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Micromax Canvas Sliver 5 hands on review: World’s slimmest phone from an Indian brand

It’s tough to escape Micromax’s high voltage ad campaign with Hugh Jackman for the Sliver 5.

Ashwin Rajagopalan

New Delhi: A few years ago it would have been impossible to visualise a Hollywood A-lister like Hugh Jackman endorsing an Indian smartphone brand. It’s tough to escape Micromax’s high voltage ad campaign with Hugh Jackman for the Sliver 5.

At 5.1 mm, the Sliver may not be the thinnest phone – there are devices which have crossed the sub 5mm threshold but there’s one reason that still gives Micromax bragging rights. It is the thinnest phone ‘end-to-end’ that means no bumps or protrusions that some of the other slim devices have not been able to avoid.

The device looks very slinky with clean lines and crafted with aircraft grade aluminium. If there’s an element of déjà vu, its because the device looks similar to some of Micromax’s slim devices like the Knight 2 except its remarkably slimmer. Micromax manages to cram a standard 3.5mm headphone slot and Micro USB slot at the bottom.

That’s a welcome relief, some other slim devices don’t come with the 3.5 mm jack. The power button rests on the right spine (just below the Nano SIM slot) while the volume rocker is on the left spine – the feedback is quite tactile. The camera lens and LED flash are placed on the top left corner. The device is truly feather light weighing just 97 gms and that might as well be one of the device’s biggest draws.

Slim phones have to play a tough game to cram top of the line specs within a slim frame. The Sliver 5 features a 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon Quad Core Processor with 2GB of RAM. The performance is quite swift and multi tasking is quite seamless too, if there’s a minor crib it is the speed at which the camera fires up.

The Sliver 5 clocked 21698 on our AnTuTu Benchmark test, lower than Xiaomi MI 2. On our PC Mark (work performance) test the Sliver managed a decent 3418. One of the pet peeves about slim devices is the lack of external memory support, it’s the same story with the Sliver 5, there’s 16GB onboard memory without the external memory option. The other slight let down is the battery; it’s certainly not a deal breaker but the 2000 mAh battery just manages a day at the office as long as you don’t push it too hard.

The AMOLED HD screen (720 x 1280 pixels) packs 306 Pixels per inch (PPI). It’s 4.8 inches and is almost perfect for your hand and pocket. The Sliver 5’s speaker is powered with Dirac HD sound and NXP power amplifier, while the sound quality is reasonably good, it doesn’t quite pack a serious punch. It’s a growing trend, more and more mobile shooters are giving the front cam more love than the primary cam.

The Sliver 5 almost joins that list! The 5MP front shooter clicks some very good selfies even in low light. The 8MP rear cam is equipped with a Sony IMX219 sensor and shoots good images in ambient light though low light images are not terrific. The Sliver 5 comes with Android KitKat out of the box. We like how Micromax keeps its bloatware to a minimum with the exception of a few pre-installed, India-specific Apps.

The Sliver 5 is clearly a device that will ride on its form factor and its good looks. It’s not all design though, the Sliver 5 is backed by a decent hardware spec sheet (given its sub Rs 20,000 price tag). Just like other slim devices battery life and the lack of an extendable memory could hurt its prospects slightly. But if you are in the market for an ultra slim phone and not willing to spend more than Rs 20,000, there are few better options than the Sliver 5.