Sunday, January 5, 2014

SKK Mobile Charm Review: Fascinating Appeal

SKK Mobile Charm
SKK Mobile Charm

INTRODUCTION:

Almost every local brands offer budget dual core smartphones, but only few includes high speed mobile data connectivity via 3G. This is where the SKK Mobile Charm separates itself from the rest. It is a dual-core phone with 3G for only Php2,299.

Key Specs:


  • Dual SIM , Dual Standby
  • 3.5" capacitive HVGA (320x480) touchscreen display, 3-point multi-touch
  • Android Jelly Bean 4.2.2
  • 1GHz Cortex-A7 dual core CPU, Mali-400 GPU, MediaTek MT6572 chipset
  • 256MB of RAM
  • 512MB internal storage (186.15MB available), expandable up to 32GB via microSD
  • 2MP auto focus main camera without LED flash
  • VGA secondary camera
  • WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, WiFi Direct, WiFi Hotspot
  • 3.5 Audio Jack
  • Stereo FM Radio
  • MP3/MP4 Player
  • Micro USB 2.0
  • Bluetooth
  • Sensors: Accelerometer
  • 1100mAh Li-Ion Battery


Main Disadvantages:

  • Low RAM
  • Low battery capacity

INTERFACE:

SKK Mobile Charm Lockscreen
Lockscreen

The lockscreen has a small padlock icon inside a circle wherein you can drag it to the right to unlock the device. Swiping it to the left will bring up the camera interface while doing the upward motion will give you the Google Now.

If there is a notification like a new message or missed call you can drag it towards the circle so that you can go to that notification in an instant.


SKK Mobile Charm Homescreen
Homescreen

The homescreen by default has five pages, but you can increase it up to 9 or decrease it to only one by accessing the manage screen option.

There are five shortcuts at the bottom of the screen, the center always opens the app drawer while the remaining four can be changed depending on your need.

SKK Mobile Charm Notification Area & Quick Toggle Settings
Notification Area & Quick Toggle Settings

The notification area can be accessed by one finger swipe from top to bottom of the screen while two fingers are needed for the quick toggle settings.

Any type of notification is expandable, for example, a missed call will give you the option to call back or send a message.

SKK Mobile Charm Default Apps
Default Apps

SKK Mobile Charm Default Widgets
Default Widgets

The apps are arranged in a 4x4 pattern while the widgets have 2x3 layout, among the default apps only the Facebook, SKK and Opera Mini are removable.


DUAL SIM FUNCTIONALITY:

SKK Mobile Charm SIM Management
SIM Management

The SKK Mobile Charm supports dual SIM dual standby, to access its options just go to Settings>SIM Management.


TELEPHONY:

SKK Mobile Charm Telephony
Telephony

You can use numbers or name inputs on the dial pad, however it can only detect matching contacts if they have the same beginning. If you have an incoming call you have the option to cancel it, answer it or cancel it with a message.

During a call, you can put the other line on hold, mute the speaker, add another person on the call or record the call. There is no proximity sensor but the phone is programmed to shut off its screen when a call is connected.


SKK Mobile Charm Call Logs
Call Logs

The call logs will display all your call history and can be filtered by missed, answered or outgoing calls. You can also choose from which SIM information will be displayed on your screen.


PHONEBOOK:

SKK Mobile Charm Contacts
Contacts
SKK Mobile Charm Groups
Groups

The phonebook consist of contacts, groups and favorites. You can opt to display/save your contacts from SIM cards, phone and online accounts while for the groups you can do it on the phone and online accounts.


MESSAGING:

SKK Mobile Charm Messaging
Messaging

The SMS/MMS share the same editor, attaching anything on the message will automatically convert it to MMS. The messages are displayed based on the latest time of arrival. Conversations are arranged in a chat-like pattern, the other person's message in on the left inside a gray bubble while your own message is on the right inside a blue bubble.


EMAIL:

SKK Mobile Charm Email
Email

The stock email app can handle multiple accounts as long as it is POP3, IMAP or Exchange emails. Setting it up is easy, just enter your username and password then hit next and you are good to go. I used my yahoo email on the above screenshot and it just works fine.

SKK Mobile Charm Gmail
Gmail

The Gmail will automatically synchronize the account you use in setting up any Google account like Play Store. In the app itself you can only attach pictures or videos, to remedy that you need to access the file you want to attach directly from the file manager, then share it via Gmail.


MULTIMEDIA:

Gallery:

SKK Mobile Charm Gallery
Gallery

The gallery handles both the photos and videos from your devices, you can filter them by Albums, Location or Times and view them in filmstrip or grid arrangement.

SKK Mobile Charm Photo & Video Options
Photo & Video Options

You can share any photo or video locally via Bluetooth or online via email, Gmail or social accounts like Facebook.

SKK Mobile Charm Photo Editor
Photo Editor

If you love editing or adding effects to your pictures you will be glad because there is a photo editor app pre-installed.

Video Player:

SKK Mobile Charm Video Player
Video Player

The Video Player will list all the supported files from your device. Information such as title, file size, length as well as thumbnail will be displayed.

SKK Mobile Charm Can Play 1080p Videos
Can Play 1080p Videos

The Charm will surprise you when it comes to video playback, the stock player can handle almost anything from .avi, .mp4, .3gp, .flv to .mkv videos. Not only that, it can also play 720p videos, actually it can play 1080p videos as well but at a lower frame rate.

Music Player:

SKK Mobile Charm Music Player
Music Player

The Music Player will list all supported audio files on your device and you can view them by Artist, Albums, Songs or by Playlist. If there is an album art incorporated into a song, it will be displayed accordingly when played.

If a song is playing and you minimize the player, you will have a mini player accessible via the notification panel.

FM Radio:

SKK Mobile Charm FM Radio
FM Radio

The FM Radio requires a wired headset (which acts as an external antenna) to work. The channels can be searched automatically but you can also do it manually to ensure all broadcast channels are captured.

Camera/Video:

SKK Mobile Charm Camera/Video
Camera/Video

The camera and video has the same interface, all the controls can be found on the right side. From the top is the thumbnail of the last captured picture/video, below it is the camera shutter key followed by the video record button.

During a video recording, information about how long you have been doing it will appear on the lower left corner together with the pause button.

SKK Mobile Charm Camera/Video Settings
Camera/Video Settings

The camera settings can be accessed by selecting the gear icon on the lower right corner. The main camera can only capture 2MP photos while the video can shoot up to FWVGA resolution.

Other video details are as follows based on quality settings:

Fine (854x480 @ 10fps):

Audio Codec: mp4a: MPEG-4 AAC LC 24000Hz  96 kb/s tot , stereo (2/0)
Video Codec: mp4v MPEG-4 Video

High (640x480 @ 10fps):

Audio Codec:  mp4a: MPEG-4 AAC LC 48000Hz  96 kb/s tot , stereo (2/0)
Video Codec: mp4v MPEG-4 Video

Medium (480x320 @ 10fps):

Audio Codec:  mp4a: MPEG-4 AAC LC 48000Hz  96 kb/s tot , stereo (2/0)
Video Codec: avc1 H.264/MPEG-4 AVC

Low (176x144 @ 10fps):

Audio Codec:  mp4a: MPEG-4 AAC LC 48000Hz  96 kb/s tot , stereo (2/0)
Video Codec: s263 ITU H.263 video (3GPP)


Sample Shots:

SKK Mobile Charm Sample Shot
SKK Mobile Charm Sample Shot
SKK Mobile Charm Sample Shot
 SKK Mobile Charm Sample Shot
 SKK Mobile Charm Sample Shot

Sample Videos:


854x480 @ 10fps

640x480 @ 10fps

480x320 @ 10fps


176x144 @ 10fps

Browser:

SKK Mobile Charm Browser
Browser

Opera Mini
Opera Mini

The stock browser can handle up to 16 tabs, websites load fast enough even those pages full of images. Due to low resolution screen, you will have a hard time reading texts if you opt to view the website in its desktop mode therefore mobile version is recommended.

If it does not appeal to you, there is also an Opera Mini installed on your device by default. You can use this especially if you are subscribed in a per MB data plan.

Games:

Candy Crush Saga
Candy Crush Saga
Pou
Pou
Zombie Tsunami
Zombie Tsunami
Subway Surfers
Subway Surfers
Temple Run 2
Temple Run 2

Dual core devices which are powered by the latest MediaTek MT6572 are proven to handle games smoothly, however since the SKK Mobile Charm has only 256MB of RAM high graphics games are NO go. Even just playing Temple Run 2 you will already encounter hiccups every now and then. Other games shown above are all playable without issue.

SKK Mobile Charm Storage & Preferred Install Location
Storage & Preferred Install Location

The internal storage is only 174MB but thanks to the micro SD card expansion you won't need to worry about running out of storage since the micro SD card can be your default install location.


CONNECTIVITY:

SKK Mobile Charm 3G & Tethering
3G & Tethering

One of the selling points of the Charm is its high speed mobile data connectivity via 3G. It supports dual 3G which means you can opt to choose which SIM slot will have the 3G capability. You can also share your connection via WiFi hotspot, USB or Bluetooth tethering.

SKK Mobile Charm WiFi
WiFi

The WiFi is also on board, it uses the 802.11 b/g/n standards which means it can detect wide arrays of signal.


PRODUCTIVITY:

SKK Mobile Charm Calendar
Calendar
SKK Mobile Charm File Manager
File Manager
SKK Mobile Charm Calculator
Calculator
SKK Mobile Charm Sound Recorder
Sound Recorder
SKK Mobile Charm To Do
To Do
SKK Mobile Charm Clock
Clock

There are also productivity and organizing tools installed on the phone, namely Calendar, Clock, Calculator, File Manager, Sound Recorder and To Do. If you need a document viewer application or other tools you can simply download them on the Play Store.


GPS:

SKK Mobile Charm GPS
GPS

Another edge of the Charm is the GPS, its cousin the SKK Mobile Neo does not have it, actually even some from competitors does not have it either. Using GPS Test and Google Navigation I was able to get satellite lock in under 15 seconds (A-GPS and EPO are enabled).


OTHERS:

Google Applications
Google Applications

Aside from Google Navigation, other Google apps are installed such as Local, Map, Voice and Now.

Facebook
Facebook

The Facebook app is also pre-installed but you need to update it since the one on the Charm is outdated.

Search
Search

The Search, as the name suggests is an application which searches anything on your device and can also look up on the web.

My Lock
My Lock

My Lock is supposed to change your lockscreen when applied, however it does not work on my device.

SIM Tool Kit
SIM Tool Kit
The SIM Tool Kit is basically where you can access the options available on your SIM cards.


BATTERY:

SKK Mobile Charm Battery Stats
Battery Stats

The Charm has a relatively low battery capacity at only 1100mAh, however during 1 hour of video playback (full brightness and half volume) I still had 72% left. I also left it turned on for more than days and the battery percentage still register 68%.


CONCLUSION:

More and more cheap dual core devices are available on the local market, however only a few are offering 3G capability and this is where the SKK Mobile Charm stands out. We all know that high speed mobile data connection has become essential to most of the smartphone users and it is a good thing that at a very affordable price you can have it.

You will also be glad that the Charm has a GPS which you can use when traveling or during exercise. It is really a very capable device when it comes to video playback and playing casual games.

However, having 256MB of RAM limits its multitasking ability as well as limits the choice of applications or games it can run.

I do hope this has been informative and helpful. Thank you for reading!

3 comments:

  1. I own this and according to the battery pack, it's only 1000 maH

    ReplyDelete
  2. I also have it at 1.3 GHz dual core

    ReplyDelete
  3. Bat hindi mapalitan yung lock screen

    ReplyDelete

Giveaway

___________________________________________
If you want to win an EXCITING GADGET/PRIZE just visit TeknoGadyet Giveaway section.
a Rafflecopter giveaway