Let’s face this fact. There are a whole lot of companies manufacturing smart phones. A lot of them are not that good. Some of them really make an impression in the visual department but fail miserably in performance. Some don’t even bother with looking good. They just exist because they are the cheaper versions of phones people aspire to own.
I was given a seemingly plain device – the SICO Smartphone PRO. I had some time to play with it and I really liked this device given the potential it has. Let’s break this device down for you.
The device is large. It has a 5″ display that we will discuss later, but the device feels large to hold even though the screen size is not that large. This is due to the design of the device which hosts a wide bezel, and a fairly large battery compartment in the back that features a battery that lasts almost all day – a feature that is surely going to make many happy. While it appears large, the device is actually quite light and feels good to hold. With all the standard buttons in all the places you expect it to be, the device feels comfortable to use right from the moment you pull the phone out of the box. What really stands out is that this high quality build of the device comes with a dual Sim setup which is expected from an a-list manufacturer like HTC, Sony or even Lenovo. Well done indeed, Sico.
The primary interaction with any smart device is the display and this phone comes with 5″ 720p display that is really sharp and quite easy on the eyes. It adapts to ambient light quite well and I rarely used the Brightness toggle to make the screen more readable whether it was pitch black or broad daylight. The IPS HD screen rendered the display quite smoothly and there was no issue viewing the screen at different angles. Photographs looked good on the device especially the photos taken on the device itself.
A “Smartphone” is not without a camera and given the “selfie” phenomenon that has overtaken this generation of smartphone user, me too – on some occasions, the camera forms a very important part of the decision making process in the purchase of a phone. It is difficult to find good quality optics on any device and while the lower strata of devices – even some tablets – have absolutely passe cameras, the Sico does not conform to this rule. With an 8MP camera on the back with Autofocus and flash, the camera was a good performer. Quick to start up, not too many options to confuse you, the camera did its job with reliability and produced good results in outdoor and indoor locations. Low-light, on the other had proved to be it’s Achille’s Heel, as is the case, but is still not as bad due to the presence of the flash. The 2 MP front cam on the other hand, proved quite handy during Video Calls and gave more than satisfactory performance in the “selfie” scheme of things.
Hardware and Software:
With Android JB 4.2, the device was not overloaded with a lot of applications, however, there are a bunch of applications that cater to the Arabic user that have been developed by the Sico team. For the most bit, using the stock Android kind of layout, this device is fairly quick and has no launcher to nix it’s performance. The 1 GB of RAM and 4 GB onboard ROM provide enough of a base to customise your phone without overloading it. A Micro SD card slot capable of supporting 32 GB is provided to attach plenty of space for your movable data.
Some devices do surprise me now and then and the SICO Smartphone PRO is one of them. It is not much to look at, but the fit and finish of the hardware is very good and that is saying something. It does what it says on the box with no complaints from the device. Coming to you at a price point of AED 650 – 800 (approximately – confirm the price before you buy one) depending on where you buy it, don’t sell this device short. It is a price buster and a budget device that will keep you happy.