Now that the basic Android phone — with an average-size screen, multi-core processor, and dual-SIM support — has pretty much become a commodity, the question is no longer, “How will I choose one?” Instead, the question has turned into, “Which one is a good match for me, personally?” The Happy Mobile D-Lite makes answering that question easy by bringing a little pizzazz to the table.
On paper, the D-Lite may look just like any other Android phone you can find on the market today. It has a 4-inch WVGA screen, a 1.3GHz dual-core CPU, 1GB RAM, and 4GB internal storage. In short, it may well be just another smartphone that happens to run the latest version of Android available in the Philippines (read: KitKat). But when you see it, you’ll realize that it’s actually different. Well, based primarily on looks, anyway.
Of course, you can expect the usual Android smartphone treatment when it comes to the D-Lite’s retail package. Our review unit, just like all the ones that are available for purchase at retail, came with the standard set of phone documents, a wall charger, a USB cable, and a pair of headphones. There’s also a thin layer of plastic protection on the screen listing some of the phone’s main hardware features.
But the phone itself uses a design that helps to differentiate it from the sea of standard black-colored candybar units flooding the market today. Apparently, you have a choice of four different colors for the back cover on the D-Lite. Ours came in candy red, but it’s also available in black, white, and some sort of light blue (torquoise?). Immediately, the D-Lite tries to make a statement the moment you first see it.
It actually feels well-built, too, if a little too dependent on plastic. To keep costs down, the D-Lite has been made mainly out of lightweight but thick and grippy plastic. It utilizes a special pattern for the back cover as well, which helps give every unit a unique look.
Speaking of the back, it’s where you’ll find the D-Lite’s rear 5-megapixel camera, the two SIM card slots, microSD card slot, and the removable battery. Nothing special here, but that last bit about the battery is something that’s always worth knowing.
When it comes to actual performance, the D-Lite doesn’t set any world records. But of course, it was never meant to. It’s supposed to be a simple, Internet-enabled call-and-text cellphone with multimedia capabilities, and in that regard it’s a success.
For wireless connectivity, the D-Lite can use any one of the following options: Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, or HSPA+ data. You can even set it as a mobile hotspot if you want to. It will cost you, though. So you will want to stick to Wi-Fi whenever you can. During our tests, the D-Lite never encountered any wireless connection issues. And in fact, texts and phone calls came through perfectly fine.
And for mobile gaming, the D-Lite proved itself to be capable of running most popular Android game titles like Candy Crush Soda Saga, Jetpack Joyride, Flick Shoot 2, Fruit Ninja, and Temple Run 2.
More memory- and graphics-intensive games like Dead Trigger 2, Asphalt 8, and Real Racing 3 weren’t as easy to handle for the D-Lite. These types of games easily use up the small amount of internal memory available, anyway. There’s only about 2GB of free space available out of the box, but luckily there’s a microSD card slot.
The 1,650mAh battery lasts remarkably long, by the way. We suspect that the reason why is because the screen is small enough that it doesn’t take up that much power, despite the fact that it’s not touted as using a power-efficient panel like the ones in high-end smartphone models.
In any case, the D-Lite manages to easily last more than two full days of moderate to heavy use as a smartphone. For gaming and non-stop Internet browsing, though, you’ll be lucky to make it last more than 5 hours per charge.
To sum up this review, you can think of the Happy Mobile D-Lite as a phone that can give you the value and performance of an affordable basic Android phone from 2014, with just a tiny bit of flair thrown in for good measure. It can do most all of the things you’d expect out of any budget handset, plus it has its own unique look, at that. And it doesn’t hurt that it’s available for less than 3,000 Pesos.battery