Smartphone review of Spice Stellar Virtuoso Mi-495

Telecom Lead Asia: Spice Stellar Virtuoso Mi-495, a large-screen smartphone, comes with its own pluses and issues.

The smartphone, which comes with 1,700mAh battery, does not offer enough battery support to smartphone users who are on the go. editors found that if the usage of video is more or if the phone is on the 3G network, users need to charge the battery every night. In fact, we were not happy with the battery life. Spice could have offered a better battery.

In the initial phase of our review, the new smartphone also generated excess heat when making phone calls. But later we realized that the heat factor just disappeared. Our review happened during the fag end of winter season and the beginning of summer. Our editors — based in Delhi — used the smartphone in Bangalore when they traveled to the Garden city. Most of the review period, the smartphone was exposed to normal climate in Delhi.

However, priced at around Rs 10,000, several features of Spice Stellar Virtuoso Mi-495 are in line with the expectation of smartphone users in India.

Though the main attraction of Spice Stellar Virtuoso Mi-495 phone is its large display, users will expect better clarity.

The Spice Stellar Virtuoso Mi-495 smartphone sports a 4.5-inch qHD display. It is powered by a dual-core processor and supports dual-SIM capabilities. Its processing speed is okay for us.


Spice Stellar Virtuoso Mi-495 is a rectangular-shaped smartphone with a curved border. There is a silver lining running on all the four sides. But the silver lining can be a less attractive feature if the smartphone falls from the users’ hand. A free fall can damage the entire beauty of the cost effective smartphone.

Though the body seems to have a metallic finish, which makes it look quite sturdy, it attracts dust and hand marks easily. Users — especially if they are on the move in non-a/c conditions — need to remove the dust quite often.

Smartphone users may love the 4.5-inch screen as it takes up most of the front. Also, there are no physical buttons. The left panel houses the volume dock, while the right has power/screen lock button. The top panel has the USB/charging port and the 3.5mm jack.

On the back panel is an 8-megapixel camera. If we look at the back side, some users may become unhappy since the edge of the camera is ejected as a separate device.

At 150g, the phone seems just right in the hand, not too heavy or too light for some users. However, first time users of large smartphones need to be more careful in handling the phone. It can slip from the hand. The edge of the 8MP camera gives more grip to the hand.


The Spice Stellar Virtuoso Mi-495 comes with a 4.5-inch qHD (960×540) IPS display. The smartphone has wide viewing angles and shows true colours. The screen used in the Spice Stellar Virtuoso Mi-495 smartphone is reflective.


The smartphone comes with an 8-megapixel camera with LED flash. Little bit of lag — when clicking the pictures — will put off smartphone users in India.

Options such as auto scene detect, face beauty, smile shot, best shot and EV bracket shot will aid users in capturing the best picture. But we were not happy with picture quality. We tried to capture picture in several light conditions.

Outcome from videos shot through this camera is not upto the mark.
However, Spice has added a number of innovative features to camera.

For instance, there is an option in the camera to keep the LED lights on for about a minute to assist taking video in dark. On the completion of this time users can opt to switch on this light again.

OS / Interface

Spice Stellar Virtuoso Mi-495 runs on Android 4.0.4 (Ice Cream Sandwich). We are unhappy since Spice did not enough value additions in the OS. There are six customisable home screens, which can be used to add applications or widgets.

The smartphone comes preloaded with apps like Documents To Go, BSE/NSE stock exchange, Nimbuzz, Stringo, Facebook, Latitude, Google Talk, Gmail, What’s App Messenger, Google Search, Youtube, etc.

Targeting at the young users, Spice Stellar Virtuoso Mi-495 offers Stringo, a new app to help in sharing videos and pictures with contacts via Facebook. These pictures or videos can be pre-loaded on Facebook and the app helps in sharing them through SMS or audio chat with friends that have this app installed on their device. The app allows users to send 50 free messages to those friends that do not have Stringo app.

SpiceGang app will be another value addition to smartphone users.
This app, a WAP site, houses a catalogue to download animations, videos, wallpapers etc. Users can check latest news and cricket scores through this app.

We were happy with the processing speed — thanks to Mediatek’s dual-core MT6577 chipset, which clocks in at a speed of 1GHz. 512MB RAM is a standard feature.

For heavy users, Spice Stellar Virtuoso Mi-495 offers a built-in storage of 1.55GB of which 0.98GB is available to the user for apps. It comes pre-loaded with the stock Android browser, which renders web pages well.

For music lovers, audio quality is okay both on the headphones and the loudspeaker. The video quality on the device is not up to the expectation.

Main features

  • – 4.5 Inch Display
  • – 1GHz Dual Core Processor
  • – 512 MB RAM
  • – 4GB Onboard Memory
  • – Micro SD Card Slot
  • – 8MP Camera With Dual LED Flash
  • – 1.3MP Front Cam
  • – Android 4.0
  • – 1700 MAh Battery


It is a good looking smartphone with large screens. Battery, video, audio, camera, etc. will not offer desired result. Android Ice Cream Sandwich has standard features. Spice’s attempt to bring good apps will attract smartphone buyers who are looking for budget phones. Rating: 7/10

Apoorv Sonane
[email protected]