LAVA IRIS 458Q REVIEW – XOLO Q800′s YOUNGER (DIS)ABLED COUSIN?
It makes us wonder why XOLO and LAVA are two different brands when XOLO itself is owned by LAVA and their offerings rival each other in the same segment. Lava IRIS 458Q is a mid-range offering by LAVA which claims to have most bells and whistles as its XOLO cousins. However, does it really justify its claim? We find out in this LAVA IRIS 458Q Review!
- 4.5″ qHD IPS LCD display – 480×854 pixels
- Mediatek MT6589 chipset
- Quad-core ARM Cortex A7 – 1.2 GHz processor and PowerVR SGX544 graphics
- 512MB RAM
- 8 Megapixel Auto Focus camera with Full HD 1080p video recording.
- LED flash
- 0.3MP Front Facing Camera
- Single Band 3G SIM 1 & Quad Band 2G – SIM 2
- 4GB storage with microSD expansion slot
- Wi-Fi b/g/n
- Wi-Fi Direct
- Proximity Sensor, 3 axis Accelerometer, Ambient Light Sensor, Gyroscope, 3 Axis Magnetic Sensor and Gravity Sensor
- 2000 mAh Battery
- Android 4.2.1 (Jelly Bean) OS
- SAR Value – <1.5 W/Kg
DESIGN & BUILD QUALITY
When you first hold the Lava Iris 458q, you find that the phone is mostly well constructed apart from a creaking sound you get from the back panel near the 3.5mm jack. While it may not look good pretty from the front, it does look graceful from the back. The phone houses a 4.5 inch FWVGA TFT LCD Display of the non IPS variety. Above it sits the earpiece and on either side of the earpiece lie the proximity sensor, light sensor and a front facing VGA camera. The phone does not feature a notification LED while its sister – Xolo Q700 does. Beneath the display there are 3 backlit capacitive keys – Menu, Home, and Back. The keys are haptic feedback enabled. A microphone sits below these keys.
The left side of the Iris 458Q houses the volume rocker. On the right side, we find the power button. On the top, we have the 3.5mm headset jack and next to it is the micro USB port.
The back of the device houses an 8 MP BSI Auto Focus Camera with an LED Flash. Just below it, we find an android bot insignia below which, is the Lava logo and the speakerphone grille is placed just beneath it.
Underneath the battery cover, we find a fairly capable 2000 mAh battery, the micro SD card slot and the dual SIM card slots. SIM 1 supports both 2G and 3G networks while SIM 2 slot supports only 2G networks. The back cover is glossy and may be prone to scratches. Also, it does attract fingerprints.
Overall the handset looks decent, the build quality is quite good and you won’t really feel the handset’s weight.
Colourful FWVGA display with decent blacks, decent brightness levels BUT POOR VIEWING ANGLES!
With a 4.5 inch display, the Lava Iris 458Q proudly touts itself as a smartphone without entering the phablet territory. With a pixel density of 218 ppi, the display is relatively sharp and it is hard to find jagged edges around text despite the display not being retina-grade. Auto-brightness is available as the phone features an ambient light sensor.
The onscreen images are quite crisp albeit with relatively good colours. The blacks look very good for an LCD. Viewing angles are very poor. Alas, Lava did cut down its costs but it should have done so elsewhere rather than destroying an otherwise good display.
The Lava IRIS 458q runs Android 4.2.1 Jelly Bean out of the box.
The phone has a five-pane homescreen configuration and a standard set of widgets are included.
The notification bar is split into 2 columns where the first one shows you the notifications and on the other one you’ll find 14 toggles which include Owner Profile Widget, Airplane Mode, Battery Status, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, Data Connection, Data Usage, Audio Profiles, Brigtness, Display Timeout, Auto Rotation Lock, Guest Mode & Power Saving Mode.
The app drawer is pretty standard with 2 tabs. The first one is the apps tab which lists all the applications installed on the phone while widgets are listed under a separate tab.
The Lava Iris 458Q is powered by a MediaTek MT6589 chipset which packs a 1.2GHz Quad Core ARM Cortex-A7 processor, 512MB of RAM and PowerVR SGX544 GPU. It comes with 4GB of internal space out of which a total of 1010 MB is reserved for Apps while 1.8 GB is available to the user.
The CPU performance is good. It does pull its weight while executing apps and games and also making the interface feel relatively fluid and is a relatively good performer especially on a qHD display.
Games like Temple Run, Temple Run 2, Angry Birds, etc. run lag free and so do more demanding titles like Dead Trigger, NFS Most Wanted.
Here are some benchmarks –
TELEPHONY & MESSAGING
Unlike XOLO Q800, the LAVA IRIS 458Q is a little better in this department. The earpiece outputs a decent volume while not sacrificing quality. Callers on the other end were more or less satisfied with the call quality and although, they did mention the voice to be a little on the mettalic side, it was still passable. The phone offers nice reception and no dropped calls were experienced during the testing period.
The dialer is stock Android affair. There is a single call button on the bottom pressing which, the option to select a SIM card pops up(if a SIM to make outgoing calls is not assigned as default already). To the left of the call button is a contacts icon that takes you to your contacts list. To the right of the call button, there’s a menu which has 3 options – Speed Dial, Batch Delete & Settings.
The speaker phone’s output is neither too loud nor too quiet. You will have no troubles hearing your phone ring in most places except in extremely noisy outdoor surroundings.
There is nothing special about the messaging app. It looks and works like the stock android app. Fortunately, Auto rotation works here.
GALLERY, VIDEO & MUSIC PLAYERS
The default view of the gallery is Albums. It lists all the folders with Photos and Videos in the phone. Getting inside an album displays all the photos or videos in a rectangular grid, which is horizontally scrollable.
The Stock Video Player plays MP4 files upto 1080p resolution. A 3rd party player such as MX Player or Dice Player solves the limited codec support problem.
The processor handled 1080p videos like a champ.
The phone comes with Play Music as its default music app.
There is definitely something fishy about the sound quality of the Lava Iris 458q. There seems to be some pre-applied equalizer setting on normal mode which makes the music sound different than what it should.
The bundled earphones are average, if not poor. Companies do bundle these earphones for namesake. After using a better set of earphones, the sound quality was quite good but the pre-set equalizer spoils the otherwise good impression!
The LAVA IRIS 458Q, as a musician, is still good for some genres, if not most.
Overall, a middling performance in this department.
CAMERA – IMAGE QUALITY
As far as image quality is concerned, the Lava Iris 458q shoots 8MP photos, the quality of which in broad daylight is average, at best. The photos are certainly passable for Social Networking but not good enough for your regular prints. Low Light performance is mediocre and even with the led flash one could see minor difference. Overall, the Lava Iris 458Q does flaunt a less than worthy 8MP camera.
The flash is only helpful in close up photos. Being a single LED, it barely manages to provide enough lighting in pitch darkness.
Check out some of the camera samples :-
Due to the fairly capable processor, the Lava Iris 458Q manages to shoot videos upto 1280×720 pixels(720p). It uses 3gp container at a low bitrate which reduces the quality of videos.
The phone supports 2 SIM Cards. The 1st SIM Card slot supports 3G as well as 2G networks with 3G speeds maxing out at 21.1Mbps downlink. The 2nd SIM card slot supports only 2G networks. EDGE is supported on 2G networks for both the SIM slots.
We measured speeds averaging around 3 Mbps on an Airtel 3G network on a Wednesday evening.
The phone has no problems with receiving incoming calls even when data on the other SIM is being used.Local connectivity includes Wi-Fi b/g/n, Wi-Fi Hotspot, Wi-Fi Direct and Bluetooth. Wi-Fi reception is as good as a Samsung Galaxy S2.
The stock web browser on an Android phone, lately, has mostly been brilliant and here due to the decent processing power the browsing experience is pretty pretty good. It is miles ahead of Symbian browsers and also browsers of the yester-year’s Android phones. There are no lags when trying to browse a multimedia rich webpage.
So how long does a Dual SIM Quad Core phone with a moderately big 4.5″ display last on a 2000mAh battery? Well, it’ll certainly get you through a day with moderate usage (which includes a screen-on time of 2 hours and one of the SIMs always latched on to a 3G network). Be more brutal with your usage and you’ll hear the phone cry by evening.
It is still one of the better phones in this department as well. Most users will definitely get through one full working day and some may even find enough juice for the next 12 hours.
If you plan to use only 1 SIM card on the phone, you can expect the battery life to improve by roughly 25%.
The Lava IRIS 458Q’s flaws make it difficult to recommend it. While it does tick most boxes, it does have shortcomings which spoil the entire experience. While XOLO and LAVA are essentially 2 different brands under the same umbrella, it comes as a surprise that the XOLO Q700 and the XOLO Q800 are better handsets than Lava IRIS 458Q while being available in the same price range. If you need other alternatives, you can consider the Micromax A110 Canvas 2, Micromax A111 Doodle or the more sophisticated Micromax A116 Canvas HD which has a bigger 5″ 720p display going for it.
Another alternative can be the Lenovo P770 which has a monsterous battery. On other grounds, it features a weaker processor, inferior camera but does bring along a notification LED. To know more about the phone, you can read our review of the Lenovo P770
There is also Gionee Dream D1 which one can consider. Although its a little more expensive than the Lava Iris 458Q, it does feature a 720p HD 4.6″ Super AMOLED Display.
Among the more well known brands, you can pick up the Nokia Lumia 520 if you want to play with Windows Phone 8 instead.
At a price of INR 8500, Lava IRIS 458Q is an average buy – nothing more, nothing less.