Karbonn Sparkle V Android One review: The affordable Nexus

Karbonn Sparkle V Android One review: The affordable Nexus


4.5 out of 5
4.5 out of 5
4.5 out of 5
Battery backup
4 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value for Money


4.5 out of 5


  • Pros:

    Latest Android experience
    Impressive performance
    Nexus 5-like design
    Fair enough in-box content
    Bundled data plan
    Remarkable battery backup

  • Cons:

    Inferior display
    Need of microSD card
    No USB OTG support

  • Conclusion:

    Karbonn Sparkle V Android One smartphone not only comes with an attractive list of specifications, but it also gives an impressive performance to take on all the widely selling smartphones under mid-range segment.


While the smartphones under entry-level segment were initially full of compromises, some Chinese players stepped into the emerging markets like India to give a decent experience even under affordability. Motorola had also joined the entry-level segment with its impressive Moto E smartphone earlier this year, which attracted a large number of customers reviewers and even we also considered it as a game changer. Now Google taken its position with Android One initiative and outwardly planned to take on its own property by offering even higher specifications at almost the same price tag of the Moto E. Android One initiative, if we get a bit deeper into it, seems to be a new project by the company to provide affordable Nexus smartphones. Karbonn, Micromax and Spice are the three contenders which came into the arena from the search giant’s side to lead the entry-level segment. Though all the three Indian vendors built their smartphones based on a single reference design, we got a chance to live with Karbonn Sparkle V Android One smartphone. So here are our words on this newly launched smartphone.

Karbonn Sparkle V

Karbonn Sparkle V Android One smartphone

What’s in the Box

Karbonn Sparkle V is one of the first three Android One smartphones, alongside Micromax Canvas A1 and Spice Dream UNO. All these three smartphones are specifically designed for Google’s initiative to offer Android smartphones to those who do not have enough money to buy a decent smartphone or are not yet used any smartphone. It certainly confirms that the aim of this new initiative is to persuade those who are yet to be included in the list of Android buyers. This is the reason that Google partnered with the three leading Indian vendors to not just offer affordable smartphones but also bundled with attractive goodies and offers.

The content that come along with the Sparkle V include all the necessary accessories that one need just after purchasing a smartphone. In this regard, the Sparkle V comes bundled with a microUSB-to-USB data cable, AC charger, headset, user manual and a screen protector. These in-box content have acceptable quality to fulfill the requirements of the users.

Karbonn Sparkle V

Karbonn Sparkle V with in-box content

Apart from in-box content, Google partnered with telecom operator Bharti Airtel in India to offer free data plan for downloading apps and software updates for as long as six months. This would influence more buyers to go ahead and pick an Android One smartphone against other entry-level Android devices.

Watch Karbonn Sparkle V Android One smartphone unboxing video:

So the number of box content and additional value added services that Google is offering with the Sparkle V are fair enough if we look at the competition today.

Its Design

Before we start taking a look at the design of Karbonn Sparkle V Android One smartphone, it is worth noting here that this smartphone belongs to entry-level segment which is quite infamous for whole-plastic build. However, the plastic chassis of the Sparkle V does not make it an inferior device in any case. Google chosen a soft-touch plastic material for building Android One smartphones and the Sparkle V also features the same.

The front side of the Sparkle V features a sober design which is quite identical to the one that we had earlier seen on the Nexus 5. There is a display panel on the front which has thin bezels on the left and right sides. The top and bottom sides over the display on the front consume a bit of space and are increasing the total height of the smartphone. As the interface of the smartphone has three on-screen controls for back, home and recent app operations, there is no control below the display panel. The top side of the smartphone, however, features an earpiece, secondary camera sensor, LED notification light and a couple of sensors – an ambient light and proximity sensor. The manufacturer has cut the cost of production by using a normal glass on the top of the display panel. Notably, this glass does not feature any kind of scratch resistant coating or comes with a top-end brand such as Corning Gorilla Glass or Dragontrail Glass to ensure scratch protection. Therefore, we advise our readers to attach the provided screen protector on top of the display right from first day of usage to protect it from scratches.

Karbonn Sparkle V

Karbonn Sparkle V with Nexus 5-like front

On the right side, the Sparkle V has a volume rocker and power/lock keys. These keys have piano-black color finish to give high-end looks and the buttons under these keys are fairly responsive. There is no control or port on the left side.

Karbonn Sparkle V

Karbonn Sparkle V with volume rocker and power/lock key on right

The Sparkle V has a microUSB port and a pinhole microphone on the bottom.

Karbonn Sparkle V

Karbonn Sparkle V with a microUSB port on bottom

The top of the Sparkle V has a 3.5mm audio jack for attaching an external audio source.

Karbonn Sparkle V

Karbonn Sparkle V with a 3.5mm jack on top

Turning the Sparkle V towards its rear shows a rubberise finish, which is quite similar to the Nexus 5. In addition, there is Karbonn’s branding and Android One printed on the rear cover. A primary camera sensor is available on top-left of the rear along with an LED flash. Lastly, there is a loudspeaker grill on the bottom which would muffle sound in some circumstances.

Karbonn Sparkle V

Karbonn Sparkle V with rubberise rear cover

Unlike Google’s flagship smartphone, Android One smartphones have removable rear cover. Taking off the rear cover of the Sparkle V shows a battery compartment, two microSIM card slots and a microSD card slot.

Karbonn Sparkle V

Karbonn Sparkle V with dual-SIM card slot and microSD card slot on back

The Sparkle V, on the dimensions front, has 113mm height, 66width and 10.4mm thickness. These dimensions make the weight of the smartphone close to 138 grams which is fairly acceptable. Overall the design of all the three Android One-based smartphones is almost same, apart from the rear panel, and seems to be quite inspired by Google Nexus 5.


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Categories: Mobiles
  • karbonn is better option who want to go with budgeted price, thanks for the good review of the device,