Friday, June 14, 2013

Trimming the Field: The Cherry Mobile Flame 2.0, Cloudfone Thrill 430x, Huawei Ascend G510 and the ZTE V956 Blade E

Rather surprisingly, you find a lot do diversity in low cost mid-sized Android phones offered in the Philippines. By mid-sized, I mean more or less 4.5-inches. With the smaller 4-inch Android's you have many similar devices with nearly identical specifications, and generally the one with the lowest price is the best value for money choice. The same is true for the new breed large entry level 5-inch HD Android phones. 

A good representative of the basic mid-sized Android is the Huawei Ascend G510. It has a 4.5-inch FWVGA (480 x 854) display, a dual core Qualcomm S4 Play processor, 512 MB of RAM and a decently sized 1700 mAh battery. Distinguishing its self from the pack, of other phones with similar specifications is that it comes with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean.  Now, at Php5,990, this cost Php2K more than the Cherry Mobile Flare which has nearly identical specifications but a smaller display. If you can spare the cash, the additional half inch (diagonal) in display size is well worth the money. Your eyes will thank you for it, and the larger display is better suited for serious productive apps like photo editors and document editors.

For Php1K more you have the Cloudfone Thrill 430x. This 4.3-inch Android Jelly Bean phones up the ante in a few ways. It has 50% more RAM and a sharper qHD (540 x 960) than the Ascend G510. But the real draw of the Cloudfone Thrill 430x is the 4160 mAh battery which is 2.5 times larger than that on the Ascend G510. Now it strength is also its main weakness. This Thrill 430x is a tad over 14 mm thick and weighs in a heavy 182 grams. The Ascend G510 is slimmer 9.9 mm and lighter 150 grams. You can't have you cake and eat it too. Large batteries weigh a lot.

After this you have the low cost quad core phones like the Cherry Mobile Flame 2.0 and the ZTE V956 Blade E

As I have written before, I plan to change my buyers guides to only include five phones per category. There probably won't be room for more than two mid-sized Android on a list of five phones. So which two?

I think the Ascend G510 is shoe-in for having a low price and well balanced feature set. The Trill 430x  will appeal to a niche market. Those who value long battery life over, Not helping its cause is that build quality is a step below other low cost Androids. Still, there is nothing else like it, even at higher price points. 

The Flame 2.0 and the Blade E appeal to gamers on a budget. The biggest weakness of these two quad core phones is the Adreno 203 graphics. Despite high benchmarks scores. the graphics package is weak. Gamers on a budget are best off buying a device based on the MediaTek MT6589 chipset with the more powerful PowerVR 544SGX graphics. This does mean spending another Php2K.

But if limited to two, I would recommend the Huawei Ascend G510 and Cloudfone Thrill 430x. The Ascend G510 will make the average person happy, and the Thrill 430x will satisfy the power user. The buyers of the Cherry Mobile Flame 2.0 and the ZTE V956 Blade E will likely regret the purchase. Best to wait for one more pay day and just pick up something like the Cherry Mobile Omega HD 2.0. Now, that will be truly satisfying even for the hardcore gamer.

1 comment:

  1. Been following your blog since late 2010 if I recall right. Looking forward to "Trimming the Field". Though there are lots of smartphones available in the market right now, only few stand out in each price points.


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