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Kata i3 Review

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Smartphones, both local and Asian brands are getting better and better when it comes to specs but issues about the build quality and reliability remains questionable. All local and Asian brands are working hard to change that. Although a newbie in the industry, Kata wants to set themselves apart from the others by offering smartphones with premium quality but still with an affordable pricetag. The company’s new flagship, the Kata i3 is a perfect example of what Kata has to offer. Read on with the review.

Related article – Kata i3 Unboxing and First Impressions

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Kata i3 specs:

  • 1.3GHz Quad Core Mediatek MT6582 processor
  • 1GB RAM
  • 16GB internal memory expandable via MicroSD up to 32GB
  • 5-inch Super HD LCD display (1280 x 720 pixels) 294ppi
  • 13 megapixel rear facing camera with autofocus and LED flash
  • 5 megapixel front facing camera
  • Dual SIM, Dual Standby (SIM 1 and SIM 2 – Micro SIM)
  • HSPA+, WiFi, WiFi hotspot, Bluetooth
  • GPS, A-GPS
  • 2,250 mAh battery
  • Android 4.2 Jellybean
  • Price: P8,499

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DESIGN AND BUILD QUALITY

When it comes to the looks department, the Kata i3 is one beautiful phone. We would like to think that the i3 an offspring of the Sony Xperia Z1 and BlackBerry Z10.  😉 We do love the design of the i3 because it gives a “sosyal” feel to it.  Despite the sharp edges and boxy design, its is very light and very comfortable to hold. Although we are not really fans of shiny and glossy finish on a smartphone, we like the brushed metal design at the back. Maybe you are wondering why Kata’s logo is a fish. It is a Koi Fish which is believed by the Chinese to be lucky.  According to Kata officials, a fish only moves forward thus symbolizes progress.

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Sadly, the phone comes only in one color – Royal Blue. Of course many might not like the color (especially girls) but colored cases are readily available on Kata stores and kiosks. We hope Kata could release more colors options like white, black, gold, green and red.

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SOFTWARE AND PERFORMANCE

The device runs on a 1.3GHz quad core Mediatek MT6582 processor. Based on our usual testing app, Antutu Benchmark, the Kata i3 scored 16,977. On our day to day use, the phone responds very well and the lags we noticed are very minimal. Hate lags even those minor ones? No worries! Kata said it will be releasing a software update soon.

Personally, we hate bloatwares. Bloatwares are apps preinstalled on the phone. We tend to uninstall all of it just to free up the limited memory and RAM on a phone. The Kata i3 has least bloatware we have seen. Most smartphones priced at  P10,000 or below  is packing only 4 or 8GB of internal memory. The Kata i3 is the first smartphone we encountered on its price point to sport a large 16GB internal memory plus expandable storage up to 32GB.

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Playing Dead Trigger 2, our favorite game!

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Plants vs Zombies 2

When it comes to gaming, the phone can handle graphic intense games like Dead Trigger 2 and normal games like Plants vs Zombies thanks to its 1GB RAM and good 720p display.

It also supports two SIMs but both slots are for micro SIMs only. So better have your regular SIM cut before buying this phone. Both SIMs also has 3G/HSPA+ connectivity

DISPLAY

The Kata i3 is one of the very few smartphones priced below P9,000 to sport an HD display. The device has a 5-inch Super HD LCD display with a pixel density of 294ppi. We have seen better displays from high end smartphones and the Kata i3’s display is the closest in terms of quality. The display is bright and vivid but it has a cooler color tone compared to other phones with the same resolution.

CAMERA

Since the Kata i3 is using vanilla Andoid UI, expect the camera UI to be purely Android too. The 13 megapixel camera takes better pictures compared to other 13 megapixel cameras. The camera takes pretty good photos on good lighting conditions but it lacks BSI (back side illumination) so pictures are generally dark on low light conditions. Good thing the LED flash is adequate enough to improve picture quality. The flash sometimes has the tendency to overexpose pictures on dimmed lighting conditions.

Here are some sample pictures below:

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 Low light, no flash, indoors

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Good lighting, no flash, indoors

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Dimmed lighting, with flash, indoors

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Dimmed lighting, no flash, indoors

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Generally good lighting, no flash

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Outdoor

CONNECTIVITY AND INTERNET

We are happy to report that the Kata i3 supports HSPA+, an internet standard that is faster than regular 3G but slower than LTE. Using both Smart and Globe SIMs, we usually get around 4 to 5Mbps on our usual location in Makati. Internet speeds still depends on your mobile network. The phone gets good Wi-Fi reception too. Calls and texts are all good.

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Smart’s HSPA+ speed test done in Makati.

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Watching our favorite show BE CAREFUL WITH MY HEART

BATTERY

Its above average! As you all know, we are heavy smartphone users. We play games, watch livestream videos and check our social networks a lot. The battery was pulled out from the charger at 7am and down to 10% at 5pm (10 hours) same day with intense and heavy usage. On our light to moderate usage, we recorded 13 hours before the battery was down to 10%.

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VERDICT:

We attended the Kata i3 Launch yesterday and we found out that the original SRP is P11,999 but Kata decided to slash it down to P8,499. Now, that an amazing value! For the price, you will get specs usually found on smartphones above 10k. Do we recommend this phone? ABSOLUTELY! It is perfect for those who want a phone with style, performance to the highest level and still has a nice pricetag.

Worried about the Kata’s reliability? Don’t be. Just like any other brands Kata has already put up 2 service centers – one in Forum Robinsons along EDSA and in Starmall Shaw in Mandaluyong and another one opening soon in Robinsons Lipa.