Competition among local and Chinese brands are getting more intense. When chipmaker Mediatek announced their first true Octa-core processor in October 2013, the race to become the first to offer an Octa-core powered smartphone is on. Novo7 Tech, the local distributor of THL smartphones in the Philippines was the first to announce their first Octa-core powered smartphone, the THL T100s Monkey King 2 in December 2013 and promised that it would be available in January 2014. But problems with the Bureau of Customs spoiled everything. Then Starmobile, Cherry Mobile and MyPhone announced their Octa core offerings in February and become available to users by March.
Well, its better late than never. And here it is the THL T100s Monkey King 2! This is actually our first time to review an Octa core powered smartphone and we are hoping we can compare this to the Starmobile Octa or the Cherry Mobile Cosmos Z2 pretty soon. Does the Octa-core processor impressed us or should we stick on quad core for the mean time? Let’s find out.
THL T100s Monkey King 2 specs:
- 1.7GHz Octa Core Mediatek 6592 processor
- Mali-450 graphics
- 2GB RAM
- 32GB internal storage
- 5 inch IPS full HD display (1080 x 1920 pixels) 441 ppi
- 13 megapixel rear facing Sony Blue lens camera with autofocus and LED flash
- 13 megapixel front facing camera.
- Dual SIM, dual standby
- HSPA+, WiFi, WiFi hotspot, Bluetooth, USB OTG (on the go)
- GPS, A-GPS
- 2,750 mAh battery
- Android 4.2 Jellybean
- SRP: P13,999
- Status: Available on Novo7 Tech stores, kiosks and retailers
Here is a hands on video:
HARDWARE AND DESIGN:
We showed the THL T100s Monkey King 2 to some our friends and family who are not techies and asked what do they think about the phone. Their first look they thought it was the Sony Xperia Z2> They were very much impressed the phone’s design and solid build quality. The phone indeed may have sharp edges but this appeals to most people who saw it. Lastly, it device is extremely light and pocketable thanks to its very thin profile.
Another eye catching feature is the 5-inch Full HD display. During our unboxing, the display was the first thing we noticed on the device. It is GORGEOUS! This is probably one of the best we’ve seen from any local/Chinese brand. Color reproduction is good and viewing angles is excellent. The display can be at par with the best international brands like the LG G2 (the G2 has the best displays around).
SOFTWARE AND PERFORMANCE:
One important part of this review is to test how the Octa core Mediatek 6592 performs on both day to day use and benchmark scores. Well, on day to day use, the phone performed normally. Basic tasks like app switches, simple navigation, texting and calling performed extremely well with no lags whatsoever. This phone is a killer when it comes to gaming! Our favorite game, Dead Trigger 2 ran well! This game hogs so much memory so it usually works well on top of the line devices like the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and LG G2. So far, playing Dead Trigger 2 on the THL T100s Monkey King 2 is the best gaming experience we had from a Chinese/local brand. We played for long hours and we totally enjoyed it.
On our initial Antutu benchmark test, we got a score of 25,876 points. We did another Antutu test and we got a score of 27,161 which is even higher than than our first test.
We would like to point out that this phone’s WiFi reception is excellent and probably one the best WiFi reception we’ve used. Our WiFi router is located at a study room on the second floor but we still get good WiFi reception even if we are downstairs. HSPA+ network from Globe and Smart are good depending on the location
We heard a lot good praises on THL’s camera on other smartphones but we never had a chance to test one. Indeed, both rear and front facing cameras take great pictures! Here are some of the pictures we’ve taken in different lighting conditions
Photo taken from the 13 megapixel front facing camera
The phone’s 5-inch Full HD display and Octa-core chipset will definitely drain the battery much faster. So THL came prepared and included a large 2,750 mAh battery. We’ve been known for being heavy smartphone users because we use the phone a lot and the 2,750 mAh battery didn’t disappoint. As our daily driver, the phone’s battery lasted 11 hours after we took it out of the charger at 8am everyday with 15% juice left. Our battery test include playing Dead Trigger for at least 30 mins to 1 hour, watching You Tube and IWanTV for 3 hours, calls and texts, taking pictures and video and listening to Spotify for an hour.
Everytime we’re asked on what brand should we recommend among the local/Chinese brands we normally recommend 2 brands – MyPhone and Starmobile. We think this time we will THL to our highly recommended list. However, its P13,999 pricetag may veer away some buyers but we think the price is just right for a phone with an Octa-core processor, dual 13 megapixel cameras and a full HD display.