The Bottom Line

Pros

3GB of RAM
Android 5.0
360 degree fingerprint reader
16 core ARM Mali-T760 GPU
Good to see microSD and dual-SIM here

Cons

Display could be brighter
Photos lack vibrancy
Lack of depth to sound from speaker

Bottom Line

A solid 5.5 inch mid-range device, with a 64-bit processor and an excellent GPU. The 3GB of RAM makes multitasking a breeze and the fingerprint reader is an added bonus.

8

64-bit processors are certainly a mainstream option now on Android devices, and the P7000 is no exception with its octa-core 64-bit processor from MediaTek. But there is more to the P7000 than just a multi-core 64-bit CPU. Supporting the CPU is a hefty 3GB of RAM and a 16 core Mali-T760MP GPU. Plus there is the 360 degree fingerprint reader, and the Full HD display, but I am getting ahead of myself here!

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I got hold of the P7000 a few days ago and I have been putting it through its paces, and this is what I found out.

Specs

As well as its octa-core Cortex-A53 based processor, the Elephone P7000 has a 5.5 inch Full HD display, and runs Android 5.0 Lollipop. Here are the full specs:

Display5.5” Full HD IPS 1920 x 1080.
Processor1.7 GHz, octa-core MediaTek MTK6752, 64-bit, Cortex-A53
GPUARM MALI-T760MP
RAM3GB
Storage16GB, microSD card slot, up to 64GB
Camera13 Megapixel Rear Camera (SONY IMX214 f/2.0), 5MP Front Camera
Battery3450 mAh
ConnectivityGPS, microUSB 2.0, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth
NetworksGSM, 3G, 4G LTE
SoftwareAndroid 5.0 with Google Play.
Dimensions155.8 x 76.3 x 8.9 mm
SIM slotsDual-SIM: SIM + Micro SIM

Design

In an attempt to distinguish itself from the myriad of plastic low-end phones coming out of China, Elephone has put some extra effort into the the design of the P7000. First of all it includes a metal bezel which instantly gives the phone a high-end look and feel. The bezel is made of Magnalium, which Elephone says has “great strength and lightness.” I hadn’t heard of this particular alloy before, but a bit of quick research reveals that it is a aluminium alloy with magnesium and small amounts of copper, nickel, and tin. Although more expensive than aluminium, it is indeed known for its strength and low density. Elephone point out that the use of a metal bezel means the P7000 “will not bend in your pocket” and that Magnalium also has good electromagnetic shielding characteristics.

Another interesting aspect of the P7000’s design is its range of colors. Out is the standard black, and in are gold, white and cool grey!

On the front of the device is the 5.5 inch , Full HD display, the front facing camera, a earpiece and the home key. Integrated into the home key is a breathing, pulsing LED which can be configured in the software to change color when you have notifications, messages, and calls. On the left and right of the home key are the menu and back keys respectively, but there aren’t any actual markings on the phone. However this is less troubling than you might think since I already know where the buttons should be, and I just tap instinctively. However for new users coming to Android for the first time this might be a little difficult.

Down the right-hand side is the power button, while the volume rocker is on the left. Both are easily accessible when the phone is held in your left hand.

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On the top you will find the 3.5mm headphone jack and the micro-USB port. On the bottom are two speaker grills, however there is only one speaker. Flipping the phone over, you will see the prominent Elephone logo, the camera lens, the flash, and the fingerprint reader.

Display

The 5.5 inch display on the P7000 is OK, but not brilliant. It is an IPS display with a resolution of 1920 by 1080. That works out to 400 ppi. Overall the definition is excellent, but the color reproduction is fair to middling, with colors lacking vibrancy and the whites seeming pale. Having said that the viewing angles are great. The display is reasonable when used indoors, however I found that it could do with being a bit brighter for outdoor use on sunny days.

As with most displays, the lacks can really only be noticed when you place the phone next to another device with a better display. However when used in isolation the display is more than adequate, just not stunning!

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It is also worth mentioning that in the box is a toughened glass screen protector. Not a plastic film which you stick on the display, but an actual piece of Gorilla Glass 3. The only downside is that you need to stick it on the phone yourself!

Performance

At the heart of the P7000 is the MediaTek MT6752. It has an octa-core Cortex-A53 based processor which is coupled with a Mali-T760 GPU. A quad-core version of the same processor can be found in the P6000. The Mali-T760 is certainly a powerful GPU and while the Cortex-A53 has a lower performance than the Cortex-A15, the Cortex-A17 and even the Cortex-A9, it is a good entry point into 64-bit computing and it works well with Android 5.0 Lollipop.

The supplied version of Lollipop is basically stock Android with the standard launcher and an app drawer!

One key thing about the Cortex-A53 is that it is ARM’s super power efficient 64-bit processor. The MT6752 uses eight of these Cortex-A53 cores, all clocked at 1.7GHz.

My experience of using the P7000 is that the overall processing package is fast. The UI is smooth and rapid, and multitasking is a breeze due to the 3GB of on-board RAM. Overall the P7000 handled everything I asked of it including gaming and video.

In terms of benchmarks, the P7000 managed to chalk up 53.4 frames per second on Epic Citadel in High Quality mode, and 40.1 frames per second in Ultra High Quality mode. AnTuTu gives the P7000 a score of 45034, and it managed a score of 6234 on 3D Mark – Ice Storm Extreme.

Hardware

The phone comes with a 3450 mAh battery, which is a great size for this device. Since the P7000 has a 5.5 inch display then it makes sense for Elephone to use that space for a bigger battery and I am glad to see that it didn’t try to go down the ultra-thin path and sacrifice battery capacity.

What my testing showed is that the battery is great. The battery will last all day (from morning to evening) without any problems. I ran my customary set of tests. On one charge you will be able to play intensive 3D games for at least 5 hours. GameBench shows that Riptide GP will run for almost 5 hours. For those into multimedia, you can get about 5.5 hours of YouTube streaming in Full HD.

Elephone-P7000-gamebench

The phone has a single speaker on the bottom edge and overall I was quite impressed with the sound quality since this is a mid-range phone. However, don’t expect the same fidelity as a high-end flagship phone. Music can sound “tinny” and in general there is a lack of depth.

The P7000 is a dual SIM phone that offers quad-band GSM, which means 2G will work just about anywhere in the world; quad-band 3G, on 850, 900, 1900 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 should get 3G coverage on AT&T and possibly on T-Mobile (as only one of the needed frequencies is supported), but no 4G.

The device comes with 16GB of flash and has a micro-SD card slot which can accept cards up to 64GB.

The GPS performance is fair. The device is able to get a lock outdoors and it can even get a lock indoors, however the indoor lock seems to fluctuate a lot. There were some moments when the lock wasn’t very accurate while I was using Google Maps outdoors, however there was also a thunderstorm brewing, so it is hard to tell who was to blame, the phone or the storm! For driving, I tested the P7000 with Nokia Here maps and Google Maps and I was able to use the turn-by-turn navigation without any problems.

It is worth mentioning that the P7000 doesn’t have a gyroscope sensor (but it does have an accelerator) and the result is that you can’t use the phone with Google Cardboard or other VR applications.

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.

Camera

This phone has a 13MP rear facing camera and a 5MP front facing camera. The sensor in the rear facing camera is the SONY IMX 214 and Elephone has coupled it with a large f/2.0 aperture lens. Overall the pictures are crisp, but they seem to lack punch even in good outdoor lighting. Using HDR can help in some situations, but it isn’t a cure all.

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However the low-light pictures are much better than I was anticipating, the combination of the f/2.o aperture and the support for ISO 1600 means that you are able to take pictures without the flash for many indoor situations. However the laws of physics still demand a certain amount of light to enter through the lens, so don’t expect wonders.

For those of you into video, the rear camera can capture in Full HD at 30 frames per second.

The included camera app at first glance looks like the standard AOSP app, however it seems to offer a few more features beyond HDR and Panorama. For example, the camera options include anti-shake, gesture shot, smile shot, 40 picture continuous shooting, and auto scene detection. The video options include noise reduction, EIS, and time lapse mode.

You can also change things like the exposure level, the scene type, the white balance, face detection and so on. Overall, the app is fairly comprehensive and includes some special modes like object/motion tracking.

Here are some sample shots, judge for yourself:

Software

The P7000 runs stock Android 5.0 Lollipop. You get access to Google Play and all of Google’s services like YouTube, Gmail and Maps, however most of them are not installed by default.

The device supports Over-the-Air (OTA) updates and since its official launch Elephone has made at least one new firmware release. However the default firmware on my review device had a glitch in that while it says it supports OTA updates, it actually doesn’t. The phone checks for updates and even downloads the new software but when it comes to actually updating it I get an error, “Your system was damaged, wireless update disabled!”

Elephone-P7000-OTA

Although it sounds serious the phone does actually continue to function normally. The solution is to download a new firmware and re-flash the phone. After the re-flash everything works as expected. A few days after I flashed the new firmware, Elephone released another OTA patch and this one downloaded and installed without any problems.

The supplied version of Lollipop is basically stock Android with the standard launcher and an app drawer! There are a few extras included for things like the fingerprint reader; the pulsing notification LED, known in the Settings as the Harlequin LED Notification; some Smart Unlock functionality, which unlocks the phone when you are near a trusted Bluetooth device; and the screen-off wake gestures, like double tap and ‘C’ for camera etc.

The fingerprint reader is located on the back of the phone just below the camera. It is a 360 degree reader which means it doesn’t matter how you place your finger on the sensor, it will still be able to read it and recognize it. This is particularly important since most of the time you will use the reader while using the phone which means you can’t see the reader and depending on how you are holding the phone your finger will be placed on the sensor at different angles.

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Overall the sensor works well. The number of misreads is actually quite low and it will only grant authorization to store fingerprints (i.e. it isn’t easy to fool). The initial set up is quite easy and just requires you to place your finger on the reader several times until the fingerprint is registered. The default security mechanism is the fingerprint unlock, which only unlocks the phone with your fingerprint. You can also use the fingerprint scanner to lock individual apps, galleries, messages etc.

Price and Wrap up

To sum up, the P7000 is a 4G LTE enabled smartphone, with a Full HD display and a octa-core 64-bit CPU. The performance is great, and it is good to see Android 5.0 Lollipop here. You can pick up an Elephone P7000 for around $230, which when you consider the overall specification of the device, is a good price.

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