A complete smartphone for less than PKR 10,000 (100$) is an impossibility? Absolutely not with the new iDroid BALR X7! The smartphone industry has undergone this recent change where it has shifted its focus from expensive flagships to more efficient and cheaper smartphones. Prime examples are already thriving in the market and this new addition from iDroid is bound to have similar fate. The smartphone comes from a brand started of in the USA. The BALR X7 is the most cheapest smartphone the brand offers and also the most advertised one. We will be detailing the iDroid BALR X7 in a complete review right below.
Phones like the iDroid BALR X7 make us rethink whether we should even spend 5 times the price of it on other flagships. All that we expect from a smartphone is done quite well by the BALR X7 and some flagship characteristics have been added as icing on the cake. Definitely, to cut price, there are compromises, a good number of them but the real question is, do these sacrifices ruin the feasibility of buying a smartphone for 10,000RS? Read more to find out.
As always, before we proceed, lets get the technical bit out of the way.
iDroid BALR X7: Technical Specifications
- Processor Quad Core Processor 1.3 Ghz
- RAM 1GB
- Memory 16GB Extendable upto 32 GB SD Card
- Display 5.5″ TFT – LCD HD 1280*720 pixels
- Dimensions 153.8*77*8.3mm
- Front 5MP
- Rear 8MP
- Weight 187
- Operating System Android OS, v5.1 (Lollipop)
- Colors Black, Gold
- Battery 2800 mAh
iDroid BALR X7: Design and Hardware
It’s easy to give premium materials and glass all around when you are charging 500$+ for a smartphone but when you offer a metal ring in a phone that costs barely 100$, you are bound to gain attention. The BALR X7 from iDroid sticks to basics, a bar shaped phone with an ample enough screen size of 5.5 inches, metal rim surrounding the phone and a plastic back which is, of course, removable. On the other hand, the iDroid BALR X7 lacks back lit touch buttons and a single microphone which means there would be no noise cancellation during calls.
The large 5.5 inch screen is manageable but certainly not the best we have seen in budget smartphones. It employs TFT technology paired with a 1280×720 resolution. Text is clear enough, colors are okay and viewing angles are okay as well. Rest of the hardware, there is quite much to adore. To start, the back is removable which then reveals two SIM slots both only 3G capable and a microSD card slot. Moreover, rather than offering 8GB like many competitors, the iDroid BALR X7 comes with 16GB of built-in storage and, as mentioned before, is expandable with the microSD card slot. Believe it or not, the iDroid BALR X7 comes with a 3.5mm jack. Since this has been skipped on some recent phones, we will be mentioning about the audio jack in all our reviews now.
Some unique additions are the front facing flash which didn’t help much but it will appeal to some anyhow. Moreover, their is dual flash LEDs on the back to help with lighting. The speaker grills are a total of two in number located at the bottom. Unfortunately, only one of them acts as a speaker while the other is just for symmetry of the design. iDroid BALR X7 uses a micro-USB slot for all its data transfers and charging needs. There aren’t any major hardware cuts as we initially anticipated and to our surprise, the phone employs front proximity and light sensors which are getting absent on some similarly priced phones.
iDroid BALR X7: Camera
The iDroid BALR X7 camera is nothing spectacular. It gets the job done but nothing more. The front camera is 5MP and the rear one is 8MP. The rear camera module is equipped with Dual-LED flash and the front module is assisted with a single flash as well. We, personally, don’t like the idea of flash photos but if the lighting is bad, the sensor on this phone suffers hence a flash is required.
Furthermore, the camera app is very simple and has HDR built-in. There is noticeable lag between you pressing the shutter and the phone actually taking the picture. This lag increases when HDR is turned on due to processing times. Lastly, the focus is good but again, takes some time. You can take good pictures, as shown in our sample photos, with good lightning and patience.
iDroid BALR X7: Connectivity, Memory and Battery
The iDroid BALR X7 is a dual-SIM smartphone. Both SIMs, however, are only 3G capable. As for the memory, the phone has a limited 1GB serving of RAM coupled with 16GB storage. And as we already said, this storage can easily be expanded by using a microSD card slot. The battery on this phone is quite good, one of the strong suits of this phone.
The battery is rated at 2800mAh and can be removed and swapped easily. We gauged a day worth of usage easily on a single charge with some to spare. This is really good battery life since many flagships don’t even offer this much battery time these days.
iDroid BALR X7: Software
The brand didn’t spend time messing with the User Interface of Android which is a good thing and a bad thing. The good is, the app drawer interface is quite fast and snappy. On the other hand, the bad news is, the camera app is mediocre and same goes for other bundled in apps. Thankfully, it is Android, you can install third-party apps for each use-case scenario and customize the phone to your liking. The phone has built-in OTA (over-the-air) update system which will allow you to automatically update your phone’s software.
Buy iDroid Balr X7: Want to buy this Android phone (Pakistan only)? You can get it for just Rs. 9,500 from Yayvo by TCS: yayvo.com/idroid