Hardware, software & performance
Hardware: Mid-range at best
The Highway Pure gets a 4.8-inch HD AMOLED display protected by Gorilla Glass 3. Sure, it may not be a Full HD display but it still pushes out a commendable 306PPI. Being an AMOLED panel, it’s bright and vibrant, and it’s hard to fault.
Under the hood lies the lowly quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 running at 1.2GHz. It’s no sprinter, but still a more-than-decent workhorse. This SoC is mated to 2GB RAM and 16GB of onboard storage. If you need more storage, there’s microSD expandability.
It takes a single nano-SIM, and supports 4G LTE Cat4.
On the camera side of things, it sports a pretty snappy 8MP BSI main shooter with LED flash. On the front, a 5MP unit takes up selfie duties.
Like its ultraslim rival, the OPPO R5, the Highway Pure also features a 2,000mAh battery that gives it up to 13 hours of 3G talktime, or 160 hours of standby time.
Software: Nothing special
The Highway Pure runs Android 5.0.2 Lollipop out-of-the-box, with Wiko’s custom UI on top. It’s somewhat stock-ish, but the iconography may not be to everyone’s liking. Like many Android smartphones out there nowadays, the UI doesn’t have an App Drawer. It doesn’t bother me too much personally. If it does annoy you though, then shoot over to Google Play to download the stock Google Now Launcher or a third party one like Nova.
Thankfully, Wiko has kept bloatware to a minimum.
Performance: Gets things done
Honestly, I really didn’t have much expectations for the Highway Pure. Judging by its outlook, I pretty much assumed it was all about show, and not too much ‘go.’
That being said, the device does commendably well in everyday tasks. It flies through email, browsing, social media, photo-taking and navigation. It even does light gaming well too.
In passive benchmarks, it scored 477 and 1416 in Single-Core and Multi-Core tests respectively. These are decent scores, putting it above three-year old flagships like the Samsung Galaxy S III. In the popular AnTuTu Benchmark v6 tests, it returned 25,847 which is consistent with global Snapdragon 410 scores.
Aside from attempting to run 3D games decently (which it then stutters and chokes), it generally took everything else in stride.
I did encounter some hiccups with WhatsApp where it sometimes freezes when loading media, but I’m beginning to suspect it’s a WhatsApp issue more so than the Highway Pure specifically. I experienced similar issues with the ASUS ZenFone Zoom and the recently-reviewed Wiko Fever as well.
In terms of handling, the phone is good to hold although I’d advise to use the supplied non-slip protective cover. The hard cover helps to give the phone a better grip. Its size allows for great single-hand use, so if big phones aren’t your thing, you should feel at home here.
On the subject of battery life, I was able to consistently get 10-12 hours of average use in day. Obviously there’s a trade-off on battery capacity due to limitations of its form factor, but the lower resolution display and lower powered CPU help balance things out.