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MyPhone my36 Review: Starting Over

MyPhone my36 07

We review the MyPhone my36!

While local brand Cherry Mobile was slugging it out with other local and international brands in the bang-for-the-buck market last year, MyPhone nowhere to be found. Aside from releasing a few token Rio smartphones, the local brand was silent for the most part of the year.

That was until they started releasing their new my line of smartphones, including two new bang-for-the-buck devices that hearkens a return to what made the brand great a few years ago. Aside from scrapping all their current phone lineups and consolidating them into a single device line, MyPhone’s looking to regain lost customers and attract new ones by returning to their trademark competencies: budget devices at hard to ignore prices. The my36 is one of those devices.

MyPhone my36 specs:

  • 1.3GHz MediaTek MT6753 octa-core processor
  • 3GB of RAM
  • 5.2-inch full HD IPS display
  • 16GB of storage, expandable via microSD
  • 13-megapixel rear camera, Samsung sensor, phase detection AF with flash
  • 5-megapixel front camera with flash
  • Dual-SIM
  • 3G, LTE
  • WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, A-GPS
  • 2900mAh battery
  • Android 5.1 Lollipop

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A return to form, for better or for worse

MyPhone’s my36 is one of the nicest phones that’s ever come from the local brand. The phone is relatively compact at just 5.2-inches, which is a big departure from the big-screened offerings of rival outfits locally. The my36 has a nice, 2.5D glass covering that wraps around the edges of the display, giving the panel a nice, premium feel.

MyPhone my36 10

We earlier mistook the grey frame of the phone to be plastic, but several users chimed in that the frame is indeed made out of metal. On the right side is the volume rocker and the power button, which is very easy to press while holding the phone one-handed because of its smaller size. Up top is the 3.5mm jack, while the bottom of the phone holds the USB port.

MyPhone my36 09

Once you flip the phone over, you’ll see the faux-leather finish on the back of the device, which feels a little rubbery to the touch. The back of the phone – and honestly, most of the phones under MyPhone’s unified my lineup – sports the Philippine map design that first graced their phones when they started business. This is a big deal for a lot of people, and is the biggest issue that most people have when considering the my36. In truth, the design isn’t so bad, and if you hate the sight of our country’s image so much on your phone you can always just take the back cover off and paint over it if you wished.

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Speaking of taking off the back cover, that’s what you have to do to access the two SIM slots and the microSD expansion slot. Unfortunately, the 2,900mAh battery of the my36 is non-removable.

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On the upper left side of the phone you’ll see the 13-megapixel rear camera along with the LED flash. On the lower part of the phone you’ll see the speaker grille, which gets a little muffled when you lay the phone flat on the table.

The 5.2-inch display uses an IPS panel and has a full HD resolution. Images are nice and crisp, and colors just pop on the screen. Since the phone is just 5.2-inches, the images look sharper than they would on a device with a larger screen. The phone uses on-screen Android navigation keys, and the 5-megapixel front camera located right on top has an LED flash to illuminate nighttime selfies.

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A processor that can handle most anything, but the custom UI is annoying

It won’t surprise you in the slightest that MediaTek’s 1.3GHz MT6753 octa-core processor is powering the my36, paired with 3GB of RAM. Why should it? It’s been the processor of choice for many budget-minded smartphones for a while now, and is what powers the current crop of Flare smartphones from local rival Cherry Mobile. It’s not difficult to see why though – it’s fast enough for most people, is relatively reliable and has enough grunt for both normal usage and gaming. It’s also power-efficient, as you’ll see later on in our battery test.

As far as overall user experience goes, the my36 managed to perform well enough, and the 3GB of RAM ensures that everything runs smoothly. Almost all but the most demanding games run well on the my36. We were a little annoyed by the UI of the phone. While the device uses Android 5.1 Lollipop as its base OS, there’s a funky UI overlay on top of that that strips the app drawer from the phone and lays everything out in the open. There is an upside though – you get several custom gestures at your disposal, which is okay, we guess.

Call quality is okay, though the phone doesn’t do as well in the GPS and connectivity department as phones powered by rival SoCs. Call connectivity is good, with no problems whatsoever in the calls made to, and from, the phone. The speaker is sufficiently loud, though the sound gets muffled when you lay the phone down flat with the screen up.

Relatively good camera for the price

The my36 has a 13-megapixel rear camera, along with a Samsung-made sensor, phase detection AF with flash. We took it with us to Sinulog recently where it performed rather well. The PDAF unit locks into subjects quickly, and the camera managed to capture quite a bit of detail in the photos in bright light. Photos have generally good colors, though the images aren’t as vibrant as we would have wanted. Overall quality is good, and perfectly acceptable for uploading in social media.

Low light performance isn’t the best, as there’s definitely quite a bit of noise evident in photos taken indoors. There’s also a manual mode hidden away in the shooting modes that you can select, though it’s not true manual shooting, as you’re only limited to a few options that you can tweak. It’s better than nothing though.

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Video is quite good as well, as you can see below.

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More than a day’s worth of battery life

More and more people are looking for smartphones with bigger batteries which puts the my36 at a disadvantage since it doesn’t come with a lot of juice. The 2900mAh battery isn’t particularly large, but since the phone comes with MediaTek’s new power-efficient processor, the MT6753, it’s more than enough to power the device for around a day. Our battery benchmark put the my36 at 7 hours and 6 minutes, which is good enough for most people.

MyPhone my36 17

Verdict: MyPhone’s got a winner with the my36

Like it or not, MyPhone’s new direction signifies a positive change for the company. They’re going back to the things that matter – design, affordability and image quality – things that made them such a hit in their earlier years. The my36 is a great step in the that direction, and while people will constantly argue about the return of our country’s image on the back of their phones, there’s no denying that the my36 is a great start to a new chapter in MyPhone’s history.

 

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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27 Comments

  1. Tried it myself and if you’re wondering, compared to Star’s Knight Luxe, this has better punch in the bass(headphone) but pales in comparison with the outdated iP 4s.

    **Suggestion: I hope unbox will also start over. Video clip(30secs-1min), pictures(front and rear), and audio performance(DAC) should be the norm for each reviews.

  2. I know it’s already been mentioned in the previous article about it, but I believe you should mention the price in this one as well. 6,999 if anyone’s wondering.

  3. i was able to handle the my36 a few times in different stores, i’d say the phone is quite the looker, like what the Z3 might be if it went for (fake) leather instead of glass for the back.
    the front camera deserves credit too, it actually shoots better lowlight selfies (store was dark) than my friend’s Z5 compact, even without the flash. if i had to sell my M2 note this would be my next phone

  4. How do you get those Pinoy Apps to work? It supposed to be a key differentiator vis-a-vis the competition, but the app doesn’t include any content. I tried using an SD card from a previous generation MyPhone (a919) but the new Pinoy App doesn’t recognize it. I tried emailing Customer service but still to hear from them…

    Other than that, this is a worthy competition to the Flare X.

  5. For the price, it’s Okay, unlike their other phones.

    But sadly i bet it’s stuck in Lollipop for the rest of its lfie.

    1. Kilala mo naman si myphone madamot magrelease ng OS update pero worry no more dahil ang ka-same OEM ni my36 na wiko fever, micromax canvas5 ay merong Marshmallow update this February. Flash mo lang stock rom nila plus the apn. ok na.

  6. They should fire whoever reinstated that crap logo at the back. That logo should’ve have stayed with the dumb phone lineup where that stupid design wouldn’t matter to the “masa” who just wants a cheap mobile device. in the 3k and up range, people will start to look for something like a cheap branded device, like samsung, that would hold it value than spend 7k and in less than a year would not be worth even half of it was originally,

    1. lol i wouldn’t spend 15-20k on a “branded” phone if I can get the same value on something that costs 7-8k, especially if you’ll be replacing it after a year and a half anyway.
      as for the map, well nobody’s forcing you to buy it,so why the hate?i bet the guy who decided to put that back makes more than you anyway.

  7. Suggestion lang po sir John Nieves and Sir Carlo

    Very rarely do you even mention the charging current/capacity of the phone, it would be nice sana kung indicate niyo alongside the battery capacity (eg.2900mAh battery / 1.5 A)

    Because this is important to some if not many people..Thank you po!

    1. anu po bang ibig sabihin pag 2900mAh battery / 1.5 A? paano po masasabing maganda ang battery base on current/capacity? alin po ba ang mas maganda, mababa(eg. 1.0 A) o mataas(eg. 3.5 A) na capacity?

    2. 1.2A charging. If you use a fast charger or any charger (at least any I tried), it just limits it to 680mA. My car’s cdrking 2.1A charger is being limited to 580mA (to protect the battery?).

      1. pano makikita kung nalilimit yung current na sinusupply ng charger? may app ba na makikita yun? mi powerstrip kasi ang ginagamit ko sa pagccharge ng mga phone sa bahay (2A). mas mabilis sya magcharge kesa sa 1A orig charger ng phone ko. kung nalilimit ibig sabihin mas matagal sayo magcharge kesa sa original charger ang gamit?

  8. I wonder why does the local brands stop using MT6752? It is much better than the MT6753. Even the MT6732 is a match for SD615 when it comes to performance, so this pair is a step down.

    1. Cherry Mobile had stated that difficulty in procuring the MT6752 is the main reason for switching to the lower speed CPU with the version 2 of the Flare X.

      Most probably, they can get the MT6753 at higher volume and thus, cheaper. Note that it is the chip of most bang-for-the-buck phones. And the difference in speed is small enough that 95% of users probably wouldn’t notice. The lower speed should translate to better battery efficiency too.

      Lastly, Lollipop is the default OS of most OEMs that uses MT6753 whereas MT6752 started with Kitkat. If they want Lollipop on MT6752, it will entail additional testing and cost.

  9. Sir, ask ko lang kung gumagana po yung games na may obb files pag nasa sd card? May cm flare j1 po kasi running on android 5.1.1., di gumagana yung games unless yung obb
    ay nasa internal storage. tnx.

  10. I have this unit. how will i know if it really 3g of ram?

    the internal is almost 11g only? not 16g? ang laki ng default app. :(

    tska normal lang ba na mabilis sya mag init kahit 3-5 minutes ka palng naglalaro ng games? tsaka data connection?

    all in all ok nmn sya.. un nga lang d q alam gamitin ung professional function ng camera.. hehe pano kaya un?

        1. Siguro po. Kasi ako malolowbat ko nlng walang heating issue at walang lags. Ang smooth talaga. Naka wifi ako, games, taking pictures. etc.

  11. How durable is the USB port of my35? Like infinity lite phone i have it now for more than a year and now it start giving problems on charging. Many infilite users have the same problem on charging. I would appreciate your early reply on this. I’m planning to buy my35 or my36 to replace my infilite.

  12. If you think na yung Philippine Map sa likod is bothersome, pinturahan nyo lang ulit ng black ang whole back cover and ok na. (i actually did it and it looks nice, fools my friend that i have a high end phone).

  13. Nag crack po ang screen ng myphone 36 ko hindi ako maka hanap sa ibang store ng Same screen ng phone ko.. Saan po ba ko makakabili?

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