Should you buy Phicomm Passion 660 priced at Rs 10,999?

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New Delhi | Updated: August 6, 2015 3:02:59 PM

Passion 660 is a fast, responsive and extremely light phone with a good set of features

phicommpassion660-780Priced at Rs 10,999, Phicomm’s Passion 660 phone comes with an interesting Wave Gesture feature which allows a user to unlock the phone, pull down the notification menu and scroll the pictures by waving in the air.

In the past few months, many Chinese smartphone brands have forayed into India’s affordable smartphone segment. They all have tried to differentiate themselves but Phicomm seems to have stood among them in its maiden attempt with an extremely light and compact device—Phicomm’s Passion 660. Priced at R10,999, the phone comes with an interesting Wave Gesture feature which allows a user to unlock the phone, pull down the notification menu and scroll the pictures by waving in the air. The front camera recognises the movement of palm or finger at a distance of about 3 cm to 15 cm. For the past few weeks, I have been using the Passion 660, the Wave Gesture capabilities have been fairly accurate but has not always worked.

Shanghai-based Phicomm is a significant player in the telecommunication equipment, terminals and services segment in China. The company has made some in-roads in European market too with its mobile, smart home, cloud, enterprise and ICT offerings. Other than the Passion series, the company does have couple of smartphones in Energy series and Clue series, however only Passion 660 has been launched in India.

As mentioned, the Passion 660 is extremely light and compact weighing just 110g. On the front, it has 5 inch screen with full-HD IPS display with a 1920 x 1080 pixels resolution. Screen comes with Corning Gorilla Glass 3 for protection. The flat rectangular body made of plastic and some metal gives it premium and unique look. The right and left edges have pieces of metal attached to them. The right edge houses bronze painted metallic power button and it is also home to two SIM card slots. The volume rocker is placed on the left edge. The 3.5 mm port is on the top, and the microUSB port is on the bottom. The slim frame of 7.3 mm and light weight of about 110 grams beats convincingly any device in this range. With defined edges and sleek frame, the Passion 660 is comfortable to hold and operate, and is non-slippery at the same time. On the downside, the capacitive buttons on the front are not backlit and user will take some time getting used to it and also it doesn’t come with a LED notification light.

The phone entrails are powered by a 1.65 GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 processor coupled with Adreno 405 and 2 GB RAM, which ensure smooth performance without any lags or stutters. The 16 GB of internal memory for storage of which 13.18 GB is available for use, can be further expanded to 64 GB via microSD card is quite decent for a budget smartphone. The one area where Passion 660 lacks is operating system. It has Android 4.4.4 KitKat out-of-the-box, a dated software when rivals are giving consumers Lollipop. The company has promised a Lollipop update in future, but no one is aware when that is going to happen.

On the camera front, Passion 660 comes with a 13-megapixel auto focus, LED flash rear camera with Sony IMX 214 sensor. It has a 5-megapixel front camera with BSI sensor and 84-degree wide angle view. Although, camera takes time to focus but some of the pictures that I took outdoor, the camera did perform decent but falters and lacks in capturing details while shooting indoor, especially in low light condition.

If you look in totality, the Passion 660 has all. It is sleek and light, offers full HD display, has a good set of hardware, camera does perform decent, battery life is normal and look is indeed premium but old operating system—Android 4.4.4 KitKat out-of-the-box, gives its rivals an edge over Passion 660. Overall, it is fast, responsive and provides a decent user experience at an attractive price.

* Display: 5 inch (1920 x 1080 pixels)
* Processor: 1.65 GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 615
* Operating system: Android 4.4.4 KitKat
* Memory & storage: 2 GB RAM + 16 GB internal storage
* Camera: 5 MP fixed-focus (front); 13 MP auto-focus with rear camera
* SIM type: Dual, Micro, GSM
* Battery: 2300mAh, non-replaceable
* Estimated street price: Rs 10,999

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