Micromax In 2b Review: Raising the Bar for Entry-Level Smartphones

Most entry-level smartphones struggle with running Android smoothly, let alone playing games or even shooting decent photos. Micromax’s In 2b may not sound like it has a lot going for it when you glance through its spec sheet, and that Unisoc processor isn’t too confidence-inspiring either, given that smartphone manufacturers have stuck with MediaTek and Qualcomm processors in this segment so far. However, after using the In 2b for a week, I must say that I am impressed by what it’s capable of, even though it’s not perfect.

Micromax In 2b price and variants

The Micromax In 2b’s base 4GB RAM and 64 GB storage variant is priced at Rs. 8,499. There’s a 6GB RAM variant as well, which also packs in 64GB of internal storage, and is priced at Rs. 9,499. These are slightly higher than the official launch prices. It’s worth noting that the In 2b supports up to 256GB of expandable memory.

This phone seems to compete directly with the Poco C3, which is based on the MediaTek Helio G35 SoC. The Poco C3 also supports microSD cards of up to 512GB. There’s also the recently launched Realme C21Y, which offers similar specifications.

Micromax In 2b design

I received the Micromax In 2b in green, but it’s also available in black and blue. The design looks quite basic, and reminds me of the Redmi 9 Power (Review). The In 2b is relatively heavy at 190g. Its back panel is made of plastic and has fine wavy grooves, which make it easier to grip. The textured design on the back also helps it stay free of fingerprints and smudges. The same can also be said about the flat Rainbow Glass screen on the front, which is quite surprising for a smartphone in this segment.

Micromax In 2b front display ndtv MicromaxIn2b  Micromax

The Micromax In 2b’s HD+ resolution display is sufficiently bright in direct sunlight

 

The bezels around the 6.52-inch LCD display are noticeably thick with the chin at the bottom being the thickest. The display features a water drop-style notch which houses the 5-megapixel selfie camera.

The fingerprint scanner sits on the back. It’s easy to reach and unlocks the smartphone instantly. The smartphone also offers 2D face recognition, which worked well provided there was enough light.

Like some other entry-level smartphones, the speaker grille is on the back. A tiny dimple next to it helps prevent the speaker from getting muffled when the phone is placed on a flat surface.

Micromax In 2b specifications and software

The Micromax In 2b uses a Unisoc T610 SoC, which is a relatively new processor. It has two high-performance ARM Cortex-A75 cores and six power-efficient Cortex-A55 cores, all clocked at 1.8Ghz. Unisoc isn’t a very common name, but the company has been around for a while. Given that most entry-level smartphone buyers are first-time users, the brand of processor might not be high up on their priority list.

In fact, Micromax has worked with Unisoc silicon in the past. Other companies such as Realme have also started experimenting in the sub-Rs. 10,000 segment. As I found out, the Unisoc T610 did not disappoint.

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The Micromax In 2b has back panel that is made of plastic

 

The In 2b offers up to 64GB of eMMC 5.1 storage and 6GB of LPDDR4x RAM. Communication options include dual-band Wi-Fi ac, FM radio, Bluetooth 5, USB-OTG via its Type-C USB port, and a triple-slot card tray. The phone is powered by a 5,000mAh battery and supports 10W charging.

The Micromax In 2b runs a stock version of Android 11, with minor customisations in the Camera and Settings apps. You can tweak the display’s colours and customise gestures such as Easy Answer (answers a call when phone is lifted to the ear), and Easy Bell (lowers the ringtone volume once the phone is picked up). There are no third-party apps preinstalled, and no promotional notifications, like on some competing smartphones.

Micromax In 2b performance and battery life

The 6.52-inch LCD panel sports an HD+ resolution (1600×720) with a waterdrop-style notch at the top. It’s sufficiently bright in direct sunlight, and has good viewing angles. Text and images looked relatively sharp for an entry-level smartphone. I had my doubts about the placement of the speaker at the back, but it turned out to be sufficiently loud when making calls and playing games.

In everyday use, the Micromax In 2b felt quite smooth. It was quick to open apps and good at multitasking as well. The phone behaves and performs like a mid-level budget smartphone, and this could be down to its clean Android software and proper optimisation.

The Micromax In 2b also performed very well for its price segment in benchmarks, with scores of 1,55,434 in AnTuTu, and 348 and 1,180 in Geekbench’s single- and multi-core tests respectively. These scores are more on par with those of the Samsung Galaxy F22 (Review) and much better than the Nokia G20 (Review), both of which are priced starting at around Rs. 12,000.

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The Micromax In 2b has a 5,000mAh battery and comes with a 10W charger in the box

 

Gaming performance did not disappoint either. The Micromax In 2b was able to play most 3D games and it did so without heating up. Call of Duty: Mobile ran smoothly at the default Low graphics and Medium frame rate settings. There was no lag, and touch sampling was not a problem either. Asphalt 9: Legends also ran smoothly at the Default graphics setting, showing detailed textures. Cranking up the quality to High did result in a drop in the frame rate, but the game was still playable.

The Micromax In 2b has a 5,000mAh battery, which lasted 12 hours and 14 minutes in our HD video loop battery life test. This is below average for an entry-level smartphone, but in regular use, the In 2b easily lasted me a day and a half; and this included an hour of gaming, which is quite good. The bundled 10W charger was quite slow, and it took 3 hours and 9 minutes to go from a dead battery to a 100 percent charge.

Micromax In 2b cameras

The Micromax In 2b has a dual rear camera setup, which includes a 13-megapixel primary camera and a 2-megapixel depth sensor. Selfies are handled by a 5-megapixel front camera. The camera interface offers the usual shooting modes (including a Night mode) and has most of the important controls within reach. The AI scene recognition toggle, which is usually found in the viewfinder of most camera apps, is instead deeper in the settings. This is important, as keeping the AI switched on often ruined photos with exaggerated colours. Also, there are independent toggles in the regular Photo mode’s settings and also in the selfie Photo mode’s settings.

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The Micromax In 2b has a very basic camera setup

 

Photos taken in daylight came out decent at best, with colours looking a bit dull. HDR wasn’t handled too well. While most of the photos I took showed good dynamic range, there were several with blown-out highlights. Details were average, but with noticeable noise.

Micromax In 2b close-up camera samples. Top: AI switched on, bottom: AI switched off (tap to see full size)

 

Focussing was a bit slow even in daylight and the camera took a few seconds to shoot Portrait photos. These came out with decent detail, but with strange artifacts in the blurred backgrounds, which basically made them unusable. Selfies came out looking clean, but with clipped highlights when shot in brighter environments. Close-ups had decent detail but looked a bit soft.

Micromax In 2b selfie camera sample (tap to see full size)

 

Micromax In 2b daylight camera sample (tap to see full size)

 

Photos captured in low light were quite low on detail and were loaded with noise. These were still a lot better than ones I captured using the Night mode, which ended up blurring most of the details. The In 2b can shoot video at 1080p 30fps but it lacks stabilisation. Videos shot during the day were average in quality. Videos shot at night showed a lot of noise. These were jittery and mostly unusable.

Verdict

While the Micromax In 2b was launched at a starting price of Rs. 7,999 and Rs. 8,999 for the variant with more RAM, the brand has hiked these figures by Rs. 500 each. Still, with prices starting at Rs. 8,499, the Micromax In 2b gets you the basics in terms of specifications but offers a software experience and performance that are far superior to the competition at this price level, and even some slightly higher-priced smartphones. Gaming performance is not bad, and I could play most games smoothly with medium quality graphics, which most other entry-level smartphones struggle to deliver.

The disappointments are mainly limited to slow charging and camera performance. Photos and videos were just about average, and this is where the Poco C3 (Review) seems to fare slightly better. There’s also Realme’s recently launched C21Y, which offers similar hardware with an additional 2MP macro camera at the back. If you are on a tight budget and are looking for an entry-level smartphone with a smooth and clean software experience, and you don’t care much about taking photos and videos, then there’s no doubt that the Micromax In 2b should be high up on your list.


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