Seldom will you find a decent, visually appealing and powerful Android phone under PhP10,000. In the recent months, we’ve featured affordable Android smartphones that offer good specs and robust build. Also, you would probably agree in our observation that 5″ smartphones are the going trend. So I realized: Are our hands getting bigger? Or, we are just getting smaller?

This time, we’re going to give our first impressions to a new 5″ from one of the new Mobile Phone company that landed the Philippines, the O+ 8.9.

O+ 8.9

This phone should not be mistaken for being an 8.9″ phone. That’s what we actually initially thought when we saw the box. Also, you should bear in mind that – according to O+ USA – all their phones are all designed in the USA but assembled in China. This is the very reason why when you look at their mobile phones, it bears a “Designed for O+ in USA”. This is clearly a marketing and sales strategy that give additional appeal to all their mobile phone line ups. Clever, and genius.

O+ 8.9

The Look

The O+ 8.9 sports a 5″ IPS Capacitive screen with screen resolution of 800 x 400. It’s height and width are 5.82 inches and 3.11 inches respectively, thus we can say that this phone is classified as a phablet. If I may compare, although the Cherry Mobile Titan is more slender (in terms of width), the O+ 8.9 is more comfortable to hold. Thanks to its curved bezel and the positions of its physical buttons.

O+ 8.9

This phone only has physical buttons. The volume rockers are located on the left side of the  phone, and the Sleep/Wake button is on the right. I thought that for phablets like the 8.9, it’s best to put the sleep/wake button on the right so it can easily and NATURALLY be accessed. This is one of the things I despised with the Cherry Mobile Titan as I had to use my pointer finger to push the sleep/wake button. It seemed too unnatural for me.

As mentioned the screen has a resolution of 800 x 480, with 240dpi. It may not have an IPS display, but its 240dpi pixel intensity makes texts and pictures look sharp.

The Software

The O+ 8.9 is pre-installed with Android Ice Cream Sandwich 4.0.4. O+ announced during their launch that this phone will receive a Jelly Bean update by the time Key Lime Pie OTA updated is being rolled out to other devices sometime before the 1st quarter ends.

O+ 8.9

Coming from another Android device, it was easy for me to transfer my sms to this phone by using SMS Backup and Restore, which can easily be downloaded for free at Google Play Store. Pulling your contacts is easy as well if you store your contacts on your Google Account. This is one of the strengths of Android phones just like the 8.9.

Performance and Battery

Casual games like Temple Run 2 worked well on this device. We haven’t tested other memory heavy games like Asphalt 7 but we’re optimistic that it’ll be able to play at acceptable performance.

As expected, the 8.9 performed decently well in real life usage. Its Quadrant benchmark score reached 2,472, but surprisingly 294 points lower than the Cherry Mobile Titan. Please note though that benchmark scores are relative scores as benchmark applications consider the current state of devices. It is possible for our O+ 8.9 to have a different score after a week or two.

It did not come with a monstrous battery (2,300 mAh), but we managed to use this phone for more than a day at moderate usage.

Specs

The O+ 8.9 is phablet with exquisite design, robust build and decent specifications. It’s price – although less than PhP10,000 – may be a letdown for others but you’ll surely be satisfied with it. You will also be disappoint if you’re after 3rd party accessories for this phone. We may have yet to test this device longer, so we may be able to give you more information.

Just a rundown of the positive and not-so-good impressions on this device:

  • Excellent design (grip friendly)
  • May be updated to Jelly Bean soon
  • 240 dpi is ok, but it would have been better if they made the screen IPS rather than TFT
  • Price of PhP8,995 may be a letdown for others
  • 3rd party accessories are nowhere to be found at the moment
  • Benchmark score is lower than Cherry Mobile Titan

Guys, we know that you’re all interested about this phone. We at Gadget Pilipinas would like to know if you have any questions. We’ll answer them if we can; or escalate your concerns to O+ if we can’t. We also believe that some of you may already know the answer to some of the questions, so please feel free to hit the comments section below.

Saw something wrong with this article? Shoot us an email at our Contacts page so we can check and correct our error/s accordingly.

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