CloudFone Thrill Plus Review - The Affordable Mobile Entertainment Centric Phone!

Based on our unboxing and first impressions, CloudFone's Thrill Plus is a fun budget device. It carries one of the nicest aesthetics and build found on a sub-5K phone, packs decent specs, and equipped with interesting multimedia features for your entertainment.
CloudFone Thrill Plus Review - The Affordable Mobile Entertainment Centric Phone!
CloudFone Thrill Plus review!

After playing around with it for almost one month we'll share with you guys now our experiences with it. Find out if this is the right budget phone for you. Here's our review.

Display Quality

View the nice screen of Thrill Plus using the FREE stand
View the nice screen of Thrill Plus using the FREE stand

For a sub-4K phone, one of the special traits of this handset is its screen. Apart from the Excite Prime, this is the only other handset that boast a 5.5 inch HD IPS OGS high quality screen made by Sharp.
It isn't on full HD yet, but the nice quality of this HD screen will surely surprise you!
As expected, the quality is stellar for a budget device. You'll be able to view images and videos with decent amount of sharpness and details. Color reproduction is nice too. It can produced vivid images with slightly warm tone that's pleasing to the eyes. 

Viewing angles are on an above scale too where the screen would be view-able in directions your eyes can see. Then while it isn't the brightest out there, the screen of this handset is capable of providing enough light to make the phone's display fairly readable even under direct sunlight.

We also like that it is equipped with Miravision tech for picture quality optimizations where you can choose the right color temperature (standard, vivid, and custom) for the comfort of your eyes.
5 points of multi touch
5 points of multi touch

Then it has the standard adaptive display tech and 5 points of multitouch.

Audio Quality

Dual speakers in front
Dual speakers in front

CloudFone is proud with the audio quality this device can produce with its speakers. Why? This handset is the only sub-5K phone I know today that has a dual front speaker placement to let your enjoy listening to audio and music better. Apart from that, this phone is loaded with Auro 3D software enhancement which lets you either 3D or stereo listening mode.

Going to its quality, I am impressed! I can absolutely say that this is the best and loudest sounding speakers found on a budget phone right now. On stereo mode, it produces detailed tunes that's fun to listen with. It has decent bass response (fast and tight), balance, average clarity, and good highs. 
Auro 3D software
Auro 3D software

The Auro 3D mode on the other hand is nicely implemented on the speaker part. It's a software tweak can slightly mimic the 3D-like soundstage that's hard to achieve on a dual stereo setup. However, it has several limitations, it'll distort some of the frequencies (lessen the audio quality) in order to create that wide sound stage.
The dual speakers of the Thrill Plus is louder than your average budget phone!
Overall, don't still expect this to perform like an audiophile grade speaker as even high-end phones with dual speaker setup isn't capable of producing that level of sound yet. Let's be happy that it is louder and crispier than your usual smartphone with single speaker setup.

Note 1: It also has other sound enhancements such as a volume booster, audio booster, and audio surrounding for music or movie mode.

Going to the audio-headphone out, it is average in quality. It can produce close to balanced tunes with decent lows (not that deep), clear mids (clear voices), and nice highs with less hiss. However, the sound layering (separation) isn't that pronounced and the soundstage is just on an average level.

Fortunately, it has enough driving power for most earphones and headphones with low impedance.

Note 2: It also has a FREE Spotify earphones with mic included in the package.

On the microphone part, it is great for calls. The voices were clear and sharp where I didn't have any problem most of the time. For recordings, grains are noticeable, but still acceptable overall.

Battery Life

Almost 6 hours and 30 mins!
Almost 6 hours and 30 mins!

Packed with just 2,500 mAh of juice on a larger 5.5 inch screen, we expected this to perform on just an average level in terms of battery life.
The battery performance is better than expected.
However, due to its use of the battery optimization capabilities of Android 6.0 Marshmallow OS, we were able to record a better battery benchmark score than expected. It clocked almost 6 hours and 30 minutes of under PC Mark work life battery test. That's quite impressive as we only get at least 5 hours of usage on phones like this.

In real life usage, the battery is good enough to last for a whole day of work on casual usage. It includes occasional browsing, texting, calls, taking selfies, and listening to loud music.

It has a charging time of around 2 hours and 30 mins.

Camera

This handset packs an 8 MP f/2.0 Omnivision sensor w/ AF and LED flash at the back and a 5 MP OV5670 sensor w/ wide angle lens and LED flash in front.
Many modes found in its camera
Many modes found in its camera 

Just like most of the recent CloudFone handsets, the Thrill Plus is fully loaded with on the best camera software in the local smartphone industry today. At the back there's panorama, night, hdr, and face beauty modes. On top of that, the Thrill Plus surprised us with a sports mode (for moving objects) and a manual camera mode (saturation, white balance, iso, sharpness, exposure adjustments). It even has a spot-metering mode ala Huawei phones for easier brightness and exposure adjustments. Then there's the important grid for your rule of thirds.
With this phone you'll be able to enjoy a lot of modes that's not commonly found on a budget device.
All those modes is useless if the quality of the camera isn't good. Gladly, I'm happy to report that this phone is packed with one of the best main camera found on a budget device. It can shoot outstanding images for the price with great amount of detail, sharpness, and punchy colors in daylight. It'll be just a little washed (especially on HDR mode), but I'm happy with its shots in well lit places.
It's a real 8 MP Ominivision camera that performs better than most competing 13 - 16 MP fake / interpolated cameras out there.
Lowlight performance isn't shabby as well. It's a hit or miss, but when you get it right you'll be surprised with the level of detail and depth it can produce. When needed, there's always a bright flash that can be used to rescue your snaps.

It can also focus closely for macros, has speedy daylight AF speed, average manual focus speed, and less than a second shutter speed. In HDR mode, it shoots a little faster than other budget phones I tested, but it'll still need at least 3 seconds of steady hands.

Rear Camera Samples

Normal vs HDR
Normal vs HDR
Sunny day in auto mode
Sunny day in auto mode
Running water in auto mode
Running water in auto mode
Macro mode (manual)
Macro mode (manual)
A lowlight shot at Cuore resto by Irwin of Swirlingovercoffee
A lowlight shot at Cuore resto by Irwin of Swirlingovercoffee
Used the metering here to capture this excellent low-light photo showing Angel
Sometimes lowlight shots fails (used the night mode here)
Sometimes lowlight shots fails (used the night mode here)
Bright flash test!
Bright flash test!

In front, it has a face beauty with skin smoothness, eye size, and sharpness adjustments. Then it also has bright type of flash flash and wide selfie mode. However, its focus and capture speed needs improvement.
Add caption
Quality-wise, this is one of the nicest budget 5 MP selfie cam I tested yet!
It can even beat most sub-6K phones in colors and sharpness level. It can produce images with good punchy and crisp colors with proper saturation. The level of sharpness and details is also outstanding for the price.

In taking photos in the dark, I'll recommend to use the flash always. Have a look at some of our snaps.

Selfie Camera Samples

Yes, this photo was taken using the selfie camera
Yes, this photo was taken using the selfie camera
Indoor selfie (sorry Angel haha)
Indoor selfie (sorry Angel haha)
Indoor selfie with flash Whatneilwritesabout
Lowlight with-out and with flash
Lowlight with-out and with flash

For videos it can take up to 1080p 1920 x 1080 resolution at the back and VGA 640 x 480 resolution in front. It shoots acceptable videos, but honestly it is far from great. Due to its lack of OIS and EIS (understandable again) videos are shaky when on hand-held shoots.

Video Samples


Performance

Antutu and Geekbench scores
Antutu and Geekbench scores

The Thrill Plus is powered by MediaTek's MT6580 quad core chip, Mali 400 GPU, 2 GB RAM, and 16 GB of expandable internal storage. It's the type of setup that's slower than most budget octa core setups. Fortunately, CloudFone loaded this one with 2 GB of RAM to make the multitasking experience smootherThen it has a bigger than most 16 GB of ROM where you can store your files.

In actual performance, it smoothly performs on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram Spotify, and watching HD videos. However, when you open at least 6 apps and play FLAC music files at the same time, there will be hiccups.

In gaming, light games such as Subway Surfers and Pokemon GO works very well. For heavier 3D games like Asphalt 8, you'll need to turn the settings low to play it smoothly.
The drawer-less Marshmallow OS of CloudFone
The drawer-less Marshmallow OS of CloudFone

Software-wise, the Thrill Plus is using Android 6.0 Marshmallow OS that's skinned to remove the app drawer. It is easy to use and feels snappy enough too. Then it has options where you can change themes, add effects, gestures (double tap to wake and etc.), and shortcuts to make the experience better.

Then it has few bloats included that could be useful like TARA anti thief protection and the new CF DataSave.

Lastly, all its connectivity features such as WiFi, 3G, GPS, and Bluetooth works well. It just don't have an LTE function for faster internet speeds.

Pros - Excellent design and ergonomics on a budget phone, durable build, good screen, loud speakers, 2 GB RAM, Android 6.0 OS, OTG capable, no heating issues, and nice cameras
Cons - MT6580 isn't the snappiest for the price, can't play heavy audio files, no LTE connectivity

Verdict

At just 3,999 Pesos, the CloudFone Thrill Plus is a steal for its specific target market. I'm sure that most who needs a handset with beautiful design, nice screen, capable performance, loud speakers, and great cameras on a budget will be satisfied.

It isn't the speediest around, but its multimedia capabilities is one of the most appealing at this price point. If you need phone with speedier performance, their own similarly priced Excite Prime should suffice.

Anyway, given its few weaknesses, the Thrill Plus is still one of the must consider at this price point.

GIZ Rating: 4.25/5 Stars
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