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In line with 2017 trends of adopting larger displays with smaller bodies, Cubot launched their budget flagship this year, the Cubot X18. The X18 follows the new design trend with an 18:9 display aspect ratio, making it fit a 5.7-inch display on a smaller body. Aside from the new aspect ratio, the  Cubot X18 features:

  • 3GB Ram
  • 32 GB internal storage
  • 13MP primary camera
  • 16MP Front facing camera
  • 4G LTE Support
  • 1280 x 720 (HD) screen resolution
  • 4150mAh battery capacity
  • Android 7.0 Nougat

Design

Cubot X18
Scratches and scurfs on the back after prolonged use

The device has a 5.7” IPS screen which is big but it’s 18:9 aspect ratio makes it easier on the hand comparing it with other devices of the same size. The screen comes with an already placed screen protector, the front of the phone contains the cameras and sensors that I’ll talk about later.

The overall design isn’t as what their ads show, it isn’t as bezel-less as advertised. The navigation buttons are on screen and the fingerprint which is a rounded square and placed on the back (Side note: It’s pretty fast when unlocking your phone.) The volume rocker and power button are on the right side of the phone, the headphone jack on the top left and speaker grills on the bottom part together with a micro-USB charging port. The speaker grill is on the bottom left while the one on the right is a faux one for design purposes.

On the back, you’ll find the main camera together with an LED flash, it has a plastic back cover that gets scratches and it’s also slippery so you’ll need a cover to be cautious – also it’s a fingerprint magnet.

Display

 

Cubot X18The phone comes with a 5.7” IPS screen with a resolution of 1280 by 720. The IPS screen also has good viewing angles but since it’s a 720p screen so you’ll definitely see the pixels. Also, the screen maxes out its brightness when you open the camera or the gallery, this could be blinding the first few times it happens. The display is covered with  2.5D curved glass, that gives it a good feeling while using it.

Interface, Reliability, and Performance: What’s it like to use

Cubot X18

The phone comes with an AOSP version of Android. This means that it’s an untouched version of Android, like zero tweaks. The first time you boot it up, you will be met with huge app icons, fortunately, you can reduce their size. Also, I had to use a launcher just to achieve some level of customization with my review unit. I was using Nova Launcher and it made the phone easier to look at once you unlock it.

The phone packs 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal memory expandable to 128GB. It uses a MediaTek MT6737T CPU and an ARM Mali-T720 GPU for graphics processing. Although the hardware is like from two years ago, the phone is still capable enough for day to day use.

IT HOLDS ENOUGH PROCESSING POWER AND RAM THAT ENABLE MULTITASKING WITHOUT LAGGING.

My daily usage was with no fuss as this Android version comes with only a handful of pre-installed apps and thus the usability isn’t hindered with bloatware. One thing I loved about this phone, is that there is no sign of lag when switching between apps, screens, and menus – a huge bonus point for this phone.

Battery Life

Cubot X18

This phone comes with a rather small (for its screen size) battery with a capacity of 3200mAh. With light use, it could go for almost a day and a half but for a heavy user like me, I had to charge it in the evening or in between my sessions of browsing social media, streaming music and videos and playing games.

The low consumption of the SOC and system optimization of the phone will satisfy the needs of an average user. Also, it doesn’t come with fast charging enabled, so you’ll have to leave it overnight to fully charge up to 100% by the time you wake up.

Cameras

Cubot X18

Cubot stepped up their camera game as they incorporated Sony and Samsung hardware. The main camera snaps at 16MP and comes with an aperture of f/2.2, an LED flash and a Sony Blue Glass ICR. The selfie camera shoots at 13MP and comes with front-facing soft flash and a Samsung sensor.

The camera takes decent to average quality images with good daylight or when in well-lit areas, however, in low light or under fluorescent lights the pictures are characterized by a lot of noise but this is what you expect from a phone that comes at this price category.

tHE PHOTOS TAKEN BY THE MAIN CAMERA LOOK DECENT BUT LACK OIS WHICH IS NOT A DEAL BREAKER FOR A PHONE IN THIS PRICE RANGE

Browse through the Gallery and be the judge.You can also click to enlarge the images:

Final Thoughts

Cubot X18

The Cubot X18 is a great option for people who are in the low-end market but still want a phone that comes with the latest trends in the smartphone world. The only compromise you’ll have to make about this phone is the camera, but if you take photos during the day you can live with it. All other smartphone priorities tick well such as functionality and appearance.

Pros

  • Budget price
  • Dual Sim
  • Decent connectivity options including 4G LTE
  • Memory card supports up to 128GB expansion
  • 3GB of RAM for seamless multitasking
  • 32GB Internal Storage
  • 18:9 aspect ratio

Cons

  • Small battery capacity
  • The main camera shoots average quality pictures with no OIS(image stabilization)

If you are a person whose smartphone’s priority number one is capturing good photos, then you’ll have to skip this one but if the Cubot’s X18 other features excite you, this is a steal. You can purchase the Cubot X18 through online marketplaces such as Jumia at Kshs 18,200 or Avechi for Kshs 14,500.

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