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Cloudfone Next Lite Review - Do Not Take This Phone Lightly!

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Having a "lite" in the name may mean a serious downgrade most of the time. However the Cloudfone Next Lite still packs enough punch to make a statement! It may have notable similarities with its predecessor the Next but this handset can still hold its own.
Is is the "Lite" phone that you should not take lightly?

We had several weeks to play around with this handset so here are the deets!


Display Quality

Sharp 441 pixels per inch!

Having the Lite moniker in the name already states the obviously smaller sized 5 inch display compared to its older brother but with the same full HD resolution, you are not losing a lot. As a matter of fact, it even has a sharper 441 pixels per inch! The colors are pleasing to the eyes and have great depth. It holds itself well even on broad daylight.
There's the usual 5 points of touch
There's the usual 5 points of touch
The viewing angles are amazing well too and the curved glass is beautiful.
10 points of touch would have been better, but at 5 points we there's really not much to complain about. For an under 8K PHP handset, I don't think there is anything anyone would complain on the display features of this phone.

Audio Quality

Single loud enough speaker located below
Single loud enough speaker located below

The phone showcases a single speaker located at the bottom of the phone with good enough (average) loudness. The speaker audio quality may lack clarity and have more distortion on higher volumes in speaker. Using your choice of headphones poses a different discussion.

Audio output thru headphones sounds interesting. It is clean, well refined, and has a close to balanced sound signature. Loudness level are okay too which can drive small powered headphones pretty well.

Using the stock in earphones the output are much clearer and has fine mids and highs. Bass details are more elaborately highlighted more than other aspects but still it does the job.

The microphone is good and picks up the voice pretty well without much ambient noise coming into play.

Battery Life

Almost 6 hours of battery life
Almost 6 hours of battery life

With 3,000 mAh of battery on a smaller screen, we're expecting the battery life to improve a little coming from the bigger Next. While it still recorded a decent score of about 6 hours t PC Mark battery test, it is less than by 3+ hours against its higher-end sibling. This is a slight disappointment since this limits the phone’s ability to perform.
Battery life is decent, but we expected it to be better.
One of the areas where phones should improve next time is battery life. With sparse usage of the screen and high mode games, the battery capacity may be prolonged. Also, the built-in Phone Assistant with power saving option and Eco mode could be very useful to make the battery life of the Next Lite longer.

Due to its lack of QC 3.0 support, charging time is approximately under 2 hours and 30 mins in our test.

Camera

13 MP f/2.2 Sony IMX258
13 MP f/2.2 Sony IMX258

The Next Lite has a 13 MP f/2.2 Sony IMX258 sensor w/ PDAF camera with dual LED Flash at the back. It's a type of camera sensor commonly found with pricier smartphones. The camera has the usual set of camera modes like Panoramic, Night mode, and Pro. For those looking for a bit of simple fun, the camera also has a Scene Frame mode that more or less acts like a photo booth.
Many modes to choose from!
The many modes found with the clean camera UI of the phone

The Pro Mode is easy enough to use but a bit limited. There's ISO, exposure, white balance, manual focus, and sharpness adjustment. However, there's no way to manually adjust shutter speed.

Focusing speed is great, we were able to do close-up shots easily, and shutter speed / saving time is very fast.
The phone is an surprisingly good shooter!!!
This shooter is pretty promising. It has gets great color tones and hues. Sharpness is also on point. Its coverage of black tones are good but the camera can be very sensitive to jitters especially in HDR. Compared with the Next, it packs more punch which we slightly liked better.
Pro camera mode settings
Pro camera mode settings

At night, the Night Mode of this handset paired with a tripod or steady hands is very useful. On auto mode, quality of shots are still decent, but with visible grains. On very dark conditions, the flash is strong and useful.

Rear Camera Samples

Normal vs HDR
Normal vs HDR
Outdoor daylight
Outdoor daylight
Close-up "macro" shot
Close-up "macro" shot
Minor struggle in dim-light
Minor struggle in dim-light
Normal vs Night mode
Normal vs Night mode
Bright flash in action
Bright flash in action

The 8 MP wide angle selfie cam is a wonder to behold. It gets the lighting of the image just right and the output images have great color depth and saturation. The beautify feature works wonderfully even on med lighting conditions.

Selfie Camera Samples

Bright daylight selfie test
Bright daylight selfie test
Wide angle!
Wide angle!
Indoor dim light selfie
Indoor dim light selfie
Selfie flash is very useful!
Selfie flash is very useful!

Both the back and front cameras can take up to 1080p videos with decent quality and colors! The main camera just have faster focus response and slightly better stabilization compared with the front camera. The front camera has great quality for a considering that it is just a "selfie" camera though.

Video Samples


Overall, considering the price, the camera department is a category that the Next Lite has an advantage over its competitors.

Performance

Antutu and Geekbench scores
Antutu and Geekbench scores

The phone can do great things with its 1.4 GHz 64 Bit Snapdragon 430 octa core processor. Along with the standard 3 GB of RAM and 32 GB of internal storage - expandable to 128 GB - the CloudFone Next Lite does live up to its predecessor legacy.
This handset can pack a punch performance wise!
It is a strong combination that allows you to do your day to day functions without delay. With normal browsing usage along with a few apps running in the background, the lag is hardly noticeable.
Asphalt 8 settings
Asphalt 8 settings

In terms of gaming, the phone would surprise you just like Next. We tested the phone with Asphalt 8 and the experience was near seamless even while running the app on high quality. NBA 2K17 is playable on mostly high-settings too! Just do note however that with high performance usage the phone tends to get warm.
Clean drawer-less UI
Clean drawer-less UI

The phone comes in with the Android 6.0 Marshmallow OS and packs in quite a number of apps. There is quite a redundancy on the number of clean-up apps section which I hope CloudFone would address. What’s nice though is that most of the stock apps are removable.
Fingerprint sensor settings
Fingerprint sensor settings

The fingerprint scanner is accurate enough given the positioning of the fingers. You will notice that the phone's scanner is slightly deeper than the screen so make sure your fingers are position properly for the scanner to do its job.
Easy access settings and useful Phone Assist app!
Easy access settings and useful Phone Assist app!

Connectivity wise, the phone does its job. LTE works fine where there is a strong signal. The Bluetooth range is a bit short for my liking but easily connects and pairs. AR and VR is also possible due to its gyroscope inclusion.

Pros - Build quality is excellent, Snapdragon 430 can run high requirement games and apps, main camera is outstanding for the price, wide angle selfie cam is great, gyroscope, LTE connectivity
Cons - Battery performance could be better, speaker output is a tad weaker than our liking

Verdict

The Cloudfone Next Lite is a lighter version of the Cloudfone Next. This phone may come in the market as a cheaper choice but you are really not loosing that much in terms of performance. It has a great display, an average audio, great cameras, a selfie cam that everyone will love, and a surprisingly amazing performance for the price. So the "lite" in the name may be a bit underrated.

If you’re looking for something that has mid-range phone performance that does not break the bank, the Next Lite could be the next phone for you.

Build / Design - 4.25
Display - 4.5
Audio - 4
Battery – 3.5
Camera - 4.25
Performance - 4.75
Average - 4.2
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