Kata i2 Review: Better Than Before

Anjie lou delos Reyes
Kata i2


The Kata i2 is the second generation smartphone from the Hong Kong based company. If we will compare it to the Kata i1 we can safely say that it is a huge improvement over its predecessor. The processor is now quad-core not to mention its 16GB of storage is the biggest that Kata Digital put on their device.

Kata Digital is a self-proclaimed Original Design Manufacturer, however one of our readers gave us a tip that the i2 is a re-branded BQ Aquaris 5. After checking the web, I found out that the two phones are indeed the same in design and specifications.

Whether ODM or not, the Kata i2 will face a tough competition in the local market. Does it have what it takes to emerge victorious?

Key Specs:

  • Dual SIM , Dual Standby
  • Quad Band GSM/GPRS/EDGE, Dual Band HSPA+
  • 5" capacitive qHD (960x540) touchscreen display, 5-point multi-touch
  • Dimensions: 143.3mmx71.8mmx9.4mm
  • Weight: 150g
  • Android Jelly Bean 4.2.1
  • 1.2GHz Cortex-A7 Quad Core CPU, PowerVR SGX544MP GPU MediaTek MT6589 chipset
  • 1GB of RAM
  • 16GB internal, expandable up to 32GB via microSD
  • 8MP auto focus main camera with LED Flash
  • 2MP secondary camera
  • GPS with A-GPS and EPO assistance
  • WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, WiFi Direct, WiFi Hotspot
  • 3.5 Audio Jack
  • Stereo FM Radio
  • MP3/MP4 Player
  • Micro USB 2.0
  • Bluetooth v2.1
  • Sensors: Accelerometer, Light, Proximity and Sound
  • 2200mAh removable battery
  • Fish Market and Fish Tune

Main Disadvantages:

  • No OTG support
  • No scratch-resistant glass

For UNBOXING please kindly click HERE:



Upon first boot, a welcome screen is what you will see asking you what language you want to use. After that it will ask you to connect to a WiFi network, if you do it present you with the screen below.

Google Set-up

The Google Account you will use in this setup will be the same on all Google apps in your device. If you purchased apps in the Play Store before you can re-install them again for FREE as long as the account is the same.


The i2 uses a stock Android interface, the homescreen consists of 5 pages and there is no way to increase or reduce them. At the lower part of the home screen there are 5 shortcuts by default, the middle always opens the app drawer while the remaining 4 are changeable.


There are several screen lock to choose from but the default is by slide (you slide in any direction to unlock the device). If you have any notification like an SMS or a missed call you can drag it towards the circle to go there directly.

Notification and quick settings

To access the notification area you need to swipe one finger down the screen while the quick toggle settings can be accessed using 2-finger swipe. The top most notification has an added option, for example you can call back or send a message on a missed call.

Default Apps
Default Widgets

The apps are arranged in four rows by five columns while the widgets have 2x3 layout. The Play Store icon is always available in the upper right corner. Among the default apps, only the Adobe Reader, Adobe Flash and MX Player can be uninstalled without the need for root access.


Dual SIM Settings

The Kata i2 can have two SIM cards at the same time, if you need to configure it just go to Settings>SIM Management. You can turn on/off each SIM and change the settings for Voice call, Video call, Messaging and Data connection.


Dial pad and Speed dial

The dial pad accepts name input, in the above example when you press 26682 it will look for a match in your phonebook and display it accordingly. There is also speed dialing, there are 9 slots but you can only set 8 numbers since the number 1 is always for voicemail.

Outgoing and Incoming calls

The incoming calls will display the photo of the person calling you if it is stored in your contact. Sadly the only option is to cancel or accept the call, there is No option to cancel a call with an SMS. During a call you have the option to put it on loudspeaker, mute the microphone, hold the call, add a person to the call and record the call.

The call quality is good, you can hear the person on the other line loud and crisp. The screen turns off automatically when you place it near your ear, thanks to the proximity sensor.

Call Logs

Under telephony you can find the call logs, it is a database of all the calls that happened it and out of your phone. You can opt to display information in each SIM or both, you can also filter the calls by received, outgoing and missed. When you select a certain log, more details and options will be available.



Like any other Android device, it can contain virtually unlimited contacts. You can choose which contact to display and when you are going to create a new one it will ask you where you want it to be saved.


You can also create groups, it is a collection of contacts under a certain label for easy identification. Groups can be created under phone or online accounts like Google.



The messages will be displayed according to the latest time stamp, the number that you see on the upper right corner corresponds to the number of unread message/s. You can delete each thread selectively or all of them at once. You can also create a shortcut of a specific message thread to your homescreen.

Creating a new message can be done by selecting the icon on the lower left corner.

New Message

You can add recipient to your message using name or number input or selecting the icon across it. The SMS and MMS share the same editor, when you attach anything (by selecting the cross inside a green circle) to an SMS it will be converted to MMS.

Message Conversation

Under a certain conversation, messages are presented in a chat-like format, blue bubble for you and gray for the other person. The space for your message starts with one line and grows up to five lines. Chat wallpaper and notification settings are available when you select menu>chat settings.



The Gmail app automatically syncs with the account you use in the start-up, if you need to add additional account just go to the Gmail settings. The Gmail app only accepts picture or video by default, so if you want to attach other files like .pdf you need to go to the file manager, locate that file and share it via Gmail.

Generic Email

There is also a Generic Email app to handle POP, IMAP or EXCHANGE email, it can handle multiple account and setting it up is quite easy, just enter your username and password and hit next and you are good to go (this is only applicable if your email settings are available online, otherwise you need to manually configure them).




The gallery is the place where you can find both pictures and videos stored in your device. You can sort them by Albums, Locations or Time.

Photo and Video Options

The photos and videos can be shared locally or online. You can view the pictures thru a slideshow, crop or edit them.

Photo Editor

The photo editor can be accessed when you select edit in a particular picture or select the 3 overlapping circles. It gives you the option to add custom frames, effects, adjust exposure and much more.

Video Trim

There is also editing option for your videos called trim, here you can select any two points of a video and save it as a new video file.

Video Player:

Video Player

The Video Player will list all known video files, those that are playable will have a thumbnail displayed. The Kata i2 has also MX Player pre-installed so if you will select a movie or clip it will ask you which player it will be.

Video Player

The stock video player can play all the files I threw at it, .avi, .flv, .3gp, .mp4 and .mkv. All files with 720p resolution and below are OK, 1080p is no good though.

MX Player

The MX Player gives you more important options like displaying the subtitle. You can also decode the video using Hardware or Software.

1080p S/W Mode

As mentioned above 1080p cannot be played using the stock player but you can play it using the MX Player as long as you are using S/W decoder.

Music Player:

Music Player

The music player displays all songs on your device whether it is in the internal or external storage. If a certain song has an album art, it will be displayed accordingly when played. A mini player will be available in the notification area when when a music is playing and you minimize it.


The music player has an equalizer (turned off by default), you can access it under sound effects.

FM Radio:

FM Radio

The FM Radio needs a wired headset to work, channels can be set manually or let the app scan them automatically. The broadcast can be played thru the headset or via the loudspeaker, recording it is also available.



Camera Interface

The camera and video share the same interface, at the left you will see the camera modes. At the upper right is the thumbnail of the last photo/video taken, below it is the camera and video shutters.

Camera Settings

The main camera is capable of shooting 8MP pictures and 720p videos. It also supports taking photos (2.5MP) while video recording.

In video mode, clips are saved in .3gp format. The video quality High and Fine are both 720p @ 30fps but with different codecs as shown below. It also zooms first on the subject before starting to record.

Fine Quality

Audio: Codec -  mp4a: MPEG-4 AAC LC, 24000Hz  96 kb/s tot , stereo (2/0)
Video: Codec - mp4v MPEG-4 Video

High Quality

Audio: Codec - mp4a: MPEG-4 AAC LC, 16000Hz  96 kb/s tot , stereo (2/0)
Video: Codec - avc1 H.264/MPEG-4 AVC

Sample Shots:

Behind the glass
4x Zoom
4x Zoom_1
Night with Flash
Night without Flash
Shot before video capture
Shot while recording video
Kata i2 Sample Video -720p Fine Quality

The overall camera performance is a mixed bag, sometimes even you have good lighting conditions the pictures are still a bit shady or dark. So I would recommend you to take several shots in order to get the best possible photo. For video recording, I would recommend to set the video quality to high to save storage.



The Kata i2 browser is a stock Android app, it supports up to 16 tabs and has incognito mode. The i2 has pre-installed flash player so viewing pages with flash content is no problem. Due to the low pixel density, it is still hard to view the website in desktop mode so mobile mode is still recommended.


Candy Crush Saga
Zombie Tsunami
Subway Surfers
Temple Run 2

I installed some of the top free games in the Play Store like Pou, Candy Crush Saga, Zombie Tsunami, Subway Surfers and Temple Run 2 and all of them works without any issue.

Pants vs Zombies 2
Dead Trigger
Dungeon Hunter 4
Asphalt 7

Graphics-intensive games like Asphalt 7, Dungeon Hunter 4 and Dead Trigger are all playable without hiccups or problem.


The i2 has 16GB of storage but only 13.76 Gigabytes are available to the users and it is subdivided in two parts 3.94GB for internal storage and 9.82 for phone storage. The apps and games can only be stored either on those two locations you cannot move them to external storage.


Dual 3G

The Kata i2 supports dual 3G, this means you can set either SIM for high speed mobile data connection. This is useful when you are using two SIM cards from different networks, in this manner you can switch the data connection to the SIM which has 3G signal.


It supports 802.11 b/g/n which means it can detect different wireless channels. The signal reception is OK although it is weaker when compared to other device like SKK Mobile Chrome.


Even though you will still the label external USB storage under Settings>Storage, the i2 does NOT support OTG. The 3.5mm audio jack and Bluetooth completes the connectivity list.


KingSoft Office
File Manager
Sound Recorder
To Do
Adobe Reader

The productivity tools are standard Android applications such as Calendar, Sound Recorder, To Do, Clock, File Manager and Calculator with the addition of KingSoft Office and Adobe Reader.


Location Access and GPS Satellites
Google Map, Local and Navigaton

The i2 has GPS with A-GPS and EPO assistance, I used Google Navigation to test it and I got a satellite lock in just under 2 minutes.


Fish Market
Fish Tune

The Fish Market is the Kata's own app store while the Fish Tune is an application to sync your music, photos or videos into multiple devices.


Battery Stats

I left the Kata i2 open for more than 12 days and there is still about 13% battery left. I played Asphalt 7 for one hour and the battery dropped from 100% to 76%. In normal use, it will last for more than one day.


The Kata i2 is indeed a better device than its predecessor and with the price tag of just Php7,699 it is a worthy upgrade coming from the Kata i1 or any other dual core smartphone. Performance wise, there is almost nothing at all to complain about (except for the Camera). It can play HD videos, play graphics-intensive games and much more.

Hardware wise, this is the department where the i2 is inferior to competitors. To begin with, it only has qHD resolution whereas others have HD or even full HD. The screen is not scratch-resistant wherein most high-end or even mid-range devices have either Corning Gorilla or Asahi Dragon Trail glass protection. But with its price I believe it is just fair.

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