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June 22, 2014

O+ Air Review

Octa-cores have become a common inclusion among flagship phones this year. It has also been used as a major marketing term so it’s no wonder O+ has also banked on the same popularity when they announced their latest flagship handset. Check out our full review of the O+ Air after the break.

o+ air

The name O+ Air suggest that the company is focusing on the very slim profile of the handset on top of its other core features. With a dimension of just 6.8mm, we believe it’s the thinnest octacore smartphone ever released both locally and abroad.

Design and Construction.

While using the O+ Air for a few weeks, it has been mistaken for many things. Some say it looks like the iPod Touch, while others mentioned it looks like the old Galaxy S2 or a smaller version of the Diamond X1. We think it’s a combination of a little bit of all three.

o plus air

And coming from the O+ Imagine, there were very few similarities in the design signature which makes us wonder how O+ intends to harmonize their flagship line-up and create a brand signature that can be easily attributed to them.

The O+ Air comes in a soft matte finish in a deep dark color. It is very thin and light with only 6.8mm, it is perhaps among the thinnest octa-core device we’ve tried and tested.

o air side

All the ports are on the sides, including the dual-SIm tray on the right side (one regular SIM and one microSIM slot) as well as the power button. The volume controls are on the left side together with the microSD card slot while the 3.5mm audio port is on top with the microUSB charging port just beside it.

At the back is the 13MP rear camera with LED flash. The thin aluminum sheet is separated in three parts, perhaps to allow for better cellular reception.

Perhaps the only disadvantage we can think of with a really slim profile is that there is not enough room for a bigger battery.

Display.

O+ touts their very own LUMI display, which they claim, has very similar properties as Samsung’s AMOLED. What we observed though is that it’s probably the same zero-gap panel technology we’ve seen before (with the likes of Acer) so the display is bright, has good viewing angles and better outdoor visibility.

o air display

Despite the 720p resolution, the display quality is very good and the viewing angles are very comparable to your typical IPS panel. The advantage of using 720p resolution versus a 1080p display is that the Mali 450-MP GPU is more than capable of handling the pixel density of the former making the display graphics more responsive, smoother and more fluid.

The soft buttons are found at the bottom end (Back, Home, Settings) and has some additional functions like double-tap to wake/sleep. The glass is surrounded with a metal frame and is probably fused into the body allowing it to be thinner.

OS, UI and Apps.

O+ managed to get Kitkat pre-installed on the handset right out of the box. It’s a first for O+ so we want to give credit where credit is due.

O+ has its own set of icons and UI for their line-up, plus a few more features and functionalities. Air gesture is there there while additional function like double-tap to wake/sleep has been added (not on the screen though but on the home button).

o plus ui

While the UI looks simple with minor cosmetic changes added to the vanilla Android interface, we feel the icons and widgets may need a little polishing.

With Kitkat right out of the box, the O+ Air benefited from a lot of the optimizations and performance enhancements introduced by Google. That and access to millions of apps in the Play Store. We do recommend getting and installing a new theme or launcher though since the one by O+ seems pretty bare.

Camera and Multimedia.

The O+ Air uses a 13-megapixel camera at the back and 5-megapixel camera at the front.

o plus air camera

Here are sample shots taken with the O+ Air:

Quality of photos range from decent to good and even low-light performance is not bad (based on some shots we took here).

Here are sample 1080p videos recorded using the O+ Air:

The speakers at the back are quite low and a bit tinny at times. It’s good enough for listening to music over Spotify but not so much when watching a movie. Good thing O+ decided to include a Sennheisser earphones inside the box.

In some instances, the O+ Air makes for a good multimedia device as the size and form factor is pretty close to that of the iPod Touch.

Performance and Benchmarks.

With good balance of performance and battery saving mode, the Mediatek MT6592 chip managed to carve a significant niche in the flagship market. It’s cheap yet powerful and readily available.

o air benchmark

Performance-wise, the benchmark showed slightly higher scores compared to other handsets running MT6592 chip before, most surprising of them is the NenaMark2 score of 68.5fps followed by Vellamo scores.

Quadrant Standard: 16,550
Antutu Benchmark: 26,880
NenaMark2: 68.5fps
Vellamo: 2260 (HTML5), 670 (Metal)
3Dmark: 6626 (Ice Storm Unlimited)

We believe the 720p resolution of the O+ Air gave it an advantage over other full HD 1080p handsets running the same Mali 450-MP quad-core graphics. While it’s a powerful quad-core graphics processor, it sometimes struggle with 1080p displays as what we noticed in other handsets running the same chip.

Call Quality, Connectivity and Battery Life.

Signal strength and call quality are good, text messages are sent/received quite fast. The dual-SIM functionality is simple and quite easy to use.

Battery life is surprisingly good as we managed to have two SIM cards running and being used the whole day with one SIM connected to 3G. Either the absence of LTE allowed for better battery life or the O+ Air had some really robust battery-saving features in place.

o plus air back

Using our standard battery bench, we are able to achieve up to 8.5 hours of movie playback using an HD movie running in a loop at 50% brightness and 0% volume.

Conclusion.

The combination of a simple yet elegant design, a very slim profile and powerful hardware makes the O+ Air a desirable flagship handset. There are some shortcomings like 1GB of RAM instead of the expected 2GB or the small internal storage but those are compensated in other departments — like additional Sandisk microSD card or Sennheisser earphones.

With a current retail price of Php13,990, the O+ Air could face some heavy competition. That’s why we don’t think they should increase it to Php15,990 as they indicated earlier.

O+ Air specs:
5-inch LUMI Display @ 720×1280 pixels, 294ppi
Mediatek MT6592 1.7GHz octa-core CPU
Mali 450-MP quad-core Graphics
1GB RAM
8GB internal storage
up to 32GB via microSD card (8GB Sandisk included)
3G, Quadband GSM
Dual-SIM (regular SIM + micro-SIM slot)
WiFi 802.11 b/g/n
Bluetooth 4.0
FM radio tuner
GPS with aGPS support
13MP rear camera with LED flash
5MP front-facing camera
Li-Ion 2,000mAh battery
Android 4.4 Kitkat

What we liked about it:
* Great performance
* Super thin and light profile
* Nice simple yet polished design
* Good display quality
* Android Kitkat right out of the box
* Sennheiser earphones

What we did not like:
* Low internal storage
* Low battery capacity
* No LTE

O+ Air confirmed; specs and price revealed

37 Responses to “O+ Air Review”

  1. Pipoy says:

    too expensived. buy samsung s4 or g2 second hands than these chinese makes.

    • Srsly says:

      ^ O+ is an american company. Do some research before posting anything foolish mate

    • Pipoy says:

      @srly chinese made but american owner. 0+ have office in USA. But they dont made theyre phone on US. But instead in China.

    • archie says:

      As an add-up to Pipoy’s comment, I think O+ should tweak their website’s company profile just like Gionee and other well known brands that put their exact address in the world. It adds credibility and would remove any doubt that they’re just another ODM importing company in the local market.

    • yugs says:

      Lol, maglokohan pa ba tayo? China lang yan si o plus, pa american2x ka jan.

    • lolwut says:

      Lol. o+ is really based in the USA. Do your research people. Gotta love how you said “too expensiveD” :)

    • Benchmark says:

      To what i know, O+ is a US brand like Coby or Verzio (wala na din ata nito) but not as big as Apple or the big US brand. And like Apple, all their phones are made in China (due to cheap labor).

      As for the phone…haven’t use any O+ but with that price, I agree, find a second hand Sammy or LG.

      Out of the topic….sir Abe, where did you get that faucet stand? I like it!

    • Typical says:

      pakibigyan nga kami ng proof na american company yang oplus usa! puro lang naman kayo american american wala din naman kayo pruweba. malamang intsik din may ari nyan. American company na walang tinda sa America, ang dami naman engot na naniniwala sa marketing nyang oplus na yan. dito lang sa pinas nagtitinda ng telepono yan dahil madami ditong mangmang at uto-uto. its reality!

      kung BLU pa yan, yun parang cherry mobile myphone etc, american company na bumibili lang din sa china ODM para itinda sa mga amerikano ang murang phones. pero yan oplus, chinoy company yan. ni walang info sa google kung ano bang klaseng kumpanya, very shady!

    • lex says:

      any idea who the American owner is? who are the officers? who is their designer? where in the US is their HQ?

    • Evo Garcia says:

      Hoy bakla! Bago mo laitin ang chinese made eh laitin mo muna ang Iphone. Made in China din sya.

    • Evo Garcia says:

      Pipoy ikaw si Abuzalzal. Madali ka lang mahuli dahil sa kabobohan mo.

    • zio says:

      secondhand s4, ok yun, pero pano kung nabili mo eh may tama pala.. siyempre, 2nd hand is 2nd hand.. para ka ring sumusugal nun.

  2. archie says:

    It will be hard for O+ to increase their price. Add 1k pesos and they’ll have tough competition with Xiaomi and the upcoming THL 5000s. Zopo is also doing their madness sale according to Novo7 Tech’s fb page so O+ have to do some cost cutting strats to justify their prices.

  3. dew says:

    id rather go for Mi3 than this..

  4. Zobel says:

    Local brand ka na lang sayang lang 2K mo mapupunta lang sa mga Amerikano.

  5. gwan says:

    kulelat to compare sa mi3

  6. Typical says:

    about sa o+ air, disente syang phone, okay ang specs, medyo mataas ang presyo kumpara sa mga kalaban na tig 12999 lang higher spec’d pa. if one doesnt mind almost non-existent update pwede na yan. personally bili na lang ako ng xperia t3 paglabas nun kahit snapdragon 400 quad lang, sure naman ako sa quality at software… di rin masama yung samsung galaxy grand 2… wala naman ako apps na ginagamit na need ng octacore, malakas na dual lang sapat na o nice quad for a little future proofing… ok din yung xperia z as alternative to this, snapdradon pro quad a15 with adreno 320, 1080p waterproof scratch resistant glass is no pushover…

    luckily im just awaiting my z2 from smart….

  7. Joe x says:

    Maganda po sana galing po sa experience pag comments, d nmn ako that techie, pro kung totoo n mas mtipid ang kitkat sa memory, mlmng i2 ang basis sa 1 gig mem nla, sa totoo lng ang tlgng reklamo lng ng tao ay presyo ng o+, about their unit well ang nkbli lng mkpgsabi nyan.kung mging honest lng sila..from my experience,masakit kung pag uwi mo saka mo palang masabi “ay bakit ganito”..

    • zio says:

      tama ka, kailangan bumili ka para malaman mo. basta ba kung kaya ng budget mo eh.. sabi ng iphone is iphone and samsung is samsung, well known na yan sa market. but One thing sa Oplus air ay hi end ang specs. sa price na 13,995, siyempre matutuwa ka. kung iphone 5 ka how much? or S5 how much?.. kung may budget ka why not di bili ka ng iphone 5 or S5. Yun lang yun.

    • jong says:

      Kumuha ako o+ air kakabadtrip kc lagi namamatay pag mahina ang signal, lalo na pag naglalaro ka ng game,tapos ang hirap ere start, kahit di pa lowbat nag shutdown , nagsisi ako kinuha ko ang unit na to…

  8. lex says:

    lol @ those who believe this is a US brand. Sa Pinas lang kilala to at sa local blogs lang makikita. Rebrand lang din to same as other local brands.

    http://www.unbox.ph/gadget/its-not-rebranded-why-local-phones-arent-simply-rebrands/

  9. lex says:

    for those who says “do your research”. have you done yours? can you share? O+ claims their HQ is in the US which makes them a US company, lol. other than that, what else?

  10. Gibbs says:

    They should re-design the icons though…it looks childish. Of course you can always use a launcher to change its look…

  11. arwin says:

    Walang binatbat sa oppo, chinese brand pero high end. Kung may samsung ang korea, apple ang usa. Oppo sa china. Nice :)

    • Bultokachi says:

      China branded phones are already giving big name smart phone makers a headache (apple, samsung) why? the prices. High end specs low prices, how can you beat that? by quality? the iphone has a meatal body, yeah its nice, but after a year apple will put out a new iphone, whats the big deal? better get these china branded phones and not hurt your pocket. And yes, xiaomi puts out quality phones just like apple but they dont hurt our pockets.

  12. Bultokachi says:

    they say they are a us company, but ask any american and they dont know/unfamiliar with the brand. its just another made in china phone like 99% of whats out there. nothing wrong with that i mean, why not just say ur a china brand??

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  15. Jester says:

    I think nakita ko na ang parent company ng O+ na yan,search nyo sa google OnePlus at ang hq nila eh sa hong kong(nasa china rin) at isa pang nabasa ko eh pagmamay-ari daw ng oppo(phone maker) yang oneplus and maybe the O+ too,search na lang.

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  22. Paulo says:

    Hi All,

    O+ AIR owner here.

    anyone knows how to turn on GPS? all i can see is location.

    i am trying to use WAZE, it says turn on the GPS. but then i’ve searched for GPS in settings but no available buttons, link or whatsoever.

    please help if anyone knows how.

    thank you.
    but overall, O+ AIR is quite great. :)

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