It’s been a week since we’ve gotten our review unit for the Cloudfone Next, more than enough time to put the device through its paces and really see what the latest flagship device from the local brand can really do. Is it worth its Php 9,999 price tag? We’re hoping this review will help you decide if the Cloudfone Next should be your next smartphone purchase.
Cloudfone Next Specifications
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 octa-core processor
- 4GB of RAM
- 5.2-inch full HD IPS display with 2.5D glass, Gorilla Glass 3 protection, 1920 x 1080 resolution
- 32GB of expandable storage
- 16-megapixel rear camera with f/2.0 aperture, Samsung sensor, PDAF and LED flash
- 8-megapixel front camera
- Dual SIM
- 3G, LTE
- WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, A-GPS, Fingerprint scanner
- 3000mAh battery
- Android 6.0 Marshmallow
A Great Looking Phone with a Lot of Heft
Most phone’s in the sub-10k price segment have seen a huge bump up in design, or the materials used to build the phone. They may not all have full metal uni-body builds like those with higher price tags, but it’s nice to see smartphone brands investing in the aesthetics of devices that rake in more sales volume. As you may have read in our initial review, the Cloudfone Next protects its important bits by covering it in a metal shell with plastic (separated by chrome bands) on the top and bottom for the phone’s antennae. It has all the right curves in all the right places that continues on to the front of the phone that sports 2.5D Corning Gorilla Glass 3 to protect its 5.2-inch full HD screen. Its design makes it extremely easy to hold with one hand, but it does have a bit of weight to it at 166 grams; we’re still on the fence on the heft of the Next, but it’s not really a deal breaker.
On to a tour of the device’s exterior. The right houses the volume rocker with the power button right below it. You’ll find the 3.5mm audio jack up on top and on the bottom of the Next are the micro USB port plus what looks like two speaker grilles, but only the one on the right actually has a speaker. On the phone’s backside, and it’s pretty hard to miss, is the 16-megapixel camera and LED flash. Removing its shell exposes the two micro SIM cards and micro SD slot.
The front of the phone houses the 5.2-inch Full HD Display with the fingerprint scanner on its chin. Above the device, is the 8-megapixel front camera, speaker grille, and a LED flash for those nighttime selfies. The fingerprint scanner on the Cloudfone Next is definitely not the fastest, but it is accurate. There are two things about the design that had us scratching our heads about the Cloudfone Next: First, the extremely huge design for the rear camera that may be more prone to damage if it falls and second is the chin of the device, which we wished had Android navigation keys to go with the fingerprint scanner instead of having them on-screen.
Great Display, Mediocre Speakers
The 5.2-inch Full HD IPS panel on the Next gives it a screen-to-body ratio of 69.6% with 424 pixel per inch. Images were crisp and clear with decent color saturation and contrast. It was great to scroll through our social media feeds, play games, and watch videos on the Next, although you may want to remember to always bring a pair of headphones as the speakers are a little weak.
A Capable Daily Driver
The Cloudfone Next is equipped with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 430 that’s paired with 4GB of RAM and 32GB of expandable storage. The processing package didn’t flinch during our week with the device and certainly had enough to have us bounce from app to app to write stories while out and about in the metro or when we’ve had to fill the dull moments during the day; a smooth overall performance. In fact, our only major complaint with the device is the UI overlay on top of Android 6.0 Marshmallow but we’re mostly nitpicking here.
The Next also performed well with all the games we threw at it. Titles such as: Dead Trigger 2, Trials Frontier, and Asphalt 8 ran smoothly without having to adjust graphical settings and without any noticeable frame rate drops.
Mid-range phone. Mid-range camera
We may be starting to sound like a broken record when we tell you that the 16-megapixel rear camera on the Cloudfone Next performs well in well-lit conditions, but there’s a lot of sharpness lost when it comes to less that ideal situations; that is, however, the reality of most cameras on devices in the sub-10k price segment. When it’s on, details are sharp and colors are great but you may have to tweak exposure levels to your liking to make sure highlights aren’t blown out, which happened more than we’d like on auto. The camera’s aperture of f/2.0 gives a decent amount of depth of field to give you pretty smooth bokeh in your shots. The front camera, on the other hand, has a smaller aperture opening than the rear’s but it really is more of the same in terms of overall performance; it does well when subjects are lit well, but it does have an LED flash for those night time selfies.
Battery that lasts and charges fast
The Cloudone Next is equipped with what is fast becoming the norm in most smartphones, a 3000mAh battery. Thanks to the Snapdragon 430’s taking mere sips to run the phone, it lasted with mobile data on for the greater part of the day and PCMark’s Battery Benchmark gave it a time of 7 hours and 26 minutes as well. The accompanying fast charger for the Cloudfone Next allows you to top up the battery quite quickly and took us from 15% to 80% in 30 minutes. We wouldn’t recommend tucking this under your pillow as you sleep while charging or leaving it plugged in all night to charge because it does generate a quite a bit of heat; better safe than sorry.
The Verdict: Is this your “Next” phone?
Overall, the Cloudfone Next is a pretty solid device. It delivers in terms of performance for a phone at this price, we’re extremely happy about its battery life and how fast it takes for it to juice up. Our main concern here is that it sits right at the boundary of the sub-10k price segment at Php 9,999; making it possibly lose out to other offerings by both local and international brands. That being said though, we do feel like the Cloudfone Next is worth a look if you’re strictly tied to a 10k budget for your next purchase.