Kata C1 Review - The Budget Kata Phone To Get?

Kata has always impressed us with their hardware; so when they sent us a copy of the new C1 which is priced quite low with an under 4K price tag, we got so excited that we just had to see what it can do as soon as possible!
Kata C1 review
Kata C1 review

If you can remember our first impressions, at first glance, the Kata looks impressively premium for the price. The glass panel is bright and firm while the back is covered with rubber faux leather that gives that premium texture feel on your hand. There are chrome accents around the phone that add that detail to give it a more premium look.


Disclaimer: This review unit was seeded by Kata Philippines for an honest review

Display Quality

The screen of the phone
The screen of the phone

The C1 has an 720P HD 5.5 inch display that supports up to 5 touch points is the sweet spot for budget phones for 2016. What we like here is it isn't saturated and has nice tonality for the eyes. The screen is bright but could be brighter for it to be visible on broad day light.
5 points of touch
5 points of touch

Note 1: The Display does have bezels but you forget about them after a while.
Note 2: The C1 doesn't come with a light sensor so the adaptive brightness doesn't work

Audio Quality

Speaker experience is 'okay' for its price. It can get loud where you can hear the music or audio from videos without alarming your neighbors. Just don't expect it to be as good as most more expensive speakers found with other phones and you'll be okay with it.

For headphone or earphone usage, the experience isn't that great. Yes it can go loud, but grains is all over and its muffled across the audio spectrum. It's usable for emergencies, but we won't recommend using it for your enjoyable music experience.

When used for calls, the microphone is okay without too much noise and muffling while the small speaker is just loud  enough to not hurt your ear and clear enough not to bother you.

Battery Life

I tested the phone with a single sim and an micro SD card which lasts me until the end of the day. With real world use of calling, texting and internet browsing, I wasn't even able to get a full day of use. I had to bring a powerbank with me all the time and I had to plug it two to three times a day. This is the where Kata could or should improve vastly in the near future.

Our Battery benchmarks will follow as we are doing a retest to see if our findings are consistent. Just in case.

Camera

13 MP camera at the back
13 MP camera at the back

On paper and for the price, we weren't expecting too much from the 13 MP megapixel camera of a budget phone. So when we brought the C1 with us on our trip to Cebu, we were floored at how great the camera is for its price.

In front, its 5 MP selfie cam is good enough for you casual snaps as long as you have adequate light. It doesn't have wide angles, but this is still acceptable considering that it is a budget phone.

We took pictures in several situations from our trip. They are down below and see for yourself.

For videos, it can record 1080p in at the back and 480 videos in front. It's usable and acceptable, but if you need to take serious videos, we suggest you to look for other cameras.

Rear Camera Samples

Daylight shot
Daylight shot
Another good light shot
Another good light shot
Macro shot
Macro shot
Panoramic test
Panoramic test
Falls short on lowlight as expected
Falls short on lowlight as expected

Selfie Camera Samples

Selfie in daylight and indoor
Selfie in daylight and indoor

Performance

Benchmarks scores (Antutu and Geekbench)
Benchmarks scores (Antutu and Geekbench)

With the use of the new MT6580 quad core processor, it is capable running of light to moderate tasks with ease. We were able to play a number of popular updated Google Play store games with decent performance.

The phone does have 1GB of RAM which is plenty for light browsing and multitasking. But multi-tasking between apps is hindered by having to long press the Home Button to open the Recent Apps tab, it takes even longer. Chrome with multiple windows is a lags so we won't recommend it.

Where we struggled the most was the 8GB on board storage, making an SD card a requirement. There were so many times where we would have to uninstall other apps to make room for others. I hope Kata decides to upgrade it to the new minimum standard of 16GB.

The C1 plays 720p content wonderfully but there were occasions where it would stutter and have a hard time seeking a specific scene.
Kata's clean looking UI
Kata's clean looking UI

Software - The C1 runs Android 5.1 Lollipop with very few design tweaks to Android. It does come with some pre-installed apps like their VPN service bundled with the different video streaming services that allows you to watch content without region restrictions.

The VPN works but the video streaming apps themselves would be a hit or miss. There are times where to stream I need to have the latest updated version of the app but the app store knows that I am from a region that can't get it updated. So sometimes it doesn't work.

The default home launcher is the standard android 5.1 but has the classic Kata icons and wallpapers that may feel dated for most people. It also does not have a separate where the apps are on the screen itself.

The lockscreen is the same as the stock Android 5.1 where the you can swipe up to unlock, swipe from the left you go directly to the dialer app and when you swipe from the right, the camera app will start.

What I find a little off putting with the C1's software is the constant ad notifications from some of the bundled apps.

Pros - Premium build, big screen, best faux leather on a phone, camera is good for the price
Cons - Poor battery life, 8 GB internal storage is low for 2016, Chrome accents chip easily, software feels dated

Verdict

For the price, you can not go wrong with the Kata C1 if you want a stylish phone for your basic Android task. Adding light browsing can take a big hit on your battery life, and coupled with the limited apps you can install because of the 8 GB storage resulted in us advising the masses that the C1 should be your pick for a secondary phone. The build quality is stellar and we have yet to find another device that can beat its faux leather quality.

GIZ Rating: 3.75/5 Stars
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