After launching an extremely light and compact device—Passion 660 in June 2015, Shanghai-based Phicomm seems to have surprised again with its new offering in the Indian market—Energy 653. The phone offers a glossy finish, decent build quality, fine colour reproduction, bigger display and 4G connectivity. There are plethora of entry-level smartphones in the market but a price tag of Rs 4,999 sets Phicomm’s Energy 653 apart. However, the question remain, is it worth buying? Let us look into it.
In the hand, the first thing that I noticed is its 5-inch display and elegant looks. In this price range, apart from few exception such as ZTE Blade Qlux 4G, you will hardly find any device giving premium hands-on experience. Energy 653 has thin side bezels that offers good viewing angles and the removable back cover with glossy finish and thickness of just about 8 mm, weighing only 125 gm which makes it perfect fit into the hand.
As I said, the front is dominated by a 5-inch display, and also houses 3.5 mm headset jack, micro-USB port and the front camera and also there are three capacitive touch keys in the bottom. The back is home to Phicomm branding at the centre, along with rear camera and LED flash at the top left corner and a speaker grille at the bottom. The power and volume rocker keys are placed at the right edge while left is completely free from any distraction. Interestingly, all the buttons and keys are customisable, you can assign the task as per your convenience.
Probing the innards, Energy 653 is a good blend of hardware and software. The device runs on latest Android Lollipop 5.1 and Phicomm also has its own customised skin—Expect UI, over it. The quad-core 1.1 GHz, Qualcomm Snapdragon 210 processor ensures smooth performance. However, over a week, I used this phone, there was nothing special about multitasking to write about. Although, there was no serious lag while navigating through the UI and switching between apps but it did fail many times while opening Gmail apps and using dial pad. Hence, I had to re-start again and again. The phone comes with 1 GB RAM and 8 GB internal storage of which 4.99 GB is available for the users. The storage capacity can be increased upto 64 GB with the help of microSD.
On the camera front, this budget smartphone comes with a 8 megapixel rear shooter with f/2.4 aperture and a 2 MP front-facing camera. Few of the test pictures that I clicked in daylight, the camera was able to capture fine
details with decent colour reproduction, however same could not be achieved in low light.
Energy 653 supports 2G, 3G Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0. I tried to use 4G network but due to poor network availability in Delhi from the operator, I could not bring home anything special to write about, hence it would be unfair to say anything about device ability to handle 4G. Also, the device is packed with a 2,300 mAh removable battery.
Depending on usage patterns, the battery may last between 5-6 hours a day but with continuous use of data and GPS, the battery may finish up swiftly.
* Display: 5 inch, 720 x 1280 pixels
* Processor: 1.1 GHz quad-core, Qualcomm Snapdragon 210
* Operating system: Android 5.1 Lollipop
* Memory & storage: 1 GB RAM + 8 GB internal storage (expandable upto 64 GB with microSD)
* Camera: 2 MP front; 8 MP rear
* SIM type: Dual SIM
* Battery: 2300mAh, replaceable
** Estimated street price: R4,999