectivity options like GPRS, Wi-Fi etc.. use whenever you need it.

    ReplyDelete
  66. HI VRINDA!!
    PLS TEL ME THE PRICE OF Mi-350. I WANNA BUY DIS MOBILE.

    ReplyDelete
  67. excellent phone........

    ReplyDelete
  68. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  69. Hey Vrinda,
    Is Spice mi 350 n better than samsung galaxy y?
    I'm in favour of spice mi 350n.......but decision keeps to you.
    guide me...I'm just to buy my first android phone.

    ReplyDelete
  70. Hello! I've been reading your weblog for some time now and finally got the bravery to go ahead and give you a shout out from Humble Tx! Just wanted to say keep up the excellent job!
    My web site ; iPad

    ReplyDelete
  71. Dear team,

    Recently i purchased a Spice Mi-350 which is android 2.3.3 (gingerbread).
    I Installed skype from android market. but skype says that 'your mobile doesnot register with skype', and the skype was automatically closed.

    Check this issue and fix it asap.
    Please telme prbm hw to login.

    This is my email id :venuprasad.06@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete