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Swipe Konnect 5.0 Review

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Swipe introduced the Konnect 5.0 smartphone as one of the world’s lightest 5-inch display smartphone earlier this month. Thanks to the good folks at Swipe, we got a Konnect 5.0 review unit of our very own. The affordable smartphone priced at Rs. 8,999 packs in some decent specifications for its price but we were curious to know how it performs in the real world.

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The Rs. 10,000 range has been quite spiced up with the arrival of the likes of Moto E and the Lumia 520/525 doing great previously. There has been a plethora of new phones launched in this price range of late and just yesterday, Microsoft unveiled the Nokia X2, which should be priced around Rs. 8,000. So, the bigwigs are fighting hard for a pie of the low end, let’s see how the Swipe Konnect 5.0 manages to stack up.

Swipe Konnect 5.0 Specifications:

  • 5-inch IPS display
  • qHD (960x540p)
  • 148x74x8.9mm
  • 135 grams
  • 1.3 GHz Quad-core MediaTek MT6582 processor
  • Mali-400 MP GPU
  • 1 GB RAM
  • 8 GB internal storage
  • microSD expansion up to 32 GB
  • 8 MP rear camera with LED flash
  • 3.2 MP front facing camera
  • Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean
  • 1950 mAh battery
  • Dual SIM (3G+2G)
  • WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS
  • G-Sensor, Light sensor

What’s in the Box

Swipe Konnect 5.0 Review

The Swipe Konnect 5.0 comes in a cool looking box and it features everything we’ve come to expect from a modern smartphone and more. Along with the usual content, Swipe adds in a free flip cover and the device comes with a screen guard installed, which is surely a great gesture from the company.

  • Swipe Konnect 5.0 Black with screen guard installed
  • micro USB cable
  • USB charger plug
  • In-ear headset
  • The battery
  • Flip Cover
  • Booklets including warranty card, user manual etc..

Design and Hardware

At first, when you look at the Swipe Konnect 5.0, it will look boring to you but once you hold it and give it some attention, you’re surely in for a surprise. The Konnect 5.0 comes in the usual Black and White variants and we got the Black one.

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The device features a very rubbery curved back, which is pleasure to touch and brings good grip. The rubbery feel surely is likeable and the curved back makes sure it fits well into your palm. The sloping edges make the device look thinner than it actually is and we’re not complaining here. It measures in at 148x74x8.9mm.

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Swipe claims that the Konnect 5.0 is one of the lightest 5-inch display smartphones. The device weighs 135 grams, which is surely not the lightest but anyways, the device is light enough. The front of the device features the three capacitive buttons on the bottom, which are only seen when they light up, they also offer haptic feedback. There’s a microphone as well at the lower end of the bezel. On the top, there’s the 3.2 MP front facing camera and a speaker for calls.

The rubbery back features the 8 MP camera unit along with the flash. The camera is a little protruded with a nice circular texture around it. Swipe has also used the back of the device for its branding. Just below the camera, you can see the Swipe branding and down below, just above the speaker, there’s the Konnect 5.0 branding. The back is removable and it houses the 1950 mAh battery along with dual SIM slots and microSD slot. Strangely, one slot houses the regular SIM cards while the other houses microSIM cards. The back is easy to remove but not so easy to put back. You are sure to miss out on open spaces while you fix back the backplate.

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The right side of the device features the power/lock button, which is not really easy to press. Thanks to the sloping curved back, the sides are very thin, making the lock button not easy to find and press. The left side of the device features the volume rockers.

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On the top, there’s a micro USB port and a 3.5 mm audio jack while the bottom is devoid of any action.

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While the Swipe Konnect 5.0 isn’t really an attractive looking device, it sure looks plain but once you feel the rubbery back, you would surely want to hold the device and play with it. The bezels surely make the device larger but that is expected for a phone at this price. The lock button is sometimes irritating but it’s surely not a deal breaker. All in all, we are quite content and pleased with the design and hardware of the device.

Display

Swipe Konnect 5.0 Review 13'

The Swipe Konnect 5.0 packs in a 5-inch IPS display of qHD (960x540p) resolution, which makes up for a pixel density of 240 ppi. The display is pretty vibrant with good color optimisation. We would have liked the blacks on the display darker but at this price, this display is pretty decent. The display is pretty reflective and when your phone is locked, you can surely use it as a mirror and sunlight legibility is below average, which was expected from a reflective display. The brightness and the viewing angles of the display are also good enough. The display isn’t as sharp as we would have liked but this is what you get, when you have qHD resolution on a 5-inch display.

Overall, we are quite happy with the Konnect 5.0 display. The touch responsiveness is also up to the mark. We can easily say it’s a great display and a user will surely like it.

User Interface

Sadly, the device comes with Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean, which is a shame, considering of late there have been several affordable smartphones launched with the latest Android 4.4 KitKat on-board. Anyways, Swipe has already started rolling out the Android 4.4 KitKat update for the Konnect 5.0. While our device hasn’t received the update yet, the rollout should be gradual.

The Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean build is mostly stock on the device and as you know by now, we like it that way.  All the icons and the UI elements are stock Android and we’re glad Swipe has let it be that way.

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Swipe has pre-loaded some third party apps along with its Swipe Assist app. The Swipe Assist app, as the name suggests has been developed for your assistance. Swipe Assist brings you the ability to go through the device’s user manual from your phone, check out the specs of your device, contact the customer care and check out all the Swipe service centers in the country. There’s also ability to install free apps, which is basically an installer for .apk files. Swipe has put .apk files of several free apps and games, so that you can install them right away without the hassle of downloads.

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Third party apps Swipe has included on the device out of the box are Adobe Reader, Automatic Call Recorder, Delicious Recipes, Dropbox, Easy Installer, English Dictionary, Kingsoft Office, LED flashlight, MX Player, My City Guide, NewHub, Next Calendar, Next Contact Widget, Next Launcher 3D, Next Music, Next Switch Widget, SuperBeam, Temple Run 2, WhatsApp and Where’s My Droid. There are some Google apps as well and those which are missing can be easily installed from the Play Store.

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The music and video players are pretty basic but get the job done. Swipe has pre-installed the Next Music app along with the stock Music app but you can always get the Google Play Music app from the Store. There’s MX Player installed on the device out of the box, so you won’t really be needing any other video players.

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We are content with the user interface on the Swipe Konnect 5.0 but the experience could have been even better if not for those plethora of third party apps. Yes, some apps are useful but there are also some apps a user won’t ever use. Overall, the stock Android runs the show here and it does it pretty well but the upcoming KitKat update should make the device even better.

Performance

Swipe Konnect 5.0 is powered by a 1.3 GHz Quad-core MediaTek M6582 processor with Mali-400 MP graphics processor. There’s 1 GB RAM for your multitasking needs. The device is not a beast for sure but the performance was satisfactory in our testing.

The device runs fluid most of the times but there’s some lag while scrolling heavy web pages. Most of the games run fine on the device and phone doesn’t bog down while multitasking. There are the usual stutters when multitasking between heavy duty app but the performance is good mostly.

We did some benchmark tests on the device and device performed well enough. Take a look at the results.

Swipe Konnect 5.0 Review benchmark

Summing it up, we are content with the device’s performance, the Quad-core 1.3 GHz processor does manage to keep things fluid and 1 GB RAM makes sure you can multitask easily.

The call quality on the device is good enough and we had no issues with that. The speaker on the device isn’t really loud and it sounds a little distorted at higher volumes.

Battery Performance

Swipe has equipped the Konnect 5.0 with a 1950 mAh battery. The battery is user replaceable, so you can easily keep a spare one to swap while travelling. The battery performance is the device is above average.

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In our testing, we easily got a full day of usage from the battery on mixed usage. While playing games or running heavy duty apps, the battery does discharge very quickly. If you are a moderate user, who likes to make a few calls in a day, surf the web a bit, check social accounts, listen to some music, watch some videos and play some games, then the device should last you from the morning till the end of the day quite easily.

Camera

On paper, Swipe Konnect 5.0 has a good camera, both on the front and the rear. On the rear, there’s an 8 MP camera with an OmniVision sensor and an LED flash. The front features a 3.2 MP camera. While we were hoping, the cameras are as good as they sound. Sadly, there were not!

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Talking about the camera interface first, it’s the stock Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean camera interface. The right features the capture button for both pictures and videos, along with the Settings button and Gallery. The Settings menu buries the other options such as scene mode, color effect, white balance, time lapse interval, continuous shot and more. The left features a pane consisting of the HDR mode, Panorama and Smile shot. The top right features shortcuts to flash and a button to switch to the front facing cam.

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We have realised many times in the past that megapixels aren’t everything and that’s the case here as well. An 8 MP camera with an Omnivision sensor and LED flash do sound good and one instantly expects good camera performance. Sadly, the camera performance on the Swipe Konnect 5.0 is below average. In daylight and well lit conditions, the pictures come out okay but sometimes the colors are washed out and the pictures are very low on detail. Check out some camera samples below:

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In low light, the pictures taken by the 8 MP camera is very disappointing. There’s a lot of noise in low light pictures and pictures taken with flash aren’t any good either. While taking pictures with flash turned on, the flash seems to act prematurely than the camera, thus making no use at all. Here are some low light samples for you:

Swipe Konnect 5.0 Review camera 1

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Swipe Konnect 5.0 Review camera 2

The video performance is okay and videos taken with the device are not as bad as the pictures.Overall, the camera is a let down on the Swipe Konnect 5.0 but the software seems to be the culprit here. Hopefully, Swipe can fix things via an update. The front facing 3.2 MP camera is good enough for the occasional selfie and Skype video chats.

Connectivity

The Swipe Konnect 5.0 comes with dual SIM with dual standby support. One of the SIM slots supports 3G connectivity as well. Oddly, Swipe uses a regular SIM card for one slot and a micro SIM for another.

Other connectivity options include WiFi, Bluetooth and GPS. The device comes with the usual G-Sensor and Light sensor. Sadly, the Proximity sensor seems to be missing.

Conclusion

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The Spice Konnect 5.0 is a decent device but for the camera. We quite liked the design and display of the device, the performance is pretty good and the battery life is also good enough.

The device is available in India for Rs. 8,999, so it competes with the likes of the just announced Nokia X2, Moto E and various other devices. It will be tough for the Swipe smartphone to gain some reasonable traction with so much competition. The affordable smartphone can be a good buy if the camera performance of the device is improved via an update. Hopefully, Swipe does something about it soon.

Pros

  • Good design
  • Good display
  • Fluid performance
  • Above average Battery performance

Cons

  • Lock button hard to press
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