Kata Selfie First Impressions - The Selfie Focused Contender?

The demand for selfie-focused handsets keeps on growing nowadays. It's a major reason why smartphone makers around the world keeps on stepping-up their game in this department in pursuit of the best selfies possible on a mobile phone.
Kata Selfie First Impressions - The Selfie Focused Contender?
Meet Kata Selfie, a phone with 18 MP flipping camera!

One of those brands is Kata who recently introduced the "Selfie" for this Holiday season. It's a unique looking device with clever flipping camera module at 18 mega-pixels. This simply means that the camera can both be used to take selfie-portraits or landscapes with the same quality in a flip! On top of that, the Kata Selfie is also their best spec'ed offering as of this writing.

Will those traits be enough to warrant its success in this "selfie crazed" country? It's time to check it out!

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

Kata Selfie Specs

Display: 5.5 Inch FHD 1920 x 1080 resolution w/ Gorilla Glass protection at 401 ppi
CPU: 1.3 GHz 64 Bit MT6753 octa core processor
GPU: Mali T720
RAM: 3 GB
ROM: 32 GB expandable via micro SD card slot
Camera: 18 MP Sony flipping camera w/ AF and dual tone LED flash
Battery: 3,000 mAh
OS: Android 6.0 Marshmallow OS
Connectivity: WiFi, 3G, LTE, Bluetooth 4.1, GPS, A GPS, dual SIM (hybrid)
Sensors: Gravity, proximity, light
Others: Fingerprint scanner, 8 Ohms speaker, Colors: dark grey, white
Dimensions: 154.6 x 78 x 8.5 mm
Weight: 169 g
Price: PHP 11,999

Note: We got our review unit barebones, but the phone will come with a 2A wall charger, long USB to micro USB cable, earphones w/ mic, and manual book.


Build Quality / Design

Camera on normal mode, fingerprint scanner, microphone, and single speaker behind

On first look, the Kata Selfie appears to be worthy of its midrange pricing.  It's made out of a mixture of well refined curved metal frame w/ smooth chamfered lower edge, hard plastic back cover, and Gorilla Glass protected 2.5D curved glass. The matte finish on its plastic back cover isn't prone to fingerprint scratches and smudges as well.
When the camera is flipped, the Kata Selfie looks like a phone from the future!
My concern here is its flipping camera module as open and closing it frequently might cause some damage. Fortunately, Kata stated that it can survive flipping up to a million times without damaging its camera. That remains to be proven though.
3.5 mm headphone jack on top
Micro USB port and another mic below
Micro USB port and another mic below
Eject-able hybrid SIM tray on the left side
Eject-able hybrid SIM tray on the left side
Easy to locate volume rocker and power button at right
Easy to locate volume rocker and power button at right

Design-wise, this is a pretty good looking phone even if its frame and black border bezels are slightly thicker than my liking. The metal frame finish on the sides together with is 2.5D curved glass are aesthetically pleasing to the eyes. Plus, the when the camera module is flipped it makes the phone have that futuristic appeal.

This phone also has standard ports and button placements. It just doesn't have physical capacitive keys, but we're generally okay with it. It's also a joy to hold due to its rounded corners, refined edges, and not that heavy build.

Initial Findings

1. The FHD IPS screen of this phone is sharp and bright! However, the black border bezels are thicker than our liking.
2. It's buold is also thick, but it lightweight and feels durable enough to withstand daily abuse!
3. The flipping camera module is far from gimmicky and its easy to use. This would be nice for those who wants the same camera quality on your front and back camera.
4. Kata's UI doesn't have an app drawer, but its easier to use for us.
5. OTG and fingerprint scanner works, but there's no LED notification.

Camera teasers

Daylight selfie test
Daylight selfie test
Daylight selfie test
Daylight selfie test

As of the moment

We're quite pleased with what we saw with Kata's finest yet. It has decent build quality and appealing futuristic design and the 18 MP flipping camera module which can take decent photos doesn't feel gimmicky at all.

However, it is also a fact that this handset doesn't have the best specs in the hotly contested sub PHP 12K range. So, will its large 18 MP camera enough to attract potential customers? Watch out for our full review soon!
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