Review: CSL Switch Mars Mi450 Dual-SIM Android Smartphone

 
CSL Mi450 browser loads LiewCF Tech Blog

CSL Mi450 browser loads LiewCF Tech Blog

Spice CSL launched two Android smartphones with Dual SIM Dual Standby capability, Switch MARS Mi450 (RM699) and Switch PLUTO Mi406 (RM599) in last February. I received a Mi450 loan unit for review. Read on to find out if it worth your money or not.

What’s in the box?

CSL Mi450 package

CSL Mi450 package

Inside the Mi450 package box, you get Mi450 phone, microUSB cable, charger head, headset, removable battery pack, 2x screen protector, warranty card, user manual, and 20 mins credit for S-unno, a VoIP call service.

Design

CSL Mi450 front

CSL Mi450 front

At the first glance, Mi450 looks like HTC One X. The design is sleek and has a curved plastic body with round corners, 2–3 millimeter (mm) thicker than iPhone 4S. The rear cover is a piece of thin plastic.

I like the Mi450 phone size. I think 4.5-inch is perfect for my hand size. The phone is not heavy, and curved body make it nice to be held in your hand.

4 capacitive buttons (home, menu, back, search) located at the bottom of the 4.5-inch display. At the top, you get 3.5mm audio jack and power button.

The rear camera is at the top center and LED flash located under it. Bottom of the back is speaker. Micro USB port is located at the side, volume control buttons at the other side.

Specs

CSL Switch MARS Mi450 is a 4.5-inch (960×540 pixels) display smartphone running Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich).

It is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 1.2GHz dual core CPU, with 512MB RAM and 4GB ROM. Mi450 supports Micro SD up to 32GB. The smartphone is equipped with dual camera: 5MP auto focus with LED flash rear camera and VGA front camera.

Mi450 supports Dual SIM Dual Standby (more on this later), WiFi 802.11b/g, WiFi Direct, DLNA, Bluetooth, A-GPS. Removable battery’s capacity is 1800 mAh, standby time up to 4 days as claimed.

Apps

Mi450 app icons

Mi450 app icons

Personally, I dislike Android phone with many pre-installed apps because they are mostly useless and affecting the system performance. Mi450 doesn’t have the problem. What you get is an Android smartphone with a clean and simple theme with cute rounded corners app icons.

TouchPal Input V5 is pre-installed to help you type faster and better on touchscreen phone. S-unno VoIP app is also pre-installed allows you to make cheap International calls/messaging (20 mins credit included in the box).

Performance

The display’s colour is good, text is clear but too easy to leave prints on the glass. The small speaker at the back is surprising loud. When you hold the phone, the sound from the speaker actually bounces back to you you through your palm.

Mi450 benchmark results

Mi450 benchmark results

According to AnTuTu Benchmark, S CSL Switch MARS Mi450 received 6,615 points. Slightly lower than Samsung Galaxy Nexus, which is also powered by dual-core 1.2GHz CPU. In Quadrant benchmark, Mi450 scored higher than Samsung Galaxy Nexus, received 2,652 points. For your reference, the latest high-end Android smartphones are scoring over 10,000 in AnTuTu Benchmark.

Though not a high-end smartphone, Mi450 does not have problems handling most of the mobile games in the market. I tested Angry Birds, Death Dome (3D), Temple Run (3D) and the performance is good. No lag, no crash. It took some time to load the games, though.

Dual SIM Dual Standby

CSL Mi450 with dual SIMs installed

CSL Mi450 with dual SIMs installed

CSL Mi450 supports Dual SIM Dual Standby, a feature you won’t get in high-end smartphone. Dual SIM Dual Standby is useful that you can use two phone numbers (example: Home and Work) in one phone.

There’s two SIM slots under the rear cover. Only one support 3G (WCDMA) and the other is 2G (GSM) only. Make sure you have insert the correct SIM card.

Installing SIM cards is easy, simply remove the battery pack and slot in the SIMs. No tool needed.

Mi450 dual sim feature

Mi450 dual sim feature

Under Android Settings, you can turn on/off each SIM. There’s a small SIM icon in SMS message to indicate the message was sent to which SIM number. You can select which SIM to be used in Calls and SMS.

Camera

CSL Mi450 5MP auto focus rear camera

CSL Mi450 5MP auto focus rear camera

Nothing “WOW” about Mi450 5MP camera. The control is basic — touch to focus, tap to shoot. Auto focusing delay is about 1 second, and camera capture delay is 0.5 to 1 second. No burst shots.

Mi450 camera settings

Mi450 camera settings

I found the photos are over contrast and colour are a bit off. Check out the sample photos captured by Mi450 below. Click to enlarge for full-size photos. All are not edited.

LiewCF’s Buying Advice

Comparing to other budget smartphones in the market, S CSL Switch MARS Mi450 has bigger display and better body design that runs Android 4.0 (latest version is 4.2 Jelly Bean).

I would recommend Mi450 to those people who need to carry two phone numbers on-the-go and only need a middle range smartphone with larger display.

  • Pro:
    • Sleek design
    • Dual SIM Dual Standby
    • Uncluttered Android 4.0 (ICS)
    • 4.5-inch display
  • Con:
    • Plastic build body
    • Camera is so-so
  • Rate: 3.5/5
  • Price: RM699

S CSL Malaysia

I would like to thank S CSL for the opportunity to review S CSL Switch MARS Mi450. This is a paid product review with honest write-up. Interesting to submit your products for review? Get in touch with me.

 

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7 Responses to Review: CSL Switch Mars Mi450 Dual-SIM Android Smartphone

  1. Tammy Lim March 15, 2013 at 2:02 am #

    thanks for sharing and detailed review! O_O this is my first time reading gadget reviews… impressive……… coverage…. and comparison!

    • LiewCF March 15, 2013 at 12:26 pm #

      Thank you, Tammy. You made my day! :)

  2. cursor System March 22, 2013 at 8:29 am #

    From your review, I think This phone need to be bought

  3. Attiah Najwa November 6, 2013 at 2:24 am #

    which one would you recommend? s mars or s pluto?

    • Liew Cheon Fong November 6, 2013 at 3:25 am #

      S MARS has better specs. By the way, you can check out other brands at the same price range such as Huawei, HTC, Sony, etc.

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