Some of you have been waiting patiently for our review of the Firefly Mobile Aurii Envy, while others have been making sure that we haven’t forgotten. Is the Aurii Envy deserving of all the hype it’s been getting or does the phone we’ve said to have “Budget Class” leave you wanting? Before we dive into the review, here’s a rundown of the specs for the Firefly Mobile Aurii Envy.
Firefly Mobile Aurii Envy Specs
- 1.3GHz MediaTek MT6753 Octa-Core Processor
- 3GB of RAM
- 5.5-inch full HD OGS display, Gorilla Glass 3, 1920 x 1080 resolution
- 32GB of expandable storage
- 13-megapixel rear camera, Sony IMX214 Exmor RS sensor, f/2.0 aperture, 6 element lens
- 8-megapixel front camera, Sony IMX219 Exmor RS sensor, f/2.0 aperture
- Dual SIM
- 3G, LTE
- WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, A-GPS, Fingerprint scanner
- 3480mAh battery
- Android 6.0 Marshmallow
Polarizing Looks with Borrowed Design Cues
The moment the Aurii Envy was opened up at Unbox HQ, there was one thing we definitely agreed on: it was eye-catching, but in a good or bad way? We’ve been taking it around as our daily driver for awhile now and people either loved its golden, highly-reflective back or thought it was too obnoxious. We’ll leave that for you to decide. The Aurii Envy’s overall design philosophy, however, borrows heavily from Sony’s Xperia line; from its shape down to its button placement, the similarities are uncanny.
Taking a tour around the device, the right side houses the volume rocker, power button, and dedicated shutter button for the camera — which sadly doesn’t do half-presses to focus. On the left, you’ve got its Dual SIM trays, the top has the 3.5mm jack, and at the bottom you’ll find the Micro-USB slot and speaker grills.
Behind the device is the 13-megapixel rear camera, LED flash, and the Aurii Envy’s crowning glory — that highly-reflective, golden back that you’ll either love or hate. Love it or not, one thing you should know is that it is a fingerprint magnet. There’s just no getting around it. Firefly Mobile has had the foresight to include tempered glass panels to protect both screen and make sure you don’t cover up the back, but that reflective coating at the back of the Envy makes the slightest smudge pop. We highly recommend bringing a cleaning cloth at all times.
The Aurii Envy rocks a 5.5-inch Ful HD Display with a pixel density of 450 dpi. It has generous viewing angles that perform decently in an outdoor setting. There’s definitely nothing odd to report nor do we have complaints about its display while clocking a decent amount of time watching YouTube videos or shows on iflix. The colors aren’t as vivid nor did the contrast ratio produce deep blacks, but at its price point it performed admirably and we weren’t really expecting Super AMOLED quality to begin with.
Lackluster Performance and Battery Life
When we finally switched over to the Aurii Envy to take through its paces, we were greeted by bugs and app crashes off the bat. Bugs that included the flash refusing to stop notifying us that we had an incoming call, despite already talking on the phone, after we’ve finished, and even after we’ve disabled that feature. We experienced several apps crashes as well. We launched the camera to see what it could do and it stopped working before even getting to the app and several games teased us with loading screens, before ultimately telling us that something had happened. To be fair to Firefly Mobile though, we did receive a number of updates that resolved some of the Aurii Envy’s issues.
When the phone wasn’t dealing with bugs, performance was actually surprisingly smooth given the SoC choice. It handled browsing through our social media accounts well enough with a few slow downs here and there, but negligible enough to brush off. Our main issue though was the device’s connectivity. While smartphones have evolved over the years to be pretty much a PC that can fit in your pocket, we are strong believers that it has to first and foremost fulfill its duties as a phone.
Sadly, call quality on the Aurii Envy was less than desirable. While most phones we’ve tried and tested over the years have generally been able to give us respectable signal quality, even when we’re indoors, we struggled to have conversations or had to run outside to make sure we could take calls; though sometimes even that didn’t help. If you’re a fan of using speakerphone while talking or have to use the feature due to the newly passed Anti-Distracted Driving Act, you’ll be severely disappointed as well. We could barely hear over general traffic noise, which is strange because the speakers did an okay job apart from that. Needless to say, the reliability of mobile data was far from optimal too.
Can it game? Well, it can to some degree. You’ll have to turn down the settings on Asphalt 8 to get decent frame rates, but games like Need for Speed: No Limits and Perfect Shift ran a little smoother. Switch over to NBA 2K16, however, and things start to go south. It will run the game, but it struggles to deal with the fast-paced action basketball needs to make it exciting. We’d definitely stay away from heavier gaming titles with Aurii Envy.
Despite having a 3480mAh battery, we were surprised with the battery benchmarks for the Aurii Envy that only came in shy of 6 hours. Real-world use also had us scrambling for the power bank in our bags or a socket to plug into around mid-afternoon; sooner if we used it heavily and had mobile data on for the better part of the day.
Despite its specs on paper, the Aurii Envy’s rear camera is a sore spot for us. Exposure was hit or miss with Envy and sadly most of the time it was a miss. Colors seemed to lack that pop and low light shots weren’t that great either. It’s more of the same for its front camera that often had a white vignette on the lower portion of the shot even if the sun wasn’t on full blast. You may have to take a lot of safety shots to make sure you’re happy enough with the image to post it on social media.
The Verdict: Yay or Nay?
Value for money is always something that we look at when we determine the verdict. The Firefly Mobile Aurii Envy is priced at Php 7,999 and it comes with 2 feature phones plus what looks like a free pair of headphones since its housed in a separate box. If you look at it from this perspective, the phone you’re actually getting isn’t half bad. That being said, however, until Firefly Mobile irons out the kinks, we would be hard-pressed to recommend the Aurii Envy; especially to someone who may be looking for a bit more oomph in their smartphone.