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Although Cubot X17S is a smartphone remake, differences are not noticeable on paper. Exchanging metal with glass, however, is. In the following test, we will find out if X17S performs just as well as its preceding model.
Design and build quality
The manufacturers exchanged the metal at the rear of the phone with glass. This new backside has a delicate diameter of 7 millimetres and thus a pleasant weight of 150grams. It can be easily and pleasantly used with one hand as it has a width of 70mm and a 144mm length. Considered its slightly rounded 2.5D front glass and its beautifully polished frame, Cubot X17S does not only seem of high quality, it actually is. Bearing in mind the price, the smartphone’s haptics is amazing. On the other hand, a rear glass has common disadvantages. It is fragile on each side, front and back; it is slippery and produces grease and fingerprint stains. The 3.5mm bezel is rather small. Using the provided and precisely fitting hard plastic cover, the delicate feeling of the smartphone remains.
The common three Android sensor buttons on the front side are unlit. A notification LED – gleaming in blue, red and green light – is only available with a permanent lightning. It can still be changed to flashing light by updating the smartphone. There is no rattling or squeaking. Each button with its respective pressure point is perfectly fitted in the frame. The SIM card slot is also well incorporated. The slot offers 128GB space for either one micro and one nano SIM or one nano and one micro-SD card.
Quality of processing and material employed are brilliant for this price range. No one would expect the price to be at only 140$.
Cubot X17S has an IPS display, manufactured by the Japanese joint venture JDI. With its full HD resolution, this high-quality display holds enormous 441 pixels per inch. Cubot X17S offers a great contrast, stable viewing angles and excellent brightness with 430cd/m². Even in bright sunlight, reflecting is brought to a minimum and thus good readability is maintained. The sharpness of small-sized content is simply great and sets new standards in the price range of up to 150$. With standard settings, colours are rich and saturation high. Display changes can be comfortably made by accessing MiraVision in the options tab.
The 5-point touchscreen is very responsive and precise. It also minimizes typing error rates as your finger slides smoothly over the 2.5D glass front. The previously adhered display sheet and another one provided will protect the screen from scratches.
In X17S, Cubot combines a MT6735A quad-core processor with a high-quality 3GB memory. Its memory is remarkably fast with its 3.7GB/s and even if many apps are open at the same time, the smartphone does not become noticeably slower. Although it is a low-budget chipset, the Cubot X17S carries out medium performance. In normal operation there is no perceivable difference to TM6753 octa-core. The Android system is perfectly optimized and thus provides flawless performance. Cubot X17S’ reading/writing pace of 160/70 MB/s is amazing. Further, 12GB out of its 16GB memory can be used for apps.
Cubot, however, reaches its limits when using it to play demanding 3D games such as NOVA 3, Asphalt 8 or Modern Combat 5 which are simply not playable on X17S. The full HD resolution is purely too onerous for the weak GPU. Standard games, such as Temple-Run or Subwaysurf, on the other hand, run perfectly. Benchmarks also speak for themselves. Cubot X17S reaches strong 35478 Antutu benchmark points, 3 620/1848 Geekbench points and 5021 3DMark Ice Storm Unlimited points.
Cubot X17S’ Android system
Android 5.1 is running on the Cubot with an announcement of implementing Android 6 in October. The system has a stock Android design and is bloatware and spam app free ex works. Its standard app drawer (overview page showing all apps) is maintained, as well as the quick launch bar and option tab. Different designs for all icons can be selected via the integrated theme app. Further system-integrated features include SmartWake gestures and selection options for changing the notification LED. The system usually runs smoothly and stable.
Cubot X17S’ rear camera provides 16MP and an f/2.2 aperture. A double LED flash helps to take close-up pictures in the dark. Cubot X17S clearly outshines other smartphones in the price range of up to 150$ with its camera quality. Most of the pictures taken are sharp, detail rich and even under bad light conditions only a small amount is blurred or noisy. Colours are rich and the white balance is brilliant.
Typically for this price range, the trigger time is quite long. Auto focus is regularly doing a good job. Videos can be recorded in full HD. Additionally, picture and sound quality are satisfying. The front camera produces, given sufficient light, beautiful selfies and is perfectly appropriate for Skype. For those looking for a mobile phone with good camera, under 200$ is well-off with Cubot X17S.
Connectivity and communication
The device transmits with dual SIM in every known frequency. Using the LTE data highway is possible without any difficulties and reception is simply fine. Conversation quality of incoming and outgoing calls are made and received without any trouble. WLAN transmits in the 2.4GHz wireless network and the range is on a top level. Likewise impressing is its data throughput.
The Cubot X17S supports the following frequencies:
2G: GSM: 850/900/1800/1900
3G: WCDMA: 900/2100
4G: FDD-LTE: B1/3/7/20
Using the LTE data highway is possible without any difficulties and reception is simply fine. Conversation quality of incoming and outgoing calls are made and received without any trouble. WLAN transmits in the 2.4GHz wireless network and the range is on a top level. Likewise impressing is its data throughput.
Its GPS supports GLONASS and the smartphone’s position is located accurate to 2 meters within a few seconds. During our 100km test circuit the car navigation was working without any discrepancy or defects. In fact, X17S also solves the problem of handling pedestrian navigation without a compass. Virtual reality glasses cannot be used, unfortunately, due to the lack of a gyroscope sensor – the only ones employed are proximity, light and acceleration sensors.
The Bluetooth module performs well to a distance of up to 10 meters. The internal speaker is low and therefore not appropriate to listen to music. The headphone socket, together with good headphones in return offer a brilliant sound experience. The sound is clear as well as sophisticated and the volume high.
We can confirm the manufacturer’s statement to have used a 2500mAh battery in X17S. This is a rather small battery for a 5-inch mobile with a FHD display. The battery is fully charged with a 2A adapter within 1.5 hours. Battery duration is unsurprisingly alright in practice. Stand-by optimisation, on the other hand, is great. X17S hardly loses battery percentage points in dark display mode. Without playing games, I managed to get through each of the 7 test days with my rather strong user profile without charging during the day. At 10 p.m. roughly I had to charge it. This means that hardcore user probably should not buy the Cubot X17S and are searching in the wrong price range anyway. For ordinary users, however, the battery life is definitely sufficient.
Cubot X17S offers an equally enjoyable package as its preceding model. Even the price of 140$ roughly stays the same. The device is characterised by its high-quality and neat processing. A fantastic display. One of the best cameras in the price range of up to 200$. A clean system including additional features. First-class price-performance ratio. Disadvantages are the built-in sensors, the internal speaker and the low battery life, even though for ordinary users it is quite sufficient.
* Incl. VAT and, if applicable, delivery costs – subject to interim changes.