[blockquote right=”pull-right”] [/blockquote] I went berserk when a video surfaced purporting the iDroid Royal V4’s screen as a hard one to beat, using it to hammer a nail in a wooden pallet to which it was susceptible to breaking but it took a thorough beating before it gave up. The awe moment caught me by surprise but prompted me to drop this review. It should be noted that the iDroid Royal V4 sells for free in case you commit to Africell by only paying UGX 349,000 upfront for a 12 months worth of data with Africell disseminating 750MB per month. If you want to know more about this phone, join us for the iDroid Royal V4 review and gauge if it will be your next smartphone.
The packaging is minimalistic compared to what we’ve come to expect with iDroid, as was first witnessed with their top-tier iDroid Royal V7, Staying true with the Royal V5 and the same can be said of the Galaxy S5 look-alike, the Tango A5. But with the V4, iDroid took a different stance with packaging only offering a travel adapter, USB cable, stereo headsets, a removable battery and an instructions manual so expect no color flavored back covers as has been the case.
Design & Hardware
Surprisingly the V4 distanced its self from the signature Royal line design. It doesn’t have a lot in common with say, the Royal V7 or the V5. Instead it borrows heavily from Huawei’s P6 design to give you that understated look — that screams “Hey you, doesn’t the P6 look like me?” Answer me not, buy it to confirm yourself and be your own judge. iDroid USA decided to switch lanes and wondered in worlds of premium offerings when it ditched the plastic rails on the V4 for a metallic one. Not much changed though in other areas so expect no further surprises. Heading south the phone finds you the micro USB port while taking the Northern route finds you the headphone jack, the power button on the East while the volume rockers found their way on the Western side. The camera is at the back panel complete with LED flash and speakers at the extreme bottom while the front introduces you to the 5 inch IPS screen, a selfie cam sensor and capacities control buttons.
A simple rundown through the specifications
- A qHD IPS Multi-Touch Screen
- 5 MP Auto Focus primary camera & a 2MP secondary camera.
- Quad-Core ARMv7 Processor each clocked at 1.3GHz
- Dual-SIM support
- 1800mAh Battery
Some what disappointing is that the Royal V4 runs on Android 4.4 Kitkat with a default launcher that rips from Sony’s proprietary skin (Xperia owners can concur with me). We only hope they will update to the latest version of Android. iDroid however dropped in the Yandex Shell launcher incase the default one fails your expectations, one that is infamous for its 3D tweaks that iDroid USA boasts of. Pre-loaded bloatware included localized apps of Africell, Hellofood, Kaymu, Jumia, Galaxy FM app, Lamudi and the usual WTF pack that is WhatsApp, Twitter & Facebook all of which you can uninstall at will. This plus the default apps only leave you with 5.7 GB of memory to play with of the said 8GB that the Royal V4 packs. Overall the default launcher gave me a smooth experience with no glitches to speak of, just fast, fluid and snappier I should add with Over the Air updates. It introduced me to the V82_XIAOXING_V42_UGANDA+201507302259 update whose changes weren’t visible.
The 5MP primary camera is not one you’d flaunt with iPhone and Galaxy S line holding peers, to put it bluntly it is an underdog here but wont disappoint much. Accurate color reproduction seemed too much of a luxury even in well-lit outdoor conditions, it is no contender in low lit conditions either and it took a little longer snapping photos. The camera interface is as minimalistic as it’s ever been, with the normal array of modes: HDR, face beauty, Panaroma, Multi viewing angle which looks more like Panaroma but less like it, live photo mode among others. The 2MP front facing camera doesn’t deviate an inch from its 5MP rear camera cousin so photography enthusiasts shouldn’t join the V4’s queue. The photography on this phone is nothing to brag about, but will do the basics. [blockquote] [/blockquote]
The 5 inch qHD IPS display (q stands for quarter not Quad) looked dull and pale in comparison to the Royal V5’s. So expect no crisp viewing angles or anything next to it. An average Facebook user, WhatsApp addict, casual gamer and alike can get the best out of it. Heavy gamers however should join the Photography enthusiasts. I was not in position to demonstrate if the V4’s screen can indeed hit a nail into wood without breaking so the mystery still continues, for those who are still curious can join the line and feast their eyes on this cringe worthy video.
The V4 was pretty solid in this territory, performance was seamless and responsive. I couldn’t find anything bad to side with given the price tier. Browsing was on par with my expectations, the same can be said of my everyday average smartphone uses that is calling, texting, social media and I had no issues firing up Crossy Road (It’s a good game BTW). On the contrary this is no smartphone for people that don mid-tier to top-tier smartphones given it ran a little slower with all my productivity apps running simultaneously. However I agree that its performance depicts its pricing.
The V4 disappoints here. Surely, a 1800mAh battery is a huge disappointment with everything that comes below performance at hand, the V4 battery succumbed to the pressure. It said, “You’ve strained me so bad that I can hold no longer”. Adding video streaming to the equation was like adding insult to an injury. Overall it couldn’t last me a day without me finding where a dock is to charge.