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
- WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS
- Android Lollipop 5.1
- 1700mAh battery
- Php 4,599
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.