[Review] Gphone EVO: True octa-core power on a budget

GPhone EVO

GPhone EVO

With little fanfare, the first ever true octa-core powered smartphone – the Gphone EVO made its debut in Malaysia a little over a month ago. The Gphone brand may be relatively unknown to most, but the growing brand is already selling its line of smartphones, tablets and feature phones in five countries across Asia. You may have already checked out the unboxing pics of the 5-inch Android smartphone earlier, so following up, here’s a quick review of the device.

Design and build

To be honest, the design of the Gphone EVO isn’t anything spectacular. A 5-inch number with a somewhat slim, curvy profile. Build and material quality is average, something you’d expect from a mid-ranger. The glossy exterior is somewhat of a fingerprint magnet and I’d opt for the matt finish housing when it’s available (a sample unit I played with during a media preview session featured that option).

The power button is placed on the right, with the volume rocker on the opposite end. On the rear is the 13MP camera with LED flash. Up front is the 5-inch 720p IPS (One Glass Solution) OGS display (320PPI) and the 5MP front camera.

GPhone EVO

Specifications at a glance

  • 5-inch HD 1280×720 IPS OGS Display
  • 1.7Ghz Octa Core (MediaTek MTK6592)
  • 13MP AF (Rear), 5MP (Front) Camera
  • 1GB RAM / 16GB ROM
  • Android 4.2 Jelly Bean
  • Dual SIM & support microSD up to 32GB
  • 3G/HPA WCDMA 2100Mhz, GSM 900/1800Mhz
  • GPS / A-GPS / WiFi/ Bluetooth
  • Removable 2000mAh Li-Po battery

Gphone benchmarks

Performance

The Gphone banks on a few key things. Firstly, the true octa-core processor from MediaTek. How’s this different from the only other commercial octa-core in the market – Samsung’s octa-core Exnos 5? True octa-core means all eight cores can run simultaneously. There are advantages of this. Performance, heat dissipation and energy efficiency.

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Next, the Gphone EVO is a dual-SIM phone, something common in the mid-range market. The Gphone touts itself as a multimedia powerhouse, and the more than decent 13MP and 5MP rear and front cameras respectively complement the octa-core processor well in this department.

Gphone benchmarks

3D performance is excellent, as demonstrated with Gameloft‘s Modern Combat 5 game. MediaTek worked closely with Gameloft for MC5, bringing stunning visuals for a more immersive gaming experience. The octa-core also supports 1080p Full HD, and 2K Ultra HD video playback. The latest HEVC (H.265) and Google VP9 video codecs are also supported.

AnTuTu passive benchmarks revealed commendable performance, hitting the 27,000++ range, performance close to that of the Samsung GALAXY S4 though losing out to more expensive flagships like the LG G2, Xiaomi Mi3 and Samsung GALAXY Note 3. Quadrant scores hit 16,000++.

The Gphone EVO features a clean, somewhat stock-looking UI, which is a welcomed thing. Bundled apps include AVG Anti-virus, Kingsoft Office Suite and TouchPal X keyboard.

GPhone EVO

Pros

  • Surprisingly good performance overall
  • Great 3D performance
  • Above average display
  • Good camera (both)
  • Dual SIM support
  • Expandable memory via microSD
  • Great value, affordable price

Cons

  • Unknown brand
  • Plasticky build quality
  • Only 1GB RAM
  • Outdated version of Android
  • Could use with a bigger battery
  • No LTE

GPhone EVO

Pricing and availability

The Gphone retails for RM899 (SRP) and is distributed by GWorld Asia Sdn Bhd. Unfortunately doesn’t have official online presence aside from its Facebook page.

Verdict

If you’re on a budget and looking for a high-spec mid-range smartphone, the Gphone EVO may be a viable option. Some surprisingly strong performance from the octa-core MediaTek processor. While the rest of its specs aren’t top-of-the-line, the Gphone EVO is still incredible value, costing below RM900, if you can look past its unknown brand name. Worry not about product support though as it has 13 service centres and 3 collections points across Malaysia.

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