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Review of Karbonn A9+ – Rajib's Blog Rajib's Blog

Review of Karbonn A9+

Karbonn A9+ Box (39.6KB)

“You are a fool”. That generally is the exclamation my closest friends utter, when they discover that I have purchased yet another gadget from a company of unknown lineage. My Nokia / Samsung / Motorola / Apple / Blackberry friends let me know, without mincing any words, howΒ  productive they are on their phones. They let me know that their phones seem to last forever while I am playing Russian Roulette with Indian Currency on Chinese Phones.

It is not without reason that I have started to buy gadgets from fledgling companies in India. Vexed with expensive fancy phones that broke down magically after two years, I chose to buy Zen Mobile Z77 (not one, but two!) for wife and me. It seemed mad to them. It seemed mad to me too, but I was done paying the cost of a Desktop Computer for a phone. Turns out, I had chosen a winner. The phone worked marvelously and I had to physically throw the phone in an Olympian move to finally get it to stop working. My wife’s phone ended it’s career a little more dramatically. After 2.5 years of use and surviving hair-clips and safety-pins in her purse, the phone was eventually stolen by a thief.

After the demise of the Zen Z77, I fell-back to my Nokia 5230 but unfortunately, it is a single SIM phone. The phone does not offer WiFi either. I bought another phone (a LG VS-750) to power my secondary SIM. My primary operator BSNL does a piss-poor job of network connectivity and tower configuration and I find myself constantly out of network. The secondary SIM belongs to Airtel and enjoys better connectivity, but carrying two phones is for those who are being driven around town by a guy dressed in white. I find myself already overloaded with my Laptop bag and Camera bag.

Thus started the search for a new Dual-SIM phone.

I would have merrily bought another Zen Z77 (now at only Rs. 1600!) had it not been for my wife’s insistence that my new phone cost a little more than the one that we gifted to her Maid (an iBall Aspire QE45 that is proving to be a nightmare). Hence a trip to Sangeetha Mobiles (A.S. Rao Nagar) who have consistently proven to provide better pricing among other brick-and-mortar shops.

The sheer variety of Android phones in the market and the rapid rate at which they are being launched proved to be boggling enough for the Salesmen who had to fallback to reading the specs on the box aloud for my benefit. It was only their politeness that kept me in the store and not march away to FlipKart.

As I scanned their store shelves in an attempt to decode the offerings my self, I could not help notice that as I my eyes roamed the bottom shelf to the top, the specifications kept improving, so did the appearance and the price; which raised my eye-brows to the absolute physical limit of the Frontalis muscle.

What stuck my fancy was the Karbonn A9+, which I nearly assumed was an iPhone. The specifications on the attractively designed box did nothing to cause my mind to drift away. A Qualcomm SnapDragon Dual-Core 1.2 GHz CPU, Android 4.0.4 (Ice Cream Sandwich), 386MB RAM, 512MB ROM, 2GB Internal Storage, Up-to 32GB External Storage via Micro SD Cards, Dual Camera, Capacitive Touchscreen, GPS, WiFi, 3G … … … In short, it had everything I could think off. All at a price of Rs. 9500/- only (inclusive of additional charges for Insurance and Door-step service by Sangeetha).

The Good

First Looks:

The out of box experience of the phone is very good. Packed in a slim white cardboard box, the packaging contains all the technical details you need, to make an informed purchase. This includes Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) values for those who are concerned about harmful effects of cellular radiation.

Opening the box proved to be a hassle (inside case is very tightly fit and must be slid out from one direction only). Once opened, we found the phone with a completely glossy black face lying pristinely in a sea of white card paper. Lifting the phone revealed it’s textured plastic back cover (off white colour) with minimal branding in clean stylish font.

The box contained – Phone with Back-cover, Battery, Hand-free Earphones (White, very similar to iPhone), Charger with USB Cable (white again). Basic paper-work included a User Manual (in error-free English) and a booklet containing a comprehensive list of Service centers.

Pleasant Surprise:

Front view of phone (40.4KB)

A phone with a glossy screen this big, definitely needs scratch protection. I asked the store employees to fit a scratch guard and only then we discovered that the phone came pre-installed with a scratch guard!. Even the store employees were caught off-guard and I was possibly their first customer to buy this phone (not surprising considering that the phone only became widely available in 2nd half of October 2012).

To add to my surprise, a spare Scratch Guard slipped out of the manual booklet. Now if only other smart phone manufacturers had the sense to do this. Full marks to Karbonn for making this extra effort.

First Use:

Back cover of phone (14.7KB)

The back-cover of the phone snaps off easily. Just slide a plastic pick along the edges. Yet it is tight enough to not automatically pop-open. It is very easy to slide in the 2 SIM cards and 1 Micro SD card into their assigned slots. No need to open hinges, covers or use tooth-picks. The battery too slides in and latches smoothly. Reversing these operations is equally easy.

Even with the battery installed, the phone is remarkable light-weight. Not at all like the LG VS-750 which could have gotten me arrested in communally sensitive Hyderabad (for carrying heavy object with lethal potential).

The battery comes pre-charged from factory and allows for a great first experience. The Power/Lock button (place on top of phone) requires gentle press for 2 seconds and the phone comes to life in glorious color animation and sound. A few Android OS setup screens later, I am dropped into the Phone’s home screen.

Call Quality:

I was able to successfully place calls using both my SIMs from the belly of the store. The audio quality of the phone speakers, phone hands-free speakers and hands-free earphones was very good. It was loud and clear and I did not notice any echo, noise or distortion.


The phone features a WVGA display (800 x 480 pixels) powered by an Adreno 203 GPU. The display was bright, sharp and had very good visibility from all angles. I tested the screen using Screen Test ver 2.2.2 and display did not display Dead Pixels (black / colored dots on white screen), Stuck Pixels (White/colored dots on black screen), Uneven brightness (patches on grey screen), Geometrical distortions or Color Gamut issues. In fact, the color gamut exhibited is way better than the LCD displays of my laptops. I was able to make out distinct shades from the brightest to the darkest shades of the colors. Grays were absolutely neutral.

The phone also features a Proximity Sensor (to turn off display and touch screen when phone is put next to the ear) and a Light Sensor to control the brightness of the screen automatically based on ambient light.



Upon my return to home, I got it connected to my WiFi-G router (phone supports 802.11n). This was painless.Β Android OS saves router connections and auto-connects to routers as they become available. Android OS allows the WiFi radio can be configured to be Off / Always On /Always On when connected to charger. This way, if you are on battery and there is no WiFi router to connect to, the radio is powered down automatically to save battery.

Note that the phone’s WiFi antenna is not as powerful as one that maybe present on your laptop. At my Client’s office, in a low signal corner, my Acer laptop continued to hold-on to the weak WiFi signal but the phone lost the connection.

The phone supports 3G and GPRS too. I tested the GPRS connection of BSNL briefly and turned it off. While GPRS worked acceptably well, GPRS without a plan is just too expensive (Rs. 30/MB). Fortunately, Andoid OS allows Mobile Data to be turned Off / Off while roaming / On. Naturally, I have turned Mobile Data Off till I subscribe to a 3G / GPRS plan.


The phone comes with two programs for Email. A program titled ‘Email’ supports Push-mail (instant email notification, supported by Hotmail, Microsoft Exchange) and G-Mail (supports synchronisation of Bookmarks, Email, Contacts & Calendar, supported by email IDs on Gmail and Google Apps). It is possible to configure the same email ID on both the programs but you will receive two notifications each time you receive an email. A few mistrials later, I successfully configured 5 email accounts on the Email and Gmail program and downloaded previous 30 days of emails into each account. The email program continued to be responsive.


The phone’s default browser supports HTML 5 (score of 318/500 at Sun Spider 0.9.1 score (average of 3 runs) was 1940.3ms (compared to a score of 250.4ms with Palemoon x64 15.3 on my Acer 5755 and 333.5ms on my Acer 5745). It is possible to install Google Chrome, Opera Mobile or Opera Mini browser to take HTML5 scores to the 400 mark. Browsing websites was quick and fun. Opera Mini provides better browsing experience (compressed images, quick-launch buttons) so you may consider installing that from the Google Play Store.

Google Play Store

Unlike our experience with Motorola Xoom when it was launched in India, access to Google Play Store (Android Market) to download apps was smooth. I provided my Gmail based ID and was logged in. You can either select and download the apps from the Google Play app on the phone or visit Google Play using Chrome browser on the Computer and browse and install the apps. When you select an app for installation on the computer, it downloads automatically into the phone and installs without any further ado.

Apps are installed by default on the Phone Memory (512 MB). You can move them to the internal storage (2GB) or external storage (8GB Micro SD card in my case). You also need to select the Storage memory to be used by Play Store and cannot use both Storage memories for Apps. I chose the Internal Storage memory since 2GB is quite sufficient for my limited apps and I am quite likely to swap the 8GB card for cards of higher capacity.

Note that Android OS requires Widgets (applications that always run on your home screens) to be installed on Phone Memory only. In addition, many apps also require that they be installed on Phone Memory only (most of Google Inc’s apps). Some apps install on Phone Memory but use Storage memory for their data (Google Maps). Newer apps on Play Store feature the ability to be installed entirely on Storage memory.

Google Maps / Navigation:

Google is now providing the ability to store map data for Offline use and turn-by-turn directions. Android OS on the phone updates many Google applications. Once the updates are completed, you will find Google Maps on the phone to be fast and intuitive. You can also use other GPS programs from the Play Store. I have installed City Maps 2 Go and downloaded the road map of AP & West Bengal for Offline use. CM2G uses map data provided by OpenStreetMaps and while it is not as updated as Google Maps, it is a great backup mapping application.

Note that the phone lacks a Magnetometer and most compass apps fail to work.

Business Productivity:

The phone came pre-installed with copy of Kingsoft Office and Adobe Acrobat Reader. It was easy enough to download additional business apps such as Evernote, Expense Tracker, WordWeb / Merriam-Webster Dictionary etc. These apps installed and worked flawlessly out of the box. The phone remained snappy in-spite of many of these apps running concurrently. A performance degradation does occur and it is noticeable but it is not a show stopper.

[table “16” not found /]

Voice Control / On-Screen Keyboard:

Android OS features voice commands for phone control and app navigation. Quite surprisingly, it understood most of my commands spoken in ‘Indian’ English and I did not have to fake an American accent. The feature is particularly useful which searching the web and typing emails. While the on-screen keyboard is very similar to the layout on an iPhone, being able to simply speak out is way faster. The keyboard supports word-completion (T9) but works like the better word-guessing (I9). You can also install 3rd party text input apps such as Swype.

Note that voice-search requires active Internet connection (WiFi / 3G / GPRS). It appears that it will require an OS Update to Android 4.2 (Jelly Bean) for offline voice search support.

The Bad

Battery Life:

My single biggest gripe with the phone is it’s relatively short battery life. Though it is armed with a 1420mAH Li-ion battery, the only way to eek out juice for a full day is to not use the features of a Smart Phone. The Zen Z77 was a ‘dumb’ phone. It would make calls well and you could play Java games for a while, but it’s 1200 mAH battery lasted more than 1.5 days.

Inside the phone (87.5KB)

The phone quickly becomes warm and loses battery if you start WiFi and Bluetooth sessions simultaneously. I am told 3G has an even worse effect on battery life. Google Play store takes away battery life as you download and try out the various apps but what really takes the cake are the ‘Live Wallpapers’. Install any Open-GL based wallpaper (for ex: Anipet Aquarium, Lightscape) and you can watch the battery go from full to zero in an hour.

I am told that poor battery life is a bane of Android OS and unless the phone has a battery capacity of 2500mAH – 4000mAH, one should not expect full-day of tablet functionality from it.

A 30 minute session of Angry Birds (WiFi off) depleted the battery but not dramatically. Standard business apps (email check on notification, SMS check on notification, Answering calls) etc. also did not kill the battery too much. Nevertheless, be prepared to carry the charger with you; better still – use multiple chargers.

A good feature of the phone is that it charges via USB. In fact, the bundled charger delivers 5V DC at 500mA using the standard USB Micro-B connector. I was successful in using the USB charger that came along with the LG VS-750 to charge this phone. Many of my friends who have Blackberry’s with dying battery, keep the phone plugged into their computer’s USB (for charging). It makes their phone look like Bakelite phones of yore. It won’t be funny if my new phone too is relegated to the same status.

Like a Nokia phone, for some reason, the first time full-charge of a battery takes really long. In fact you are left wondering if something is wrong. In my case, it took over 4 hours. With the passing days, the charging has become faster and now I am able to achieve full-charge of the phone from zero in about 2 hours.

FYI, the fully charged new battery reported 4180 mV of charge. It will be interesting to measure the rate of decline of the battery. Another problem would be non-availability of replacement batteries since Karbonn does not document their availability.

Note that if the battery gets deeply discharged, the phone may not power-up even with the charger connected. In fact, it may not even appear to be charging. Just leave it connected to the charger. In a few minutes, the battery will charge sufficiently and the battery charging animation will show. At this point, you can power on the phone.

Creaky Back-cover:

The phone’s back-cover is an all plastic affair that that does not make a seamless fit. It’s flexible and creaks under pressure. Though it’s a non-issue as far as functioning of the phone is concerned, its the first time in 15 years of mobile phone usage that I am encountering such an issue.


Landscape image from camera. (1.49MB)

The phone comes armed with a 5MP back camera that also packs a LED Flash and 0.3MP (VGA) front camera. The cameras have very good low-light performance in Low-motion scenes. i.e. if you use Skype Video Calling, the cameras are able to capture a well-exposed image even if the only light source in the room is a 28W tube-light. Try capturing a party-scene (with lots of people moving about) and all you are likely to capture is motion blur outlines. In daylight, the images are captured much more easily and quickly.

A redeeming feature of the phone is the ability to select the focus point. Just touch on the object/person you want to focus on and the camera focuses to bring forth a sharp image. The camera can also automatically select shoot mode and select Macro mode if object is too close to camera. Macro focusing distance is as close as approx. 5 cm.

Additional features such as Color modes (B&W, Sepia etc.) are available along with Flash control. The built-in flash is bright and effective for short distances of 5 feet or less.

The camera can also record video clips and assisted panorama images.

Dynamic range of camera (1MB)

Where the camera fails is Dynamic Range and Color Rendition. If you take images of very vibrant scenes, colors seem to shift towards grey. Green leaves and Yellow petals of Marigold flowers turned grey. If you shoot scenes with areas of high brightness and deep shadows, areas in shade become too dark in the image. Thankfully, the bright areas do not blow-out.

Detail-wise, the 5MP camera leaves a lot to be desired. While the images distinctly have more detail than the 2MP camera on my Nokia 5230 and the 3.2MP camera on the LG VS-750, the quality of images is awful when compared to a 2MP HP Digital Camera that is 10 years old. I have maintained that Mega-Pixel marketing is a fallacy and just like PMPO rating for audio systems, customers should avoid considering it as a factor when evaluating a camera. Not only the 5MP images do not have the sharpness that is expected, the extremely heavy JPEG compression that is applied makes them look like up-scaled VGA images.

In short, photography enthusiasts will be sorely disappointed with this camera.

Android Bugs

The phone OS includes ‘Developer Options’ menu in Settings. This is very useful for software developers and those who are trying to enable ‘USB to Go’ etc. However, the debug mode itself has a serious bug. If you enable ‘Strict Mode’, then it just does not get disabled no matter how many times you turn it off. The only way to stop the red flashes around the border of the screen, is to reset the phone to factory settings.

The Ugly

Touch Screen Issues:

The phone’s touch screen acts really cranky when the phone is plugged into a charging source.

Touch registrations go haywire and it becomes nearly impossible to use the phone. I have seen this issue with Capacitive Touch-Screens when we used them for creating Multimedia Kiosks, but to see it a decade later on a battery powered device means that there maybe an engineering issue with the phone.

Upon disconnecting from the charging source, the phone’s touch screen acts normally and requires no re-calibration. Unfortunately, the phone did not come with a Recalibration option either. In future, should I need recalibration of the screen, I maybe on my own.

If you will also find that the Android buttons placed at the bottom of the phone do not work if you are not holding the phone.

For ex: if the phone is on a table/bed, you will find that the bottom row of buttons are not functional. The moment you slide your palm under the phone, they start working properly. If you place the phone over a headphone wire, the buttons start working. Fortunately, the rest of the screen works as expected but without back-button and home button functionality, using the phoneΒ  becomes near impossible.

One buyer has recommended that the phone works perfectly when he used the USB charger of another manufacturer. He claimed that the charger included by Karbonn delivers slightly higher voltage than 5V and causes most of these touch screen issues. In my case, when I charged the phone in the bedroom (different electrical phase), even with the Karbonn charger, the phone behaved like a Gentleman!

The touch response also went crazy when I placed the phone next to a Karbonn A21 and when it was placed on a bubble wrap.

So there is definitely an issue with charging voltage / static electricity / inductive coils etc. There are definitely engineering issues with touch on this phone. Maybe Karbonn will fix this issue, maybe they won’t. Though unlike USA, even if the issue is fixed, we are unlikely to see a mass-recall and replacement of the devices.

PC Synchronization:

A common anathema for Android users, the phone does not offer PC Synchronization the way Nokia does with it’s PC Suite software. There is no bundled software. There is nothing available on Google Play Store either. The only way to transfer your contacts from Outlook to phone is to export it as CSV and import it in Gmail. When the phone synchronizes the Gmail account, it will transfer the contacts. There is no way to automatically transfer Contact information and Profile images from Facebook into the phone either. To top it all, the Facebook app is a bloatware and must be installed on Phone Memory only.

Side Notes

Sangeetha Mobiles added on costs such as Sangeetha Swift (Rs.199/-, for insurance) and Sangeetha Delight (Rs.99/-, door-step servicing). They claim that these costs are mandatory. These costs make Sangeetha more expensive than most Online Stores. Are these costs acceptable or should buyers have an option? I am all for these costs being optional but I also suggest that insurance of an expensive mobile phone maybe worth it. Insurance companies in India are notorious for making it extremely difficult to process a claim and quite possibly your claim will be rejected. Nevertheless, insurance rarely proves it’s value until the occasion calls for it.

A phone like the Karbonn A9+ costs less than 1/3rd the cost of a branded state-of-the-art Smartphone (for ex: Samsung Galaxy Note II N7100, Rs.37K on SnapDeal on Nov 18, 2012). Are you also getting a 1/3rd phone?

I had the pleasure of using the Note II today and comparing the Karbonn to the Samsung would be comparing Apples to Oranges. The fluidity of the interface, the quality of the camera, the 720p HD Videos, the absolutely COMPLETE set of features sets the Galaxy Note II in a class of it’s own. Even the iPhone is not a patch on the Galaxy.

If comparing the Karbonn A9+ with Samsung Galaxy Note II (or similar phones), the question is not whether you are getting a 33% phone. It is do you need a 300% phone?

Download Phone Debug Info.

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108 Responses

  1. Joel says:

    A very nice review and I surely fall in the last line for making this phone as my choice.. I don’t need 300%.


  2. satyendra says:

    very helpfull review……everything in a9+ is gud but ….i think the button’s problem is a major issue…..can this issue be a reason for not buy this mobile????reply……

    • Rajib Ghosh says:

      dear satyendra,
      while my wife now uses the a9+, I am using the a21. both suffer from same problem during charging.

      fortunately, we charge the phone at bedtime and the battery lasts all day with normal usage. hence we do not encounter the cursor jump issue much.

      some readers have suggested using compatible chargers from other company.

      • Vemman says:

        The charging time issue with touch screen is because the output is more than 5v like 5.2, 5.15 etc. Culprit is poor quality charger.

        As suggested pure usb charging or lg/sam/noki stuff should help..

  3. mahesh says:

    iam the user of karbonnA9+
    iam getting red flash while going through contacts!!
    its a great obstacle for using the mobile
    pls tell me how to remove it?

    • Rajib Ghosh says:

      Dear Mahesh,

      Please check if ‘Strict Mode Enabled’ is checked on your phone.
      You will find it in Settings -> Developer Options ->User Interface (section).

      Try unchecking it and see if it works. I my case, deactivating it did not seem to actually deactivate it in the system and I had to perform a Factory Reset of the phone.


  4. Rameez says:

    Hi ,

    I am not able to download games from google play . It is prompting me the error once the download is started . Error in downloading the file 304. Even i am not able to play the videos using this phone. Could you please help me in solving the issue.

    • Rajib Ghosh says:

      Dear Rameez,

      I have not yet encountered this error, hence I cannot offer a specific solution. A few pointers though:

      • Downloads from Google Play requires a broadband connection. Downloads tend to terminate and remain incomplete in case the connection is slow. I recommend that you try downloading apps if bandwidth available to your phone is a minimum 256Kbps speed. If not, you can also try to download stuff using a friend’s WiFi connection which is of higher speed.
      • It is generally more convenient to visit the Google Play website using a browser and then command the downloads from there. The selected apps automatically download to your phone.
      • You can try an app like ‘Apps2SD’ or ‘App2SD+’ to move applications from Main Memory to SD Card/Internal 2GB memory and free up the Internal Primary Storage Memory (512MB). Apps always download to the primary storage memory and if this memory becomes full, you may not be able to download additional apps and some programs may stop working too. Note that some apps cannot be moved from Primary Internal Memory and some apps stop working if moved.
      • You can try an app like ‘Fast Reboot’ to quickly kill some apps and make memory available for apps like Google Play (before launching Google Play).

      w.r.t. playing video files on the phone:

      • I have found that the phone does not play videos too well (video playback stops after a few seconds) if the video is being played over Wi-Fi from a network share. Videos that are streaming from website however, play quite well.
      • The default playback software does not support many formats. You should install ‘MX player’ or ‘BS Player’ to play videos in MKV / FLV format. Personally, I use BS Player.


      • Rameez says:


        Gud reply for my question. But, it has been only one day i have bought my phone and on that i am using Aircel 3G Internet. The download is starting but all of the sudden it stops and give an error message like download filed with Error 403

        • Rajib Ghosh says:

          Dear Rameez,
          I think the errors are caused by faulty 3G network. Unfortunately in India, the quality of cellular networks has fallen drastically and there is little you can do about it.

          I suggest that you use your Internet connection over WiFi to connect your phone to the Internet and download the apps.


  5. Mohammad says:

    That’s quite nice ! I bought this phone from flipkart ! But i found a serious problem from karbonn !
    This Company do’t release Source Codes !
    For Now many users like me want to have for-example baseband files !
    The Phone is quite nice , but without source codes , this company won’t be even like Micromax !

    • Rajib Ghosh says:

      Dear Mohammed,

      What you are asking for will probably give the company management a heart attack!
      In general, phones etc. are consumer devices and are rarely treated as development devices. Hence the lack of comprehensive documentation or development tools.
      With such devices, the mantra seems to be – if it works as advertised, then chapter closed.

      Come to think of it, between Microsoft and Intel, they are trying to do the same thing to Computers.


  6. raj says:

    thanks for the review.

  7. ABHINAV sharma says:

    pls suggest .. confuse btw dis and NOKIa 500 .. which would b d best buy?? THERE is app. 1600 diff bet nokia 500 flipkart price and market price .. strange :/

    • Rajib Ghosh says:

      Dear Abhinav,

      If user reviews on Flipkart are to be believed, the Nokia 500 seems to suffer from serious software issues. In general, FlipKart is able to offer better price because it can source directly from manufacturer or large distributor. Also, Flipkart does not have overheads such as Showrooms, Sales-staff and Local issues.

      I cannot comment specifically on the Nokia 500 and my detailed comments on the Karbonn A9+ are in the article. The decision is up-to you. Either way, because of no-return/no-exchange policies of Indian retailers, buying electronic equipment in India is largely a game of hit-and-miss.


  8. mujtaba says:

    Dear Rajib

    I am thinking of buying samsung galaxy pocket or karbon a9+ according to you what will be better

    I went through specifications and your review it was interesting
    I am concerned about battery of a9+ and the touch screen not working while charging
    If my battery is dead or scraped can i get another battery in market
    Does this phone support VOIP services like skype, nimbuzz (i know its useless to ask this question it should work but still)
    I heard there is some problem with network connectivity too in karbonn a9+
    Most i can spend is 8500 rupees
    please reply me

    • Rajib Ghosh says:

      Dear Mujtaba,

      Comparing the Samsung phones and the Karbonn phones is like comparing apples to oranges. While both the phones are based on Google Android OS, the similarity ends there.

      Samsung phones are engineered very very well and hardly display any engineering issues. The Karbonn phones on the other hand display quite a few issues as documented in my article.

      That said, none of the drawbacks on the Karbonn phones are a show-stopper. Most of us can live with such ‘defects’ considering that the phone costs half of what Samsung phones typically cost.

      w.r.t. your queries:
      1. The touch-screen on the Karbonn A9+ is unusable during charging. The Karbonn A21 also faces this problem, but to a slightly lesser extent.

      2. I doubt if it will be easy to get a replacement battery for the phone in the market. Karbonn’s support network seems to be weak. Maybe the situation will improve in the future. The battery should last at-least 2 years and I DO intend to upgrade the phone to a newer model after that time.

      3. The phone does support VOIP and Video Calling using Skype, Google Talk. Other apps maybe supported too but these two are in use by my wife on a regular basis. Note that we use these apps over WiFi. Technically, they should work over GPRS / 3G too but we haven’t tried it out yet.

      4. Network connectivity is not a problem on the Karbonn A9+. My house is in an area with poor BSNL connectivity, yet this phone continues to work where other phones completely stopped connecting to the network.

      5. Your budget should be enough to get the Karbonn A9+.


  9. HarleyG. says:

    Good Day, i have a problem with Karbonn A+ Battery Life
    i’m a HARD USER and the BATTERY LIFE will last for 4~7hrs only. .
    may QUESTION is:
    can i replace the batteries capacity from 1450mah to higher?
    what are the generic types of battery that can fit to Karbonn A+ with higher “mah” capacity?
    . . tnx for response ^_^

    • Rajib Ghosh says:

      Dear HarleyG,

      Unfortunately, Karbonn neither sells higher capacity batteries nor are third party batteries available in the market.
      In fact, even the higher capacity battery of the Karbonn A21 is designed not to slot in correctly on the A9+.

      Poor battery performance is currently the bane of powerful smartphones and it is not uncommon to see Blackberry and iPhone users carry their chargers everywhere.

      A friend of mine purchased a portable battery pack that delivers juice over USB ports and can be used in emergency to charge mobile phone etc. Search Flipkart for “Capdase BP00-M001 Power Cruizer Battery Pack for Portable USB”. You will see what I mean. BTW, he uses it to charge his Nokia Lumia phone.


      • HarleyG. says:

        great.! tnx for the Info
        but, do you have any idea what is the replacement battery for
        Karboon a9+ that can fit on the BatteryHOUSE ?
        like here in the Philippines,
        my friend use a Samsung Galaxy S3 BATTERY for
        Karbonn a9+ with 2100mah capacity ..
        (5 terminals converted to 3 terminals, and high was generically increase)
        Heres the LINK for YouTube
        by the way, the Karbonn A9+ is Cherry Mobile Flare (S00) on the Philippines
        and Heres the Link:

        • Rajib Ghosh says:

          Dear harleyG,

          Thanks for the useful info.
          I am not currently aware which battery available in the Indian market will fit in the Karbonn A9+ but information you have shared is interesting and I am sure soon many people will try to determine which alternate battery they can use.


  10. says:

    dear sir. i would like to know when i am calling to somebody or someone is calling me why cant I see the assinged picture of the contact…..and pliz tell me how to exit play store and interrupt download so that i can save some of the battery \

    • Rajib Ghosh says:

      Dear Thnaoba,

      • Pictures can be assigned manually on the phone in the Contacts. Just edit the contact.
      • In case your phone is configured to download Contacts from Gmail, you can assign images to the contacts in Gmail and they will download into the phone automatically.
      • If your Gmail contacts are also on your Friends list in Google Talk / Google Plus, their profile images will be automatically in your Contact List.
      • You can use an app like ‘Google Contact Sync’ to download images from Facebook Contacts into Gmail Contacts; which will in turn be downloaded to your phone.


  11. moin says:

    Dear Rajib,
    i am suffering from the network mode problem in karbonb A9+.
    when i want to switch network mode from GSM Only to WCMA , it is not switch and stay in GSM Only mode…
    do u have any idea about this…?
    if u have pls give…

    • Rajib Ghosh says:

      Dear Moin,

      Te WCDMA mode (available only on SIM #1) allows you to subscribe to CDMA operators and GSM operators on the same phone.
      Note that if your SIM #1 is from a GSM operator, you will not be able to use the WCDMA network. The phone will always auto-select GSM.


  12. sid says:

    HI Rajib, what would you suggest KARBONN A9+ or Spice Mi-435 Stellar Nhance. I M TOTALLY CONFUSED AND googling for more than 8hrs. my main usage is Skype, free USA calling +GPS

    • Rajib Ghosh says:

      While Spice Telecom reports the phone to have 512MB RAM, it appears that it only has approx. 382MB RAM. This is a the same as Karbonn A9+.
      Both phones appear to share similar tech. specs. (processor, RAM, facilities).

      The 8MP camera maybe producing interpolated images as users are reporting mediocre image quality.

      However, the Spice phone has slightly higher battery capacity, cheaper and generally sold with freebies such as Memory Card. Also, unlike the Karbonn phones, no-one is reporting touch-screen issues while the phone is charging.


  13. sid says:

    and what about the IPS display that karbonn has but spice doesnt have? Would it matter much? I think the camera is almost same. A9+ is launched before spice. Can you make pick in both of them? Also can you plz tell me if there are any other mobiles in this range that i can think of. My initial budget was 5-6k but its now max 7200 (courtesy these 2 phones)

    • Rajib Ghosh says:

      Traditionally, IPS displays have meant brighter screens and wider display angles. Quite frankly, while the Karbonn’s screen is great to look at indoors, when seen it direct sunlight, it is all but invisible. So no marks for that.

      Camera can be discounted. Megapixels does not matter if image quality is not good. My Nokia 5530 (2MP) takes better pictures. Also, the camera software on the Karbonn does not GPS tag the images. Android 4 camera app is supposed to, but this one does not. Touch to Focus however works well.

      The only reason I could write in great detail about the A9+ and A21 (plus’s and minus’s) is because I own both of them. In all honesty, I cannot make any comment about the spice since I have never even seen it in person.

      My recommendation would be to check the Spice phone for problems that Karbonn is exhibiting. And if it does not exhibit these problems, it maybe a better phone.

      w.r.t. recommending any other phone, you will have to depend on reviews on Blogs, Flipkart and Mouthshut.

  14. sid says:

    hi, nice review! can you please tell whether this is dual sim dual active (can make and receive calls on both sim) or dual sim dual standby (one sim can be made for calling)?


  15. Piyush says:

    Dear Sir,

    Kindly advise major difference between Karbonn A21 and A9+. I can spend little more to take A21 if it does not have issue that exist in A9+. Pls advise.

    Usage – gmail, gps, maps, little web browsing and mild gaming with occasional video playback.

    • Rajib Ghosh says:

      Dear Piyush,

      The major difference is the Screen-size. The A21 features a 4.5″ screen (versus 4″ of A9+) with a resolution of 960 x 540 (versus 800×480 of A9+). Second difference is the battery. The A21 has a battery of slightly higher capacity (1800 mAH versus 1450mAH of A9+).

      Everything else is pretty much the same; including the issues of A9+.


  16. abhishek says:

    sir i have used htc explorer it had no issues…i am a college student and i am more concerned with battery issue i should buy this phone out..coz karbonn is not a big brand moreover all peoples say that its just a chinese crap…so i wanted to have ur advice in this case and shud i opt for karbonn a9+ or not…………..and after sometimes even say 2-3 months the touch wud be same or it wud damage drasticaallyyy..pls reply

  17. Rajeev Ranjan says:

    hey ur article is really complete in itself and nice one, but can u plz help me
    -how to change keyboard in landscape mode while messaging and
    -how to turn off dictionary.

  18. Shreyas says:

    Hey Rajib, excellent and in-depth personal analysis for the Karbonn A9+. Kudos! Have few doubts. Please clarify because I shall be buying the phone tomorrow mostly.

    1) Can I install Instagram on this (though it’s camera is not meant for photographers)
    2) How is the GPS on the phone? How long does it take to configure & provide the accurate location? Do Google Offline Maps & Voice Navigation works on it?
    3) Does it install the USB files when connected to a happy/desktop? Did you face any issue?
    4) Will it install games (HD & Non-HD) on the phone like Temple Run 2, Subway Surfer etc.. Will it lag?
    5) Can we install 3rd party apps like Foursquare, Whatsapp to newer versions?
    6) Any comment on its upgradation to JB?
    7) Can we sync contacts from Google the way we do in BB? (Not Outlook based)

    Please inform me about the same as I shall buy it tomorrow then. Thanks.

    • Rajib Ghosh says:

      Dear Shreyas,

      Yes you can install Instagram on this. In fact it supports all photo apps. The default camera app does not record GPS information but many of the other apps do.

      The GPS is on the phone is terrific. It locks onto satellites really fast. Its way way faster than my Nokia 5230. Google offline maps works but Voice navigation requires active Internet connection.

      It does not install any files on your computer when you connect it. However, it prompts you to select among the many USB operation modes. If you select File-Transfer via USB (on the phone), you shows up as ‘Removable Drivers’ in My Computer and you can easily Copy-paste files to it.

      Games work pretty well but the phone tends to get hot and drain battery really fast. It may also reboot occasionally or the game may crash due to low-memory.

      You can install any compatible 3rd party app from Google Play store. Although Whats App is bundled with the phone and cannot be removed (unless you root the phone), you can actually easily upgrade it.

      As of now I don’t see any pressing reason why you should try to replace the default ICS OS with hacked JB. Google does not directly offer OS updates and Karbonn is unlikely to bother too.

      Contacts Synch with your gmail account is fully supported. In fact, I have set my device to only show my gmail contacts and not Phone/SIM contacts. This way, when I add new contacts, they get added to gmail directly.


  19. Shreyas says:

    Thanks a lot Rajib. I am now much satisfied with the phone. Minor issues which you mentioned in your analysis is acceptable as you cannot receive a complete package in one piece. I need to ask few last questions before I can actually go and buy the piece.

    1) You mentioned about Android bugs. Have they been sorted by Karbonn/Google (if participating)? Will the user get the issue of ‘Strict Mode’ when installing apps/phone drivers when connected?
    2) Can the phone give access to apps like TrueCaller or any launchers because ICS is still not that stable I feel as compared to Gingerbread or JB. What’s your take?
    3) How is the network reception, the audio quality on speaker mode? Is the coverage powerful while roaming. I am a Voda customer.
    4) You mentioned about often low battery while using apps/games. Any alternative to it apart from charging. Do we get an extra battery for the same phone in the market?
    5) Saw people stating (via Google search) that some sort of red lines often come. Can you put some light onto it? (If you have come across/aware of the same)
    6) Users mentioned about their touch screen being hung quite a time when kept on the surface. Is it due to any sensors within the phone or some instrumentation problem?
    7) Lastly, how responsive is the internet on primary 2G services? I am sure on Wi-Fi it shall work like a breeze.
    8) Which video formats can I play (for movies). Will .FLV/.MKV work apart from .AVI which is supported by the phone. If it doesn’t if I install 3rd party apps like VLC, MX players will they run the videos or will it totally depend on the codecs & bitrate of the video. Any suitable video bitrate that you might have experienced.

    Lastly, any major pros from your end. Please share. πŸ™‚

    It would be very helpful to me if these last set of questions is replied as it will clear all the doubts I have in my mind. I shall then proudly say, I am the owner of this droid. πŸ˜€

    Thanks Rajib.

    • Rajib Ghosh says:

      Dear Shreyas,

      1. Whatever bugs Android OS has, Google only sorts them out in the next Android version. Since google does not release downloadable Android OS, users cannot update their phones from google; they have to wait for the manufacturer to release the update. Karbonn is a maker of cheap android phones of chinese origins. Clearly their commitment to fixing android issues is zero. In fact, Jarbonn’s website lists the display specifications of the A21 incorrectly.

      I have not encountered any ‘Strict Mode’ issue when connecting the phone to my computer.

      2. While the phone supports most applications in the Android market, application compatibility is not guaranteed. IMHO, ICS on my phone does it’s job. After all, it is not a computer in terms of OS and Programs.

      3. Network / Reception is good. My BSNL SIM fails midway in calls and at times call just dont come through. These problems were worse on my previous phones from branded manufacturers. My Airtel SIM performs very well throughout the city. Hence I must lay the blame on BSNL’s poor technology and not the phone. At Hyderabad, Voda customers do not enjoy trouble free coverage throughout the city.

      4. The battery does get discharged quickly if playing games, particularly games that use 3D API. Unfortunately, Karbonn does not supply large capacity alternate batteries for it’s phones. Some people have tried using batteries from other manufacturers like Samsung but such batteries need to be modified before they can be used.

      5. The screen may flash wit Red borders occasionally. This happens if you enable ‘Strict Mode’ in Developer Options in the phone. This is meant to be a warning to a developer that his app is trying to capture too much resources on the phone. For curiosity sake, I once enabled ‘Strict mode’ and then no matter what, I couldnot disable it and had to perform a Factory reset on the phone.

      6. Karbonn phones featuring capacitive touch screens have a problem where the screen response is erratic when the phone is connected to a charger and the screen may not respond if the phone is kept on a non-conducting surface and use is attempting to operate it with one finger. I think these are serious engineering issues with Karbonn phones. Users of other brand phones have complained of similar problems but in Karbonn I think every phone has this problem.

      7. I would expect the phone to work very well in 2G (144 Kbps max) and it does. But this is very network dependent. Occassionally my BSNL 2G works quite well and most of the times it is dead-slow. This is ironical because when launched, BSNL 2G (GPRS) was superbly fast. I think BSNL (like most other service providers) is deliberately crippling previous-generation services to push users into adopting newer generation services and much higher cost.

      8. The default video player does not support FLV & MKV. However you can install BSPlayer or MX Player and they not only support most file formats, they work really well. I have been able to play DVD quality video (DVDRips, Youtube-480p downloads) quite well. I haven’t tried playing 720p/1080p rips.

      I think the phone is a good bundle of features for it’s price. It has it’s issues (Low Application Memory, Touchscreen issues) but when compared to the price you are paying, I think a compromise can be arrived at.


  20. Shreyas says:

    Thanks Rajib. One good thing to congratulate is I purchased the piece this evening for 7K. I am in love with the piece and completely agree with your words what you mentioned in the blog.

    The capacitive touch of the phone is awesome, responsive. I would like to thank you for helping me to understand this piece. πŸ™‚

    Like to know one thing, how do I transfer the apps from phone memory to internal memory? Currently installing apps on SD card.


  21. Shreyas says:

    Hi Rajib,

    Facing a small issue. I downloaded apps on my Karbonn A9+ but apps are getting downloaded on my phone instead of SD card. Now my phone memory is just 20MB to extinct. My internal memory is free 2.57GB free and SD card space is 2.71GB free.

    Please help me how to transfer the apps/games from phone memory to either internal/SD card. Please support if there are any apps available in the Play store that can make my task easier.

    Thanks πŸ™‚

    • Rajib Ghosh says:

      Dear Shreyas,

      Just install an app line “App2SD”. It will help you move the apps from the Internal ROM (512MB) to either Internal Memory (2GB) or External SD Card.
      Most applications continue to work after being moved. Some apps that either present widgets or are classified as System Apps cannot be moved.
      Some apps stop working after being moved. But by and large, App2SD works well.


  22. Shreyas says:

    Hi Rajib,

    Thanks for the info. I installed App2SD and installed few apps which were possible to move. But the question is how do I move it to Internal Memory? I only get option to move to SD card.

    Can you help me about the same. Because I do not want to use my SD memory.

    Thanks. πŸ™‚

    • Rajib Ghosh says:

      Dear Shreyas,

      Goto Settings->Device->Storage-> Select Default Storage.

      Select ‘Phone Storage’ for internal 2GB memory or ‘SD Card’ for your SD Card.


  23. virat says:

    plzz tell me.. karbonn a9+
    mobile good for purchase ya not..??? tell me…

  24. Shreyas says:

    Thanks a ton Rajib πŸ™‚ You were very helpful for my queries.

    Hope to get help from your end in the near future!

    Cheers! πŸ˜€

  25. Shreyas says:

    Dear Virat,

    My personal take, please go ahead with this phone. You will fall in love with this droid.

    All thanks to Rajib for guidance!


  26. Ashish says:

    Hi Rajib,

    I am fed up with my Karbonn A9+ phone’s short battery life. Can I replace its battery with high capacity (mAH) battery.



  27. akshay says:

    should i buy this phone or not ?
    how to fix the issues in this mobile ?such as headphone & touch issues

  28. Jinal Sharma says:

    Sir , am facing problem in my Karbonn A9 , that Google playstore is working with gprs in mobile , instead i want to use google store through wi fi connection.. Am facing error with it,, Please suggest me , what should i don now sir ????

  29. Shreyas says:

    Jinal, it’s a simple solution to your issue. When you go to the main screen, pull down the status screen and you will see options like Wi-Fi-, Data, Rotalock, Mute etc..

    Click WI-Fi (It turns blue when activated) and turn off Data option which is next to it. Simple. You are done. Just login through the secured WI-Fi connection with the required credentials and you can surf easily.

    Hope to see you shall enjoy surfing on Wi-Fi πŸ™‚

  30. Mhakhio says:

    Karbonn a9 or htc explorer or lumia 510 which one should i go for…. Cn u suggst me plz…..

    • Rajib Ghosh says:

      Mhakhio: Whoa! You are talking about roadside dish, restaurant dish and gourmet dish in the same breath? How about telling us how much cash you are willing to spend?

  31. Jinal says:

    Dear Shreyas , you are misunderstatnding my problem. I mentioned about connection time out problem . I didnt ask how to turn wifi on. Either way , please provide me with solution

  32. rahul.A says:

    plz tell me can i upgrade this mobile from ics to jellbean
    if Yes!!! then how should i do this !!!

  33. rahul.A says:

    Should i take this phone(karbonn a9+) or micromax smarty 4.0 ,Which is best among karbonn a9+ & micromax

  34. PS RAO says:

    Kindly let me know whether Internet i.e. GPRS/Wifi is required for using GPS / A-GPS?

    • Rajib Ghosh says:

      Dear PS Rao,

      GPRS connection is not required for GPS. Google Maps can work with Offline Cache. For this, while online over WiFi/GPRS/3G, select an area and from the menu select ‘Make available offline’. The map data will be downloaded and saved to phone memory. Now, even in the absence of Internet connection, map data for the selected area will be shown in full detail.

      You can also use alternative map applications such as CityMaps2Go. This application allows you to download the road-map of an entire State!. Unfortunately, maps used by this application (OpenStreetMaps) are quite a few steps behind Google Maps and not as detailed.

      Also, note that Google Maps cannot search the map or do route planning if Internet connection is not available. Since in remote areas, Internet connection is generally not available, Google Maps is unsuitable for use in very-remote / wild areas.

      Google Maps is not a patch on Nokia Maps which allows you to download the street maps of entire India into the phone. Nokia maps can also save places of interest/way-points and show travel route between two points even if Internet connection is not available.

      While Android phones do not have a dedicated button for GPS, you can quite easily create a short-cut to Google Maps etc. on the Android device’s home-screen. Just drag the icon from the Menu.


  35. PS RAO says:

    Whether any dedicated key/icon is available in Karbonn A9+ for using GPS?

  36. Jinal says:

    Rajib Sir please help me out in my connection timed out problem

    • Rajib Ghosh says:

      Dear Jinal,

      Can you please list in detail what kind of connectivity tests you have performed yet and where do you find the performance unsatisfactory?
      IMHO, diagnosis of network related issues needs to be done locally / onsite and all we can offer is probably some generic advice. Nevertheless, I encourage you to write in detail.


  37. Shreyas says:

    Dear Rajib,

    Hope you are doing fine. πŸ™‚

    I came across this small issue while checking my phone. I was trying to transfer files via Wi-Fi Access but was unable to do so. Could you put a little light to the same with the procedure.

    I tried it with devices like Samsung S3, Ace Plus but couldn’t figure it out.

    Kindly guide me..

    Also, I am thinking to root my phone to JB if available. Can you please confirm me the same.

    What could be the pros and cons? (I know rooting will void my warranty. πŸ˜› )

    Thanks in advance.

    Hope to hear from you soon.

    • Rajib Ghosh says:

      Let me ask you to refrain from attempting to update to JB. Karbonn and Google do not provide an official upgrade path and attempting to installing a modded version of the OS could very well brick the phone (if not done properly).

      The phone works quite well on ICS and you will need to be satisfied with that.

      The phone can either transfer files between supported models via WiFi using WiFi-Direct or Bluetooth. WiFi-Direct does not work between phone and computers.

      You can however install a program like ‘File Manager’ by Rhythm Software. This software can establish a Samba / WebDaV / FTP connection with a PC and easily transfer files back and forth.

  38. Abhinav joshi says:

    Hi ,

    I m facing problem with battery in karbonn A9 + …

    Can please help me out …

    i Saw u r pervious comment , in that S3 battey will work …. but how we can Buy this Battery in india …


    • Rajib Ghosh says:

      There is no official higher capacity battery for A9+; neither is there any documented way to make other batteries work with the A9+.

      Should you choose to attempt to fit an alternate battery into the A9+, your warranty will stand immediately invalid and you maybe attempting something dangerous as Li-Ion batteries are known to explode if not charged/discharged according to specification.

  39. Navneet says:

    hello sir,

    sir pls tell me which mobile phone is best karbonn a9+ and karbonn a21….

    • Rajib Ghosh says:

      Both are pretty much the same except the screen size and battery capacity. If you want a phone that easily fits in shirt pocket, get the A9+. If you want a bigger screen (because you are on the web a lot or intend to watch a lot of movies on the phone), then get the A21.

  40. Mathan says:

    I bought this mobile yesterday. whil charging , charging animation is not showing in my mobile . even it reached full charge also it not showing anything…

    • Rajib Ghosh says:

      The phone shows an indicator for charging when plugged in. Look at the top of the screen. When charged completely, this icon changes to show battery mode (even if charger is still connected).

      Use a Battery Widget to determine charging status / percentage if you want bigger visual feedback.


      • Mathan says:

        am using battery widget only to check the charging level. my problem is while charging there is no visual shows the increment of charging in that icon. it is not moving while charging…

  41. Raghu says:

    how we can do factory resetting for Karbonn a9+
    what is the default code for karbonn a9+ which is asking while doing system admin setting
    please kindly help asap

  42. Shreyas says:

    Hi Rajib,

    Thanks for your feedback. I tried using File Manager as suggested by you. 2 days back I tried transfering my files to LG Optimus 4x HD via Wi-Fi access & it again failed. Tried on different handset of SGS 3 too but in vain.

    Is there a particular procedure? I turned on access on both handsets & paired it. (Tried it in Wi-Fi range & w/o range too) but nothing works. Is there any other way how can I transfer files via Wi-Fi access?

    Please guide me on the procedure.

    Thanks. Have a great day πŸ™‚

  43. Nice reviews, but little dissopointed because i purchased the same phone tomorrow, is there any way to get good battery life…

  44. Ashish Meher says:

    I am considering purchasing this phone. It is available for 7450rs at my local shop. Is it worth it? I use a blackberry curve 9300 right now and have never used an android device. I really want to own one. And this seems affordable and also has awesome features. But is it a worthwile spend??

    • Rajib Ghosh says:

      Dear Ashish,

      It appears that you have been a user of branded phones and premium ones at that!

      I feel that if you were to opt for phones from companies like Karbonn / Micromax / Spice etc., you will always have that lingering doubt in the back of your mind that you could have made a better decision.

      Considering that, I will ask you to consider your Android experience from Samsung / LG / HTC only. Phones from these companies are not aimed at the budget segment and consequently, build-quality-wise, feature-and-specifications-wise, after-sales-support-wise, these phones do deliver a lot more.

      Please know that Android phones are like Linux. The core of the OS is the same across all the devices (with same OS version) and the eye-candy is really provided by the manufacturer’s customization and user’s efforts. Most important points of an Android phone are how much Internal memory is available for program execution (not program storage) and battery capacity. A budget phone typically features 512MB RAM (350 MB or less available for programs) and battery less than 2000mAh capacity.

      My Karbonn A21 has only 386 MB RAM (40 – 80MB available for programs) and a 1800mAh battery. The low RAM results in applications closing/crashing if they require more RAM. The built-in browser is the most common victim of this. Thus I am using “UC Browser” which seems to be faring much better. The battery is acceptable though and it is lasting nearly a day. You can use an app like “Android System Info” to determine the actual RAM, Internal Storage, External storage etc.


  45. Ashish Meher says:

    Also please keep in mind that this would be my first android experience. So what would you advice? Should i go for this one or keep looking for a branded and much more expensive one which i cannot afford and will probably have to compromise with regards to features in the name of brandname.

  46. Ashish Meher says:

    Thanx for replying. I have used branded phones but never an android phone. Am a nokia and now a blackberry user but am looking for my first android phone. My budget is around 7k and this fits neatly into that. Am just worried about basic things such as touch response, crashing of phone when i use internet and whatsapp and ofcourse battery life which should last me 15 hours that I am out of the house. Would not be worried as much if i was going for a known brand but then my budget allows me to only consider micromax or karbonn phones. Your review was greatly helpful though. Answered a lot of my questions. More so than any other review i have read of this phone online. But to be honest am still confused as to buy this or not πŸ™‚ People tend to have such negative views towards these two companies and have been told by friends to not consider them. That is partly the reason why I am so suspicious at the moment. I just want a android phone which i can use for calls, sms, whatsapp, internet browsing and radio. And which will last me around 15 hours. Am not into gaming or heavy apps which i dont have use for.
    This piece looks really nice spec wise no doubt…Battery was 2000mAh then it would be impossible to avoid buying it!! Hehe…Asking for too much in this budget.

    • Rajib Ghosh says:

      Dear Ashish,

      The Karbonn A9+ has a smaller battery (than A21) at 1400mAh. This means the battery will last approx. 12 – 15 hours. Currently my wife uses this phone. She it typically unplugs the phone from the charger and plugs it back in for a bit of topping off towards the evening. Heavy users may have to charge the phone twice a day. Fortunately, the supplied charger is small enough and the phone is compatible with any charger that supplies 5V 500mA using a standard mini-USB port. You can even use a computer to charge the phone.

      The phone is nearly impossible to use while it is charging. The touch response goes completely awry. However, when unplugged, the phone’s touch response is quick and accurate. The dual-core processor makes the interface pretty snappy.

      WhatsApp, GMail, Google Talk are rock solid on this phone. Never crashed even once. Skype too works well but drains the battery fast. Viber drains the battery faster. Dynamic / animated Wallpapers are a huge battery drain too. Keeping the screen brightness at Max or Auto also drains the battery. Set it manually for optimum battery life.

      The built-in browser crashes on loading large pages and pages with lot of javascript. However Opera Mini and UC Browser work very very well. Angry Birds versions have never crashed on me but EA World Poker Series crashes quite a bit.

      Barring a few shortcomings, the phone performs very well and is good value for money.

      Should you buy this phone? For 7.5K, you will now find other devices with similar specs. Micromaxx, Celkon & Idea Cellular all have similarly priced and featured phones. However, since the A9+ has been reviewed so critically, perhaps a known devil is better than an unknown one?


  47. Hey, also post heavy weight in ugly, its weight is 352 gram, it’s written on the box not in any website, this phone is 2-3 times heavier than other smartphones

  48. Ashish says:

    Rajib sir,

    Recently I visited to the service center for automatic sms sending problem. They format my mobile and reinstalled software (os). Now I am facing a new problem. Whenever i started internet (GPRS) my mobile automatically starts data downloading / Uploading. My mobile has no extra software installed except preinstalled by the company (Still in factory setting). I disabled all preinstalled softwares (NexGTv, Paytm, Phase Beam, Popi, TOI). I also disabled unnecessary services like Cell Broadcasts, currents, Google Calender Sync, Google Partner Setup, Home screen tips, Market Feedback Agent, Market Updater, My uploads, Network Location. Synchronization option is also disabled. I till not configured any email account.

    I installed firewall to search culprit but no application found.

    I could not understand why downloading and uploading starts automatically.

    Please help me.


  49. rishi says:

    is karbonn a9+ a good value for money for teenagers?????

    • Rajib Ghosh says:

      Hi Rishi,

      The Karbonn A9+ is a pretty good phone. It has a lot of features that should satisfy teenagers. However the phone is severely limited in terms of available RAM and large games etc. will crash.


  50. MARIAJOSEPH says:


    • Rajib Ghosh says:

      Dear Maria,

      Please submit the phone to Karbonn service center to get the issue fixed. It is unlikely to be a software issue that we can advise about.


  51. Ashish says:

    Really a great and detailed review of the phone!
    Sir,I want to purchase a new phone and want your guidance,Which one is better,Lava Iris 405 or Karbonn A9+ and why?
    Do let me know sir.
    Have a nice day.

    • Rajib Ghosh says:

      Dear Ashish,

      The Lava Irir 405 seems to have a slight edge over the Karbonn A9+ both feature-wise and price-wise.
      Perhaps the biggest plus point is that no one is reporting touch-screen issues with the phone while it is charging.


  52. RASIK KUMAR says:

    sir I am using A9+ BUT i really dont like the battery back up. is it possible to upgrade the battery to 2000AH or so . please let me know what options are available.

  53. rasik kumar says:

    dear sir

    i am using karbonn A9+. Very unhappy with the battery life. is it possible to change the battery to 1800Ah or 2000Ah. what are the options available.
    please let me know.

    with regards

  54. Dear Rajib,
    Do u have any information to use any other battery with A9+ to improve talk time???????

  55. RAJESH says:


  56. sourav nag says:

    Dear Rajib, Do I need to modify the battery of samsung s3 i9300 in order to use with karbonn a9+? or does it fit naturally? Please reply. waiting…

    • Rajib Ghosh says:

      Dear Sourav,

      I have not tried the Samsung S3 battery in my A9+; hence I cannot give actual feedback.

      Some reports had suggested that while the battery fitted in the battery compartment, the battery terminals do not make appropriate contact and some soldering is required for it.

      To get more battery backup out of the phone, I suggest you try apps like ‘Battery Saver’. The app turns off battery-expensive services like WiFi & 3G (turns them on periodically for email sync). You should also uninstall non-critical apps (apps that are active in the background but not really being used actively).

      For the desperate, there is always the option to root the phone and play around with “Idle frequency” of the phone to save battery.


  57. Kapil says:

    Sir, My Karbonn A9+ is showing failed to switch the sim(sim 1).

  58. Ashish says:

    Dear Sir,

    I am using Karbonn A9+. There is no issue with this phone. Neither touch problem while charging nor application installation or memory problem. This phone has only one problem i.e. battery backup. I either stopped / uninstalled all un-necessary application and unnecessary services.But battery problem is still poor.

    Sir, Recently I purchased KDM battery from ebay but no use. I want to know that can rooting will solve my battery backup problem?



  59. says:

    Therefore the owner after permanently failing to find a tracker that could assist on his hateful situation, he went to school and for some number of years learned programming! Being experienced enough to look at treatments for the dreadful situation it took him serious amounts of finish the program but he did it anyway and now you can now download it which help steer clear of the poison from spreading further!

  60. cyrus says:

    There is no Problem with the Touch screen , There is Problem with Company Charger..

    This a generic problem that Touch misbehaves when Cheap Unregulated charger is used ..
    Use USB charging From PC, you wont notice any problems..

    Try Micromax or Samsung Chargers , they provide good Stiff Pure DC..

    By the way i miss my old Karbonn a9+.. (Upgraded to x86 intel bt510 )

  61. BTW I bricked this phone.

  62. vijay says:

    I purchased a9+ two years back It worked well for one year. When warranty was over, motherboard concked off.So I took it service centers.They discouraged me by telling me Rs 4000 to 5000 for new motherboard. Finally on service center agreed to do it in Rs2500.I got it done.Then rooted the phone installed Cherry mobile ROM. It started behaving weirdly. So I restored original ROM.Now sometimes it behaves weirdly especially touch screen. You mentioned in your review about USB otg. I tried it but it does not detect USB pen drive.

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