On the current smartphone market we've got to main trend-setters; Apple and Samsung. Typically, when you check out low cost smartphones of less popular brands you'll find that they tend to imitate either of these companies flagship phones. It's with that in mind that Elephone decided to do a full on copy of the Samsung Galaxy S7 when the company launched its Elephone S7.
The new smartphone comes packed with features, and offers users a much more affordable alternative to the ever popular Galaxy S7. In fact, you can buy the cheapest variant for just 129€ on iGoGo However, not all that shines is gold, with that in mind today we aim to explore the best and worst features of the Elephone S7 as we take a deep hard look onto its pros and cons. Care to join us?
The cons of the Elephone S7
An embedded battery that delivers an "ok" battery life
Having a smartphone packed with high end features typically comes with an unspoken price; battery life. All in all, the Elephone S7 packs a 3000 mAh battery on its 5.5 inch form factor. That should deliver a battery life of about a day of usage, it's not half bad but it's hardly something that we'd call a pro in our book. Elephone seeks to remedy this by implementing quick charge technology and we'll cover that in the pros but that doesn't mean that the overall battery life is what we'd call "good".
To make matters worse the battery is non-replaceable, a new trend that's spreading like wildfire. While this gives manufacturers an opportunity to provide a more slick design, it also forbids the user from swapping out batteries when they're running low on juice.
Limited dual SIM capability
Again, this is something we've been seeing quite a lot recently as very few phones offer both a dual SIM option and a microSD card slot. Therefore, while it's true that you can expand the native storage you do so at the cost of not having a dual SIM smartphone.
The same is true when we look at it the other way around. You may be able to carry to SIM cards on the same device but that will limit you from upgrading the storage via a microSD card.
No USB type C here
This could be read either as a pro or as a con, depending on how you look at it. If you want the latest and greatest technology then lacking a USB type C port in preference of a more conventional microUSB port is definitely a con since it's actually what we'd call an "old" technology.
That said, I personally see it more as an advantage since I have many microUSB ports lying around the house but not one single USB type C cable. That means that in the event of my charger breaking, with the Elephone S7 I wouldn't have much of a problem with finding another one around the house.
Cameras are OK but not great
Typically, cameras are the best way to tell if a smartphone is high end or low end. Very expensive smartphones such as the iPhone 7 and the Galaxy S7 pack excellent cameras, that can take amazing pictures and great quality videos. However, in the case of the Elephone S7, cameras weren't really a big concern since they packed the smartphone with you basic combo of a 13 mpx rear end shooter with f/2.0 and a 5 mpx front end shooter. This is the standard configuration you'll find across most mid range phones.
No NFC support or FM radio
Again, this is a standard feature that's lacking amongst most mid range asian phones and the S7 is no exception to this lacking both NFC as well as an FM radio. What does this mean for the end user? Well, it means that you won't be able to use your phone to make payments via NFC, something that's becoming increasingly popular amongst the most developed countries.
Pros of the Elephone S7
A beautiful design
Possibly the biggest advantage that the Elephone S7 has going for it is its design. Many phone will pack similar features but most of them don't have a design that's nearly as beautiful as the S7. Specifically, we love the 3D curved display with a Full HD resolution on what's basically a "bezelles" display. This means we get more screen and less of a bezel that most of us actually prefer.
There's also the glass covered back end of the phone which gives a very unique. very premium feel to the smartphone. That's not something that you find easily in this price bracket, which leads me to pro number two...
An amazing price point
You probably wouldn't even be reading this pros and cons list if you didn't like the price of the Elephone S7. What's not to like about it? It's got a very competitive price that starts off at 129€ and for that you get a smartphone that's packed with high end features (sans the camera) and a gorgeous design.
High end internals
Moving on to the next big pro of the Elephone S7, we've got a great set of internal specs. Specifically, we start out at 2GB of RAM and 16GB of storage. Sure enough this isn't all that great. However, when you look at the higher end (valued at about 209 dollars), you get 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. That's something we've come to expect on high end smartphones that cost several hundred dollars more but its very, very rare on a low cost handset such as this one.
Add to that the fact that it packs a very powerful MediaTek Helio X20 deca core processor that clocks in at 2.0GHz and you've got yourself a true powerhouse of a smartphone.
A smart fingerprint sensor
Fingerprint sensors have been pretty stagnant since they went mainstream a few years back. They've been a commodity feature on most high end phones but they haven't really evolved all that much.
However, Elephone is determined to change that and has provided its latest flagship with a "smart" fingerprint sensor which, thanks to a strong algorithm "learns" what your finger looks like and delivers a faster unlocking feature the more you use it. All of this gives the S7 the ability to unlock itself in 0.1 seconds 97% of the times.
Super quick charge
We mentioned earlier in our listing of the cons that battery life was hardly exceptional. That said, the S7 boosts something pretty interesting called quick charge 3.0 that can deliver 90% of the charge in just one hour of charging and 50% in just 30 minutes. Battery life sort of takes a back seat once the battery charges so quickly since it's much harder to actually run out of battery if you can charge it pretty much anywhere in a short period of time.
What's the verdict? Are the pros better than the cons?
After weighing in on the pros and cons of the Elephone S7 I must say that the advantages are definitely more important than its disadvantages. Sure, there's the lack of NFC support and the fact that you have to choose between upgrading storage or having a dual SIM smartphone but, truth be told, these are cons that you'll find on 95% of low cost smartphones.
However, the low price point coupled with a gorgeous design and a listing of such high end specs isn't something you'll find easily in the market. All in all, we're looking at a great phone for a great price and we'd be silly not to recommend it.