If you're in a quest of finding the best budget-friendly smartphone with over 4-inch screen and a 1.2GHz dual-core processor in the market, you might have Cherry Mobile android phones stuck in your heads right? Not this time geeks! We just have to take you to a whole new level. So, let's take a moment to enjoy the combination of the Flame's qHD screen, Flare's responsive user interface and beefed-up version Titan's larger-than-life battery. Is there really a sub-8K phone that could offer such jampacked specs? I guess we'll just have to look on a different lawn this time with CloudFone Thrill 430x.
Design and Build
One thing I came up upon the sight of 430x is that it is really rigid, designed to be a single slab of metal. It's a sturdy, and a creak-free matte-plastic finished handset. And because of its beast-like battery, the CloudFone Thrill 430x is a serious bulk to reckon with - ungainly, crude and occasionally harder to handle in its 14.2-mm thickness. The praise is only due to the brushed beveled dots on the back panel that give an extra grip on the hands, it's also a fingerprint resistant.
The front panel view gives you an impression of a Nexus handset in the sense that it uses the same iconic Android capacitive buttons - Back, Home and Options/Menu. The 0.3MP front facing camera seats atop of the panel together with the light sensor across it. Back panel houses the imposing 8MP camera with two LED lights. The speaker grill can also be found when you brushed on the left side.
Bottom portion is the home for the microphone and the microUSB while top part contains the 3.5mm headphone jack. The upper-left part of the phone is occupied by the volume rocker, on the other side (upper-right) is the power/sleep button with the dedicated camera a few centimeters down.
Your time away from the wall plug is determined by what you use your handset for. That's true for all smartphones, but the beast inside Thrill 430x's casing makes the time in three folds. The promise of a "3-day battery life" is achieved with its 4160 mAh battery rating. The beefy battery may give the phone a bigger look but this is just forgivable for most users like me.
Where's My Water gaming session, a dozen of camera shoot, a 10-minute video recording and half an hour browsing through WiFi hotspot are just walks in the park. It didn't even cause significant dent on the battery itself. Battery almost freezes when 430x is kept on idle state.
On a serious three-day battery life test conducted by one of our friends, Kirc, Thrill 430x is bombarded with serious tasks: 9 hours of internet browsing via WiFi, 2-hour browsing over 3G, shared few minutes of portable hotspot, 5 hours of music playing, an hour of ebook sessions and a few minutes of Jetpack Joyride. At the end of the three-day test, Cloudfone Thrill 430x still registers a 5% battery life.
We gave a big nod for the Cherry Mobile Flame's screen in our review, yet I could never get over the fact that the qHD (960 x 540 pixels) and a 4.3-inch screen is a match made in heaven found 430x's screen. The Sharp ASV is not Retina-ish in quality but I think its close to that - the floating impression of the screen made me feel like I'm looking into an iPhone screen.
I have no problem watching in far right and left side of the screen. The 430x gives an extra crisp in details, viewing angle and vivid output compared to its competitor. However, colors become slightly wash-out when you're looking into 45 degress away from the center, it's one of the most common qHD plus 4.3-inch display issues anyway. Overall screen quality is quite impressive.
Performance and Multimedia
Upon our meeting, I walked around the user interface of Thrill 430x and find it a brilliantly quick affair. I did a series of tap outs and swipes just to challenge its responsiveness and it really did impress. It did all the job with composure except for little stutter when I tried to open the camera app, closed it and opened it again. But it did seriously fine, even better than the 1.2-GHz dual cores of CM Flare and Flame, the very reason is the 768 MB of RAM present under its hood.
The native browser is slick and fast. Sometimes it's a bit choked up when trying to play videos embeded in the web, especially those running in 1080p, however it's a piece of cake when it does it with 720p and lower. YouTube videos loads up instantaneously.
Gaming is also a breeze. Jetpack Joyride and Where's My Water runs flawlessly. Hardcore 3D games found in PlayStore can also be played smoothly in this device, but ofcourse there's the usual lag since the Adreno 203 is not a pro when it comes to graphically-demanding stuff.
One good thing about its 8MP is that there's a minimal lag between telling your phone to snap a photo than the actual capture. Low light conditions will, however, put a lag on the autofocus. The dual LED flash does its job well to remedy the issue, but there is a tendency for it to whitewash a subject that is placed directly across the camera lens.
With the right settings, taken shots exhibits a great deal of sharpness compared to other budget-friendly phone outputs - the 8-megapixel rating does definitely mean 8 megapixels for Thrill 430x. The VGA front camera however is still a VGA camera that produces blurry and grainy outputs.
Another praise goes to the dedicated shooter button. The half-shutter function will let you to get the right tuning for the perfect shot that you want. I preferably endorse this phone if you're a hardcore mobile enthusiast. With Thrill 430x, taking photos in one hand is just a walk in the park. Check out sample photos below.
|Photo courtesy of Kirc Develos|
|Photo courtesy of Kirc Develos|
|Photo courtesy of Kirc Develos|
The Cloudfone Thrill 430x is definitely a speed demon and a battery beast in a Php 7,777 price. There's no getting around the feeling that it is an accomplished device. And there's also no getting around the thought of comparing it to other successful device like Cherry Mobile Flare. Thrill 430x is almost twice the price of the Flare. But with the added screen real estate, bump in the camera, stunning qHD display and the monstrous 3-day battery life, it definitely is the better value-for-money phone that I've came across.
If you could handle the eyesore of it being bulk, shabby and thick in exchange of a better battery performance, this one could be your dream phone. If you dont get to charge your phone in a daily basis and you're always on the go, this could be the best option that you'll have.
Evidently, you still have to decide what feature you value the most in you phone. If battery is your thing, Cloudfone Thrill 430x is the beautiful beast for you.
[Thanks Kirc for the Review Unit!]