When we think of local smartphone brands, we can't help but think that all they sell are rebranded smartphones from overseas. That could be true to some extent, but one company among the others prides themselves as the makers of true Pinoy phones—my|phone. For years, this company have been producing devices with unique designs and they're not stopping anytime soon.
The kind people at my|phone provided us with a black A818 Duo for review. This sleek, 3.5-inch Android looks and feels expensive, but it's way cheap. See for yourselves if this smartphone would reflect your personality, and maybe raise your patriotism.
The my|phone A818 Duo's form is of a typical Android. After all, you can do only so much rectangles and rounded corners. It's also about as thick as a regular smartphone.
The my|phone A818 Duo sports a 3.5-inch capacitive display which very much complements the phone's profile. The ubiquitous haptic-capable soft-touch buttons are present. A light sensor and a LED indicator are right beside the front camera.
Insofar as the face of the phone is concerned, I'm very glad that my|phone decided against sticking their logo in there, unlike other phone brands locally or internationally. It may be just personal preference, but for me, sticking a logo in the face—no matter how beautiful or prestigious or logo is—would ruin the overall look.
The back of the A818 Duo has four main points of interest: 1) the 3.2MP camera; 2) the unique speaker grill; 3) a semi-holographic pattern, and; 4) the logo of the Philippines. These four are well-placed that together they look premium. While some may have to disagree with the Philippine logo being placed there, remember that my|phone markets themselves as Pinoy.
The back is hard plastic and is easily detachable with a snap.
The my|phone A818 Duo is lined by a charcoal-grey bezel that is proportional from the bottom to the sides but blows up on the top area to cover the 3.5mm headphone jack, the micro 5-pin USB, and the sleep/wake button.
The only downside I can find with the A818 Duo's external features is its glossiness. It gathers too much oil and smudge too fast, both front and back. I need to wipe it clean every now and then because if I didn't it's too sticky to handle. Then again, if you have a protective case, I guess that wouldn't be a problem.
Wrapping up the premium look of the my|phone A818 Duo is its black stock headphones, a 1300mAh battery, a wall charger and a micro 5-pin USB cable, and other documentation.
The my|phone A818 Duo sports a 3.5-inch HVGA TFT capacitive touch display at 320 x 480. With mid and high-tier smartphones quickly moving away to bigger screen sizes, it seems that a 3.5-inch display is the new small.
The A818 Duo's display, while still HVGA TFT, is awesome. Sure the iPhone 5's Retina Display will blow it out of the water, but if I'll compare it to another entry-level smartphone, I'd say it levels with the Alcatel OT Blaze 985N. The colors are crisp, aren't washed away by the brightness, has great viewing angles, and is very lively.
The my|phone A818 Duo uses stock Android UI, which is very welcomed by Android casuals and purists alike. Sadly, the lock screen is very unimaginative and needs a lot of work.
Touch sensitivity is not an issue with this Android. But since it picks up rather a substantial amount of smudge and oil very easily, we suggest you apply a screen protector since touch receptivity can be affected.
The my|phone A818 Duo runs on Android 2.3.6 Gingerbread, has a Mediatek MT6573 650MHz processor, and 180MB of RAM. Needless to say, most entry-level Androids run on this configuration. You can say that this setup belongs to 2009, since the iPhone 3GS ran with power like this three years ago. Still, lots of people are using the latter (meaning its performance is still relevant today, in turn making the A818 Duo also relevant), and because we're talking about an entry-level phone. To its defense, the my|phone A818 Duo handles pretty well, save for the occasional hiccup of lag while playing games.
Here are the my|phone A818 Duo's performance benchmarks.
AnTuTu gives the my|phone A818 Duo a 1895, which ranks it at last place (the Sony Ericsson X10i ranks next). For reference, the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 and the HTC One X+ rank at 15000, while the Alcatel One Touch Blaze 985N is at 1543.
Here are the other results from Quadrant and Vellamo. (Click images to enlarge)
Once again, the my|phone A818 Duo gets floor marks on Quadrant. Surprisingly though, it beats the Lenovo P70 by a couple of points on Qualcomm's Vellamo benchmark.
In real world use, the A818 Duo's lack of firepower will be noticeable while playing 3D games. Apps such as City Runner 3D and Fruit Ninja would leave you a bitter taste in the mouth. Simpler games are of no issue and will run like butter. Website rendering is fast and overall UI interaction is smooth. Pair that with the beautiful display and you have a winner.
Audio and Video
Videos are where it's at with the my|phone A818 Duo. Its simple display brings forward a very nice viewing experience, and I wish I was exaggerating. There's no hint of pixelization, no ghosting, no lags whatsoever. Even at medium brightness, videos look magnificent, especially HD videos. Either that or I've yet to see the iPhone 5's ultra display.
Sadly, there's no native YouTube app (you can't even download one if you wanted to). Your only move is to go to the browser and view YouTube from there.
Sound quality meanwhile is so-so. It's enjoyable to listen to it, music, movies, and whatnot (it's sufficiently loud), but there's a certain quality loss that's detectable. Bass, for one, diminishes in high volume levels, if not non-existent. Sound direction is also somewhat off; since the speaker is at the lower half of the phone and is small, you can really hear that it beams to wherever the speaker is pointed at, in small waves. The idea is similar to regular earphone in max volume against a dedicated machine with bass at high volume level. The former will hurt the ears while the latter surrounds.
The my|phone A818 Duo is microSD expandable up to 16GB. That's lots of music and movies for you.
*Video and sound also depend on the quality of files being played
Most of the time, an entry-level Android's 5MP camera will let you down. The A818 Duo carries with it a 3.2MP camera without flash. Let the images speak for themselves.
(Click images to enlarge)
These are not the images you'll be expecting from such a beautiful smartphone. But with proper lighting, timing, and Instagram, I'm sure one can produce spectacular images from the A818 Duo's camera.
The my|phone A818 Duo carries a 1300mAh battery. Normal usage at medium brightness (e.g. texting, surfing, playing short sessions of games) would give up to 7 hours of juice.
Battery is replaceable through the back panel.
This Android features a dual-SIM dual-standby feature. It also has an app unique to my|phone—the PINOY App. This app comes in handy for prayers, history projects, trivia, love quotes, and business. Perfect for students, the religious, and voracious readers.
If you're rooting for a Pinoy smartphone packed with features and at the same time light at the pocket, the my|phone A818 Duo might just be for you. With its original design and premium look, people could very well mistake it for a Samsung.
Sure it has its downsides (i.e. sound, camera, some specs). But for P3,999.00, the my|phone A818 Duo is a guaranteed win. I'd buy it in a heartbeat. You can get it cheaper with recurring trade-in promos.
my|phone A818 Duo Technical Specifications
- Display: 3.5 inch HVGA Capacitive Touchscreen 320×480 pixel resolution
- CPU: 650 MHz processor
- Memory: 250MB internal storage, 180MB RAM, expandable via microSD up to 16GB
- OS: Android 2.3.6 Gingerbread
- Camera: 3.2 MP primary camera, front VGA camera
- Battery: 1300mAh
- Connectivity: WiFi, 3G not supported
- Features: Dual-SIM dual-standby, PINOY App
'Till my next installment.
Searches related to my|phone A818 Duo Review: my phone, myphone a818 specs, myphone a818, my phone a818, my phone a818 specs, my phone a818 duo specs, a818 duo specs, myphone a818 review, myphone a818 price philippines, where to buy myphone a818, myphone a818 pictures