itel S15 Pro is easy to describe: it is the best looking entry-level Android phone in the market, and offers more features than the competition. Simply put, it is good value. Having used it for a week, here is Mister Mobility’s itel S15 Pro review.
From the back, the beautiful purple gradient paint job draws you to what appears to be an upper mid-range smartphone. You notice the triple camera hub and the fingerprint scanner and you like it even more. Surely, this phone must cost a small fortune.
Don’t let your imagination run too wild. This is an entry-level Android phone that looks way more expensive than it really is. It packs as many features as can be squeezed into a ₦29,000 ($90) smartphone. Grab a cup of something healthy as I take you through my itel S15 Pro review.
itel S15 Pro Review: Quick Specs
- Screen: 6.1-inch, 720 x 1560 pixels, 19:9 aspect ratio, IPS display with a waterdrop notch;
- Rear Camera: 8MP + VGA + VGA triple camera; dual LED flash; video recording;
- Front Camera: 16MP fixed focus lens; 1080p@30fps video recording;
- Chipset: Unisoc Spreadtrum SC9863a processor clocked at 1.6GHz, PowerVR Rogue GE8322 GPU;
- Memory: 2GB RAM. 32GB storage. Dedicated microSD slot for up to 256GB expansion;
- Operating System: Android 9 Pie;
- Battery: 3,000mAh Lithium-Ion;
- Connectivity: Dual SIM (4G), Bluetooth 4.2, GPS/GLONASS, Wi-Fi b/g/n, FM radio, microUSB 2.0;
- Colours: Gradation Purple.
itel S15 Pro Review: Quick Pros And Cons
Before we dive into the review proper, here is a listing of the major pros and cons of this device.
- great gradient paint job and firm feel in the hand;
- 16MP selfie camera;
- rear triple camera.
itel S15 Pro Review: In the box
What we find in the box is standard fare:
- the phone itself,
- transparent hard silicone case,
- USB cable,
- charging adapter,
- 3.5mm audio headset.
itel S15 Pro Review: Hardware And Design
The itel S15 Pro’s body is made of plastic, but it is a beautiful plastic job. The purple gradient paint gives this enrty-level Android phone lots of glam. Everyone who has seen it immediately fell in love with it.
itel S15 Pro Review: Software
itel S15 Pro runs stock Android OS. itel slapped on a custom launcher and pre-installed a handful of apps that include: Accelerate, App Freeze, Calculator, Calendar, CarlCare, Gallery, Music, Opera Mini, Opera News, Palmstore, Phone Manager, Power Master, and Smart Transfer.
It is quite a handful, and some of these apps are duplicates of what Google already has in the operating system.
Some of them can be uninstalled. Others not so, but you can disable them. And then there is a 3rd group that you can neither uninstall or disable.
itel S15 Pro Review: Network And Telephony
Telephony is good, though audio from the ear piece is a little boxy.
There is dual 4G LTE, dual active support, meaning that both lines can use 4G at the same time. The S15 Pro also has an enhanced 4G LTE mode for improving voice over LTE calls. Both SIM card slots are nano.
Glo’s LTE band 28(700)? Not present. But Glo is widening its band 3(1800) coverage and the S15 Pro is well equipped for that.
itel S15 Pro Review: Display And Multimedia
The display is a basic IPS LCD job with 720p resolution. It is quite bright. There are no flaws, as far as we can tell.
Audio playback is standard fare for a budget Android phone – loud, clear voice but lacking in bass. There is a built-in music player and it offers pretty much all you need to manage your tracks and artistes.
Video playback is good too. We didn’t encounter any problems playing video on the S15 Pro.
itel S15 Pro Review: Photography
itel Mobile is shining the spotlight on the selfie camera with claims that it takes better selfies in low light, so I set out to put that to test. I needed an evening event for that. A night out for drinks at a lounge? A night out dancing? A walk in a serene park perhaps? What did I settle for? I shall let the photos do the speaking.
PS: Click on each sample photo to open a bigger file.
Selfie camera (16MP):
Main Triple Camera (8MP + VGA + VGA) at the back:
Both cameras regularly produced good shots, but sometimes got less than stellar results. There is a bit of washing and quite some whiteouts, but overall, not bad for a ₦29,500 smartphone, if you ask me.
itel S15 Pro Review: Multitasking And Performance
There are no miracles here. What you get is entry-level performance, and that is okay. The Unisoc processor keeps the phone running as good as any Mediatek or Snapdragon does at this price point. You will be happy to hear that the S15 Pro has 2GB of RAM installed, which means faster and smoother app switching and loading if you don’t push it too hard.
I got a request for AnTuTu benchmark test, so I ran the test and have a score for the itel S15 Pro: 71,788.
Internal storage is 32GB. System and pre-installed apps take up about 8GB of that, leaving you with 24GB storage space out of the box.
itel S15 Pro Review: Battery life
The 3000mAh battery performs well and delivers a full day’s performance on a full charge. Our daily usage pattern: one or two voice calls, mobile data active, one email syncing, and a few Whatsapp messages.
If you don’t push it, you will easily get a day and half of use. If you are more of a heavy user, you will need to top it up at least once during the day.
itel S15 Pro Review: Final Words
The itel S15 Pro features some extra touches that make it a compelling purchase. For starters, it is dropdead gorgeous. That Gradation purple finish is the shi. Secondly, it packs a decent selfie camera. Thirdly, it has a triple camera setup on the back, which is rare among entry level devices.
The cameras pull off really decent shots, though it can often be inconsistent in the results they get. And it is forgivable: this is entry level. And this is itel pushing the boundaries, which is a good thing.
I expect that a software update can improve the triple camera. If not, hopefully, itel will improve on it in future models. But this is a good first attempt at implementing high-end features with low-end hardware.
Should you buy the itel S15 Pro if you are in the market for a sub-₦30,000 Android phone? Absolutely.