Kata M2 Review
The Kata M2 is the company’s current Android flagship that sports a large 5.5-inch display, MediaTek quad-core CPU, 1GB of RAM, dual-SIM capabilities, and Android KitKat. It is currently priced at under Php8k which makes it an enticing offering for those who are in a tight budget for a phablet. But is the M2 worth the money? Find out by reading our full review.
Design and Construction
If you’re seeing the M2 for the first time, you’ll be surprised that this phone is priced at under Php8k. It is large, has metal strips on both sides (which is actually part of the whole chassis), and sports a design that is reminiscent of the BlackBerry Z10.
On the front is the 5.5-inch display mounted with a large slab of glass. Also found here are the earpiece and the 5 megapixel front camera. Down below are the capacitive buttons and the microphone.
On the right hand side is the volume rocker and power lock button. Right on the top are the microUSB port and the 3.5mm headset jack.
Flip it on its back and you’ll find the protruding 13 megapixel rear camera, LED flash, Kata logo, and the speaker down below.
On hand, the M2 feels just like how it appears – solid and sturdy. The metal sides give the device a premium feel while the textured removable back (that mimics the look of carbon fiber) is attractive and feels good to the touch.
Overall, the M2 has a good design and construction. The only disadvantage we found here is the weight. At 215g, this makes the M2 one of the heftiest smartphones we’ve reviewed so far.
Display and Multimedia
The M2 comes with a 5.5-inch display which easily enters ‘phablet’ territory. It features a HD (720 x 1280) display which equates to a pixel density of 267ppi. Viewing angles and color saturation are good, with slight color shifting at extreme angles. The display is really bright as well so outdoor usability is not a problem.
Like most smartphones with large screens, the M2 is a good multimedia companion especially if you like watching movies on the go. The speaker performance though is a bit underwhelming. Sounds coming from it are audible but a bit puffy.
This should suffice if you’re in a quiet environment or when using it for hands-free voice calls but if you want a good listening experience especially when it comes to music, a good pair of earphones or external speaker is still recommended.
OS, UI, and Apps
The M2 is running Android 4.4.2 KitKat out of the box with a stock Android UI. It comes with pre-installed apps like the Fish Market (app market), Evernote, and WPS Office, and MX Player. None of these apps can be uninstalled.
The good news is, the M2 comes with 16GB of internal storage (2.95GB system storage + 10.46GB internal storage) with support for up to 32GB microSD cards with ‘Move to SD card’ feature for apps. In addition, Kata includes a Kata Cloud card voucher worth Php1,200, giving you 25GB worth of cloud storage on top of 5GB free when you activate the service on the phone.
Although the UI is stock, the M2 still has a few tricks up it sleeves. One of them is the Smart Wake feature. It basically allows the user to wake the M2 from lock by double tapping on the screen. It also supports five different gestures (draw c, e, w, m, o) to let you launch apps from sleep.
A 13 megapixel rear shooter coupled with a 5 megapixel front handles the M2’s photography needs. Although it packs a lot of resolution it’s not as quick as we expect it to be. The Auto Focus is sometimes hit or miss and it’s sluggish when shooting indoors. Even inside a well-lit room, a slight movement would cause a blurred image. Color saturation can also be improved as most photos appear dull.
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Kata M2 sample video (1080p, 30fps, .3GP):
Performance and Benchmarks
The M2 is equipped with a 1.3GHz MediaTek MTK6582 quad-core CPU, Mali-400 MP GPU, 1GB of RAM, and Android 4.4.2 KitKat. This combination of hardware and software is good enough for ordinary tasks. UI navigation and transitions are smooth and we didn’t encounter any crashes or random reboots. However, when it comes to graphic intensive games (we played Eternity Warriors 3 and Frontline Commando 2), the MediaTek quad-core CPU struggles a bit and sometimes produces lags during action-packed moments.
* AnTuTu – 18,687
* Quadrant Standard – 7,154
* Vellamo – 807 (Metal), 1,218 (Multicore), 1,626 (Browser)
* NenaMark2 – 52.2 fps
Powering the M2 is a 2,300mAh battery which is good enough for a whole day of light usage like WiFi internet browsing, use of social media apps, and music playback. It’s not going to last that much though if you’re into gaming.
We played Frontline Commando for 30 minutes (with WiFi on) and it already drained 16% of our battery which is equal to around 3 hours of gameplay. We also did our routine battery test (1080p video, Airplane mode, 50% brightness, 0% volume) and the result is 6.25 hours of playback which is below average.
The Kata M2 packs a lot for a phone priced at Php7,999. It’s got a good build, nice design, slim body, large and bright display, dual-SIM capabilities, large expandable internal storage, and Android KitKat with Smart Wake features.
To conclude, the Kata M2 is a very capable phablet with an affordable price. However, if you’re into graphic-intensive mobile gaming and demand really snappy performance, the M2 isn’t exactly the ideal Android device for that.
Kata M2 specs:
5.5-inch HD display, 267ppi
1.3GHz MediaTek MTK6582 quad-core CPU
Mali-400 MP GPU
16GB internal storage
up to 32GB via microSD
13 megapixel AF rear camera w/ LED flash
5 megapixel front camera
Dual-SIM (micro + regular)
WiFi 802.11 b/g/n
Android 4.4.2 KitKat
157 x 77 x 7.98 mm
What we liked:
* Good build and design
* Large, bright display
* Large expandable storage
* Android KitKat out of the box
* Smart Wake features
* Affordable price tag
What we didn’t like:
* Mediocre camera performance
* Below average battery life
* Not really snappy when it comes to gaming