Previously known as Mango Man, Bengaluru based tech-start up Creo is pitting against the likes of Chinese as well as Indian smartphone makers. The company has unleashed its heavily spec’d mid-range smartphone Mark 1, and is boasting off a unique deal in the hardware dominated smartphone market. To recall, this is the same company that unveiled the HDMI TV Tongle- Teewe as a reliable Chromecast alternative at a reasonable price tag.
As for smartphone experience, we haven’t seen much from Creo, but are expecting something a lot different from other kids on the block. Mark 1 aims on creating a majestic software ecosystem with monthly feature upgrades on its new and intuitive Fuel OS. It runs on the top of stock Android, has been priced at Rs. 19,999, taking a straight stab against the likes of Moto X Play, One Plus X, Lenovo Vibe X3 and other players.
So the question is, does the smartphone truly stands out or it’s just another piece of junk with nothing more than on-paper specs. After seeing a slew of marketing gimmicks, we wish this one to be on our side! So, let’s find out.
Design and Build Quality
In the battle of creating a well optimized OS, Creo stopped giving attention to the details, especially on the design front. The company has followed the same design strategy that almost all sub-20k smartphones are offering today: a sandwich of metal and glass. It incorporates a grey aluminium frame with matte finish and features round power button and volume rockers adding a dash of class and style.
On whole, we like the look of Creo Mark 1, but when it comes to single handed usage and overall profile, it is not the phone you’d wish to have after spending 20k. It tips on the scale at 190 grams, and is definitely a big failure against players like Vibe X3 and OnePlus X.
Display and Visual Experience
Unlike most mid-range phones, Creo Mark 1 boasts a meticulously crafted 5.5-inch 2k display and endows vibrant and crisp visuals. It’s currently one of the most affordable smartphones with Quad-HD, and is taking a dig against all mid-range smartphones including Vibe X3, OnePlus X, and Moto X Play, and even Xiaomi Mi5 and OnePlus 2. Even the latest Nexus 5X ships with a full-HD display and not a highly detailed Quad-HD display.
Visual experience on Mark 1 is a real treat for gamers and movie-buffs. The handset makes up a great story altogether, and looks perfect to naked eyes with rich colours and enhanced brightness levels. When you’re outdoors, it will give you perfect viewing angles with good level brightness and when you’re indoors in dim light, it will adjust automatically retaining a strain-free reading or browsing experience.
Performance and Internals
Just like other mid-rangers, Creo Mark 1 makes use of MediaTek Helio X10 octa-core chipset, running at 1.95GHz. The device pairs up with 3GB of RAM and as per on paper specs, looks like a decent contender to take on the likes of OnePlus X and Vibe X3. It handles multiple applications easily, but the real world performance is not as impressive as we expect from a well-equipped mid-range device. Minors lags and delays in app-loading effects the everyday usage experience, and takes the bar below those smartphones that perform much better at a lower price tag.
Medium-level games are handled effectively, but switching towards graphic intensive games or apps directly leading to excessive heating. In our opinion, the overall performance of this phone is exactly what Helio X10 delivers on other smartphones. The performance is pretty much slick but occasional snags and heating troubles make it tough for heft users.
Software and UI
Running on top of Android 5.1 Lollipop, the Fuel OS bundled with Creo Mark 1 packs a bunch of nifty tweaks alongside monthly feature upgrades on the basis of user suggestions. The OS looks pretty much inspired form vanilla Android, but things like Echo, Sense, Notification Manager, Retriever etc. add a lot into the package, and draw a clear line of difference.
The “Refuel” app brings in regular updates and offers, “Sense” enables you to locate anything on your phone by double tapping on the home-button from any screen, “Echo” serves as a built-in answering machine in your absence, and “notification manager” allows you to block or unblock notifications from apps with a single tap.
On whole, the software of this device delivers seamless performance and makes a great package with regular bug fixes and feature upgrades from the company. It continues to get better every month.
Creo Mark 1 delivers stand out camera performance and tells the most precious story with a super-impressive 21-megapixel snapper bundled with a Sony IMX230 sensor with Phase Detection Auto-Focus. It endows lifelike images with fine details and natural colours, incorporates the power to shoot picture-perfect images and videos even conditions with dim light. We like the performance of this camera sensor that not just complements photography, but also shoots 4k as well as slow-mo videos in high-quality.
Even the front-facing shooter of this device looks good. It bears an 8-megapixel sensor, and is paired with a plethora of features such as, 3D selfies, beautify, and a lot more. It’s focus speed and low-light performance is also exemplary!
So, this is all about the new Creo Mark 1 mid-ranged smartphone. The device looks like a nice buy for 20k, but there’s still a lot room for improvement from the Bengaluru based start-up. No doubt, it’s an appreciable smartphone with a commendable design, hardware, and software, but if you’re shopping for a phone under 20k and you don’t want to experiment with something new and fancy, we’ll suggest you some other phone, maybe the popular OnePlus X, Lenovo Vibe X3, Moto X Play. As for Creo, the company is new today, but can definitely make it big in near future!