Since Ding Ding Mobile entered the Philippine market, they've been consistent with bringing feature packed smartphones to the masses with good build quality and style. They aim to continue that trend with by releasing the Iron 2 and Iron 2 Plus.
|Ding Ding Iron 2 review|
Note: There are two variants of the Ding Ding Iron 2, first is the 1 GB RAM / 8 GB ROM version and the other one is the more powerful 2 GB RAM / 16 GB ROM version. I got here with me the 1 GB RAM / 8 GB ROM one.
Ding Ding Mobile Iron 2 SpecsDisplay: 5 Inch HD 1280 x 720 resolution w/ Gorilla Glass 3 protection
CPU: 1.3 GHz MT6582 quad core processor
GPU: Mali 400
RAM: 1 GB
ROM: 8 GB expandable via microSD card slot up to 32 GB
Back Camera: 13 MP Sony Sensor w/ AF and flash
Selfie Camera: 5 MP w/ flash
Battery: 2,200 mAh
OS: Android 4.4 Kitkat
Connectivity: WiFi, 3G, HSPA+, Bluetooth, Dual SIM, Dual Standby, Micro USB 2.0, USB OTG
Sensors: Accelerometer, light, proximity, heart, air call, compass,
Others: HotKnot function, knock to wake, gesture controls
Price: 5,399 Pesos
Unboxing / Accessories
As I said earlier, Ding Ding Mobile is very consistent with what they do and that stays the same with their packaging. Just like the SK3 Pro, the Ding Ding Iron 2 and Iron 2 plus packs a lot of goodies in its package. A phone priced at just 5,399 comes with a flip cover case, screen protector, hard clear plastic case, 1 A charger, micro USB cables, SIM ejector and an earbuds with mic.
|Inside the box|
I can't help but commend Ding Ding in this aspect as there are very rare mobile phone companies that includes a lot in their packaging. Keep it up! Hopefully other brands will follow.
Build / Design
|The right side of the phone showing the power button and volume rocker together with its slimness|
Will all honesty or what, the Ding Ding Iron 2 is simply the best built budget device we've seen in a budget mobile brand so far! It packs an unprecedented build and construction for the price that boast an all tough and slightly heavy metal frame, slightly curved back with soft matte like cover and Gorilla Glass 3 in front.
|At the back showing the speaker, camera and flash together with the Ding Ding logo|
|The antennas, mic and micro USB port below|
|On top you'll find the 3.5 mm female port, camera, flash. earpiece and heart rate sensor.|
Overall, I'm very impressed with the quality this phone was able to show me that can match or even beat the build and looks of most flagship smartphones today. The Iron 2 just like the Iron 1 is also extra durable where-in it can survive a lot of stress and crack walnuts. Lastly with its looks, I'm sure even the picky executives will like this when they see it in person.
|Display of the Iron 2|
Compared with the Iron 1 and the international version of the Ding Ding Iron 2, the Iron 2 that's available here boast a major improvement when it comes to the display. This now has an HD IPS screen compared to FWVGA. The result is it now has better color reproduction, nicer viewing angles and now has more details.
The only downside I can see from this screen is it doesn't perform that well under direct sunlight compared to the SKK Lynx. Anyway those are just minor issues as the display of the Iron 2 is on of the nicest HD screen we've seen when used indoors.
The speakers at the back of the Iron 2 has good amount of loudness. It's louder than the Iron and and it's a decent music player up to 80% volume. However, you'll experience harshness and distortion above that level. It's a good all rounder, but it's best for listening to acoustic tracks and some rock music.
When it comes to the headphone out, it was able to produce the regular flat relaxing sound like what other phones with this chipset has. It has good transparency, details and separations. It falls short a bit in terms of bass, treble and driving power. Great enough for driving small cans and earphones that doesn't require much power. What I like here is it is amp-able where-in it adapts very well to tuning.
|The battery life under heavy usage|
Given the fact that this one uses a 5 inch HD screen on a 2,200 mAh battery capacity. The expected battery life on normal usage is around 8 hours and I'm glad to say I was almost accurate. It was able to last with me for 7 hours and 51 mins on regular calls, text and internet in a day. Under heavy usage of gaming, taking photos, videos, watching movies and heavy browsing this device lasted me over a little under 5 hours which is not bad for a phone with not that large battery capacity.
The Iron 2 uses an unknown type of 13 MP Sony sensor at the back and 5 MP of selfie camera with an LED flash. I also noticed that it has been a common practice to Ding Ding Mobile to put a flash in front for taking photos in the dark.
When it comes to the camera interface, it was relatively easy to understand. It has a lot of modes like beautification, panorama and most of the normal camera settings is found here too. What I like here is the speed of shutter that seems to be one of the fastest I've seen from a budget phone. However, they might need to improve the focus speed too to compliment the fast shutter.
Quality-wise, the 13 MP rear camera great in daylight, decent indoors and really needs improvement in lowlight. It's great for taking close-up shots, not that grainy unless there's very little light and can capture some moving objects well. The front camera on the other hand at 5 MP was also able to capitalize on the fast shooting mode, but I feel that it lacks details and brightness compared to the front camera of SKK Lynx. While its good that it has a front flash, it can't focus properly on the subject. Still better than having no light at all in dark places though.
|Sample daylight focused shot|
|Another focus shot with better details and blur|
|Regular daylight shot in the ground|
|Moving flower shot, shows the speed of the shutter on default setting|
|Normal / HDR comparison|
|Poor lowlight performance that needs improvement, good thing there's a flash|
|It's a decent selfie phone!|
|Front camera flash in total darkness|
(Can't just focus properly, but still better than no light at all)
|The cool looking UI of Ding Ding Iron 2|
Comes with a lightweight UI that gives you 5.44 GB out of the 8 GB internal storage. The UI is fairly easy to use that reminds me of a combined Samsung, LG and Huawei experience. The result is actually nice, you get fast and snappy performance. It also rarely lags unless you opened too many heavy memory eating apps.
|The smart functions of the Iron 2|
Like the SKK Lynx and other Ding Ding products, the Ding Ding Iron 2 packs a lot of special features and gestures. It has an air browse function, air call capability, smart screen cover that actually works, palm motion and quick gesture entries. Like the SK3 Pro and Iron 1, the Iron 2 also has a full double tap to wake function ala LG G3 and ZenFone 2. It also has a hot knot feature xender software that let's you transfer files from one device to another with a lot of ease. Lastly the Iron 2 has health tracking sensors that includes a pedometer and heart rate sensor.
|Also has a heart rate sensor and pedometer that's extremely rare at this price point|
When it comes to gaming, the Iron 2 is buttery smooth with light to average games. It can also run some heavy games like dead trigger and real boxing, but just don't expect the smoothest performance. It also has mild heating issues when performing a lot of heavy task.
While the overall performance of the Iron 2 is quite decent, the processor and GPU they used is quite old and needs an update soon. I would have loved this better if they used a quad core 64 bit processor or an older type of octa core CPU.
|Antutu score of 17,116 and 5 point multi touch|
|Geekbench and quadrant score|
Pros - Best in class build quality and style, good display, packs a LOT of features
Cons - Outdated processor and gpu, front camera needs improvement
The most literally solid yet gorgeously designed budget phone that packs some decent performance in the market today. While it's not the most powerful out there, it is one of the most feature packed devices we've seen in this price category. It's a must have if you're the type of person with style and durability in mind without compromising too much performance.
GIZ Rating: 4.25/5 Stars