Sunday, August 9, 2015

Ding Ding SK1 Review

Ding Ding SK1 Review
Ding Ding SK1 Review

INTRODUCTION:

Ding Ding Mobile arrived in the country last June through the help of  SKK Mobile, its partner and distribution arm in the Philippines. Together, they launched their first ever device in the local market, the Ding Ding SK1.

Ding Ding SK1 Review
CPU-Z Info

The Ding Ding SK1 is an entry-level smartphone that sports a 4.5-inch IPS display powered by a 1GHz dual core processor coupled with 512MB of RAM and 4GB of expandable storage. Ding Ding also boasts that it is the smallest 4.5-inch device in the world, although I am not sure if that is entirely correct, I can definitely tell you that it is indeed very compact. By comparison, its length is about 1 centimeter smaller than other devices with the same screen size.


UNBOXING:

Unboxing and Hands-on Video

The retail package consists of the unit, battery, charger, USB cable, headset, warranty card, user manual plus free silicone case and screen protector. To learn more about its physical appearance, please kindly watch the unboxing and hands-on video above.


DISPLAY:

Ding Ding SK1 Review
Display

The 4.5-inch display has FWVGA resolution, giving it a pixel density of 218 per inch and with the help of IPS panel, it is good enough for a device with this screen size. The automatic brightness feature works just fine. Meanwhile, multiple touch support is limited to two fingers, and based on our tests, a different character usually appears when we do speed typing, especially when two letters are pressed in fast succession.


SENSORS:

Ding Ding SK1 Review
Sensors

The Android Sensor Box and CPU-Z show that it has five sensors, namely accelerometer, proximity, light, orientation and magnetometer. However, only the first three are confirmed working on app testing and real world usage.


BENCHMARKS:

Ding Ding SK1 Review
Benchmarks

It has been quite a while now since we reviewed a dual core device, the last time we did it was with the Kata B1s way back January of this year. The algorithm of the benchmark applications might be different from those two periods, but still,  their scores are pretty close.


SOFTWARE:

Ding Ding SK1 Review
About Phone and Home Screen

The Ding Ding SK1 runs on Android 4.4.2 KitKat with some level of customization on top. The user interface has lots of similarities with that of the SKK Mobile V2, this is because the V2 is the same device as the SK3, the bigger sibling of the SK1. If you want to learn more about the UI, you can read our SKK Mobile V2 review.


CAMERA and VIDEO:

Ding Ding SK1 Review
Camera and Video Interface

The main camera has an 8MP sensor accompanied by an LED flash and can shoot videos up to FWVGA resolution in .3GP format. Meanwhile, the 2MP front facing camera also has an LED flash and can capture videos up to VGA resolution. The camera interface has a strong resemblance on the UI found on the LG G3. The camera and video shutter together with the thumbnail of the recent item are all placed at the bottom while the settings as well as the other options are located at the top portion.

Sample Shots:

Ding Ding SK1 Review
Day Shot
Ding Ding SK1 Review
100% Crop of the Above
Ding Ding SK1 Review
Day Shot without HDR
Ding Ding SK1 Review
Day Shot with HDR
Ding Ding SK1 Review
Night Shot

The back camera can shoot great images with lively and realistic colors, especially when there is good lighting. The amount of resolved details is great too, as you can see on the above photo, the 'NO PARKING' is still highly readable. The HDR mode also helps improve images when the background is too much bright or the subject is against the light. Meanwhile, on low-light photography, it starts to struggle a bit, the output is usually darker than the actual scenario.


GAMING:

Ding Ding SK1 Review
Despicable Me & Temple Run 2

It can handle casual games like Candy Crash and Criminal Case and similar games smoothly. On the other hand, Despicable Me and Temple Run 2 are also playable, however, when the character is already running too fast, there are times that the phone's reaction is slightly delayed. In addition, games and any other apps are not movable to SD card.


CONNECTIVITY:

Ding Ding SK1 Review
Connectivity

The Ding Ding SK1 supports dual SIM with dual 3G for high-speed data connection, which can be shared through hotspot or tethering. If you do not have a data plan, you can always rely on its WiFi. Other connectivity sets include Bluetooth, micro USB port and 3.5mm audio jack.


PRODUCTIVITY:

Ding Ding SK1 Review
Productivity

The productivity tools that are pre-installed are Calculator, Calendar, Clock, File Manager, Sound Recorder and To Do. In addition, Google Docs is also pre-loaded to handle document viewing and editing.


GPS:

Ding Ding SK1 Review
Location & GPS

With A-GPS data pre-loaded and location mode set to high-accuracy, the phone able to get a satellite lock in less than 20 seconds.


BATTERY STATS:

Ding Ding SK1 Review
Battery Stats

I used it for a few days as my secondary phone, it is fully charged in the morning and usually lasts for more than 8 hours with more than half of the battery life left after going back home. Meanwhile, during our video loop test, it managed to go beyond 4 hours before the battery got drained.


OTHERS:

Ding Ding SK1 Review
Pedometer, Xender & Guest Mode

Other features worth mentioning are the Pedometer, Xender and Guest Mode. The first one counts your steps, distance, steps per minute and distance per hour as well as the calories burned. The Xender is a phone-to-phone and phone-to-computer file transfer/sharing app. Meanwhile, Guest Mode allows you to have a separate home screen and visible apps, giving the privacy you need when someone borrow your phone.


CONCLUSION:

The Ding Ding SK1 is definitely the most compact 4.5-inch smartphone that we reviewed and when you compare it to other devices with the same screen size, there is no doubt that it will emerge as the smallest. It may be an entry level offering, but its main camera is way better than more expensive phones that we had before.


PROS:

Compact
Sturdy build quality
Above average camera performance

CONS:

Only 2-point touch
Cannot move apps to SD

Ding Ding SK1 Specifications:

  • Dual SIM (regular+micro), dual standby, supports 3G/HSPA
  • 4.5-inch FWVGA (854x480) capacitive touchscreen display
  • Android 4.4.2 KitKat
  • 1GHz dual core Cortex-A7 CPU, Mali-400 GPU, MediaTek MT6572 chipset
  • 512MB of RAM
  • 4GB internal storage, expandable up to 32GB via micro SD
  • 8MP auto focus main camera with dual LED flash,
  • 2MP secondary camera with LED flash
  • Notification light
  • Multimedia player
  • FM Radio
  • 3.5mm audio jack
  • GPS with A-GPS
  • WiFi 802.11 b/g/n
  • Micro USB 2.0
  • Bluetooth v4.0
  • Sensor: accelerometer, light, proximity
  • 1650mAh removable battery
  • Price: Php2,999
  • Freebies: Silicone case and screen protector

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