The Lava Agni 2 is easily one of the best value-for-money devices under Rs 25,000 that has both style and substance.
A curved display feels premium and is often an expensive affair. But, this is no longer true, considering the gamut of options in the market today. While opinions about curved displays are highly polarised, I fall in the category of people who feel that they alone can add to the premium look and feel of the device.
In a surprising move, Lava, an Indian smartphone brand known for entry-level smartphones, introduced a new mid-range phone — Agni 2, offering top-of-the-line specifications for the asking price. At least on paper, the Lava Agni 2, priced at Rs 21,999, seems to check all the boxes for a phone in this segment.
However, the on-paper specifications don’t always translate into a similar real-world experience. To evaluate Lava Agni 2’s real-world capabilities, I moved my SIM card and made it my primary smartphone for over two weeks. Here’s the detailed review of the Lava Agni 2.
Surprisingly premium build
Starting with the retail packaging, the phone comes in a big box that has all the accessories that one could ask for in 2023. This includes a fast charger, soft case, data cable, and a USB Type-C to 3.5mm audio dongle. This is a welcome move, especially when most brands hardly include a phone and a cable in the box.
The Lava Agni 2 is a sharp-looking device and is definitely one of the best-looking phones under Rs 25,000. The glass sandwich design further elevates the look and feel of the device and I fancy the Viridian colour, which makes the phone look elegant.
Another thing that entrapped my attention was the large camera island on the rear panel. It instantly reminded me of the more expensive devices like the Vivo X90.
I found the matte finish glass back a bit slippery, however, unlike most devices this one is not a smudge magnet. The Lava Agni 2 does not come with a screen protector. But, the Schott Xensation Alpha Glass gives it the much needed protection. I barely noticed scratches even after using it for two weeks.
Premium display experience at a bargain
If you are looking for a curved display smartphone under Rs 25,000, the Lava Agni 2 is currently one of the two options, the other being the Realme 10 Pro+, which is almost a year old. Despite being an affordable device, the display is pretty good and offers vibrant and punchier colour reproduction. However, when set to auto brightness mode, the display does lower the brightness. I mostly ended up using manual brightness mode, which can be fixed with a software update.
The Lava Agni 2 fared well in my content consumption and gaming tests. However, given its curved display, I felt that the company needs to work on an accidental touch rejection algorithm. This is needed as in some cases, when a finger touches the edge, the rest of the screen becomes unresponsive. Overall, the 6.78-inch 120Hz AMOLED display on the Lava Agni 2 is definitely better than most phones under the Rs 25,000 price mark.
I didn’t expect much from the camera, however, the primary camera performance is decent. I really liked the Pixel phone-like the slightly contrasty look of the photos from the primary 50 MP shooter and even the dedicated 8 MP ultra wide angle lens takes good pictures in daylight situations. However, the 16 MP selfie camera does take slightly washed-out pictures that mostly lack details.
Another drawback is that the phone cannot shoot videos using the ultra-wide angle lens, while the main camera can shoot up to 4K resolution.
The Lava Agni 2 is powered by the Mediatek Dimensity 7050 SoC with 8 GB RAM. While there is no microSD card slot, 256 GB of internal storage should be good enough for users. I did play a lot of games on Agni 2, including the relaunched BGMI, and the performance was good.
I didn’t notice any lag or heating even with gaming sessions that lasted for hours. Besides, the device can also handle multitasking like a breeze. Overall, the Agni 2 is better than phones like the iQOO Z7 and even the OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite, which does cost similar to the Agni 2.
Unique software experience
Most budget and mid-range Android smartphones around Rs 20,000 price mark are riddled with bloatware and the Agni 2 offers a clean stock Android experience with no bloatware along with a few handy features like the ability to stream YouTube in the background, connect to wifi and share hotspot, and more.
Lava has promised to deliver two major Android upgrades along with three years of security updates, which should keep the device up to date for the foreseeable future. Overall, a great software experience that isn’t riddled with ads or bloatware.
With a slightly smaller 4,700 mAh battery, I was sceptical about the battery life. However, after using this device for over two weeks on the Jio 5G network, I have to say that battery life is good if not the best. The phone can easily deliver over six hours of screen-on-time and it also supports up to 66W of fast charging and a 66W USB-PD compliant fast charger is included in the box, which can even fast charge laptops and Macbooks.
Verdict: The best phone under Rs 25,000
The Lava Agni 2 is easily one of the best value-for-money devices under Rs 25,000 that has both style and substance. The device looks great, packs good hardware, and that curved display is like the icing on cake. However, I do feel it should have included a stereo speaker, which would have made this an even better deal.