Firefly Aurii Secret Lite Review - A Good Buy Or Not?

Over the past few weeks, we tested and used the Aurii Secret Lite as our secondary phone to check its secrets and what it is all about. So, here's everything we know about this handset. Will it be the right entry-level phone for you?
Firefly Aurii Secret Lite review


Display Quality

For a sub-4K phone it is impressive to see a 5 inch display with HD IPS OGS resolution. The result is we were able to experience acceptable quality and viewing angles that's nice in the eyes for the price.
The screen quality of the Secret Lite is arguably the best we tested on a budget!
To be more specific, we enjoyed that its color tone is decent and there's just enough saturation where its color pop isn't too loud. Blacks are also nice, just don't expect it to be better than higher-end LCDs and AMOLED panels.

On the screen software side, there's a MiraVision tech that allows you to tune your colors (vivid, standard, user mode) and use the dynamic contrast feature. It's adaptive brightness feature is also close to accurate.

However, the grass isn't always green if the tempered glass included is installed. Why? While it is great to have protection against scratches and harmful effect of blue light in our eyes, it could be a hit or miss. It is just fine for indoor use, but once you go outside, the screen turns blue which makes outdoor legibility very hard.
Great 10 points of touch
Great 10 points of touch

Anyway, without the tempered glass, the screen of the Secret Lite ranks among the best and brightest we tested on a budget. Not to mention that it has 10 points of touch for your great typing and touch accuracy and controls.

Audio Quality

Having the Smart PA amplifier and "Aurii" moniker in its name, the Secret Lite is expected to be a decent budget audio centric device. Unfortunately, that isn't the case with its speaker and headphone out.

When we tested its single speaker below, we were greeted with average type of audio quality. Bass isn't prominent and doesn't extend well, but it mids is has decent clarity for the price. It can also render highs normally, just don't expect it to be sparkly good and won't have hiss.

However, we find its speaker weaker in volume than expected. It'll also sound muddy / distorted / clouded when you crank the volume up. Then it has "audio enhancements" (boosters) in the settings that won't help, instead it'll make the sound muddier.


In terms of headphone audio out, it has average loudness and decent driving power, but the audio quality badly needs improvement. Why? It made our good sounding Onkyo E700M and TFZ Series 1 in ear monitors sound muddy, boomy, and distorted.

On the microphone part, the handset did a fine job in calls. For recordings, it delivered a better than expected result for the price. It'll be decent for video and audio recordings.

Battery Life

Battery test result
Battery test result

Another thing that Firefly highlights in their ads is the "stellar" battery life of the Aurii Secret Lite. Why? This phone is using a huge "3,450 mAh" of battery capacity for its small 5 inch HD screen and not that power hungry MT6580 quad core chip.
Battery performance is decent, but not as good as expected.
It only delivered 6 hours and 34 mins of work battery life on PC Mark Battery test. In comparison, the CloudFone Thrill Plus with bigger screen, same chipset, and lower 2,500 mAh of battery nearly got the same result.

In real life usage, we tried to survive using the Aurii Secret Lite as our main phone in a day. The result? We were able to squeeze just 7 hours of normal usage (mostly social media) from 8 am to 3 pm.

Anyway, this handset has a reverse charging function (powerbank function) and intelligent power saving mode. Charging time using the 1.5A wall charger fluctuates around 3 to under 4 hours.

Camera

Main camera at the back
Main camera at the back

This handset is loaded with an 8 MP (Interpolated to 13 MP) f/2.4 Sony IMX149 w/ dual tone LED flash at the back and a 5 MP f/2.8 wide angle selfie camera in front.
The camera interface
The camera interface

The camera software is modified and feels better and easier to use than most stock Android camera app. It is equipped with the regular HDR, face beauty, and panorama modes. It also has zero shutter delay and face detection that could be useful. What I like here is it has a semi-pro mode where you can adjust white balance, exposure, and ISO.

However, I can't find the grid function that'll serve as a guide for balancing your composition and following the rule of thirds.

In terms of quality, I find its interpolated 13 MP main camera to be decent for an entry-level phone. It can take good and bright photos with a little hint of saturation for your mostly Instagram ready shots in well lit places. There are just times where it'll show some yellowish tint, overexposure, and lack of sharpness in some of your stills.
For a budget phone, the Secret Lite is a decent shooter
In lowlight, you'll understandably feel the struggle of its main camera as your shots will have more grains. Fortunately, it has a good type of dual tone LED flash that can help you rescue your images in the dark.

Anyway, on a good lighting situation, it shows the expected 1-3 seconds of autofocus detection and less than a second of shutter speed. In HDR mode, there's the usual 4 seconds delay in image saving.

Rear Camera Samples

Random daylight shot (shows wide angle capability)
Random daylight shot (shows wide angle capability)
Normal vs HDR (We like the normal mode better)
Normal vs HDR (We like the normal mode better)
Sample food in close-up, nice details!
Sample food in close-up, nice details!
Macro in dim light, grainy but acceptable
Macro in dim light, grainy but acceptable
Taken at around 6 pm, it is actually good
Taken at around 6 pm, it is actually good
Around 7 pm, we struggled in focusing which resulted to this grainy and shaky image
Flash test
Flash test, the colors are quite nice though we weren't able to focus on the flower that well, the colors are quite nice though we weren't able to focus on the flower that well

In front, it has HDR, face beauty, and peace sign to shoot option. What's special there is it has a screen flash function that's useful in the dark.

Quality-wise, the 5 MP sensor with fixed focus used here is decent as well. While it isn't the sharpest around, it can produce acceptable selfies with close to natural colors. Its shutter speed is also surprisingly fast. In the dark, use the screen flash always to avoid grainy photos.

Selfie Camera Samples

Nice daylight selfie
Nice daylight selfie
Acceptable in dim light
Acceptable in dim light
Grainy at around 6 pm
Grainy at around 6 pm

For videos, the Aurii Secret Lite can shoot 1080 videos at the back and VGA in front. The results are acceptable, though it'll be grainy and shaky at the same time. If you want to take decent videos using this phone, I suggest you to have steady hands or use a tripod.

Performance

Benchmark scores
Benchmark scores

The Aurii Secret Lite by Firefly comes with a 1.3 GHz MT6580 chip by MediaTek paired with Mali 400 GPU, 1 GB RAM, and 8 GB of storage. That's the common setup found with phones in the sub-3K range.

Having said that, we didn't have much expectation with the type of performance this handset can deliver. On our experience, it is acceptable for social media usage, taking photos, and browsing. While its 8 GB of ROM is also lower than our liking and doesn't feel enough, it is still acceptable for the price and you can always use a micro SD card.


On heavy task such as gaming, it can handle the likes of Asphalt 8 3D game on low settings well which is good. However, on multitasking, it'll struggle once there's too many apps open as you'll surely feel the lag.
The Firefly skin!
The Firefly skin!

In terms of software, its Android 6.0 Marshmallow OS is a clean and snappy one with few good modifications. There's an easy clean mode when you press the square button (close apps), lots of gestures (smart wake and shortcuts), and even has a float multi-task equipped with several shortcuts like playing of video on your home screen.

Then most of its connectivity features such as WiFi, 3G, and Bluetooth works well. We just find the OTG of our unit inconsistent and the GPS doesn't work all the time. It struggles in finding our location using Google Maps and Waze.

For Pokemon GO users, it might be a hit or miss as there are occasions where your character will automatically move even without walking.

Pros - Solid metal build, stylish design, 10 points of touch, decent main camera, clean Android 6.0 Marshmallow experience
Cons - Underwhelming "3450 mAh" battery performance, slow charging time, audio on headphones and speakers is distorted, slightly sluggish in multitasking, GPS isn't stable

Verdict

To sum it up, the Firefly Aurii Secret Lite is a decent handset at this price point. We liked its stylish and tank like aesthetics that's simply designed to withstand abuse and last. The screen, phone and camera performance isn't shabby considering that this is just a sub-4K handset.

However, it didn't go as well as expected in terms of battery life and audio performance where the Aurii Secret Lite is heavily advertised.

So is it a good buy? We're torn between yes and no. It could be a nice buy if you are looking for a handset with great durability, style, and screen quality with decent performance.

Unfortunately, if you need long battery life, good audio performance, and better multitasking experience this might not be the one for you. It you can, just add 500 Pesos more on your budget and explore other devices with speedier processor, higher-end GPU, and double the RAM / storage.

GIZ Rating: 3.75/5 Stars
    Comments