Monday, April 18, 2016

Kata i3L Review, Long Live LTE

Kata i3L Review, Long Live LTE
Kata i3L Review, Long Live LTE

Kata has been one of the fastest growing brands in the country, it may not be that obvious, but their presence is being felt nationwide as they continuously open concept stores and kiosks not to mention their big Facebook fan base, which is now about 2.4 million. And, it is not hard to see why, aside from having a great branding, they also have nice devices that fit well to the taste of the Filipino masses, one of which is the Kata i3L.

CPU-Z Information
CPU-Z Information

The Kata i3L or i3 LTE is their second smartphone with 4G connectivity next to the Kata M2L, it was launched earlier this year and still one of their hottest products in terms of sales output. It sports a 5-inch display powered by 1.3GHz quad core processor coupled with 1GB of RAM and 16GB of expandable storage. However, looking at the CPU-Z information above, the frequency is up to 1GHz only, we are still going to confirm with Kata officials the reasons behind this and update this post once confirmed.


UNBOXING:

Kata i3L Unboxing and Hands-on

The i3L is one of the best looking phones from Kata, it has a metal-like frame and has the several curves placed in the right positions, in short, it is sexy! However, we just hoped the lower bezel to be a little smaller, especially that it does not have capacitive keys.


DISPLAY:

Display
Display

The screen is 5-inch, has HD resolution IPS technology and supports multiple touches up to five fingers. In a real scenario, the display is bright enough, packs a nice contrast, has good viewing angles and pretty much OK under direct sunlight.


SENSORS:

Sensors
Sensors

Like the Kata M2L, it is also equipped with the basic electronic sensors, namely ambient light for adaptive brightness, proximity that automatically turns off the screen while on a call and accelerometer for auto-rotate function.

See Also: Kata M2L Review: More 2 Love


BENCHMARKS:

Benchmark Scores
Benchmark Scores

Powering the Kata i3L on the inside is a MediaTek MT6735P 64-bit quad core processor, for the particular unit that I have, the frequency of each four Cortex-A53 CPU cores is only 1GHz while the GPU is still the ARM Mali-T720. Surprisingly, its benchmark scores are pretty much close, and some are even higher, to that of the M2L that we reviewed before that has 1.3GHz, most probably because of the smaller screen of the i3L. These scores are 19,855 in Antutu 5.6, more than 24K in Antutu 6.1, 2510 in PC Mark, 9302 in Quadrant, 45.1fps in NenaMark2, 1224, 693 and 1862 in Vellamo Multicore, Metal and Browser respectively.


SOFTWARE:

Software and Interface
Software and Interface

The operating system is Android 5.1 Lollipop and has slightly customized UI identical to other Kata devices running on the same OS. This particular interface has no app drawer, which simply means all apps are placed in the home screen with the option to stack two or more together to form a folder. It also has the popular Kata TV Folder, which contains applications related to multimedia consumption, especially those not readily available locally with the help of Mega VPN such as Netflix, FOX NOW, History and more.


CAMERA and VIDEO:

Camera UI
Camera UI

The phone's camera UI is the stock Android interface, simple and easy to use, especially if you have been an Android user before. And, if in any case you do not like it, just download a third-party app that suits your taste.

Sample Photos:

Day Shot without HDR
Day Shot without HDR
Day Shot with HDR
Day Shot with HDR
Afternoon Shot without HDR
Afternoon Shot without HDR
Afternoon Shot with HDR
Afternoon Shot with HDR
Night Shot without Flash
Night Shot without Flash
Night Shot with Flash
Night Shot with Flash
Close-up
Close-up

The main camera is capable of capturing photos with up to 13MP resolutions and accompanied by a single LED flash. In general, it is able to produce images with an overall good rating, especially in daytime or when there is ample lighting. However, in night time or when the lighting condition is less favorable, users must take extra steps - point the camera away from the subject and point it back again for the software to process the correct white balance and exposure.

Sample Videos:

Sample Video - 720p

Sample Video - VGA

While most of the competitions at this price point can capture 1080p, the back camera of the i3L can only record videos with 720p resolution when the quality is set to 'fine' and VGA when set to 'high'.


GAMING:

Asphalt 8
Asphalt 8
Clash of Clans
Clash of Clans

Under the hood of the Kata i3L is a 64-bit MediaTek processor coupled with 1GB of RAM, as expected its gaming performance is similar, if not the same with its M2L sibling. Typically, it can handle casual and lite to mid graphics-intensive games perfectly smooth, while those highly interactive or resources-hungry titles are playable with slight delay or minor lags.

Also Read: Kata T4 Review, Entertainment Hormone


CONNECTIVITY:

The i3L supports dual SIM card with 4G/LTE connectivity, which is the quite obvious reason it was named as such. Apart from this, the basics are covered - WiFi, Bluetooth, CTIA-compliant 3.5mm audio jack and a micro USB port with OTG function.


GPS:

Location and GPS
Location and GPS

The phone has GPS with A-GPS, it managed to get satellite lock in under two minutes from cold start while when data is pre-loaded, it is much faster at about 5-10 seconds when A-GPS data is in. In real world application, it is quite accurate when used in location-based applications like Uber and Google Maps.


BATTERY STATS:

Battery Stats
Battery Stats

It has a 2100mAh removable battery, which in today's standard can be considered by some people as small. But our PC Mark Work Battery Life Test proves the opposite, as it scored more than 8 hours. As our tertiary device or backup phone that mostly on standby, it lasts for about a week in just a single charge.


CONCLUSION:

The Kata i3L is reasonably a well-built device made specifically for budget-conscious consumers, an affordable Android smartphone that offers more than just the basics. Its quad core processor is capable enough for a smooth user-experience, its screen is vibrant and crisp for watching videos and consuming similar media, its cameras offer great images and its pre-loaded applications give the users contents from beyond the regions.

PROS:

Bright and stunning display
Impressive overall camera performance
Above average battery life

CONS:

No 1080p video recording

Kata i3L Specifications:

  • GSM: 850/900/1800/1900MHz
  • 3G/WCDMA: 900/2100MHz
  • LTE: 900/1800/2100/2600MHz
  • Dual SIM, dual standby
  • 5-inch IPS capacitive HD (1280x720) touchscreen display
  • Dimensions: 143mm x 70.51mm x 7.8mm
  • Android 5.1 Lollipop
  • 1.3GHz 64-bit quad core Cortex-A53 CPU, Mali-T720MP2 GPU, MediaTek MT6735P chipset
  • 1GB of RAM
  • 8GB internal storage, expandable up to 64GB via micro SD
  • 13MP auto focus main camera with LED flash, 720p video recording
  • 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 function
  • Bluetooth v4.0
  • Sensor: accelerometer, light, proximity
  • Battery: 2100mAh Lithium-Ion, removable
  • Price: Php5,595 (regular) Php4,999 (sale)

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