The Neffos X1 may be overshadowed by the recent announcement of the Samsung Galaxy S8 and the retail launch of the Huawei P10, but different strokes for different folks. Here is a metal-back 5-inch compact smartphone with stylish premium looks at a value conscious price of S$249 (2GB RAM, 16GB storage).
Having reviewed the first Neffos smartphone, the C5 and C5 Max, the Neffos X1 feels and looks better. The overall design appears to be heavily inspired by iPhone, given its dedicated ringer switch, the symmetrical placement of the mic and speaker roles at the base of the phone, and the 2.5D display glass. The rounded metal back fits cosily around the hand and the fingerprint sensor is easily accessible when holding the X1.
Other technical improvements include supporting dual Wi-Fi bandwidth (2.4GHz and 5GHz), faster charging, improved camera.
Sadly, the UX no longer comes with unique features like Advanced Screenshot, Hide App. Nor does it come with system manager that helps user clear RAM or optimise apps running on background, features that are found on the C5 series. The latter, however, can still be managed through the Battery menu setting.
Looking at the 3 Android buttons below without markings, I knew they could be customised. The default is the back button on the right, but I preferred the other way so I modified it under the Smart Settings menu.
The phone feels generally adequate. There is no exceptional sparkles but neither is there any major issues. The UI response is sufficiently responsive, while the f/2.0 rear camera delivers average image quality and capable of shooting close-up shots from 10cm. Focusing is quite fast even under low light, but keep your hand steady to let the camera snap in slow shutter. I find the lack of image sharpness under low light is due mostly to the noise processing and hand shake rather then focusing issue.
Images appear mildly sharpened without excessive contrast, and slightly saturated.
Zooming in, the details are more natural without over-processed as seen on the C5.
Front camera delivers rather natural smoothening of skin and colour tone but noise is apparent.
There are shoot filters (mono, warm, etc.) and shooting modes like slow motion, time lapse, as well as beauty mode, HDR, night mode, which are good enough to produce creative images and video content. Videos are saved in 3GP format, up to Full HD resolution.
Neffos boasts that it takes 0.2 seconds to unlock using fingerprint. While it appears to detect my fingerprint in a snap, it takes another breath to bring up the display. A new software update increases the number of unlock errors fortunately, so you have up to 10 times to retry when display is off, or 3 times when unlock screen is on.
The battery size of 2200 mAh is not sufficient for me to last the entire day, as I am quite a heavy user checking my social apps regularly. The great news is that it takes just 30 minutes to charge up 50% with standard fast 2A charger.
Similarly, the built-in 16GB storage will be quickly run out for content-hungry users, but additional microSD card can be added.
The Neffos X1 is a premium-feel compact smartphone with enough features for consumers on a budget. Generally, I thought the Xiaomi Redmi 3S I reviewed earlier was of better value, though the Neffos X1 looks prettier, and I prefer the simplier UX on the Neffos that is less customised than Xiaomi MIUI.
Till 30 April 2017, register the purchase online to enjoy additional 12 months warranty, so you get 24 months device protection. Check out the product website for more details and purchase from Lazada Singapore.