Alcatel, a mobile device brand owned by TCL, recently opened its first concept store in the Philippines located at the third floor of Gaisano Mall of Davao last December 8, 2016. Now you will be able to try all of their products including two of their newest phones namely Pixi 4 Plus Power and Alcatel Shine Lite. Each smartphone is packed with unique features. The Pixi 4 Plus Power will give you more than a day of battery life because it has 5,000 mAh fast charging battery. It will also serve as a powerbank that will charge up other devices. While the Alcatel Shine Lite is perfect for young people who would love to have a smartphone that’s both premium in design and competitively priced.
As an Apple fan Boie for more than 7 years, I wasn’t really into Android’s complicated interface and larger display, but I found Samsung’s new flagship, the Galaxy S5, too irresistible to pass up.
I was hoping to get the one in gold color but unfortunately only Shimmery White, Charcoal Black, and few Electric Blue are locally available. So I chose the Shimmery White because I found it clean and very simple.
Network: 2G, 3G, 4G/LTE
Display: 5.1″ Super AMOLED Capacitive Touchscreen
Connections: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, NFC, microUSB 3.0, Infrared
Camera: 16 MP autofocus rear camera with LED flash, 2 MP front-fracing camera
Built-in Memory: 16GB with 2GB RAM
Processor: 2.5 GHz quad-core Snapdragon 801
Battery: Removable Li-Ion 2800 mAh
The new S5 had grown slightly taller, wider, and thicker than its predecessor, the Galaxy S4. The bezel has also widened, which disappointed me. Comparatively, the older S4 looked more premium and solid. The S5’s band-aid-esque back cover looked cheap compared to that leather-feel of the Note 3. To cover it up, I bought the original S-View to still have that leather-feel at the back and the S-View functionality of the phone without compromising the IP57 water and dust resistant certification.
One downside of the S-View is it made pressing the volume keys kinda difficult. However, the USB cover is nice and firmly placed. I tested taking pictures while the phone was submerged in water and unfortunately the screen navigates and taps on its own. Even a small droplet or sprinkle of water would temporarily disable or affect the performance of the screen when you try to tap or navigate. I think this feature needs a lot of improvements. I can say that the phone is basically water resistant but is also stagnant and somehow unusable when wet.
The new S5 is packed with a 16 MP snapper at the back with fast phase detection that could focus up to 0.3 of a second. When shooting at ambient light, the resulting image is nice and above average, although when you zoom the image and scrutinize it, low sharpness is observable. Low light images are below average for me, as there was too much noise present. Taking still photos at low light using flash is superb. Short focusing time and strong LED flash results to a bright and vibrant image, although image sharpness is also low. The live HDR view is also helpful and would save you some time. The selective focus feature for me is mediocre. Sometimes the image tends to produce a confusing image because it cannot fully defocus portions of the image, although with some extra effort it can give you impressive shots! There is no shutter button but the volume keys and the tap-to-take-pic are there to compensate for that. The front facing camera is packed with 2 MP camera sensor. Taking still images at adequate light is disgusting and dark.
Taking videos at any situation generally produced a nice and clean output. The galaxy S5 also offers up to 2160p 30fps which is enough for high definition videos. But practically speaking, videos taken at 1080p and viewed at a smartphone or laptop is already enough. I tried taking videos while water is gushing through the phone, and the video zooms on its own, giving me a weird video of just a nose instead of my self.
OPERATING SYSTEM & OTHER SOFTWARE
The Android 4.4.2 Kit Kat runs smoothly on my S5. Multitasking is not a problem and is also responsive most of the time. While other apps open perfectly and smoothly, some apps like S-Health takes forever to open. Most of the time, the app is unresponsive and just crashes.
The S5 has a great safety feature that sends notifications of earthquakes to its owner and could send SOS to your primary and important contacts should you be trapped in any situation. The SOS will have your current location, sound recorded few seconds before and during pressing the power button, front and back images. Just press the power button simultaneously, but you need to select your primary contact/s at the safety assistance found in your quick settings. The private mode is also useful when you want to privately store photos and messages, viewable if you know the password or scanning your registered fingerprint though the home button.
The S5 is packed with removable 2800 mAh Li-Ion battery. The phone can last up to 2-3 days of regular SMS and voice calls. The battery can last up to 1 day of web browsing with 4G and half day when I use it as a mobile hotspot. For me the battery is already enough, but a little more juice would surely be awesome!
This smartphone is definitely a must-have! Wherever you go, whatever you do, any time of the day. This phone will never leave you behind and would surely last a day with you.