Carved from glass and made to impress, O+ Imagine promises features that are commonly found in flagship phones of bigger brands such as Samsung and Sony. As a “limited” release flagship device with more than PhP15k introductory price, I naturally set my expectations very high. Did Imagine satisfy me? Or did it just let me imagine and hope for a better phone? Here is my review of O+ Imagine.
Imagine is totally a looker. It’s like a crossbred of Sony Xperia Z and the iPhone 4s. Its all-glass design definitely makes it one of the best looking phones with a MediaTek processor. O+ claimed that both sides (front and back) are scratch resistant, but definitely not shatter resistant. In case you’re worried about availability of cases, O+ managed to snug in one, which protects phone’s back panel and sides.
The usual capacitive button icons are replaced with a light bar, which doubles as a breathing light notification bar. Sexy! Wait, there’s more – you can even use it to sleep/wake up the phone and quick launch your preferred apps!
Its side bezels is made of anodized aluminum, the same material you can find on the iPhone 5 and 5s. It does not get easily scratched, which is a good thing.
It’s 5″ full HD screen is big enough for content consumption. I did not experience any problems playing 1080p videos using its stock video player. I even successfully played a 1080 recorded video I copied from my Galaxy Note 3. Color saturation and contrast are well balanced and videos are viewable even at extreme angles. It’s an IPS display almost behaving like an AMOLED.
This phone is packed with a 1.5GHz quad-core MediaTek MT6589T processor. This turbo version of MT6589 is best in its class. This is responsible for the proper decoding, encoding and rendering of full HD 1080p resolution contents I mentioned earlier. By the way, this processor is the same thing you can find on Gionee E6 and THL W8S, two of the most sought after phones today.
Did I experience any lags? Yes, but not too often as I expected. (I encourage you to experience this yourself at O+ stores just to validate.) Navigating through its uncomplicated launcher is very snappy and opening apps are almost instantaneous. Opening multiple apps is almost problem-free too. Thanks to its 2GB RAM. There was a time though that I had to manually close a game (MC4) running in the background just to optimize the performance of a game I was playing (Asphalt 8).
Imagine is NOT for extensive gaming. I managed to play Modern Combat 4 quite decently but I often had response time problems. The said game was very playable though, but FPS fans might have a bittersweet experience with it. This gaming performance is of course expected for an SoC with a medium-end GPU (PowerVR SGX 544MP GPU with 357 MHz highest frequency). Check out my gaming demo below.
The included exclusive Sennheiser earphones is more like a “solution” rather than a bonus as the phone’s speakers sound quality is just a notch higher from ‘poor’. (The actual speakers is placed just below the “Designed for O+ in the USA” marking.) It’s okay for handsfree calls, but definitely not best for media consumption.
The performance of Imagine’s 13mp BSI camera is acceptable. As usual, it performs better and focuses much faster on well-lighted subjects. Colors are 80% accurate in my books, but sharpness is unfortunately fell short to satisfy me. Occasionally, the camera had a hard time focusing on subjects even if I accurately tapped focus points.
Its 5mp BSI front facing camera performs just right as I expected it. It is fast and indeed sucks enough light even at extreme lighting conditions. Such is suitable enough for night selfies (yeah, who would want to do that) and video conferencing using Skype or Google Hangouts.
Check out sample photos below.
Having an all-glass unibody design has a trade-off. Other than losing storage expandability, O+ Imagine is a single-SIM device. If you own a regular-sized sim, you will have to cut it off to fit its micro-sim tray. The familiar-looking sim tray can be opened using the included ejector (very iPhone-y, right?).
The earpiece located just above the front sensors can easily be missed though. It actually took me a little while for me to place it right in front of my ear. The call recording function, which can be found on O+ Imagine and O+ 8.16 are absent in Imagine’s software. But I like that O+ retained the note function (while on call), which can easily be accessed by simply sliding the note tab from left to right.
Internet connectivity may be established thru Wi-Fi (b/g/n) or HSDPA or HSPA+. I never experienced any internet connectivity problems during my tests except that the latter connection makes the phone uncomfortably hot.
2,000 mAh battery is not a perfect fit for a full HD phone with a quad core processor. In my experience, I managed to use the device for less than a day at moderate to heavy usage. It would have been a lot better if this had a 2,500 mAh battery. My suggestion if you’re going to buy this phone? Get yourself a power bank. Get the one from Kingmax.
Most of the features of O+ Imagine deserve a round of applause. From design to performance, Imagine is a commendable device and worthy of the “flagship” title. While almost everything about it is satisfactory, its introductory price of PhP16,995 is an issue (Regular Price: PhP18,995). Price has always been a comparative factor, and I believe that this is something that O+ USA should really take a look at.
- Android 4.2.1 Jelly Bean
- Custom-skinned UI (Primary color: White; Secondary Accent: Red)
- 5-inch IPS LCD with Full HD resolution (441 ppi)
- 1.5GHz quad-core MediaTek MT6589T processor
- PowerVR SGX 544MP GPU
- 2GB RAM
- 32GB internal storage (not expandable)
- 13-megapixel main camera (AF with LED Flash)
- 5-megapixel front camera
- Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi hotspot
- 3G, HSDPA, HSPA+
- Bluetooth 3.0
- GPS, A-GPS
- Dimensions: 142.7 x 67.6 x 7.8mm
- Weight: 134g
- Li-Po 2000mAh battery
Giancarlo Viterbo is a Filipino Technology Journalist, blogger and Editor of gadgetpilipinas.net, He is also a Geek, Dad and a Husband. He knows a lot about washing the dishes, doing some errands and following instructions from his boss on his day job. Follow him on twitter: @gianviterbo and @gadgetpilipinas.