GadgetsLab: Happy Mobile Oracle

Specifications:

  • Processor: 1.5GHz octa-core
  • Memory: 1GB RAM
  • Storage: 8GB (non-expandable)
  • OS: Android 4.4 KitKat
  • Display: 5-inch HD OGS display
  • Cameras: 13MP rear camera with AF and flash, 8MP front camera
  • Connectivity: WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, A-GPS, USB OTG, Miracast
  • Battery: 2100mAh

It’s perfectly reasonable to assume that everyone wants to pick up a decent smartphone without breaking the bank, particularly if your wallet isn’t quite loaded enough to cover the cost of a flagship device. The current state of the market is such that you don’t have to cast bones to know that there are many affordable smartphones that give you a great deal, even with their low costs. One in particular is Happy Mobile, relatively new brand, but one that is already making waves in the local smartphone scene. Let’s find out if it can hold its own when we put it through its paces.

Design: (4/5)

On paper, the Oracle offer specs that are true value for money. It has got most of what you’ll initially look at when scouring the market for a new phone: premium design, neat build quality, impressive hardware, and a wallet-friendly price tag.

At first glance, the Oracle is undeniably a beauty. It bears a slender frame, that has its bezel lined with chrome. Along with a seemingly-aluminum back are white plastic strips located atop and at the bottom of the back, which will have you double-take as its design resembles that of the iPhone 5s.

A quick look around the edges of the Oracle gives you the usuals; at the top edge is an audio jack, on the right side is the dual-SIM tray (the package comes with a pin for popping it open), on the left are the volume rocker and power/lock button—both buttons are kind of wobbly to touch, and located at the bottom is its micro-USB port. At just 6.55mm thin, reaching for the buttons whilst holding the device is fuss-free.Its rear, which houses the camera, has the back plate, which is non-removable probably to make the Oracle slim as it is.

Hardware: (3/5)

The Oracle comes with specs that you would expect on a pricier device: Android 4.4 KitKat—it will give you a slightly tweaked version of stock Android UI with its built-in available themes, 13MP rear camera with flash and 8MP front-facing camera, 2100mAh battery, 1.5GHz octa-core processor mated with 1GB of RAM—which is a little lacking in my opinion, and 8GB of onboard storage.

There is no micro SD slot, hence non-expandable storage. If you love your media content, you are limited to 8GB of internal storage, giving you access to around 5GB out of the box thanks to all the software installed on the handset. Though this may be enough for some, this can be quite a deal breaker since majority of perspective customers may find this too small.

User Experience: (3.5/5)

Navigating around the Oracle’s UI is easy peasy. If you’ve had an Android device, or at least handled one in the past, the Oracle will give you the same, pleasantly unremarkable experience. However, as previously mentioned, Happy Mobile has tinkered slightly with the user interface from the original stock Android. You get a theme app, that  with every tap transitions the interface to a different theme–an enjoyable tweak I must say. Overall, we found interacting with the Oracle’s interface intuitive, generally smooth though with moments that did trigger a bit of frustration.

Making a call and messaging on the Oracle is easy; a person devoid of tech knowledge could do it without having to consult a nine-year-old. Input on the default keyboard is simple, as is opening messages is uncomplicated. If you’re wondering how the dual-SIM feature affects the inbox, it’s also very straightforward, and isn’t likely to cause any problems sending messages to the wrong recipient.

The display doesn’t quite match up to the hardware the Oracle offers. It will give you just the right range of viewing angles with images bright and clear. It’s not quite at par with the screens offered on some of the more established brands, but it gives you what you need.

As soon as you get the Oracle it should be able to cater for all your needs as it arrives bundled with pre-installed essential software. We ran AnTuTu on the Oracle and it registered a number below than what we had initially expected, but capable nonetheless. But on the whole, every app available for download on the Play Store is compatible with the Oracle. I installed titles such as Overkill Mafia and Punch Boxing as soon as I received it, surprisingly, both were playable and ran without a hitch despite some of the present hardware and performance inconsistencies.

Set into the slender body of the Oracle is a 13MP rear and 8MP front-facing snapper that managed to impress us during testing the unit. Both the cameras were able to give finely-detailed and fantastic shots given light is evenly distributed, though in certain conditions you’ll have to settle with images with some grain on it.

The color reproduction in the photos we took were vibrant. Switching to the front cam gives you enhanced selfies. The digital zoomworked well and its default video functions are also simple to use, giving you room for smooth footage and quality playback. All in all, its cameras worked rather well is worthy to be noted.

The battery life on the Oracle had me scratching my head on several occasions, but was good for the 2100mAh lithium battery it says it to be. Although quite short, the battery could potentially give you up to a full day on one charge with careful use.

Value: (3.5)

The Oracle finds itself in the low- to mid-level price range and the performance it delivers correlates with that. It surely delivers for a device that highlights its camera as one of its top features. Happy Mobile has managed to produce an Android phone that is feature-rich for a little cost. And for its sticker price, it’s quite difficult to complain about the trivial problems we encountered, but overall this device poses a great start for a newcomer like Happy Mobile.

Bottomline:

If what makes you happy translates into eye-pleasing and affordable, then the Oracle is what you need.

What’s Hot:

  • Slim design
  • Decent rear and front camera

What’s Not:

  • Not-so stunning graphics
  • Stutters in several occasions

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