When Micromax signed up Hugh Jackman as its brand ambassador it made a strong statement. That was five years ago, a lifetime in the smartphone space. A lot has changed since then. The brand has seen its market share slide at a time when brands like Xiaomi are dominating the budget smartphone space. A year ago, Micromax launched its first Infinity device that knocked off the bezels with an impressive 83.6% screen: body ratio and still managed to keep the price a shade under Rs 10,000. That didn’t set the cash registers ringing for Micromax. The company will hope its newest Infinity siblings – the N12 (which we put the spotlight on) and the N11, can shake things up. In case you already haven’t guessed, the N prefix alludes to the Notched display. Can the N12 alter the script for Micromax?
You can’t survive in the budget segment with shades of grey. Funky colours are a thing and aside from an elegant black (Micromax calls this Viola), the N12 comes in Blue Lagoon (our favourite colour option) and Velvet Red that will surely stand out in a crowd. The back is plastic comes with a metallic gleam. There’s one obvious problem though – the device is a fingerprint magnet. It looks good for a device at its price and feels good in your hand despite its large screen footprint. The 6.19-inch display (720 x 1500 pixels) is reasonably good and vibrant even in daylight. It keeps up with 2018’s most definitive smartphone trend with a wide notch and an immersive display that cuts out the bezels. The fingerprint sensor is conveniently placed at the rear of the device.
Micromax announced a strategic partnership with MediaTek that powers one of every three smartphones in the world. At its heart is the 2GHz Octa-core MediaTek Helio P22 Processor that combines with 3GB of RAM. There’s 32GB of Internal Memory and support for Micro SD cards (up to 128 GB with a dedicated slot) that allows you to expand the memory of the device. The N12 didn’t disappoint in terms of day to day performance and compares favourably with other devices in this price band. One of the strengths of this device is a 4000 mAh battery that will comfortably last you for a day.
The N12 is let down somewhat by its cameras. There’s a 16MP selfie camera and a 13MP + 5MP dual rear cam. While the specs look good on paper, the cams don’t quite cut it, especially in low light scenarios. While the N12 might have the edge over the competition on the battery front, it doesn’t quite extend to the camera despite numerous modes and AI tweaks this device incorporates.
The Micromax Infinity N12 ships with Android 8.1 (Oreo). The company promised at the launch that the N12 will receive its Android 9.0 (Pie) update within 45 days. We like the clean UI that doesn’t mask stock Android too much. That’s one of the cool touches in the N12 aside from a decent build quality and a large, vibrant screen. It’s certainly enough to make this a worthy contender in the value for money smartphone space but can it turn the phone into a blockbuster? Micromax can certainly use a blockbuster at this stage even though Hugh Jackman won’t be part of it.
The Micromax Infinity N12 is priced at Rs 9,999 while the N11 (differentiated from the N12 with 2GB of RAM and an 8MP selfie cam) costs Rs 8,999.