We unbox the Firefly Mobile Allure 64 LTE!
Yesterday we wrote about the Allure 64 LTE, a smartphone by local brand Firefly Mobile that promises amazing value for money. While we were writing the article yesterday, we did so with a sense of skepticism – the hardware that it promises to bring to the table compared to its actual cost is nothing short of miraculous. Because of insistent public demand (you guys sure want us to review this) we went out and bought ourselves one at Firefly’s store in SM San Mateo. Today, we’ll be taking a look at the phone and what it can do.
Firefly Mobile Allure 64 LTE (Php7,999)
- 1.7GHz 64-bit octa-core processor
- 3GB of RAM
- 5.5-inch HD IPS OGS display, Corning Gorilla Glass 3 protection, 1280 x 720 resolution
- 16GB of storage
- 13-megapixel Sony IMX214 rear camera
- 8-megapixel front camera
- 3G, LTE
- WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, A-GPS, USB OTG
- Fingerprint scanner
- Android 5.0 Lollipop
- 2900mAh battery
Packaging and contents:
It’s not everyday that we unbox a new phone from a company that hasn’t sent us any review units before, so we were a bit excited to see what the box had inside. The Allure 64 LTE comes in a plain white box, with Firefly Mobile’s name printed in the front in gold lettering. There’s no photo of what the box contains, just a notation on the back that tells you the specs, features and the name of the device contained within. Given the over-all value this beast delivers we think they should have really exerted more effort in the packaging and the marketing.
Inside the box you’ll see a couple of accessories, namely two additional screen protectors (the Allure 64 LTE already has one installed when we got it) a jelly case, tempered glass protection, USB cable, USB charger, headphones and a warranty card. The tempered glass screen protector and the jelly case were definitely welcome surprises. The problem with most local brands is that it’s so hard to find accessories. They solved that by including them in the box already.
Initial Impressions: looks like an iPhone 6 Plus, and yes the fingerprint scanner works!
The Allure 64 LTE looks a lot like Apple’s iPhone 6 Plus, down to the circular key that acts as the fingerprint scanner of the phone. Overall that’s not that big of a problem for us, as if there’s one company that you can’t go wrong copying, it’s Apple. The same design cues of the Apple 6 Plus are present in the Allure 64 LTE metal frame, (almost) curved glass and a relocated speaker grill on the bottom.
Upon closer inspection though, you’ll see some very un-Apple like features – capacitive Android keys flank the home/fingerprint button, the thick ugly bezel on the bottom of the display and a plastic, removable back.
Generally the phone looks well built with no obvious gaps in the body. The back cover leaves a seam that clues you in that it’s removable, but that’s unavoidable really. We’re surprised at the general build quality of the phone – for the price point we were assuming that the phone would be shoddily built – it’s clearly not.
The fingerprint scanner of the Allure 64 LTE is of particular note because it works, and works well, Unlike the previous interpretations of other brands where they use a strip to read your fingerprint which can sometimes be frustrating to use, the Allure 64 LTE uses a 3D fingerprint scanner kind of like the one in Apple’s iPhone and Huawei’s Mate7. it’s dead easy to use too – just enroll your finger by repeatedly pressing on it, and you can now use it to unlock your phone.
Even more surprising is how quickly it recognizes your finger. Two thumbs up.
The display is a 5.5-inch, OGS panel with Gorilla Glass 3 protection thrown in for good measure. The phone’s display looks pretty good, with good color reproduction and overall quality.
The phone sports a 1.7GHz, octa-core 64-bit processor made by MediaTek, essentially the same one present in the Meizu M1 Note. It’s not surprising then that the Allure 64 LTE scores high on AnTuTu, scoring above 40K in our test. Combine that with the phone’s 3GB of memory, and you should have an instant winner right there.
Several Bugs here and there…
We say should because all isn’t well with the phone. While the phone runs Lollipop 5.0 out of the box, it has a myriad of issues that other users have encountered. One user experienced slow download speeds while via Google Play which we also encountered in the beginning – a 40MB download for AnTuTu took around an hour to finish. Other users in the Firefly Mobile Allure 64 LTE support group experienced excessive lag with NBA 2K15, a game that the Allure 64 LTE should be able to handle easily. Another user also encountered black screens when taking selfies with the Allure 64 LTE, which tells us it has problems with the communication of the front camera. At this point, we’re not sure if this is a result of problems within the phone, or just Android 5.0. Android 5.0 Lollipop is a bug-ridden mess, but the good news is that if it’s software related, it can be fixed. The bad news here is that we don’t have an idea of Firefly Mobile’s track record of sending out OTAs to squash bugs, unfortunately.
Anyway, in our testing the gaming performance of the Allure 64 LTE was good – Real Racing 3 ran well, with very minimal lagging. WWE Immortals, another resource hungry game ran perfectly, without any issues. As for the reported issues of other people, we only encountered the slow download one, which oddly enough disappeared after a while. We’re not exactly sure what we did to solve our issue to be honest.
Still Very Compelling and Worth Considering
Firefly Mobile’s Allure 64 LTE is a compelling phone. It does have its bugs if reports from other users are to be believed, but right now it represents the best bang for the buck if you consider the hardware. That 3D fingerprint scanner alone is enough to make other people put down good money for it. The 3GB of RAM, 1.7GHz octa-core processor, LTE and OGS HD display is just icing on the cake. The only bummer is the software issues that other people have encountered so far. We’ll be reviewing the Allure 64 LTE and using it as our phone for the next few days to take it through its paces, so watch out till then.
Update: See the Firefly Mobile in video below!