Elephone P8000 Review - The Affordable Midrange Tank To Get?

Elephone is one of the newest and hottest international brand to reach the Philippine shores this year. How and why? This promising Chinese company positioned themselves as a brand who offers tremendous value for money with their products by providing stylish devices with top notch configuration and functionalities at their respective price ranges.
Elephone P8000 review
Elephone P8000 review

Disclaimer: This review unit was provided by Lazada Philippines for an honest review

Among the 3 products they introduced for our market, the Elephone P8000 appears to have the best balance among them. It looks tough, has good specs and touts large battery capacity with the same pricing compared to its local competitors that appears to be highly interesting among power users.

So after two weeks of using it, we were finally able to check out of it is worth every penny today. Here's our review.

Related: Lazada Officially Introduced Elephone In PH, Launches S1, P8000 And P9000!

Elephone P8000 Specs

Display: 5.5 Inch FHD IPS 1920 x 1080 resolution at 401 ppi
CPU: 1.3 GHz 64 Bit MT6753 octa core processor
GPU: Mali T720
RAM: 3 GB
ROM: 16 GB expandable via micro SD card slot up to 128 GB
Back Camera: 13 MP 3L2 sensor w/ BSI and LED flash 
Selfie Camera: 5 MP
Battery: 4,165 mAh
OS: Android 5.1 Lollipop
Connectivity: WiFi, 3G, HSPA+, LTE, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS, A GPS, dual SIM (micro)
Others: Fingerprint sensor
Dimensions: 155.2 x 76.6 x 9.2 mm
Weight: 203 g
Price: 7,799 Pesos

Unboxing / Accessories

Elephone P8000 box
Elephone P8000 box

In terms of packaging used, the Elephone P8000 has the flashiest among the 3 that tries to have that premium feel and look.
The inclusions inside
The inclusions inside

Once you open the box, the P8000 will greet you immediately in it's full glory that makes you want to explore it immediately. Upon digging further, there's the standard inclusions we usually get on different handsets that includes a fast  2A wall charger that needs an adapter first, micro USB 2.0 charging / data cables and screen protector.

While everything is pretty standard, it would have been better if Elephone added a case here for added unit protection.

Build Quality / Design

View at the back
View at the back

If we were to describe how Elephone built this unit in one word, it would be "solid" in every aspect. This phone is very well made, feels tough and would surely last for a long while. The metal frame and plastic back cover feels hard and heavy which gives us more confidence about the durability of this device.
Back cover opened
Back cover opened showing a dedicated micro SD card slot, dual SIM slots and non removable batteries

To nitpick, Elephone didn't indicate if this has any type of screen protector from either Corning or Asahi to prevent scratches. Fortunately, there's a FREE screen protector included that could suffice.
Top showing the 3.5 mm audio slot
Top showing the 3.5 mm audio slot
Below showing mic and micro USB port
Below showing mic and micro USB port
Power button and volume rocker on the left
Power button and volume rocker on the left

In terms of design, it's okay in the looks department especially with the metallic grey variant, but the brass gold like version appears to be tawdry in person. Meaning it's trying to be stylish, but failed to do so. If you're getting this phone, make sure consider getting other color variants as they look far more appropriate for this handset.

Anyway, going to the ergonomics, the phone feels fine in the hands with acceptable grip thanks to its criss-crossed textured back. However, this phone would be nicer if it's slimmer and lighter. The P8000 is simply thicker than expected at 9.2 mm even if it has curve back arc to make it look slimmer. At 203 grams, this phone is even heavier than the ZenFone 2, making it quite tiring to hold in the long run.

Fortunately, Elephone did their homework properly on how to make a 5.5 inch device have easier to reach buttons and ports as their placements is everything that we wanted on a modern smartphone. We also appreciate them by trying to be unique, by putting the light notification in the LED backlit capacitive home key.

Display Quality

The display quality of P8000 in person
The display quality of P8000 in person

On paper, this device presents one of the sharpest screens in the sub-8K Pesos range. It's using a Full HD panel on a 5.5 inch that looks crispy and has fine details overall. We also noticed that there are no visible gap between the screen and glass making us suspect that it's using an OGS type of IPS screen that gives better viewing angles and experience.

In addition to that, the colors are neutral looking, though I would want it to have deeper blacks and to be a little more vibrant. Anyway, the P8000 also packs good enough max brightness levels to be acceptable under direct sunlight. In indoor use, we suggest you to use it's adaptive brightness tech to ensure eye safety as the its brightness can cause eye strains at times.

Audio Quality

Speaker-wise, this handset performed ordinarily. It's sounds decent overall, but I find that it lacking in mids details and a bit too peaky in treble happy songs. The loudness is also fine, tough I would like it to be a little bit more louder. Anyway, most will like that it produce unexpected bass slams and airy wide soundstage. As I said earlier, it's acceptably decent as whole.

In terms of audio out thru headphones, I expected this to sound as clean as most MT6753 powered handsets. However, it produced darker than expected sound signature, a little bit detailed bass response and a bit grainy mids. Fortunately, it's highs sounds decent, still has good instrumental separation and average soundstage.

Having said that, even if it has above average driving power and can play 24 bit lossless files, it's not audiophile tuned smartphone, but has a more consumer friendly sound. At least it doesn't sound distorted even on max volume.

In terms of microphone used, this only features a single microphone hole. It performed nicely in quiet enviroment, but it has a lot of noise in not that quiet environment. That's why we would always like a phone better if it has at least dual mic setup w/ noise cancelling.

Battery Life

Work battery life test
Work battery life test

During our time with the P8000, we were impressed on how long this phone can go on normal usage. It's 4,165 mAh of battery appears to be real as it can last for at least 2 days on my normal usage as a secondary phone with occasional calls, WiFi open all the time and taking pictures.

Under heavy usage and battery test it has a mileage of 8 hours and 22 mins. Under looping video playback, it managed to survive for 6 hours and 5 mins which is impressive as I was also using max loudness there.

Charging time appears to be fine as well even with the use of a 2 A wall charger at less than 3 hours given its large battery capacity. However, avoid using chargers with 1 A rating as it will take you like forever in charging this device. Trust me.

Camera

Main camera located at the back
Main camera located at the back

Camera-wise, we liked that Elephone managed to use a decent sensor with its 13 MP Samsung 3L2 camera w/ BSI and LED flash at the back. In front is has 5 MP selfie shooter that's acceptable as well.

In terms of quality, it performed averagely in my opinion. It has neutral colors that's not saturated, has average sharpness and not that grainy results. There are just times where it tends to overexpose subjects when focused incorrectly. Fortunately, it has other good traits as you can rely on this with some close-up shots which can even produce good background blur. Just make sure that, you're in well lit conditions or you'll see its glaring weaknesses in the challenging areas.

While it doesn't have newer tech like PDAF or Laser AF, the focus speed is pretty fast. Don't expect it to be super fast, but at least it isn't slow. However, it's shutter speed sing a different tune, it's slower than expected especially when at HDR mode that takes 5 seconds to capture a subject.

In front, the colors are slightly yellowish, but pretty acceptable in details considering the price point.

We also found out that its camera software is too plain and doesn't have the features we normally like to see with other handsets.

Speaking of video quality, it's decent in daylight but expect a lot of shakiness, occasional lags and misfocus as it lacks OIS. Anyway, at least, you can record 1080p FHD videos at the back and 720p HD videos in front in .3gp format.

Rear Camera Samples

Normal daylight shot
Normal daylight shot
Outdoor shot around 6 pm
Outdoor shot around 6 pm
Close-up shot
Close-up shot
Normal vs HDR shot
Normal vs HDR shot
Dim light shot
Dim light shot
Photo at night
Photo at night
Flash test
Flash test

Selfie Camera Samples

Selfie outdoors
Selfie outdoors
Selfie indoors
Selfie indoors
Selfie dim light
Selfie dim light
Selfie night
Selfie night

Video Sample


Performance

Antutu and geekbench scores
Antutu and geekbench scores

Featuring a usual configuration of MT6753 SoC, Mali T720 GPU and 3 GB of RAM. We got the expected performance with this phone. Hiccups is almost non-existent when moving from an light app to another, can run any task I throw at it and doesn't heat up that much even when on LTE and gaming.

Speaking of gaming performance, it was very acceptable for a light and casual gamer like me. It's Mali T720 did enough to run any light and casual game available in the app store today smoothly. Even some heavy games such as Asphalt 8 are smooth enough,  but we observed noticeable frame drops with NBA 2K16. It's playable, but don't expect it to be buttery smooth.
Stock UI of this phone
Stock UI of this phone

For a phone manufacturer that's very well known to put custom UI's we're surprised that the P8000 that reach our shores was on stock vanilla Android. As a result, it gives faster performance even if it has limited features. Anyway, you can always install the apps and look that you want here.

Donning a fingerprint scanner at the back, we have high hopes that its ergonomic placement would have the same performance like what we've seen the Elephone S1. However, it didn't live up to the hype. It was very inaccurate and it usually takes me at least 5 tries to get my finger recognizes making almost unusable for me.

While, the overall performance of the phone is very smooth for its specs, we wanted its fingerprint sensor to be better. 

Pros - Good specs to price ratio, tough build, long battery life, good performance
Cons - Thick and heavy, too flashy design for some, fingerprint scanner is far from accurate, not that clear audio out, no OTG support

Verdict

Elephone managed to impress us with a solid midrange phone with great specs to price ratio. Why? This Elephone P8000 is a highly recommended handset for everyone who wanted more than decent performance with long battery life. It maybe thick, heavy and a bit too flashy for some, but this phone get's the job done most of the time.

GIZ Rating: 4.25/5 Stars

Where to buy this? Click Here!
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