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Firefly Mobile Aurii Envy Review: Does it Leave you Wanting?

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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
  • Mali-T720
  • 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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

AnTuTu

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.

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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.

PCMark-Battery-Bench

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.

Camera

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.

Jamie Inocian

A self-confessed geek. Jamie started out helping out on the Unbox Podcast and became the Digital Sales Manager when he joined the team full time. He has since then transitioned into one of our Senior Editors and Head Video Producer.

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28 Comments

  1. Omg. This is a brutally honest review. In short, don’t buy this. I would love to see this running on vanilla android marshmallow (or nougat) though. So the clear winner here vs the Flash Plus 2 is the latter.

    1. I do agree that the 3GB Ram version of the Flash Plus 2 is probably a better buy, but my experience with the Flash Plus 1,where they promised an update to Lollipop but never delivered, leaves me with a slight bias against their brand…

  2. I am probably nitpicking here, but 5 hours 52 minutes (PC Mark battery test) is nearer to 6 hours than ”at over 5 hours”. A more accurate description should be “almost six hours”. My own test yielded 6 h 42 minutes. but my parameters (ie screen brightness) might be different, still battery is on the low side given the near 3500 mAh battery size.

    1. Right! Missed this in the edit. Thanks for the catch! I had the brightness on half way, which is how we usually roll with these tests.

      1. I tested it at around 25 percent, mainly because I feel the screen is very bright even at that percentage, brighter than many other devices at half max brightness. That should explain the difference in our result.

  3. I really love how Jamie writes reviews 🙂 no BS that would convince people to buy only to get disappointed. more honest reviews please thanks <3

  4. This phone is all about the design. Either you like it or hate. It could easily fool someone thinking it is 15k if they don’t know the price – again, that based on the design, not the performance.

    As for the performance, the dated soc is more akin with last Christmas’ bang-for-the-buck phone. The price at 8k is around 1 k more than those (ie Flare s4 Plus), but they do include freebies that are arguably make up the difference. Good enough for most people but not for hard core gamers.

    As for bugs, at least they do offer OTA update to fix them. But as with the Allure, they will stop coming after awhile.

    The screen is great, whiter than all the phones in it’s price range I’d used (Flare X, Flash Plus, Lenovo K3 Note, Zenfone Max).

    In the end, if you buy it thinking of getting the most bang for your buck, you could be disappointed. But if you like the design and is not a taxing user, then it’s worth it.

    As the review said, it’s polarizing. Like it or hate it.

    1. Hi there, thanks for the review. But is it okay to make a review on Lenovo k5 Note that comes with VR Box?? Pls…. I’m really planning to buy this eh. Thanks

  5. For a person who just want to have a smartphone that looks good and not use it as a gaming device well Im really into this phone. I bought Aurii Envy, why? I was looking for a what you call “budget-class” phone that looks good and takes photos amazingly.
    Gaming? yes you can play games but not those hardcore types of games in which requires a high standard processing chips but I don’t play games on “phones” haha guys! Just buy a PSP or a whatsoever gaming device. The design it what I bought.I can fool someone about Aurii Envy’s price, my friends from Cali thought it was 450$ phone.

  6. Parang mas mahalaga pa ang impression ng iba sa phone na hawak mo kesa sa personal experience mo with the phone. Lol

    1. yep they easily justify as if to protect their ego 😛 why not just accept criticism totoo din naman yung mga negative sides na pino-point eh 😛

      1. Yes. But totoo din naman iyung comment niya na he’s not a gamer and thus satisfied with the performance and the looks… Many an iPhone user also bought it for the looks not functionality. To each his own.

        Nothing to do with ego, respect others opinion too.

  7. I get disappointed buying Aurii Envy earlier. The battery tend to decrease easily even you’re not doing anything, compared to my Zenfone Max with only 3,000 mAH that last longer.
    Anyway, thanks for the honest review. We should buy a smartphone that has a huge battery, improved performance and most of all, budget friendly!

    1. Zenfone max has 5000 mah battery and had a slower processor, so it will last a long time vis-a-vis this phone.

      As for Marshmallow, many of my phones that get updated to it (Mi3, Lenovo P1, K3 Note) have worse battery life than Lollipop, don’t know if it’s just not optimized by the manufacturer or there’s a bug in 6.0.1.

  8. is it true sir that this firefly mobile isn’t a local brand and that it’s a brand from the US? I’ve seen in a website that says so…

  9. Hi,

    Thanks for this review. I was really hooked with the specs of this phone. But I’ll definitely not going to buy one. Anyway, I’m really planning to buy a phone as I want to replace my old one. Can you make a review on Lenovo K5 Note that comes with VR Box?. Please ….

    Thank syou soooo much! ^_^

  10. I realy like this honest review. Here can be seen, what manufactures are up to. Just delivering an unfinished gadget. Maybe giving out one update at the utmost and forgetting the remaining issues of their product. Diregarding the System-Software issues, which could be cured in some way, it gets more difficult dealing with unripe Hardware. Thanks for telling the truth.

  11. I was actually planning to buy this as a Christmas gift to myself. I really think that my SKK Lynx Octa is actually better than this. Still have mine for more than a year and it is still great! What other phone do you think is actually better. I am more on a picture taking person. I don’t play games on my phone. I am after great camera features! And by the way, thanks again for letting me save my money!

  12. I’m was really planning to buy this phone.
    But the reviews and comments made me think again.
    Considering the featured specs and price, what would you recommend that PERFORMS better.

  13. wag nyu bilhin to.. at wag kayo mag avail ng phone sa firefly nyemas… sabi pag may gasgas di na papalitan warranty for repair nalang. yung akin walang gasgas nung bumili lang aku ng jelly case nag ka gasgas na or sinadya nung sales lady na gasgasan!!! nyemas talaga!! gusto ko i bato sa mukha nya yung phone pero inisip ko kumalma agad then lumayo kasi baka mag viral akez.. ahahaha!!… yung isa pang panget sa phone na to.. dual sim nga sya.. pero 1 dun sa dual sim slot ay slot din para sa sd-card.. kaya kung gagamit ka ng sd-card at the same time ay dual sim wag mo bibilhiin to promise mayayamot ka!!!!!!

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