If there’s one product that’s been continuously requested to be featured in our site ever since it was announced, it has to be Firefly Mobile’s Aurii Envy. The local outfit’s phone has been earning quite the hype, and Firefly Mobile has been pretty smart about cultivating set hype by not making the device widely available (you’ll have to pre-order it first before you get it) and throwing in a number of freebies. We’ve finally gotten one for review, and today we’ll be seeing what the device looks in person.
Firefly Mobile Aurii Envy
- 1.3GHz octa-core processor
- 2GB/3GB of RAM
- 5.5-inch full HD OGS display, Gorilla Glass 3, 1920 x 1080 resolution
- 16GB/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
Packaging and contents:
Firefly Mobile is positioning the Aurii Envy as a premium budget phone. While that may be an oxymoron, they’ve committed a lot of resources to make the device look and feel more premium than it really is. First is the packaging. While the phone itself is just Php 7,999, the accompanying packaging doesn’t feel like it belongs in that price category.
The phone comes in a black and gold box. Once you open the said box, you’ll see the phone inside (gold in our review unit’s case), USB cable and charger.
There’s also two tempered glass protectors included in the package.
The included headphones ship in a separate box, which show off the flat cables and the gold accents of the headphones. If that wasn’t enough, Firefly Mobile also throws in two featurephones with every purchase.
While the phone falls under the budget category, the sheer amount of freebies and the way the product is presented to the end user makes it feel more expensive than it really is.
Initial impressions: breathtaking design hides dated hardware
We’ve seen the official renders of the Aurii Envy before so we had a rough idea of the phone’s look before we took it out of the box. But there’s quite a big difference between renders on the screen and when you’re actually holding the phone in your hands – and believe us, photos don’t do the phone justice. It’s quite simply one of the most visually stunning phones we’ve ever laid our hands on under the 8K price bracket.
There’s a lot to take in the Aurii Envy’s design, so let’s start at the back. The phone has a beautiful mirror finish back that looks to have been polished to high sheen, and is smooth enough to be used as a mirror if ever need to check your hair or makeup on the fly. The phone feels weighty but not overtly heavy, which adds another layer of premium-ness to the proceedings.
The frame has beveled edges as well, and the rear camera sports a 13-megapixel Sony IMX214 Exmor RS sensor with a f/2.0 aperture and six element lens, paired with an LED flash.
The frame of the phone is metal, with Firefly Mobile’s name emblazoned across the lower left side of the frame. It’s a branding exercise that’s not tacky or forced – it adds to the phone’s premium feel, which is pretty hard to do as far as branding goes.
The SIM tray is on the same side, near the top, while the power button and volume rocker is on the right side, near the top. The hardware shutter key is on the same side, near the bottom. The phone’s 3.5mm jack and USB port are at the logical places, namely top and bottom, respectively.
Up front you’ll see the 5.5-inch IPS full HD OGS display protected by Gorilla Glass 3, as well as the 8-megapixel front camera decked out with Sony’s IMX219 Exmor RS sensor, and f/2.0 aperture. The phone has a capacitive home key that doubles as a fingerprint scanner, flanked by two additional Android navigation keys.
The biggest issue we have with the phone? Smudges. The phone is just a massive smudge magnet, so much so that each time we touched it for photos we had to spend almost a minute trying to wipe down our fingerprints from the phone, which is a shame, seeing that the phone is so pretty.
As beautiful as the phone is, there’s no denying that it’s running aging hardware. The device packs MediaTek’s MT6753 octa-core processor and 3GB of RAM with 32GB of expandable storage. You can get a cheaper version of the Aurii Envy that has 2GB of RAM and 16GB of expandable storage, but there’s no pricing for that as of yet. Android Marshmallow 6.0 keeps everything running smoothly.
There’s nothing about MediaTek’s MT6753 octa-core processor that’s new to us – we’ve seen virtually every possible configuration of the processor in the past few years it’s been available. It’s capable of keeping the phone smoothly without any major lag or slowdown, while at the same time being able to play light to moderate games without any problems. Throw in more complex games that require more processing power and you’ll start to see lag, which is unfortunate.
That’s pretty much it for now. We’ll be taking the phone out and using it as our primary phone in the next few days.