Cubot impressively gives evidence that sometimes good Smartphones need to take their time. The China manufacturer has always been kind of a guarantee for good quality and low prices. They held back the 64 Bit Smartphones. The X15 took Cubot almost obstacle-free into the ranking of the best. This is not only due to the high quality of processing, the attractive design and the smooth Android 5.1 system. Cubot also used the Quad-Core MT6732 that has sufficient performance for casual gamers and therefore has a good running time due to its 2700 mAh battery. The camera has also been a problem with Cubot before and now there is the X15 with one of the most wonderful 13Mp cameras within the price range. Within two weeks we could not find real weaknesses, Cubot, however, forgot to build in a notification LED and the battery can’t be exchanged that easily.
Scope of delivery
- Charging adapter + micro USB cable
- Plastic cover for the phone’s back
- Short manual
- Display protection film
Design and processing
You can choose between gold and white and at least the white version is pretty attractive. At its thickest point the Smartphone hast 8mm depth and therefore is very slim. Its weight of 180g makes the Cubot feel high-quality, because metal weighs more than cheap plastic. With a length of 153mm and a width of 76mm it is has almost 1cm broader and 2cm longer than the most compact 5.5 inch Smartphone: the Meizu MX5. The phone has a solid aluminum frame which is nicely smoothened on the edges. The frame quasi melts into the display and the front. The back is pleasantly smooth and completely resistant to fingermarks. However it is not removable, there is no access to the battery and the SIM cards can be inserted via 2 slots (nano and micro) at the Smartphone’s side. Both SIM slots support 4G LTE and one of them can hold a Micro SD (up to 64GB) instead of a 2.SIM.
The bezel is quite visible with 3,5mm to each side, but does not interfere. Even at the bottom and the top Cubot helps itself with 2 black bars. The lower bar contains the 3 customary Android sensor buttons that unfortunately are not illuminated. Also there is no notification LED on the Smartphone. Apart from these two flaws Cubot does a great job (or even the best!) combining attractive and handy design with a convenient battery time and robustness!
There is this quotation on the Cubot website: “We have no FHD Phones – who said it?”. Well, it is the first time for a display with such a resolution to be used for a Cubot Smartphone. The Manufacturer chose a 5.5 inch IPS NEO panel by JDI. The branded display is a made by the cooperation of Hitachi, Sony and Toshiba. We know JDI in particular from Xiaomi who usually like to name their producers. The Cubot X15’s display has 400 pixel per inch and has razor sharp resolution. The viewing angle stability is excellent and so is contrast. Black is just perfect black no matter from which angle you’re looking at your phone. Impressive was also the legibility in direct sunlight. The display is perfectly usable it hardly reflects and so the display is only little impaired.
The 5-point touch reacts quickly and is very precise. Additionally Corning Gorilla Glass or Dragontail would have been great but unfortunately Cubot refuses to include additional scratch protection. The display, however, is coated and your finger runs smoothly over it, whereas there are only occasional fingermarks on it.
The Cubot X15 runs 5.1 Lollipop, Androids newest operating system. The system uses the processor’s recent 64 Bit architecture and navigating through the system works fast and flawless. Cubot adds gesture control and Smartwake features (use the display on standby with gestures on the screen) to the system. Apart from that the options menu is stock style. The quick launch bar also hasn’t been changed and all of the Android 5.1 features can be used.
Cubot, however, has installed a launcher that changed the icons to a black and gold design. Additionally installed Apps that you can download from the App store stay the same. Unfortunately it’s not possible to shut down the launcher or to replace it by a Google-Now launcher. You can run the Nova launcher but 4 of the Cubot icons stay the same. As soon as there is a root, the launcher can be uninstalled completely. If you root, the integrated OTA-Function (automatic Updates by Cubot) will be lost, what is unfortunate as well. There are no Viruses, spam- or junk apps in the system.
A great feature is the “clear all” button in the multitasking options. The Cubot X15 runs smoothly – not a MIUI but the little jerking does not irritate as well. All Apps work consistently and open quickly. The question why Cubot chooses a launcher that cannot be deactivated will stay unanswered. Apart from that the Android 5.1 system is highly up-to-date and works constantly and smoothly!
Cubot houses a MT6735 Quad-Core processor by MediaTek with four Cortex-A53 cores that each are clocked at 1,3 GHz. Due to its powerful T720 GPU its performance is way better than Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 410. In practice the processor gives a smooth system performance and even gamers won’t be disappointed. Due to the 2 GB RAM multitasking is possible as well. Bandwidth-hungry 3D games, however, won’t run perfectly, but that’s because the Cubot X15 is not a gaming phone. Gamers should choose a Snapdragon 801/808/810 or a Mediatek MT6795 Helio X10. Gaming performance test in the video.
The internal memory has not been split so you can use the 12 GB entirely for Apps. With a reading speed of 147 MB/s and a writing speed of 50 MB/s the memory is sufficiently fast. For those using their Smartphone not primary for playing 3D games the Cubot X15 will be perfectly fine. The Smartphone processes all the requests in an appropriate speed.
The Cubot X15 has a built-in 16MP rear camera. Whether this is the interpolation value or not – the Smartphone takes beautiful pictures. Before, Cubot has had trouble adjusting the software to the camera, but now we are glad to see that this is the past now.
In good lighting conditions the X15 takes sharp and detailed pictures with an accurate color representation. The autofocus is very precise and fast. In some rare cases they are a bit blurry on the edges. The camera’s performance is satisfactory for devices within this price range. Even in bad lighting conditions the Cubot does surprisingly well and still takes pretty good pictures! Videos can be recorded at full HD but the quality is not extraordinarily good. The LED flash is weak and only useable for close-ups in the dark. To camera-fans the Cubot is the ultimate Smartphone within the price range up to 150€!
The calling quality is good and there are neither disturbing noises nor whirring although the Cubot doesn’t even have a Noise-compensating microphone. During calls the voices of both me and the caller were perfectly transferred.
The dual-band Wi-Fi (802.11 a / b / g / n / ac) supports 2, 4 and 5 GHz, the range, however, is only average, the data throughput on the other hand is great. Also there are Bluetooth 4.0 and OTG.
Fixing the GPS took only 7 seconds and from then on the Cubot X15 maintained a constant signal. The Smartphone connected to up to 19 satellites and the precision varied between 3 and 5 m. The phone supports Glonass. In the test navigating the car through the city worked flawlessly. Navigating as a pedestrian is a bit more of a problem due to the lack of a compass, but it is still possible.
The Cubot houses a 2700 mAh battery as our measurements confirmed; it is even a bit bigger as indicated. In the Geekbench battery benchmark the Smartphone had a running time of 7.5 hours and scored a 3039. The Cubot therefore does very well; the Elephone P8000 and the Siswoo C55, however, do even better. The economical processor does a great job. With an average use it even manages easily 2 days. The Cubot X15 simply has a good battery life.
* Incl. VAT and, if applicable, delivery costs – subject to interim changes.