, O+ Ultra unboxing and first impressions, Gadget Pilipinas, Gadget Pilipinas
You might think that we go through O+ USA phones like Rapunzel goes through bottles of shampoo and conditioner, but… er… you’re right. Maybe we do. As one of the more prolific local retailers of smartphones and tablets, it’s a certified regular among these pages.

Still, we haven’t handled anything like this new model yet: the O+ Ultra is unique among local phones in that it has a 4,000mAh battery. That’s like if you managed to fit two liters of Coca-Cola into a bottle of Coke Sakto. Or if you squeezed in Lebron James’s feet into your ex-girlfriends ballet slippers.

But enough about half-baked analogies and your disappointing love life. Before we give you our full review of the O+ Ultra, have a look at our initial impressions along with some photos from when we first unboxed it. Ready? Read the rest of this piece after the break.

Retail package

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The O+ Ultra’s retail package is all but completely identical with the rest of O+ USA’s local smartphone offerings. However, it has a prominent “Power Plus” graphic displayed on the front of its box with the tag line, “Additional battery life.” This is to signify that its main selling point is its battery, and the fact that it also comes with a custom-made battery saving feature, which is what Power Plus actually is.

At the back of the retail box, you’ll find most of the info you need on the O+ Ultra’s tech specs. Apart from Power Plus, there’s also the usual collection of exclusive O+ USA phone features like Air Share, Doodle Control, and Air Shuffle. The bottom of the box is lined with the Ultra’s actual tech specs and miscellaneous stuff, like icons for the free 8GB SanDisk microSD card and free software updates.

, O+ Ultra unboxing and first impressions, Gadget Pilipinas, Gadget Pilipinas
The phone itself can be removed from the box quite easily after you lift the cover off it. The box contents, meanwhile, can be found in a separate compartment under the O+ Ultra.

, O+ Ultra unboxing and first impressions, Gadget Pilipinas, Gadget Pilipinas
Speaking of box contents, here’s what you’ll find pre-packaged with the O+ Ultra: a pair of 3.5mm headphones, a USB cable, a USB wall charger, and even a SIM tray removal tool. As for freebies, there’s a screen protector as well as the memory card that was already mentioned above.

, O+ Ultra unboxing and first impressions, Gadget Pilipinas, Gadget Pilipinas
One thing that jumped out at us when we checked out the rest of the O+ Ultra’s box contents is a pamphlet that briefly talks about the Power Plus battery-saving feature. According to this pamphlet, it’s an O+ innovation that adds up to 10% of extra battery life when you need it most. We definitely would like to see it in action, and we will talk about it in our full review.

O+ Ultra sized up

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The O+ Ultra is no small fry by any means. It’s actually a phablet, by definition, since it has a 5.5-inch screen. And we realized this quickly as soon as we picked it up to hold it in our hand. It’s a large phone, and fits right in with most of the popular phones on sale these days.

, O+ Ultra unboxing and first impressions, Gadget Pilipinas, Gadget Pilipinas
Physically, the O+ Ultra doesn’t seem all that different from models that came before it. But one thing that caught our eye immediately in terms of its looks is the line of capacitive menu buttons that it has below the display.

It uses the Android L aesthetic. That is to say, the menu buttons themselves look like the on-screen ones in Android 5.0 Lollipop, which follow Material Design guidelines. It’s easy on the eyes and definitely refreshing to see in lieu of the old menu buttons on Android KitKat phones.

First impressions

, O+ Ultra unboxing and first impressions, Gadget Pilipinas, Gadget Pilipinas
As for the back of the O+ Ultra, the only thing we could note in our initial testing was the fact that it had a non-removable battery cover. So its 4,000mAh battery which we brought up earlier, is actually an internal one. That is why there’s a SIM tray removal tool included in the retail package, because it’s located on the side of the phone instead of under the battery.

The O+ Ultra looks promising, if we’re being honest. Its large size and its similarly large battery make us look forward to some in-depth testing in the coming days. For now, all we can say is that it may be one of the local Android L phones that you should keep an eye on, especially if you are the type of person to regularly drain your phone’s battery on the go.

David Gonzales is a geek, writer, and athlete all rolled into one. He specializes in articulating about novel and often shiny things that tend to make whirring noises. He also writes at SemiCurrent.com.