Zopo Speed 7 & Speed 7 Plus: Budget Phone, Impressive Software

Zopo Speed 7 & Speed 7 Plus: Budget Phone, Impressive Software

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Zopo is not an OEM you may have heard of, or even considered before. They produce a small line up of budget devices each with a version of Android that is close to stock with just a few useful features thrown in, and this all results in a very smooth experience.

The Speed 7 and Speed 7 Plus differ only in screen and battery size, they both feature a slightly curved, plastic, brush effect back and no hardware navigation buttons, going instead for the on-screen alternative which no doubt aids in keeping the price low here. Something that I felt I had to emphasise before getting started as it is something that I see frequently when browsing mobile store pages and is surely borderline false advertising is the statement “Ultra-narrow bezel”. Yes, the edges of the phone only protrude a millimetre. However, the display is bordered by a thick black band making the narrow bezel redundant. This is not something you will see in the Zopo store’s showcase of the bezels.

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It doesn’t take a genius to notice the huge difference between the official image and the actual product’s beefy bezel. Using a phone with tiny bezels and no black border as my daily driver it was the first thing I noticed as the boot animation played unfortunately, this is one of those grievances that once seen I just can’t shake, every time I turn on the display it’s the first thing I see. For the price, I cannot be too judgemental but after seeing the image on the store I felt let down.

Specifications

Zopo Speed 7Zopo Speed 7 Plus
Dimensions146.1mm x 70.6mm x 8.65mm153.6mm x 76.5mm x 8.8mm
Weight136g164g
Screen Size5.0″5.5″
Resolution1920 x 1080 (440 PPI)1920 x 1080 (400 PPI)
Android Version5.15.1
CPUMediaTek MT6753MediaTek MT6753
CoresOcta-core ARM Cortex-A53 64-bitOcta-core ARM Cortex-A53 64-bit
GPUARM Mali-T720 MP3 450MHzARM Mali-T720 MP3 450MHz
RAM3GB3GB
Storage16GB (11.13GB available)16GB (11.13GB available)
External  StorageMicroSD up to 64GBMicroSD up to 64GB
Back Camera13.2 MP13.2 MP
Front Camera5 MP5 MP
Battery2500mAh3000mAh
Bands4G FDD-LTE:Bands 3/7/20 (800/1800/2600MHz)

3G WCDMA:Bands 1/2/8 (900/1900/2100MHz)

2G GSM:Bands 2/3/5/8 (850/900/1800/1900MHz)

4G FDD-LTE:Bands 3/7/20 (800/1800/2600MHz)

3G WCDMA:Bands 1/2/8 (900/1900/2100MHz)

2G GSM:Bands 2/3/5/8 (850/900/1800/1900MHz)

Software

As I mentioned earlier the version of Android it runs does resemble stock, which in my opinion is always a bonus. The little bloatware it shipped with could be uninstalled readily and as such was only a minor nuisance. Where it stands out is the few key features they have added which really takes it to another level for budget devices. Inside the settings you will find options for scheduled power on and off, smart wake and MediaTek’s NFC alternative HotKnot.

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I love the concept of a power on/off schedule, removing the fear that one day I will forget to turn my phone off in the weekly meeting with the boss or forgetting to turn it back on afterwards. Smart Wake is a feature becoming increasingly popular with ROMs of late, double tap on the display and it turns on or draw a letter to open an app is brilliant when you need something in a hurry, never miss that perfect photo moment again. HotKnot seems like a good idea in theory, place 2 devices with the technology screen-to-screen and selected data will transfer… but alas, this of course will only work if both devices have it — something doubtful given that HotKnot for the moment is really only apparent in some new Chinese MediaTek devices.

Performance

Both devices handle general usage well and I was able to browse menus,  home screens and the Play Store with no frame skips as can been seen from the Profile GPU Rendering. Although jumping into games does cause frequent jumps and skips. Geekbench places the devices at around 610 in a single core bench just lower than the Samsung Galaxy S4 and a respectable 2870 on multi-core comparisons just above the Samsung Galaxy S5. More than enough for most activities.

Build Quality

The phone’s build quality is as you would expect from devices that come in at less than $200, the bodies are plastic, the audio jack is offset towards the back of the device meaning the port is not a complete circle due to the bezels,

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What it does have instead is two sharp points where they fail to meet. While you cannot feel any give when gently pressing on the back you do get creaks which are audible with day to day usage. It is not difficult to bend and flex the phone which can be done one handed, it seems that it would not stand up to much punishment.

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Camera

As you can image from a budget device the camera isn’t going to be breath-taking,but  it does try to make up for this with the app which has a few fun and occasionally useful features, one being the ability to capture and explore “multi-angle” images which can then be exported as videos or GIFs as seen below. For the selfie addicts out there PIP mode allows you to take a photo with each camera at the same time overlaying your face into a polaroid style window. Also included is gesture detection, hold two fingers up in the “peace gesture” and the phone will take a photo for long distance selfies.

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Despite a few issues with build quality these are both reasonable devices for the price. Zopo have released the source and rooting options, CWM and a few ROMs are already available for these devices in the forums. It will be interesting to see how these devices develop as they receive frequent OTAs.

What do you think of these budget devices? Let us know in the comments!