|Inside the Box|
|Specifications- A Quick glance|
|Design and Build Quality|
|Controls and Ports|
|Audio and Video|
Android's openness has enabled multitude of smartphones available at every shape, size and even price. But, when it comes to smartphones with powerful configuration, there are very few options at the higher-end range or at affordable price from Indian manufacturers. Zen Ultrafone 701HD is one such smartphone. Priced attractively at Rs. 11,999, its specs can give flagship smartphones from Samsung and Sony a run for their money and also matches the very popular Micromax Canvas series. We do its in-depth review and here’s what we think-
Zen 701HD comes with lots of stuff in a compact box:
The phone already had a screen guard preinstalled on it and inclusion of two covers is really nice. Flip Cover is useful for protecting the device, while the White back cover will give distinct dual color look to it.
|Screen Size||5.0 inches|
|Processor||1.2 GHz MediaTek 6589 Quad-Core|
|Internal Storage||4 GB|
|External Storage||upto 32 GB via microSD card|
|Primary Camera||8 MP|
|Secondary Camera||3.2 MP|
|Operating System||Android 4.2.1 (JellyBean)|
|Network Support||Dual-SIM, 2G/ 3G|
|Connectivity||Bluetooth 4.0, Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi Hotspot, GPS with A-GPS|
|Sensor||Accelerometer, Proximity, Ambient Light|
With a massive 5 inch display, Zen 701HD is really big and wide. It’s body is all black in color, unless one uses the White back cover given in the box which as mentioned earlier imparts a nice dual color look to the device. For a phone of its size, the phone doesn’t weighs much and feels sturdy in hands. The rubberized back makes holding it very easier and unlike smartphones with glossy back, neither it slips off the hands nor is prone to fingerprints.
The screen forms the largest part of the front, which also comprises of three capacitive buttons at the bottom for Options, Home and Back. Earpiece, notification light, and the secondary camera is located above the screen.
The left side of the device houses volume keys, while power key is on the right side.
At the top, there’s a micro USB charging port and a 3.5 mm headphone jack.The bottom of the smartphone is devoid of any elements.
Zen 701HD’s back is removable to reveal the battery and slots for inserting two SIMs and a microSD card. The back sports a primary camera with LED flash and a speaker grille.
The namesake of the Zen 701HD comes from its HD display with resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels and color depth of 16.7 million on a 5 inch IPS display. The pixel density of 294 ppi is really useful for watching videos or reading documents on the device. The screen offers good brightness and is easily visible even under direct sunlight. Since the IPS display offers wide viewing angles, the content being played on screen could be watched by many people.
Apart from the HD screen, the smartphone’s another selling point is its 1.2 GHz quad-core processor which is based ARMv7 cores . Coupled with 1 GB RAM and PowerVR GGX 544MP GPU for rendering graphics, we didn’t felt any lag in the smartphone and it performed buttery smooth. Using it for sliding through apps, playing videos, launching and using apps, browsing the internet, etc. was a joy. We tested few games such as Temple Run and Fruit Ninja and they worked really well on the device. However, after continuous usage of device for about an hour or so, sometimes it gets hot from the back.
In terms of memory, it has 4 GB of in-built storage, out of only 1.65 GB is accessible by user. The device has the option to expand the memory by using microSD card.
What better way then do benchmarking of the Zen 701HD and check how it compares to other devices.
These benchmarks suggest that while the device can’t be compared against flagship devices, but still it holds on its own pretty well.
The smartphone comes with the latest version of Android JellyBean (version 4.2.1) and unlike many manufacturers, Zen hasn’t customized the stock operating system with any skin. Though, Zen has added few software of its own, such as Zen Store- An alternate to Play Store for downloading apps, Emoze- for Push emails, LED flashlight- lights up device’s LED in case of need of light, and few more. These apps can be uninstalled if user don’t need them. Other default apps available in Android like Browser, Messaging, Dialer app, etc. are the standard apps in every Android device. The smartphone also has FM radio with recording option.
For shutterbugs, the device features an 8 MP camera with auto-focus and LED flash. The camera can capture images upto 3270 x 2448 pixels resolution and record 720p videos.The picture quality is pretty good at normal lightning or even in low light conditions thanks to the LED flash. The video quality is also good, only grouse is that they are store in .3GP format which is quite old.
The camera app offers a lot of options for capturing images and shooting video-
1) Panorama: Enabling to take 360 degree images.
2) HDR: High Dynamic Range Imaging
3) Self-Timer: Capturing image automatically after 2 sec/ 10 sec of preset timing.
4) Smile Detection: The image is automatically captured as soon camera detects smile.
For providing video calling functionality, the 3.2 MP secondary camera works really well when tested with Skype and Google Hangout.
Since the smartphone is based on Android, one can use any app for playing music or video of any formats. The loudspeakers provided at the back of the device are loud enough to listen to even in the crowded place. The earphone provided with the Zen 701HD works really well and gives stereo effect. Since, they are in ear, so they sit very comfortably in one’s ears.
The smartphone was capable enough to run 720p video and there were no issues in jumping to any scene of the video.
Zen 701HD offers dual-SIM GSM support with Active Standby feature, which is really good as most of the people nowadays own two SIMs. Other connectivity features in the smartphone such Bluetooth 4.0, Wi-Fi b/g/n, GPS with A-GPS are standard in smartphones these days.
The device has 2000 mAh battery which after a day of using it for Calling, browsing internet through Wi-Fi, listening to music and some more tasks easily lasts a day. This is decent enough for an average user, but power user would expect more battery life from a smartphone which can be used for so many things. Also, device takes almost two hours to be fully charged.
For a smartphone available at an entry-level smartphone price, Zen Ultrafone 701HD does pack a lot of punch. In our testing, we really liked the combination of gorgeous display, superb specs and good camera and overall it left us impressed.