Thursday, September 4, 2014

BenQ Smartphone Review : T3 & F5 with LTE. Now available from Superbuy with Free Voucher

BenQ has just unveiled its Smartphone recently and now is on its way to our shelves and thanks god we got a unit from BenQ and we will take this opportunity to write a simple review of these models. Before we start with the review, you may take a closer look on the key highlights of these models first.

BenQ F5
  • 5" Touchscreen HD IPS display at 1280x720
  • Qualcomm 1.2Ghz quad-core Processor
  • Android 4.4(Kitkat)
  • 13MP Rear camera with 2MP Front Facing Camera
  • 2GB RAM, 16GB Internal storage expandable to 64GB with microSD
  • Micro Sim
  • Connectivity: 4G(LTE), 3G, WiFi-802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, NFC
  • A-GPS Support 
  • 2520mAh Battery Capacity

BenQ T3

  • 4.5" Touchscreen qHD display at 960 x 540
  • Qualcomm 1.2Ghz quad-core Processor
  • Android 4.4(Kitkat)
  • 8MP Rear camera with 0.3MP Front Facing Camera
  • 1GB RAM, 4GB Internal storage expandable to 64GB with microSD
  • Micro Sim
  • Connectivity: 4G(LTE), 3G, WiFi-802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0
  • A-GPS Support 
  • 1900mAh Battery Capacity

In short both models came with LTE connectivity support and both of them also powered by the same quad-core Qualcomm Snapgdragon MSM8926 chipset that runs at 1.2Ghz with 4.4 Android KitKat out of the box.

The F5 is obviously the higher-end model as compared to the T3 by having a bigger 5" Touchscreen display with higher resolution of 1280x720, 13MP rear camera + 2MP front facing camera, 2GB RAM and 16GB internal Storage which is expandable with microSD card up to 64GB. The F5 even has NFC support that is absent in the T3.


Both of the F5 and T3 came with a slim profile, rounded edge design and light in weight which is contributed by the plastic body. Other than that everything was kept pretty simple.

At the front, the T3 came with 3 virtual navigation button at the bottom, 0.3MP selfie camera at the top right next to the BenQ logo. Its body came with a silver chromed edge and the back cover is kept simple with a chrome on the 8MP camera lens that is paired with an LED Flash just right on top of the BenQ logo and the speaker grill is located at the bottom of the phone, the back cover somehow look familiar with the back cover of the Sony Xperia C.

On the left you will find the power button placed at the top and volume rocker stays at the right, while on top of the device you will find the 3.5mm audio jack for your favorite headset. For charging wise, the microUSB charging connector is placed right at the bottom of the device. The SIM and microSD card slot is hidden beneath the back cover.

The F5 is slightly different here, the BenQ logo is missing at the front with only 2MP selfie camera located at the top-right with earpiece grill in copper color while the 3 navigation key remains the same but the navigation key is not so visible when the backlit is off as compared with the T3. The chromed edge is also missing in the F5 and at the back the LED flash is placed below the 13MP camera lens which is located at the top like what we have seen with the Sony Xperia S, but however the speaker grill still stays at the bottom but this one has a different speaker grill design placed on the right. The back cover of F5 is less plain with red colored chromed(For black color unit) on the camera lens and red color loudspeaker cover is visible in the speaker grill.

The power button is missing on the left and it is totally empty on the left, while on the right side you will find the volume rocker and the power button has been relocated at the top along with the 3.5mm audio jack. For charging wise, just like the T3 it is visible right at the bottom of the device. The SIM and microSD card slot is also hidden traditionally beneath the back cover.

For the F5, we do not quite like the power button of the F5 being placed on top of the device especially for a Smartphone with 5" touchscreen display because it is quite difficult to lock/wake the screen with single handed since the 5" display Smartphones is about as big as the size of your palm which your finger could not reach most part of the phone easily. Thank god the smaller version T3 has its power button placed at the left side of the phone which is easily reachable with single handed plus the compact size does make handling the phone much easier.

*Note: all photos of T3 were taken by the F5 and photos of F5 was taken by the T3.

We have tested both of the devices with the infamous performance testing tools AnTuTu benchmark v5.0 on both of the devices, the benchmark score was quite good but not too far away from what you can expect from a Qualcomm MSM8926 chipset and in our test we get a good score around 17940 score rating for the F5 and 17770 for the T3, it seems like the advantage of 2GB RAM does not bring significant differences in the AnTuTu benchmark score, but however it will definitely help to make multitasking more enjoyable with the 2GB RAM considering apps is getting heavier in the future.

In terms of available RAM, both the T3 and F5 are having 1GB and 2GB RAM on paper, while in reality the total accessible RAM available for T3 will be somewhere around 866.5MB and F5 is around 1.87GB, on startup both of the devices will be occupying around 450MB RAM which already took slightly more than half of the available RAM for T3, thus if you are a heavy multitasking user the F5 will be a better choice for you in this case.

User Interface and functionality
Q Home UI in the T3 and F5 are light, simple and easy to use with a default 7 home screen page which is removable and sliding between the home screen has no visible lag at the moment. We also like the "New Comer" apps that was pre-installed in the phone and this saves you from searching for the new apps you have just installed in the device with a click on the apps will reveal your recently installed apps. Since BenQ is well known for its production in quality screen for monitors, they have also added a new function in these BenQ Smartphones to reduce the blue light of the display which BenQ claims it will help protecting your eyes from harmful blue light while viewing photos and reading articles, but in reality the reduction of blue light is not really visible, so you do not have to worry about the blue light affecting the display quality. Regarding its battery performance, both devices last around 2 days with average usage and 3 days for F5 on light usage.

Both the BenQ F5 and T3 came with pretty standard camera functions like HDR, Burst mode and Smile detection, but the main highlights of their camera function are the Ultra sensitivity mode that works like low-light mode of PixelMaster technology from Asus Zenfone, it combines light of the surrounding 4 pixels in to one pixel which helps greatly improving the lighting up to about 400%. In reality it shows significant improvement in brightness but in this mode the resolution will be reduced to 2MP for F5 and 1.5MP for the T3. According to the photo below, the low light shot does brighten up the environment, but noise is quite obvious here and detail of the object is unclear. But however this is still way better than taking a photo that is so dark until you can't tell what is in the picture as shown with the original shot below.
T3 under Auto Mode
T3 Under Ultra Sensitivity Mode

We have conducted low light test under 2 conditions, low light and extremely low light condition. From the test shown, under low light condition it seems like the Ultra Sensitivity mode in T3 does not bright up as much as the F5 does and the differences are quite significant, anyway it still did its job in brightening up the picture and we will say like 80% which helps to show the BenQ box and the miniature Pepsi can that sits beside it which the original shot could not even tell the miniature Pepsi can was there. 
F5 Auto Mode
F5 Ultra Sensitivity Mode

However, the F5 boost up much more light as compared to the T3 and makes the picture looks like taken under bright condition, the miniature Pepsi can is clearly visible as well but with quite some amount of noise with the photo.
T3 Auto Mode
T3 Ultra Sensitivity Mode

While in extreme low light condition, normal mode does not help at all, only very minimal trace of the box was captured which you cannot tell if that is a box or something was there. The Ultra Sensitivity mode in T3 only helps to brighten up the environment up to a point where you can tell there is a white box in the picture while the Ultra Sensitivity of F5 brighten up more to show the box with some detail and even the miniature Pepsi can is finally visible beside the BenQ box. But however the Auto mode in F5 in this condition seems like could not even capture any trace of the box at all.
F5 Auto mode
F5 Ultra Sensitivity Mode

This is something worth to praise for as most of the current Smartphone does not have this feature even thou you paid thousands Ringgit more for it. 
Macro Shot taken with F5
Macro Shot taken with T3

We have also taken some macro shot with normal lightning, the macro shot was good, detail was there and both of the camera are able to take close up shot at only about 5 cm distance between the camera lens but sometimes both of them are having some difficulty in focusing on the object you're looking for, but with a few try it will usually get you there. 

Both BenQ T3 and F5 stand out with the LTE connectivity which is hardly found in devices in price range within RM500-RM700, its lightweight body also made it a lesser burden to the pocket. The smooth Q Home UI gave us confident that the phone is capable to go for more and throwing in some good game in the device should not be a problem for the phone and imaging is good despite having the Ultra Sensitivity mode which makes low light shot never be a problem anymore. Other than that, the built in loudspeaker also has a clear and loud output that you may not easily miss a call even you are in a crowded environment. 

Last but not least, BenQ is having promotion in Superbuy by giving away Superbuy vouchers worth RM68 for every purchase of BenQ F5 or RM38 for BenQ T3. This promotion will end on 30th September 2014.

Buy one today and get Superbuy's voucher with a click on the shopping basket below


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