Previously, I shared the first look of the LEAGOO Shark 1 and listed some impressive features. Let’s recap.
- 6300mAh Battery with Fast Charge and Power Bank
- 6-inch Full HD LG Display
- 8.5 mm thin and 240g heavy
- Fingerprint Sensor
- Universal Remote Control
- Front LED Flash
- Dual SIM and MicroSD Slot
After using it daily for over 2 weeks, here is a breakdown of impressions on the smartphone.
Amazing Battery Life
The Shark 1 can last at least 48 hours when standby intelligent battery saving is turned on. When it is turned off, the Shark 1 can still manage 1.5 days. All my other normal smartphones can handle at most 18 hours. Because of its huge capacity, the battery does not drain fast, so even though the battery is below 40%, I am confident it can last for a good 8-hour work day.
For video lovers, the Shark 1 should last 12 full hours of continuous use. I streamed YouTube videos for 2 hours and watched an MKV-format video for 90 minutes, and it still has about 70% remaining battery life.
Impressive Fast Charge
When using the original charger, the Shark 1 fill up the battery at an impressive speed. In 1 hour, it can charge about 50%, and with 15% remaining, it tops up the battery to 100% in just 2.5 hours. The charger is not compatible with Qualcomm Quick Charge, so it doesn’t deliver fast charge for other smartphones.
The Shark 1 can be used to charge other devices when using an OTG cable (not included). Like the ASUS Zenfone Max, the Shark 1 can drive 0.5A current.
Metal Unibody (and some Plastic)
The Shark 1 feels solid and heavy. The rear is mostly metal but I believe the top and bottom panels are plastic as they do not feel cold to the touch. The same is true for the side frames. Personally, I feel there is nothing wrong with metal-plastic combination, as it gives a good blend of premium feel and practical durability.
The fingerprint sensor did not perform as expected. At times when I tried to put my finger on the sensor to try to unlock the phone, it did not respond at all. But other times, it worked well and fast. Also, the Shark 1 supports fingerprint unlock during standby, but quite often when I tried that, it either did not respond or took several tries before the screen turns on.
On the other hand, there is a feature to unlock apps using fingerprint sensor, and that feature seemed to work more responsively. So I believe with adequate firmware tweaking, the sensor should work reliably.
Besides unlocking screen and selected apps, the fingerprint sensor can also be used as a shutter button.
Universal Remote Control
The remote control app is made by ZaZaRemote, and it has hundreds of brands and product categories for you to set up, from TV to Cable box to air-conditioners to audio amplifiers and even cameras. It works brilliantly and adds convenience if you needed this feature. The IR blaster seems to share the same hole as the microphone at the top of the phone with no compromise on the aesthetics.
Dual SIM standby and shared Micro SD slot
The Shark 1 supports dual SIM slot in micro SIM size. Both are capable of 4G LTE network at any one time, but when 2 SIMs are inserted, only one can use 3G/4G while the other will only work as 2G GSM. One of the SIM slots are shared with microSD card, with max 64GB capacity.
There are 7 general shooting modes (normal, HDR, panorama, multi-angle, motion track, picture-in-picture, watermark), 5 colour effects (mono, sepia, negative, aqua, whiteboard), 1 PRO mode and 1 Video mode. Under the PRO mode, there are more scene modes like night, theatre, sunset, beach, fireworks, to name a few. I can also manually adjust white balance, ISO and EV compensation, but the latter can only be done in 1-stop, between +-3.
The front 5mp camera can use most of the above shooting modes except panorama, motion track, and HDR. The front LED flash is weak and produces blue tone under warm light.
The rear 13mp camera generally performs well with good sharpness, contrast and colour tones. I particularly like the macro shots where the camera lets me go close-up without having me to select special shooting modes. HDR mode produces rather natural exposures. Photo samples below:
The Shark 1 plays music really loud and with clear treble quality when “BesLoudness” is enabled (by default) under the Audio Enhancement menu. And like most other smartphones, it faces the back instead of the front, resulting in reduced effectiveness of amplification, mitigating by “cupping” the speaker with your hands to deflect sounds towards you.
The Shark 1 UI is currently in V1.2. It appears to be inspired by Xiaomi MIUI and OPPO. There is no separate apps drawer – similar to iPhone – and has 2 fixed homescreen pages dedicated to photo and music, just like OPPO. The navigation bar that houses the 3 Android soft keys can be customised with limited options. Although there is an option to auto-hide it, I chose not to, but apparently not all apps adhere to my decision and hide it anyway. When I tried to set up the Shark 1 for the first time, I was flustered when the navigation bar was missing. But I later found out that the bar can be accessed by swiping up from the bottom.
There are many functions that are unfamiliar to first-time Shark 1 users, yet there is no help menu on the phone. The descriptions to some of the functions are rather vague, so most of the time I tried out the features before understanding what they are for. For instance, there is this “Hall Open/Close” function which I later found out that it is to enable or disable the smart window view case. You can see from the photo below that the window is located at the side instead of the top. It displays an analogue clock and shows icons if you have missed calls or messages. For now, the window display cannot be customised. The Smart Windows View Case is an optional accessory.
Power Monitor is another app without much explanation on how it monitors. I then realised that it will warn you any apps that are running in the background by prompting on the notification screen, which you can then choose to ignore it or stop the app. You can also set them under the “Protect App” sub-menu page.
The Shark 1 does not come with a centralised system management apps like clearing cache or RAM or managing app permissions and notifications. The Shark 1 seems to focus on power management, and via the Power Saver app, you can choose the power saving options.
Other unique features include Assistive Touch, customised gesture, floating video and music windows. Assistive Touch appears as a floating round widget which you can move to the sides of the screen. Tapping it brings up a rotating menu where you can select Home Key, Lock Screen, Gesture Recognise, Float Video, Float Music. The menu items cannot be personalised for now.
Float Music and Float Video will let you enjoy the respective media content in a movable floating window while you navigate the phone as normal. Gesture Recognise is a feature that lets you create personalised single-stroke gestures to start apps.
Shark 1 also has a HotKnot function where files are transfered to another HotKnot-compatible phone by putting both devices face-to-face. It also comes with several Smart Gesture features that was once found in Samsung devices. It also supports Smart Wake made popular by LG.
Customising the UI using Themes is also available, though in limited selections, with no option to download and install externally.
ONE is All You Need
The LEAGOO Shark 1 has almost everything: large FHD screen, huge battery, backup power bank, capable processor (MTK6753 8-core 1.3GHz, Antutu score: 35925), 3GB RAM, dual SIM, expandable storage, infrared port (if it had NFC, that would be perfect). The OS has much room for improvement to make it more user-friendly and less buggy. At S$399, this smartphone is so affordable and feels very well-built, premium-grade. If you dream of a portable entertainment communication device that lasts for days, the LEAGOO Shark 1 is the only smartphone in the market that can make your dream come true.
LEAGOO Shark 1 is available in Singapore at the following locations: http://www.leagoo.com.sg/where-to-buy/
Official product site: http://www.leagoo.com.sg/mobileproducts/shark-1/