Karbonn Titanium S5 Review: A sluggish flagship smartphone

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The Karbonn Titanium S5 was launched a few months back with some beefed up hardware specifications for that price segment and is now available for INR 10990 in the local market.

Karbonn Titanium S5 Review

With these phones Karbonn mobiles is trying to make its mark in the Indian market by launching various quad core dual SIM phones with IPS displays.

You might know it but these days you can’t trust the specifications and benchmarks to take a decision. Benchmarks can be faked and specs can be misleading. So, here we are with the detailed review of the Karbonn mobiles’ top dog, the Titanium S5.

Before I start with the review, I want to share something with you. I check every phone for some special features which might be its USP but the S5 left me disappointed on this front. I couldn’t find any new spicy feature for which you might be tempted to buy this phone which left me wondering, “Why did Karbonn make this phone?

Specifications: (Look) Super Duper

Hardware

Karbonn Titanium S5

Chipset MSM 8625Q , Snapdragon 200 series
Processor (CPU) 1.2GHz quad-core Cortex-A5
GPU Adreno 203
RAM 1 GB
Display Type IPS LCD 16M colors
Size & Resolution 5 inch, qHD (540×960 px) display, 220.29 ppi
Camera PrimarySecondary 8MP, AF, LED FlashVideo Recording- 720p @30fps2MP, Video- 480p @12fps
Android OS 4.1.2 JB
Battery 2000 mAh
Memory 4GB internal ( Available- 1.4 GB), up to 32GB via microSD card
Connectivity USB Micro USB v2.0
EDGE Yes
HSPA+ Yes
WLAN 802.11 /b/g/n, Wi-Fi Hotspot, Wi-Fi Direct
Bluetooth V2.1
GPS Yes, with A-GPS
Dimensions 143.4 x 72.4 x 8.95 mm
Weight NA
Sensors Proximity, Ambient Light, Accelerometer, Digital Compass
Dual SIM Yes
Colors White,
Online Price 10399 INR
SAR Value 0.403 W/kg

  • Big display

  • Lacks secondary mic for noise cancellation
  • Heats up even while plugged into the AC charger
  • Captured photos are dull
  • Hangs frequently
  • Buggy firmware (can’t use the keypad in landscape mode in messages with auto rotate ON)

Box Contents

Design: Nothing new here

The Titanium S5 is made up glossy plastic and doesn’t look like a flagship device. The front side looks refreshing but the back panel is too plain and boring. The thin bezel, perforations on the plastic body for the earpiece and loudspeakers make the S5 look somewhat different than the others.

Build quality is something this phone doesn’t have. It looks fragile and flimsy. The volume rocker and power button have a lot of play and look like they’ll come off the phone any moment.

With its thickness close to 9 mm this phone doesn’t make you feel special. The grip is okay but up to what you might expect in a flagship device.

The Ambient light sensor, proximity sensors and the 2MP front camera are placed on the left of the earpiece.

Despite the other missing features this phone also misses out on a dedicated mic for noise cancellation. This means that the listener would not be able to enjoy your voice while you are in crowded places/traffic.

User Interface: Stock Android

It looks like Karbonn has spent too much on the packaging and didn’t take any efforts to add some customizations to interface or the skin. The Titanium S5 relies totally on the stock android interface and even lack some controls for the camera interface.

The transitions and animations are smooth but they are the courtesy of project Butter which is integrated into the Android Jelly Bean by Google.

The haptic capacitive buttons provide good response and do not misfire.

 

Display : Average

The Karbonn Titanium is equipped with a 5 inch IPS LCD qHD (540×960 pixels) display which translates to a pixel density of 220.

The display doesn’t have protection of any kind so screen-guard is a must.

It produces good colors with average sharpness. Karbonn still has to learn a lot from Lava and start equipping their phones with sharp displays.

The display is not very bright and you would have to use it on full brightness if you out in the Sun or you can set the brightness on “Auto”. The viewing angles are bearable and won’t become the cause of neck pain.

This big display is also difficult to operate with a single hand.

Sound and Multimedia: Belongs to the previous decadeKarbonn Titanium S5- The Loudspeaker

The audio levels also are not impressive but it is decent enough for you to not miss calls.

The default music player also has standard features like shuffle, repeat and an equalizer. Nothing special and it also doesn’t support .aac format for music tracks.

The default video player is also no different than the music player. First of all it can’t play .flv and and secondly it doesn’t have any options to share the current video. Weird!

Strangely, the 1080p .mp4 videos looked like a slideshow on this quad-core phone. Karbonn, what have you done!

 

Music Equalizer and Player Options

 Typing: You can’t use the keypad in landscape mode

The portrait keypad mode lets you type easily using some predictive dictionary similar to swipe but the due to some bugs in the firmware we could not try typing in the landscape mode.

And it swype is troublesome for you then you can always use the default Voice dictation.

Browsing: Made us happy about the phonebrowser options

Browsing was the only thing that the phone was able to do easily. The pages were rendered quickly and the scrolling was also smooth. Pinch to zoom is present and flash content is also supported.

 

Camera: A mixed bag of cookies

Karbonn Titanium S5 Review- Rear cam and LED Flash

The Titanium S5 sports an 8MP primary camera with AF and a single LED Flash. It can capture photos a resolution of 3264×2448 pixels and record 720p videos @30fps. On the other hand, the 2MP front cam can capture 480p video footage @12fps and capture stills with a resolution of 1200×1600 pixels.

The images captured with this 8MP shooter look natural and retains good amount of detail but the fine details are lost due to over-processing.
The Auto-focus takes some time to focus on the desired object. The camera doesn’t take exposure levels into account. As a result, the images looks white and washed out till you focus on the object yourself. Also the camera needs to be protected from the sunlight at all times (reminds me of good old film camera).

The camera UI is also completely different from other phone based on android 4.1. It lacks HDR mode, 3D shot, image stabilization and many other standard features in today’s phones.

It performs surprisingly well in low light scenarios but again the fine details were lost. The LED flash also does a decent job at illuminating the dark scenes.

The 2MP front camera which you can use for video chatting is good for nothing. It captures good amount of details but produces false colors. At one angle it made by face look like white like a vampire and at the other angle my face turned to yellow!

Untouched Camera Samples

Here are some camera benchmarks which might come in handy:

Camera start-up time- 2.25 sec

Time to see the image preview- 1.6 sec

 

Hardware Performance: Even worse than the dual-cores

The 1.2GHz quad-core processor is not up to our expectations. The phone lags at handling big files and is also unable to play full HD videos.

In our multi-tasking test, the Titanium S5 could not even run Temple Run Oz smoothly with the video settings set to high. The phone also heats up very quickly even when it is plugged into an AC wall charger. Don’t even think about playing high end games on it.

Here are some timing benchmarks:

Startup Time 31.96 s
Power-Down Time 10.51 s

Sadly, there is no option to restart the phone.

Benchmark Score
Antutu 9367
Quadrant Standard 4489
Nenamark 2 34.1 Fps
Sunspider 0.91 (lower is better) 1849.4 ms

Benchmarks Scores Screenshots:

Pre-installed Apps and Games

The S5 comes with the following pre-installed apps:
Kingsoft office, Yahoo Messenger, nexGTv, Paytm, Popi, We Chat, Google Chrome, Flipboard, TOI.

Connectivity: Standard Options

The Titanium S5 is well covered on the connectivity and supports useful facilities like A-GPS Bluetooth, 2G, 3G, micro USB, Wi-Fi Hotspot and Wi-Fi Direct.

Karbonn Titanium S5 Review- microSD and SIM slots

Batteryback panel-handset-battery

This Karbonn smartphone is powered up by a 2000 mAh battery which holds sufficient amperes to power up this phone for a single day. The stated standby time is 200 hours on both 2G and 3G while the talk time is 13 and 11 hours and 2G and 3G respectively.

Final Verdict

Built for Eskimos

The Karbonn Titanium S5 brings nothing new to the market but proves but ineffectiveness of Karbonn at optimizing their mobiles. You can’t enjoy high graphics games and even worse you can’t feast your eyes to full HD content on this phone.
The only good thing is that it can keep your hands warm and hence Eskimos will love this phone.

  • Suffering from myopia and need a phone with large display

  • Love gaming
  • Watch FHD videos
  • Travel to crowded places frequently
  • Like photography
  • Can’t tolerate performance lags

Device sponsored by Singh Mobile Shopee

Contact them at the below mentioned number/address and tell them you found them through MobileJury to get the best deals. Ph. 020-65119006
Add: Office No 3, Om chambers JM Road, Pune - 4110005

3 Comments

  • Priyajit Patra says:

    I am using this phone for about 5-6 months now.But the phone didn’t disappointed me. As you said the brousing experience is good but disagree with you that karbonn should have spend more in customisation of os (skins) Stock android has a different feel a different user experience like the nexus devices do. Adding extra feachers which are often unnessery doesn’t makes the phone good always.and in performance my phone almost always scores above 11000. Its performance according to antutu and quadrant are better then Samsung galaxy S2. And its quite smooth. This was all before rooting my phone last month after rooting the things are even more good now enjoying android 4.4 KitKat experience ROM.

    • Anand Karwa says:

      Hi Priyajit,
      The definition of performance varies from person to person. For an iphone 5S user, Galaxy S3 is not very fast but a person who has moved from Galaxy Y to S3 will love the performance of S3.

      Many users like android vanilla but many like the extra features added by the custom skinds. Its again a personal opinion.

  • Manish says:

    Karbonn Mobiles Worst Service Center Experience In Hyderabad, A.P. Read out the real story of the victim here – http://goo.gl/Ip2CJ0. Please share this and make people aware of waste service Companies.

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