First launched a few weeks ago through online e-commerce website Lazada, Elephone’s P8000 smartphone boasts 3GB RAM, a fingerprint scanner, and a 4,150mAh battery for a price less than Php8,000. Is it a bang for the buck device in the making? Here’s our full review.
Table of Contents
Design and Construction
Donning a silver finish all over, Elephone’s P8000 has a look reminiscent of other smartphones we’ve seen. On the front lays the 5.5-inch screen, its sensors, and three illuminating keys: the two dots on the left and right signal as the option and back buttons, respectively, while the middle halo serves as the LED notification while toggling for home and the recent app list.
On the sides are convex aluminum frames with chamfered edges for a better grip. Located on the right side are the power/lock button and the volume rockers. The 3.5mm audio port sits at the top, while the microUSB slot and the microphone are all laid down at the bottom of the device.
As expected from a metal frame, several antennae were present on both the top and bottom sides of the device for better signal reception. Elephone didn’t bother to hide them away, as they are very noticeable in a standout white color against the silver speckled alloy.
At the back of the device lay the 13MP rear camera, its accompanying LED Flash below it, a fingerprint sensor, the Elephone logo embossed in chrome, and an array of speaker holes beneath. All of these are featured in a quite reflective, yet smooth carbon fiber back plate with a unique pattern, which would be loved or loathed depending on who uses it. The pattern, however, does possess some good traits as it is able to resist most smudges and fingerprints.
Prying open the back plate and you will see the microSD and two micro SIM card slots, and a non-removable 4150mAh battery. The cards can be inserted into the device by pushing the covers upward to open them, and seal by closing down the hinged cover and pushing down.
The device construction and the battery capacity may give the device more heft, but the additional weight is hardly noticeable when you’ve become accustomed to using it. It’s a joy to use when operating, as the controls are reachable by one hand.
Display and Multimedia
As for the display, Elephone opted for a Full HD display that has really great, vivid colors and crisp images as it has a 401 pixel density. There’s already a pre-applied screen protector, which is a good thing if you like to move around a lot with the phone in your bag or pocket. Viewing is great when faced front, and on some of the angles as you’d notice a whiter appearance on some instances. The screen is well-responsive to touch gestures.
As for multimedia, there’s no other audio setting except for those inside the music player app, which could be a bummer for those who want to listen all day long. Speaker may be a bit loud as it easily fills up a medium-sized room with ease, but output may be baffled and distorted at times especially when turned into the highest volume, while those who listen to multimedia content via headphones can enjoy decent sound quality.
Elephone has a 13-megapixel Samsung shooter built right into the device. The camera takes decent photos even in low light, but exposure problems hinder the production of decently-looking images as seen from reality. Colors may be off at times even when HDR mode is used, and its focus cannot be your friend especially when taking macro shots. Here are a few samples:
Video, on the other hand, takes decent clips at Full HD resolution with 30 frames per second. Stabilization is not present, so you may want to use a sturdy pod when you shoot a few clips. Here’s a sample:
OS, UI, and Apps
Elephone bakes the P8000 with a stock version of Android’s 5.1 Lollipop operating system. It’s bare to its core, as there are minimal apps added except for Elephone’s own Service app and the OTA update service app. Some icons are still reminiscent of the Gingerbread or KitKat era, so it’d be nice to update these icons somehow. The overall installation of the OS leaves the user 11.3GB of space to fill up with applications of their choosing.
We’re thankful that most bloatware apps are nowhere to be found. If you’re one who opts to use apps right out of the box, however, you might want to install a few ones of your liking before you can get to use the device to its fullest. We didn’t receive any updates as we used the device, but it is said that a Marshmallow upgrade is in the works.
Performance and Benchmarks
Performance isn’t a problem with the 3GB RAM, as it was able to handle multitasking between apps and light, casual games smoothly and without any problems. Using it with graphic-intensive games, though, tend to result in small frame drops and minimal lags. We ran benchmarks on the device and here’s what we got:
AnTuTu – 38,811
Vellamo – 2,725 (Browser) 1,543 (Multicore), 1,161 (Metal)
3DMark – 182 (Slingshot using OpenGL ES 3.1)
Quadrant Standard – 21,754
We feel that the benchmark results of the device are good, but could have been improved with the use of a better or more powerful system chip.
Connectivity and Battery Life
While most of the smartphone’s connectivity options such as GSM capabilities in calls and texts, mobile data, Bluetooth, and GPS, seem to work well, we ran into a bit of problems with Elephone’s own connectivity features: The mobile hotspot seems to have connection problems as it doesn’t want to connect with my phone (LG G3 Beat) properly. As checked, no USB-OTG function is found. As for the fingerprint scanner, it can hold up to 5 unique fingerprints and can be used to unlock the phone.
Needless to say, the device is a beast with its equipped 4,165mAh battery as it can last for up to three days on light to moderate use of calls, text, games, social media apps, and multimedia all while connected to the WiFi or mobile data all the time. We ran it with PCMark, and it touts one of the longest-running devices off the charts with an 11 hours and 29 minutes rating. Recharging the P8000 with its dedicated quick charge plug can give you a full battery in between 2-3 hours.
In a country where local smartphones thrive with affordable offerings, Elephone enters with a premise of bringing in a slew of devices that also promise the same bang-for-the-buck experience. In retrospect, the P8000 is a beast when it can deliver a long-lasting device performance with a stock Android UI experience meant to be enjoyed by everyone.
However, these merits are bound to be debunked by a few mishaps which we hope could be improved in future versions: there’s that noticeable lag as you wake up the device, the slightly distorted audio speakers and a few connectivity problems we’ve encountered as we used it.
Nevertheless, at Php7,799. the Elephone P8000 could be a potential bang-for-the-buck device along with the decent smartphone experience it can deliver.
Elephone P8000 specs:
5.5-inch Full HD display @ 1920 x 1080 px, 401ppi
1.3GHz MediaTek MT6753 octa-core CPU
16GB internal storage
up to 128GB via microSD
13M Samsung 3L2 rear camera w/ LED flash
5MP front camera
4G LTE, 3G
WiFi 802.11 b/g/n
Android 5.1 Lollipop
155.2 x 76.6 x 9.2mm
What we liked about it:
* Great battery life
* Decent performance
* Stock Android with minimal bloatware
* Unique back pattern repels fingerprints, smudges
What we didn’t like about it:
* Distorted speakers
* Mobile Hotspot isn’t connecting devices well
Bought this phone from Lazada, came by April 20, only to find out that there’s no charger/flip case as opposed to what’s indicated in the product’s listing. Returned it last April 21, and up until today, still no update :(
I was able to check the phone, and it was quite sturdy. I did quite feel the heat as soon as I fired up a game (such as Piano Tiles and Heroes Charge. Can’t test the 2A charging though as there was no charger :(