|Kata Digital M1 Review, Colossal Inside and Out|
Kata Digital is one of the regional mobile players in the country and they only have few devices in their line up, if I am not mistaken they have less than 20 since the beginning.
Less does not mean they have nothing good to offer in fact, they carefully chose which phone or tablet they want to sell. The latest among them is the Kata M1, it sports a 5.7-inch capacitive touchscreen display with full HD resolution. The M1 is the first smartphone from Kata to have 1080p display.
Under the hood is a 1.5GHz quad-core processor coupled with 2GB of RAM. The device runs Android 4.2.1 out of the box and has a price tag of Php9,999.
>>Kata Digital M1, Unboxing, Preview And Initial Impression
Upon first boot, the device will guide you to a series of phone set-up. You have to go through it before you can use your smartphone since there is no option to skip it.
The lockscreen has the usual padlock icon near the bottom of the display, you can swipe it anywhere to unlock the device. If you have a missed call or new message, you can drag it towards the padlock icon to view that notification instantly. The lockscreen also supports widget, you can access it by swiping from either left or right edge.
The homescreen has 5 shortcuts docked at the bottom, the middle always opens the app drawer while the remaining four items can be replaced with anything you want.
There are 42 apps installed by default, but you can reduce this number by uninstalling some of them like Adobe reader, BBM, etc. On the other hand, there are 33 default widgets and they are arranged in 2x3 layout covering about six pages.
|Notification Panel and Quick Toggle Settings|
The notification panel can be accessed by swiping one finger from the top while doing a two-finger swipe will reveal the quick toggle settings. The former shows all types of notification and the option you can do with them while the latter gives you the access to turn on/off the most commonly used settings.
DUAL SIM FUNCTIONALITY:
The Kata M1 support dual SIM dual standby, one slot is for regular SIM and the other one is for micro SIM. If you want to set which SIM to be used for a specific purpose, just go to Settings>SIM Management.
The dialer has smart dialing, it will display matching contacts every time you key in a number/letter. When you are ready to call, hit the handset icon and it will ask you which SIM you want to be used. If you have incoming call, you have three options to respond - cancel it, answer it or cancel it with a message.
The overall call quality is good, both lines are loud and clear, the screen also turns off automatically thanks to the proximity sensor.
The call log is where all your call histories are located, you can filter the items by missed calls, outgoing calls or answered calls. You can also choose from which resources you want to be displayed on your screen. When you select a specific log, it will give you more detailed information about that call.
The phonebook comprises of the contacts and groups, both can be synched seamlessly with online accounts such as Google. You can also choose from which account you want to be displayed and the option to import/export them.
The app display messages based on the latest time of arrival, those with unread items will appear in white with a number on it. In a specific conversation, the recipient's message appears on the left while your message is on the right.
The MMS and SMS share the same editor, it will remain SMS until you attached something to the message. Composing a message is comfortable with the default keyboard, but you can also use Google voice typing or Chinese Pinyin as input.
The Kata M1 has both generic email and Gmail app, setting them app are quite easy, just enter your username and password and you are good to go. Both can contain multiple accounts and sync interval can be set based on often you need to read them.
The gallery is where you can view the photos and videos stored on your device. You can filter them by Albums, Locations or Times, you can also change the view either by grid or filmstrip.
Both the photos and videos can be shared locally or online via email or social accounts. The photo editor is also on board to enhance or add effects to your picture. For video, there is an option to trim wherein you can cut/remove unwanted part/s of your video.
The video player will list all the supported files with information such as file name, length and file size. The interface is very simple, at the bottom you will see the time scroll for fast/back track purposes. The stock player can play videos with different container up to 1080p.
The MX Player is also installed by default, it fills those features that you cannot find on the stock player. It supports subtitle and can hardware or software decode any video.
Whichever player you will use, the result is the same - it is very pleasurable to watch on its full HD screen. However, I suggest you use a headphone since the loudspeaker is a bit weak.
The music player displays all supported audio files stored on your device, you can view them by albums, artists or songs. The interface will show the album art if there is any, below it is the artist name, album name, song title and time scroll. A miniature player will appear in the notification panel once you minimize the music player while playing a song.
You need a wired headset before you can use the FM radio. It can search the channel automatically or you can do it manually. The broadcast can be played via the earphone or thru the loudspeaker, you can also record it if you want to.
Camera and Video:
|Camera and Video Interface|
The camera and video recorder share the same interface, their respective buttons can be found at the bottom. At the top you will find the different shooting mode for the camera while you will see the available remaining time and pause option for video recording.
|Camera and Video Settings|
Pressing the gear icon on the lower left corner will reveal all available options. Here you can adjust the exposure, color effect, etc. as well as change the picture size and video quality.
The Kata M1 main camera is auto focus with LED flash and can shoot up to 13MP still and 1080p video at 30 fps.
|100% Crop of above|
The camera can capture good quality pictures with highly resolved details, it also does well in terms of color reproduction. Close-up photography is also possible, it can focus at a very minimum distance plus it produces good bokeh. However, the focus mechanism is a bit slow, it needs at least 2 to 3 seconds to do so.
The browser loads web pages quickly, even those with lots of images or scripts. It is nice and soothing to browse on the M1's high resolution screen even those websites on desktop mode. Kata also side loaded the Adobe Flash player by default.
|Modern Combat 4|
I installed Asphalt 7 and Modern Combat 4, both games were handled smoothly by the Kata M1.
The phablet has 16GB storage, around 3GB of that is for the internal storage while about 11GB is for the phone storage, that is ample enough to install lots of games even those high definition ones. However, please take note that you cannot move the application to external SD card.
The Kata M1 support dual 3G, meaning either SIM can have the high speed internet capability. This cellular data connection can be shared via WiFi hotspot, USB or Bluetooth tethering. There is also an Owtel 3G app, but I believe this is only for the Owtel SIM available in another country. Like any Android phone, there is also an option to monitor your data usage, which you can find under system settings.
The WiFi can detect a wide array of signals and once connected it stays there for good, no drop signal whatsoever. There is also Wireless Display option, but I never tried it if it is working or not.
The phablet supports OTG function, I used a 32GB flash drive and it works just fine. The Bluetooth and 3.5mm audio port complete the connectivity list.
In addition to stock Android productivity tools (calculator, calendar, clock, sound recorder, to do and file manager) the Kata M1 has also pre-installed Adobe Reader, KingSoft Office and EverNote.
Hotspot - it allows you to share your internet connection via WiFi. Basically, it is just a shortcut since you can find a similar option under system settings.
Wipeout - here you can find all the running applications in the background and you can "kill" them all at once with just one push on the icon at the bottom of the screen.
Fish Market - this is Kata's own application store.
Fish Cloud - is the new cloud storage service by Kata Digital, and if I am not mistaken every Kata M1 owner will have free 10GB of storage.
The M1 has GPS with A-GPS and EPO assistance which helps in having a quick satellite lock. When both data are pre-loaded, the phablet acquired signal at about 10 seconds when tested using GPS Test.
I used the Kata M1 for several days and I can say that the 4000mAh can last for more than two days of moderate usage. I have limited time with my unit since it is just a loan from Kata, but still I looped a 1080p video clip for almost 3 hours and only 30% of the charge was consumed by the phone.
One of my gripes is that the screen has no protection of any kind. Another annoying part is the loudspeaker, it is a bit weak that usual.
Big battery capacity
- Quad band GSM/GPRS/EDGE, triple band HSPA+
- 5.7-inch IPS capacitive Full HD (1920x1080) touchscreen display
- Dimensions: 165.1mm x 81.6mm x 10mm
- Weight: 205g
- Android 4.2.1 Jelly Bean
- 1.5GHz Quad Core Cortex-A7 CPU, 357MHz PowerVR SGX544MP GPU, MediaTek MT6589 chipset
- 2GB of RAM
- 16GB internal, expandable up to 32GB via microSD
- 13MP auto focus main camera with LED flash,
- 5MP secondary camera
- 1080p video recording
- Multimedia player
- FM Radio
- 3.5mm Audio Jack
- GPS with A-GPS support
- WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, WiFi Direct, Wi-Fi Hotspot
- Micro USB 2.0 with OTG support
- Bluetooth v4.0
- Sensors: accelerometer, proximity, light, gyro, magnetic
- LED notification light
- 4000mAh removable battery
- Price: Php9,999