Centric A1 Review: Great design and good value for money

Smartphones

Budget phones are all the rage among buyers nowadays. And why not? They get the basic job done just like any flagship phone would – and do not cost a bomb. Priced at Rs. 10,999, the Centric A1 is another new entrant aiming to make a mark in a fiercely competitive budget category of phones in India.  We recently received the handset for a review, let’s find out whether it has what it takes to be a worthy competitor in the segment.

Box Contents

  • User Manual
  • Warranty card
  • Transparent back cover
  • Tempered glass
  • Earphones
  • Micro sim eject pin
  • USB Type-C cable
  • Charger

Design

The first thing you notice is the Centric A1’s impeccable design. It certainly looks cutting edge from every angle you look at. The near bezel-free screen blends flawlessly into the frame, while the subtly curved edges and metal frame give it a premium look and feel. The Centric A1 looks nothing like a budget phone, all thanks to its metal unibody design. This is one of the best-looking smartphones I’ve come across at this price point.

Display

The phone has a 5.5-inch, 1920 x 1080-pixel display that is rather sharp and vivid. Viewing angles are good and the screen is very legible even under direct sunlight. And thanks to the 72.02% screen to body ratio, the Centric A1 is ideal for binge-watching your favorite TV shows or to play high-end games.

Performance

The Centric A1 not only looks great but also performs like a high-end phone. With a 64-bit Snapdragon octa-core processor bundled with 3GB of RAM under the hood, the device handles basic tasks such as browsing, casual gaming, and multitasking at ease. To test the handset’s gaming performance, I also fired a few high-end games like Real Racing and Asphalt 8 – and the Centric A1 did not disappoint. There were no instances of lag or dropped frame rates during the entire session. You’d only find a hint while playing a game on highest settings and at the same time have too many apps or browsers running in the background. Otherwise, the phone offers top-notch performance whether you’re playing games, watching HD videos, or jiggling multiple apps at once.

In our synthetic benchmark tests, the handset racked up an Antutu score of 571109. In Geekbench 4, the Centric A1 pulled off single and multi-core scores of 658 and 2489 respectively.

Not to forget, the handset’s fingerprint scanner is nicely housed on the back. Its super-fast, responsive, and intuitive. I also loved the audio quality of the phone, which packs a punch thanks to DTS sound support. The technology essentially helps deliver crisp and sharp sound quality whether you’re listening on headphones or external speakers.

Software

The phone runs clean, unadulterated stock Android 7.1.1 Nougat. Hence, the OS feels rather smooth and lag-free and adds to the overall experience. Though it lacks the traditional app drawer. Instead, you’re supposed to swipe up or long press an arrow key in the center to open the app list or search for apps.

Battery

The Centric A1 has a 3000mAh battery that is rated to deliver a standby time of 210 hours and 15 hours of talk time. I got about 11 hours on a single charge, with Wi-Fi, a little bit gaming, and streaming HD videos on YouTube. Now, this isn’t what we’d call impressive but it’s at par with other devices in the price range.

However, the Centric A1 comes with Quick Charge 3.0 – which means the device charges faster compared to standard USB charging. I connected the phone with the bundled charger at 0 percent and got 60 percent charge in a matter of 30 minutes. Pretty impressive we’d say!

Camera

The Centric A1 features a 13MP primary camera with f/2.0 aperture and dual LED flash. Daylight shots looked sharp and crisp with plenty of details to look at. The handset even manages to capture sufficient details in low-light, but images do tend to get blurry and grainy in low-light – especially around the edges. The rear camera also offers plenty of options to tinker with, such as the ability to set ISO level, different aspect ratios and so on. It also offers features like auto face detection and red-eye reduction.

For selfies, there’s an 8MP front-facing shooter bundled with a flash. Photos shot with the front cam also looked rather impressive with crisp and detailed selfies. Not to mention, it also offers an extra-wide 90-degree field of view which means you can take better group photos with your friends or colleagues. Given the price of the phone, we found the handset’s front and rear cameras rather impressive.

The Verdict

If you’re on the lookout for a budget smartphone that ticks all boxes, then you’re in luck – as the Centric A1 is a handset that ticks every box. From its astounding design to its top-notch performance and brilliant display, the Centric A1 is a phone with no compromises. No, we haven’t been paid to praise. At Rs. 10,999, I’d be hard-pressed if you can find phones that look better than the Centric A1.

Besides, it’s a real workhorse and leaves you impressed with its consistent performance across the board. It has all the tools for the modern-day smartphone user – and all at a rather irresistible price point.

Last modified: February 27, 2018

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