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Kata V4 First Impressions - Crazy Good For A Budget Phone?

Kata is a brand that's often associated with midrange smartphone offerings. However, last month, we were surprised when the international phone maker decided to battle it out in the budget segment aggressively.
Kata V4 first impressions
Kata V4 first impressions

It started with the Kata C1, a 5.5 inch phablet with decent specs and great style. Then after releasing the C1, Kata just announced the V4, an intriguing phone that features a pres-sable button with "fingerprint scanner" like appearance that can be used to power your phone on, open the camera apps, and take photos.

However, what even made it more interesting is the price which is crazy low for a phone of this caliber under 3K.

Gladly, we were able to grab a hold of that handset earlier, so here's our first impressions.

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

Kata V4 Specs

Display: 4.5 Inch FWVGA IPS 854 x 480 resolution w/ 2.5D curved glass at 218 ppi
CPU: 1.3 GHz MT6580 quad core processor
GPU: Mali 400
ROM: 8 GB expandable via micro SD card slot
Back Camera: 8 MP w/ AF and LED flash
Selfie Camera: 5 MP
Battery: 1,800 mAh
OS: Android 5.1 Lollipop
Connectivity: WiFi, 3G, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS, A GPS, dual SIM
Sensors: Gravity, proximity, ambient light
Others: Special back button, 6 ohms loud speaker, Colors: white gold, black
Dimensions: 135 x 67.5 x 8.9 mm
Weight: 149 g
Price: 2,699 Pesos

Build Quality / Design

View at the back
View at the back showing the camera, flash, special button, and speaker box below

On paper, I didn't have that much expectation on its build and design for a budget phone. However, Kata proved me wrong by putting the nicest build and design on a sub 3K phone that I've seen so far.
Top view showing the 3.5 mm audio port and micro USB port
Top view showing the 3.5 mm audio port and micro USB port
Single mic at the bottom
Single mic at the bottom
Volume rocker at the left side
Volume rocker at the left side
Power button at the right side
Power button at the right side

The phone features solid aluminum metal frame with nice chamfered edges and good heft that's uncommon on a budget device. While there's still plastic inside, that real metal coating is quite impressive and made the phone feel durable. At the back, there's a removable cover with smooth finish. In front, a nice looking 2.5D glass protection that's something nice to have.

Durability-wise, this feels handset tough enough to take accidental hard drops on the corners of the phone. On the glass part, better make sure to put some screen protector to prevent annoying hairline scratches.

In terms of design, it doesn't have the same flare of the C1, but it looks more classy for me. It has that low profile look, but you'll see that it has a more premium body. There's just an understandable camera hump at the back, but the fancy yet functional circle button at the back adds more in it.

Ergonomically, it feels better than most phones I've seen. It's pretty small at 4.5 inch, but it sits just right in your hands. The chamered edges feels smooth and has good curves at the back that adds better grip in the hands.

Ports and button placements, were quite okay on a small phone as well except that I'm more used to seeing the micro USB port below instead on top. Our only gripe here is its capacitive keys aren't backlit.

Specs and features analysis

Antutu score of the phone
Antutu score of the phone

On first look, you can immediately say that what it shows on paper is actually very impressive for the price. It boast a small 4.5 inch screen w/ 2.5D glass that actually has nice sharpness decent pixel density at 218.

While other handsets under 3K are still sitting with either the older MT6582 chip or the hated SC7731 SoC, the Kata V4 uses the newer gen and more efficient 1.3 GHz MT8580 quad core processor paired with Mali 400 GPU and 1 GB of RAM. That setup will be decent enough for casual social media use, light games, and basic phone task without that much stutters.
Rear camera sample
Rear camera sample

Camera-wise, its equipped with a usable type of 8 MP main camera w/ AF and LED flash. It takes better than average photos than most interpolated cams at this price on first look.
Selfie test
Selfie test

In front, there's a 5 MP selfie cam w/ fixed focus. We noticed that its using a wide angle lens and takes acceptable selfies as long as you have good light.

So far we find its performance quite speedy considering the price. It looks optimized, has a functional back button, and even has a 6 ohms loud speaker for music.

As of the moment

As early as now, I'm sold. If I don't have a flagship phone right now and I only have 2.6K on my wallet, this is the phone I'll get without a doubt. Why? I've never before seen a super phone that's built this well with good specs and decent functionalities.

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