MyPhone Iceberg Review
We’ve been using the MyPhone Iceberg as one of our daily drivers for the last week now and we have enough experience with it to share with you guys our full review. In a nutshell, the MyPhone Iceberg is a fantastic 5.7-inch phablet that offers tremendous value for money given the features and the hardware design. We also appreciate it that MyPhone put in a lot of effort in putting in software features like anti-theft and gesture controls (not that we use ’em though, hehe).
Before anything let’s quickly go over the specs again.
MyPhone Iceberg Spec Sheet
- 1.2GHz Quad-core processor (MediaTek MT6589)
- PowerVR 5XT GPU
- 1GB RAM
- 16GB Internal Storage
- 5.7-inch HD IPS Display, Corning Gorilla Glass 2
- 12.0-megapixel rear-facing camera with autofocus, LED flash, and BSI
- 5.0-megapixel front-facing camera
- 3G, HSPA+, WiFi, WiFi Hotspot, Bluetooth, GPS/aGPS
- Android Jelly Bean 4.2.1
Okay let’s move right along to the review!
Hardware: Yep, it’s a Phablet but a good-looking one
At 5.7-inches, the MyPhone Iceberg is a certified Phablet. As with most products in this category, it can be very polarizing. Not everyone will like it. Some people really dot have a personal preference for slim, light, and easy-to-pocket and manage smartphones. On the other hand we have people who are in the market looking for products exactly like the MyPhone Iceberg. A device that can be both a phone and a mini-tablet of sorts to them. If you’re one of those people then you should definitely read on. If you’re part of the other group you might want to read our reviews of other smartphones.
Despite the imposing size of the Iceberg, the manufacturers were able to keep it slim and sleek thanks to the smooth curved back. The pillow-like shape gives it a more thinner profile than your usual solid rectangular candy bar design. At the front we have the LED notification, front-facing camera, 5.7-inch display, and the three capacitive buttons at the bottom. On the sides we have the usual volume rocker, power lock, headphone jack, and the micro USB port. Turn it around and you get the gorgeous aluminum back which hosts the rear-facing camera, LED flash, a magnetic port (we don’t know what this is for yet), and the snazzy MyPhone logo (yes there’s no Philippine map).
When it comes to the hardware design, the MyPhone Iceberg can definitely compete with global brands. The metal back looks stunning and it can beat the crap out of your usual glossy plastic devices. This is definitely a major step in the right direction and hopefully other manufacturers follow suit.
In terms of handling, the MyPhone Iceberg is definitely made for two-handed use. A 5.3-inch or even 5.5-inch can be used with one-hand, albeit a little uncomfortably, by at 5.7-inches you need your two thumbs to do decent texting. Otherwise you’ll just get frustrated because you’ll end up exerting so much effort with your thumb to reach opposite side of the display, lol.
That will always be the dilemma of phablets. Your eyes want more display but your hand will always want a smaller chassis. Speaking of displays, the MyPhone Iceberg has a fantastic one.
Display Quality is Remarkable
The MyPhone Iceberg has an HD IPS 5.7-inch display. It’s not full HD but it’s definitely still a very good and competitive screen. Images, text, and especially video all look superb. This device was definitely made for media consumption and gaming! We’ll get to that in a bit though.
Over-all when it comes to the hardware the MyPhone Iceberg delivers in spades. Definitely deserves two thumbs up.
Software: MyPhone Making a Play on This End
MyPhone has undoubtedly put a lot of focus and effort on differentiating themselves with what kinda of apps and software they put into their devices. When they announced the MyPhone Iceberg they trumpeted several software innovations like Clever Motion (gesture based controls) and TARA, their anti-theft app. Other than those two they also have the Pinoy app which offers a lot of content related to the Philippines and the Catholic faith. Pretty interesting stuff!
Loaded with MyPhone Content
With MyCountry you can go through different text files of key moments in the history of the Philippines. The spice things up they also added quotes, movie lines, pick-up lines, bugtong, etc. This is a mix of both audio and text. Maybe in the next version they should take this a step further and add even video content! They can even produce it themselves, hehe.
They also added a few high-quality and nicely shot photos of the Philippines ranging from landmarks to festivals. There are only a few pictures though so you might get “bitin”. Moving forward MyPhone should definitely get more stunning Pinoy photos to add to their galleries.
Lastly there’s Clever Motion and TARA. For Clever Motion it’s just a variety of gesture based commands. This is very similar to what Samsung or O+ has in their handsets. Just like them though they’re not really useful, hehe. It’s good to have but not natural.
TARA, or the Theft Apprehension and Asset Recovery Application, is a Filipino-made app that’s exclusive to the MyPhone Iceberg. It’s actually pretty nifty and witty. When your phone is stolen you can call TARA’s hotline and TARA will make the Iceberg keep on screaming “Magnanakaw”. Cool eh? Hehehe. It’s not really something we were able to try though during our review but it’s comforting to know that we have something like this in the Iceberg.
Superb Gaming and Media Experience
The Iceberg registered a little over 12,500 on the Antutu Benchmark Score Test, which is expected of devices carrying this particular processor. Translated to real-world usage, the Iceberg delivers a near lag-free experience for basic, core, and even medium functions.
The device shines the most though when you use it for either consuming media, like watching videos, or playing games. We’ve tried a couple already including Minion Rush, Temple Run 2, Dead Trigger, and Zombie Wood. All of them were very smooth and fluid.
Unfortunately the 16GB internal storage is “bitin” especially if you download a lot of movies and TV series. The workaround is the OTG cable connected to your flash drive or hard drive. It’s unnecessary effort though. Hopefully the next Iceberg will have expandable microSD storage. Won’t mind paying a little more for the convenience.
Camera: Above Average
The Iceberg packs a 12.0-megapixel primary shooter with LED flash and BSI. It takes above average photos but it does have some problems with producing the right color (white wash out). It’s probably a few notches below the optics of the Starmobile Knight.
Here are some sample photos:
Notice the white washout? Actually this is a common problem of a lot of local brands so there’s nothing we can do there (until more affordable optics become available).
By the way, the secondary camera of the Iceberg is a 5MP shooter. It’s perfect for taking selfies, hehe. Looks like the trend is for secondary cameras to just be a step lower than the rear-facing cameras. Perfect example of how consumer usage is dictating how devices are made.
Outstanding Battery Life
If there’s one thing we really loved about the Iceberg, it’s the long lasting battery life! With our usual heavy usage we averaged over 9-11 hours with the Iceberg. That’s pretty remarkable since we usually just get less than 8 from other devices. That’s already with 3G and Sync on for social networking sites and e-mail.
Verdict: It’s a Solid Phablet Offering
Everything taken into consideration, the MyPhone Iceberg is an amazing product that offers great value for money. It’s not perfect yet as some people might not like that you have to use an OTG cable for more storage. It’s an acceptable compromise for the entire package but we’re definitely looking forward to the next iteration that will address that issue for good.
The MyPhone Iceberg retails for Php12,000. It should be available in most MyPhone kiosks and stores.
MyPhone Iceberg Unboxing Video
Re-embedding our unboxing video from our initial hands-on post just in case you guys want to watch it.