I got to meet the people behind local mobile phone brand SKK Mobile a couple of months ago when I shared my experience with their SKK Mobile Platinum.
Thank goodness they didn’t have any violent reactions with my findings on the Platinum. It was pretty good for a flagship model and I’m wondering if their other models would fare well too.
Their response was to give me more phones to review, and one of them is the entry-level model called the Neo.
OS: Android 4.2.1 (Jellybean)
Processor: 1GHz Dual-Core MTK processor
Display: 350 x 480 pixels, 3.5” LCD Display
Wireless Connections: EDGE, GPRS, Bluetooth, WiFi
Memory: 256MB Internal Storage, MicroSD up to 32GB, 256GB RAM
Connectors: Micro USB port
Camera: 1.3 Megapixels (5 Megapixels found in the Settings, Main), VGA (Front)
SIM Card Slot: 2x Regular SIM required
Battery: 1,100 mAh
SRP: Php 1,999.00
The Neo came with the usual accessories in a small blue package. The unit that I received has a black-colored bezel on the front and a, <gasp> pink back cover. I have more to say in the next section.
I’m seeing quite a number of entry level smartphones from the local brands these days with prices ranging from Php 1,699 to Php 1,999.00. For someone who has not ever owned a smartphone, these price points will be definitely enticing for them. The question is, would they be enticed by the SKK Mobile Neo at first glance? Me, I wasn’t enticed the moment I pulled it out of the box. It wasn’t the positive reaction I had when I opened the packages of the Cherry Mobile Snap and Jade not so long ago.
The Neo looked like one of those unbranded “China-phones” sold in tiangge shops. The front looks fine, but it’s the fake chrome lining and pink back cover that made it look awful. It gave me the perception that the color combination wasn’t well thought of by the people of SKK Mobile. Even the logo of the Neo is oddly placed at the back cover. Bad choice of color, bad choice of font. I don’t know about you, but I would absolutely pass on this one if it was offered to me by a cellphone dealer.
Screen display isn’t good enough either. The icons looked kinda washed out and the default light blue-colored wallpaper does not help in making it look good. I changed the wallpaper and that took care of the problem. Thing is, I’ve seen better screen display for the same price point. The Cherry Mobile Jade is miles better with its gorgeous screen under the Php 2,000.00.
The combination of a 1 GHz Dual-Core processor and Android Jellybean in a smartphone doesn’t sound bad even in today’s standards. Entry level smartphones like the SKK Mobile Neo now have these specs under the hood. For the first time in this review, I have something good to say about the Neo as it worked smoothly with some of the apps I’ve installed and juggled them around whenever I multi-task. There are some limitations though as the Neo only has 256MB of internal storage, meaning you can only install
a few very few apps. The RAM also has the same amount of memory as the ROM so make sure you clean your unused apps as much as you can.
Potential buyers may more or less be contented with the Neo’s sound quality and it’s built-in video player was pretty decent as it played some of my video files without any difficulties.
Unless you know how to hack an Android phone to make it work according to your preferences, do not expect this to play graphic intensive games out of the box. The low RAM memory is a hindrance for games like Temple Run to function properly.
SKK Mobile supplied the Neo with a 1.3 Megapixel camera at the back and a VGA camera at the front. But if you go to the settings of the camera, you’ll be surprised to learn that you can even set it to 3 or 5 Megapixels. I doubt that these are real megapixels though. As expected, photos came out quite ok for outdoor scenarios while taking photos indoors would give poor results.
This is the section I like to tackle the least when it comes to entry-level smartphones. Having a 1,100 mAh battery onboard with the Neo makes it even more limiting for the user to operate. As always, battery life will depend on your type of usage. Being connected to WiFi for the whole the time on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram with a few phone calls gave me around 10-11 hours. If it were my normal usage, well, nevermind.
The SKK Mobile Neo’s overall design is ugly for my taste and I stand by that statement. If this will be placed side by side with the likes of Cherry Mobile’s Jade and MyPhone’s Rain, the Neo will surely lose in the looks department. People may still buy it though because of it’s cheap price, and like what I mentioned in my review, the Neo’s performance wasn’t bad at all. So yeah, if you don’t have the same tastes like mine, or you don’t care how it looks as long as it performs well, go ahead and buy the Neo.
- Android Jellybean Smartphone for only Php 1,999.00
- Dual-Core Processor
- Performs quite well
- Design is ugly
- Low ROM, Low RAM
- No Camera Flash