There is no doubt that Reliance has flooded the market with its 4G enabled LYF branded smartphones. There are over 25 handsets from the brand that are currently priced under Rs 10,000 and about 10 handsets around the Rs 5,000 mark. Such saturation from one maker pits its own smartphones against each other while competing with other brands. The LYF Wind 6 is one such handset in the lower price range and is priced at Rs 4,999 putting it in the most competitive zone right now. Other smartphone makers have made a rush to pack in their phones with features like fingerprint scanners and more RAM in an attempt to stand out. The Wind 6 does not have any flashy features but does the low price make it worth the money? Well, let’s find out.
Look & Feel
The smartphone features a 5 inch IPS display up front and a row of capacitive touch buttons right below it. Just above the display, the phone houses the ambient light sensor, the proximity sensor, the earpiece and the front-facing 5-megapixel camera. The display has a resolution of 854 x 480 pixels which results in a pixel density of 196 Pixels Per Inch (PPI). It isn’t the best out there and color reproduction isn’t very accurate. However, it is bright to look at and viewing it in direct sunlight isn’t an issue. The only downside is that the ambient light sensor isn’t very aggressive in low lighting conditions forcing us to manually lower the brightness. Once adjusted manually, the phone would switch off adaptive brightness and it would no longer adjust the display to the surroundings.
The phone has a plain back with a speaker grill at the bottom and a 5-megapixel camera with flash. The Micro USB port is positioned on the top along with the 3.5mm headphone jack. The bottom of the phone is pretty much blank except for the tiny microphone hole on the left. The back cover and the 2250mAh battery are removable. The phone feels plasticky to hold and the build quality leaves a lot to be desired.
Gaming & Performance
The Wind 6 is powered by a Snapdragon 210 processor, a quad-core chip clocked at 1.1GHz. There is the Adreno 304 GPU for graphics and 1GB of RAM on board. These are pretty much entry level specifications we can expect from a smartphone at this price. The phone runs on Android 5.1 and the UI is just like stock Android. Thankfully, it does not come with a lot of bloatware pre-installed. The Wind 6 managed an Antutu score of 16046 which is low, whereas the Geekbench scores for single core and multi-core performance was 388 and 848 respectively. The phone isn’t a powerhouse but it can at least do the basic stuff right. Using it for regular tasks has mostly been trouble free, there is occasional lag if a lot of actions are performed at one go. The phone executes them but there is an evident lag that robs you of a good user experience.
The performance while gaming is similar, the phone takes longer to load games with the time taken directly depending on how graphic intensive the game is. We tried playing Asphalt 8 and pushing the graphics to full, it did slow down the game a little. While the game was playable navigating within the game was highly frustrating. The phone handles it well on medium settings which is what it selects by default. If you are a serious gamer then you might want to stretch your budget a little and look at the Redmi 3s (or the upcoming Redmi 4a).
The phone has only 1GB of RAM to start with and with my default apps installed the phone only had around 380MB of RAM left. The same is true for the storage as well, it comes with 8GB of internal storage. Heavy games and app mean the storage would fall short pretty quickly, the phone also gets a MicroSD card slot and is expandable up to 32GB.
The Wind 6 sports a 5-megapixel primary shooter on the back and a 5-megapixel selfie shooter on the front. The primary camera has autofocus and a LED flash to help click in low lighting conditions. The stock camera app has tons of options to play with as long as you know what you are doing. It can be a little overwhelming if you are a beginner. You can put it on auto to simplify it but the results aren’t great. The phone tends to overexpose the image in broad daylight. There is an option to adjust exposure but it isn’t very intuitive to use. The Wind 6 also struggles to focus and we had to tap multiple times to get it right. However, these images are not quite usable for social sharing either unless you adjust the exposure manually.
The selfie camera isn’t really good either, selfies look blurred at first and only appear to be clear once you zoom in. The selfies do not have an issue with exposure but they lack detail. All the modes are still present here but again we would recommend sticking to auto. The output is good enough to be a display picture on WhatsApp, maybe, and that’s about it. The camera on the Wind 6 appears impressive on paper but at this price point, that specs are just gimmicky.
The battery on the phone is a 2250mAh unit and is removable. The Wind 6 is a Dual SIM device and both slots are 4G enabled. However, when in use only 1 SIM can access 4G networks while the other is restricted to 2G only. The SIMs and the memory card are not hot-swappable and will need you to power down the phone to change anything. The battery life is strictly average, it’ll last one working day with basic use like calling and WhatsApp. Anything more and you’ll need to find a charger by evening. The charger supplied in the box is a 5V/1A charger and takes a while to charge the phone. During our use, we saw the phone taking over two hours to charge the phone from 0 to 100%.
The Wind 6 clearly is a budget phone that is competing in a significant price range. The cameras aren’t as good as they look on paper and the 8GB of internal storage fills up in no time. 4G with VoLTE is one of the core points going for this phone, just like every other LYF device. There are other devices like the Micromax Canvas Juice 4G that offer higher value for money at roughly the same price. For gamers, we’d recommend you to stretch the budget a little for a Xiaomi Redmi 3s.