Wiko's latest offers big memory, small price tag

The U Feel Prime delivers decent performance on a budget.

A stylish mix of stainless steel, plastic and curved glass gives the U Feel Prime a premium look.

While most phone brands cater to the premium market, Wiko targets people who want to pay less than 10,000 baht but still want most of the features available on more expensive models. The Wiko U Feel Prime delivers on that niche.

The phone may not look like something straight from a catwalk (like Samsung's S7 Edge), but it has a curvy style that combines stainless steel, plastic and glass. It reminds me a lot of the HTC M7, my favourite phone of a few years back. Plus, light bleeding from the curved rim of the phone gives it a premium look.

This is one of very few phones in this price range that comes with a generous amount of RAM. Four gigabytes of RAM is usually reserved for phones priced 15,000 baht and above. This amount of RAM means you can run multiple apps (about 10) at the same time without killing some of the earlier ones from memory to make way for the newer ones.

This means you can have Facebook, Line, email, camera, Candy Crush, Google Chrome and Instagram running and can switch between them at any time without needing to open each from scratch. If you used a low-end Android phone before, you will know how frustrating it is when you switch between apps you have already opened and find they need to be loaded from scratch again. You won't find that here.

This phone's 1.4GHz CPU can run pretty much everything you throw at it, though it will not be lightning fast.

The launcher (the user interface) feels very close to vanilla Android. People who hate heavily customised launchers such as what Samsung, LG and HTC use will feel right at home with the Wiko because it's very much pure stock Android, with only a small batch of extra apps to make life easier.

These apps include call recorders, screen-off gestures (for quick app launches straight from a screen-off state), File Lock (for locking files behind a password from prying eyes), My Smart Left Page (for setting up news feeds and shortcuts on the left of the screen), Phone Assist (for RAM and storage optimisation) and scrolling screen capture. Pure Android makes navigation feel snappy, and fans of heavily customised phones can still change virtually everything on Android if they have the will and the time for it.

The photo quality from the camera is mediocre. The contrast, sharpness and colour you get from photos is adequate for some digital activities like selfies and Facebook posts, but the colour tone of the photos tends to be cool with a slight blue tint.

It's too bad the phone still uses a Micro USB port, which is a bit out of date for 2017 as many current models opt for USB C ports instead. The USB C is reversible -- any way you plug it in, in works -- and it improves the data transfer rate from 480Mbps to 10Gbps.

There are a bunch of freebies in the box with this phone: a screen protector, transparent case and a pair of earphones.

The Wiko also has a smart "home" button that can read your fingerprint to turn on the phone straight from its off screen. A slight touch of the button works the same as a back button, while a normal press goes back to the home screen and a long press shows all the recent apps.

At 7,990 baht, this phone is a nice entry point or upgrade from a more basic model.

SPECS

Screen: 5 inches (1920x1080)
Connectivity: 4G, fingerprint sensor, dual SIM (or a microSD)
Camera: 13MP (rear), 8MP (front), both have flashes
CPU: Snapdragon 430 Octacore 1.4
RAM: 4GB
GPU: Adreno 505
Storage: 32GB + microSD (max 64GB)
Battery: 3000 mAh
Free accessories: screen protector, silicone case, on-ear headphones, 4000 mAh power bank, SIM adaptors
OS: Android 6.0 Marshmallow
Colour variation: gold, silver, black
Price: 7,990 baht

Back to top