Lava recently made a triumphant return to the Indian market, exceeding their own expectations in terms of demand and supply. The company's latest offering, the Blaze Pro 5G, aims to capture the 5G battleground in the sub 15k price segment, which is being fiercely contested by various smartphone brands, both domestic and international. With a price tag of Rs. 12,499, let's delve into whether this device deserves your attention or not.
What it gets right:
Design: The phone has a very familiar yet good enough design and build quality without any major misses in the department. The device’s 6.78-inch display (20.5:9 aspect ratio) has a punch-hole front-facing camera with the ear-speaker grille next to it. It doesn’t catch on to a lot of dust, which can be quite irritating to deal with if happening frequently. The back, carrying the dual camera system near the top left corner in a glossy looking rectangular cutout, has a shimmery plastic material that doesn’t bend anywhere and doesn’t have a cheap look to it, feeling quite sturdy to use along. The right side has the Power/lock key (with the physical fingerprint scanner) and volume buttons that are click-y. On the left you have the dual SIm card + microSD card tray near the top corner. The top houses the secondary mic; while the bottom has the USB type C cable, primary mic and one (and only) outlet of loudspeakers, plus the 3.5mm audio jack.
Display: Featuring a 6.78-inch full HD+ (1080x2460) LCD display with refresh rates supported up to 120Hz. It is bright enough for outdoor usage under direct sunlight provided brightness has been set at a high level. It does a decent job at handling high resolution images and videos without stuttering much. The highest refresh rate I noticed during my use was 90Hz a little under that or so in some apps, but never higher than that. I preferred the normal mode under display settings instead of vivid mode right from the start.
Battery life: Powered by a 5,000mAh battery unit, the phone comes bundled with a 33watt charger and a USB type C to C cable, which is not common at this price point, so it’s nice to see Lava bundling this cable. Remember, smartphones series like Galaxy S23 and liPhone 15 come with such cables, so you can use the same charger to charge other devices, too. The phone lasted me a day almost every single day even with some heavy 5G use over hotspot tethered to 1 or even 2 devices at times. And it charged from 1% to full in about 80 minutes or so.
What’s decent enough:
Software and performance: The phone comes with MediaTek’s Dimensity 6020 chipset (up to 2.2GHz octa core processor, Mali-G57 MP2) along with 8GB LPDDR4X RAM and 128GB UFS2.2 storage. The phone can handle tasks such as watching 1080p YouTube videos, checking Email, switching between these apps or calling and messaging while listening to music in the background just fine, but you would notice a bot of lag when unlocking the device or some frames dropped during the process. Might be nitpicking here, but it is reproducible. Having said that, apps don’t stutter often and loading one or switching between two is handled quite smoothly majority of the time. Heavy games such as Fortnite don’t play above 30FPS but a game like Call of Duty can go above 50FPS, giving better gameplay. You can expect to play less intensive games at medium settings but don’t expect very high frame rates and the most immersive gameplay on a smartphone at this price point.
5G connectivity: Being one of the key features of the device, I found the 5G network reception to be pretty good outdoors, but a little less impressive indoors where other devices could latch on to 5G just fine. What makes it a little more weird is the phone, at times, won’t fall back to 4G/LTE when 5G isn’t available to it, meaning no data connectivity in between. Hopefully, Lava can fix this issue with an OTA update, because, otherwise, when outdoors with 5G reception, the phone is able to provide high speeds and low latency despite the price tag.
What’s strictly okay:
Camera: featuring a 50MP (f/1.8) main camera and a camera system on the back that can produce detailed 12MP shots (default resolution) when used in good lighting with suitable backgrounds. But anything else and you can figure out the camera isn’t the phone strongest suits by any means. The camera app can be opened by double-pressing the Power/lock key even when the phone is locked and it doesn’t take too long before you can capture a shot.
Verdict: At Rs. 12,499 and the performance the phone is able to deliver across different factors, it wouldn’t be wrong to say that Lava might well have a worthy 5G contender in its hands now.
Lava has also introduced a convenient service called "Lava Service at Home" for their after-sales support. This service allows customers to get troubleshooting and repairs done without the need to personally visit a service center. It includes home pick-up and delivery of the device. The quality of this service will naturally depend on the specific issue and the customer's location. However, it demonstrates Lava's commitment to long-term customer satisfaction by ensuring a seamless and hassle-free experience.