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Sleek, thin and fast. O+ Air is endowed with lots of surprising features and knacks, but does it deserve to be your primary phone? Be sure to check out this consumer review to help you decide.

Check out our unboxing and first impressions on this post we posted last June 2014.

More than a month when it was launched, I’ve had a fair share of experience to play this device and to push it to its limit. Benchmarks were done, and dozens of games were played to really test it out to the fullest. But before touching on its performance, let me first tell you how it feels to hold and to use this device.

As mentioned in my unboxing last month, holding and trying to skirt my fingers on the device is a satisfying experience. It feels really solid and its ultra slim design is a reminiscent of Alcatel OneTouch Idol Ultra. Its matte back panel feels great, but a bit slippery especially if you’ve got sweaty hands. It never slipped my hands though since I’ve got big hands. So, if you’ve got tiny and slippery hands, the odds of dropping is a bit higher. Use two hands if that’s the case.

Just in case you wish to know a bit of technical specifications, the device is powered by a 1.7Ghz Octa-Core Mediatek 6592 processor and 1GB RAM. To be honest, the device’s most celebrated feature – its supposed ultra-fast octa-core processor – isn’t disappointment proof. It’s fast, but there are times that it failed to meet my expectations on an octa-core device. It is fast, but most of the time, consistency is key to win power users like me.

For benchmark fanatics, here are screenshots of Nenamark, Quadrant and Antutu results.

Games I played include the resource-demanding Modern Combat 4, Real Racing 3 and Rival Knights. All games are highly playable on the device with occasional and bearable performance hiccups. The device heats up very easily, and this may bring a bit of discomfort to gamers. Pairing it to a Moga Pro controller is one of the best remedies to this, but it’s gonna cost you 3,000 to 4,000 pesos. Nevertheless, if you’re after playing games using this device, you might as well invest on future-proof peripherals such as Moga Pro, Chromecast and Bluetooth Speakers to enhance your media experience.

O+ Air’s 5″ screen is a full HD Lumi LCD (Energy-saving Dual Crystal Luminescent Film) display. It is one the brightest and color-accurate screens I’ve used. Mind you, it can stack up against flagship devices of local and even foreign brands. Color saturation is close to perfect and the colors displayed on the screen are almost lifelike.

LCDs are main culprits when it comes to battery drain. As the phone’s battery is only a meager 2,000mAh, you will be surprised to know that it can stay up to more than 8-10 hours at moderate usage, with HSPA+ on and auto screen brightness. This just proves that O+ Air’s screen is indeed Energy-saving without compromising quality.

The device is running on Android Kitkat 4.4.2. You’re assured that it has the performance and visual enhancements, which Google put up on its latest mobile operating system. I’m excited to know if this device would be eligible to receive Google’s nextgen operating system.

There is minimal skinning, which O+ implemented on top of Kitkat. Such skinning and custom software services are present to accommodate O+ Air’s jam-packed features. Notable O+ innovations available in this device are the following:

  • Easy SMS backup
  • Flip to Silent
  • Call & Type
  • Shake to Answer
  • Air Shuffle

If there’s one more thing that’s good about O+ Air is its camera. Its sensor can accurately capture the color especially if the subject is well lit. Admittedly, the camera suffers on having too many noise when taking photos at dark. Take a look at the sample photos below for your easy reference.

Meanwhile, here are some photos that suffer on too much noise.

O+ Air has lots of good things up its sleeve. Admittedly, my expectation on the device’s performance was high because of its celebrated hardware feature – octa core processor. But the disappointment I felt was minute compared to the overall satisfaction I had. At last, there’s is now an O+ product, which in my opinion is robust and awesome to be your primary smartphone. Battery may be an issue, which might make you a wall-hugger (just like iPhone users), but it’s nothing compared to the many features you can get out of it. It’s a tad expensive compared to Omega Infinity and Cosmos Z2, but it sure is a lot thinner, lighter and somewhat faster.

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.

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