The days when Chinese Android smartphones lagged behind the big brand leaders are drawing to a close, as evidenced by the latest crop of budget handsets emerging from the mainland in 2014. One of the first of these is a gorgeous new handset from one of our favorite manufacturers, THL, who have produced something which manages to look fabulous as well as offer a top feature set and blistering performance.
The THL T100s is an Octa-Core (yes 8 core, not quad) phone which delivers a set of specifications hot enough to make any power hungry Android fan salivate. The slim, elegant handset ships with a 5 inch, 1080p (1980×1080) touchscreen, 1.7GHz true octa-core processor, 2 GB RAM, dual SIM dual standby, NFC, USB OTG (for attaching external peripherals), 32 GB of on-board storage, with support for an extra 64 GB via microSD cards, and twin 13 megapixel cameras front and back. Excited yet?
The phone ships in the trademark simple carton that we’ve come to expect from THL, no flash graphics, just a simple logo on the outside. Inside the box again there’s nothing new, simply a basic but professionally produced user manual, charge block and cable and a headset. There’s also a screen protector for added protection.
The phone ships with a single 2300mAh battery, which is interesting because it looks as though the days of providing two batteries in the box are also coming to an end, since this is the second THL phone to only come with one. It’s not a big deal, although we did like the convenience of being able to carry around an extra battery for long weekend use.
The first thing that’s really noticeable about this new phone is how slim and elegant it looks, and how comfortable in the hand. The long rectangular shape is a real change from the typical Samsung Galaxy design, and as far as we’re concerned it’s a great way to deliver larger screens while still giving users one handed control over the navigation of the software. We liked it in the W200 and this phone does it even better.
Open up the back and you’ve got the usual space for two SIM cards, only this time there’s a micro SIM alongside a standard SIM, which means you can mix and match easily between different types. It’s a very cool idea, and we think it’s very logical given today’s split between the different formats.
The other new feature is the fact that the T100s accepts microSD cards up to 64GB in capacity, which means you’ve got a maximum storage space on the phone of nearly 100GB. More than enough for that large collection of Elvis albums and photos of Aunt Ethel. The upgrade from the 32GB maximum on previous MediaTek powered phones is very handy.
The other new feature is built-in NFC (near field communication) which you can use to beam content from one phone to another, or use with a suitably secure app to act like an NFC card for secure data transfer. We tested it out with a Nokia Lumia 1020 and it worked like a charm. Hold the two handsets back to back and they automatically connect, so all you have to do is select the beam content button and the transfer starts. Quick and easy.
Take a look at the video below to get our overview of this phone in action.
Read on for more details, comparison image and video samples, price, specifications and conclusions.