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Kata M4s Review: Glass and Metal Beauty

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Kata Philippines is doing well on its current smartphone line up. A few months ago we managed to get a quick hands on of the Kata M4s. And now we have the retail unit including the box.

The Kata M4s is considered the current flagship of the company. A smartphone encased in premium materials giving it an expensive look. Let’s dig in more and see if this is the phone for you.

Kata M4s:

  • 1.5GHz octa core Mediatek MT6750 processor
  • Mali T860 graphics
  • 3GB RAM
  • 32GB internal storage expandable via microSD
  • 5.5-inch HD AMOLED display (1280 x 720 pixels)
  • 18 megapixel rear facing camera with autofocus and LED flash f/2.0 aperture
  • 8 megapixel front facing camera f/2.0 aperture
  • Dual SIM, Dual Standby
  • 4G/LTE, WiFi, Bluetooth, Fingerprint Scanner, USB Type C
  • GPS, A-GPS
  • 4,350 mAh battery
  • Android 7.0 Nougat
  • Price: P13,999
  • Status: Available at Kata stores and kiosks

UNBOXING

What’s inside the box?

  • Kata M4s unit
  • USB Type C cable
  • Wall adapter
  • Earphones

HARDWARE AND DESIGN

We will be very straightforward – the Kata M4s is a beautiful smartphone. Sadly it comes only in white. We wanted to see more colors like Black, Gold or even such striking colors like Red or Blue. On the flip side, this white variant is very nice. It gives that pearly white feel making it more elegant.

Since it carries a bigger battery and metal frame, it is quite a hefty smartphone. It comes with a shiny glass finish so expect it to be very slippery. We do hope Kata could sell a jelly case for it.

DISPLAY

One thing we love about Kata is the display quality. Over the years, Kata has managed to maintain good quality, colorful and bright displays and that remains the same with the Kata M3s. Not only it is bright, it handles outdoor visibility very well. Adaptive brightness works very well too though it takes time to get dim during a sudden change of room brightness.

SOFTWARE AND PERFORMANCE

Kata has not changed the UI for years. It is the same old UI we’ve seen in the past. The UI has no app tray but everything else looks and feels very stock Android. We are happy to see Kata opted to use default Android apps with minimal bloatware.

We are also happy Kata used the Mediatek MT6750 chipset to power the Kata M4s. This chipset is also found in OPPO F1s, Vivo V5 Lite, Meizu M3s, Vivo V5 and the new Vivo Y69. All phones are very good ones and performs smoothly.

And that’s what we’ve experienced with the Kata M4s – it is overall smooth thanks to the sizeable 3GB RAM, multi tasking is a a breeze. Games like NBA2k17 and Asphalt 8 works well here.

CAMERA

Before we go to the camera shots, let’s discuss the camera UI first. We believe Kata should start developing their own camera app like what other brands are doing. The current camera app is bare and lack settings (like pro mode, night mode) we normally see on phones with the same price tag.

The camera shots, however, are pretty good. But then again, with the right camera app, photos can improved.

CONNECTIVITY

4G/LTE, WiFi, Bluetooth comes standard. We love that the fingerprint scanner works well. As for the signal reception, we find it odd that the unit we are reviewing gets weaker Smart signal when comparing it with a smartphone with the same Smart SIM inserted. Globe, however, works very well on our unit. Calls are clear and dropped calls are very minimal.

Speed test using Globe LTE

BATTERY

We are happy to report that Kata has stacked a large 4,350 mAh battery. We let the Kata M4s lend it to our 16-year old niece one day. We’ve known our niece to be a heavy user. She mostly used the phone primarily for Twitter, You Tube and Snapchat with 4G/LTE turned on all the time. She was able to drain the battery to 16% from 100% after 12 hours. For us, that is fairly decent but we believe with few software optimizations, Kata can still stretch the battery further.

We were hoping for fast charging tech here since it has a large battery. Though the supplied USB Type C charger is not fast charging it is not dead slow either.

VERDICT

The Kata M4s is truly one smartphone we can recommend. It is beautiful, great screen, decent camera. great battery life and reliable LTE reception. But the P13,999 may raise some eyebrows but we think the Kata M4s does worth your look.