O+ has been consistent in producing high-quality mobile phones from the beginning and their new wave of android phones this 2013 looks really promising. The O+ 8.52 is their very first Jelly Bean out of the box handset and its best asset in its affordable price tag.
O+ 8.52 is a stylish device that aims to serve the first time android users with its decent specs and relatively good performance for a price this low. The nice build and gorgeous look might entice you upon your first encounter, but you will fall in love even more once you take it for a test drive. Do you want to know how good this android phone is? Read on our full review to find out.
What’s in the box?
As always, O+ gave us a complete package so that consumers can immediately enjoy their newly bought smartphone straight out of the box. The package include the unit, microUSB cable, charger, earphones, manuals, and Free 8GB microSD card. You can also check out our unboxing and first impressions post here.
The O+ 8.52 has the typical design carried by most affordable android phones today. The overall build is plasticky but that’s really not a problem as the back cover has a matte finish and the gorgeous silver lining on the side is quite nice to look at.
The front is dominated by the 4-inch WVGA IPS display with the capacitive buttons down below. There are three of them namely; Menu, Home, and Back button. At the button of the back button is the mic which resides on the edge of the rounded corner of the phone. The front-facing camera and proximity sensor are located right beside the speaker on top.
At the back, we can find the 5-megapixel autofocus main camera with LED flash. The O Plus branding is a few mm below and the speaker is oddly located beside it. The Designed for O+ in the USA tagline is still on its usual space on the bottom. As you can see, there is a design element borrowed from an HTC android phone. The small curve on the top left side is an extension of the silver chrome lining on the sides. The back is made up of matte plastic so it’s not a fingerprint magnet but wiping it off regularly should also help maintain its good quality.
Smartphones are growing bigger than ever and while most people enjoy having large screens, there are still some who prefer an average sized handset. The 4-inch display makes it easy for users to migrate to android without worrying to much about the size.
The WVGA resolution on a relatively small 4-incher is still quite good considering it still has around 233 ppi which is clear enough for a phone. The text and images are crisp so browsing our favorites sites are pleasing. There is also an IPS panel so you don’t get limited on your viewing angles, though you’ll just use it straight on your face most of the time. Viewing the display on direct sunlight is also sufficient enough as the improved brightness tops the problems tossed by the sun.
The contrast and color reproduction is great and it’s noticeably better than the O+ 8.6. We have to admit that it may not be the best, but the performance is ample for a device of its caliber. The resolution though mediocre at best is the one of the standard that you’ll get for a Php6k smartphone.
Performance and OS
The O+ 8.52 is powered by the MT6577 1GHz dual-core processor which I’m sure most of you know already as it’s commonly used by other brands as well. It is paired with a mediocre 512MB of RAM. That will eventually lead you to the conclusion that this is not a good android phone to run Jelly Bean as it’s somehow limited on the memory side.
I initially thought about that idea too but I was actually relieved when I checked the settings. Surprisingly, it has well over 200MB of RAM available for the user to utilize. That means that you won’t be so limited in using apps, games, and widgets.
The speed improvement due to Jelly Bean’s project butter is also noticeable when compared to other phones of the same set of specs running Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich. Switching in between apps are smooth and launch time is well above average as it loads immediately without any lag. I also noted that it’s somehow faster than the O Plus 8.6 in opening some apps but that’s just a few milliseconds so no biggie. One small gripe that I have about this phone is it’s quite slow in waking up when pressing the wake-up button on the right side. It takes about half a second to respond.
Most of the apps that I’m using are smooth and I haven’t really encountered lags or anything. Navigating on the UI and everything else are also fine and you won’t have a hard time dealing with unresponsiveness as it’s completely gone. We can attribute this smoothness to the average WVGA resolution as anything higher than this makes the performance of the MT6577 and PowerVR SGX531 GPU duo stutter in certain cases.
I was okay for using the 8.52 as a basic phone and calls went smoothly, sparing me from low volume headache. There is just one small problem I encountered and it’s applicable to myself alone. Because I’m more comfortable typing in larger screens (4.5” and 5”), I was annoyed by how often I commit a mistake. I repeat, this is my own personal problem but in case you’re coming from a bigger phone too, then you might feel the same way.
Most games run okay as the MT6577 processor and PowerVR SGX531 is still a good companion when it comes to gaming. Casual games have no problem but there are some lags on high-end and graphics extensive games.
Temple Run 2 and Temple Run Oz were the first two I tried and as expected the experience was smooth. Other popular games like 4 Pics 1 Word, Candy Crush Saga, and Hill Climb Racing are all working nicely. Meanwhile, top games like Dead Trigger suffers from seldom several frame skips though it’s very playable as its mostly smooth. Playing NBA 2k13 is also possible but I’m not really into that considering a screen this small. For multiplayer games, I have tried Guerilla Bob.
With its small 4-inch screen it’s really not a gaming machine for me as it doesn’t have much ample space for graphics extensive games but if you’re just an occasional gamer who wants to kill some time, then the O Plus 8.52 is a sure gaming companion for you.
Multimedia / Internet Connectivity
For people who enjoy watching videos and listening to their favorite music on the go, the O+ 8.52 is a very good media player. It supports several video formats and it can easily be expanded by using a free app in the Google Play called as the MX Player. You can play HD videos smoothly and I haven’t tried playing 1080p movies yet but I’m positive that it will work. Besides, who needs a full HD movie on this size?
As a music player, it works great and together with the good looking earphone that’s bundled in the package. The volume is okay and the included music player is the android stock. In case you’re too tired (read: lazy) to click it to jump to the next song, you can use the Air Shuffle. By swiping a few mm above the screen, you can switch songs without a sweat – and at the same time it looks cool.
When it comes to connectivity features, the O+ 8.52 also has all the standards that you might need. It has 3G connectivity in case there’s no Wi-Fi hotspot near you and sharing files can be done through Bluetooth and the microUSB cable. The Wi-Fi locks in fast enough and it can still capture signal even if there’s a brick wall standing between you and the router.
The camera of O+ 8.52 isn’t its best asset, but its still stellar for its level. It has autofocus and a LED flash to go along with it so taking photos at night and low-light conditions won’t be troublesome.
The autofocus is fast to detect your subject and the shutter is considerably fast but succeeding shots tend to slow it. But the good thing is a burst shot mode is available so you can take several photos in just a couple of seconds. In good lighting conditions, the photos are pretty sharp and well detailed but there are times that it appears to be blurry when it’s not positioned properly. Macro shot works well too but be sure to shoot at an appropriate distance.
The VGA front facing camera is just standard in terms of clarity as we’ve seen this on other O+ android phones as well, specifically the 8.12. It’s not something that you would prefer over the main camera but it’ll suffice for some video chatting that you might need. Check out the camera samples below.
When it comes to video recording, the 8.52 is a good enough shooter as it can give you HD videos as well. Other similar handsets only support VGA video recording so this feature is a huge bonus.
Overall I would say that the camera is nowhere near spectacular in any way but it’s quite good for its price. The photos taken are clear provided that you don’t have a shaky hand when shooting.
The internal storage has been upgraded to around 757MB from the typical 500MB of app storage. O Plus is also generous enough to let users move apps to their memory card in case you run out of space. In contrast, other manufacturers limit it to be stored only in the internal and phone storage. The handset comes with 4GB of memory and 2.5GB is user-usable.
For people who are looking to buy the 8.52, one problem that they would encounter every once in a while is its lack of enough power to supply you with your multimedia and gaming needs. With its small 1450mAh battery, it does give you ample juice for basic use, but when it comes to gaming and internet surfing, the battery give up fairly quick.
When used as a regular phone, the phone easily lasted me two full days while a moderate-heavy usage bagged one work day. O+ did recognized the problem that’s why they put a built-in battery saver which limits the CPU so that it will prolong the battery life.
I was a bit surprised on the battery life performance as I expected it to be really bad because of its low 1450mAh capacity. But using it as a phone didn’t quite give me a terrible experience as it takes me approximately a whole day before I reach for the charger.
Air Shuffle Technology
I already explained how this feature work on our O+ 8.12 review so I guess I’ll just point you to the right direction, alright? Here it is posted below.
The O Plus 8.52 soared in benchmark tests with a 7,011 on AnTuTu benchmarks, topping the O+ 8.12 in the score cards. The test on Quadrant Standard resulted to 2,845 which is respectable in its regard. In Nenamark V2, it scored fairly well averaging 27.5fps. Just like before, don’t rely on benchmarks alone as some doesn’t necessarily reflect real world performance but it’s still a good basis in case you don’t have the chance to try a phone out.
The O+ 8.52 is beautiful and fast for the price it’s asking for that’s why I don’t see any reason to not love it the way it is. There are cheaper alternatives that’s for sure but the O+ 8.52 is definitely ahead in terms of quality and after sales support.
O+ 8.52 Specs
- Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean
- 4-inch WVGA (480×800) IPS Display
- MT6577 1GHz dual-core processor
- PowerVR SGX 531
- 512MB RAM
- 4GB internal memory
- 5-megapixel autofocus rear camera with LED flash
- 720p HD video recording
- VGA front camera
- 3G, HSDPA, HSUPA
- Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi hotspot
- microUSB v2.0
- GPS, A-GPS
- Dual SIM, Dual-Standby
- Air Shuffle
- 1450mAh Li-Ion battery
The simple yet attractive design looks very enticing and once you try out you’ll be in love even further. Its main purpose is not to compete with its bigger brothers as O+ has several android phones on different price range that’s why it only has fairly modest specs – which isn’t half bad at all considering that it could run almost all apps and games that you would throw at it.
With the help of Jelly Bean, the leap in performance against similarly specced android phones are very noticeable. You can do all you want but don’t stress it too much or you’ll drain your battery fast.
O+ 8.52 is now available nationwide on all O Plus stores and retailers for only Php5,995.