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THL W200 – big beautiful new quad core budget phone should keep Samsung execs awake at night [Review]


w200feature3 THL W200   big beautiful new quad core budget phone should keep Samsung execs awake at night [Review]

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again…the Chinese are coming. And not at a trot, but at a gallop. Regular readers will know that we’ve been tracking Chinese brand phones for a few years, and what we’ve seen in the past few months is a big shift in how they’re made and marketed, which is pitching them head to head with the premium handsets from major brands like Sony, Samsung and HTC. And where there used to be a huge gap in quality and specifications, today it’s all but gone away.

The latest THL W200 Android smartphone is a perfect example of what we mean. In the short few months since we reviewed this model’s predecessor, the THL W100, the company has pulled out all the stops and produced a handset which rivals the best the major brands can offer, and at a ludicrously attractive price. And it’s not just a specification win either. This new phone also comes with bags of style which makes it the kind of product people will want to show off at the dinner table. It’s a subtle point, but crucial.

So what’s the fuss about? Well on the surface, not much. The new W200 is not so much a revolution as an evolution on its predecessor, but it’s the sum of the parts that really makes the difference, as you’ll see in the rest of this review and our video run through.

w200box THL W200   big beautiful new quad core budget phone should keep Samsung execs awake at night [Review]

This new THL W200 is the successor to the successful budget phone the W100, and while on the surface there’s little difference between the two, in reality there’s a universe of change, which makes this new product a real eye opener. The new Android phone features the brand new MTK6589T processor, which is an uprated quad core CPU running at 1.5GHz as opposed to the 1.2GHz of most current budget and mid range phones.

The remainder of the specs are typical of the genre, with 1 GB of RAM, 8 GB internal storage space, Bluetooth, Dual SIM/Standby, GPS, WiFi and the rest, but this model also features a high resolution 1280×720, 5 inch screen, which makes it a little larger than the Galaxy S3, but with the same resolution.

w200box2 1 THL W200   big beautiful new quad core budget phone should keep Samsung execs awake at night [Review]

First impressions

We’ve commented before on the quality of THL’s packaging and user manuals, and the tradition is carried on with this handset. There are two 1800mAh batteries included in the pack, as well as the usual USB charging and data cable, a power block, manual and headset.

w200comparison

In terms of overall size, the W200 sits in between the W100 and something like the Galaxy Note, which although it has a 5.3 inch screen, seems so much bigger all round now. The result is the W200 comes across as a great compromise between the size of a phablet and the smaller standard screen real estate. You can even use it one handed!

w200inside

Pulling the back off reveals the two SIM slots and the microSD slot which will accept up to 32GB of card. Don’t bother trying anything larger like a 64GB card because it won’t work.. When we tried, it failed to read instantly, declaring our new SanDisk card to be ‘damaged‘. It wasn’t. The battery is longer and thinner than its predecessor, which reflects the fact that the phone itself is also a slimmer, more elegant shape than the W100. It’s actually very cool looking too, in a black monolith sort of way. See our video review below for a more detailed look.

Click through past the jump to see our conclusions, the specifications and current price of this handset.

Continue Reading… 1 2 [View All]

Nigel is the managing editor of the Red Ferret, as well as a freelance columnist for the Sunday Times newspaper in London. Loves tech and fancies himself as a bit of a futurist, but then don’t we all?

Nigel – who has written posts on The Red Ferret Journal.



  • Low IQ

    The problem with these types of cell smartphones is support or confidence the company will still be there in 5 years or less?

    • http://www.redferret.net/ Nigel Powell

      Agreed. It’s definitely a risk, but to be honest there’s no guarantees any more for any company. Just look at RIM and the Blackberry. The key thing about these phones is the fact that the price has some risk discount built in. :)

      • Low IQ

        I think Samsung will be here in 5 years, I can predict that but RIM is on the edge and that was predictable by RIM’s silence..

  • MusicalBox

    I always wondered about these phones sold on chinese sites. Will they work with SIM cards from any phone companies ?

    • http://www.redferret.net/ Nigel Powell

      Well it’s really about what networks the phones support, so it’s important you check to make sure they support 3G, and also the particular type of 3G you have in your country/region. So for example make sure for Europe/US it supports at least 850/2100MHz WCDMA. Hope that helps.

      • MusicalBox

        Thank you. But my question was more about “locked/unlocked”. For example here in Canada (and everwhere else in the world I suppose) a phone sold by Rogers Wireless will not work with a SIM card from Telus Mobility.

        So, suppose the HTL W200 for example is compatible with the type of 3G here, will it work with any mobile phone company ?

        • http://www.redferret.net/ Nigel Powell

          It is a totally unlocked handset. It should work with any network provider.

          • MusicalBox

            Ah ! Then thanks a lot sir :)
            I will order it. Your review conviced me. Then only thing holding me was the compatibility.
            Thank you again

          • http://www.redferret.net/ Nigel Powell

            Pleasure. :)

  • Hameed

    Do both SIM cards work on 3G/WCDMA or only one is 3G and the other is 2G/GSM only?

    • http://www.redferret.net/ Nigel Powell

      Both SIM cards can handle 3G as far as I remember.

      • Hameed

        Great!

  • phil201

    Will this phone work on australian networks?

  • phil201

    Will this phone work on australian networks?

    • http://www.redferret.net/ Nigel Powell

      Should do. You’ll need to check the particular network specs though to make sure it’s compatible.

  • KDanagger

    Sounds like a nice phone, but will it work with US WCDMA frequencies?
    It looks like it only supports 850/2100 for WCDMA. IN the US, WCDMA is
    almost entirely 850/1900 from what I’ve been able to determine.
    Only being able to get 2G data speeds seems out of the question…

  • KDanagger

    Sounds like a nice phone, but will it work with US WCDMA frequencies?
    It looks like it only supports 850/2100 for WCDMA. IN the US, WCDMA is
    almost entirely 850/1900 from what I’ve been able to determine.
    Only being able to get 2G data speeds seems out of the question…

    • http://www.redferret.net/ Nigel Powell

      The phone works in the US depending on which part of the country you live, using the Band V 850 frequency and 2100 where available (e.g. T-Mobile in parts of Florida I believe?). You’ll find 850 with AT&T, Telus, Commnet and others, but you just have to shop around. It sucks, which is why the European system is much better for guaranteeing continent wide 3G speeds consistently. More details at http://tinyurl.com/prz3rjl .

    • http://www.redferret.net/ Nigel Powell

      The phone works in the US depending on which part of the country you live, using the Band V 850 frequency and 2100 where available (e.g. T-Mobile in parts of Florida I believe?). You’ll find 850 with AT&T, Telus, Commnet and others, but you just have to shop around. It sucks, which is why the European system is much better for guaranteeing continent wide 3G speeds consistently. More details at http://tinyurl.com/prz3rjl .

    • http://www.redferret.net/ Nigel Powell

      The phone works in the US depending on which part of the country you live, using the Band V 850 frequency and 2100 where available (e.g. T-Mobile in parts of Florida I believe?). You’ll find 850 with AT&T, Telus, Commnet and others, but you just have to shop around. It sucks, which is why the European system is much better for guaranteeing continent wide 3G speeds consistently. More details at http://tinyurl.com/prz3rjl .

    • http://www.redferret.net/ Nigel Powell

      The phone works in the US depending on which part of the country you live, using the Band V 850 frequency and 2100 where available (e.g. T-Mobile in parts of Florida I believe?). You’ll find 850 with AT&T, Telus, Commnet and others, but you just have to shop around. It sucks, which is why the European system is much better for guaranteeing continent wide 3G speeds consistently. More details at http://tinyurl.com/prz3rjl .

    • http://www.redferret.net/ Nigel Powell

      The phone works in the US depending on which part of the country you live, using the Band V 850 frequency and 2100 where available (e.g. T-Mobile in parts of Florida I believe?). You’ll find 850 with AT&T, Telus, Commnet and others, but you just have to shop around. It sucks, which is why the European system is much better for guaranteeing continent wide 3G speeds consistently. More details at http://tinyurl.com/prz3rjl .

    • http://www.redferret.net/ Nigel Powell

      The phone works in the US depending on which part of the country you live, using the Band V 850 frequency and 2100 where available (e.g. T-Mobile in parts of Florida I believe?). You’ll find 850 with AT&T, Telus, Commnet and others, but you just have to shop around. It sucks, which is why the European system is much better for guaranteeing continent wide 3G speeds consistently. More details at http://tinyurl.com/prz3rjl .

    • http://www.redferret.net/ Nigel Powell

      The phone works in the US depending on which part of the country you live, using the Band V 850 frequency and 2100 where available (e.g. T-Mobile in parts of Florida I believe?). You’ll find 850 with AT&T, Telus, Commnet and others, but you just have to shop around. It sucks, which is why the European system is much better for guaranteeing continent wide 3G speeds consistently. More details at http://tinyurl.com/prz3rjl .

    • http://www.redferret.net/ Nigel Powell

      The phone works in the US depending on which part of the country you live, using the Band V 850 frequency and 2100 where available (e.g. T-Mobile in parts of Florida I believe?). You’ll find 850 with AT&T, Telus, Commnet and others, but you just have to shop around. It sucks, which is why the European system is much better for guaranteeing continent wide 3G speeds consistently. More details at http://tinyurl.com/prz3rjl .

  • http://ivaylospasov.info/ Ivaylo Spasov

    Will this phone work in Bulgaria. Here are the 2G and 3G frequences: http://www.gsmarena.com/network-bands.php3

    Keep up with good work. Thank you in advance!

    • http://www.redferret.net/ Nigel Powell

      Here’s the phone specs:

      - 3G: WCDMA: 850/2100MHz
      - 2G: GSM 850/900/1800/1900MHz

      Hope that helps.

  • ale

    sabes como se pasan los datos del thl200 a la PC ya q conecto el USB y nada ocurre

    • http://www.redferret.net/ Nigel Powell

      You need to make sure you select the correct USB transfer mode before the data will be sent across properly.

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