You may not know this but BenQ is also a smartphone player. It launched its first two smartphone products — BenQ F5 and T3 in Malaysia at the tail end of September this year. Both phones pack Qualcomm Snapdragon processors, good cameras up to 13MP, 4G LTE radios and run Android 4.4 KitKat. What’s great is that they’re priced below RM1,000 and pack plenty of value. We received a BenQ F5 for review and while we work on a hands-on, enjoy the unboxing pics.
Inside the retail box contains the BenQ F5, battery, earphones, USB wall charger, USB cable, screen protector and some simple documentation. Nothing too fancy here but practical and functional.
The flagship BenQ phone comes with a 5-inch IPS HD display (1280 x 720), quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 (MSM8926) running at 1.2Ghz, 2GB RAM, 16GB storage with microSD expansion up to 64GB, 4G LTE, single-SIM (micro-SIM) with a generous 2520mAh battery.
It boasts a Sony-sourced 13MP autofocus main camera with BSI and f/2.2 aperture featuring BenQ’s 4x Ultra Sensitivity Mode that enhances photos in low light by up to four times. The front is a 2MP shooter adequate for those needed selfies. The camera comes with Smile Detection Mode as well as Voice Control Shutter. It also has a HFR (High Frame Rate) feature that enables you to capture split second videos.
BenQ’s low blue light technology from its famed displays has been incorporated into the F5.
Overall, the F5 is quite well put together with its polycarbonate body pleasing if nothing too fancy. It measures 8.5mm at its thinnest point and weighs just 135g.
Available in Elegant White and Fashion Black, and retails at RM699.00 (US$209).
As far as first impressions go, I find the BenQ F5 surprisingly good, both in build quality and also in performance. While it’s a polycarbonate shell (that’s plastic, just fancier), it feels solid and the design is pleasant too. Importantly, it feel great in the hands with its soft resin back providing some needed non-slip grip.
I like the fact that the UI is very much stock Android, and it’s KitKat to boot. The generous amount of RAM makes multi-tasking a snap, and overall performance from the Snapdragon 400 is good.
In terms of its much-touted shooter, I feel it doesn’t disappoint. It’s quick to focus and snap, and as it claims, does pretty well in low-light situations.
More findings to be revealed in the actual review but for now, things looks mighty positive for this value mid-ranger.