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O+ USA struck gold with the very popular O+ Ultra. It has been missing in shelves every once in a while due to the influx of buyers which also tagged themselves as AlDub fans. But amidst the phenomenon of the said TV superstars, could the O+ Ultra fuel its boat to stay a little longer in the fiercely contested local smartphone market? Stay with us and find out as we take a closer look at the O+ Ultra a.k.a the Yaya Dub smartphone.

O+ Ultra Review

O+ Ultra Review: The Yaya Dub Smartphone


The handset has the making of a very capable and good-to-carry-around smartphone. For one, it comes with a svelte candybar design reinforced with a decent display. Of course, there's also no overlooking the fact that the O+ Ultra is designed to optimize battery efficiency while offering adequate internals at the same time.


Design and Construction

Without skipping a beat, the O+ Ultra definitely comes with the trademark design of the company - the minimalist back plate with O+ branding and the rectangular speaker grill on the lower portion of the non-removable back plate. You can access the SIM cards and microSD card with a pin that ejects the trays which nestled these essentials.



In general, the O+ Ultra comes with a larger footprint. For one, it is a 5.5-incher touting an HD display panel. Examining the whole phone makes you realize that everything has been placed in their proper places; I really like the fact that O+ USA has been very consistent with their design philosophy in the last five smartphone releases.

Get to know more about the handset's design on our Unboxing and First Impressions post.

The build is purely plastic but it's unapologetic as it should be. It comes with a faux metallic finish in the back panel which instantly gives the handset a premium-like aura. Plus, the addition of a metal band that runs around the side adds elegance to the candybar smartphone. Thus, fashion-forward users need not worry, O+ Ultra had everything covered except the fact the handset is a little heavier compared to other phablets.

Display

As mentioned earlier, the O+ Ultra features a 5.5-inch HD display with 720 x 1280 pixels. Comparing to other 5.5-incher with HD panel, there's no question that the Ultra's screen is capable of adjusting under extreme lighting conditions. Screen is still visible under the direct sunlight.


The display comes with an IPS panel which gives the module an excellent viewing angle. This means that the screen will still be visible even in oblique angles. If I am allowed to be nitpicky, the O+ Ultra's display exhibits a cooler tone which is obviously not an issue. Blacks register as deep black; and whites are clear white. I should say that the O+ Ultra's display is ticking more good points compared to other HD phablet's on my checklist.

Performance and Benchmarks

Being one of the MediaTek MT6582 babies, we already have an idea about the handset’s performance up-front. With its configuration plotting the quad-core 1.3GHz processor, 1GB of RAM and Mali 400MP GPU, we could tell that the handset is a natural performer. However, in my daily grind with the handset, I have experienced occasional lags and stutters. But it’s nothing to get you bothered; pairing the hardware with Android Lollipop makes an overall pleasing performance. Running apps and switching them are very engaging.



In our Antutu Benchmark test, the O+ Ultra hits an impressive 18,580 score. It is ranked directly below the Galaxy Note 4. In general performance, the handset surpasses 60 percent of devices listed in Antutu's benchmarking database. It also surpasses 30 percent of devices in game performance.



On the other hand, we also tested the O+ Ultra's performance in PC Mark test. We got positive results of 2707 work performance score.

Gaming, Multimedia and Web Browsing

Taking about hard-hitting graphics, the mid-range nature of the chipset shows its limitations. The handset is capable of running Infinity Warriors 3; there’s an occasional frame drops but it doesn’t come to a point that it’ll spoil the gaming experience. However, the Mali-400MP is very tolerable when it comes to simple games.


Good thing about the O+ Ultra is that it has very capable speakers. Video rendering is excellent while video scrubbing is also on-point. Playing movies in split screen is also one of the features I love about the handset. Music streaming also comes as a splendid experience.



Even though the handset lacks LTE support, the big 5.5-inch HD display and the snappy processor make it a great device for web surfing. Pinching and zooming pages are smooth. The fact that pages render fast makes the experience worthwhile.

Camera

The camera is akin to other O+ midrange smartphones we have seen before. It turns out to be an 8-megapixel sensor fixed at the rear panel of the handset. This module is accompanied by LED flash which will be the main light source in low-light environment. Flipping the handset, you’ll see the front-facing shooter with its own LED flash intended for the selfie aficionados.

With that in mind, we could tell that the O+ Ultra is a legit camera phone. The photo quality suggests that it is, well, legit. In ideal conditions, the O+ Ultra’s 8MP camera produces sharp outputs. Colors are not saturated having a balance mixture of contrast and depth-of-field. Macro shots are also convincing giving a good amount of detail to minute objects.

However, low-lighted scenes give a bit of challenge to the handset's sensor. The presence of noise is constant in poorly lit compositions. The focus also tends to be confused and causes blurred outputs. Check out the unedited sample pictures below:






Battery and Power Plus

We all know that the handset's bread-and-butter is the 4000 mAh battery capacity. In our PC Mark's battery benchmark test, the O+ Ultra got 10 hours and 17 minutes of work battery life, that's higher than most of the handsets we have tested this year. The battery is what keeps the O+ Ultra notable among any other smartphones in its price standpoint.



Aside from the juicy battery, O+ Ultra also features the Power Plus software which technically shuts down all unnecessary functions to conserve power. You can activate up to three applications during the Power Plus mode. Facebook, Messaging and Phone functions are my default setup in Power Plus mode. Likewise, this feature will automatically be disabled when charging the device.


In our normal use of the handset, we have managed to attain the company's promise of two-day battery life. This includes occasional use of 3G data, normal SMS exchanges, a dozen of shots using the 8MP rear camera, 4 to 5 hours of on-screen time and 15-minute call time.

Conclusion

The O+ Ultra is easily one of the company’ best aces this year. Camera is capable but not to the point that it could leave us at awe, especially in low-light. On a different note, selfie lovers will love the wide-angle front-facing shooter.

Its display is one of our favourites – the 5.5-inch HD panel is very generous even in extreme viewing angles. Likewise, the O+ Ultra’s design makes it one of the head-turners in the wild.

From head to foot, the Ultra is plainly a mid-range handset. However, one can never deny the fact that the Ultra comes with an excellent long-lasting battery life; plus, the infusion of the AlDub fever propels it to be one of the smartphones that’s definitely worthy of your consideration. Its battery life is definitely a testimony that we, consumers, deserve a handset that can last more than a single day.
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