Continuing the trend this week with another company based in the Asian continent, we take a look at some of the newest offerings from the Chinese manufacturer ZOPO. ZOPO was formally established in 2008 although not officially founded till 2012, and performs research and development, production, marketing and service of mobile intelligent terminal products including several consumer smartphone lines. ZOPO is an acronym which stands for "Zealous Open Perfect Outstanding". The claims to fame this company have include bringing the first Glasses-Free 3D dual sim smart mobile phone to the Chinese market and being the first company to deliver a Linux Sailfish OS smartphone to the Indian market.
ZOPO Speed 7
Earlier this year ZOPO announced they would condense their smartphone lines into three distinct brands, each aimed at a different segment of the consumer market. The three brands in question are Speed; used to denote high end products, Flash; for devices focused on the design and quality of pictures and Color; for budget phones mostly targeting young users. The first of the trio of devices we look at today is part of the Speed brand and is in fact one of a pair of ZOPO's new flagship devices. The new ZOPO Speed 7 has a near bezel-less design with a 5.0 inch, 1080p IPS display and 16M colours.
Making up the internal hardware is a MediaTek 6735 system on a chip with an octa-core Cortex-A53 operating at 1.5GHz and a Mali-T720 MP3, both from ARM Holdings. This is paired up with 3GB RAM and 16GB of internal storage which can be further expanded by another 64GB thanks to the inclusion of a MicroSD expansion slot. However, the included battery clocks in with a capacity of just 2500mAh which is nothing short of a massive let down, considering other similar devices are often pushing 4000mAh. ZOPO claims the Speed 7's battery will sustain 120 hours in standby.
On one hand for a flagship device these specifications are distinctly middle of the road, but on the other hand the device will still run everything you can throw at it today. Looking at the other features gets you a 13.2MP rear camera with LED flash and ZOPO's 'fast focus', a 5MP front camera, Bluetooth 4.0 and both GPS and A-GPS. The ZOPO Speed 7 will run on Android 5.1 Lollipop with ZOPO's tweaked Z-UI interface out of the box and is available in two colour variants, black or white. You can pick up the ZOPO Speed 7 today in select regions for approximately $200.
ZOPO Speed 7 Plus
The second of the aforementioned pair of new flagship devices is the ZOPO Speed 7 Plus. As the astute reader will already have guessed this is essentially the big brother to the Speed 7 and is better suited to matching up against other company flagships. Not least in part because the Speed 7 Plus is outfitted with a 5.5 inch display, which aside from a few exceptions and to my dismay, has quickly become the de facto size for a high end smartphone. Like it's little brother the Speed 7 Plus has an IPS screen with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels and 24 bits per pixel.
If you were expecting the Plus model to have a plus set of specifications prepare to be disappointed.The Speed 7 Plus has exactly the same chipset, CPU and GPU as the non-plus version. Memory is also the same, 3GB RAM and 16GB of expandable internal storage. The battery has at least been upped to a capacity of 3000mAh but you won't see any real life improvements here due to the larger screen. Connectivity options for both models include 4G LTE and Micro-USB OTG. It seems to me like ZOPO have missed an opportunity to make a really great flagship here. If it sounds good to you, then the ZOPO Speed 7 Plus can be picked up for $230.
ZOPO Color E
Moving away from the Speed line of phones now we quickly take a look at one of the latest smartphones in the Color brand, the ZOPO Color E. As mentioned earlier, the Color line is for budget phones mostly targeting young users. The Color E has a 5.0 inch 720p IPS display, a 64bit MediaTek 6735 chipset, quad-core 1.0GHz Cortex-A53, Mali-T720 GPU, 1GB RAM, 8GB internal storage and a MicroSD expansion slot. There is a 2100mAh capacity battery which is said to offer up to 72 hours of standby time. Zopo have gone for a mostly stock Android 4.4 Kitkat system with a few UI tweaks here and there.
Other features include an 8MP rear camera with autofocus and LED flash, 2MP front selfie snapper, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS and a Micro-USB OTG port. There is support for dual micro SIM cards and the supported networks include 4G LTE. The two biggest concerns with this device are firstly the low battery capacity, which seems to be a recurrent weak point among ZOPO phones, and secondly, the RAM. Even though the device belongs to the budget orientated Color line, 1GB is still a poor showing considering the price point is around $170; competitor devices in this range easily offer 2GB RAM in the current market.
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