O+ 8.17 Android Review
The American brand O+ once again lent us a new gadget for to experience and review. The O+ 8.17 is the successor to the O+ 8.16 which we had the chance to play around with, as well. What makes this unique, though, is its heart — it’s got a hexa-core processor which should make ordinary tasks a breeze. Join us as we get our geeks on and take a look at this 6-cored handset from O+.
The O+ 8.17 has a metal/plastic affair going on. The entirety of the device is framed with a metal strip that adds a premium feel to the handset, but turn it around and we have a solid plastic cover. Unlike back covers seen in other budget-friendly phone, the one used here doesn’t feel cheap at all. On the other hand, we’re not totally sure if its overall weight is just right for users to place in their hand since it feels a bit light for us — light enough that we first thought the battery wasn’t loaded into the device.
We also let others hold it and try it out and they said it weighs and sits on their palms just fine. So we guess that it just depends on the user if you prefer a device with a good heft to it or simply a lightweight one.
At the lower portion of the screen, just like many other Android devices, we have three capacitive buttons — Options, Home, and Back. The Home button also doubles as a notification light that blinks and changes colors depending on the kind of notification you have (email, Facebook post, calls, etc.)
In the upper right area we have the front-facing 2MP camera accompanied by BSI sensor for low-light shots. Also seen here is the speaker for calls.
The right side is where the lonely power/lock button is located. It’s easily reached with the right thumb if you’re a righty, and by your left index finger if you’re a lefty.
All located at the back are the 8MP camera with BSI sensor and juts below it is the LED flash. There’s also a dotted hole for the microphone that aids noise cancellation during calls.
Up top we have the 3.5mm audio jack. I personally prefer it to be situated here rather down under since you can easily slide it inside your pocket while listening to your tunes on a pair of headphones.
On the opposite side is the microUSB port for charging and connecting to computers.
Last but not the least, the left side is where the volume rocker is housed. It’s placed in the same area as the power/lock button on the other side. If you’ve noticed, all four sides of the device have their own thing going on — up top is the audio jack, down under is the microUSB port, on the right is the power/lock button, and on the left side is the volume rocker.
O+ 8.17’s display spans 5 inches across and the company claims it being scratch-resistant. Its IPS screen gives off good viewing angles and picture quality is pretty impressive — colors are saturated well, edges are sharp, and photos have a good intensity of brightness in them. So far, the O+ 8.17 is shaping up to be a good media player. Its free Sennheiser in-ears that come with the package should serve as a hint.
OS, UI, and Apps
The handset runs on Android KitKat out of the box so users greatly benefit from all the updates, new features, and availability of new apps on their disposal. This made the experience fluid as well. We didn’t came across any lags while navigating and transitioning from app to app. One thing we encountered, though, was some apps (like Facebook and Messenger) both crashed once or twice during our time with it. It wasn’t that much of a hassle but it’s something to note.
Camera and Multimedia
An 8MP rear camera joined by its 2MP front counterpart runs the imaging department. Both of them have BSI sensors that help in low-light situations so we also included that in our test images below. The rear camera gives off decent images with good contrast. Colors are a bit bland and could use a little bit more saturation, but sharpness is also something we liked about the photos. It’s also important to mention that the photos taken during sundown, when applied flash, is effectively illuminated to bring out the subject. Of course you will have digital noise, but for us it’s a reasonable trade-off.
The company also included a list of proprietary features that are present in the 8.17. These features include:
- Air Share – Instantly upload, store, and share files with your friends with O+
- Air Shuffle – For music, camera, photos, and FM Radio
- Peace to Selfie – Peace-activated selfie trigger (just do a peace sign and it will automatically capture)
- Encrypted Messages – Lets you save private messages in a password-protected folder
- Visitor Mode – Allows other people to browse your phone except your contacts and messages
We’ve mentioned how its display makes a good multimedia player as playing movies looked great, but there’s one thing that ruins this – the speakers located at the back cover are practically useless when playing video files. It’s too low and soft that we couldn’t make of what the characters in the movie are saying. This is probably why a pair of Sennheisers are included in the bundle.
In addition to watching movies, its ClearMotion technology makes movement on videos look like it’s recorded on 60fps — they are smooth and more life-like which makes movie-watching an enjoyable experience despite just watching on a smartphone’s screen.
Performance and Benchmarks
One of the selling points of the 8.17 is its hexa-core processor clocked at 1.5GHz. Partner that with the latest Android OS and you get a device that can handle small tasks like everyday browsing to bigger ones like playing heavy games. Apart from the aformentioned crashing of certain apps, we’d say the 6-cored CPU and 1GB RAM are doing their job very well. Check out the benchmark scores below.
Quadrant Standard: 8,252
Antutu Benchmark: 25,906
Vellamo: 1,962 (HTML5), 798 (Metal), 1,318 (Multicore)
3Dmark: 6,212 (Ice Storm Unlimited)
Call Quality, Connectivity, and Battery Life
We placed a SIM card on one of its slots and made some calls. Voices were clear and audible thanks to its noise-cancelling feature that greatly helps when you’re in a crowded or noisy environment. Wi-Fi and Bluetooth also had no hiccups or unwanted disconnection during our entire time. As for the battery, we looped an HD video on 100% brightness and full volume but only managed to squeeze out 3 hours and 5 minutes worth of playback before it emptied its 2000mAh Li-Po battery.
Having a form factor that deviates from the usual cheap-looking plastic, the O+ 8.17 isn’t something that will shy away when placed side-by-side other phones with bigger names. We’ve really enjoyed using it to watch movies, but don’t count on its measly and under-powered speakers. As for the software, we found ourselves contented apart from a few minor niggles when some apps crash. Imaging is also something to write home about thanks to its dual BSI sensors.
For the price of Php10,995, you get a pretty good deal that comes with Sennheiser in-ear plugs and 8GB Sandisk microSD card for additional storage.
O+ 8.17 Android specs:
5-inch HD IPS display @ 1280 x 720 resolution
1.5GHz hexa-core processor
Mali-450 MP GPU
8GB storage (also comes with free Sandisk 8GB microSD card)
Up to 64GB via microSD
8MP rear camera with BSI sensor and LED flash
2MP front camera with BSI sensor
2000mAh Li-Po battery
Android 4.4 KitKat (out of the box)
What we liked about it:
- Impressive display
- Clear images
- Attractive form factor
- Classy metal frame
What we didn’t like:
- Speakers are extremely weak when playing videos
- Battery easily drains
- 1GB RAM