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.
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.
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.
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!
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.