There's no doubt that smartphones have evolved a lot over the past few years. Indeed if 5 years ago you where pressed to find anything below 200 dollars that wasn't complete garbage, today you can find real gems within this price point. Case and point; the Vernee Apollo X 4G.
Vernee's latest venture comes in below the $200 mark and packs a Full HD display, 4 GB of RAM, fingerprint sensor and a dual-band WiFi that allows for incredible download speeds around the 300 MBps. However, as we often say over here, not everything that shines is gold and today we take a cold hard look into the Vernee Apollo X to uncover it's pros and cons, its set of advantages and disadvantages. Let's take a look!
Vernee Apollo X 4G Pros & Cons, Advantages and Disadvantages
Cons of the Vernee Apollo X 4G
Doesn't comes with stock Android
Unlike most Chinese handsets, the Vernee Apollo X doesn't come with stock Android but rather with a modified version of Android 6.0 that's been customized by the company to fit its needs. Sure enough, the customized version has a lot going for it but for those who've been looking for a phone that comes with their default version of Android 7.0 this is definitely a con.
No NFC chip
As it so happens with roughly 95% of Chinese Phones that hit the market, there's no NFC chip to be seen. Why do we care? Well, we care because this means you can't manage mobile payments therefore if you were looking forward to doing that on your next phone you should likely set your sights on a better know brand which typically do implement an NFC chip in their phones.
USB Type C, Pro and Con at the same time
Having a USB Type C port is a pro because it's the latest tech to hit the market and soon enough all of our devices will feature this type of connector. That said, such a day hasn't arrived yet and so for the time being it can actually be called a disadvantage of the Vernee Apollo X since your previous connectors won't work with it and all your pile of microUSB 2.0 cable will be rendered pretty much useless for this phone.
Choosing between a dual SIM phone or extending the storage
Well, this is hardly news at this point as most phones that have dual SIM capacity force the end user to choose, especially when the battery is non-removable and therefore there are space constraints to be taken into account.
That said, if you're planning on using this phone with two SIM cards at the very least you get a respectable 64 GB of storage right off the bat and therefore it's not all that much of an issue for most users.
No infrared sensor
Again, this is hardly a surprise as very, very few phones come equipped with an infrared sensor. That being said, we do appreciate when its included and notice when it's not as this allows you to control a myriad of devices through your phone, an ability that the Vernee Apollo X simply doesn't offer its users.
Battery life is limited
When you've got a Full HD display quad-core processor, 4 GB of RAM and a 5.5 inch diagonal battery is going to drain pretty fast, more so when said battery just lends us a capacity of 3500 mAh. That being said and while it is a con of the Vernee Apollo X, we should also note that the phone packs Quick Charge technology, which means that you can have your phone charged at 50% battery capacity in just 30 minutes.
Pros of the Vernee Apollo X 4G
Sony and Samsung camera sensors
Both of these companies are widely known for the quality of their photographic sensors so knowing that the Vernee Apollo X packs a front-facing Samsung camera with 5 megapixels of resolution and the rear end shooter packs a 13 megapixel Sony sensor is definitely a big advantage to its point. Sure enough, these cameras aren't to be compared to the standards of a Samsung flagship but with so many lousy cameras on most Chinese phones this is definitely something worth noting.
An Excellent Display
The display on the Vernee Apollo X is not just any run of the mill display, it's a Sharp IGZO display with a Gorilla Glass 3 coating to protect it against falls and scratches as well as a Full HD resolution with a 95% NTSC color gamut to offer up some very nice colors.
The best MediaTek Processor
While it's true that Qualcomm processors are generally better, MediaTek processors are also pretty good, more so when you look at the best that MediaTek has to offer, the Helio P20, also known as MTK6797. This processor packs the heat with 10 cores and boasts a base speed of 2.3 GHz allowing you to work with even the most demanding of apps.
Couple that with 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB of storage and you've got yourself a device that's ready for the kill.
It's pretty ergonomic
Typically, when looking at handsets of the "phablet" variety that boast 5.5-inch diagonals, we typically fall into the 200 grams of weight. That said, this particular model weighs just 179 grams evenly dispersed which in the end allows for a more comfortable grip. If you're likely to be using this phone for several hours on end then it's wise to pick up a model that will feel comfortable to the hand and not feel like you're holding a brick.
Another thing we look for when measuring the pros and cons of any smartphone are the connectivity options. In that regard, the device packs a dual-band WiFi connectivity that supports up to 300 MBps download speeds, we've got GPS, Bluetooth 4.0 and support for 4G (LTE) connectivity.
Super fast charging
A big issue we typically run into once we've had a phone for over a year is that battery life starts to drain out in a matter of hours (when not in use). With this in mind, Vernee decided to offer up a device that can retain 80% of the battery capacity, even after being charged over 1000 times. That means that if you typically charge your phone once a day this phone should behave pretty similarly even 3 years later in terms of battery performance.
What's more, as we mentioned previously on the cons of the Vernee Apollo X, this phone also supports fast charging, meaning that you can charge up 50% of the battery in just 30 minutes connected to the current.
Verdict: Do the pros outweigh the cons?
Wrapping up this review of the pros and cons of the Vernee Apollo X, we've gotta say it's pretty easy to see that the pros far exceed the cons in this case. Sure enough, we would've liked to see an NFC chip or a stock Android version but once that's out of the way we believe this phone to be a very reliable and attractive option for those looking to get the maximum out of their hard-earned money.
We've got a top-notch MediaTek processor, enough RAM for the most intensive multitaskers, sufficient onboard storage, a stellar display signed by Sharp and the added bonus of being able to charge the phone in a very short space of time. All in all a great option at an even better price below the $200 mark.