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MyPhone Uno Review: Nexus for the Masses?

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We review the MyPhone Uno!

Since the launch of the Android One initiative of Google in the Philippines, we’ve been rigorously testing MyPhone’s first ever Android One smartphone, the Uno. Specs-wise the Uno is near identical to the device that their local rival, Cherry Mobile, is offering, and today we’ll take a deeper dive if the device is worth the money that the local brand is asking for.

MyPhone Uno Specs

  • 1.3GHz quad-core MediaTek 6582 processo
  • 1GB RAM
  • 4.5-inch FWVGA display
  • 4GB storage, expandable via microSD up to 32GB
  • 5-megapixel rear camera
  • 2-megapixel front camera
  • Dual-SIM
  • 3G
  • WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS
  • Android Lollipop 5.1
  • 1700mAh battery
  • Php 4,599

MyPhone Uno 13

A curvy design that’s easy to hold and use

Like we mentioned during our initial hands-on and unboxing, the Uno has a very curved, easy to hold exterior. Upon closer inspection, you’ll discover that the phone uses a plastic shell that’s similar to the one that the company’s Rio phone uses, which in turn covers all the important bits with plastic, to better withstand daily abuse. The only thing that’s exposed is the gloss white plastic strip on the side and the 4.5-inch display on the front.

MyPhone Uno 01

The button layout holds no surprises – both the power and volume rocker are located on the right side of the phone. The USB port and 3.5mm jack are located on the bottom and top, respectively. Turning the phone over you’ll see the 5-megapixel rear camera on the upper left side of the device, in what appears to be a large aluminum circle. The speaker is located at the back as well, near the bottom of the device.

MyPhone Uno 16

Like we mentioned, the Uno uses a 4.5-inch IPS FWVGA display on the front with rather thick bezels on the top and on the bottom. If you’ve seen our unboxing video of the Uno, you’ll know that the device uses on-screen Android navigation buttons instead of traditional hardware ones that usually sit on the bottom of the display. We won’t fault you if you found that the bottom bezel of the Uno too thick – we’re assuming that the Uno was meant to have hardware capacitive keys from the factory, but got pulled at the last second when Google pushed Android 5.1 to the device.

MyPhone Uno 03

Display quality isn’t bad, though the FWVGA resolution leaves much to be desired. Colors aren’t as bright as other devices in the same price bracket, and we found it difficult to use under direct sunlight. Viewing angles aren’t bad though, though again, we’ve seen better hardware in other devices that cost less than the Uno. There’s actually a rationale for this that we’ll go into later.

MyPhone Uno 02

Because the Uno is part of the Android One experience, there’s no bloatware anywhere on the device, nor is there any kind of custom UI. What you get is pure, unadulterated Android Lollipop – Android 5.1, to be specific. It’s the Android version that everyone’s interested to know more of, simply because Google hasn’t published a changelog of what’s new with the new version as of yet, but according to one local brand exec that was present during the Android One launch, Android 5.1 simply contains bugfixes to known issues with Lollipop.

MyPhone Uno 04

Hardware that’s meant for first time Android users

If you’re a frequent reader of Unbox, you’ll know that the hardware that the MyPhone Uno has isn’t the best, even considering the price range. The device uses MediaTek’s aging MT6582 quad-core processor paired with 1GB of RAM. While the MT6582 SoC is solid and reliable, it’s getting on in years (it’s almost two years old). The good news is that Android Lollipop makes the entire experience extremely pleasurable – navigating through the device is fast and smooth, with zero lag. While the processor is a bit on the old side, it’s still capable of playing Android games well. Clash of Clans won’t be too much of an issue, though expect to play strictly in low when you’re playing titles like Dead Trigger 2.

MyPhone Uno 05

The biggest issue when it comes to hardware is the Uno’s seemingly limited storage space. There’s only 4GB of storage on tap, compared to the cheaper Cherry Mobile One that has 8GB on board. To be fair to MyPhone, they do include a free 8GB microSD card and apps can be moved to the SD, though it also bears mentioning that Cherry Mobile includes a free SD card with their Android One device as well.

MyPhone Uno 10 MyPhone Uno 08 MyPhone Uno 07 MyPhone Uno 11 MyPhone Uno 09

Decent camera, but could be better

We weren’t expecting big things from the Uno’s 5-megapixel camera but we were pleasantly suprised at how some of the photos came out. While there’s a distinct lack of detail in some of them, they’re perfectly okay for uploading to social media, though low light shooting leaves much to be desired. We did notice definite lag when taking a photo – there’s a delay from the time you press the button till the time the phone actually captures the photo, which only gets progressively worse as the lighting conditions diminish.

Surprisingly impressive battery life

We heard a lot of complaints from readers about the Uno’s seemingly small 1700mAh battery. It’s even smaller than the similarly spec’d Rio which has a 2000mAh battery, which managed to achieve 8 hours with moderate use. Imagine our surprise when the phone managed to snag 9 and 1/2 hours with moderate use (WiFi, a bit of games and browsing) in a single charge, with a little bit left in the tank. This is thanks in part to the better power management of Android 5.1 Lollipop as well as the phone’s economical FWVGA display.

MyPhone Uno 06

Verdict: A new breed of Android device for first time Android users

There’s two ways to look at the MyPhone Uno, and really, any device that’s in Google’s Android One initiative. From a tech enthusiasts’ perspective, the MyPhone Uno is a hard buy, as there’s other, less expensive and more powerful smartphones currently in the market today. Probably the only draw of the Uno for the tech elite is the guarantee of continuous Android updates by Google, starting with Android M later on.

But Google has made it clear that the MyPhone Uno, and by extension the Cherry Mobile One, Were made for first time Android users. The absence of bloatware, long battery life and guaranteed Android updates make it a good platform for people looking to transition from feature phones to Android smartphones. It’s also a great secondary phone for people who use Windows or iOS devices as well, and for developers looking for a inexpensive device to test apps on.

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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47 Comments

  1. nice review. but maybe you should list alternativesls for every reviewed phone, like what gsm arena is doing, so we can have an idea of the best out there.

  2. You mentioned the free Microsd to compensate for the pitiful internal……..

    But you never mentioned whether we can install to sd without using 3rd party workariund like link2sd, apps2sd….

    It’s 5.1 already and the kitkat sd restriction should be dead by now.

    1. Manufacturers should not say ‘4GB expandable to 32 GB’ because the internal memory is not expandable.
      Compared to a desktop or laptop computer, the sd memory card behaves more like a external hard disk.

  3. In the Uno, is there an option to transfer apps to sd or is it just installed to the sd by default? Because I have the Cherry Mobile One and apps are installed to phone memory and cannot be transferred to sd

    1. We took a look at the Uno again and you’re right, apps are installed on the phone’s storage (it just said apps installed on SD but in reality it’s still in the phone’s memory). But you can actually move them to the card. Just go to Settings, Apps, select the app you want to move, then there’s an option there that says Move To SD Card.

          1. In CM One its saved to phone memory by default. No setting to save it to SD. You have to manually transfer it via a file explorer app.

  4. In terms of display, which is better? MyPhone Uno or Cherry Mobile One? Thanks in advance and more power!

  5. Paki clear naman po kung may USB OTG ito? Nagkakagulo sa group, kase sabe ng myphone otg ready daw ito, while ung micromax a1 ay walang otg

  6. Sir, can you specify the phone’s thickness? And you mentioned that apps can be transferred to the external sd card, thats good news!

  7. Get the cherry mobile android one, practically the same phone but cheaper. All local brands, from experience, are equal interms of quality and durability. You get what you pay for.

  8. thanks for the uno review boss John, and you have confirmed that apps are initially installs on internal sdcard0 so internal is the main write disk, its clear that the most important selling point is the continous sure o.s. updates, but its a sad news for gamers who wont get to install nba2k15 or 2k14 atleast because it installs to the phone internal and its nearly 900mb already, and 2k15 is bigger, but yeah its for casual non gamer users, unless its rooted but its android one you dont root it.

    1. This phone is an entry level one, it isn’t for gaming on a highend. You are asking too much if you want a highend game on a budget phone.

  9. Guys I jus bought the cherry mobile one, it’s pretty fast and nice but my problem is no silent mode and cannot add another user, nothing happens when tapping on add user icon. I dunno if you encounter same issue with my phone uno

  10. Sir John, can you uninstall other oem google apps that you dont intent to use like google+,google play and etc?

  11. meron pala silent mode sa cm one press volume down lang to disable sound and activate vibration,meron din none option no sound no vibrate. pro di tlaga ako maka add ng user. also i notice sa cm one its not charging properly kapag less than 20% na yung battery you have to turn off first while charging (walang battery percentage only showing battery moving you have to turn on again pra mkita mo ilang percent na) pro pag 20% na yung battery ambilis mag charge 1:30mins or less.
    also mali yung manual ng cm one hindi pang lollipop kitkat yung manual. sa box lollipop 5.0 prop sa about phone it says 5.1. PRO DI TALAGA GUMAGANA YUNG ADD USER

    1. And can you uninstall some oem google apps that you intent not to use? Meron ba siyang uninstall option sa apps settings or disable lang?

  12. Just had hands on with the uno yesterday at their store. Notice that fb is also built-in. Cant uninstall either. I thought no bloatware? If google is promoting their G+, why include fbin the os? Just curious. Is it the same with CM one?

  13. i believe cherry and myphone are tampering the supposedly stock android 5.1 why in myphone it can move apps to sdcard why in cherry it cant? also why the hell add user is not working in cm one? i dont know with myphone if it can add another user. they’re supposed to have the same functionality right? tsk

  14. Just bought myphone uno. I should have bought cm one but it was not available at galleria. So far ok. Speaker sound is a little muff and found out there’s no otg support. Battery life is good, can last a day without recharging.

  15. How can can Google approve a simple low spec phone like myphone uno?
    1gb ram 4gb internal storage is barely enough to fit in lollipop 5.1
    Does Google think that the masses only want to call & text?

    1. Nagmamarunong. Kaya nga inapprove ng Google yan kase para sa kanila ok na sa Lollipop yung 1GB RAM, 4GB ROM at Quad-Core na device. Ok na nga sa Dual eh. Swerte na nga na nilagyan nila ng Quad yung Uno. This is more than calls and text. Pwede ren to pang-casual gaming. Originally, ang purpose ng isang cellphone ay for calls and texts. Bute nga may pang-call and text na cellphone na naka Quad Core at 1GB RAM eh. At pwede pa pang casual gaming. This can really be called “Nexus for the Masses”, and you can call you comment “Noobish comment”. How can unbox approve your stupid comment?

      1. A device with 8gb rom can give a better experience to a newbie.
        The free 8gb microsd card is good only for storing pictures and videos taken with the Uno.
        Somebody at Google must be sleeping on their jobs.

  16. Now with the arrival of Android 6.0 (marshmallow) I was able to set up the microsd card as internal memory.
    Finally, no more ‘insufficient memory’ error messages. Although setting the memory card as ‘internal memory’ makes you lose the portability status. Probably in the future, phones with 2 slots for sd cards will appear, one slot would function as internal memory and the 2nd slot would function as data memory (for pictures and videos).
    I also noticed that even with a ‘class 10’ memory, I still got the message that my memory card is still too slow to function as internal memory. So what kind of memory card should I use?

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