Just today, O+ officially and successfully opened its first concept store at SM North Edsa. The 1-hour sale that O+ put up during the opening drove many Filipinos to drop by the store and avail of their exciting offers. One of the phones that O+ temporarily slashed its SRP is the O+ 8.6, a dual-core Android phone with 4.5″ IPS Capacitive touch screen. If you’re thinking of getting this phone, check out this review first.
Being part of the mid-range lineup of O+, the 8.6’s retail box is similar to 8.5 and 8.52. It’s placed in a transparent container, which can be upcycled and be used as a jewelry container or a plant box. The box contains the following:
- O+ 8.6 handset
- Free 4GB SanDisk Memory Card
- 3.5mm headphone
- 1,500 mAh lithium ion battery
- Micro USB cable
- Charger Adapter
The inclusion of the 4gb memory card is indeed a bonus, as the phone only has 2gb available user-memory. 2gb may be enough for casual smartphone users (social media apps, puzzler and social gaming, emailing, etc.), but it’s definitely not sufficient for power users.
The unit I received does not contain a screen protector, but you can definitely score one in any of their branches and retailers nationwide. Click this for locations.
Build and Hardware Specifications
The device, like any other phones of O+, is designed in the US. As expected, although it doesn’t have any sophisticated design, the device looks sturdy and has a premium feel. The 8.6 looks pretty similar the Galaxy S Duos sans the home button. It’s almost as big as the One Touch Idol Ultra but significantly thicker. Its matte and almost rubbery curved removable back panel gives the phone a premium feel. The vertical perforation that exposes the mono speakers looks perfect on the device. The aluminum bezel, although subtly designed, perfectly matched its overall look.
As for the technical specifications, the 8.6 is pretty decent considering its less-than-8k price tag. The 1Ghz dual core processor and 1GB RAM performed well as expected especially when playing casual games like Nimble Quest, Temple Run 2, Candy Crush Saga and Fruit Ninja.
The device registered an average FPS of 24.2 on Nenamark 2, making slightly better than Galaxy S and significantly better than Xperia Play. The device isn’t exactly fit to run games with high system requirements as evidenced by my experience when I tried playing Real Racing 3 and Arcane Legends. Don’t get me wrong though. These games are playable on this device but don’t expect flawless performance without lag and hiccups.
The device is clocked lower to conserve battery, so if you want to make Real Racing 3 playable on this device, you may want to untick CPU power saving mode.
For your reference, here’s the full specs of this device:
- 1Ghz Dual Core Processor
- 1GB RAM
- 4.5″ Capacitive Touch Screen
- Air Shuffle Music, Camera, Photos, and FM Player
- Notification light
- Quad band GSM and Dual Band WCDMA
- Up to 32GB expandable memory card
- Dual Sim
- 1,500 mAh
The 4.6″ screen with 540×960 resolution is pretty nice. It registered 240 dpi on Phone Tester, which I believe is high enough to make the icons and screen elements pop out. Screen saturation is quite mediocre though. It does not give off the right saturation to render the right color of my photo subjects. Viewing angle is limited too as the qHD IPS screen is not OGS (one glass solution).
As for benchmark, I used PassMark, Antutu and Quadrant to test how technically capable this device is and how this fares compared to competition. Please note though that benchmark scores are relative scores as benchmark applications consider the current state of devices. It is possible for this device to have a different score after a week or two. This means that benchmark scores are sometimes irrelevant. But I’ll still show them to you for your reference.
- 1,331 on PassMark (CPU tests)
- 6,216 on Antutu
- 2,505 on Quadrant
Software, Features and Camera
The 8.6 is running on Android Jellybean 4.1.1 out of the box. There is probably no upgrade for 4.2.2 in the future, so it looks like we’re momentarily stuck with 4.1.1.
The device is preinstalled with custom icons, wallpapers and software features. The pull-down bar, which shows the notification and hot switches, looks like the stock version. The same “stock” look can be seen on some widgets, settings menu and stock applications.
Of course, Oplus’ most celebrated software feature, Air Shuffle, is very much available on this device. Sure, the Galaxy S4 already has this feature, but you don’t want to spend more than PhP25,000 just to get that feature, right? With Air Shuffle, you can take pictures, browse pictures and skip to your most favorite song with a simple wave gesture. You just really have to add a bit of finesse to make this feature work. Also, be sure to wave your hand infront of the sensor (on top of the screen) within .5 to 1 inch range.
If you don’t dig the preinstalled launcher, then you may replace it with Facebook Home or Apex Launcher. As of this writing, Facebook Home may already be installed in most Android devices, including O+ 8.6. There is no need to sideload the application on this device. Just update the preinstalled Facebook app, install Facebook Home and Messenger and you’re good to go. Just be sure to tap “Use Home anyway” when you receive a notification that your device is not yet fully supported.
The 8.6 has 5 megapixel (with AF) rear facing camera. It produces good photos in well-lit conditions, but photos taken in dark environments look mediocre and quite grainy. Thankfully, the camera software has lots of extra features and settings. So if you wish to optimize your output based on certain conditions you’re in, then all you have to do is break away from auto and tweak the settings.
You put 2 SIMs on this phone with dual on and standby. However, only 1 SIM is WCDMA compatible so, if you’re subscribed to unlimited internet, be sure to jack the corresponding SIM to port 1.
Battery life is ok for casual usage. But as this phone only has 1,500 mAh, be sure to always bring your charger with you especially if you’re into playing games and browsing through your social media feeds like every minute. In my experience, as I’m always attuned to my social media feeds and emails, the phone was barely up for a day.
The O+ 8.6 stands at the middle of 8.52 and 8.9. Priced at PhP7,995, this device is packed with decent features and average but adequate performance. O+, as a US brand, values original design, sturdy build and innovative features. The 8.6 epitomizes what O+ values and as such makes this phone a bang for your buck.
The Good Stuff
- Design and considerable heft
- Air Shuffle
- Notification Light
- Rear facing camera (in well-lit conditions)
- Elements on screen pop out
- Free 4gb MicroSD card
The Not-So-Good Stuff
- Unorthodox placement of Sleep/Wake button
- Screen saturation isn’t enough
- Camera settings to optimize shots
*UPDATE: The O+ 8.6 along with 8.9 and 8.12 are on sale until tomorrow, May 12, 2013. Price is down for PhP6,995 from PhP7,995.