Wednesday, June 11, 2014

SKK Mobile Centaur Review: Equestrian

SKK Mobile Centaur Review: Equestrian
SKK Mobile Centaur Review: Equestrian

INTRODUCTION:

Dual SIM and Analog TV are two features first found in "China phones" and in the early development of locally branded phones. In the current trend, they are mostly incorporated in feature phones and in the lower to middle segment of Android smartphones.

About Phone

The SKK Mobile Centaur is one of the few devices in this category, it sports a 5-inch display powered by 1.3GHz dual core processor bundled with 512MB of RAM for only Php3,399.

>>>SKK Mobile Centaur Unboxing, Preview And Initial Impression


INTERFACE:

SKK Mobile Centaur Review: Equestrian
Lockscreen

To unlock the screen, just swipe the padlock icon to any direction, if there is a missed call or unread message you can drag it towards the icon to view it immediately.

SKK Mobile Centaur Review: Equestrian
Homescreen

The homescreen consists of five pages, there is no option to add or reduce this number. There are five shortcuts docked at the bottom of the screen, the middle opens the app drawer while the remaining four are customizable.

SKK Mobile Centaur Review: Equestrian
Default Apps
SKK Mobile Centaur Review: Equestrian
Default Widgets

There are 34 applications pre-installed and 30 default widgets, unlike other SKK Mobile devices, no app can be removed without root access.

SKK Mobile Centaur Review: Equestrian
Notification Panel & Quick Toggle Settings

The notification panel is accessible by swiping one finger from the top of the screen while two fingers are needed for the quick toggle settings. The former houses all types of notifications and the actions you can do with them while the latter gives you means of turning on/off some of the most commonly used settings in just one touch.


DUAL SIM FUNCTIONALITY:

SKK Mobile Centaur Review: Equestrian
SIM Management

The Centaur supports dual SIM dual standby, when you inserted the two SIM cards before turning on your phone for the first time, it will automatically configure which one to be used for a certain action. You can always change your preference by going to Settings>SIM Management.


TELEPHONY:

SKK Mobile Centaur Review: Equestrian
Telephony

The dial pad supports smart dialing as well as speed dialing, there are two handset icons at the bottom which corresponds to each SIM card. The call quality is above average, both ends can hear each other loud and clear even in noisy environment.

SKK Mobile Centaur Review: Equestrian
Call Logs

The call logs keep track of all the calls happened in and out of your phone, you can filter it by incoming, outgoing or missed calls and an option to display items from either SIM or both.


PHONEBOOK:

SKK Mobile Centaur Review: Equestrian
Contacts
SKK Mobile Centaur Review: Equestrian
Groups

The contacts are arranged alphabetically, if you have long list you can use the scroll function on the right or use the search icon on lower left corner. Each contact can contain tons of information such as name, company name, position, multiple numbers, emails, etc. The groups on the other hand are set of contacts which belongs to the same category.


MESSAGING:

SKK Mobile Centaur Review: Equestrian
Messaging

The messages are listed based on the latest time stamp, a number will appear on the upper right corner which corresponds on how many unread messages you have. The conversations are arranged in a chat-like manner, your message appears on the right while the one you received is on the left. There is also an option to change its wallpaper as well as the font size.


EMAIL:

SKK Mobile Centaur Review: Equestrian
Emails

The Centaur has both generic email app and Gmail app, they support POP3, IMAP and Exchange emails. They are very easy to set-up as long as you know your username and password, both can contain multiple accounts.


MULTIMEDIA:

Gallery:

SKK Mobile Centaur Review: Equestrian
SKK Mobile Centaur Review: Equestrian
Gallery

The gallery displays in either grid view or filmstrip view all the photos and videos on your devices, you can also filter them by Albums, Times or Locations. Any item in the gallery can be shared through Bluetooth, email and social accounts.

SKK Mobile Centaur Review: Equestrian
Photo Editor

There is also photo editor incorporated into the gallery, which is useful when you want to add effects or any enhancement in the picture before sharing it.

Video Player:

SKK Mobile Centaur Review: Equestrian
Video Player

The video player will list files showing their thumbnails, file names, file size and length. Odd enough, it does not display .MP4 files, but they are playable when you click them using the file manager. The codec support is good, it can play videos with different file extensions such .3gp, .avi, .flv, .mkv and .mp4.

Music Player:

SKK Mobile Centaur Review: Equestrian
Music Player

The music player will list all supported audio files on your devices, you can view them by albums, artists, songs or playlist. At the bottom of the interface you will see the time scroll together with the basic controls, above it you find the album are and the song information.

FM Radio:

SKK Mobile Centaur Review: Equestrian
FM Radio

The FM radio needs a wired headset connected on the phone for it to work, channels can be set manually or automatically. The broadcast can be played through the headset or loudspeaker and there is also an option to record it.

Analog TV:

SKK Mobile Centaur Review: Equestrian
Analog TV

The phone is equipped with Analog TV tuner, the channels are scanned automatically. There is video setting for contrast, brightness and saturation. There is also an option to record a specific broadcast as well as take the screenshot (camera icon on the lower right) which captures only the TV screen (controls on the right are left out).

Camera and Video:

SKK Mobile Centaur Review: Equestrian
Camera and Video

The camera and video share the same interface, their buttons are placed side-by-side at the bottom. On its right is the thumbnail of the last picture/video taken while on its left is the settings icon. At the top you will see the shooting mode for the photo and pause, length option for the video.

SKK Mobile Centaur Review: Equestrian
Camera and Video Settings

Selecting the settings icon will bring up all the available options such exposure, color effect, picture size, video quality and more.

Sample Shots:

SKK Mobile Centaur Review: Equestrian
Close up
SKK Mobile Centaur Review: Equestrian
Day
SKK Mobile Centaur Review: Equestrian
Day_1

The Centaur has 5MP shooter on the back and can capture 720p videos @ 12fps. It does not have auto focus, but has touch focus function. The image quality is less than stellar for a 5MP camera, it is a bit grainy even it good lighting conditions, the resolve details are comparable to a device with just 3.2MP.

Browser:

SKK Mobile Centaur Review: Equestrian
Browser
SKK Mobile Centaur Review: Equestrian
Opera Mini

The phone has both stock browser and Opera Mini, they both works OK, however, I still do prefer the former.

Gaming:

SKK Mobile Centaur Review: Equestrian
Asphalt 7
Gaming Sample

I installed casual games like Zombie Tsunami and Temple Run2, both of them works perfectly, no hang ups or lags encountered. HD games like Asphalt 7 are also playable, however, there are times that you will encounter hiccups.


CONNECTIVITY:

SKK Mobile Centaur Review: Equestrian
3G & Tethering
SKK Mobile Centaur Review: Equestrian
Data Usage

The Centaur supports dual SIM dual standby and both SIM cards are capable of 3G connectivity, which you can share via WiFi Hotspot, USB or Bluetooth tethering. You can also find Data Usage under the settings, which you can use to monitor the amount of data you consumed.

SKK Mobile Centaur Review: Equestrian
WiFi

The phone has also WiFi, the signal detection and reception are good, no sudden drop/loss when in use.

SKK Mobile Centaur Review: Equestrian
Bluetooth

The Bluetooth works OK when connected to a wireless speaker and when transferring/receiving files. The 3.5mm audio completes the list and it is CTIA compliant, I used a headset from Nokia as well as the Urbanear Kransen  and both of them work fine.


PRODUCTIVITY:

SKK Mobile Centaur Review: Equestrian
To Do
SKK Mobile Centaur Review: Equestrian
Sound Recorder
SKK Mobile Centaur Review: Equestrian
Calendar
SKK Mobile Centaur Review: Equestrian
Clock
SKK Mobile Centaur Review: Equestrian
File Manager
SKK Mobile Centaur Review: Equestrian
Notes
SKK Mobile Centaur Review: Equestrian
Calculator

The organizing and productivity tools include To Do, Sound Recorder, Calendar, Clock, File Manager, Note and Calculator.


GPS:

SKK Mobile Centaur Review: Equestrian
GPS

The phone's GPS able to get a satellite lock in a minute or two without data pre-loaded, but if A-GPS and EPO are loaded connection is much faster, just under 15 seconds.


BATTERY:

SKK Mobile Centaur Review: Equestrian
Battery Stats

I looped a video and the phone managed to last three and a half hours before the battery percentage became 15%, while playing Asphalt 7 continuously, it lasted for about 3 hours.


CONCLUSION:

The SKK Mobile Centaur is one of the all around phablet available in the market today, it has dual SIM dual standby capability with 3G connectivity, Analog TV tuner,  1.3GHz dual core processor bundled with 512MB of RAM for a very reasonable price of Php3,399.

The design might be borrowed from the Samsung Galaxy line, but the build quality is pretty solid. Performance wise, it is capable of doing most tasks smoothly, it can play HD games and so much more.

PROS:

Dual core processor with 512MB of RAM
Large screen
Reasonable price

CONS:

Low screen resolution
Limited viewing angles

Specifications:

  • Dual SIM Dual Standby, Supports 3G
  • 5-inch capacitive FWVGA (854x480) touchscreen display
  • Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean
  • 1.3GHz Dual Core Cortex-A7 CPU, Mali-400 GPU, MediaTek MT6572 chipset
  • 512MB of RAM
  • 4GB internal, expandable up to 32GB via micro SD
  • 5MP main camera with LED Flash,
  • VGA secondary camera
  • Multimedia Player
  • 3.5 Audio Jack
  • WiFi 802.11 b/g/n
  • Micro USB 2.0
  • Bluetooth
  • GPS with A-GPS and EPO assistance
  • 1800mAh Li-Ion battery
  • Php3,399

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