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Cloudfone Excite Prime 2 Pro Review - A really good phone for the price!

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Right off the bat, the Cloudfone Excite Prime 2 Pro managed to impress us w/ its craftsmanship, vibrant display, nice specs, and impressive camera features. Easily, it is one of the most capable in its class right now.
Cloudfone Excite Prime 2 Pro review

After more than two weeks of using it, let's now see how well the handset performed in real life.

For our review part 1: Cloudfone Excite Prime 2 Pro Unboxing and First Impressions

Display Quality

Really good vibrant screen
Really good vibrant screen

The 5.5-inch IPS screen that Cloudfone used here is better than what we are used to for the price. The 1080 resolution it has is quite sharp and fine in details at 401 pixels per inch.

Colors are punchier than expected!

It is warmer tone and richer in colors versus most average IPS screen. Its contrast level is at least a level ahead than most at this price point. To our surprise, blacks are quite deep as well. But, it isn't just as saturated as AMOLED panels. That's fine!

Viewing angles are great too! It also has a nice type of adaptive brightness for auto brightness. It also has smart display to optimize the screen under glare.

Speaking of brightness, we enjoyed that its sunlight legibility is quite good. It has 5 points of touch.

Audio Quality

Audio is not the strongest point of this phone, but it is far from bad either. I must say that it is just decent in this regard.

Speaker-quality can produced clear enough tunes. It is mostly bright in sound signature that tends to favor treble more than mids and lows. Mids are pretty detailed (for an affordable phone), but treble could overpower it in some tracks.

The treble may have some nice sparkles, but it could also be too airy. Loud hissing sound is very evident too. I wished that Cloudfone made its sound fuller and more balanced.

For headphones, audio output is great! It is more balanced in sound which can produce deep and punchy bass. Mids are quite clean, layered, and detailed too. Driving power is pretty loud as well.

Microphone quality is okay and far from noisy. It is okay in calls too. But, we wished that it could have been louder.

Battery Life

The CEP 2 Pro boasts 3,000mAh of battery which is average in size for the screen resolution and specs of this phone. PCMark work battery life keeps on crashing, but it has an estimate score of over 10 hours.

Decent battery performance, speedy charging time!

Screen time is around 4 to 5 hours depending on your usage. Actual use can last for an entire day on a single charge. It also has the standard Android battery saver that limits background data to extend battery life.

Charging time is crazy fast! Thanks to its Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0 support, the 3,000mAh battery of this phone can be charged from 0 to 100 percent in 1 hour and 15 mins.

Camera

Interesting dual camera setup behind
Interesting dual camera setup behind

Behind, the CEP 2 Pro is packed w/ a real type of dual camera setup. It has a 13MP 3L8 + 8MP 4H8 f/2.0 Samsung made camera sensors behind. The 13MP primary sensor is for your basic photography, the secondary 8MP sensor is for telephoto or 2x optical zoom.
Camera UI and interface
Camera UI and interface

It also has auto HDR, face beauty, panorama, super pixel (interpolates to 52MP), night, portrait, and professional mode.

Camera UI is easy to use and rich in features!

The pro mode has saturation, EV, ISO, WB, manual focus, and sharpness adjustments. It is incomplete though. It has no shutter speed adjustment. But, hey, at least it has pro mode!

However, Cloudfone failed to include grids and levels for guides.

Quality-wise, the Excite Prime 2 Pro is one of the better performers at this price point. Focus speed is really fast, tap to focus can focus on near subjects, and shooting speed is just alright. Even photo saving is very quick.

Picture quality is pretty impressive for the price!

Most of our daylight shots are quite sharp in details. Auto HDR works really well too. It can enhance detail and exposure automatically when needed. Grains aren't noticeable too. It also has nice color accuracy, though we would have liked it better if its a bit punchier in overall hue.

The adjustable portrait mode is interesting too. It blurs the background of your subject quite well. It can also emphasize the subject better and mimic bokeh effect. 

In lowlight, loss of detail is evident. Dynamic range is lesser than what I would have wanted too. But, that's still very forgiveable for the price. At least it has better lowlight performance than most phones at this price. Plus, it has a night mode like the regular Excite Prime that enhances performance in lowlight.

In lowlight, its exposure and dynamic range is better than most (for the price. But, images won't be that sharp and detailed. Fortunately, it has an expert mode for long exposure and trail shots. Flash is strong enough too.

Rear Camera Samples

Daylight auto HDR
Daylight auto HDR
Portrait mode
Close-up indoor
Close-up indoor
2x zoom lowlight
2x zoom lowlight
Auto night 1
Auto night 1
Auto night 2
Auto night 2
Auto night 2
Auto night 3
Night mode sample
Night mode sample

See also: Cloudfone Excite Prime 2 Pro Camera Features And Samples
20MP!

For selfies, it has a 20MP f/2.0 Sony IMX376 sensor w/ portrait mode, face beauty, and softlight LED flash. It also has fast shutter and shooting speed. However, it has no tap to focus. But, fortunately, face detection is quite quick to avoid blurry selfies.
Selfie cam UI
Selfie cam UI

Checking the quality of selfies, it is sharp in details and well balanced in colors. Dynamic range is also better than most affordable selfie phones. Face beauty has several levels and its portrait mode can blur background nicely.

Awesome selfies!

However, camera output in lowlight will have visible grains and will lose some details. But, it is still considered as impressive for a selfie camera. As a matter of fact, it can compete even w/ some pricier selfie-centric smartphones from both OPPO and Vivo.

Selfie Camera Samples

Daylight selfie
Daylight selfie
Face beauty level 5
Face beauty level 5
Portrait selfie
Portrait selfie
Selfie night 1
Selfie night 1
Selfie night 2
Selfie night 2
Selfie night flash
Selfie night flash

The Excite Prime 2 Pro can also record up to 1080p 30 fps in quality behind and in front. The dual main camera is surprisingly decent for video recording w/ nice focus speed and exposure. It is shaky as expected due to lack of OIS, but it far from bad. Shooting videos in front is easier and better. Exposure is better and stabilization is good.

Video Samples



Performance

AnTuTu and Geekbench scores
AnTuTu and Geekbench scores

Inside, the CEP 2 Pro comes w/ the same 64-bit Snapdragon 430 octa-core processor clocked at 1.4GHz found w/ the Cloudfone Next last year. Yes, it is ageing already, and we would have liked it better if Cloudfone used the Snapdragon 435 instead.

Performance in real life is still impressive!

But, Snapdragon 435 and 430 is still identical in speed. Snapdragon 435 only had an advantage on LTE bands. But, that's just find, Cloudfone managed to include the low frequency 700MHz band for better indoor signal strength.


In addition, it still has the Adreno 505 GPU that's still decent in gaming. Moreover, it has LARGE 4GB RAM and 64GB expandable storage thru a dedicated microSD card slot! 64GB large storage is not that common at this price point.

As a result, performance in real life is impressive. Operation is as fast if not faster than most of the competitionOnly the K6 Note and Doogee Mix is higher in specs on paper among all the officially available phones in the market versus the CEP 2 Pro as of this writing. But, even if their specs are higher, the CEP 2 Pro feels almost as smooth as them.

Thermal management of the CEP 2 Pro is also better than most. Yes, even in gaming, it barely gets hot.
Custom UI
Custom UI

The CEP 2 Pro also runs w/ a custom Android 7.1.1 Nougat operating system. It has no app drawer anymore like the Next, but bloats are minimal. It has very few pre-installed apps. Most of them are uninstallable too.
Custom settings and downloadable themes
Custom settings and downloadable themes

It also has a nice file manager, one clean button for optimization, smart actions like double tap to wake, and gestures that you can use to launch the camera, music, and phone. It also has three fingers screenshot mode and downloadable custom themes.

Then, aside from the Google Play Store, Cloudfone has included their own App Shop. The App Shop has the recommended apps that you may download. However, nearly all that's available there is also found in Google Play.

Fingerprint scanner has Huawei-like unlocking speed and accuracy. You can even use it as as an shortcut to open your favorite app or make calls.

The rest of the telephony experience is also outstanding. Cloudfone was able to make the signal reception of this phone strong! WiFi, Bluetooth and LTE is also mostly stable. Having 700 MHz LTE is fun!

Again, OTG is present and this phone has gyroscope for those who need it.

Pros - Premium build quality, great specs for the price, decent battery performance w/ very fast charging, feature rich camera software, good dual cameras, capable selfie camera, 700 MHz LTE,
Cons - Peaky speaker, Camera software has no grids for guides, Cloudfone App Shop is a duplicate of the Play Store

Verdict

The Cloudfone Excite Prime 2 Pro is a REALLY GOOD smartphone for PHP 9,999! As a matter of fact, there are very few phones that can match it in terms of craftsmanship, screen quality, big storage capacity, optimization, charging speed, and cameras at this price point.

There are few minor things that Cloudfone must improve though. We hope that next time, the speaker they use will sound fuller. Adding a HiFi chip to make the headphone audio output nicer would have been better too.

Hopefully, they can add grids for guides and shutter controls to help mobile photography enthusiasts maximize its promising cameras.

Other than that, this phone is a MUST consider for the price!

Build / Design - 4.25
Display - 4.25
Audio - 3.75
Battery - 4
Camera - 4.25
Performance - 4
Average - 4.083 / 5
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