Pomp W89 review – 4.7 inch quad-core Android 4.2 Jelly Bean smartphone for just $150
The display is probably the weakest component of the W89 but this is really to be expected considering the price tag. With a resolution of 854 x 480 the display is definitely not high quality and using comparatively so few pixels in such a relatively large space means pixelization could be an issue. Personally I didn’t notice any and at no time while using the handset did I yearn for a higher resolution screen. But those of you who notice such things would probably spot the lower pixel density immediately. To put it into some context, the Samsung Galaxy S2 (which was announced in 2011) had a 480 x 800 pixels, 4.3 inch display.
Although there is no NFC support, the phone comes with most of the standard connectivity options like Wi-Fi ( 802.11 b/g/n), Bluetooth, 2G GSM and 3G. There is no support for LTE but at $150 I wasn’t expecting it!
There are two SIM card slots both of which can be used for normal GSM services and messaging but only one of which can be used for 3G. It doesn’t matter which slot is used for 3G as everything is configurable via the settings, where you can also set which SIM slot is used by default for calls, SMS and for 3G. Both slots are unlocked and will work with any SIM card, contract free.
The phone supports WCDMA on 2100MHz and also works at 850Mgz. The first number is the “normal” 3G frequency and should work in most places around the world, however a lot of carriers also use a secondary 3G network on a different frequency. In Asia this is mainly 850MHz, while in Europe it is often 900MHz. You need to check what frequencies your carrier is using to ensure you get the best 3G connectivity from this phone.
The Wi-Fi on the W89 is rock solid and didn’t cause any problems during my testing. I was able to access the Internet from all around the house and outside without any problems.
Battery life is a key factor for modern day smartphones and users expectations are often mixed. Those moving from feature phones are shocked when their new smartphone battery won’t last 3 days like their old phone did, while those already familiar with smartphones are happy when the battery lasts all day! Like the rest of the phone, the battery in the W89 is middle of the road. The 2050mAh battery will certainly last all day (depending on usage) and the capacity is comparable even with modern big brand phones like the upcoming Moto X (which is rumored to have a battery around the 2000mAh mark).
I did some testing and running Epic Citadel (as a test of 3D game usage) decreased the battery by 24 percent over an hour. This is with Wi-Fi on and the screen at half brightness. That means that the battery will deliver four hours of 3D game play before being drained. To test web usage I started to stream a YouTube video over Wi-Fi. After an hour of video the battery level dropped by 19 percent. This means that the device can handle about 5 hours of video streaming before needing a recharge. Other activities like watching a locally stored video will almost certainly mean 6 hours upwards of constant use before needing to find a mains socket!
The camera on the W89 is a bit of a mixed bag. On the plus side it has 8 megapixels meaning it produces 4609 x 2591 images. There are also a number of special modes including HDR, panorama, continuous shooting and smile detection. I tested all of these modes and they worked as advertised (including the smile detection). There is also an LED flash for the rear-facing camera and the device is able to capture 1080p HD video at 29 FPS. On the negative side the colors aren’t very vibrant and sometimes the pictures look washed-out. Of course these can be corrected (or at least enhanced) using the built-in gallery editor or a third party app. Here are some samples:
Dealing with the negatives first, the Pomp W89 isn’t particularly slim and the screen resolution is really at the barest minimum for a 4.7 inch display. Also the camera could be better, however it does offer a lot of functionality. For those who need good 3G connectivity the lack of support for 900, 1700 or 1900 MHz could be a problem. On the plus side the device performs well and always feels responsive. The battery is more than acceptable and having a stock version of Android 4.2 is great. Above all is the price tag, $150 is a remarkable price. I got my test unit from Chinavasion which ships worldwide.