After introducing some decent Android smartphones, Lava has now launched a 5-inch phablet called the Iris 501.
The Iris 501 has a curved design with the large capacitive touch display dominating the front above illuminated home, back and menu keys. A 3.5-mm headphone jack and charging port have been placed on the top, with volume controls on the left panel and power and lock keys on the other side. Although the device looks neat, it is comparatively heavy to hold.
The touch was responsive with no lag. Though this one too runs an Android Ice Cream Sandwich operating system, the user-interface has been customised with curved icons and is very refreshing. The pre-loaded apps here include CricketFever, Asphalt6, Fusion, Hike, Little Big City etc.
Lava’s tryst with Intel is limited to the Xolo range, so the Iris 501 runs on Mediatek’s chipset powered by a 1GHz dual-core processor with 512MB RAM. The browsing experience was really smooth and video too worked fine. But the phablet failed to rise to expectations when we used a data intensive app with some others running in the background.
This device comes with a 5MP rear camera which captures good images and videos. The 0.3MP front camera is just about okay for video calling.
The IRIS 501 has some shortcomings too. For instance, the screen has a poor viewing angle and there is just 1GB storage onboard for saving applications. Thankfully, this supports up to 32GB of expandable memory -- there is a 4GB memory card in the box. The Lava Iris 501 packs in a 2300 mAh battery that lasts a day-and-a-half between the charges.
Lava IRIS 501
Android ICS; 5-inch capacitive display; 5MP camera; 1GHz dualcore processor; 512MB RAM; 1GB internal storage, 32GB expandable; dual-SIM, 3G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth; 2300
mAh battery; 185 grams