– Clean software
– Good build quality
– Good number of 5G bands for the price
– Good battery life
– 90 Hz refresh rate on the display
– Good performance for the price
– Value for money package
– The display looks washed out because there is a lack of contrast
– Slow loading
– Camera module could have been better
Price: Rs 11,999 for the tested 6GB + 128GB variant.
Given the current sentiment towards certain Chinese smartphone brands, it’s perfectly understandable if people are looking for a 5G-enabled smartphone that’s made entirely in India. Lava, the Indian smartphone brand that has been trying to return to the market since 2021, has quite a few devices to offer. The Lava Blaze 5G is one such device.
With the base variant, the 4GB + 128GB variant, starting at Rs 10,999, the Lava Blaze 5G is perhaps the cheapest 5G smartphone in India. Price aside, the smartphone has some pretty solid things going for it, at least on paper. For example, it has a solid 5,000mAh battery, a 50MP primary sensor and a bunch of other features.
If you are looking for a cheap and capable 5G smartphone, how does the Lava Blaze 5G compare and is it worth your money and time? We take a look.
Lava Blaze 5G Review: The Design
The Lava Blaze 5G has a very clean aesthetic. Despite its price, Lava used glass for the back panel, which featured a matte finish in our Glass Green device. The frame around the device, while made of plastic, doesn’t feel cheap or tacky. We also love how the back handles fingerprints – there’s no sign it’s ever been fingerprinted.
The edges are flat, giving the impression that the device feels sharp, but it isn’t. The front and rear panels have been neatly inserted into the frame, which bulges slightly. As a result, the device is also very comfortable to hold.
On the camera island in the upper-left corner of the back, the triple camera is arranged diagonally, giving it a slightly different appeal.
All in all, the device feels solidly built and feels really good in the hand. The weight of the device only reinforces this feeling.
On the front we get a teardrop notch on the front display, which houses the front-facing camera, and some fairly thick bezels on all four sides. The lower frame is particularly thick.
On the right side of the device we find a power button that also doubles as a fingerprint scanner. The volume rockers on the left side of the device as well as the SIM tray that can hold 2 SIM cards or a SIM and a microSDXC card up to 1 TB. All buttons on the device feel solid and tactile.
Below we see a speaker grille, the 3.5mm audio jack, as well as the USB Type-C port, which is rated for USB 2.0 speeds, and a microphone.
All in all, the design of the device is pretty clean and simple, with nothing too premium or wild. On the positive side, however, it feels solid and sturdy in hand.
Lava Blaze 5G in the test: The display
Lava has equipped the Blaze 5G with a 6.5-inch HD+ LCD display with a resolution of 720 x 1600 pixels that supports a 90 Hz refresh rate. The viewing angles are quite decent. With the brightness turned up to the highest level, the screen is moderately bright and can be read outside in bright daylight. Unfortunately, that’s all good we can say about the display.
Although the display gets bright, the colors look washed out even for an LCD panel. When viewing content on the Lava Blaze 5G, you miss the dynamic range or the good contrast ratio.
The colors of the display seemed a bit muted. The display itself seemed a bit washed out and lacked pressure and warmth.
Lava Blaze 5G in review: The camera
We get a triple camera setup on the back of the Lava Blaze 5G. There is a 50 MP main camera, a 2 MP macro camera and a VGA sensor. Only the 50 MP main camera is worth discussing, since the other two don’t really contribute anything. The device also has an 8MP front camera, which is just enough.
The main camera on the back looks pretty good in daylight. Although the sensor has a low dynamic range, it is still able to capture fine details. Nonetheless, it tends to intensify colors. For a smartphone that costs around 10,000 rupees, the results from the main camera are pretty impressive for the day.
The same cannot be said for low-light photography. As long as there is some ambient light, the main camera delivers respectable images in low light. In low light, images often proved blurry and fuzzy, with details faded throughout.
The front camera is an 8-megapixel unit, placed behind the teardrop notch on the display. When we opened the photos on our workstations, they were fine, but when we viewed them on the device’s display, they appeared a little washed out. The skin tones looked appropriate. Although the photos from the front camera were highly processed, so that even the smallest details in the skin were almost completely lost, they still appeared grainy.
Videos captured by the Lava Blaze 5G have some slightly boosted colors and pretty decent detail. The dynamic range is also good
Lava Blaze 5G Review: The Performance, Software Experience, and User Interface
The Lava Blaze 5G is powered by the MediaTek Dimensity 700 chipset, an octa-core SoC. Our device came with 128GB of UFS 2.2 storage and 6GB of RAM, which can be expanded by another 3GB for a total of 9GB of RAM.
The Dimensity 700 SoC is a pretty decent processor if you’re not a very demanding user. The smartphone handles juggling between apps fairly well, and most daily tasks can be carried out without any problems.
The Lava Blaze 5G can handle most games fairly well, but users will have to temper their expectations. games like asphalt 9 And Call of Duty: Mobile were playable, albeit with medium graphics where we got around 35-40 fps. You get smooth, playable frame rates, but not with a very good visual preset.
The software is something that Lava seriously needs to pull together. The device comes standard with Android 12. Although the device launched a few months ago, it still hasn’t received an Android 13 update. At the time of writing this review, the latest update it has received was the December security patch.
Although Lava has pledged to release the Android 13 upgrade, no specific date has been given. In addition, Lava has committed to quarterly security updates for two years. The only good thing about the software experience is that the device comes with almost no bloatware at all, apart from a few Lava-specific apps.
For connectivity, the Blaze 5G gets WiFi 6E, BlueTooth 5.0, 8 5G bands, a 3.5mm audio jack and USB-C at USB 2.0 speeds. 5G connectivity is pretty solid on the Lava Blaze 5G. At about 400 meters from a 5G tower, we got about 105 MBPS.
Lava Blaze 5G Review: The Battery Life
As with most smartphones in this budget, the battery life is the device’s best feature. The Blaze 5G’s 5000 mAh battery easily lasts a day with extensive use at around 70 percent brightness. We consistently got over 11 hours of screen on time
The Blaze 5G comes with a 12W charger, although the device supports 15W charging. That means charging is slower than usual by today’s standards. After fully discharging the device, it took us over 3 hours to fully recharge it.
Lava Blaze 5G Review: The Verdict
The Lava Blaze 5G is a pretty average phone competing in a very crowded segment and facing some pretty solid competition. The Lava Blaze 5G is among the cheapest 5G smartphones in India, including Samsung Galaxy M13 5G, Poco M4 5G and M4 Pro 5G, Motorola Moto G51 5G, all of which are slightly more expensive than the Lava Blaze 5G price tag of Rs 11,999 .
Despite using an almost one year old SoC, the device can assert itself. And given the price of the Lava Blaze 5G, the battery life, the 90Hz display, and the fact that it works really well with 5G, it’s really hard to blame the device for Lava’s chosen omissions. However, Lava could have done better with the display. Also, they need to seriously work on the frequency with which they push their software upgrades.
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