Thanks to the booming smartphone market in India with lot of potential for growth, new OEMs/ companies are entering with new smartphones to cater to the growing Indian consumer base. Hyve, an Indian startup is one of them and have launched two mid range smartphones in India i.e. Buzz and Storm (Read Review). In this post, we are reviewing the Hyve Buzz smartphone which is priced at Rs. 14,499 in India and can be bought via online portals such as Amazon & Flipkart. This review is based on our experience of the “Buzz” over a week of usage as our primary smartphone.
Hyve Buzz specifications
- Display : 5.5-inch 1080p Full HD 2.5D curved glass display
- CPU : 1.5 GHz Octa-core MediaTek MT6753 processor
- GPU : Mali T720
- RAM : 3 GB
- Storage : 16 GB internal, expandable up to 128 GB with microSD (Comes with free 32 GB Microsd SD card)
- Camera : 13MP rear camera with dual-tone LED flash, Sony Exmor RS sensor + 5 MP front-shooter
- OS : Android 5.1 (Lollipop), up-gradable to Android 6.0 (Marshmallow)
- Misc : Dual SIM, Fingerprint sensor with Touch2Call tech, AquaRes Water resistance – IPX4 rating, FM Radio
- Dimensions : 151 x 72.8 x 10.4 mm
- Weight : 154 gms
- Connectivity : 4G VoLTE, WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS, NFC, USB Type-C
- Battery : 2500 mAh with fast charging
Design and Build Quality
In terms of design and build quality, it comes with an odd /new design especially at the back panel. The Volume rocker and Power buttons are placed not at the sides but at the back. We took 3-4 days to get used to that placement of buttons, but once after we got used to that it felt nice. But often you would hate the buttons placement. Also, if you are a left hand user, these buttons placement will be a deal breaker. Similarly, the SIM slots with dedicated microsd slot is placed on the other side.You can open that and then you need to pull the SIM slot out. This once again is not designed that great and most users will get confused if they need to pull it out or just insert the SIMS and Microsd card.
The back panel comes with a curved plastic cover which cannot be removed. You get the fingerprint sensor and camer at the back along with a hexagon kind of Hyve Buzz logo which again confuses you. We couldn’t find why it was placed there between camera and the fingerprint sensor.The speaker with Hyve Logo is placed at the bottom.
The display on the front is accompanied by virtual on-screen navigation menu buttons. The USB C type port with the microphone is located at the bottom left side and the 3.5 mm audio jack at the top.All the ports are covered using a rubber cover to protect the phone from water. It is water-resistant too.
Smartphone Picture Gallery
Check out the shots of the device in picture gallery below to find out the design & build quality and how it looks from different angles (Click on images to enlarge).
Display, Performance and Benchmarks
Hyve Buzz sports a 5.5-inch 1080p Full HD 2.5D curved glass display powered by 1.5 GHz Octa-core MediaTek MT6753 processor and 3 GB of RAM. In terms of storage, it comes with 16 GB internal storage expandable up to 64 GB with micro-SD card. Out of the 16 GB internal storage, only 10.37 GB is available to the consumers as rest of space is used for operating system and pre-installed apps. THe retail unit comes with 32 GB of Microsd card already inside the smartphone. It also comes with support for external USB i.e. you can mount USB OTG (on the go) for additional storage when needed.
In terms of performance, it impressed us. It ran smoothly irrespective of what we threw at it. There were no lags or hang or random crashes during our entire review period of more than two weeks. We played some heavy graphics intensive games such as Asphalt 8, Modern Combat 5 etc on it simultaneously with many apps / games open and yet didn’t encounter any lag or stuttering.
In terms of performance, we didn’t feel any issues with normal day-to-day usage. Thanks to stock android, it ran smoothly without any random bugs or stability issues. There were no lags or hang or random crashes during normal usage, but yes when we played some heavy graphics intensive games such as Asphalt 8 with many apps / games open we did encounter too much random frame drops and it ran those games slow enough that you can notice easily. We expected a better performance fro a device priced almost 15k.
During gaming for long time we did experience huge temperature jump and it rose to 49+ degrees from initial 36 degrees in about 15-20 minutes of heavy game play at stretch.
Hyve Buzz managed to get an Antutu Benchmark score of 41,000+ which is just a decent score from smartphone priced above Rs. 10,000, but devices such as LeEco Le2 (Read Review) priced much below have scored a whopping 80,000+ in Antutu Benchmark test. Hyve need to do much more if they want to compete with these devices in same price range.
Hyve Buzz sports a 13 MP remain rear camera with dual tone LED Flash which is a Sony Exmor RS sensor and a 5 MP front shooter for selfies. We tested the camera by taking shot under different lighting conditions including pure dark. During normal lighting conditions during day, it did produce some good shots with good color reproduction without getting washed out under variable lighting conditions. But we were totally disappointed with the main camera in dark surroundings such as outdoors in Night, the images produced were almost not visible. You can checkout those images that were shot in night at outdoors and you won’t be impressed as it is full of noise and you can’t visualise most of these shots clearly. It can shoot videos at 1080p i.e. Full HD resolution. The 5 MP front shooter produces some decent selfies for social sharing networks with good lighting around.
The camera app is bare minimum stock app but comes with modes such as Multi angle view mode, Panorma Mode, HDR mode, Face Beauty Mode and Motion Track Mode. It also comes with features such as Anti-Shake, Face Detection, Smile Shot, Auto Scene Detection and Self timer. Most of these features are disabled by default and you need to enable it in settings. It also comes with EIS (Electronic Image Stabilization) feature that helps you shoot better images, but keep in mind that this is not OIS (Optical Image Stabilization).
Check out all the camera samples of Hyve Buzz shot under different lighting conditions:
HYve Buzz Camera Samples
Hyve Buzz is backed by a 2500 mAh non-removable battery. In terms of battery life, Hyve Buzz turned out be an average performer and barely lasted for a full day on Moderate usage. The smartphone though does come with great battery life under idle or standby conditions with negligible battery drain if you are not using the smartphone for hours. But if you are using Dual SIMs with 4G data always on and using it for Gaming, Videos, social messaging, Facebook, twitter and email checking etc. simultaneously all day, then you need to be ready to charge it before the day ends.
Operating System and UI
We at Androidpure always prefer a stock Android operating system with no bloatware. This is where Hyve Buzz matches our expectations as it runs on Android 5.1 Lollipop stock Android operating system and no additional apps are pre-installed except some of the Google Apps just as the case with Google Nexus smartphones. You can install additional apps such as File manager or anything else that you need, from Google Play store.
Fingerprint is one of the selling points of this smartphone. The fingerprint sensor is placed at the back below the camera and here is what we feel about it:
- It is not accurate and fast for almost 60% of the time irrespective of how you are using the finger.
- You can use the fingerprint to unlock the device or configure it to use “Touchtocall” feature which lets you customise your fingers to individual contacts so that you can call your contacts just by touching the finger even when the phone is locked. We have already seen this feature in Coolpad Note 3 Lite.
- Even though you can add five fingers, yet you cannot customize them to do different jobs such as opening different apps using the fingers. Coolpad Note 3 lite fingerprint sensor offers that feature and beats other smartphones in customization.
Hyve Buzz need to do a lot more than providing a Stock Android experience, a new out of the box deesign to compete in the mid range smartphone market. The mid range smartphone market in India is filled with so many popular option which does offer much more than what Hyve Buzz can.