It’s not hard these days to find an affordable Android device, but not all of them have decent specs or are attractive. Many of them are also slow since they don’t come with much RAM or ROM. Affordability is, of course, subjective, but to me anything under $200 is a good deal when it comes to gadgets.
The Leagoo Elite 5 is a device that falls in this price range (it’s actually under $150) and has great specs and a unique look to boot. This 4G phablet boasts a 5.5-inch screen, 2GB RAM, 16GB ROM, great quality cameras (both front and back), and a huge battery.
Leagoo was nice enough to let us test this model for a few weeks, and I’m quite impressed with the phone overall. Considering the price point, it’s definitely worth a look if you’re in the market for an affordable Android device for a loved one, children, or even yourself.
What’s in the Box
The Leagoo Elite 5 box includes:
- Elite 5 smartphone and battery, available in lemon yellow, rocky black, and ivory white
- European plug adapter
- Wired earbuds with microphone
- Micro-USB charging cable
- Micro-USB OTG adapter (USB 2.0 to micro-USB adapter convert connector)
- Instruction manual
Unlike the Leagoo Alfa 1 that I reviewed in April, this device does have 4G support and is incredibly fast as long as you’re within a 4G network (it’s in and out in my area). It’s unlocked and supports the use of two SIM cards (most users will only need one).
It should be noted that with an unlocked device like this, only GSM networks like AT&T and T-Mobile are supported in the U.S. I’ve tested it with Straight Talk (which offers both AT&T and T-Mobile based sim cards) and had no issue.
The device uses Leagoo’s own 64-bit OS 1.1 which features enhanced battery life, an improved user interface, guest mode, power saving mode, smart lock function, and much more. I have really enjoyed Leagoo OS 1.1 and find it easy-to-use and customize, as well as incredibly snappy. I’m normally not a fan of default launchers but this one’s a keeper in my book.
I also want to point out that this device does have a notification light. Many phones have this and many don’t. My current device doesn’t have this feature, and I wish it did. It’s nice to have a customizable LED that flashes when you have a missed call, new text message, new email, etc.
Even though the Elite 5 has all the features you’d expect from a budget Android device, it does have a few notable features that make it stand out from other budget devices. Here’s a look at each one.
Universal Infrared Remote Control Function
The Elite 5 can be used as a remote control thanks to an independent infrared remote control chip in the device. You can use it to control your TV, STB (set-top box), DVD player, air conditioner, projector, SLR, and much more. It supports over 800 manufacturers and more than 20,000 product models.
It’s extremely easy to set up remote control functions with most devices thanks to the included “Smart Remote” app (but any IR app in the Google Play Store should work just fine). I find it to be very accurate and responsive with both TVs in my home. Plus, it doesn’t need an active Internet connection to work, so no matter where you are you can still use the remote function.
I have this remote feature on my Samsung tablet, so I already know how handy it is, and I use it quite often. I appreciate it even more on a smaller device that can fit in one hand. It’s especially fun when you go to a family member’s or friend’s house and start secretly messing around with the TV; they’ll think that the TV is malfunctioning. I’ve gotten a few people like this, and it was hilarious!
4000mAh Ultra-Large Capacity Li-Polymer Battery
A 4000mAh battery isn’t very common when it comes to smartphones, so it’s surprising to have such a large capacity battery in a budget Android device. It’s definitely appreciated, though.
I didn’t set up any apps that constantly run in the background on the device (i.e. Facebook, Gmail), so the battery life has been really good; it has only needed to be charged every 2-3 days. Even when playing resource-heavy games, the battery doesn’t shoot down quickly like it does on my tablet.
The battery also charges really fast thanks to its unique LFC flash charge technology, 2A charging current, and TI intelligent charge management chip. It takes around two hours to fully charge the device, which is almost twice as fast as my current smartphone with just a 3000mAh battery.
Functions as a Power Bank
The Elite 5 also has a unique reverse charging function that allows you to use it as a power bank to charge other micro-USB devices. This is thanks to the included adapter that converts the USB end of a charging cable to micro-USB (since both ends need to be micro-USB for charging).
Being able to use the device as a power bank eliminates the need for an external battery or power bank when on the go. Unless, of course, your device has a battery larger than 4000mAh or you’re going on a trip; in that case, it just makes sense to use a larger capacity power bank instead.
- Dimensions: 154.6*77.0*8.9mm (L×W×H)
- Weight: 176g
- Display: 5.5-inch HD IPS OGS; multi-points capacitive touch
- PPI: 267
- Resolutions: 1280*720
- CPU: MTK6735 64bit Quad Core 1.0GHz
- GPU: Mali-T720
- System: Android 5.1
- RAM + ROM: 2GB RAM + 16GB ROM
- Camera: back camera 13.0MP and front camera 8.0MP
- Video: 720P HD 30 Frame/s
- Bluetooth: 4.0
- GPS: Satellite Navigation GPS chip built in, support A-GPS
- Battery: 4000mAh ultra-large capacity polymer battery; also functions as a power bank
- SIM Card: Dual SIM dual standby
- Network: 2G: GSM 850/900/1800/1900MHz; 3G: WCDMA 900/2100MHz; 4G: FDD-LTE 800/900/1800/2100/2600MHz
I really only have one complaint about the Elite 5 and that’s the fact that the navigation buttons (home, back, menu) don’t light up, so they’re difficult to see in dark and dimly lit areas. Additionally, since the buttons are the opposite of my smartphone and tablet, I kept getting them mixed up. On this device the menu button is to the left of the home button, and the back button is to the right of the home button.
Besides that, I think this is a great device. If you could care less about the most trendy or latest and greatest smartphone, this is one that’s stylish, extremely functional and light on your wallet.
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