KingCom has been a household name when it comes to mobile device accessories. In fact, most of the products they are actually known for have been featured here on our site.
A couple of months ago, KingCom started spread out its wings and regulary introduced smartphones that – to be honest – startled us and made us put them under our radar.
Last February 2015, we unboxed and gave our first impressions of the KingCom VENUS. You can check our full unboxing photos and videos on this link. Full device walk-through may also be found in the said link, so feel free to read it.
It is built with class and style in mind; and to be honest I thought that it was designed with women and beauty as inspiration. No wonder why it was named after a roman goddess.
In my opinion, one of the most beautiful characteristics of VENUS is its faux gold metallic coating and robust edges. While it’s design is predominantly positioned for women, its robust build and edgy design make it also look good when held by men. Size may be an issue for people with small hands. Reach-ability wise, it is obviously difficult to use the phone with just one hand. Also, raising the phone to your ears when answering calls may look a bit awkward. Thankfully, VENUS’ bezel has enough room for your fingers to hold the phone vertically.
You have to bear in mind that the PiPhone Venus has an MT6592 SoC installed with a processor clocked at 1.7Ghz octa-core processor and 2GB RAM. Performance and handling specs-heavy applications and games aren’t issues on this phone, and this such is something that really made us like this phablet.
Armed with Mali 450-MP GPU, this is really meant to handle games that most premium and even flagship devices can handle without problems. I didn’t have problems with it, and I even managed to play my favorite mobile games such as Hearthstone and even the recently “freemiumized” game, Dungeon Hunter 5. There were a few stutters and issues at the beginning, but we managed to play the game flawlessly after a single restart.
VENUS Runs on Android 4.4.2 Kitkat. Most of the minor UI changes of that Google implemented are pretty much evident. Most of the native applications are stock, and there is almost no third party skinning at all. It’s quite a shame though that KingCom does not seem to have a software upgrade plan on VENUS. Software update option and app are not available on the device, which is a dead giveaway that users would either have to bring their devices to KingCom branches for an upgrade (should it ever happen in the future) or users would just have to stick with the pre-installed OS.
Nevertheless, the combined performance of its hardware specs and software optimization really come into play during our tests. Opening applications, turning on/off the screen, memory and storage handling are almost top-notch.
PiPhone VENUS supports ClearMotion technology, a technology that basically gets rid of motion jitter and makes sure that your HD and Full HD 60fps videos are given justice. We have tested a few 60fps videos we have, and ClearMotion worked like magic. This technology is almost present in all phones with the latest MediaTek SoCs.
Sound and Call Quality
VENUS’ source of external sound comes from its lone speaker found at the back. While it is loud in our books, there are times that it sounded a bit muzzled.
Its 3.5mm headphone jack may be found at the top of the phone. It isn’t CTIA compliant so, as expected, some of our headphones didn’t work. We resorted to using the supplied earphones to test it accordingly.
As for call quality, VENUS’ earpiece failed to amaze us as it sounded poorly during our test. (We sincerely hope that the unit we got is just faulty.)
The phone has a 5 megapixel rear facing camera and a 2 megapixel one in front. The main camera is just about right for taking casual photos. Its camera isn’t, however, its cup of tee as evidenced by photos of subjects we took at relatively good lighting conditions. Further magnification of our photos also reveal that details seemed to look mashed and noisy. Well, VENUS isn’t exactly the phone you wish to use when taking photos of your teacher’s notes on board.
VENUS’ 3000mAh battery life can last 7-8 hours at moderate use. Receiving occasional calls, surfing the net via HSPA+ connetion for about 2-3 hours cumulative screen time, about 20 – 25 text messages, and playing games for around 30 minutes constitute our definition of ‘moderate use’ for your reference. In this regard, we can sincerely say that VENUS’ battery life is somewhat average. And if we’re going to put a rating to it for easy reference, we’re giving it a 3 out of 5.
Buy or Nah?
Given its competitive price-point of Php7,998 and its acceptable performance, we can say that it is buy-worthy. Before purchasing it, however, we suggest that you try using one at your nearest Wellcom branch. It is good in many respects, but its size may post an issue for some. I’ve got big hands, but I found myself using the device as my entertainment and navigation system in my car. I found value on its screen and body sizes, but my hands and even my pocket (literally) couldn’t simply keep up.
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.