CloudFone Thrill 530QX Review
Most smartphones today will barely last us a day of moderate to heavy usage. There’s always that oh-so-dreaded moment wherein we see the battery icon turn red and our eyes start darting around the room looking for a socket to plug in the wall charger. Gone are the glorious days of the Nokia 5110 and 3210 with legendary battery life, lol. Anyway, Cloudfone was one of the first local brands to address this by coming out with the Cloudfone Thrill 430x which had a 4,160mAh battery. Cloudfone finally went back to their roots and rolled out the new Cloudfone Thrill 530QX recently, a 5.3-inch phablet with an earthshaking 4,500mAh battery pack.
We’ve been using the device for well over two weeks now and we’d like to share our full review. Before anything let’s quickly do a rundown of the specifications.
Cloudfone Thrill 530QX Spec Sheet
- 1.2GHz quad-core processor
- 1GB RAM
- 4GB Internal Storage, expandable via microSD Card
- 5.3-inch IPS qHD glass display
- 12.0-megapixels rear-facing camera with autofocus and LED flash
- 5.0-megapixels front-facing camera
- WiFi, WiFi Hotspot, 3G, HSPA+ Bluetooth, GPS/aGPS
- Android Jelly Bean 4.2
- 4500mAh Battery
- Comes with free USB OTG cable
>>> SEE ALSO: Cloudfone Thrill 530QX Unboxing and Initial Review
Bigger, thinner, sleeker, and sezzier than ever
While the Cloudfone Thrill 430x was literally built like a panzer tank (and as thick as one), the Cloudfone Thrill 530QX has more rounded corners, sleeker, and actually thinner. The biggest issue we had really with the previous model was that it stuck out like a giant pack of cigarettes when you slip it in your pocket. Don’t get me wrong though — the Cloudfone Thrill 530QX is still quite big and hefty. However the profile is thinner thanks to the design of the chassis and the more efficient battery pack.
Just so you have a better idea on how thinner this is, the Cloudfone Thrill 430x measured in at 14.2mm thick. The Cloudfone Thrill 530qx is down to just 11.2mm. That’s definitely a big improvement considering this model has better internals and an even longer-lasting battery.
In terms of build the Cloudfone Thrill 530qx uses mostly plastic with a smooth matte finish. It’s cool and comfortable to touch, especially the back plate. The layout of the back is actually quite clean. We have the camera centered on top with the Cloudfone logo at the bottom. Neatly tucked beneath it is the speaker grill.
Up front we have the 5.3-inch glass display. Cloudfone didn’t say if it was scratch resistant so best to get a screen protector especially if you’re going to use this as your daily driver. On the sides we have the usual ports and buttons. Resolution is qHD which comes out to around 200+ pixels per inch. Unfortunately this is one of the biggest flaws (more than the bulk) of the Cloudfone Thrill 530qx. As a phablet the display quality is absolutely critical because one of the main uses of a phablet is video playback. They definitely should have done better than qHD and went at the very least HD.
With a 5.3-inch form factor, the Cloudfone Thrill 530qx is not made for one handed use. You can probably try (and get frustrated) using it with one hand but it’s really easier to use it with both hands. The 11.2mm thickness, while thin compared to the previous model, is not really super slim it today’s phablet standards as well. That adds to the heft and bulk of the unit.
Over-all the device feels solid, sturdy, and hefty. Major improvement over the first Cloudfone Thrill 430x but display quality is lacking.
Fair Perfomance for a Fair Price
The device is powered by a 1.2 GHz quad core MediaTek 6589 processor which is proven to be very reliable when backed up by 1GB RAM. We used this for a week as a daily driver and used this mainly for gaming, social networking, browsing, calling and texting. We are happy to report that we encountered no major lags on this device. One observation of a fellow techie was that the reason for the good performance is probably because the quad-core processor and 1GB RAM set-up is overpowered for a 5.3-inch qHD display (usually it’s HD).
Note that we didn’t install any third party launchers since the stock UI is almost vanilla Android. But if ever you wish to do some more tweaking on the UI we always recommend downloading the Nova launcher. Its free on the Google Play Store (there’s a premium version with more features though).
To test graphics and processor, we downloaded and played our favorite trusty RAM and graphics hog, Dead Trigger.It ran pretty well with no lags or crashes even in later stages. An added bonus as well was that we were able to play for hours thanks to the phone’s long battery life. We also downloaded Angry Birds Star Wars II which is a new game from Rovio, the people behind Angry Birds. Gaming is more fun because of the big display.
Other than gaming, the Cloudfone Thrill 530qx delivers a decent viewing experience as well! We say decent mainly because it has a big screen and the color reproduction for videos is actually good. It could have been much better though if they used (again) an HD display.
In terms of Antutu Benchmark, the Cloudfone Thrill 530qx hit 13,000+ which is to be expected of phones running on the Meditek Quad-core processor and 1GB RAM. All-in-all it can pretty much handle whatever you throw at it.
Our biggest gripe with the camera is the lack of BSI (back side illumination) and photos on low light situations look dull and dark even with the flash on. CloudFone has their own camera app called “HiCamera” which is pre-installed on the device and its the default camera app. The Android camera app is also present there but you have to access it on the gallery. The Android camera will activate from your latest photo then swipe to the right. We find the HiCamera app more useful since it has more options and toggles like beauty shot, panorama, HDR, and smile shot. More options means more ways to improve your photos.
Sample shots for your reference:
Battery: Power Overwhelming!!!
This is the most important part of the review, the battery. We did a more comprehensive battery test since this the phone’s main selling point. We started our one day battery drain test at 7:20am charged at 100% with WiFi turned on. So we downloaded games, did some camera tests and usual calls and texts. The battery only dropped to 98% at 10:34am. We downloaded an app which enables us to watch live TV feed from local channels. Since its almost lunchtime we watched our favorite daytime teleserye Be Careful With My Heart then played some more games and we even had an hour call from a client. By 2:38pm, the battery dropped 87%. his time, we decided to max out the brightness, turn on 3G, and played some more, watched You Tube videos and had a video call but the battery only dropped to 78% as of 6:51pm. We continued our battery test and by 10:14pm, battery was down to 65%. Impressive! We never charged the phone in between testing. This is the first time we spent so much time and effort to drain a phone’s battery (and we never accomplished the mission of draining it to 0% lol).
With light usage it can last you days. With moderate usage you can probably go up to two-three. With heavy you will get through the day and have some extra for the next.
Our verdict: the CloudFone Thrill 530qx has one hell of a battery.
Verdict: Battery Juggernaut
The CloudFone Thrill 530qx may not be the sleekest, slimmest and most ergonomic phone in the market but it offers three outstanding factors that many smartphones in this category failed to have – super long battery life, snappy performance and sturdy build. If there are hits, there are some misses as well like the camera lacking BSI, the phone’s weight, and the display quality.
Over-all though we think it’s a fairly good deal. For 9,999 you get a strong performer with crazy battery life. Two thumbs up Cloudfone!