Launched in December 2013, O+ Fab Elite was made and marketed for those who particularly wanted an all-in-one device. Its size and overwhelming potential got me excited and attracted the moment I received it from O+ USA. But, did it satisfy and consistently wow me? Let me take you through my 1-month-long test and review of the O+ Fab Elite.
It was December 12 when I got the O+ Fab Elite. Just like the O+ Imagine, its retail box includes an O+ exclusive Senheisser earphone – a good bonus indeed especially if you’re an audiophile. That did not excite me though as I was very attuned on the phone’s 6.5-inch display. Yes, it is big, and people who are not into phones with big screens will shy away from O+ Fab Elite. That did not stop me though as I was really looking for something that I can use to stream Twitch, watch movies, play games and navigate using Waze (in that order).
It Looks Familiar, But Feels Different
O+ Fab Elite shares a lot of its physical features with Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3. It isn’t exactly a knockoff design as some of its details are unique especially its ridged back panel and less-tapered side bezels. I thought that it would have looked a lot better if O+ made its side bezels a little but tapered for it to be easier to hold.
As you can see above, the microUSB port and microphone are placed at the bottom part of the phone. The 3.5mm headphone jack is located on top. I confirm that the headphone jack can take both 2-ring or 3-ring 3.5mm jacks. The sleep/wake button is placed on the right side, while the volume rockers can be seen at its left side.
Going by its size, Fab Elite is not pocket friendly. I personally love its slim and sleek form though. Its ridged back panel, interestingly, does not ruin its premium build. To top it all off, the included windowed flip cover put its “design-likability” a notch higher! And yes, it works pretty well too!
Big Screen, a blessing and a curse on Fab Elite?
Its 6.5-inch Full HD screen’s quality is one of the best screens I’ve seen. It has great viewing angles and insane pixel density. As a matter of fact, this phone’s screen can rival the quality of Galaxy Mega 6.3. Check out macro-shots of this phone’s screen for reference.
I find the screen a bit irresponsive though. This is either brought about by the inability of the phone’s processor (MT6589T) to maximize its full potential on full HD screens like Fab Elite; or just an Android UI problem. If it is the latter, then that can easily be remedied by a fix thru a software update. I just really hope though that the unit I received is just defective. I highly recommend that you test its responsiveness before getting a unit.
Nevertheless, its screen is obviously more than a blessing than a curse.
Can you play your favorite resources-hungry games and apps on O+ Fab Elite?
The phone should be technically fast because of its MT6589T processor and 2gb RAM. It is quite disappointing though that its Android UI is glaringly irresponsive. I found myself tapping the screen several times just to open applications, which I find utterly upsetting.
Performance-wise though, O+ Fab Elite’s mid-range specs pack a lot of punch that is why resources-hungry apps and games are playable. Real Boxing, for one, is playable but noticeably lags on Fab Elite. My favorite Gameloft racing games like Asphalt 8 and GT Racing 2 are playable too but suffer frame rate drops.
If you’re interested to know its benchmark number, O+ Fab Elite scored 15,327 on Antutu.
In terms of movie playback, my full HD copy of Man of Steel played on the phone’s default video player without any problems. Movie playback is one of the features that Fab Elite excels. Movie buffs and coach potatoes will definitely enjoy on the phone’s unconventionally big screen. I, for one, enjoyed streaming my favorite channels on Twitch on this phone!
How is its camera?
In terms of camera, the phone has a 13mp BSI (with AF) rear facing and a 5mp BSI front facing camera. Judging from the sample photos I took, I doubt that there’s software interpolation involved. Photos I took look good on the phone and even on my computer. The colors however are sometimes inaccurate and less saturated.
Here are sample photos:
Battery and Other Notable Features
Fab Elite’s battery is definitely one of its crowning glories. Its 3,000 mAh battery managed to put the phone up and about for more than 12 hours at heavy usage: Wifi-on for 12 hours, 3 hours of streaming Twitch channels (Wifi), 3G-on for 2 hours, occasional texting and receiving calls.
The included flip cover works like a charm too. It’s a nice feature to have, which allows me to peek on new notifications thry its window. This makes the phone energy-efficient too! I would have liked better though had O+ put a locking mechanism so that the cover won’t easily slide and fully activate the screen.
In my experience, the device seemed to serve that purpose of a tablet rather than a phone. I used it more to watch movies than use it to call or send SMS. Its dual SIM function is useful especially if you don’t want to bring 2 phones.
O+ Fab Elite is packed with nice-to-have and notable features. Big screen, good camera, free Senheisser earphones and great battery life. At PhP18,990 though, it is isn’t something that I’d be so excited to buy. There are plenty of choices like O+ Imagine and Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3.
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.