SKK Illusion Review — Elegant plus Affordable smartphone
Alright let’s get it on this is my first review for 2015. I have change my style of doing my review you will notice with this content, I have used new multiple benchmarking tools to compare different smartphone and tablets that I usually review. None the less I will start my 2015 review post with a bang, it took me a while to create a new workflow for my new reviews since I wanted to make it faster without compromising the value and content.
I will mention the tools I have used for you guys to use also in case you want to get the most of your smartphones or tablets. So without further ado here is my full review of the SKK Illusion.
[section label=”Build and Design” anchor=”build”]
Build and Design
I unboxed and gave my initial impression of the SKK illusion a couple of weeks ago. Starting with the Build it’s actually a premium looking smartphone, it has an elegant gold chrome lining in the edge of the phone at first you might think its a metal frame but when you open the back cover you will see the gold-plated spray paint color plastic frame but still its a one decent looking build.
At the back is a very thin back cover. the Dual SIM slot is a combination of a Regular + Micro SIM slot the Regular SIM slot is at the bottom while the Micro SD and Micro SIM are stacked at the top of it. Battery is a 1,900mAh but we will put more details on that in the later part in the batter life section.
8-megapixel Rear camera , LED Flash and Speaker grill are also located at the back. On the right side is the Power button, left side has the volume rocker both buttons have circular chrome feel texture. While on to the top is the 3.5mm earphone jack and at the bottom is the Micro USB port and pinhole mic.
Back cover is a smooth glossy glittery texture finish not prone to finger smudge, also made out of thin plastic material very flexible can bend in a few degree without breaking.
Front part you will see the earpiece , light sensor and the 2-megapixel camera. apparently the 3 capacitive buttons doesn’t have a backlit but has a reflective texture. The Gold lining is a nice feel addition for the build and design you will not feel it looks like a cheap phone. It has an available color of black and white I think choosing the black color is better since the white color can easily get dirty in the glass edge of the screen and it’s really noticeable.
Overall its a nice build under Php3,000 price range.
[section label=”Display” anchor=”display”]
SKK Illusion is a 5-inch IPS FWVGA with 16:9 aspect ratio that supports 5 multi-touch. An IPS display that has great viewing angle almost all angles has great tone of color no inverting of colors but there is just a slight shifting when viewing it on the lower left side but not noticeable comparing to other IPS display that I have reviewed before. Not an OGS display and the gap between the panel and the glass is quite thick also having that black border edge which makes the bezel feel more thicker.
But I love the Bright and vivid colors of the screen, although when you adjust to the lowest brightness the screen is not on a 0% low brightness you need to install 3rd party app if you want to achieve that low brightness and same with the 100% brightness not that super bright its just like having a 60% percent brightness even when you plug it on a USB so using an app to control the tone of the brightness is a great help.
Given with the 240ppi having a refresh rate of 46.22Hz viewing websites are readable and manageable you will not have any issue of having a hard time pressing the icons and buttons.
The Multi touch feature is flawless no issues of collide bug and very responsive in terms of response time.
[section label=”CPU Performance” anchor=”CPU”]
Illusion is powered by a MediTek 1.3Ghz Quad core MT6582 SOC (32-bit) combined with a Mali-400MP running on Android KitKat 4.4.2, the processor is common for affordable MediaTek processor and it’s one of the battery efficient SoC’s out there for a Quad-core smartphones. Since the Illusion only have 512MB of RAM some of the benchmarking tools didn’t run smoothly because some of them has a minimum requirement of 1Gb of RAM but non the less here is the results of the benchmarking test using different tools.
The Vellamo Multi always crashed but the Vellamo Metal showed results
Video test results to almost all video are playable not unless it’s a 2k or 4k video I hope the Antutu Video test will soon have an export feature so I can show you the table of results but so far the Illusion works smoothly without any hiccups since it’s a FWVGA.
Using a 3rd party player like MX player didn’t have any issues on playback using both H/W and S/W.
[section label=”Benchmarks” anchor=”benchmark”]
As you can see with the comparison its has the best performance in terms of browsing definitely it shows great smoothness and it loads the page fast. since all the GPU benchmarks required 1GB of RAM I didn’t have a chance to compare it to other devices but in terms of gaming almost high intensive graphics games are playable even on a high settings with just a few drops of frames. Less demanding games are really smooth and it doesn’t heat up very much even using while it’s plugged.
Navigating the UX doesn’t clog the processing too much and I didn’t see any huge spike with the cpu.
[section label=”Camera” anchor=”camera”]
Rear Camera is a 8-megapixel shooter pretty much ok for a good lighting scene but for low light it has lots of noise. it has f/2 aperture with 3.5 mm focal length, the camera UI is a bit disappointing in terms of features, lacking of HDR features and having only upto 400 ISO. you really can’t get much of the camera. I uploaded the Camera shots on flickr to have a better look on the EXIF info and see the high-resolution version. LED Flash is only good for flashlight use no huge effect on Photos.
UI is same with the other MediaTek Camera interface has Exposure control of (+/-3), Color Effect, Scene Mode, White Balance and Anti-flicker but like what I mentioned it doesn’t have the HDR feature. you can only adjust the ISO have some nifty features like voice control, face detection, smile shot, timer upto 10secs, Continuous shot upto 99 shots. The preview size change the resolution of the camera to 6-megapixel if you’re in a full preview but for a standard preview you will get the 4:3 aspect ration photo with the 8-megapixel resolution. added feature is the panorama shots.
The great thing about the rear camera is it can capture upto full 1080p video with 30fps but it also lacks the EIS feature. Taking macro shots is fairly good with the Illusion even on a low light.
[section label=”Interface UI/UX” anchor=”interface”]
Illusion is using a customize skin it’s not the usual Android Vanila theme that we see on a typical Mediatek smartphone. it has only homescreen with a widget and an app folder on the main screen, It has a built-in custom themes that you can choose, it Can add widget on the homescreen and the icon are all custom look.
You can Choose from the different themes for the Lockscreen, Wallpaper and Widgets. the lock screen has this cool looking theme that is similar with the Samsung and MIUI.
Messaging app is similar with other MediaTek devices but also has a custom icon, since it’s an Android Kitkat you can download the Google Keyboard and Google camera for a better interface.
I like the overall user interface even though I’m a fan of a vanilla Android skin it still easy to navigate very fluid and responsive here is a quick look of the whole Interface
[section label=”Features” anchor=”features”]
Performance is great camera is ok but the biggest drawback of the SKK Illusion is you cannot transfer or install apps using SD Card so that means you cannot install large app and games. Like on my end I only installed NBA 2k14 and it can’t download the Asphalt 8 since it already lacks the Internal and the Phone Storage. the only fix to this one is either the manufacturer updates the firmware or root your device which I do not recommend for now since it will void your warranty teehee!. Internal storage only have 0.89GB and the phone storage has 1.59GB. But the good thing is you can save your photos and videos to your SD Card, the great thing about the Illusion it saves the file on the a separate folder called ILLUSION this is really convenient in terms of archive since I use my SD card on all of my Smartphones it tends to clutter and combine all the photos from different phones but since Illusion has a separate folder I didn’t have a hard time looking for all of its files.
Few among the local brands put advanced features on their phone with the Illusion they added a SmartWake and Air Gesture. SmartWake works by doing a simple gesture drawing while the screen is lock it automatically go the that specific app or even unlock the phone even without pressing the power button. While the Air Gesture uses the light sensor technology if you swipe within the range of the sensor it will also do some programmed task like Swiping or answering call without even holding your phone.
[section label=”Connectivity and Communication” anchor=”CnC”]
Illusion is 3G capable on both SIM Card Slot the easiest way to switch between the two is using the app called MTK Control SIM it’s a simple app that helps you switch 3G signals from different SIM card slot and also you can turn of the SIM card that you are not using instantly.
[pb-app-box pname=’pt.joaormf.mtkcontrol.free’ name=’MTK Control Free (dual sim)’ theme=’discover’ lang=’en’]
Here is a quick demo using the app and the SKK having 3G connectivity on both SIM
WiFi, USB Tethering and bluetooth tethering are all working without any issue I had a stable Wi-Fi connectivity all throughout this process.
[section label=”Audio and Video” anchor=”AnV”]
Audio and Video
If you’re planning to use Illusion for your music streaming be sure not to use headset that has mic or control buttons since it’s not a CTIA compliant new headsets will not work. but for the quality of sound Illusion has decent speaker but it’s quite low even on a maximum volume plus if using an earphone or headset sound quality is just ok. since it doesn’t have a built-in YouTube app you need to download it separately.
Watching videos is enjoyable since it has large display, great viewing angles, crisp and vibrant display. didn’t have any drop frames while watching long hours of 720p HD video.
[section label=”Battery Life” anchor=”battery”]
I really didn’t expect too much for the Battery of the SKK illusion since it only have 1,900mAh, But I was surprise on how it turned out, Looping a 3D graphic intensive game gave me around 2 1/2 hours of full gaming experience settings is on a full brightness, Wi-Fi turned on and Sound is set to 50%.
While on a Video Looping Stress test it took around 4 1/2 hours before the battery drained, that is equals to playing 2x a HD video that has a length of 1 1/2 hours. On a typical use it can last a day for me even the Wi-Fi is turned on.
Overall battery life is surprisingly good even with some built-in apps it didn’t affect the phone it doesn’t run in the background comparing to other local brands that affects the battery life of the smartphone, great job for SKK with the Illusion for having a great battery life.
[section label=”Conclusion” anchor=”Conclusion”]
SKK Illusion is worth a buck for its price tag you get an Elegant looking smartphone with good Display, great performance and OK battery life. Added features are really just bonus that simple double tap feature is really one of the features that I hope any smartphone to have coz I no longer have to press the power button just to unlock my phone very convenient indeed. if you’re looking for un upgrade from your Dual core smartphone then have a limited budget SKK Illusion is one of the choices you will not regret buying this one.