The Wiko Phone: Taking Budget Phoning to a whole new level

Based in the charming city of Marseille, the French budget phone firm Wiko, is clearly taking the Smartphone world by storm, that in mind especially when you consider the brilliant brand names for its phones. With such queer names surfing the mouths of enthusiasts at the Mobile World Congress, the Smartphone Company had gathered quite a crowd, prominently displaying its Heaven and Hell line of phones. Asked the reason for the unconventional names, the firm springs to answer that its approach is a function of wanting to stay relevant, cultivating hype and a sense of panache to appeal to youthful cohorts that ride the 18-30 age bus. A laudable strategy if I must say so. I would certainly buy the phone just because of the name, leave alone the specs therein.

Heaven Line of Smartphones:

The Heaven line as you may have accurately guessed represents the high-end product versions. The Highway (if that name does not get you plying the get-your-money-out-your-wallet road, then I do not know what will) is a well-constructed, glass-clad Smartphone possessed of a mighty octa-core processor and a five-inch 1080p display. With a 16-megapixel rear-facing camera and an 8.1 front-facing camera, the Highway will have you capturing high quality montages to make Leonardo da Vinci jealous! The Heaven assembly of Wiko products is as defined by its high-end features as it is by its lighter, more playful colorways.

Hell Line of Smartphone:

The Hell line of product will also have you shivering. With display phrases such as “pure evil” scribed onto the display pedestal at the Congress, it is abundantly clear that Wiko was going for edginess over functionality. One of the products is the Darkside Hell (eerie music playing), a 5.7-inch phablet cloaked in dark aluminum and powered by a rather modes quad processor. Not quite impressive when you consider the details, but Wiko gets points for the pure marketing gall, three cheers for Wiko, if only you could add more to the phone, you’d have the sales out of your shoe! The Hell series currently has three products, first the above-mentioned, the Wiko Darkmoon which is a 4.7? Smartphone, and finally the Darknight which straddles in the middle ground between its two siblings with a 5?, 720p display. The Gorilla Glass display really is one area where the Wiko Darknight excels.

A Study in color:

The True Color Line or Cink of Wiko’s products stoke the most interest in terms of technicality. Wiko’s Wax Smartphone is the first Smartphone to use Nvidia’s low cost Tegra 4i SoC, which integrates an Nvidia i500 LTE modem. It’s a mid-range device and seems to opertate on Android Jelly Bean, providing a 4.7 inch display 720p display and an 8MP posterior camera. With regard to the 4i chipset, the features are a 4+1 CPU cores clocked at up to 2.3 GHz, and a 60-core GPU. Word is, it can bring “up to 2 times higher performance than competing phone chips.”

The cheapest Wiko smartphone is the Wiko Ozzy, which comes with a 3.5-inch screen, a 2MP megapixel and runs on Android Jelly Bean 4.2. Coming in a spectrum of five colors, it retails at 70 Euros, the equivalent of 60 pounds (currency adjustments applicable). The Wiko Darknight is touted as the best Dual Sim 5 –inch Smartphone on the market as we speak. Specifications include:

  •  5? IPS TFT Multi-touch Display (Gorilla Glass)
    •    1280 x 720 Resolution
    •    MediaTek Quad-core 1.2GHz Cortex A7
    •    1GB RAM
    •    8GB of Internal Storage (microSD up to 32GB)
    •    Dual SIM
    •    8MP Rear Camera with LED Flash and BSI Sensor
    •    2MP Front Camera
    •    GPS, A-GPS, Bluetooth, WiFi g/n
    •    144mm x 74mm x 9mm
    •    570 grams
    •    2,000mAh Battery
    •    Android 4.2.1 Jelly Bean

The IPS screen is vibrant and crisp, with an excellent multi-touch experience, but in order to be competitive, Wiko have opted for the more affordable MediaTek processor platform coupled with a relatively paltry 1GB of RAM. Nevertheless, the general feeling is that the Wiko Darknight punches well above its weight. The Dual SIM feature is also something we’re prancy about to see and makes it a great option when traveling, plus the overall build quality is solid due to the aluminum encasing design.

Wiko was founded in 2011 in partnership with Tinno Mobile Technology in Shenzen China. Tinno owns 95%; Wiko just focuses on marketing, sales and after-sales with a compact team of 60 employees. Wiko, in a very short span of time has been established as one of the leading non-operator mobile devices retailers. Wiko now claims guard on 30 percent of all Internet Smartphones, and more than 10% of all non-carrier sales. Last year, nearly 7 per cent of French first-time Smartphone buyers bought a Wiko phone.

If you are taken by names like me and smitten by wanderlust, perhaps you might fancy a Wiko phone.


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