Kult Ambition review: Pulls the punches, but in a tough battle

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In a segment with too many rivals and smartphones to contend with, Indian phonemaker Kult has managed to grab attention with its good-looking smartphones and their unique names. The latest addition to its small but exciting portfolio is called the Kult Ambition. It is available on Amazon.in at Rs5,999 and is competing with Xiaomi’s Redmi 5A (starts at Rs4,999) and Amazon’s 10.or D (Rs5,999).

The Kult Ambition has been designed well for a budget smartphone. The chamfered design running sideways along the spine looks more stylish than phones with flat or rounded side panels. At 160g, it is a bit hefty for a 5-inch screen smartphone, whereas the Redmi 5A weighs just 137g.

The matte back cover is removable which means you can pry open the back panel any time and you also get separate slots for the two SIM cards and the microSD card. The Redmi 5A has a unibody design, but a separate try for microSD card.

The fingerprint sensor is a nice touch as very few smartphones at this price include it. The 10.or D is one of those rare smartphones. The fingerprint on the Ambition responds accurately most of the time, but feels a bit sluggish. It can also be used as a shortcut button for taking pictures, answering calls and launching an app.

The 5-inch screen has a resolution of 1,280x720p, which is at par with the Redmi 5A and 10.or D, on paper. But in terms of colour reproduction, the Redmi 5A is a little better. The 10.Or D offers a slightly bigger 5.2-inch screen.

Kult Ambition runs Android 7.0 with stock UI.

Kult Ambition runs Android 7.0 with stock UI.

 Like the 10.or D, Kult Ambition hasn’t been saddled with a half-baked and poorly optimised custom UI. It runs Android 7.0 with stock UI. The Redmi 5A runs Android 7.1 with MIUI, which offers more features, but is quite resource-intensive.

In terms of hardware and performance, Kult Ambition has hardly any surprises to offer. It a typical budget smartphone running on MediaTek’s entry-level MT6737 quad-core processor. Even with 3GB RAM in tow, it felt underpowered and struggled with multi-tasking and new games. The Redmi 5A and 10.or D run on Qualcomm’s entry-level Snapdragon 425 quad-core processor and feel a little smoother, but they are not cut out for heavy apps and games either.

The Kult Ambition is not without spark and has some strong points such as a good  screen, fingerprint sensor and clean Android UI.

The Kult Ambition is not without spark and has some strong points such as a good screen, fingerprint sensor and clean Android UI.

What gives the 10.or D an edge over the Kult Ambition is the superior battery backup. It has a 3,500mAh battery, which lasts over a day comfortably, while the Ambition’s 2,600mAh battery barely lasted a whole day.

The Kult smartphone offers 32GB internal storage which is ample for casual users. The lower variant of Redmi 5A offers just 16GB internal storage.

The Kult Ambition is not without spark and has some strong points such as a good screen, fingerprint sensor and clean Android UI. The Xiaomi smartphone has a slight upper hand as it delivers a slightly rich display, more feature-packed UI and is a lot lighter. The 10.or D is the best of the lot with its bigger battery, bigger screen and fingerprint sensor.livemint