It seems that big is the flavor of the season in smartphones. Companies are lining up to release large screen devices one after the other. Although such devices used to cost a pretty penny in the past, a number of companies are releasing more wallet-friendly versions of the “phablet”- and one of them is Zopo, a Chinese Android phone manufacturer, which has launched its ZP900 Leader phablet. But how does it stack up against some stiff competition?
Our first reaction on seeing the ZP900 was, “Hey, it’s the Galaxy Note 2!” Yes, at first glance, one can easily think that this is Samsung’s new phablet. It comes with a 5.3- inch capacitive touchscreen. Its dimensions are 150×78×10.2 mm, and it weighs 198 grams, which is a bit on the heavy side, but then this is a big phone. Despite its large body, the ZP900 is comfortable to hold, although one has to use both hands to type comfortably on it. There’s only one hardware button on the front panel, the Home key, with a touch button on either sides - one for Menu and the other for Back. The 8.0-megapixel camera and speaker grill are placed on the back panel with ZOPO in silver printed on it. We liked the overall look of the phone - yes, it looks a lot like the Note 2, but that certainly is not a bad example to follow.
The ZP900 phone comes with a 5.3 inch IPS TFT multi-touch capacitive display of 960 x 540 pixels resolution, which is clear and visible in sunlight too. The phone is powered with MTK6577 1GHz dual core processor, thanks to which the device was able to play graphic rich games and 720p HD videos with ease, although 1080p videos were not supported. It comes with a 8.0-megapixel rear camera and 2.0-megapixel front camera. The device supports dual SIM standby, with one connection supporting 3G. The internal storage of the device stands at 4 GB that can be expanded up to 32 GB and it comes with 1 GB RAM. On the connectivity front, the phone supports Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, A-GPS, 2G and 3G. Making sure there is enough power to keep all this ticking is the 2,300 mAh Li-ion battery.
The phone runs on Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich). It comes with five home panels that can be customized according to one’s need and usability. Widgets and app shortcuts can be placed on home screen for easy access. And perhaps reflecting its nationality, the device comes along with some Chinese apps on board too. There are also some pre installed apps such as MSN Talk Pro, UC Web, Compass, Documents To Go, Facebook, Gtalk, and We Chat. For game lovers, some popular games like Angry Birds Space, Fruit Ninja and TurboFly 3D are also on board. All in all, we would say that we are reasonably content with what we got with the device although we would have liked a newer version of Android (Jelly Bean has been around for a while now) considering the specs and display size of the device.
The ZP900 gets good marks from us in the multimedia field. The sound quality of the device was very good (especially on headphones) and the onboard music player comes with 3D effect, bass boost and equalizer settings. One can preset reverb as per the size of the room one wants to play music in – small room, large room, large hall, etc. Also on board is FM radio, which has good reception and sound quality. On the video front, the phone was able to play 720p HD videos but not full HD videos. As far as the camera goes, the ZP900 boasts 8.0-megapixel shooter but its results were frankly disappointing, although there are plenty of settings options to play around with. It is a classic case of a camera with a high megapixel count but not with the greatest performance.
Our experience with the ZP900 was largely satisfactory. We liked the large display a lot and our touch experience was also good. However, the device does tend to get heated up while playing games, running videos and during long calls, something which made us distinctly uncomfortable. The voice quality (during calling) was acceptable but nothing to write home about. The score of the device on quadrant is 2739. Those looking for a phablet on a tight budget would definitely not find too much to fault in it.
The Zopo ZP900 is priced at Rs 15,999, which we feel is a bit on the higher side when you consider that other players in the budget segment have phablets that cost lesser. Those seeking alternatives can also consider the iBall Andi 5c which is an Android smartphone with a 5.0-inch display and is available for Rs 12,999, and the Micromax A100 which also sports a 5-inch display, runs Android, and is available
for Rs 9,000.