|SKK Mobile Charm 2 Review: Magic Spell|
The SKK Mobile Charm 2 is an entry-level smartphone for only Php1,899, but some were lucky to buy it for only Php999 from the previous promotions of the local brand.
For its retail price, it packs an acceptable specifications, it has a 3.5-inch capacitive HVGA touchscreen display powered by 1GHz dual core processor coupled with 256MB of RAM. It also has a decent 1500mAh battery, WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity, GPS, dual loudspeakers and Analog TV.
The retail package consists of the unit with pre-installed screen protector, battery, charger with 650mA output, standard to micro USB cable, wired headset, warranty card and user's manual.
The front has two loudspeakers positioned at the top and bottom, something that we do see much from smartphones. Above the display you have the hidden proximity sensor and the earpiece grill, there is no front camera here. The capacitive keys are located in between the screen and the lower loudspeaker.
The back is made of plastic with matte finish and has rubbery feel. Here you can find the 2MP main camera along with its LED flash, the Charm 2 marking is located at the center while the SKK Mobile logo is placed at the bottom.
|Back without cover|
At first, I thought that only the center part of the back is removable because of the parallel lines (along the camera and above the SKK Mobile logo) instead the whole back is actually the cover. Once removed, you find the 1500mAh battery, underneath the battery are the two regular SIM slots and the micro SD slot.
The micro USB port can be found at the left side while the volume rocker and the power button are both located at the right side.
The bottom was kept bare while the top holds the 3.5mm audio jack and the retractable TV antenna.
The build quality of the Charm 2 is surprisingly impressive, it looks very sturdy and durable. The back cover fits tightly and there is no visible gap. Also, you will not hear creaking or annoying sound when you are using it. It is a bit chubby device, I compared it with the ASUS Zenfone 4 and they have almost the same thickness, therefore I assumed that it has about 12mm waistline. In terms of handling, one hand is sufficient enough for most tasks.
The Charm 2 has 3.5-inch screen with 320x480 resolution, it is made of ordinary TN panel and supports only 2-point touch, the viewing angles are limited and a bit reflective.
Most of the low-end device has only accelerometer, but the Charm 2 has also proximity sensor. Both sensors are working during test and in real world application.
|Antutu - 9817|
|Quadrant - 2870|
|Vellamo Metal - 648|
|NenaMark2 - 57.3fps|
In Antutu and Quadrant, it scored pretty much the same with other entry-level SKK Mobile phones like the Neo, Charm, Glimpse and Viper, but in NenaMark2 it performed better.
|OOBE and Quick Start Guide|
The Charm 2 runs on Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean and uses the stock interface. Upon start-up, it will guide you to set up your phone and show you the basic operation of the phone. The rest of the interface is the typical Jelly Bean stuff.
It has two SIM slots with dual standby capability, you can manage which SIM to use for a specific event by going to Settings>SIM Management. All the basic phone functions such telephony, messaging and email operate as they should.
The gallery houses all the photos and videos stored on your device, you can sort them by albums, locations or times and view them in grid or filmstrip. Anything under the gallery can be shared locally or online. There is also built-in photo editor app in the gallery.
Video Player, Music Player & FM Radio:
|Video player, music player and FM radio|
The video player can play almost any video files up to 720p resolution, actually, 1080p videos can be played as well, but lags and dropped frames are very evident. The music player supports album art and display it accordingly together with other information, there is also time scroll at the bottom that shows the length of the song. The FM radio needs a wired headset to work, but here is the trick, once it is already turned on, you can now remove the headset and it will still continue to work.
One of the selling points of the Charm 2 is its Analog TV function and like its name, it works like a charm. The clarity of the channel and signal reception still depends on your locations. It also has a recording function, files are saved in .3gp format.
The dual loudspeakers are really loud, it is the loudest among all the smartphones we reviewed in the past. The audio output is clear and crisp and there is also enough bass, overall the loudness and quality are comparable to small portable speaker.
Camera and Video:
|Camera and video|
The camera and video share the same interface, their shutter buttons are placed side by side on the lower part of the screen. At the upper part you will find the shooting modes, namely smile shots, panorama and normal.
|Night without flash|
|Night with flash|
The main camera has 2MP resolution, the images produced are at par with most, if not all, camera phones that we reviewed with the same resolution. The pictures are a bit washed out and details are less. It also has an LED flash, however, it has little to no effect at all when used.
It can record videos up to FWVGA resolution, like the photos, there is nothing much to expect as well.
For web browsing, you can use either the stock Android browser or the Opera Mini, if you are satisfied with the former, you can remove/uninstall the latter to save space.
The Charm 2 can run games that are not graphically intensive like Chess Genius, Piano Tiles and Candy Crush Saga. The 256MB of RAM is enough for the said games, but it is relatively small for mid to high-end games.
|Storage and install location|
Once you insert an SD card, it will automatically your default write disk and you can use it as your default location for your apps. The internal storage is only 174MB, so I recommend to move all apps to your SD card.
The Charm 2 only supports 2G/EDGE, so if you want to connect online, the recommended method is to use WiFi. The Bluetooth works fine and the 3.5mm audio jack is CTIA compliant.
The productivity and organizing tools include a calculator, calendar, clock, file manager, sound recorder and to do. If you need PDF or Office applications, you need to download from Play Store.
Unlike most low-end phone, the Charm 2 has GPS with A-GPS and EPO assistance, with data pre-loaded, I was able to get a satellite lock in almost an instant.
I looped a video continuously and it managed to last 4.75 hours before the battery dropped to 15%. In terms of standby mode, there is still 41% battery remaining after 5 days.
The SKK Mobile Charm 2 is a well-suited for people who are looking for a budget device that can do more than just call and texts. For the price of a feature phone, you already have an Android smartphone, you can use it for web browsing, updating your social media accounts, music player and watching your favorite TV shows on the go. In addition, the dual loudspeakers are also surprisingly good.
However, the lack of 3G means you are tied up to WiFi whenever you want to be online. The 256MB also limits the apps that you can run at the same time as well as the quality of apps that you can install.
Dual core processor
Superb dual loudspeakers
256MB of RAM
- Dual SIM (regular+regular) dual standby, NO 3G
- 3.5-inch capacitive HVGA (320x480) touchscreen display
- Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean
- 1GHz Dual Core Cortex-A7 CPU, Mali-400 GPU, MediaTek MT6572 chipset
- 256MB of RAM
- 512MB internal, expandable up to 32GB via micro SD
- 2MP main camera with LED Flash,
- Multimedia Player
- FM Radio
- Analog TV
- GPS with A-GPS and EPO assistance
- 3.5 Audio Jack
- WiFi 802.11 b/g/n
- Micro USB 2.0
- Sensors: proximity and accelerometer
- 1500mAh Li-Ion battery
- Price: Php1,899