Smartphones are getting better and better every year. Every smartphone makers are making a phone that they called “flagship”. A high end product that offers many features backed up with impressive specs that we can call “awesome”. All international brands have one. Local brands have begun catching up and started releasing their own flagship. The only difference is they are still affordable but capable. For months Cloudfone has been targeting their entry level customers and just recently the just released the Cloudfone Next, the company’s 2016 flagship. Will it make you say, “awesome”? Let’s find out!
- 1.4GHz octa core Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 processor
- Adreno 505 graphics
- 4GB RAM
- 32GB internal memory expandable via MicroSD up to 128GB
- 5.2-inch Full HD IPS LCD display (1080 x 1920 pixels) with 2.5D curved glass
- Corning Gorilla Glass 4
- 16 megapixel rear facing Samsung ISOCELL camera f/2.0 aperture with PDAF and LED flash
- 8 megapixel rear facing camera with wide angle lens and LED flash
- Dual SIM, Dual Standby
- 4G/LTE, WiFi, Bluetooth, USB OTG, Fingerprint Sensor
- GPS, A-GPS
- 3,000 mAh battery with QuickCharge 3.0
- Android 6.0 Marhsmallow
- Price: P9,999
- Status: Available on Cloudfone stores and kiosks
Related article – Cloudfone Next Unboxing and First Impressions
DESIGN AND HARDWARE
A true flagship does have not just great specs but incredible hardware too. So Cloudfone encased the Next in a metal shell. The problem with most flagships is they are indeed beautiful but the back is no longer removable. You need a pin or a ejector tool to insert your SIM card and microSD card slots. The company addressed that by making the metal back removable the old fashioned way- using your nails.
Though encased in metal, the Next is lovely to hold with one hand. The curved back and sides have made it very comfortable to hold. We did find the metal back a bit slippery but good thing Cloudfone has included a clear cover case and flip cover as options to accessorize your phone and to help strengthen your grip.
Audio quality has been very good using our third party earphones. We’ve tried the bundled earphones on the package and it sounded good too. The sound coming out of the speaker is a bit tiny but no distortions even at max volume.
We noticed that the Next’s 5-inch Full HD display has a warmer color tone which is unusual for an IPS panel Expect deeper color saturation here similar to AMOLED panels from Samsung. It has good viewing angles and it can be used comfortably under direct sunlight though brightness output is not in league with the Galaxy S7.
SOFTWARE AND PERFORMANCE
The Cloudfone Next is powered by Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon 430 processor. Before you raise your eyebrows, the Snapdragon 430 is a very capable chipset. Indeed it is not a flagship chipset like the Snapdragon 820 or even the Snapdragon 625 but we are talking about the Cloudfone Next here. It is a flagship of a local brand. In order to achieve its affordable price tag they need an afforadable but powerful chip and 430 can deliver that.
Everyday use has been very breezy and we never encountered any slowdowns. That is because of the perfect combo of the processor and its generous 4GB RAM. This allows more apps running on the background. Switching apps is also smooth. You can leave one game and return to another game without any problems.
Instead of using a Sony sensor for its optics, Cloudfone opted to use Samsung’s camera sensors for the Next. We’ve seen how great Samsung developed their camera technology for smartphone and it is evident on the Galaxy S series, Note series and even the J series. The Next’s camera app has a lot of settings like a Pro mode to adjust exposure, ISO, white balance, etc. Really cool and really meant for high end smartphones.
Photos taken from the Cloudfone Next are stunning. We could not say anything more. Just take a look.
The Cloudfone Next supports 4G/LTE, 3G/HSPA+, WiFi and Bluetooth. The problem with metal chassis is it tends to hinder good signal reception. Some tend to cut out plastic gap antenna bands at the back to give to improve signal quality. We had a closer look at the back and we found out that the top and bottom portions are actually plastic painted in metal finish so it will blend with the metal.
LTE reception using Globe and Smart SIMs have been superb. WiFi reception is also good. Calls are clear with no problems.
We think that the battery is just adequate for the Next but we are surprised that we can stretch the 3,000 mAh battery further than we expected. We’ve managed to get 10 hours of heavy use which includes using the Next as a WiFi hotspot, watching You Tube, Playing Dead Trigger 2 and catching up shows at IWant TV.
WHO IS THIS FOR?
No doubt that the Cloudfone Next is a great phone. We can recommend this to anyone to wants performance, style and good camera on a phone. But there are specific kind of buyer will appeal to this phone.
- Cloudfone loyalist – If you are a Cloudfone Excite Prime user and you have the money, this is for you!
- Specs junkies – a Snapdragon 430, with 4GB of RAM plus 32GB of internal storage. It is music to their ears
- Gamers on a budget – Playing NBA 2k17 is a breeze. Gamers will love this.
- Camera addicts – For those “feeling pro” when taking photos. For those who wants a pro mode on a smartphone camera.