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SKK Mobile Platinum Review: An Unassuming Powerhouse Smartphone

It's our full review of the SKK Mobile Platinum smartphone!
It’s our full review of the SKK Mobile Platinum smartphone!

SKK Mobile Platinum Full Review

After using the SKK Mobile Platinum for well over 3 weeks now, we can say without a doubt that this is one heck of a bang-for-your-buck smartphone for under Php10,000. It’s a solid performer backed up with competitive internals including 16GB internal storage that’s still expandable via microSD card. It also brings together two defining characteristics of two separate global brands. The custom Android UI is very similar to Samsung’s TouchWiz and the hardware design will make you think that the phone was made by Taiwanese tech giant HTC, lol.

Before we get to our full review let’s go over the specifications once again.

SKK Mobile Platinum Spec Sheet

  • 1.2GHz quad-core MT6589 processor
  • PowerVR SGX 544MP GPU
  • 1GB RAM
  • 16GB internal memory, expandable via microSD card
  • 5-inch HD (1280×720) Capacitive display, 294 pixels per inch
  • 13.0-megapixel main autofocus camera
  • 8.0-megapixel front camera
  • 3G, HSPA+. WiFi, WiFi hotspot, Bluetooth, GPS, A-GPS
  • Android 4.2.1 Jelly Bean
  • Dual-SIM, Dual Standby
  • 1800mAh Li-Ion Battery

>>> SEE ALSO: SKK Mobile Platinum Unboxing and Initial Review

As you can see it’s a solid package. The only thing that’s kinda alarming is the 1,800mAh battery. Anyway, let’s jump right into the review!

Hardware Design: SKK Platinum or HTC Platinum?

Looks a whole lot like the HTC Butterfly
Looks a whole lot like the HTC Butterfly

The design of the body of the SKK Platinum is definitely inspired by the HTC Butterfly. The curved pillow back shape, big receiver, grill-like aluminum band along the side, and red metallic accents are dead giveaways. Even the design of the capacitive buttons and the way they light up in red is reminiscent of the original HTC Beats XE and XL series, hehe.

The question arises though — is this acceptable practice? Well almost all the other brands sell smartphones that resemble the Galaxy series of smartphones, lol. For example, the Cherry Mobile Cosmos X2 is a dead ringer Galaxy S3, and the same can be said for a lot of the offerings of even Starmobile. That’s just how things go for a lot of budget-friendly smartphones.

Lights up in red
Lights up in red
Nice solid build
Nice solid build

At the back we have the 13MP shooter and the SKK Mobile logo in the middle. Up front we have the 5-inch screen with the 8MP front-facing camera at the top. All the usual ports and buttons run along the side of the device. Nothing really out of the ordinary.

The display’s good quality is worth pointing out. It has HD resolution which is 1280×720 pixels. That actually comes out to 294 pixels per inch which isn’t too shabby for a 5-inch device. Images, text, and videos all look good and the brightness is also okay. It’s not OGS levels but it’s still great given the affordable price tag.

Display is quite good
Display is quite good

Other than the striking similarity to HTC smartphones, there’s little to complain about the SKK Mobile Platinum’s hardware. It’s comfortable to hold in one hand despite the 5-inch screen and the display quality is comparable to even more expensive smartphones. We’re also digging the red accents for the capacitive buttons and even the camera ring. Makes it look cooler and gives it more personality especially since almost all other smartphones are usually all-white or all-black these days.

Software: Very TouchWiz

Now we get to the Samsung part, lol
Now we get to the Samsung part, lol

We now leave the HTC comparisons and enter Samsung Touchwiz similarities, hehe. The custom ROM on the SKK Mobile Platinum has Touchwiz written all over it. Let’s start with the lockscreen — it even says Life Companion (which is the slogan for the Galaxy S4)! The sunlight swiping animation is also taken from Samsung Touchwiz. Once you unlock the phone the similarities continue. The icon pack they used with the ROM has the same designs as the icons that Samsung uses. The same can be said with the initial loaded widgets!

The good news though is that in terms of performance, the SKK Mobile Platinum actually can deliver. Prior to even using Antutu, we already noticed that the animations, transitions, and app loading time were all incredibly fast. Switching in between apps only had a little delay even if the first app we came from was a graphics intensive one. The power inside this phone was confirmed even more after we did our benchmark test.

Impressive score
Impressive score
Huwaaat?
Huwaaat?

Yes, you read that right. 16,000. Based on this test it actually outperforms the HTC One X and is incredibly close to the power of the Nexus 4 and the Samsung Galaxy S3. It’s kinda mind-boggling that this device just retails for Php9,999 (and SKK even occasionally puts it on sale for just Php7,999) given the power that it has.

As with our other reviews we put this number to the test with when we tried out a couple of graphics and RAM intensive applications and widgets.

Smooth and fluid Zombiewood
Smooth and fluid Zombiewood

The numbers don’t lie with this one. We had a very smooth game of Zombiewood. It was really good that we even played well beyond our usual 4-5 stages of testing, hehe. Even if the screen got crowded already with hordes of zombies there wasn’t any trace of lag or delays. The lead character moved flawlessly across the zombies as he blew out all of their brains with full confidence that a lag spike won’t happen causing him to get bitten or scratched (lol)!

Other than Zombiewood we also fired up another graphics intensive title, Bard’s Tale. Again we were surprised to find the gameplay to be quite smooth even at higher settings. SKK Mobile definitely did a fantastic job with optimizing the processor and graphics of this particular smartphone. However, there is one major drawback for all you gamers out there. The battery tanked as soon as we pumped up the brightness and started playing for a while. The 1,800mAh just can’t handle all that processing happening. If you’ll be using this for gaming make sure you’re near a mobile charger.

Display is also okay for watching movies (downloaded or on YT)
Display is also okay for watching movies (downloaded or on YT)

We’re also happy to report that the 5-inch HD display is awesome for watching movies. We watched Pacific Rim on the SKK Mobile Platinum (720p) and it was a great mobile viewing experience. We did notice though (again) that the battery dipped quite fast especially at 100% brightness and maximum volume.

Over-all when it comes to software and performance, the SKK Mobile Platinum will not disappoint. The only thing that might raise eyebrows really is the striking similarity to the design of TouchWiz. If you can get over that then the rest is smooth sailing.

Camera Test: Another Good Surprise

Rumfold! That's our scottish fold cat
Rumfold! That’s our scottish fold cat

Both the front and back facing cameras of the SKK Mobile were surprisingly good. We will go as far as saying that the quality of the optics come very close to the THL W11 Monkey King, a smartphone that we praised heavily because of the capabilities of its camera.

Here are some sample shots for your reference:

Meet our cute cat, Rumfold!
Meet our cute cat, Rumfold!
NBA 2k14 on a 55-inch TV!
NBA 2k14 on a 55-inch TV!
Buttered Garlic Salmon
Buttered Garlic Salmon
Ewan ko kung ano 'to
Ewan ko kung ano ‘to

It takes decent photos in moderate lighting and okay photos in dark. In good lighting pictures are quite excellent but we did notice that vibrancy of the colors can be improved (there’s a white washout of sorts).

Battery: Medyo… Wah.

And this is where something has to give. Unfortunately the SKK Mobile Platinum just has a 1800mAH battery. We’ll be honest here and say that 1800 is just not enough especially with the big display and the quad-core processor. With moderate use we were able to hit 8 hours but with heavy use we could barely go past 6. With 3G on and some heavy gaming it went down even more.

We strongly recommend you always have a Power Bank ready if you will use this as your primary smartphone.

Verdict

Pwede....
Pwede….

So what’s our final verdict for the SKK Mobile? Pretty simple actually. If you can get past the fact that the hardware is “inspired” by HTC and the software by Samsung, then it’s a great bang-for-your-buck solid smartphone. The only real problem is the battery but that can be solved by having a Power Bank or by managing brightness levels and 3G usage. There are two nice bonuses with the SKK Mobile Platinum as well — the excellent cameras and it comes with a free case (though the one we got was pink).

The SKK Mobile Platinum is available in stores for Php9,999. There are times though (rare) that SKK does 1-day sales and brings down the price to Php7,999. This is already a good buy at Php9,999 which means getting it at Php7,999 is a real steal already.

For more information about SKK Mobile, check out their Facebook Page here.

Carlo Ople

Carlo is the Editor-in-Chief and Founder of Unbox.ph. During daytime he’s the Managing Director and Partner of a Digital Marketing Agency in the Philippines and by nighttime he’s living out his passion as a gadget enthusiast and story teller through Unbox.

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5 Comments

  1. If it looks like a butterfly, “clever” like a touchwiz, and bang for your buck, then it probably is a skk..hehe

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