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Kata i3S Review

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This year was a good one for Kata Digital. They may have launched fewer smartphones than the competition but all of it was a hit. Earlier this year, the company decided to take the spotlight when they introduced the Kata i3. We remember that time Kata was still unknown to many even to us and their Facebook page have below 10k likes. Now, all of their phones are sold out and their Facebook page has more 400,000 likes. Indeed, Kata is a rising star.

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The company has decided to give the iconic Kata i3 an upgrade. In a few days, the Kata i3s will available in stores and starting November 13, the said smartphone will be open for pre-order. So, before you buy, it is very important that you read and watch our full review.

Kata i3S:

  • 1.3GHz Quad Core Mediatek MT6582 processor
  • 1GB RAM
  • 16GB internal storage expandable via MicroSD up to 32GB
  • 5-inch Super HD IPS LCD display (720 x 1280 pixels) 294ppi
  • Yamaha bass speakers
  • 13 megapixel rear facing camera with autofocus and LED flash
  • 5 megapixel front facing camera
  • Dual SIM Dual Standby
  • Quad Band GSM, Triband 3G
  • HSPA+, WiFi, WiFi hotspot, Bluetooth 4.0
  • GPS, A-GPS
  • 2,250 mAh battery
  • Android 4.4 Kitkat
  • SRP: P6,499
  • Availability: Available for pre-order starting November 13, Available in  Dark Grey, Dark Blue, and Violet Blue

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HARDWARE AND DESIGN:

Compared with the i3, there are notable hardware changes here. Gone are those shiny back chassis and replaced by soft matte finish. Annoyed with blue? There are two more color options now – purple and gray. It does warm up a little when playing games and watching videos for long hours which is not a big issue. This can be addressed by a software update. But what impressed us is the real metal side panel on the phone. It made the phone heavier but in a good way. It gives it a sturdier and solid feel. Show it off to your friends and make them guess the price. They’ll never know that you only bought it for P6,499.

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DISPLAY:

Some things never change and we like to keep it that way. The Kata i3S retains the old i3’s 5-inch Super HD display. It is a superb display with good viewing angles and acceptable sunlight legibility. Auto brightness works better here than on the Kata M2 we’ve reviewed.

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PERFORMANCE:

The company also retains the tried and tested Mediatek MT6582 found on most smartphones today and also on the i3. Its vanilla Android experience has almost rare to no lags on various tasks. Gaming is also a joyful experience. Our addiction to Clash of Clans has delayed us writing this review. We’re supposed to post this yesterday but because we played for hours on this phone, we forgot to write a review, hehehe 🙂

CAMERA:

This has been one of Kata’s great strengths. The camera performs really well. Both the 5 megapixel front camera and the 13 megapixel rear camera produced good pictures. Check out the camera samples below.

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Indoor with flash
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Outdoor
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Indoor
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Selfie using the 5 megapixel front camera

CONNECTIVITY:

All necessary connectivity features worked fine. WiFi reception is unbelievably good as compared with other smartphones we’ve reviewed in the past. This phone is quad band GSM capable which means you can bring it anywhere in the world if you travel a lot. International data roaming is no problem since it is a triband 3G capable phone. Calls are clear and sending text messages is no problem. Internet speed are network dependent and not phone dependent., Just a reminder.

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Smart HSPA+ speed test in Gateway Mall, Cubao

BATTERY:

At first we thought that Kata bumped up the battery to 2,250 mAh and then we went back to our Kata i3 review and found out that the older phone has the same 2,250 mAh battery. So, if you used to own or still owns a Kata i3, expect the same battery performance. As for our battery test, we’ve managed to get the same 10 hours of battery life (like in the Kata i3) with moderate to heavy usage.

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VERDICT:

If you are a parent out for a perfect Christmas gift for you teenage daughter who likes to take selfies and loves purple, take a serious look at this phone. If you have a son who loves to play Dead Trigger 2, Asphalt 8 or NBA 2k14 and loves blue, look no further. If you are the type of person who likes the Sony Xperia Z3 or Z2 design but doesn’t have the budget for it, this is your best alternative. In short, the Kata i3S is now an option for more people.

Got questions? Tweet and follow @filipinotechie and @immarkmarcelo on Twitter and Instagram.