|CloudFone Excite 501o Review, Enthusiasm and Eagerness|
The CloudFone Excite 501o became a sensation December of last year for being the most affordable octa core device in the country, not to mention the first device to have 8 CPU cores to hit below the Php5K mark.
As far as we know it has MediaTek MT6592 chipset, however, based on CPU Z and other apps we used to check the system information, it has MT8392 SoC, which is designed for the tablet. Both of them have 8 Cortex-A7 CPU cores, Mali-450 GPU and based on 28nm process technology.
Unboxing and Hands-on Video
The retail package consists of the unit, charger, USB cable, headset, warranty card and user manual. By the way, the phone has pre-installed screen protector, which comes very handy since it does not have a scratch-resistant glass.
As usual, the capacitive keys are located below the screen while the earpiece grill, hidden sensors and the secondary camera are placed above the display. Those asking if it has notification light, it does not have one.
The back cover is resistant to fingerprints and smudges due to its rubber-leather-like finish. Here, you can find the CloudFone logo just above the loudspeaker grill. Meanwhile, the main camera and LED module are enclosed in a metallic-like material that is slightly protruding from the cover.
|Back without cover|
Removing the back cover reveals the micro SIM slot, regular SIM slot and micro SD card, none of which is hot-swappable since you need to take out the battery to access them.
The top holds the 3.5mm audio jack while the bottom has the micro USB port and the microphone pin hole.
The right side has both the volume control keys and the power button while the left side has nothing on it.
At first glance, the front has a similar look with the Samsung Nexus having curve edges and slightly flushed screen. The sides have a 3-layer design and unlike most local smartphone, the CloudFone Excite 501o opt out the silver-metallic coating and chose to have grayish color that adds contrast to the phone's overall finish. To make it short, it may not look premium, but it does not look cheap either.
One of the cost-reduction made, is to have a lower resolution display, which is qHD or 960x540 pixels. In real life, it is not that bad, especially that it utilize IPS technology to have a better viewing angles. In addition, it can support up to 5-point five fingers and based on weeks of use, we never encounter any touch issue.
The sensors used on this device are accelerometer, light, proximity, orientation and magnetic. All of them are working properly when tested using Android Sensor Box and CPU Z.
|Antutu - 31,363|
|Quadrant - 13,948|
|NenaMark2 - 58fps|
The scores are pretty similar to other devices that uses MediaTek octa core processor like the Cherry Mobile Infinix Pure XL. Like the CPU Z info above, the Antutu and Quadrant, two of the most reliable mobile benchmarking tools, show that the chipset used is indeed MT8392.
The CloudFone Excite 501o runs on Android 4.4.2 KitKat with almost untouched user-interface and with few added bloatwares. The good thing though is that you can uninstall the I Want Stars and I Want TV apps if you found them not entertaining at all.
The basic phone's functions are all working fine, there is no issue or problem encountered during the test period.
The gallery holds all the photos and videos store on your device, whether they are stored in internal storage or memory card all of them will be displayed accordingly. The gallery also has built-in photo editor app and video cropping tool.
Video Player, Music Player and FM Radio:
|Video Player, Music Player and FM Radio|
The video player can handle.avi, .flv, .3gp, .mp4 and even .mkv files up to 1080p resolutions, what is more amazing is its native subtitle support, a first from more 20 Android devices that we reviewed. Meanwhile, the music player displays album art when a particular song has that. On the other hand, the FM Radio still requires a connected headset to work.
Camera and Video:
|Camera and Video|
The camera and video interface is the same old UI back in the Jelly Bean days, their shutter keys are located side by side at the lower part. The shooting modes include normal, HDR, Live Photo, Beauty Shot and Panorama.
The main camera can shoot photos up to 8MP resolution, the image quality is generally good, especially in ample lighting conditions. In terms of resolve details, the amount of attributes is at par with some phones that we reviewed with the same camera resolution. However, it is not the best among them, plus the digital noise is very visible when the picture is full-blown.
Sample Video - 1080p
The phone can capture videos up to 1080p resolution at 30fps, quality is good, relatively smooth and almost stutter free.
The browser loads web pages fast, even those with lots of images and scripts. It supports multiple tabs and desktop mode, you can also bookmark page or save it for offline reading.
Dungeon Hunter 4
Gaming in the CloudFone Excite 501o whether casual or heavy in graphics are smooth and seamless, this is because the innards of the phone are more than powerful enough to drive games on its qHD screen.
|Storage and Install Location|
In terms of storage, it has 8GB of ROM with about 6.1GB (4.07GB internal storage and 2.03GB phone storage) available to the user. This may not be much, especially if you are a heavy gamer, but the good thing is that you can just insert a micro SD card and it can be your default storage.
So, what is HotKnot? It is a form of a near field communication, but without any NFC chip, instead it makes the capacitive touchscreen as the medium. To transfer a file, you need two devices with this feature, select a file you wish to transfer, then make their screens touch each other and you are done. To have a better idea how it works, I prepare a demo video below.
MediaTek HotKnot Demo
The productivity tools include calendar, clock, calculator, file manager, sound recorder, to do and notebook. There is no document viewer/editor, but you can simply download one in the Play Store.
The phone has GPS with A-GPS, with data pre-loaded, it is able to get a satellite lock in less than 10 seconds with an accuracy of about 12 feet.
I used it as as my secondary phone for about a week and it managed to last around two days with light to moderate usage that includes calls, texts, few minutes of web browsing and checking social media updates. Meanwhile, based on our video loop test, it lasted more than 6 hours before the battery warning came up. In addition, there is also a Power Management app that helps to make the battery last longer.
The CloudFone app will just direct you to their Facebook page while the CloudStore provides a hub is a place where you can download free apps.
|I Want TV and I Want Stars|
We all know that CloudFone and ABS CBN Mobile have entered into a some kind of partnership and as mentioned earlier, I Want TV and I Want Stars are installed by default, luckily they can be uninstalled without the need to root your device.
Of course, Google apps are there to stay and there are lots of them pre-installed.
The CloudFone Excite 501o is the first device to have an octa core processor to hit the local market with a less than 5K-peso price tag. That alone makes it a sensation for the tech enthusiasts and arisen the interest of many consumers including us.
With all the hype that it made, I can honestly tell you that it lived up to our expectations. Navigating through the phone's interface is smooth, gaming performance is excellent and has decent battery life.
Octa core processor
8GB of ROM
1GB of RAM
Loudspeaker is a little bit weak
No notification light
- Dual SIM (regular+micro) dual standby, supports 3G
- 5-inch IPS capacitive qHD (960x540) touchscreen display
- Android 4.4.2 KitKat
- 1.7GHz Octa Core Cortex-A7 CPU, Mali-450MP GPU, MediaTek MT8392 chipset
- 1GB of RAM
- 8GB internal storage, expandable up to 32GB via micro SD card
- 8MP auto focus main camera with LED flash
- 5MP secondary camera
- Multimedia player
- FM Radio
- 3.5mm audio jack
- GPS with A-GPS
- WiFi 802.11 b/g/n
- Micro USB 2.0 with OTG support
- Bluetooth v4.0
- Sensors: accelerometer, light, proximity, orientation, magnetic
- 2250mAh removable battery
- Price: Php4,999