Zopo Speed 8 first impressions: First phone with 10 cores, priced at Rs 29,999

A fairly new and not so popular Chinese smartphone maker Zopo entered the Indian market-space last year hoping to sell one million smartphones in one year. While the company hasn’t confirmed if they managed to reach their sales targets, it did host a launch event yesterday (20 July) in New Delhi where it unveiled a new smartphone called the Speed 8.

Successor to the Speed 7 which was launched last year, the new Speed 8 was first unveiled at MWC (Mobile World Congress) back in February and is the world’s first smartphone to sport a deca-core processor, yes that’s 10 cores. The company seemed quite confident about this feature at the India launch event as chairman Sanjay Bhatia kept repeating the fact that the 10-core processor makes the smartphone better than any other handset in its range.

Here is our first look at the world’s first smartphone with a deca-core processor.

Design and build

The smartphone has a plastic front and back finish with a metal-like frame in the middle. The plastic back panel has a faux brushed metal finish but it feels a little glossy. It offers a slight curve making it fit nicely in the hand. The back panel surprisingly came off with a bit of an effort to reveal the battery secured with some tape and the fingerprint scanner hanging with just a ribbon cable. A company representative later told us that it is a non-removable back and asked us to quickly attach it back. Oops. The back also houses the 21MP camera with a dual LED flash and the secondary microphone.

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Moving to the front, there is a 5.5-inch 1080p Full HD display along with the front camera sitting on top of the display which also features an LED flash. The earpiece and the speakers are embedded in very slim slits covered with grills on top and bottom.

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The right hand edge houses the volume and power buttons which didn’t feel very solid. At the top there is the headphone jack, on the left a tray to insert the SIM cards and at the bottom has a USB Type-C port and the microphone.

Overall the design is not of a very high quality and for the price doesn't feel very justified. Smartphones with a much better design and build quality like the OnePlus 3 or the Xiaomi Mi 5, are available at a cheaper price.

 

Display

The Speed 8 uses a 5.5-inch IPS display having a resolution of 1920x1080 which translates to 401ppi. It is sharp and colours look just about right. The white balance is more towards the cool side and brightness felt adequate for using the phone in most conditions, although we can’t be sure of sunlight as we could only use the handset indoors.

Hardware and features

The biggest highlight is the hardware as the smartphone runs on a MediaTek Helio X20 MT6797 deca-core SoC. Basically you get a 10-core processor in a tri-cluster arrangement which includes two Cortex-A72 cores clocked at 2.5GHz + four Cortex-A53 cores clocked at 2.0GHz + four Cortex-A53 cores clocked at 1.4GHz. Graphics are handled by a Mali-T880 MP4 along with 4GB of RAM to handle multitasking. All of the hardware provided a smooth experience on the UI and we didn’t notice any lags or stuttering during the few minutes of our usage. Having said that, the ten-core processor is definitely not earth-shattering as the smartphone felt like any other high-end handset. We will need to spend more time testing the device to get the full picture of the impact of the 10 core processor.

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Other features include 32GB of internal storage, a fingerprint scanner, dual-SIM card slots (both nano SIM), 4G (with support for Indian LTE bands), NFC, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.1, GPS/ A-GPS and USB Type-C.

OS

The smartphone runs on Android 6.0 Marshmallow and the company has not used any UI keeping the OS close to stock, which is always good to see. Everything felt snappy and we didn't notice any bloatware as such.

Camera

The rear camera offers a 21MP Sony IMX230 sensor with an f/2.2 aperture along with a dual-LED flash. On the front there is an 8MP selfie camera with an OmniVision OV8856 sensor, an f/2.0 aperture as well as an LED unit flash to fill in light.

In our limited time with the Zopo Speed 8's cameras, we noticed that HDR pictures seemed to be overexposed and most of the pictures had noise issues.

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Battery

Zopo has used a 3,600mAh battery on the Speed 8 which sounds pretty good, and it is claimed to offer a full day battery backup. We cannot say much about the backup and the company hasn’t confirmed any sort of fast charging tech but the company’s website does mention that the Helio X20 processor supports MediaTek's proprietary Pump Express Plus, which will allow you to charge up to 75 percent of the smartphone battery in half an hour. We are yet to confirm the claims.

Conclusion

Even though it is claimed to be the world’s first 10-core processor equipped smartphone, it isn’t a strong enough case to actually go buy this handset. The build quality is just average, there isn’t any particular software or hardware feature that sets it apart from other smartphones and well the brand isn’t very attractive.

For the Rs 29,999 asking price, the OnePlus 3 still looks like a phone which offers a better value proposition. But we need to test the Zopo Speed 8 with its deca-core processor thoroughly to see if the price point is justified.


Published Date: Jul 21, 2016 13:53 PM | Updated Date: Jul 21, 2016 13:53 PM