October 9th, 2012, 09:10 AM
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Freelander i10 Basic Review
Freelander is Manufacturer famous for its GPS devices and Android tablets, and it recently published its first smartphone "i10", which is outfitted with some very advanced features such as a dual core 1G processor as well as 1G RAM, a 4.3 inch QHD TFT display, a toughened glass touchscreen, and an 8MP rear camera. I recently had the device for evaluation, and I can't wait to share with you what I have found in this mobile phone.
Freelander i10 has a very low-profile yet unique design, without following the path of many other Chinese manufacturers who are copycatting those best sellers on the market.
Although only $199 in price, it is far from being a cheap-feeling device. It's got a really solid toughened glass 2 front, a well-packaged interior and a robust battery cover.
The size of the phone is 127.5x65x9.8mm, not the thinnest or the lightest, but very easy to hold by hand. It has a 4.3 inch QHD TFT display to its front, four touch buttons below that display. Around the sides of the device are two volume buttons, a power button, and a 3.5mm earphone jack.
Once the battery cover is removed, we could see that this phone has two SIM card slots, and can support the two simultaneously. It also has a TF card slot, and can extend the storage to 32GB, a very useful feature since the phone itself has only 4GB storage and a pitiful 512M ROM.
As is said earlier, the phone has a 4.3 QHD TFT display and a multi-touch screen. Not using a more advanced display such as AMOLED or SLCD is a shame, but the TFT screen has the advantages of lower costs, better display density than most AMOLED screens.
I10ís display (Middle) compared to that of Motorola Razr (Left) and Samsung Galaxy Tab(Right)
According to our assessment, the TFT display used on this device performed better in all the display tests than we had expected. Although it cannot show colors as vibrant as those of the SUPER AMOLED and PLS Displays, I would say it doesnít pale that much in the comparison, either.
A huge multi-touch screen that supports as many as 5 touch points, which would make browsing and gaming much easier.
3. User Interface
Unlike many other Chinese phone makers who would desperately design their own UI to stand out, Freelander gives its user the totally original ICS user interface. The phone owners can install UI applications designed by others such as MIUI and GO THEME.
Even though original ICS UI is sloppier and more responsive than most UI designed by others, it is shameful that Freelander cannot take advantage of its years of experience in the GPS industry and design an interface for its phone users.
4. Hardware Assessment
Through ANTUTU benchmark evaluation, i10, which is powered by MTK6577 dual core processor, has outperformed the Tegra2 powered Galaxy tab 8.9, and the Qualcomm MSM8250 powered Lenovo Lephone, but loses to the OMAP4430 powered Razr by a mere whisker.
MTK6577 uses PowerVR SGX531 Ultra as its GPU, according to numerous tests, the performance of this GPU is streets ahead of mainstream GPU such as Adreno200 and SGX530 which are popular in the singular core era. It also slightly outperformed SGX540@200MHZ and Adreno205, yet slightly outperformed by SGX540@302M and Adreno220.
I10 has an 8MP CMOS rear Camera and a 0.3MP front camera. According to our test, it is able to shoot great photos in a light-sufficient environment, but struggles to cope with color renditions while it is a little gloomy, and the flash light is more or less just a decoration rather than a useful addition.
Ironically, being 8MP, the camera cannot even shoot a 720P video; the max resolution of the video can only reach 640*480, which is common for 500MP and 320MP cameras, although it is of respectably good quality, it is still too much of a shame.
6. Special Features
i10 has two SIM card slots, one of which can support both WCDMA and GSM network, while the other only supports GSM, which is convenient for people who need two mobile numbers at the same time.
i10 definitely does not come from the most cutting-edge technology, and as a newbie coming into the mobile world, it has a lot of flaws, such as coming in only one color, not having a specialized user interface, and an 8MP camera that cannot even shoot a 720P video. But the price of $199 might save its day. And for people who don't really need as much as a quad-core processor powered android device, this is good enough already.