Goophone i5C review: attack of the clone
The MediaTek MTK6572 manages to score 10846 on AnTuTu which is very good considering some quad-core MediaTek based phones score around 13000! In terms of benchmarks the Goophone i5C is faster than the ThL W1, which is powered by a MediaTek 1GHz dual-core Cortex A9 based MT6577 and scored just 6436 on AnTuTu. The i5C’s launcher isn’t the best bit of software around and sometimes it did seem to lag and stutter, but when using other standard Android apps the phone felt fluid and very usable.
The i5C includes an 8MP camera which takes reasonable pictures. The main problem seems to be that the shutter sound plays too quickly and before the actual photo has been taken. The result is that all my early attempts were blurred as I started to move the phone after the shutter sound but before the picture was actually taken. After I learned to wait another second or two after the shutter sound then the pictures improved!
Here is a sample of some pictures I took with the phone:
The phone has all the standard connectivity options like Wi-Fi ( 802.11 b/g/n), Bluetooth 2.0 (but not Bluetooth 4.0), 2G GSM and 3G. It doesn’t have NFC nor does it support LTE but for only $120 that isn’t to be expected!
There is one nano SIM card slot which like the iPhone 5C is accessible via a tray on the right hand edge of the phone. To open the tray you need to poke the provided SIM eject tool into the small hole next to the tray.
For 3G the phone only supports 850 and 2100MHz. The latter number is the standard 3G frequency and should work in most places around the world (except the USA), however a lot of carriers also use a secondary 3G spectrum range. In Asia and South America the carriers often use 850MHz, as supported by the i5C, while in Europe it tends to be 900MHz. You need to check with your carrier to ensure compatibility.
I compared the Wi-Fi signals strengths of the i5C with other Android devices using the free “Wifi Analyzer” app and the phone performed just as well as the other devices (which included a Nexus 7) and I was able to access the Internet from all around the house and outside without any problems.
Unfortunately the same can’t be said for the phone’s GPS. No matter how hard I tried I was unable to get a GPS lock using the phone. In fact, various GPS testing apps couldn’t even see a single satellite – let alone the five or more needed to get a fix. In real terms the phone needs to be treated like it doesn’t have GPS.
The i5C includes a non-user removable 1500 mAh battery. Unfortunately I don’t have a nano-SIM card to test the talk time, however the advertised 2G talk time is around 5 hours. In a video test the device could play a video file from the internal storage for about 6 hours on one charge. Using Wi-Fi the phone can stream content from YouTube for about 4 hours before needing a recharge. This means that you will likely get a full day out of the battery but only with light use.
Before passing judgement on this phone it is worth noting that there seems to be several different models available. Some resellers offer the device with a 2000 mAh battery, some sites say it only has a 5 MP camera and so on. Is this just bad marketing or are they actually different variations of this device? It is hard to tell.
As a phone the Goophone i5C is not very good. Because it tries to mimic the iPhone 5C it is really a mashed together hybrid that fails on several key points. The GPS doesn’t work, the launcher is sometimes hard to use and the camera makes the shutter sound too early. There are better low-end Android phones available that don’t suffer from these problems.
Having said that, if you want an iPhone 5C clone then this is a pretty good attempt. It looks like an iPhone 5C and it will easily fool the uninitiated. If looking like you own an expensive phone is more important than the overall user experience that the Goophone i5C is the perfect device for you!