Recently I purchased a Micromax Doodle 2 mobile and discovered many technical issues. It was surprising because I had purchased the phone only after going through review feedbacks, which were excellent. That gives an impression that either the phone was not tested properly or was tested by marketing/non-technical people. Here are the high level findings –
Hardware – Opening and closing the shutter to insert sim card happens to be a challenge.
Software – Predictive text input is not intuitive enough and hardly works.
Security – BT is by default disabled. Comes with M Security software that has on Access Scanner enabled. By default, all the apps are scanned immediately after getting downloaded. I transferred a virus-infected file and it was immediately removed.
Device Drivers – decently tested device drivers and I could not find any issues
Video – Excellent video quality and phone does not fail to deliver regardless of how hard you stress it. Supports multiple formats including MP4/DivX/XviD/WMV/H.264 etc.
Audio – Excellent Audio clarity during calls (both microphone, speaker, and loudspeaker). Supports a variety of Audio formats including MP3 AAC, WAV, and so on.
Messaging – SMS, MMS, and all standard formats like Push, email client etc.
No Memory Slot – This is strange. There is no memory slot available.
Auto Rotate Screen – for some apps, it does not work on the home screen but starts working once you get inside/start navigating the app.
USB Support – Connects successfully to any laptop, desktop, and delivers successfully. Functionality of some apps gets limited once the USB mode is enabled which is a known feature.
Airplane Mode – works fine and disables respective functionality except GPS (not sure if it’s as per design).
Data Connection – Not possible to disable it within a few seconds of enabling it. It behaves the same vice versa and is 100% reproduce-able. This seems to be missed out by Micromax or maybe it is a known issue.
Serial Number – 123456789ABCDEFG – Again, I have no answer as to what it means.
WLAN – Claims to support Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Wi-Fi hotspot, Wi-Fi Direct. This is a huge problem in the handset and I am not sure if it was even tested before the device came to the market. For example, the connection speed to 11n Access Point is terrible. The bandwidth keeps fluctuating even if the devices as well as AP are stationary and well within close proximity. Another problem is connection drop, which keeps happening time and again. For example, in 12 hours, the connection will drop at least 10 times without any reason and this is 100% reproduce-able.
Bluetooth – supports 4.0 and theoretically a decent transfer speed. BT and WLAN are mutually exclusive – Yes, that is as per design. Surprising to me.
Stylus – S Pen – There is no slot to attach the stylus to the phone and it is hard to carry it separately with a high chance of getting misplaced. It happened with me and I am not able to get another one from the mobile store.
Analysis – Since the evolution of mobile phones, I have always wondered as to why manufacturers put so many features/apps into mobile devices, which struggles to breathe. That is natural because the devices have limited resources (a trend that has been changing due to technical advancements in embedded world). One typical example includes high-resolution cameras, which consume a lot of heap. Regardless of being a business phone, the phone would struggle to support the apps, which claim to be supported. There were challenges when it came to playing high end gaming or reading heavy documents where apps/phone would hang or at times even crash.
1. With this phone, you can play high end games, movies or can do video chat and you will never feel latency.
2. A heavy PDF document (around 26 mb) makes the application crash in Note 2. The same document with the same app works flawlessly in Doodle 2(both scenarios are 100% reproduce able).
3. In case you can live with some technical constraints, and primary connectivity is not via WLAN, you can buy this device at a price tag 1/3rd of Note 3 – The phone rocks when you see the features that it delivers at a competitive price!
Cons/ Show Stopper Issues – These should have been fixed before the product was launched –
1. Wireless connectivity should either be supported or explicitly mentioned that it is broken.
2. The Security License App says that it should be in-installed or purchased, but does not give option to un-install. A user, who is not familiar with Android OS will not be able to un-install the App and can be sued anytime by the vendor.
3. If the vendor decides to bring in the buggy product to the market, then at least the Customer Support department should be approachable and responsive, but the functionality of contact form provided on vendor’s web site is broken.