Symphony Roar A50 Android One Hands-on Review

Symphony Mobile became the hot topic not just in Bangladesh but around the world after search giant Google announced that its Android One initiative was making its way Bangladesh. Though technically Micromax was the first to bring its Canvas A1 Android One smartphone in Bangladesh, Symphony got the bigger credit simply because it was the first homegrown manufacturer to launch an Android One smartphone.

We’re gonna spare the introduction to Android One initiative and why it’s important to Google and users because we’ve already written about this. Today we’re going to talk about what Symphony Android One smartphone, model no. Symphony Roar A50 looks and feels like. In this hands-on review, we’re going to dive down into the phone and see what it’s capable of.

(READ: Google reveals Android 5.1 Lollipop for Android One smartphones)

Unlike most other reviews that you will see on the web, we are going to write this review based on experience. How the handset feels like to hold, how it performs, what we think about this device and so on. So you will get a reflection of real-world experience based on real-world usage instead of regular reviews that are mostly based on hardware specifications alone.

So, without further ado, let’s see what Symphony Roar A50 Android One has to offer.

This post also appears in Bangla on Android Kothon.

Table of Content

  1. Build quality and Design
  2. Display and Touch and Hardware Performance
  3. Interface and Camera
  4. Gaming Performance, Benchmark and Music Quality
  5. Software, Internet, Pros and Cons

Symphony Roar A50 Hardware Specs

Like always, here are the hardware specification for Symphony Roar A50. You will notice that it’s not very different from Micromax Canvas A1 which was the first Android One phone released in India back in September.

  • Processor: Cortex A7, 1.3 GHz Quad-Core
  • Graphics Processing: Mali 400 MP2
  • RAM: 1 GB
  • ROM: 8 GB
  • Camera: 5 MP rear and 2 MP front
  • Display: 4.5” FWVGA IPS (480 x 854)
  • Connectivity: 3G, WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS
  • SIM: Dual-SIM (Both micro SIM)
  • Sensors: Light, Accelerometer, Gyroscope, G-Sensor, Proximity Sensor
  • Battery: 1780 mAh
  • System: Android 4.4.4 KitKat
  • Price: 8,700 Taka

You can already see that for a price tag of 8,700 Taka, the device is not so bad. There may be better phones from other manufacturers, but what makes Symphony Roar A50 special is the simple fact that it will receive Android updates from Google. Symphony and other local brands do sometimes release updates to their phones, but the updates are almost never confirmed when those phones come out.

With Android One smartphone, you are confirmed to get 2 years of Android update from Google. For a low-cost smartphone, that is kind of a big deal.

Video Review

Video review is not complete just yet, therefore until the review is ready and published, the teaser video is embedded here.

Design and Build Quality

The first thing that you will notice about this phone is how lightweight it is. I’ve had friends who held the smartphone and their first impression was, “Is the battery inserted?”

symphony roar a50 android one box

They are right to be surprised. Symphony Roar A50 Android One smartphone is extremely lightweight. At 132 X 66 X 9.1 mm dimension (specifics from Symphony website) It’s considerably lighter than my first generation Moto G dual-SIM phone which is lighter than any other smartphone I have previously owned.

Let’s talk about the button placement of the device. Like most of the Android phones out there, both power button and volume rockers are placed on the right side of the phone. On the upper side there is 3.5mm headset jack and on the lower side is the micro-USB port which also acts as the charging port. There is nothing to fiddle with on the left side of the phone.

The backside of Symphony Roar A50 comes off pretty easily. So much that you could mistake it thinking it was damaged. Or perhaps that’s because the backside of my Moto G is difficult to take off. However, that’s not the only difference between the two phones. While Moto G has a user non-removable battery inside, the battery on Symphony Roar A50 is removable. In fact, it’s required to remove the battery if you want to insert SIM cards or microSD memory card.

symphony roar a50 android one hands-on review

Another positive side of the back cover of Symphony Roar A50 is that it’s neither slippery nor sticky. It’s made of good old plastic material, not rubberized. While rubberized back covers are easier to hold in hand, there is one disadvantage. If you have a sweaty hand, the backside can easily become sticky which can be an annoying thing. I don’t have a sweaty hand, but the back cover of my Moto G does often get sticky. That problem is non-existent with the back cover of Symphony Roar A50. It’s pleasing to hold and comfortable to use.

At the time of the purchase, Symphony Roar A50 was equipped with a free 8GB microSD memory card. It supports up to 32GB of memory card in there. But one significant change that this dual-SIM smartphone will force you to make is cut your SIM card size. If you are still using a phone that takes a full-sized SIM card, buying Symphony Roar A50 will mean you have to cut the SIM card. Both of the SIM slots on Symphony Roar A50 take micro SIM cards. So that’s something to keep in mind before you go out shopping for the phone.

symphony roar a50 android one hands-on review

The speaker of the device is placed on the back and on the front size. The touch sensitive buttons are perfectly aligned at the bottom of the device’s screen taking no more than necessary place. The bezels around the screen are neither too narrow nor too wide. Overall, the design, build quality, look and feel of the device just feels perfect for a phone of this price.

Before we wrap up the talk about build quality, let me just say, for those interested, that this phone is apparently rebranded from an Indonesian phone Mito Impact A10 which is also released under Android One banner. It wasn’t until we posted this review and then started getting some visitors from Indonesia who later told us that this was the case.

Up next: Display and Touch and Hardware Performance

  • Saddam

    of course update countdown begins immediately after companies announce the device

  • Saddam

    Any Way, Great Review ! Few things I need to know
    1. Call Quality
    2. Mic Quality – Other users listen your voice loudly during call.

    Thanks!

    • Call and microphone quality were satisfactory. I can’t complain.

      • f4fahad

        Same mic we see in Nexus

  • Rafi

    Cool elaborated review. Nicely done. Why dont you guys do more reviews like this? There are more than enough phones out there for you guys to be reviewing new phones every day! Not that you would have time for it but you seem to be not doing any review lately.

    • Well we’d want to, but the problem is we don’t have access to all the phones that we want to review. Companies aren’t very media-friendly when it comes to reviewing phones. While in other countries, companies send review units to blogs and media websites, in our country, we get told that all the information is on their website. Bottom line, we do not have the devices we want to review and companies aren’t very cooperative in this regard.

  • Tahsin

    What about the GPS ?

    • GPS locks fast and accurate. I have no trouble or dissatisfaction with the GPS of this phone.

  • Isteak

    What about the battery backup?

    • Battery backup is average. You might get a little over a day with moderate usage. With cautious usage, you could reach two days. With heavy usage, the battery won’t last a day.

      It all depends on your usage, what data is being transferred in the background, what apps are running, what network it’s connected to, etc. For example, connecting to 3G network will eat more battery than connecting to WiFi.

  • Omi

    I really liked your review, I felt relieved after reading it as I just bought the symphony a50 and had some doubts about it. You should have mentioned the battery because to me its seems that the battery performance is its weakest point (compared to a moto g 2013). The music quality (with better headphones) is also just average, it could have been a bit better. The phone is really light, a bit too light for my liking, now it feels a bit cheap and the flimsy fingerprint magnet back cover makes matters worse. Aside from that the phone is really good, exceptional for the price.
    Sajib Bhai, would it be wise to update to lollipop? Will it hinder the phones performance? Can you help me to turn off the annoying “old tv turning off animation” that occurs whenever i press the power/lock button to lock the device.Thank you.
    Saying it again(as once was not enough) great review man, keep up the good work.

    • Thank you. Yes, battery performance is sub-par. I have updated the article to reflect that. You know when you try to write something this detailed, few things tend to be missed. 🙂

      As for Lollipop update, I’d advise to wait until a few people around you have updated their Android One phone to the new version. Lollipop hasn’t been released yet so you don’t have to worry about it now. Plus the lock screen animation thing probably cannot be changed without rooting (and therefore voiding warranty). I don’t mind the subtle difference from other Android phones though.

  • f4fahad

    Every line i read remind me of making a good decision of buying this device. Using it since 24th of jan. Being a selfei freak i can say 2mp front gives good performance at this price range. So far good device proud owner of symphony the first android one of Bangladesh

    • Yup, Symphony nailed it this time.

      • f4fahad

        Symphony the new experience and I’m experiencing non brand for the first time. I must say if this level of quality symphony continues I’ll be like take my Money give me a symphony.

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  • Guest

    this Android One phone rebranded in Indonesia as Mito Impact A1 as you all can see in here: https://www.blibli.com/promosi/preorder-mito-impact-android-one
    thanks for your review since no detailed review from Mito Impact available in Indonesia. I just pre ordered this phone and still waiting for 23 Feb to hands on

  • this Android One phone rebranded in Indonesia as Mito Impact A10 as you all can see in here: https://www.blibli.com/promosi/preorder-mito-impact-android-one
    thanks for your review since no detailed review from Mito Impact available in Indonesia. I just pre ordered this phone and still waiting for 23 Feb to hands on 🙂

    • Thanks! I noticed some traffic from an Indonesian forum but wasn’t sure why people were coming here. Thanks for clearing that up. 🙂

      • yep :D. another android one is Nexian rebranded from spice and evercoss rebranded from karbonn.
        I just want to ask you about the RAM performance. I’m using social media and chat apps a lot (like most indonesian do ;D), mostly WhatsApp, BBM, Facebook, Twitter, and Path. how about the RAM consumption? does it feel laggy?

        • RAM performance is quite well actually. I mean there are occasional lags when switching between apps and stuff, but that’s kind of like the core experience with Android. Almost all the phones I’ve used and tried had some degree of lag at one point or another. But for the most part, the phone is just fine.

          • f4fahad

            i use swype a lot while typing but sometimes i feel its not responding did you face any issue like this

          • Well, Swype itself is laggy. It lags sometimes on all phones I’ve tried. So yeah there is that occasional lag.

      • or maybe the app itself doesn’t compatible with lollipop, swiftkey feels laggy too in lollipop

        • I’m not sure about that. I have Lollipop on my Moto G and the performance is exactly same as it was with KitKat and ICS. I think Swype Keyboard itself is kinda resource-hungry.

  • isaakir

    that’s a great review vaiya 🙂 planning to buy the phone tomorrow. does the phone provide with clear sound (i can hear others clearly) even in noisy environment? can u pls suggest a bluetooth device with noise cancellation feature that works in almost every handset ?

    • Thanks bro. I do think the hearing experience of this phone was pretty good. I don’t have any idea about bluetooth headsets, though. This phone, or most Android phones for that matter, already suffers from poor battery life. Adding a bluetooth headset to the mix will only worsen the battery life as the bluetooth will have to be remained on all the time. Not a good practice I suppose.

  • Masum

    please anyone help me..my symphony roar A50 doesn’t shows in menu.but shows in beside the launcher bottom.i also try this by replace this app..but same case..

  • Nazmun Sakib

    Nice review. I thinking to buy this phone. please, can you tell about sound quality in headphone and how is the camera performance?

    • The provided headphone is crap. If you use a branded headphone then the sound quality improves significantly. Additionally if you download equalizing apps you can further improve the sound though I haven’t tried that.

  • tanim

    Can this phone make 3g video calls ?is both sim support 3g ?

  • why battery backup is so lame ? Can I increase the mAh of the battery somehow ?