Thanks to the low-end Android smartphones, the feature phone market is slowly but steadily dying. The local manufacturers are trying their best to gain some traction at the very bottom of this chain. To do exactly that, Spice Mobiles launched Spice Stellar Glide last month at a price of Rs. 5,199. On paper, it seems like a good enough device but as we have come to know Android, the OS has always given us a bumpy ride when it comes to the low end.
So, let’s find out if the Android powered Spice Stellar Glide is good enough at Rs. 5,199 or you’ll be better off with one of Nokia’s Asha offerings or other budget Android smartphones.
Spice Stellar Guide Specs:
- 4-inch OGS display
- WVGA (800x480p) resolution
- 1.3 GHz dual-core processor
- 512 MB RAM
- 4 GB internal memory
- microSD expansion up to 32 GB
- 2 MP primary camera
- 1.3 MP front facing camera
- Dual SIM (3G+3G)
- Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean
- 1350 mAh battery
What’s in the Box
The retail box of the Stellar Guide features everything you’d want, plus there’s a Flip cover included. Check out the contents of the box below:
- The Spice Stellar Guide
- micro USB cable
- USB charger plug
- In-ear headset
- The battery
- Flip Cover
- Booklets including warranty card, user manual etc..
Design and Hardware
Spice Stellar Glide features a design, which we think is good enough for its price. The low-end smartphone is available in White, Black and a cool Gold variant. We have the Gold variant with us. Sure, it feels plasticky but it does not feel overtly cheap. In fact, the Gold variant we have is on the flashy side of things and it might even impress you.
The device measures 145 x 79 x 9.5 mm and the thickness is okay for a phone of this caliber. It weighs in at 155 grams but it feels light, we presume that’s because of the good weight distribution in the internals of the device.
The front of the device incorporates the three capacitive buttons down below for menu (which doubles up as the multitasking key), home and back. For your information, the capacitive buttons here aren’t backlit. While on the top, there’s a 1.3 MP front facing camera and the usual sensors. The back features a 2 MP camera with an LED flash along with the speaker below. The back is removable, so you can swap the 1350 mAh battery with ease. Aside the battery, the back also houses the Dual SIM card slots and the microSD slot. The device features Dual SIM functionality and it uses the normal SIM cards.
The side features a metallic chrome and houses the usual buttons and ports. The top of the device features a micro USB port along with the 3.5 mm jack while the bottom of the device is clear of anything.
Coming to the sides, the left side of the device does not feature any keys while the right houses the lock buttons and the volume rockers. We have little qualms with the placement of the these buttons. The lock button and the volume rocker are placed very close to each other, resulting in a lot of accidental presses.
So, summing it up, the Stellar Glide features a good design for its price range and it also feels pretty good in the hand. The design won’t disappoint you.
Spice Stellar Glide features a 4-inch OGS (One Glass Solution) display of WVGA (800x480p) resolution, which makes up for a decent ppi of 233. The display is okay and we are keeping in mind the price. The display is sharp and vibrant but the viewing angles are virtually non-existent. When you look at the display straight on, it’s alright but as soon as you move sideways, the colors start to change.
There are a few issues with the touch responsiveness of the display. Sometimes it just fails to register a tap or a slide down for the notification shade, which makes the experience a little irritating. We don’t know if the OGS tech is at fault here.
The brightness of the display is good enough when indoors but sunlight visibility of the display is poor. At the Rs. 5,199 price, the display is decent but with hiccups. We hope Spice manages to fix the responsiveness issue though.
The Spice Stellar Glide comes with Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean and things are mostly stock here. Spice has changed the icons and tweaked the interface just a bit but there’s no major interface change.
Spice has pre-loaded some of its own apps and some third party apps, which might be useful to the user. Spice’s own apps include Spice Cloud and Spice Gang. Spice Cloud, as the name suggests lets you save your pictures, documents and files to the cloud while Spice Gang is not really an app, as it takes you to the Spice’s webpage of wallpapers and ringtones.
Spice has loaded the phone with several third party apps, which include: NQ Mobile Security, Facebook, FlashLight, Getit, GreetZAP, OLX, Quickr, Vault, Yahoo Weather, WeChat and WhatsApp. The device comes with most of the Google apps as well.
The music and video player are pretty basic but they do their job well and if you don’t like them, there are a plethora of options on the Play Store.
All in all, the user interface is good enough and we’re glad that it’s mostly stock.
Spice Stellar Glide comes with a 1.3 GHz dual-core processor combined with 512 MB RAM. As you would expect, the device is not a benchmark champion but we’ll have to see how it performs in the real world.
The device performs pretty well, which is commendable. Spice seems to have reduced some animations to make things quicker. The load times of apps are more and the gaming performance is inconsistent at times but the phone handles basic tasks with ease. Most basic games like Subway Surfers, Temple Run 2 work fine on the device but graphics intensive games stutter on the device. The device does heat up while playing games.
The ‘phone’ in the smartphone works okay. The network and call quality was pretty fine when we tested the device. This smartphone is aimed at first time smartphone buyers and the performance of this device should not disappoint them.
The Stellar Glide comes with a modest 1350 mAh battery, which is removable. The battery performance is average. Under light usage, the device will give you a good enough battery performance of a day and half. While under moderate usage, you can expect the battery to last a day or little less. The standby is good but the talktime is on the lesser side.
The games and media playback do take a toll on the battery and they consume the modest battery very quickly. Thankfully, the battery is removable, so you can keep a spare battery to swap while travelling.
The low end smartphone comes with a 2 MP rear camera with an LED flash. As the number suggests, we didn’t expect anything great from the camera. Spice had to cut corners and the camera is one place they have done exactly that.
Talking about the camera interface first, it’s the usual stock interface from Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean. The right features the capture button for both snaps and video along with settings and Gallery. The settings menu buries the other options such as scene mode, color effect, white balance, time lapse interval, continuous shot and more. The left features a pane consisting of the HDR mode, Panorama and Smile shot. The top right features shortcuts to flash and a button to change to the front facing cam.
Now, coming to the performance of the camera. In good light, the photos are okay but in dim light and low light, the camera disappoints. The pictures in bad lighting come with a lot of noise. With a low resolution 2 MP camera, this was expected and we surely did not expect wonders.
The front facing camera is a 1.3 MP unit and we don’t know what to say about it. Let’s say, it’s not really usable and put it to rest.
Spice Stellar Guide has its connectivity well covered. There’s Dual SIM with Dual Standby and both the SIM card slots support 3G connectivity, which is pretty great. Other connectivity options include Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, GPS and AGPS. All in all, the connectivity options work pretty fine, as you would expect from a modern smartphone.
The Spice Stellar Glide might not impress you with its specs. Instead it aims for a market, which has been living on feature phones. At its price, the other options include Nokia’s Asha series and other affordable Android smartphones. It does pretty well and it’s is good enough smartphone. The arrival of Moto E surely makes some dent but it’s priced at around Rs. 2000 more. So, people wanting an Android smartphone at around Rs. 5000 can surely live with Spice Stellar Glide.
- Good design
- Satisfactory performance
- Good battery standby
- 3G support on both SIM cards
- Below par cameras