Torque Droidz Slate HD Quick Review
Local smartphone brand, Torque, offers a good-looking 5.5-inch smartphone with a slim profile, MediaTek quad-core CPU, and sub-Php6K price tag, but are these enough to lure consumers especially now that we have a lot of options within this price range? Read our quick review of the Droidz Slate HD to find out.
Design and Construction
When it comes to its physical attributes, we would give a thumbs up to the sleek physical design of the phablet and its good plastic build. The whole front is dominated by the 5.5″ IPS LCD with a resolution of 1280×720 pixels. Thanks to the IPS panel, viewing angles of the device are wide though colors are not as vibrant as we like it to be but it has good clarity thanks to its acceptable pixel density of 267ppi. Brightness levels are average with sub-par sunlight legibility. We noticed that the display turns bluish when completely dimmed and the ambient light sensor feels like it’s having a hard time adjusting.
Below is a unique home capacitive button together with the usual back and menu keys. The back panel has a matte plastic cover that is removable to give access to the battery, microSD and dual SIM card slots.
On the right side of the device is the power/lock button and on the left is the volume rocker. The top side features the micro-USB port for charging and data connectivity and the 3.5mm headphone jack. While the microphone sits alone at the bottom edge of the device.
The sides are surrounded by a chrome frame with black lining that adds a distinct look and feel to the device. In terms of looks, the Slate HD can definitely stand out.
Equipped with a 13-megapixel rear and a 5-megapixel front cameras, the phone may appear competitive if you base it on numbers but when it comes to actual image quality it doesn’t stack up against its competitors.
Even under broad daylight, the primary 13MP shooter captures soft and uninspiring images. It generally has trouble with focus and color reproduction. We find the camera to be a slouch for quick snapshots. In case of dark scenarios, you can fire up the dual LED flash. The front camera, on the other hand, struggles with indoor lighting. You may check out the samples below for your own judgement:
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Upon further checking, we found out that the front camera has an aperture of f/2.8 only, which explains the lack of light. Both cameras can also record videos with the same quality as those of the still images up to 1080p full HD.
Performance and Benchmarks
The device runs Android 4.4.2 “KitKat” with no indicated future with 5.0 “Lollipop.” Overall, it runs smoothly with little to no lag during everyday use. The 1GB of RAM can handle simultaneous apps well as long as you keep things light and steady.
Torque’s skin on top is very similar to stock Android but with white backgrounds and imported icons from other themes. We personally dislike the pale icons, good thing 3rd party launchers and icon packs are available for download through the Play Store.
Benchmarks of the device reveals the following scores:
Antutu 5 – 18,240
Quadrant Standard – 6,974
Nenamark 2 – 51.6 fps
Vellamo – 1262 (Multicore), 678 (Metal)
PC Mark – 2185
It’s worth noting that the earpiece of the device is soft and tinny. We were surprised to hear such bad output from the it since most modern smartphones today already has quality phone calls, making the Slate HD not suitable for everyday cellular talking. And also, the loudspeaker doesn’t do justice to media playback.
Despite its large display, only a 2,200mAh removable Li-ion battery powers the device. Its juice lasted for only 3 hours and 19 minutes during our routine battery test which involves playing a 1080p file in loop using its native video player as MX Player has an issue with the device causing it to crash. Using PC Mark battery test, it lasted 3 hours and 36 mins.
The Torque Droidz Slate HD is priced at Php5,499 and offers good looks with some compromise. This phablet is okay for light gaming and multimedia consumption thanks to its large display. However, it has a terrible earpiece for calls, mediocre camera, weak loudspeaker, and poor battery life. For its asking price, one might just consider shelling out an extra Php1K and get a better performing device instead.
Torque Droidz Slate HD specification:
5.5-inch IPS LCD @ 1280×720 pixels, 267ppi
MediaTek MT6582 1.3GHz quad-core processor
Mali-400 MP GPU
13-megapixel primary camera
5-megapixel front-facing camera
8GB internal storage
up to 32GB via microSD card
Dual SIM / Dual Standby
WiFi 802.11 b/g/n
GPS with aGPS
Li-Ion 2,200mAh battery
Android KitKat 4.4.2
What we liked about it:
- Decent to good looks
- Responsive large display
- Tap-to-wake function
What we didn’t:
- Terrible earpiece
- Quiet loudspeaker
- Mediocre cameras
- Small battery capacity