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CloudFone Next Unboxing And Initial Review: Your Next Phone?

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A few months ago CloudFone allowed us a sneak peek at their upcoming flagship, the Next. We’ve written¬†about the phone when we first encountered it back in May, and now, 5 months after seeing the first prototype we finally have a retail example to play with. Before we dive into the device a second time, let’s take a look at its packaging and the stuff that comes with it.

CloudFone Next specs

  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 43o octa-core processor
  • 4GB of RAM
  • 5.2-inch full HD IPS display with 2.5D glass, Gorilla Glass 3 protection, 1920 x 1080 resolution
  • 32GB of expandable storage
  • 16-megapixel rear camera with f/2.0 aperture, Samsung sensor, PDAF and LED flash
  • 8-megapixel front camera
  • Dual SIM
  • 3G, LTE
  • WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, A-GPS, Fingerprint scanner
  • 3000mAh battery
  • Android 6.0 Marshmallow

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The CloudFone Next comes in a black box that prominently shows off the front of the phone to prospective buyers. Once you open the box, you’ll see the phone, USB charger, headphones and USB cable as well as several freebies, which include a jelly case, a faux leather flip case and a plastic screen protector.

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Nothing much has changed on the outside of the Next the last time we saw it: the phone still has the same HTC-ish design on the outside, and uses a metal shell to cover all the important bits on the inside. Pry off the metal back and you’ll see the dual microSIM slots as well as the microSD slot. The battery is non-removable, unfortunately.

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The phone has curved corners and sides, which makes it extremely easy to use one-handed. Its smaller than average size helps a lot with one-handed usability and ergonomics too, since the phone has a 5.2-inch display compared to the usual 5.5-inch panels that other devices have.

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Speaking of the display, the Next has 5.2-inch, full HD 2.5D curved glass, with Gorilla Glass 3 protection layered on top. The display looks pretty good, with excellent contrast, color and sunlight legibility.

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The Next uses a physical home key that houses the fingerprint scanner. Oddly enough, the phone doesn’t use physical Android navigation keys and instead uses on-screen navigation keys, which is a little unusual. The power button and volume rocker is on the right side, while the 3.5mm jack is on the top of the phone. The USB port is flanked by the speaker grilles, but don’t be fooled – only one of those holes actually hold a speaker.

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The rear camera of the Next looks impressive, at least on paper – a 16-megapixel Samsung sensor with an f/2.0 aperture lens that’s also kitted out with PDAF and an LED flash. An 8-megapixel camera with an f/2.4 aperture lens takes care of selfies.

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Inside the Next beats Qualcomm’s newest processor, the Snapdragon 430. That’s paired with 4GB of RAM and 32GB of expandable storage. While the Next isn’t the first local flagship to have 4GB of RAM in the market (that honor belongs to Cherry Mobile’s M1 smartphone) the amount of RAM in the phone is still impressive. With most other phones offered by local brands still topping out at 3GB, the Next has a slight edge on the offerings of its rivals.

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The phone feels fast and fluid thanks to the brand new chipset and generous RAM. Phones powered by Qualcomm’s new budget processor don’t feel gimped especially when compared to the previous generation. The Snapdragon 430 should also deliver better battery endurance as well – though we’ll still have to see the results of PCMark’s battery benchmarks before we can give our verdict.

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Rounding off the spec list is a 3000mAh battery and Android 6.0 Marshmallow. Probably our only complaint is that the phone doesn’t run stock Android out of the box, instead relies on a funky UI overlay that’s remiscent of the offerings in other Chinese phones.

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That’s pretty much it for this unboxing. CloudFone is pricing the Next at Php 9,999 – technically still under their 10K price promise that they gave us when we first saw it back in May.

John Nieves

John is a veteran technology and gadget journalist with more than 10 years of experience both in print and online. When not writing about technology, he frequently gets lost in the boonies playing soldier.

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