Mobile for Less: SKK V2 Review

SKK has long been known to bring expensive, high-end designs of big smartphone brands down to a more affordable price range, and the SKK V2 is one of them. It looks almost like the LG G2, down to the back panel power button and volume rocker. If you read our unboxing article last February, then you know that this has a pretty good feel, and even has a carbon fiber-looking back casing that makes it all the more classy. However, does it perform as good as it looks?

SKK V2 Specifications

Display: 5-inch IPS display at 540 x 960 pixels
OS: Android 4.4.2 KitKat
Processor: 1.3 GHz MTK MT6582 Quad-Core processor | MALI 400
RAM: 1GB
Internal Storage: 8GB expandable up to 64GB via microSD
Wireless Connections: HSDA+, Bluetooth 4.0, WiFi 802, GPS w/ A-GPS
Connectors: Micro USB port, USB OTG (On-The-Go)
Camera: 8.0 Megapixels with Auto-Focus and and Flash (Main Camera), 5.0 Megapixels (Front)
SIM Card Slot: 2x Micro SIM Card Required
Battery: 2,500 mAh (removable)
Price: Php 3,999.00 (from the original Php 4,999)

Design and Build

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The V2 has one of the slimmest bezels in its price range, which makes it easier to use with one hand. Below its 5-inch display, you’ll find three capacitive buttons (back, home, and options) that unfortunately are not backlit. The edges slope to the plastic back panel, which you’ll need to wipe often since it’s pretty much a fingerprint magnet.

v2-back

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As I’ve mentioned earlier, the power button and the volume rocker are located at the back panel, right beneath the 8MP rear camera of the V2. If you haven’t handled the LG G2 before, then this set-up may take a bit of getting used to. Beside these you’ll find the heart monitor, a feature that the LG G2 doesn’t sport and fitness buffs will definitely appreciate.

Display

SKK V2 running Hungry Shark

SKK V2 running Hungry Shark

The SKK V2 has a bright display — too bright, at times. Even in the lowest setting you may need to squint a little when using your phone in dim environments as it tends to hurt your eyes. However, it does make for really sharp visuals especially under direct sunlight. Colors a vivid, and it can handle game graphics pretty well.

Software, User Interface, and Performance

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The V2’s native Android 4.4.2 KitKat is skinned with SKK’s own UI. It’s smooth and efficient, and it gives you a number of options on how you’ll experience your phone. You can try out Air Browse, which enables you to flip through apps or through pages within apps by simply waving your hand over the display. There’s also Smart Scroll, which triggers the device to detect the movement of your eyes so that your screen will scroll accordingly. I tried both options, and the Air Browse works better than Smart Scroll.

As it runs on a quad-core processor clocking at 1.3GHz, it has no problem running moderately graphics-heavy games such as Hungry Shark or mobile MMORPGs such as Ragnarok. However, the V2 sometimes goes off on its own and opens apps that I didn’t even tap on or send weird messages I didn’t even type. (The phone sent a message that said “Lollops lo” and almost sent one that went “Llllllooool”.) I don’t know exactly what it’s called — it could be something with the display’s sensitivity or a glitch in the UI, but it can be annoying especially when you’re right in the middle of doing something and your window suddenly minimizes and the phone lags.

v2-antutu

Antutu has given the V2 a score of 19,495, which is lower than most of its contemporaries. However, it does try its best to be a premium phone for its price with all of its peripheral functions, so the intermittent ghost texting is sort of forgivable.

Cameras

The V2’s rear camera can produce okay shots, but they’re not as bright or as sharp as you probably expect them to be. In dim lighting, photos tend to be grainy, but you can choose among multiple shooting settings to minimize the effect. The flash can be a little too harsh and cause your subject to be over-exposed, so make sure to give a bit of distance between you and what you’re shooting.

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SKK V2 shot: outdoor, daytime, cloudy

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SKK V2 shot: indoor, under yellow and white florescent lamps

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SKK V2 shot: indoor, under white florescent lamp

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SKK V2 shot: both under florescent light, without and with flash

The 5MP front-facing camera’s performance is pretty acceptable, though you may want to always stay in brightly-lit places to get good selfies.

SKK V2 shot: indoor, under yellow lights

SKK V2 shot: indoor, under yellow lights

Battery

This is probably my hugest gripe about the V2. See, I like playing games on my phone. When I tried playing Hungry Shark, the battery was still at 30%. In less than a minute (and I am not kidding), the power went down to 14%, and in a minute more, I was only running on 4% of juice. I really couldn’t understand how a casual game can suck the life out of a 2,500mAh battery so fast.

However, if you’re not into playing games on your phone, the V2 provides around 6 hours of regular use, which include texting, calling, going online once in a while, and viewing videos.

Conclusion

For a price of Php 3,999, the SKK V2 isn’t a bad buy, especially if you’re interested in having a device that you can manage hands-free with gestures or something that can monitor your heart rate on the go. The V2 performs well if you’re going to use it for day-to-day tasks, but if you’re an avid casual gamer, make sure to bring at least two power banks with you, since you’ll be out of juice in no time.

So do we recommend the SKK V2? If you like the unique look and feel of the LG G2 and you’re not really particular with camera performance or battery life, then it’s an okay buy. However, take time to look at the market as well — there are many other well-performing phones that you can get for the same amount, so just make sure about what you want in a device before anything else.

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