Awesome mix of features, design and price
We’ve seen local brand’s market share grow exponentially last year because of the undeniable value for money that their products offered. But even after making inroads into the local smartphone market, questions about their quality and reliability remain, mainly because of the products that they initially offered when they arrived. While Kata Digital has been in the country for a few years, they remained relatively low key, with most people being unaware of their existence. That all changed with the Kata i3, as Kata Digital wanted to finally announce their presence in the local smartphone market, trying to avoid the earlier mistakes of other local brands by offering a smartphone with solid build quality, features and design while still being relatively competitive with the offerings of their competitors right off the bat. The Kata i3 is the perfect example of the company’s vision: while they could have sold it at Php 11,999 and made a tidy profit, they are instead only selling it for a mere Php 8,499.
Kata i3 specs:
- 1.3GHz quad-core Mediatek MT6582 processor
- Mali 400 GPU
- 1GB RAM
- 16GB internal memory, expandable via MicroSD up to 32GB
- 5-inch Super HD LCD display, 1280 x 720 pixels (294ppi)
- 13-megapixel rear facing camera with autofocus and LED flash
- 5-megapixel front facing camera
- Dual SIM, dual standby (microSIM)
- HSPA+, WiFi, WiFi hotspot, Bluetooth
- GPS, A-GPS
- 2,250 mAh battery
- Android 4.2 Jellybean
- Price: Php 8,499
Design and build quality:
The Kata i3 is probably one of the best looking smartphones under 9k. If the Sony Xperia Z1 and BlackBerry Z10 had a baby, then its offspring would probably look like the Kata i3. The phone has sharp, angular edges but it is still pretty comfortable to hold. While we’re not a fan of shiny, glossy back cover on the Kata i3, we did like the faux brushed metal treatment which kind of resembled the one on the Samsung Galaxy S3. The Kata i3 is pretty solidly built, neither creaks nor obvious gaps was evident anywhere on the device.
While competing phones in the same range only offer 8GB of storage or worse, 4GB, the Kata i3 shakes things up by offering a 16GB internal memory, which can further be expanded via microSD all the way up to 32GB. The Kata i3 also had the least bloatware we’ve seen on a smartphone which means you won’t be wasting time uninstalling unwanted apps.
Software and performance:
Day to day performance of the Kata i3’s 1.3GHz quad-core Mediatek MT6582 processor was generally OK but we did notice minimal lag here and there. The good news is that Kata will be rolling out a software update to fix the bugs soonish.
As far as Antutu is concerned, the Kata i3 managed to snag 16,977 points, which is quite impressive. Playing games like Dead Trigger 2 and Plants vs. Zombies 2 was generally a pleasant experience, though we did encounter minor lag when opening and closing the games.
The Kata i3’s display is another thing that the company got right. There are a few smartphones in the market in the Kata i3’s price category that sport HD resolution displays. The Kata i3 uses a super HD LCD display with 720 x 1280 resolution. The display performed well and made icons and photos pop, even under direct sunlight. We did notice that the display has a cooler tone compared to the displays in other smartphones.
The Kata i3 sports a 13-megapixel rear camera and a 5-megapixel front facing camera. Autofocus is pretty quick.
Picture quality is generally above average with good lighting conditions. Unfortunately, the lack of a BSI sensor is apparent with photos taken in low light, resulting in grainy and dark pictures.
We also noticed that photos taken with the flash tends to overexpose pictures.
Connectivity and internet:
The phone has dual Micro SIM slots, so if you are thinking of buying the Kata i3, you better have your regular SIMs cut. Both SIM slots supports 3G/HSPA+.
We used both Smart and Globe SIMs and internet speeds are decent on both networks, though with anything relating to wireless broadband, your mileage may vary. WiFi and Bluetooth work fine as well.
We are happy to report that the 2,250 mAh battery in the Kata i3 fared well in our battery tests. With heavy use (watching TV via online streaming for hours, playing games, social networks, long calls and a lot of texts) the battery lasted around 10 hours with 10% battery left. With moderate use, the Kata i3 managed to last 13 hours with 10% of juice left in the tank.
Kata managed to come in strong with their first smartphone offering. The Kata i3 is absolutely worth the Php 8,499 that the company is asking for. In Tagalog, the Kata i3 is “sulit”. If we had to compare the Kata i3 with another Android smartphone with similar specs and price, we’d probably pick the Cherry Mobile Omega HD 2.0. Kata Digital chose the right device to finally push its brand identity to the fore, and hopefully the company continues with the trend of offering great specs at an affordable pricepoint.