Gone are the days when smartphones cost an arm. With the influx of low-cost processors from the likes of MediaTek, the average joe can now afford a smartphone with a dual core processor, 1GB ram, HSDPA, large full touchscreen amongst many top features. Such is the success of MediaTek, that the big names such as Acer and Micromax India have announced plans to release budget smartphones and tablets based on this brand of processor
- Acer plans quad-core $205 8-inch and $239 10-inch tablets powered by MediaTek CPU
- 7-inch Acer Iconia B1 now official with $149.99 price tag, low-end specs
- Micromax’s 5-inch, quad-core Canvas HD hitting India first week of February
Christmas was kinda boring last year and on a whim I decided to get another dual sim android device through my lil bro.
The THL W6, which is is a product of the Chinese company Technology Happy Life, arrived on the 31st of December 2012 and like my experience with other mobile devices, it’s been a bitter sweet experience though more of sweet.
Like the Pliris Blaze + this one also relies on a MediaTek processor though it’s dual core
Before we jump into the review which I’ll be styling in the pros and cons format, let’s take a look at the THL W6’s top features and form factor
Top Features Of The THL W6
- 5.3 inch QHD IPS 5 point capacitive touchscreen
- Mediatek MTK6577 Dual Core Processor
- Android ICS 4.0.4
- Dual Sim card Dual Standby
- 1GB RAM
- 4GB Internal Storage
- 8MP back camera and 2MP front camera
- MicroSD card support up to 32GB
- Bluetooth 2.0, Wi-Fi, HSDPA (3G)
- 2300mAh battery
Design and Build Quality Of The THL W6
If you’ve ever seen a Samsung Galaxy Note, then you’ve probably seen the THL W6. The only differences are the engraved THL logo and name as well as the absence of a slot for the S Pen and no secondary microphone.
The back cover is made of fine textured plastic which facilitates grip and doesn’t give room for finger prints and smudges while the sides have a metallic lining. In fact what you see in the official promotional images is what you get. The build is pretty solid and doesn’t feel cheap at all.
Above the screen you have the proximity and ambient light sensors, along with the 2MP front-facing camera and the earpiece and below the screen is the hardware Home button plus the capacitive Menu and Back keys. Unfortunately this device has no search key and I must admit I kinda miss it.
At the top of the device, lies the 3.5mm audio jack while at the bottom you have the single microphone and standard microUSB port which serves as a charging and data transfer port .
Just like the top and bottom, the sides of the THL W6 don’t offer much less the volume rocker on the left and a Power/Lock key on the right
At the top of the back of the THL W6 lies the 8MP camera and an LED flash which isn’t powerful enough in my opinion. The lens of the camera is not protected and as such is prone to scratches The loudspeaker can be found at the bottom of the back in the left hand corner.
FULL SPECIFICATION LISTING FOR THE THL W6
|Band||2G: GSM 850/900/1800/1900MHz |
3G: WCDMA 850/2100MHz
|SIM Card||Dual SIM Card Dual Standby|
|CPU||MTK 6577 1GHz Cortex A9 Dual Core + SGX531 GPU|
|Display Size||5.3 Inch|
|Type||IPS screen, capacitive touch screen|
|Screen Color||16 million Colors|
|Audio File Format||MP3/WAV/AMR/AWB|
|Video File Format||3GP/MPEG4|
|Image File Format||JPEG/BMP/GIF/PNG/GIF|
|FM Radio||Yes, earphone needed|
|Card Extend||Support TF card up to 32GB extended|
|Data Transfer & Connectivity|
|Camera/Picture Resolution||Dual Cameras, front camera: 2.0MP, back camera: 8.0MP with flashlight |
and auto focus; up to 2560 x 1920 pixels
|Language||English, Bengali, Bahasa Indonesia, Bahasa Melayu, Cestina, Espanol, French, Italiano, Nederlands, Polish,Portuguese, Romana, |
Turkish, Russian, Simplified/ Traditional Chinese
|GPS||Yes, built in, support A-GPS and voice navigation |
With EPO assistance to speed up postioning
|WIFI||Yes, 802.11 b/g|
|Multi-Touch||Yes, 5 point touch|
|Dimensions||147 x 83.4x 10.2mm|
|Net Weight(Including battery)||150g|
|Other Feature||3G, GPS, Play Store, Flash Player, WIFI, Bluetooth, FM radio, Ebook, |
Email, Messaging, VPN Services, Google search, wallpapers, calendar,
calculator, clock, tethering & portable hotspot, camera, etc
|Size||190 x 100 x 69mm|
|Accessories||1 x 2300mAh Battery|
|1 x 3.5mm Earphone|
|1 x Data Cable|
|1 x Charger|
PROS OF THE THL W6
Screen Quality: on the spec sheet, the 960*540 pixels which is QHD might seem dismal but you get what you paid for ……and more! The clarity is simply stunning to the extent where I personally have the screen brightness locked at 5% as I have an eye condition. Legibility under sunlight at 100% in not superb but it’s pretty OK. Responsiveness to touch is top notch but once you slap on the screen protector that shipped with the phone, it reduces a teeny weeny bit but after a while you get used it.
Video Playback: the phone doesn’t come with a default video player buy with MX Player, I was able to play Déjà vu the movie in HD 720p without a stutter. I hope to witness how well the device handles a higher resolution. Most video formats are supported by this player. For VCD dat files, Dolphin player works just fine.
Speed: the supplied 1GB RAM backed by dual core processor to boot is enough for heavy use but that don’t mean I didn’t experience any lags especially when playing some HD games.
Camera: sincerely speaking, I wasn’t expecting much of the 8MP back camera given that my experience with that of the Blaze + was dismal but the quality of the pictures rendered where of very acceptable standards. Below are a few shots from the 8MP camera and then 2MP camera
The first two pictures are of the front facing 2MP camera while the rest are using the 8MP camera. I live in the desert literally so there ain’t no fancy photo shots of tall buildings etc to show you guys. lol
Click to enlarge images.
Bulk APK Installer: the device comes with an application that scans your device for available APK files while offering uninterrupted installations. A nice feature for those coming from another android phone and wary of wasting data re-downloading apps from Google Play etc.
Bluetooth FTP Server: accessing the main folders on your THL W6 on PC via Bluetooth is pretty easy. Once your device has been paired with your PC, activate FTP Server and try accessing the THL W6 folder in my Computer. You’ll be receive a prompt on your phone to allow the connection. Once you allow it, you can start moving files to and fro your device though it will be slow ‘cause it’s Bluetooth. I mainly use it for picture/mp3 transfers.
Face Unlock: made pretty easy by the 2MP front camera. But doesn’t work in poorly lit areas and if anyone with similar facial features as you can access your phone so use with caution. As backup you are allowed to set a backup unlock option.
OS Updates: Updates are readily available on their site, though I’m yet to try any as so far so good, there’s none for the THL W6 and mine is running the current/last build.
Battery Level Indicator: under the battery settings, you could set the phone to display the percentage of charge left in the notification bar. Personally I don’t like using it and you’ll find out why soon
Battery life: a 2300mAh battery doesn’t always translate into awesome battery life especially on phones that are practically running vanilla Android such as the THL W6. There’s room for improvement. In a 30hour period, I was able to play Angry Birds Star Wars for 48 minutes, surf the web for 1hr 36 minutes and watch movies for like 3hours 37minutes before the battery hit 10%
I ran a video playback test GSM Arena style (Airplane Mode, 50% screen brightness with the supplied earphones) and was able to do 6hrs 11mins of a standard xvid (avi) video before the battery hit 10%.
Given that even at 50% the brightness might be too much for some eyes, 8hrs of video playback is very possible with further reduction of the brightness
CONS OF THE THL W6
Erratic Battery Sensor : the battery sensor seems to be faulty as battery levels could suddenly drop from 100% to 90% within 30mins and then subsequently remain stagnant for a long time before dropping again. After one month of use, it really doesn’t bother me any more as the battery lasts pretty well. I’ll just wait for the next possible update and hope that fixes it.
Low incoming call volume: THL’s support section has info on this problem showing that they are fully aware of the problem. Please read how to fix low incoming call volume on android for details on how I fixed the issue on my own phone.
No OS Update app on phone: Not everyone is tech savvy and as such most of us prefer updating our phone’s operating system online on the phone instead of offline via PC. Unfortunately this option is not available. All updates must be downloaded to PC and installed following THL’s instructions
Click here for THL W6 firmware updates
Long battery charge time: For some reason, the 2300mAh battery supplied with the THL W6 takes forever to charge. From 0% be ready to wait like a maximum of 6hrs to achieve full charge and that’s if you’re not actively using the phone while charging is ongoing. Even with my BlackBerry Playbook’s rapid charger, it’s still the same story.
Weak Camera Flash: The flash is not bright at all. So don’t expect the torchlight app to give you plenty of light in the dark.
The THL W6 simply rocks in my opinion and ranks 8/10. The device is not readily available in Nigeria so as it is with gadgets sold outside the country, you’d be taking a risk with regards to warranty by buying this device. It’s one risk I’m glad I took though. lol
Questions and comments are very much welcome.
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