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Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Kata M2L Review



Kata has been on a roll lately after the Kata Box. They actually announced the M2L before the i3L but as I decided to review the i3L first, let’s now take a look at its big brother. It’s pretty hard not to notice this phablet so let’s check out the specs and find out what makes this bad boy special.

Specs:

5.5 inch IPS 1280x720 display
1.3Ghz MT6735 Processor 64bit
Mali T-720 GPU
13.3 MP rear and 8MP rear camera
16GB storage with micro SD
1GB RAM
Dual SIM LTE
WiFi bgn and Bluetooth 4.0
3000 mAh removable battery
Android 5.1

Price Php 6,999

Design and  features

At first glance, the M2L looks like your generic 5.5 inch phablet, very similar to a Galaxy Note 3 and there’s nothing really wrong with that. However, a closer inspection does show some other highlights. The phone is actually quite thin and light, the power and volume buttons are placed properly on opposite sides thus eliminating my pet peeve of accidental presses and despite being a big phone, it actually can be used with one hand. I would go on a limb and say that even with big hands, it’s at the absolute limit of one hand operation. But most phablets have the same problem anyway. The screen despite being just a 720p is actually nice and bright with good viewing angles. The additional screen size does make it really nice for watching videos and web browsing. Just like the i3L, Kata has put a slightly modified version of Android 5.1 Lollipop removing the app drawer and just making everything available on the main screen ala iOS. I actually installed Nova Launcher to give it a more Google feel but that’s the beauty of Android. You can simply modify or install any launcher you want. Also pre-installed are the usual Kata set of apps like MegaVPN, WPS Office, Kata Cloud, etc. At the back you’ll find a Dual SIM slot (1 regular and 1 micro), SD card slot and a removable (hey!) 3000mAh battery. You can find out more about the standard Kata apps by reading my T4, Kata Box and i3L review.








Performance

Having almost the same internals as the i3L, I was expecting that performance would be very similar. But I noticed that the i3L seems a bit snappier to use. Not that the M2L was slow. Navigating around the device was still smooth except for the when I tried lots of multi-tasking but it still managed to pull through with some delay. Just like I said with the i3, I think an extra gig of RAM would have made this phone even better.  Still, I was pleasantly surprised with the performance. Most games played well and I’ll post some benchmarks and screen shots so you can see for yourself. The camera was also not bad, photos in good lighting conditions came out clear. However, for some reason the shots from the i3 came out better at least to my eyes. In low light though, it really struggles to keep up. I was able to test LTE using Globe and had no signal problems. Battery life was also pretty good, lasting a whole day with just WiFi.  Your battery life may vary depending on your usage. 









Dog selfie






Verdict

The M2L and i3L are basically the same phone with the screen size and few other oddities differentiating the two. While I personally prefer the i3L, you should ask yourself what you’ll be doing with your phone. If you’re a phablet person or plan to watch a lot of videos than I would suggest to go with the M2L. Either way, it would be a good idea to visit your local Kata store to give them both a test drive. I also have to disclose that after writing this review, there was an OTA update for the M2L and I’m hoping that this will fix some of the issues I had.  At least it’s nice to see that Kata is diligent in updating their products. Kata has also just announced their new online shop and they plan to have a sale of a particular product every Friday so make sure to check them out if you want a good deal.

The Good:

Nice Big screen
LTE
Dual SIM

The Bad

1GB RAM
Not as fast as i3L


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