At itel’s 10th year anniversary event, we had the opportunity to spend some time with the S12 and S32. We were particularly interested in seeing the 2017 flagship of the brand, itel S32, for ourselves. And we did. We got a few photos too. I hope you enjoy our itel S32 hands-on review. Do read on for the details.

itel S32 hands-on review

itel S32 has a 5.5-inch display. The display is a ground breaker for itel though. It has 2.5D curved glass, and once we held it in our hands, we could feel the difference. The display is smooth and nice, plus the rear of the device has a brushed metal look and feel to it.

What itel has done with the S32 is add a more premium feel than we have ever seen on any other itel smartphone.

The S32 has 16 GB internal storage. We were unable to determine what processor it runs, but RAM is 1 GB. The LTE version (itel S32 LTE) has 2 GB RAM. We were unable to get our hands on that model though.

There is a fingerprint sensor located on the back of the phone, significantly below the section where the rear 8 megapixel camera and LED flash are. Good placement.

Exploring the dual selfie camera, experienced how the user can switch between three different modes to capture a variety of selfies, include 120 degrees wide angle shots. We were told that the dual selfie cameras also allow you to pick a focus point on your photographs, so you can produce professional grade photos. We look forward to putting that to test in a full review. The selfie camera has LED soft flash to assist in low light settings.

The S32 is equipped with a 3,000 mAh battery, an improvement over its predecessor, itel S31, which has a 2400 mAh unit. In terms of software, itel S32 runs Android 7 Nougat.

itel S32 hands-on photos

Here are some of the photographs of the itel S32 that we took:
itel S32 hands-on review and photos

itel s32 dual selfie camera - mobilityarena hands-on review and photos

itel S32 back - hands-on review and photos

itel S32 8 megapixel rear camera - hands-on review and photos

Wrap Up

We immediately liked the S32. A big screen, a promising dual selfie camera, 8 megapixel rear camera, good battery and optional 4G LTE support for $90 (N33,000) to $118 (N45,000) sounds good for itel’s 2017 flagship. It looks like a good upgrade to last year’s flagship, itel S31.

PS: You may be interested in the itel S32 specifications.

What would make a 4-inch, 3G smartphone with a quad-core processor and 1 GB RAM an interesting proposition in 2017? Those are very basic specifications, after all. The fact that it runs Android 7 Nougat is one. The price is another. This Android-powered mobile phone costs just N13,000. That is the configuration that the Freetel ICE 2 brings to the fight in the budget smartphone segment. We got our hands on one and took it for a spin. We are ready with our verdict. When it comes to the decision whether to buy the ICE 2 or not, our detailed Freetel ICE 2 Review is exactly what you need.

Freetel Ice 2 homescreen on

Freetel ICE 2 Review: Quick Pros And Cons

Before we dive into the review proper, starting with the major pros and cons of this small, pocket-friendly smartphone.

Key Features Cons
Bright 4.0-inch display Very slow battery charging
Stock Android 7 Nougat Poor cameras
Network Mode can be pegged to 3G only

Freetel ICE 2 Review: Hardware/Design

There isn’t much to the ICE 2’s design and physical build. It is all plastic. There is a 3.5 mm audio jack at the top, alongside a lanyard hole. We miss lanyards. On the right edge are the volume buttons, and right below them is the power button. There is nothing on the left edge.

Below the small display are three buttons – Menu, Home (with the Freetel logo printed on it), and Back. The bottom edge houses the micro-USB port and microphone.

On the back, we have the camera lens and flash at the top, as well as both the Freetel branding and loudspeaker grill at the lower end.

The back cover and battery are removable to give you access to the two SIM slots and a dedicated memory card slot. You will need that memory card, as the ICE 2 has only 4.38 GB of user accessible storage built in. Just get a 32 GB card to save yourself a lot of stress.

Freetel ICE 2 bottom of screen

Freetel ICE 2 Review: Software

Android 7 Nougat is what we have on the Freetel ICE 2. There is no custom UI here. Some bloatware are pre-installed but are all removable.

Freetel ICE 2 Review: Network, Telephony

Dual SIM: check. GSM/EDGE: check. 3G: check. Every network capability expected of a budget smartphone. Phone calls are not spectacular, but they are okay.

In terms of mobile data, ICE 2 users are able to peg network mode to 2G only, Auto, as well as 3G only mode. This is especially valuable for when you need fairly fast mobile internet.

Freetel ICE 2 Review: Display and Multimedia

We have a 4-inch display here. It is bright and that is it. Viewing angles are poor. Again, no surprise.

Freetel ICE 2 Review - rear

Freetel ICE 2 Review: Photography

So how does the Freetel ICE 2 perform in terms of photography? As one would expect an entry-level smartphone to perform.

Can we ask you to forget about using the VGA selfie camera on the front? You will only end up with grainy poor quality photos that won’t get you any Instaglam or Facebook likes. Sometimes, no pictures are better than some pictures. But if you have to absolutely use it, here’s a sample selfie to convince you otherwise:
Freetel ICE 2 Review - 2 selfie camera

You will fare better with the 2 megapixel camera at the back, but again, expect no great photos. There is a reason why budget cameraphones have poor cameras. We have a few samples for you as well:

freetel ice 2 main camera

Freetel ice 2 main camera low light flash

The camera offers a small range of filters – 8 in all – as well as various shooting modes, so you can get creative. You can take panoramas, capture images in bursts, and even scan QR codes. In other words, the camera software is the real deal. It is fully featured. Shame that the image quality is so bad that none of the fancy stuff makes a serious difference. Just forget about taking any serious photos with the Freetel ICE 2.

Freetel ICE 2 Review: Multitasking/Performance

You will be pleasantly surprised to find that the ICE 2 handled nicely for everyday tasks. That is due to the fact that the manufacturer has not imposed a custom . In terms of speed of operation, it is fair game. We ran into trouble with heavier tasks and with multi-tasking though. In addition, downloading apps from Google Play is often tough going. We suspect that is a result of the low processing power.

While it runs Android 7 Nougat, the minimal hardware means that some more advanced apps are not supported. Here is an example:
gtworld not supported freetel ice 2

Clearly, the ICE 2’s hardware is below the requirements of the cutting edge GTWorld mobile app. We would have been surprised if the outcome had been different. The regular GTBank mobile app installs and works without issues though.

If you care for synthetic benchmark scores, the Freetel ICE 2 scored the following in our tests:

  • AnTuTu: 20,989
  • Geekbench: 396 Single-Core / 1071 Multi-Core
  • Quadrant: 5,823

Those figures are not anything fantastic in the grand scheme of smartphones, but at the budget end where the ICE 2 plays, they are very good.

Freetel ICE 2 Review: Battery life

As we expected, battery life isn’t spectacular. It is in the same range as what you will get from most smartphones in this class. To keep up with our usage, we had to top up the phone at least two times each day. Our usage means always-on 3G connection, two email accounts constantly syncing, social media, instant messaging, web browsing and the odd telephone call.


When using it as a hotspot, we had to top up even more often.

After being used to fast charge, plugging in a mobile phone with no fast charge and waiting for it to fill up is extremely painful. Even with its small battery capacity, the ICE 2 takes ages to charge up. Less than 50% in an hour and almost 3 hours to get a full charge from 9%. But hey, fast charging at this price point is still a dream. perhaps in a few years, the situation will change.

Freetel ICE 2 Review: Final Words

The ICE 2 is a really good bargain for its price. There are competing smartphones with lower-spec’d features that cost at least N9,000 more. An example is the TECNO S1. If you need a backup Android smartphone for odd duties or you want to get a smartphone for your child or you want to get a smartphone who has used only feature phones all their lives, the ICE 2 is perfect. If you love taking pictures to share with others, this mobile phone does not have your name written on it.

Other Freetel ICE 2 Resources

Freetel ICE 2 has a 4-inch display. It is powered by a quad-core 1.1 GHz processor and 1 GB of RAM. That is a low-end configuration, but it is better than what you get from most other smartphones in its price bracket. The question is, How does it perform in everyday use? Read on for our Freetel ICE 2 performance review and benchmark tests results.

Freetel ICE 2 Performance Review

Freetel ICE 2 Performance Review

Using the ICE 2 for everyday tasks is mostly fine, thanks to the OS being as close to pure Android as possible. In terms of speed of operation, it is fair game. We ran into trouble with heavier tasks and with multi-tasking though. In addition, downloading apps from Google Play is often tough going. We suspect that is a result of the low processing power.

While it runs Android 7 Nougat, the minimal hardware means that some more advanced apps are not supported. Here is an example:
gtworld not supported freetel ice 2

Clearly, the ICE 2’s hardware is below the requirements of the cutting edge GTWorld mobile app. We would have been surprised if the outcome had been different. The regular GTBank mobile app installs and works without issues though.

Freetel ICE 2 Benchmark Tests

If you are interested in performance benchmark test cores, we are here for you. We threw AnTutu, Quadrant and Geekbench at the ICE 2 and got the following results:

  • AnTuTu: 20,989
  • Quadrant: 5,823
  • Geekbench: 396 Single-Core / 1,071 Multi-Core

Freetel ICE 2 Performance Review: Conclusions

If you are not new to smartphones and had checked the Freetel ICE 2’s specifications before now, this performance review probably doesn’t tell you anything surprising. If you have been used to using smartphones above this grade, you will find the Freetel ICE 2’s performance underwhelming.

This is a budget smartphone targeted at users at the very bottom of the pyramid. It is great for people who are coming from feature phones to smartphones for the first time.

Don’t go away. Our full Freetel ICE 2 review is on the way. You don’t want to miss it.

Other Freetel ICE 2 Resources

Back in July in Lagos, Nigeria, Google announced that a N13,000 Android smartphone was going to be launched in the country in collaboration with some partners. The anticipation towards the proper launch of the Freetel ICE 2 smartphone has been high, to say the least. The phone has since hit the market in September. We have one with us here at MobilityArena and have our Freetel ICE 2 hands-on article ready. Of course, we have photos of the device for you as well.

Freetel ICE 2 Hands-on - phone pack

Freetel ICE 2 Hands-on

The Freetel ICE 2 is all plastic and fits into the hand easily. It has a smallish 4-inch display, after all. The back cover is removable and so is the battery.

It has been a while since we reviewed a 4-inch smartphone, if you leave out the 2.4-inch Ntel N1 Nova which we reviewed in August. We got by using the tiny display of the Nova, and so far, we are doing fine with the ICE 2’s display as well. The display is plastic and looks like it will scratch easily. But then at this price range, it is unrealistic to expect a better quality display.

There are a few bloatware pre-installed on the phone. They include the following apps: Music+, MyMTN, tdAfrica, and Worldreader. The first two apps are by MTN. Thankfully, all of these pre-installed apps can be uninstalled. Guess what we did? You got it.

All the regular set of apps from Google are here. Nothing is missing. Android OS on the ICE 2 appears to be pure, which is great for low-end Android smartphones. An extra user interface on top of Android would impact performance of the device.

Freetel ICE 2 Photos

We have a few photos of this small smartphone for you to see.
Freetel ICE 2 Hands-on - homescreen on

Freetel ICE 2 bottom of screen

Freetel ICE 2 Hands-on - rear

Freetel ICE 2 isn’t eye candy in any way, but we weren’t expecting it to be; were we? But it isn’t ugly either. It looks like a good balance for a smartphone at this price point.

Freetel ICE 2 Hands-on Conclusions

The ICE 2 is an intriguing device. So far, so good, it has given us good first impressions. In our next article in the Freetel ICE 2 review series, we will be looking at its performance in day-to-day tasks, as well as the results it scores in our usual benchmark tests. After that, we will deliver our full phone review.

If you haven’t seen it, be sure to have a look at the Freetel ICE 2 specifications sheet. Don’t be a stranger. Right here on MobilityArena is where all the mobile phone action happens.

Have you ever thought it would be cool to be able to squeeze your phone to get stuff done? The HTC U11 is your fantasy come alive: it is a squeezable phone. In this HTC U11 review, Emmanuel takes a deep dive into the features and quirks of this one-of-a-kind phone.

The HTC U11 is a phone that has all the bells and whistles of a 2017 flagship, with more bezels of course. How does it fare on different levels? Keep reading to find out.

HTC U11 Review

HTC U11 Review: Quick Pros and Cons

Before getting into the full review, here are the quick pros and cons of the HTC U11.

Key Features Cons
Flagship level performance Average battery life
Amazing camera Extremely slippery body
Squeezable frame
Good audio both from speakers as well as type c port

HTC U11 Review Box

HTC U11 Review: Hardware/Design

The design employed here on the U11 favours something reminiscent of years passed. Curved glass back, monster bezels and antenna lines – check! Personally I like the design of the HTC U11. Yes, 2017 saw the new craze for bezel less phones but I still pretty much prefer this design. Around the phone you can find the standard buttons as well as multiple microphones.

Something I do not like about this design however is that it is very slippery. Due to the curve at the back, you can forget about putting the phone on the table on it’s back. Try to do that and this phone WILL fall.

HTC U11 Review glass back

What you will not find however is a 3.5mm headphone jack. With just a 3000 mAH battery on the U11, there was more than enough space for an audio jack. Now, before going all up in arms however, the U11 has a dedicated DAC onboard. With a dedicated DAC (digital to analogue converter), you’re able to get higher fidelity audio out of the U11. The catch is that you’re going to have to use a USB Type C to 3.5mm converter which is included in the box. A USB Type C earphone is bundled with the U11. I have to admit, the bundled earphones are some of the best I’ve ever used on a phone.
HTC U11 Review no headphone jack

HTC U11 Review: Software

The HTC U11 runs Sense UI atop Android 7 Nougat. Sense is one of the most lightest customizations of Android. While it is light, it still offers a wide array of customizations. Those customizations includes themes, fonts as well as dynamic themes. Bloatware is kept to a minimum here, something that is well appreciated.

Apart from supporting Google assistant, the HTC U11 also supports Amazon Alexa. HTC also has it’s own assistant called HTC assistant. I personally only used Google Assistant but I did appreciate the choices given.

HTC U11 Review Phone

Squeeze me!

HTC U11 Review Squeeze

A main feature about the HTC U11 is that you can squeeze the phone to perform actions. While it might sound strange at first, it makes a whole lot of sense. You can adjust the intensity of the squeeze to your preference. You can also select which apps you want to launch with a squeeze. Also present are two distinct squeezes – a short squeeze as well as a long squeeze.

I set my short squeeze to the camera app. It was very addictive I must say. When I picked up other devices, I tried squeezing – oops.

HTC U11 Review: Network, Telephony

HTC U11 Review

Being a flagship device, it is no surprise that the HTC U11 performed excellently when it came to connectivity. Phone calls were excellent with no dropped calls. Data speeds as well as WiFi speeds were top notch as well.

With 4 microphones around the phone, the U11 handled phone calls like a champ with excellent audio quality.

HTC U11 Review: Display and Multimedia

HTC U11 Review Multimedia

With a 5.5 inch quad HD display, the HTC U11 ticks the box when it comes to media consumption. To be honest, I had very little hope for the display. It is a pleasure to say that the display used here surprised me, in a good way. While it is an LCD panel, the black levels could almost be mistaken for being amoled. With deep blacks, fantastic white balance, as well as decent brightness – the display on the HTC U11 is one of the best I’ve ever used.

Audio wise, the HTC U11 comes with Boomsound speakers. Basically uses the earpiece as well as another tweeter down below to recreate a stereo effect. Boy do they sound good. With nice mids, amazing bass and a nice overall volume – again, the audio here via the speakers is one of the very best.

HTC U11 Review No Headphone Jack

While there is no traditional 3.5mm audio jack, audio via the USB Type C port is top notch. Via the provided adapter, I was even able to drive my more powerful headsets just fine. With that dedicated DAC, audio via the type C port is among one of the best you can get on a mobile phone right now – hands down!

HTC U11 Review: Photography

HTC U11 Review Camera

The HTC U11 has a 12 megapixel f1.7 camera round back. Going to the front and it has a 16 megapixel f2.0 camera. Like almost every aspect of this phone, the camera up until recently was the very best on the planet.


In different scenarios, the HTC U11 proved to be an excellent camera. All throughout the review period, I rarely encountered any scenario the U11 did not boss. In a rare break from excellence, I found out that selfies can sometimes end up blurry. Unlike it’s predecessor, the HTC 10, the U11 does not have optical image stabilization for the front camera.

For a photography enthusiast like me, RAW photo capture support was very well appreciated. I also loved the simplicity about the camera interface.

Click here to view sample photos taken with the HTC U11.

HTC U11 Review: Multitasking/Performance

HTC U11 Review Multitasking

The variant of the HTC U11 I have here is that with a Snapdragon 835 processor, 6 gigs of RAM, as well as 128 gigs of storage. The U11 rarely, if ever have any lags. Opening and switching between apps was always a quick affair. Gaming performance was also top notch. It played all games I threw at it with minimal effort.

Thanks to having minimal customizations over stock Android, over time performance should still hold up well well into the future.

In terms of benchmarks, the HTC U11 scores are as follows:

  • Antutu: 167,271
  • Geekbench 4: 1907 Single-Core / 5777 Multi-Core

HTC U11 Review: Battery life

Moving on to battery life and this is where the HTC U11 disappoints. On average I was getting about 3-4 hours of screen on time. My typical usage includes usage of Facebook, Google Play Music, Snapchat, Twitter and Reddit.

A cause for what I consider bad battery life might be the battery capacity. On the U11, it comes equipped with a 3000 mAh battery. While usually this is enough, on the U11 I discovered that I had battery anxieties on most days.

HTC U11 Review: Final Words

HTC U11 Review Fingerprint magnet

A well rounded smartphone, the HTC U11 is definitely my favourite Android smartphone for 2017. It has an awesome camera, amazing sound, and clean software interface, as well as design.

There are so many things I love about the HTC U11 with fewer things in my cons list. Now if you will, I’m going to listen to some dubstep via the USB Type C port on the U11.

Other HTC U11 Resources

Emmanuel takes the dual selfie cameras, among other features, for a spin. This ASUS Zenfone 4 Selfie Pro review reports everything about the device.

The ASUS Zenfone 4 Selfie Pro is a dual front facing camera Android mobile phone. While it’s main focus is taking good selfies, how does it fare on all fronts? Keep reading to find out.

ASUS Zenfone 4 Selfie Pro review box

ASUS Zenfone 4 Selfie Pro Review: Quick Pros and Cons

Before getting into the full review, here are quick pros and cons of the ASUS Zenfone 4 Selfie Pro.

Key Features Cons
Awesome battery life Long app load times
Dual front facing cameras with flash
Good camera with amazing stabilization

ASUS Zenfone 4 Selfie Pro contents

I carried out a video unboxing of the Zenfone 4 Selfie Pro which you can check out below.

ASUS Zenfone 4 Selfie Pro Review: Hardware/Design

The ASUS Zenfone 4 Selfie Pro comes equipped with 2 selfie cameras on the front. This is the standout feature and ASUS wants you to immediately know this. Also up front are the sensors as well as a single tone flash for low light selfies. The phone comes equipped with the standard power and volume buttons as well as a micro USB port for charging and data connections.

ASUS Zenfone 4 Selfie Pro dual front camera

Something that I immediately noticed when I picked up the ASUS Zenfone 4 Selfie pro is how light it is. At just 145g, this phone is light, almost too light. I found myself having to be extra careful so as to avoid it falling out of my hands.

ASUS Zenfone 4 Selfie Pro Build

ASUS Zenfone 4 Selfie Pro Review: Software

The Zenfone 4 Selfie Pro runs the new Zen UI 4, ASUS’s custom skin over Android 7.1.1. While in the past, Zen UI was a combination of unneeded apps and services, the latest iteration does away with all of that. Bloat has been cut from about 35 pre-installed apps to just 7 which really does have a positive effect. This has enabled less duplicate apps/services, more frequent software updates, as well as a promise from ASUS to update this phone to Android 8 Oreo.

ASUS Zenfone 4 Selfie Pro software

ASUS Zenfone 4 Selfie Pro Review: Network, Telephony

The regular radios are present here on the Zenfone 4 Selfie Pro. From LTE to Wifi as well as Bluetooth. Using the Zenfone 4 Selfie Pro to make phone calls was seamless. I had no issues with Wifi connectivity either with rarely any bad connections.

Something I did notice was that while using the speakerphone, the recording output was quite low especially if you are a fair distance any from the phone. Hopefully this can be solved with a software update in the near future.

ASUS Zenfone 4 Selfie Pro Review: Display and Multimedia

ASUS Zenfone 4 Selfie Pro media consumption

The display on the ASUS Zenfone 4 Selfie Pro is a 5.5 inch AMOLED panel. Viewing angles was pretty good. There are options in the settings to enable a more colour accurate representation, or a more vivid profile if that is the look you prefer.

Being a 5.5-incher, I enjoyed watching videos on YouTube as well as on Facebook on the Zenfone 4 Selfie Pro.

ASUS Zenfone 4 Selfie Pro Review: Photography

ASUS Zenfone 4 Selfie Pro camera

First off is the primary shooter at the back. It is a 16 megapixel camera with video recording capabilities of up to 4K. Dynamic range was frankly not the best on the back shooter. ASUS must have known this as the Zenfone 4 Selfie Pro defaulted to shooting with HDR most of the time.

HDR or high dynamic range tries to maximize dynamic range with a few tricks. A major technique is to capture two images and combine it into one photo. The first to maximize the highlights while the second is to capture the dark areas or shadows as they are called.

Dual Selfie Cameras!

Moving on to the front camera and that is where the ASUS Zenfone 4 Selfie Pro really shines. It has got a dual camera system. The first is a 24 megapixel camera with a standard field of view. The second is a wide angle 5 megapixel camera.

There is a toggle in the camera app to switch between both cameras. Naturally due to having more megapixels and a bigger sensor, the 24MP camera is more sharper and has more dynamic range than the wide angle 5MP camera.

ASUS Zenfone 4 Selfie Pro camera switch

The advantages of the wide angle camera however is that you can capture more. This is particularly helpful if you take a lot of selfies with friends. Rather than having to stretch your arms to mimic a selfie stick, you can just hold the phone normally and it would still capture lots more.


Both the back 16MP camera as well as the 24MP front camera capture 4K video which was very pleasant.

The wide angle 5MP front selfie camera performed horrible, especially in low light situations.

Both the front cameras and the back camera of the phone have portrait mode. With portrait mode, the background is blurred out. This isolates you from the background. I found it to be hit or miss. Hopefully with future updates, it should get better.

For a taste of what kind of quality you’ll be getting with both the front and back cameras on the ASUS Zenfone 4 Selfie Pro, Click this link to view photo samples taken with the phone.

In case you want to watch a full camera test of the phone, check out my video below too.

ASUS Zenfone 4 Selfie Pro Review: Multitasking/Performance

ASUS Zenfone 4 Selfie Pro multitasking

Powered by the Snapdragon 625 mated to 4 GB of RAM, I rarely had hiccups while using the Zenfone 4 Selfie Pro. An issue I did encounter however was that apps took fairly long to load. Sometimes even apps that I used recently still took their sweet time.

Performance wise, the ASUS Zenfone 4 Selfie Pro had no issues with running demanding games such as Asphalt 8. Multitasking was also fairly fast.

In term of benchmarks, the ASUS Zenfone 4 Selfie Pro scores are as follows:

  • AnTuTu: 64,621
  • Geekbench 4: 851 Single-Core / 4200 Multi-Core

I carried out a gaming and benchmark video of the Zenfone 4 Selfie Pro, check it out below.

ASUS Zenfone 4 Selfie Pro Review: Battery life

Battery life has to be one of the best aspects of this phone. My daily usage includes using Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, Reddit as well as a lot of picture and video capture.

Even with my somewhat heavy use case, I was constantly getting around 6 hours of battery life. This was a 2-day phone for me. I could begin the day with 50% and still have a little juice left before I plugged it in at night.

A huge shout out has to go to ASUS for proper battery optimizations on the Zenfone 4 Selfie Pro.

ASUS Zenfone 4 Selfie Pro Review: Final Words

ASUS Zenfone 4 Selfie Pro final words

With so much emphasis placed on selfies, the ASUS Zenfone 4 Selfie Pro actually managed to produce pretty good selfies. Things I loved included the good battery life, wide angle selfie in daylight as well as the overall good performance.

While it is not a perfect phone, nothing beats this phone when it comes to dual front cameras – at least not at the moment.

Other ASUS Zenfone 4 Selfie Pro Resources

In his Moto C Plus review, Mister Mo shares about how the mobile phone handles in real life usage.

There is an increasing range of budget 4G mobile phones available in the market. The Moto C Plus attempts to marry support for eight 4G LTE networks with a very robust battery of 4000 mAh capacity. Coupled with a low-power 1.3 GHz processor and a 5-inch display, it easily positions itself as a solid hand in that class.

You already know that Motorola Mobile is now owned by Lenovo and the company has been churning out new Motorola cell phones in droves. Lenovo wants to have something for everyone. That isn’t new. Bigger brands like Nokia (back in the day) and Samsung have followed the same path.

There are two variants of the Moto C Plus – one with 1 GB RAM and the other with 2 GB RAM. The two look exactly alike. We got our hands on the 2 GB RAM model and have our review ready for you.

Moto C Plus phone with box

Moto C Plus Review: Quick Pros And Cons

Before we dive into the review proper, starting with the major pros and cons of this 5.5-inch phablet.

Key Features Cons
Bright 5.0-inch display You cannot peg Network Mode to 4G out-of-the-box
Near stock Android 7 Nougat
Super solid battery performance

Moto C Plus Review: Hardware/Design

Moto C Plus top perspective
The Moto C Plus’ body is made of plastic. It is a budget smartphone, after all.

The USB port at the bottom edge is version 2.0. There is a 3.5 mm audio port at the top edge. The loudspeaker grill is located on the lower back side of the phone.

Moto C Plus Review: Software

Moto C Plus box app drawer

The Moto C Plus runs a near-stock version of Android 7.1.1 Nougat. The UI is quite clean. From the homescreen, there is a pull-up menu that opens up the app tray. Are there any bloatware? There are very few, including a Wallpapers app and a Downloads app, both of which you just might like.

One of the benefits of running a near stock implementation of Android is speedier software updates. Unfortunately, this being a budget smartphone, Motorola has no plans to push out Android 8 Oreo update for it. You can check out which Moto mobile phones are on the Motorola Oreo Update List.

Moto C Plus Review: Network, Telephony

Moto C Plus back cover open
The Moto C Plus is a 4G LTE dual-SIM smartphone. Audio quality of telephone calls on the phone is good but not stellar. The call sounds boxy to the person at the other end. But these are standard fare for devices in this price range.

The Moto C Plus works with 4G LTE networks from MTN and Etisalat but not Glo. While it supports Smile’s 20(800) LTE band, we did not have a Smile nano-SIM or SIMs from Spectranet and Swift and so couldn’t put them to test.

As is standard for stock Android OS, the user is unable to peg network mode to 4G only. So, the phone cycles between available networks depending on the maximum setting you choose. But then, most 4G phones do not offer the ability to peg 4G either, so it may not be a big deal for many people.

We were able to rectify that and peg network mode on the C Plus as we wished by installing and using the MTK Engineering app.

Moto C Plus Review: Display and Multimedia

Moto C Plus loudspeaker grill
Loudspeaker audio is loud and fairly tinny. No surprise there either. The display is bright and reading or watching videos on it is no problem.

Moto C Plus Review: Photography

Moto C Plus rear camera

How does the Moto C Plus fare with photography? We put it to the test.

Main Camera (8 megapixels):
Moto C Plus Review mobilityarena camera daylight 1

Moto C Plus Review mobilityarena camera daylight building
The camera performance in daylight is good. Of course, it isn’t as good in low light situations, but that isn’t out of place at this price point.

Selfie Camera (2 megapixels):
Moto C Plus selfie daylight
Not bad at all for a 2-megapixel camera, even if it makes one look uglier than one really is. But then, not even the best selfie cameras take the best selfies. For top quality selfies, use the main camera. Thank me later.

Moto C Plus Review: Multitasking/Performance

The Moto C Plus is not big on performance. It is good and runs smooth for a smartphone with a 1.3 GHz processor and 2 GB of RAM. Of course, if you throw heavy duty stuff at it, you will feel the limiting nature of the processor and RAM.

If you care for synthetic scores, the Moto C Plus scored the following in our tests:

  • AnTuTu: 29,111
  • Geekbench: 535 Single-Core / 1509 Multi-Core
  • Quadrant: 10,294

Moto C Plus Review: Battery life

Moto C Plus box
When you have near stock Android software, a modest 5-inch display, a 1.3 GHz processor and a 4,000 mAh battery, what do you expect? If you said “Outstanding battery life”, you are correct. The Moto C Plus is one of those smartphones you can use with peace of mind, battery wise.

It takes a while to fill up the 4,000 mAh battery, but once full, you can hit the road without a care for a full work day of use without running out of juice.


Moto C Plus box back

Moto C Plus Review: Final Words

The Moto C Plus is a solid solution for those who want a handy 4G LTE smartphone without worrying about running put of battery juice in a few hours.

Do not forget to check out the Moto C Plus Specifications and price.

Emmanuel shares his opinions in this detailed Sony Xperia XZ Premium review – all the juicy details about what he loves and hates.

The Sony Xperia XZ Premium is an Android smartphone with the latest processors as well as cameras. How does it fare in day-to-day use? Keep reading to find out.

Sony Xperia XZ Premium Review - latest Sony mobile phone

Sony Xperia XZ Premium Review: Quick Pros And Cons

Before getting into the full review, here are quick pros and cons of the Sony Xperia XZ Premium.

Key Features Cons
Solid 4K display Fingerprint magnet
Really good battery life Somewhat outdated design
Good camera with amazing stabilization Low loudspeaker volume

Sony Xperia XZ Premium Review

Sony Xperia XZ Premium Review: Hardware/Design

The Sony Xperia XZ Premium is a 2017 flagship phone that feels very solid in the hand. Yes, the design language here does not follow the standard industry norm. That norm is about having as little bezels as possible on the front. Weirdly enough, I really love the design employed here.

Something interesting though is that the fingerprint scanner is integrated into the power button. The power button resides on the side, which to me is the best position for it.

Sony Xperia XZ Premium Review

Something I also love about the XZ Premium is the dedicated camera button. Long press on the button and it launches the camera. In the camera app, it acts as a two stage focus/shutter button, which is nice.

As ports go, the Sony Xperia XZ Premium has USB Type C for charging and data connections.

Sony Xperia XZ Premium Review

Sony Xperia XZ Premium Review: Software

Sony Xperia XZ Premium Review

The Sony Xperia XZ Premium runs Android 7.1.1 on top of Sony’s minimal UI. The custom UI employed here is one of the lightest I’ve come across. Apart from a few apps such as Amazon, Kindle and Sony’s Playstation app – there is not much in the way of bloatware here. Also in the time that I’ve used the device, I’ve gotten about 4 software updates.

Sony promises that Android 8 Oreo will get to the XZ Premium before the end of the year.

Sony Xperia XZ Premium Review: Network, Telephony

Sony Xperia XZ Premium Telephony

The Sony Xperia XZ Premium features the usual array of radios. From Wifi to 4G LTE and even NFC, it is feature packed. Data speeds were pretty decent with rarely any hiccups encountered.

Using the XZ Premium for phone calls was seamless. While it is not necessarily the loudest of phones, I heard and was heard properly when making phone calls.

Sony Xperia XZ Premium Review: Display and Multimedia

Sony Xperia XZ Premium Review

The standout feature of the XZ Premium is the display. The 5.5 inch display has a 4K HDR screen. Consuming content was very satisfying with nice vivid colours. Unlike the display from Samsung for example, colour accuracy was on point on the XZ Premium.

With support for apps such as YouTube and Netflix, the XZ Premium supports HDR in 4K. HDR, which stands for for high dynamic range, expands what the dynamic range of the display is. Even when watching in full HD, the display on the XZ Premium has to be one of the best I’ve ever used.

The XZ Premium has dual front facing speakers. While it is definitely better than bottom firing speakers, the output was low and in public rarely produced enough oomph. This is a pity because were they louder, they would have made media consumption more immersive on the XZ Premium.

Sony Xperia XZ Premium Review: Photography

Sony Xperia XZ Premium Review

Equipped with a 19MP camera on the back, the XZ Premium is no slouch when it comes to photography. On the front end, it packs a 13MP selfie camera with an F2.0 aperture. As stated earlier, something I love is the dedicated camera button.

Camera performance on the XZ Premium is top notch with good dynamic range. Something I noticed though is that it is not the best in low light performance.

The Sony Xperia XZ Premium’s camera is capable of recording in 960fps, albeit in 720p/HD resolution. While it was fun the first time I tried it, I never really used this feature very much.


Click on the picture below to checkout images taken with the Sony Xperia XZ Premium.

Want to check out more of the XZ Premium’s camera performance? Check out the video test I carried out below.

Sony Xperia XZ Premium Review: Multitasking/Performance

Sony Xperia XZ Premium Review

Being a premium flagship, the Sony Xperia XZ Premium is a performance champ. Opening apps was fast and quick, switching between apps even quicker. Rarely if ever did I notice any lags whatsoever.

This should not be a surprise though. The Xperia XZ Premium packs in the latest Snapdragon 835 along with 4 GB of RAM, which bolsters it performance. Even after days, apps were still kept in memory with rarely any refreshes when switching apps. Gaming performance on the XZ Premium is top notch even with the most intensive of games.

In term of benchmarks, the XZ Premium scores are as follows:

  • AnTuTu: 139,298
  • Geekbench 4: 1914 Single-Core / 5960 Multi-Core

Sony Xperia XZ Premium Review: Battery life

Sony Xperia XZ Premium Review

Equipped with a 3230mAH battery, the XZ Premium has fantastic battery life. My typical usage includes using the camera, lots of Facebook, Twitter, Reddit and Snapchat. I must say that before using the phone I had fears for the battery.

With the 4k display as well as flagship performance, I did not have much hopes for the battery life. Colour me surprised when I was getting about 6 hours of screen on time without fail. In real life, this equated to about 1 full day plus some more on average.

Sony Xperia XZ Premium Review: Final Words

Sony Xperia XZ Premium Review

4K HDR display -check.
Latest Snapdragon 835 processor – check.
Amazing battery life – check.

To me, majority of what I care about is covered in the Xperia XZ Premium from Sony. Sure, lowlight camera performance may not be up to what its Samsung or HTC counterparts deliver, but, and this is a big but – I don’t mind! Yes, I admit the design is not the most cutring edge, but I don’t care either.

It feels very solid in the hand and has great battery life to match it’s awesome performance – what else is there to complain about?

Want to watch the me review the XZ Premium? Check out the video below

Other Sony Xperia XZ Premium Resources

Here are some other articles available for the Sony Xperia XZ Premium