Micromax Canvas Juice A77 features a 5-inch FWVGA display, 1.3GHz dual-core processor with 1 GB RAM and a massive 3000 mAh battery. The Canvas Juice comes in white color and currently is only available from HomeShop18. Its availability is still in question, but what's different about the Canvas Juice is battery-life and 1 GB RAM. So, how does the Canvas Juice A77 fare in everyday use and how long does it battery actually last? Here's the Micromax Canvas Juice A77 Full Review to answer all your queries.
Battery-life, Battery-life and Battery-life
Apps not movable to SD card
Display is sub-par
Below average Call Quality
MediaTek's MT6572 chipset has proved it mettle in the entry level segment, and performs quite well on the Canvas Juice as well. Especially with 1 GB RAM, the performance boost in everyday tasks is quite noticeable. But there are some software issues that just make the phone seem sluggish at times. Apart from that there's a 5-inch display with a resolution of 854 x 480 pixels. There are three touch-capacitive buttons below the display which do light up. Light however bleeds through the front panel.
There's a 5MP primary camera with LED flash which is capable of recording 720p videos at 30 FPS alongwith a VGA front-facing camera. There are three sensors on the phone, namely:
The Micromax Canvas Juice A77 has 4 GB internal storage out of which about 1.9 GB is available to the user. But that's not all, Micromax has swapped internal storage with Phone Storage therefore you can only install apps in the 672 MB partition. Apps are not movable to the SD card, which is a bummer since the ARM MALI 400 GPU is capable of playing high-end games as well. You can however move apps to the internal SD card. So you won't run out of space to install apps given that you don't install any large games since game or app data needs to be in the primary storage (672 MB max). To top it all off, there's no USB OTG support but we already knew that since MT6572 chipset doesn't support the feature. If you want to look at all the accessories that come in the box, have a look at our unboxing of the Canvas A77.
Let's have a look around the device first. On the left you have a volume rocker which is quite sturdy. At the same place on the right you have the power lock/unlock button. Both are made of the same shiny ivory white plastic material as the backcover and offer good feedback without creaking.
At the top you have the 3.5mm audio port alongwith the micro USB data-syncing/charging port. There's a faux metal strip that runs around the sides which has become a signature of the Canvas line of smartphones from Micromax. If we come to the front there's a 5-inch FWVGA display which is under a plastic frame, which has a slightly elevated rim on its sides to protect the front panel from coming in direct contact when put face-down on a flat surface. Above the display you have the main earpiece, light and proximity sensors alongwith the VGA front facing camera. Just below it are the three capacitive buttons for Menu, Back and Home alongwith the microphone.
The back-cover on the Canvas A77 is ultra glossy with a chequered pattern on it which is covered in a glossy enamel making the phone feel slippery. There's a 5MP camera with LED flash at the back with Micromax branding just below it. The loud speaker it right where the backcover curves to meet the silver trim, it too has the same metallic grill as the front earpiece. The backcover is solid but it creaks with even a little pressure, that didn't happen when we got the phone but with even a little use it started to feel as if it was loose.
The creaking is certainly noticeable and doesn't offer much in the way of confidence in the build quality of the Canvas Juice A77. Then there's the weight issue. The Canvas Juice A77 weighs 195 grams that's about 20-30% more than other 5-inch smartphones. But its understandable when you have a 3000 mAh battery under the hood. But one thing that could have made this rather large phone easy to handle was a textured or matte backcover.
Network and Call Quality
We didn't have any issues with Network with both SIM cards on. WiFi network performance is average while 3G speeds are in the acceptable range and depends more on area coverage. Network retention is a bit weak and we found the signal drop inside multi-storey buildings but nothing more than average.
But Call Quality is decidedly sub-par, whether its the earpiece or the speakerphone. Voice on both ends is unclear with artificial disturbance introduced probably by the microphone/speakerphone pair as the network was full most of the times. The speakerphone crackles at full volume on calls.
The display on the Canvas A77 is another area where Micromax has cut a corner. The 5-inch panel is bright but at a resolution of 854 x 480 pixels it looks pixelated and has poor viewing angles.
Still its saving grace is color reproduction which is surprisingly better than we expected with good contrast levels but that's only when you are looking right at the display. If the display is tilted even a little bit the colors distort.
The camera on the Canvas A77 is an average performer but can record 720p videos at 30FPS. Although while recording videos, the camera tries to continuously focus on moving objects even when EIS is off.
Images taken with the camera look flushed and under-saturated, color temperatures are a bit off as well. But its a decent option if you are looking to post images to Facebook or Instagram, anything larger and you see the lack of detail and pixelation.
The LED flash is not that bad, it helps when there is not enough light but its utterly useless in low-lighting conditions. But that's acceptable in this price-range. For the price segment the camera performs better in some aspects especially video recording if you have steady hands. Audio quality recorded to the microphone is surprisingly quite crisp, given that the same microphone performs poorly during outgoing calls.
The camera interface is similar to other Indian Android 4.2 smartphones with options for Panorama, a few Scene Modes, exposure control and a few other options thrown in which are effectively useless. Auto mode is still the best way to go. Touch to focus is available and works almost everytime. The front-facing camera is good enough for video calls but not for selfies.
Here are the images taken with the 5 MP camera of the Canvas Juice, you can see the full-resolution images in our Google+ Albums.
Music & Bundled Earphones
Bundled earphones are just average, however you can listen to music on them. But then again you would be way better off with even entry-level earbuds from the likes of Sony, Philips, Skullcandy, Sennheiser etc. But the audio from the phone is clear.
You do have an equalizer which helps make sound quality better. The speakerphone is loud and clear while playing music. There are no issues with music playback, high-bitrate content plays smoothly without any stuttering or random jumps.
FM reception is above average, works fine even when you are travelling. You also have RDS support and can record FM too. Any earbuds or headphones can work as the antenna if detected by the phone.
Another surprise was in store for us when we tried to play videos on the Micromax Canvas A77. It can play 1080p videos natively, without MXPlayer or any other player for that matter. Although there's a little jitter when you start the video or jump into the middle but after those initial milliseconds playback is smooth. That's a first for the MT6572 chipset since it natively does not support 1080p video playback. There is definitely some software trickery working in the background here and its most welcome.
As I said earlier, its loud and clear when it comes to music playback, but horrible on voice calls. That's the continuing theme here, voice calls through both the speakerphone or earpiece are not clear and seem distorted.
The speakerphone is present on the curve at the base of the phone which allows it to play audio without being muffled when put on a flat surface.
Software & Apps
Micromax Canvas Juice A77 runs Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean with a few custom icons, other than its almost stock. You also get DayDream in Display Settings which acts like a screensaver before phone goes into deep sleep. Most Google apps come pre-installed, you can get the rest from the Play Store. The absence of bloatware is welcome. By default, there are 5 homescreens in the launcher and you cannot add more. Notification quick toggles are also available including options to choose which SIM card should be used for Data and which Sound Profile to activate. There's one glitch in the app-drawer where the Play Store icon just hangs around the middle of the strip instead of being on the right, which makes us think there was something missing on its right side.
Even though the build seems stock, the UI is really sluggish and its not a performance issue. We could have forgiven a lag here and there due to low RAM or weak processor, but that's not the case with the Canvas Juice. The UI has been deliberately or maybe accidentally made to be sluggish. Scrolling takes ages, even moving through the app drawer seems like a task. Multi-touch performance is good especially pinch to zoom is quite fluid in browsing even heavy websites.
Either the scroll length or animation speed has been reduced tot he extent where everything seems to take more time. A different launcher and reducing animation duration from developer settings does help a bit.
Social networking apps work fine including Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp. Flipboard and Instagram are also supported. You can apply video wallpapers as well, which are, if anything, a resource hog. You also get a Flashlight app pre-installed which works fine as the flash is quite bright alongwith Kingsoft Office which can work with most Office files. The gallery app for some reason doesn't want to go full-screen and a black band is always displayed on top.
Its great that Micromax has a consistent user interface throughout its line of smartphones but its really inexcusable what they have done with the scrolling on the Canvas Juice. Even though you have a fast dual-core processor with plenty of RAM, it just feels heavy and slow.
Apart from Pattern, Pin or Password options you can also use Face Unlock as well as Voice Unlock. Both work fine and fall back to one of the options above if you are unable to get through.
You can encrypt your phone for more security which would require a password everytime you both the device.
Performance & Gaming
The Canvas A77 is an average performer with scores pretty much in line with other smartphones in this price bracket running the same chipset. 1 GB RAM does give it a slight edge in gaming but that is a moot point since you cannot install any games larger than 600 MB. The main sore point of a otherwise very capable smartphone is the fact that you CAN'T move apps to the SD card. Here's our Benchmarking Review.
The touch response is good, there's no ghosting or freezing in the display either when viewing high-bitrate content. We tested several games, actually as many as we could install and the Canvas Juice went through them flawlessly. If you are alright with rooting your smartphone, it could turn out be a solid performer in terms of gaming as well. Our Gaming Review is embedded below.
Here's the main reason we are all here today. The Canvas Juice A77 lasted 3 days on a full charge in our test. That's 2 days more than other smartphones we have tested in the same price bracket.
Our test includes 2G internet always on with Sync on for all services including Gmail, Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp, gaming for about 30 minutes, browsing internet for about an hour on WiFi, listening to music and watching local videos for about an hour alongwith streaming video from YouTube for about 30 minutes. Our usual day parameter also consists of 20 minutes of voice calls without the use of the speakerphone. There are no sudden drops in battery levels and charging time although a bit more, isn't that far from average.
The Canvas A77 can easily last more than 2 days with some heavy usage. The phone doesn't get warm while charging, but continuous gaming does raise the temperature a bit without ever reaching to the point where the phone becomes difficult to handle.
The Canvas Juice A77 is a thoroughly average device with the only plus point being battery life. While most other smartphones in this price range will struggle to give you more than a day, the Canvas A77 easily marches through 2 days and then some. It could have been a good gaming phone with its 1 GB RAM, but that wasn't to be since apps are not movable to the SD Card. Sure, you can root the phone and do whatever you want to, but that's not the ideal scenario. We would have liked atleast this feature to come out-of-the-box.
The Camera is just okay, build quality average, display too is average and call quality is again not good. Its really a sum of averages with one stand out feature, the 3000 mAh battery. So, if you want a stable device with excellent battery life then this is the phone for you. In the same segment, XOLO has just launched the Q1000 Opus with a quad-core processor and its just about a thousand bucks more. It has better performance and possibly better gaming capabilities with good build quality and display to boot.
But we would have to give it to Micromax, they have marketed this device only on its merit, the battery-life and nothing else. This point has been spot-on, but one thing I can't understand is why the phone after about 1 month of its release is still not available in any other store apart from HomeShop18, not even physical stores.
Therefore, we are going with a 6.7/10 for the Canvas Juice A77.
Abhinav Pathak likes all things tech, with major focus on smartphones and mobile computing. He has a profound interest in music, movies, gadgets and good food. His passion for coding translates into developing web-services and apps for android.