Mumbai-based manufacturer Priyanka Telecom’s latest offering is the sub-Rs. 7000 handset called the Centric L3. It certainly looks good with its iPhone-like demeanor but has it got enough to be a worthy challenger in the ever-growing and fiercely competitive budget category of handsets in the country. Priced at under INR 7,000, we put the handset through its paces to find out whether it’s worth the buck.
As already mentioned, the Centric L3 features a rather attractive design. The full glossy back finish along with subtly curved edges lends it a distinctive and attractive look. It’s also ergonomically designed that fits ever so nicely in the palm of your hand. The 5-inch screen size makes it easier for the thumb to reach all that screen real estate. That being said, the phone is made out of plastic which might be a worry those on the lookout for handset made out of metal. Also, the glossy back is rather prone to attract fingerprint smudges.
The Centric L3 gets a 5-inch 720p high-definition display which performs well in real-world usage. The screen has decent viewing angles, colors look neutral, and there’s enough brightness to cope with direct sunlight. All in all, the display is ideal whether you’re browsing the web, streaming videos, or working on spreadsheets and documents.
The handset’s innards are solidly mid-range, which is exhibited in its real-world performance. It runs Mediatek’s MTK6737 quad-core processor bundled with 2GB of RAM. The combination works rather well for basic tasks such as calling, browsing, and a bit of multitasking. Though fire up a few high-end games and you see signs of slowing down and lags creeping in, which suggests that the handset isn’t meant for high-end gaming or processor intensive tasks. That said, I didn’t come across any issues while running basic games such as Subway Surfer and Temple Run. In our synthetic benchmark tests, the handset managed an Antutu score of 35032.
Elsewhere, the Centric L3 also features a fingerprint sensor on the front which unlocks the device in less than a second, however, at times it couldn’t recognize my thumbprint.
The Centric L3 gets a 3050mAh battery that powers the handset for about 10 hours on a single charge. For heavy users, the device runs out of battery in about 5 hours. However, the device comes with intelligent power saving feature that helps improve battery life when not in use. There’s no support for fast charging though given its a sub Rs 7000 device. With the bundled charger, the handset takes nearly 3 hours to reach 100 percent once fully discharged.
The Centric L3 runs a near stock version Android 7.0 Nougat with very subtle tweaks. Navigating around the phone’s UI felt smooth as there’s minimal bloatware. There’s support for the motion and shake gestures to mute incoming calls, take photos, change wallpapers, or skip tracks.
The Centric L3 gets a 13MP primary camera that comes with an LED flash and autofocus. The camera, however, turned out to be a mixed bag in real-world usage. Daylight and macro shots clicked on the Centric L3 came out fairly detailed and vibrant, however, there’s a lot of shutter lag which often results in blurry images. The phone captures a decent amount of details in daylight, though shots taken indoors seemed dull and grainy around the edges. Images taken in low-light aren’t great either as shots came out rather blurry.
For selfies, there’s a 5-megapixel front-facing shooter with support for flash which does well at clicking selfies. But then again, it struggles in low-light as selfies appeared grainy and lacked details.
The handset supports Full HD video recording and we’d say the video quality is quite satisfactory given the phone’s price.
Is it worth the buck?
Priced at under Rs.7000, the Centric L3 is a good bang for your buck. It looks fabulous, is totally capable of churning out a consistent day to day performance, and takes decent pictures compared to other phones in the price range. The phone’s gaming performance isn’t up to the mark, however, shouldn’t be a deal breaker given its moderate price tag. Being a relatively new entrant, we’d say the manufacturer has done a fairly good job. If you want to spend around Rs. 7,000 on a smartphone, you can also check out alternatives such as the Smartron t.phone P, the Redmi 5A, or the Infocus Vision 3.