The last period the smartphone landscape has been strongly characterized by companies - especially in China - who have set themselves the intent to reach the top brands. Among these brands we can not fail to mention Elephone. Again, with Elephone A5, the company preferred to opt for a design already known and appreciated by users, accompanied by a hardware sector that (at least on paper) promises well. The reference, in particular, goes to the presence of the notch and the iridescent back cover, as well as the addition of well 5 cameras: let's find out how it behaved in our full review.
Review Elephone A5
Pack without frills for Elephone A5, inside it we find:
- Elephone A5;
- USB / Type-C cable;
- Wall-mounted 5V-2A power supply;
- SIM extractor;
- Silicone cover;
Design and construction quality
Elephone A5 it presents itself with particularly generous dimensions and weight: 75.5 x 155 x 8.8 mm, For 200 grams. As we have already anticipated during the presentation, right away Elephone A5 looks, like features and design, to more noble smartphones. The reference to Huawei P20 Pro It is immediate, but we do not make it a fault: in the last year, we have seen too many smartphones with almost identical designs. But the problem is another. The device has a low quality build quality, starting from the keys on the frame that are struggling to perform their duty (both the power button and the volume rocker).
Continuing, the gap between the frames and the back cover is clear, not pleasant to the eye and, at times, annoying for the handle. Aesthetically just the body with an iridescent effect in the OPPO RX17 style - which should have represented a plus in terms of design - instead represents an out of tune note, looking almost glued to the rest of the smartphone and, not giving a sense of continuity at all.
To complete the aesthetic picture we have, as anticipated, one generous notch that hosts two cameras, sensors and system speaker, accompanied by a particularly pronounced lower frame.
The device has a panel IPS 6.18 inch Full HD + (1080 x 2246 pixels) which, unlike the negative impact given to me by design, did not disappoint me. The display offers good viewing angles, as well as a discreet contrast and bright colors. Panel in the average for the price range, with a single flaw: under direct sunlight you will be particularly struggling to have an optimal view, with the brightness sensor that does not help at all in the intent. However, some corrections are still available via software, such as the calibration of colors. As already expressed (and I will repeat later) one of the few positive notes of this Elephone A5.
Release with imprint and facial. Almost in all smartphones, by now, we find both solutions, even if most of the time the use of both is superfluous. This is one of those cases. Actually on trial days with Elephone A5 in some situations I preferred to abandon the facilitated unlocking methods in favor of the initial pattern.
Let's start with the biometric sensor placed on the right frame. In addition to not being particularly easy, because it is not superimposed on the power button, it is almost never true, one average of 4 / 10. Even unlocking via software does not stand out for speed and fidelity, mainly due to external light conditions.
A board Elephone A5 we find a SoC MediaTek Helio P60 Octa-Core, 4 Cortex-A73 and 4 Cortex-A53, accompanied by Mali-G72, 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB of Storage. Also in this case the performances did not particularly convince me. The smartphone manages to extricate itself more or less discreetly in situations of low stress (such as messaging and email apps), but the same can not be said with respect to games, but also to slightly heavier apps. In some junctures I found the single machine too cumbersome surfing the internet via Chrome. Situation that, to date, whatever the price range, is not justifiable.
Elephone A5 - by now it is clear - I was not particularly struck by it and a large part of the responsibilities are really to be attributed to the photographic sector. This is because the device arrives with well 5 cameras: the main ones from 12 + 5 + 0.3 mega - pixel (the additional for depth and b / w sensor) and the front compartment from 20 + 2 mega pixel.
Why then this negative impression? Images reach (at most) sufficiency in optimal light situations. Then we find an integration of the app almost absent. It will not be possible (despite the 5 cameras) to make shots with portrait mode, giving only the possibility to select panoramic photos, stereo or mono (black and white).
Entering the merits, the cameras share the same defects, with an absence of details referring to the macro and, the panoramic shots with colors basically turned off. As already anticipated: photos not particularly pleasant but still in the product range, the most serious error is to present 5 sensors as a litter box. Then we find the possibility to record videos in Full HD a 30fps.
Connectivity and audio quality
Elephone A5 has a good connectivity side, at least on paper. In fact, we appreciate the presence of the 20 band, as well as the external expandable memory (as an alternative to the second SIM), the FM radio, 4.2 Bluetooth, GPS assisted and Wi-Fi b / g / n mono band. Absent instead the NFC. However, despite the presence of the 20 band, reception and signal quality seemed to me to be subdued.
Even the sound did not give me a very good impression: with a poor sound and at least low. The only positive note in this sense is given by the presence of the 3.5 mm mini jack.
Software version practically comparable to the stock experience. On Elephone A5 are Android 8.1 Oreo and, in this sense, the device will not offer any particular surprises. In fact, we find an insufficient optimization on the software side, a lack that is not helped by the specifications of the device. The experience of use, although it is a standard version of at least Android, it's anything but fluid. Team and various slowdowns that affect the daily use.
We do not find any software customizations worthy of note. Present in fact the ability to disable the classic NavBar and the function to elect the app drawer, as well as the function DuraSpeed to increase the battery performance, but nothing particularly incisive. Software side, Elephone A5 confirms the not excellent sensations we have already talked about.
While in some fundamentals (see camera and fluidity) I expected a better performance, in terms of autonomy Elephone A5 confirmed my expectations. The device will arrive without much trouble at the end of the day with a strong battery 4000 mAh surpassing, however, the 4 hours of active display: an average yield. Given the presence of the USB Type-C, you will be able to fully charge your smartphone in just under 2 hours.
Price and conclusions
As with any product, considerations must always be weighed against the relative market price. Precisely for this reason the considerations are not entirely positive towards Elephone A5 take on an even more important meaning in light of the price: approx 170€ da GearBest. The entry level of the Chinese company is in fact going to collide with some absolute best buy in this price range, which makes it a product not particularly palatable under different points of view. We speak of a missed opportunity because despite the smartphone is present to the public with all the trappings (5 cameras, large display and design in trend) also betrays the most trivial expectations.