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Friday, January 31, 2014

SKK Mobile Cyclops 3 Preview and Unboxing




After being pleasantly surprised with the Cyclops 2, I was excited to review the next version. The first thing I noticed was the textured back just like on the Galaxy Note 3. Except that it has a hard, rather than a soft touch finish. It does however do an excellent job repelling finger prints. With the exception of the camera, it seems to have almost the same specs and features of the Cyclops 2. Wait for the full review to find out how it performs. In the meantime, here are the specs and some product shots.



- 1.2 Ghz Dual Core Processor
- 7" TFT Display 480x764
- 2MP Rear and VGA Front Camera
- 4GB Internal Storage (Expandable to 32GB via MicroSD)
- 512MB RAM
- Dual Sim 3G (to be confirmed)
- TV/WiFi/Bluetooth
- Android 4.2.2
- Php 3,799.00







SKK Mobile Phoenix Tab 3+ Preview and Unboxing


One of the first ever SKK product I reviewed is the Phoenix +. Now I get to review a newer version of it. From the spec sheet, almost everything seems the same except for the processor speed and the camera. The design has a slimmer profile and looks more like the Cyclops 2 which I also reviewed. I'll be doing a full review soon but for now, let's list the specs and show some product shots.

- 1Ghz Dual Core Processor
- 512MB RAM
- 4GB Internal Storage (expandable to 32GB via MicroSD)
- 2MP Front and VGA rear camera
- 7" 800x480 Capacitive touch screen
- TV
- Wifi / Bluetooth
- Dual SIM
- Android 4.2.2
- Php 3,399.00







SKK Mobile Glimpse 3G Preview and Unboxing







I have three more SKK products to review. Let's start with the Glimpse 3G. First impression on the the build quality is quite good. The design reminds me of an iPhone 4, particularly the plastic metal finish trim around the phone. Upon boot up,  I noticed that SKK has put their own Android skin on the OS. You know that I'm a fan of stock android so you'll have to wait and see for my full review if this has any effect on the phone's performance. For now, let's list the specs and some product photos.

- 1.2 Ghz Dual Core Processor
- 4" LCD WVGA Display
- 512MB RAM
- 4GB Internal Storage (expandable to 32GB via Microsd)
- FM Radio
- 2MP Camera with VGA front
- Dual SIM 3G
- WiFi
- Bluetooth
- Android 4.2.2
- 1400mAh Battery
- Php 2,999.00









Monday, January 27, 2014

CD-R King Naver Mobile Phone Micro SD Card Reader




During one of my usual CD-R King visits, I came upon this interesting find. At first I thought it was just a simple Micro USB card reader but after careful examination you can actually use it as a USB drive for both your PC and Android Smartphone. There are a few caveats. First, you need to supply the micro SD card and secondly, your phone needs to support USB OTG (On-The-Go). If you are good with both of them, then it's actually quite a useful and cheap (P120) little gadget.

USB Drive for your PC

USB Drive for your Android phone

Monday, January 20, 2014

SKK Mobile Cyclops 2 Review




 


After reviewing the Phoenix+, it was interesting to see it side-by-side the Cyclops 2. Right away you can tell that this is a newer product in terms of the design and size. It's also a lot slimmer, lighter and less of a fingerprint magnet. Let's list the official specs below:







Specs:

- 1.2 Ghz Media Tek MT6582 CPU
- Mali-400 GPU
- 512MB RAM
- 4GB Internal Storage (expandable up to 32GB via micro sd)
- 7” Capacitive Touch Screen (1024x600)
- WiFi b/g/n
- TV Support
- 5MP Rear and VGA front camera
- Dual SIM slots
- 3G
- Bluetooth 4.0
- Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean

Php 3,799


Performance

It has the same processor and RAM as the Phoenix but this time, the 7-inch screen has a higher resolution of 1024x600. The difference is quite noticeable and is definitely more enjoyable to use especially when reading text. However, it's still not an IPS display and also very reflective with narrow viewing angles. But as long as you are indoors, then you should be fine. I applied the same game and app tests that I used when I reviewed the Phoenix, and performance is quite comparable. Again, no problem with casual games and more graphically demanding games took longer to load but still very playable. There are no physical home and back buttons buttons so you have to rely on the Android on-screen keys. It also has the same almost stock Android 4.2.2. which I like. 









Camera

Just like the Phoenix+, the camera is listed as 2MP on the box but all evidence points to a 5MP camera. Just read the portion from from my Phoenix+ review as it is almost the same. I have to point out that I could not get the focus points to come out in the camera app and also video resolution is only 1280x720 even at the highest setting. I'll post some screen shots and  sample photos below. Photo quality is still very acceptable given the price.









video



Extras

This time Bluetooth 4.0 is listed in the specs and although GPS is not listed, I can confirm that it works. I believe the best feature of this tablet is that you can use it as a phone plus the Dual-SIM 3G feature. Although it may look funny using it as phone, it does work well and call quality is average. I was able to get 3G on both SIMs (just not at the same time). At least you don't have to physically swap SIM cards. I'm a bit embarrassed to admit, but at first I could not find the SIM and Micro SD slots. Unlike the Phoenix+ where the slots are obvious, this one is well-hidden. I decided that this was a good opportunity test SKK's tech support so I called the number on their website (only the Smart number works) and they answered right away. I explained my problem and they said they will call me back. After 30 minutes, I got a call and as I suspected, it's behind the camera. But you have to extend the antenna first to reveal the cover. It's a bit difficult to remove but the obscure location gives it a sleeker design. 





I was able to get H+ on both SIMs








Verdict

If you look at the extensive product line of SKK, they have something for everyone at almost every price range. It's an inventory nightmare on one end of the spectrum and a virtual product buffet on the other end. In which case I'll say it's a good thing I'm on the consumers side of it. Just like the Phoenix+, you really do get a lot of features for your money and if you have the extra 400 pesos to spend, for the 3G and sleeker design alone, I would definitely go for the upgrade and get this one. 



The Good:

- Higher resolution screen
- Bluetooth 4.0
- Price
- Design and weight
- Dual SIM and 3G
- TV

The Bad:

- Camera
- Difficult to remove SIM and micro SD slot
- Reflective screen
- Inconsistent specs labeling

Friday, January 17, 2014

SKK Mobile Phoenix + Review



Last December, SKK Mobile invited me to review some of their products. Unfortunately, due to the holidays and my busy schedule, I only received the units this January. For those of you who have not heard of SKK, they actually started out by selling batteries and phone accessories. I remember seeing them around the malls many years ago. Today, they sell mobile phones and tablets at affordable prices. Their products are also locally assembled. Since this is the first time I get some hands-on with any SKK product, I'm very excited to review them. I received the Phoenix+ and the Cyclops 2 tablets. I'll be reviewing the Phoenix+ first.



After my initial preview and unboxing, the first thing I noticed was the plastic finish. Not that I was expecting anything more premium, given the price range. The black shiny plastic is definitely a fingerprint magnet but it's nothing a case could not fix. Build-quality is actually not bad considering the price. The design and size reminds me of the original Samsung Tab 7. 









Here are the official specs:

- 1.2 Ghz MediaTek MT6582 CPU
- Mali-400 GPU
- 512MB RAM
- 4GB Internal Storage (expandable up to 32GB via micro sd)
- 7” Capacitive Touch Screen WVGA (800x600)
- WiFi b/g/n
- TV Support
- 5MP Rear and VGA front camera
- Dual SIM slots
- Bluetooth
- Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean
Php 3,399.00

Performance

This tablet is powered by a Dual-Core MediaTek processor. Performance is quite snappy considering it only has 512MB of RAM. I did my usual games test and I had no problems with casual games like Angry Birds, etc. Playing more demanding games like Dead Trigger 2 and some other racing games took a while to load and had a few lags, but still very playable. The display is a 7-inch capacitive touch screen which is definitely not IPS. It is highly reflective in bright light and can be used as a mirror when outdoors and viewing angles are also quite narrow. But when used indoors and with the brightness turned up, it's actually not bad. The resolution is only 800x600, so it's not HD by any means but at least the processor doesn't have to work so hard. That plus having an almost stock version of Android 4.2.2 is perhaps the reason for the surprisingly decent performance. I was able to get through the day on a single charge with about 40 percent battery power left, primarily using it as a tablet connected to WIFI. Expect it to be lower if you use it as your primary phone.











Camera

On the box, the camera is listed to have only 2 megapixels. However, the brochure says 5MP. Both AnTuTu benchmark and actual photos show a resolution of 5MP (2560x1920). Also, there is a 5MP setting on the camera app itself. Although photo quality is better than expected, it won't blow you away. It should be good enough for posting on your favorite social media sites. Video recording is quite good in bright sunlight and its highest setting is at 1920x1088 in 3gp format. The front VGA camera is serviceable enough for video messaging. I'll post some samples below.










video


Extras

Another surprise aside from the camera is the inclusion of Bluetooth and GPS. Again, it's not on the box but it's listed on the brochure. It also has analog TV support and as long as you can get good reception, it's actually quite useful for receiving local channels. One of the best feature is the Dual-SIM support. Yes, you can actually use this tablet as a phone. Unfortunately, it only supports 2G. If you want 3G, then you'll have to upgrade to the Cyclops 2. Dual-SIM management is stock Android and I'll post screen shots below.




Verdict

You really have to keep an open mind when reviewing products at this price range. And to be honest, I didn't expect this much tech for only PHP3,399. I'm pleasantly surprised at what this tablet can do. You get all of the features I mentioned plus the fact you can use it as a phone. I have seen 3.5 and 4-inch phones for almost the same price. If size is not an issue, I would go for this and get the biggest screen possible.


The Good:

- Stock Android 4.2.2.
- Bluetooth
- GSP
- Dual SIM
- Price
- TV

The Bad:

- Highly reflective screen
- Supports 2G only
- Inconsistent specs labeling

- Occasional hang and reboots with high demand apps