Firefly Mobile Aurii Envy First Impressions - Designed To Impress?

First launched launched few weeks back, Firefly Mobile's Aurii Envy flagship instantly became the hottest commodity in the local budget smartphone scene today. Why? Based on their advertising materials, it carries "luxurious' type if aesthetics, "powerful" specifications, and modern features with great affordability.
Firefly Mobile Aurii Envy First Impressions - Designed To Impress?
Meet Firefly Mobile Aurii Envy

As a matter of fact, it was perceived to be a potential "game changer" in its category due to those above-mentioned traits.

Then after few weeks of waiting, we were finally able to briefly grab a hold of the said device and share you what we initially think of it. Is it as good as advertised? Is it worth all the glorious hype? Let's begin!

Firefly Mobile Aurii Envy Specs

Display: 5.5 Inch FHD IPS OGS 1920 x 1080 resolution w/ Gorilla Glass 3 protection at 401 ppi
CPU: 1.3 GHz 64 Bit MT6753 octa core processor
GPU: Mali T720
RAM: 2 GB / 3 GB
ROM: 16 GB / 32 GB expandable via micro SD card slot up to 128 GB
Back Camera: 13 MP f/2.0 Sony IMX214 sensor w/ AF and dual tone LED flash
Selfie Camera: 8 MP f/2.0 Sony IMX219 w/ wide angle lens and screen flash
Battery: 3,480 mAh w/ 1.5A fast charging
OS: Android 6.0 Marshmallow
Connectivity: WiFi, 3G, HSPA+, LTE, Bluetooth, dual SIM
Sensors: Accelerometer, light, proximity, sound
Others: Fingerprint sensor, Smart Key (shutter button), Smart PA, noise cancelling microphone, Colors: meta gold, quicksilver
Price: 6,999 Pesos (2 GB RAM / 16 GB ROM), 7,999 Pesos (3 GB RAM / 32 GB ROM)

Build Quality / Design

The fingerprint magnet back glass

In terms of aesthetics, the Aurii Envy did their homework pretty well. It's beautifully chamfered edges is made out of "aircraft grade" aluminum fused with a certain type of internal structure to reinforce its toughness. At the back, there's a Gorilla Glass 3 protected mirror like glass material. In front, the screen is protected with Gorilla Glass 3 as well.

Given those traits, we are almost guaranteed that this is a durable device. However, its "aluminum metal materials" doesn't feel as tough compared with the likes of more solidly built phones such as Flash Plus 2, Flare Mate, and Blade A711. So proper care is still a must.
On top it shows the 3.5 mm audio port and black antenna lines
On top it shows the 3.5 mm audio port and black antenna lines
Speaker grills, USB charging / data port, and mic below charging / data port, and mic
Speaker grills, USB charging / data port, and mic below
Left side of the phone showing the ejectable SIM and micro SD card tray
Left side of the phone showing the ejectable SIM and micro SD card tray
Special programmable key, power button, and volume rocker on the left side
Special programmable key, power button, and volume rocker on the left side

Going to the design, the Aurii Envy is a head turner. It reminds of Xperia Z flagships with a twist and a little more flare. It's modern looking, the mirror glass at the back stuns, and its simply beautiful.
From afar, the Firefly's Aurii is one of the most striking sub-10K phone yet!
However, if you nitpick, you'll notice that it is chunkier that most modern midrange phones today. Then compared to its renders, the black bezels on the side of the screen is pretty thick. Plus, the gap between the front fingerprint scanner and screen is huge. Gladly, its still forgivable for the price, but Firefly should make a more realistic render in their next releases.

Ergonomically, its fine to hold. It's a little better than average as it has well engineered chamfers and doesn't have sharp edges to provide a nice grip. For one handed use, this phone is too big even if you go on one handed mode in the settings.

Buttons and ports placements are also easy to locate and reach. The fingerprint scanner is in front, audio jack is on top, speaker grills / charging port / mic below, eject-able SIM tray at left, and power button and volume rocker at right.

You'll also notice that the rounded power button is smaller than most which makes it easier to distinguish even in the dark. We also love that Firefly included a programmable key that can be used as a shutter button to let us take photos easier.

Specs and features analysis

The screen and actual hold of the phone
The screen and actual hold of the phone

On paper, its one of the most loaded in terms of specs. It has a 5.5 inch FHD IPS OGS screen w/ Miravision tech that has average sharpness, details, and brightness. Color-wise it provides warm and punchy hues. However, the unit I saw has some sort of screen bleeding which could be annoying for most and result to bad viewing angles.

Going to the internals, it has an okay processor by using the ageing but still reliable MT6753 64 bit octa core SoC paired with Mali T720 GPU. To make things sweeter, Firefly decided to put 3 GB of RAM to ensure that multitasking would be fluid. Then it has 32 GB of expandable internal storage which is quite large for its price.

That type of setup is expected to run all the social media and productivity apps with ease. In gaming, it'll be good to run Asphalt 8 in medium settings and NBA 2K16 in low and medium settings.

The battery capacity is also larger than expected. While most 5.5 inch phones with FHD screen only has 3,000 mAh, Firefly included a 3,480 mAh battery here with 1.5A fast charging support. However, don't expect that 1.5A fast charging to be that fast. Why? Most modern midrange phones today support at least 2A of fast charging tech already.

In terms of audio, this we like the effort of Firefly to place a basic Smart PA audio chip that should let users experience "near HiFi" level of tunes. There's also a noise cancelling microphone to make our recordings and calls better.

It also has a 360 degree type of fingerprint scanner that's said to be accurate.
The main camera at the back with dual LED flash
The main camera at the back with dual LED flash

In the past, Firefly is not known to be great in the camera department. So its nice to see them put effort in bringing something decent with Aurii Envy. At the back 13 MP f/2.0 Sony IMX214 sensor w/ AF and dual tone LED flash. On our first try, it has one of the fastest focus on a budget phone and takes nice photos. We just noticed that its not as detailed and accurate compared to Flash Plus 2. The color tone is also yellowish by default.
Main camera sample featuring Huawei P9

In front, the 8 MP f/2.0 Sony IMX219 w/ wide angle lens and screen flash. It looks better, sharper, and livelier than the selfie cam of the Flash Plus 2. I just looked a redder than normal, but I can live with it.
Selfie sample
Selfie sample

Software-wise, the Aurii is using a near stock Android 6.0 Marshmallow OS which is great. It also loads with finger gestures, gesture motions, smart motion, and gesture wake. There's also a camera button that's programmable.

As of the moment

The Aurii Envy is a promising phone. It's a handset that's designed to impress in terms of aesthetics and features. It may not have the best specs for the price, but arguably, it is better looking that almost all similarly priced offerings that's readily available in the market today.

On the other hand, the specs is far from shabby as well. It got at least double the internal storage of nearly all phones of the same class, has a dedicated camera button, and Smart PA audio chip that should enhance your listening experience.

However, even if I like the phone on first look, it is far from that promised device that can defy the limits today. Why? We've seen few handsets that's better than this around its price range.

Anyway, Firefly still did a great job with the Aurii Envy. It is their best yet which is better than at least 80% of all its locally available competitors.

I'll buy a unit soon, validate our claims, and get back to you guys with a full review.
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