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Published On: Sun, Jan 27th, 2013

Karbonn A21 Review: A 4.5-inch Android Smartphone

Karbonn is making news these days by launching a series of smartphones and that too at moderate to low price for its budget friendly customers. The manufacturer is into creating low cost or moderate ranged cellphones and it is offering a host of devices that are loaded with advanced specifications and features. For more information, read the Karbonn A21 review.

Design and Display

The device has great appeal for its design and aesthetic feel from exterior. It has dual tone black and white body that makes it look classy and not cheap. The back cover of this mobile is built strongly and features durable plastic with semi-matte finish with a bit of glossy touch. However, make sure that you don’t let it fall badly or the phone will look awful. The front panel of this device features capacitive touch buttons – Home, Menu, Back, and Search. These buttons are placed just below the 4.5 inches qHD Capacitive touchscreen. Its 4.5 inches LCD display features a resolution of 540 by 960 pixels which is still a good thing to view clear images and videos.

Viewing angle is poor, but the display quality is crisp and clear. The phone properly balances contrast, colors and brightness. The display quality could get weaker sometimes especially while watching movies in landscape view.

Karbonn A21

At the top of this device, you will find jack for earpiece below that sits a front facing camera, next to which sits a translucent window that hides proximity and light sensors. The back panel features primary camera and LED flash support at the top and speaker grille placed at the bottom. Volume rocker is placed at the right hand side along with microUSB interface. At the top as mentioned sits power and audio jack. While opening the rear panel, the phone exposes the battery which once removed, gives access to two SIM slots and a hot-swappable microSD card bay. So, isn’t this interesting?

Talking about the overall design of this phone, it is pretty impressive and looks a decent phone under price Rs. 10,000.


Karbonn A21 is powered by a dual core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor that is clocked at 1.2 GHz. The processor in our benchmark testing has showed maximum 1.15 GHz running, which is a matter of concern still not really a big thing unless it offers quick access. The processor is mated to an Adreno 203 graphics processing unit (GPU) and a 512 MB RAM. Well, the RAM memory is not sufficient as it offers less MBs while testing. With dual core processor, you need good amount of RAM to say that “yeah now this is a real beast”.

User Interface is another feature that owners need to know before making a purchase. This Ice Cream Sandwich OS can be upgraded over air or OTA and it uses stock ICS home launcher and several other apps which are free. The UI is a bit sluggish due to low memory space. You can use memory manager app to cut this problem out and let the phone run smoothly.


Apart from its 512MB RAM, the phone is bundled with in-built memory of 4 GB which if fails to satisfy your appetite can be expanded up to 32 GB.


When it comes to camera, the phone gets added points for its appeal since it is equipped with a 5 megapixel primary camera that is backed by an LED flash. The camera also features face detection and auto focus features which are useful in some way. Also available are scene mode and few other settings. The images and video recording comes average, but still good. Apart from this, there is one front facing 1.3 megapixel camera which is useful for video calling and can be found located on the front panel.

Karbonn A21 Camera


Karbonn A21 offers varied results while watching movies playback. You can expect quality ranging from standard to full HD flicks. Actually, the built in video player is not really a good thing, you can opt for another like MoboPlayer or MX player. While watching HD videos, you may find a bit jittery which means watching 1080p videos are far from expectations.

Forget about video playback, but the audio playback is somewhat good, excluding the irritating earphones. The audio quality is below average, but is good for those who want to pass their time while traveling and making voice calls. Better you buy a pair of good quality headphones to enjoy the high level volume.

Other Features

The A21 comes loaded with dual SIM support, yet another Android-based smartphone that carries dual-SIM integration. There are not much Android dual SIM devices and so Karbonn seems to be leading the way. The phone is capable of running both 2G and 3G networks. This allows the user to enjoy one SIM of Internet channel and other on voice call. You can also enjoy internet through Wi-Fi b/g/n.

Other connectivity options are microUSB PC interface, a 3.5 mm headset jack and Bluetooth. Also included is GPS with A-GPS support for navigation purposes.

Karbonn A21 Price


Last but not the least, one feature that is important for every owner is the battery since if battery flushes off, there is no way of having plenty of specs and features in a phone. Karbonn has loaded this phone with a powerful 1,800 mAh battery that gives full day backup if used properly. You can expect around 5-6 hours of battery backup in talktime as stated by the manufacturer on its website. If you keep casual way of usage, then expect the phone to cover you for around 7 hours.


Karbonn A21 price is set at Rs. 11,990. However, the price has been reduced by some online stores from where you can buy without taking stress of visit the store.

Karbonn A21 Battery


While concluding, we would like to tell you that this phone at least runs faster than most of the single core handsets. If not of any use, at least its dual core processor is worth a penny. You can enjoy exploring numerous apps and games. Well, due to the integration of GPU, the phone will support gaming and videos. Well, mind it that there may be little lag in process while you play games or watch videos. Forget about playing HD games or heavy games as this phone cannot bear so much or the battery will die soon. At the end we would say, those looking for big screen, dual SIM Android based devices below Rs. 10,000 can think of Karbonn A21. Otherwise, there are many other devices in this range to choose.

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