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Elephone P6000 review
64-bit processors are on the verge of becoming mainstream on Android devices, and the P6000 is one of the first smartphones from an Asian OEM that uses such a processor. The Elephone P6000 is a 5 inch device with a quad-core 64-bit Cortex-A53 based processor. If you haven’t heard of Elephone, that is because it isn’t that well known in the west (yet). But one thing is for sure, it is a rapidly growing company and the P6000 is a good example of what it can manufacture.
In short, the Elephone P6000 is powered by a quad-core Cortex-A53 based processor, has a 5 inch, 720p display, and runs Android 4.4 KitKat. Here are the full specs:
|Display||5” 720p HD IPS 720 x 1280 pixels|
1.5 GHz, quad-core MediaTek MTK6732, 64-bit, Cortex-A53
16GB, microSD card slot, up to 64GB
13 Megapixel Rear Camera, 2MP Front Camera
GPS, microUSB 2.0, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth
GSM, 3G, 4G LTE
Android 4.4 with Google Play. Android 5.0 coming soon.
144.5 x 71.6 x 8.9 mm, 165g
Dual-SIM: 2xMicro SIM
Moving on to the design and build, the first thing that struck me about this device was how solid it felt. The weight, the case, and the construction make the device feel sturdy. This is also helped by the thickness. At 8.9m it isn’t ultra-thin (which in my book makes some devices feel too delicate) but it isn’t overly thick either.
In terms of design language, we are talking black and grey with rounded edges. Most of the phone’s exterior is made up of the the back battery cover. There are no separate edges per se, but rather a deep removable casing that includes the edges. Even the volume rocker is part of the back cover.
Interestingly, Elephone has tried to make this a little more elegant by sloping the cover edges downwards at the corners. This gives the side of the phone a slight curved look as the cover slides downwards and the screen starts to take over.
On the front is the 5 inch , 720p display, the front facing camera, and a set of blue capacitive keys on the bottom. The home key glows when used, and also flashes when you have a notification. However, the back and menu keys don’t have a back light.
Down the right-hand side are the volume rocker and the power button. Both are easily accessible when the phone is held in your left hand, however they might be a little too close together. Sometimes I found myself turning the phone off by mistake when I wanted to adjust the volume.
On the top you will find the 3.5mm headphone jack, while on the bottom edge is the micro-USB port. Elephone has placed the port off to one side rather than in the middle. It looks different, but at the end of the day makes no difference – for better or for worse.
Flipping the phone over, you will see the prominent Elephone logo, the speaker grill, the flash and the camera lens.
The 5 inch display on the P6000 is very good considering, the price point of this device. It is an IPS display with a resolution of 1280 by 720. That works out to 293 dpi.
Overall the color reproduction is good and the definition is great, as are the viewing angles. Some people like full HD displays for 5 inch devices, however for a budget device, 720p is more than adequate.
At the heart of the P6000 is the MediaTek MT6732. It has a quad-core Cortex-A53 based processor which is coupled with a Mali-T760 GPU. This is the first time I have tested a phone with this combination of CPU and GPU, and overall I have been very impressed. During 2015 this kind of CPU/GPU combination will become the norm for low- and mid-range phones.
The Cortex-A53 is ARM’s super power efficient variant from its first generation of 64-bit processors. The MT6732 uses four Cortex-A53 cores all clocked at 1.5GHz. According to Elephone the MT6732 is 20 percent faster than MediaTek’s octa-core Cortex-A7 based processors, but with 30 percent less battery consumption.
My experience of using the P6000 is that the processor package is fast. The UI is smooth and rapid, in fact it offers the fastest UI that I have personally seen on a Chinese OEM phone. The P6000 handled everything I asked of it including gaming and video.
In terms of benchmarks, the P6000 managed to chalk up 45.5 frames per second on Epic Citadel in Ultra High Quality mode. According to GameBench, the P6000 can run Riptide GP at 54 fps, while Shadow Fight 2 runs at 52 fps. These are all excellent scores and reflect my experience with the device.
The phone comes with a 2700 mAh battery, which is slightly less than I expected. I guess the rationale is that the 64-bit Cortex-A53 is more power efficient than the 32-bit Cortex-A7. Once you factor in a 720p display, rather than full HD, then the battery should be OK.
What my testing showed is that the battery is OK, but that is all. The battery will last all day (from morning to evening) but it will be running out of juice when you go to bed. On average I was getting around 14 to 15 hours of battery life with around 3.5 hours of screen on time.
I also ran my customary set of tests. On one charge you will be able to play intensive 3D games for at least 3.5 hours. GameBench shows that Riptide GP will run for almost 5 hours. For those into multimedia, you can get about 4.5 hours of YouTube streaming from this device.
The phone has a single speaker on the back of the device. It certainly is loud but don’t expect too much from it. One small irritation is that the speaker is completely flush with the back cover, this means the sound becomes muffled quite easily when placed on a flat surface.
The P6000 is a dual SIM phone that offers quad-band GSM, which means 2G will work just about anywhere in the world; dual-band 3G, on 900 and 2100MHz; and quad-band 4G LTE on 800/1800/2100 and 2600MHz. The 3G and 4G will work in lots of countries around the world, especially in Europe and Asia. In the USA you will get 2G coverage but that is about it.
The GPS performance is excellent. The device is able to get a lock easily outdoors and can even get a lock indoors. I tested the P6000 with Nokia Here maps and I was able to use the turn-by-turn navigation without any problems.
The P6000 comes with 2GB of RAM, which is excellent for a phone in this price range. In terms of internal storage, the device comes with 16GB of flash and has a micro-SD card slot which can accept cards up to 64GB. Thankfully, unlike other MediaTek based devices, the internal storage isn’t divided up, you get access to the whole lot, which is around 12GB – once you leave space for Android etc.
This phone has a 13MP rear facing camera and a 2MP front facing camera. The pictures are crisp and the color reproduction is good. The sensor struggles a bit in low-light situations, but for outdoor shots I was quite impressed.
The included camera app, which looks to be the standard AOSP app, offers a few interesting features including HDR and Panorama. In the settings you can change things like the exposure level, the scene type, the white balance, face detection and so on. Overall, the app is fairly comprehensive but it doesn’t have any advanced modes or filters. You can also install and use third-party apps including Google’s camera app.
Here are some sample shots, judge for yourself:
The P6000 runs stock Android 4.4.4. You get access to Google Play and all of Google’s services like YouTube, Gmail and Maps. Interestingly the device is rooted by default and comes with Chainfire’s SuperSU pre-installed.
However, what is more interesting is that Elephone has promised to release an over-the-air update to upgrade the phone to Android 5.0 lollipop. There is no actual official release date, however it is expected soon.
<h2>Price and Wrap up</h2>
To sum up, the P6000 is a 4G LTE enabled smartphone, with a 720p HD display and a quad-core 64-bit CPU. The performance is good for this price point, and the promise of Android 5.0 Lollipop is quite enticing. You can pick up an Elephone P6000 for around $160, which when you consider the overall specification of the device, is a great price.