Samsung Galaxy Note started the era of Phablets with 5 inch display couple of years, since then we had several amazing and high power Phablets but they were priced high. In last few months, few manufacturers like Micromax, Karbonn, Lava, etc introduced some mid ranged Phablets in budget prices, below Rs. 10,000/- To compete with them and make its own space, Domo also jumped in the market with yet another budget Phablet known as “DOMO nTice F12.” Domo is the brand new Smartphone manufacturer which came in the market last month (June) itself.
Priced at just Rs.8,900 nTice F12 features a large 5.2 inch multitouch display running on Android 4.1.1 JellyBean operating system. It is powered with 1.2 GHz Dual Core Cortex A9 Processor accompanied with 512MB of RAM. As per storage it comes with 4GB built-in memory with an expansion memory slot. Though the configurations seem low Domo has provided 8 Megapixel camera to attract users who love photography. Let’s find out whether the newest manufacturer’s ‘nTice F12’ is capable to compete with other well known Phablets and if it is really worth at the mentioned price, but before that have a look at the device’s highlights:
Domo nTice F12 specifications:
- 5.2-inch capacitive multi touch display
- 480 x 800 pixels resolution
- Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean
- Dual SIM (GSM + GSM) with dual standby
- 1.2 GHz Dual Core Cortex A9 Processor with 1MB Secondary Cache
- 512MB of RAM
- PowerVR SGX 531 (OpenGL ES 2.0) GPU
- 8-megapixel rear camera with dual LED Flash
- 0.3MP front-facing camera
- 3G, WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS
- 4GB internal memory, Expandable memory up to 32GB with microSD
- 2500 mAh battery
Design, Body and keys:
Domo nTice F12 looks like mini tablet with its dimension of 151 x 85.5 x 12 (mm). Though it is normal in height but is wide in size to hold in palm. Weighing 199 grams the packing is done with plastic material on the rear side with matte finishing surrounded with a metal border. Personally I felt the grip is not good because of its bulky size and the metal plating around the edges. You will need to take care of the device if you are going to hold it with wet hands. Lets find out the key placement.
At the front of the device we have 4 capacitive buttons at bottom of the screen which consists of Home, Settings, Return and the Search key. You can search your apps as well as web using this one touch search key. I don’t understand why Domo has provided so much empty/extra space around the screen, increasing the size of the phone unnecessarily.
At top of the display we get earpiece, 0.3MP VGA camera for making video calls and LED indicator. I found the LED bit surprising as it doesn’t blinks for the notification, instead it keeps turned on until you see and clear the notifications.
Right side of the device is empty, while on the left side you get Volume Up/Down key.
At bottom of the device we have just a MIC, while 3.5mm Headphone Jack, MicroUSB 2.0 port and Power Key is placed on the top of the body. This power button key can also be used for Screen Lock. Similarly MicroUSB port is used for charging the phone as well as data transfer.
At rear side of the phone they have placed the 8 Megapixel camera with LED Flash, DOMO logo at the middle and Loud Speaker at the bottom. Under the rear cover, we can see a 2500mAH Polymer Battery battery, just above lies the MicroSD Card slot and next is Dual SIM ports.
Over all, the design is very uncomfortable specially the width which is about 3.3inches making difficult to offer better grip. Also, as I said the device looks like Mini Tablet, accessing the keys with just one hand is nearly impossible. For example, you cannot reach the power key or the volume keys with just one hand. You will have to use your both hands like we do with Tablet PCs. I’ll rate it 2 out of 5 for the design and uncomfortable grip, however the free Flip cover that comes in the box offers a bit better grip to the phone.
Screen / Display:
Domo nTice F12 comes with a 5.2 Inch Capacitive TFT 5-point Multi-touch screen. The resolution provided is standard 800 × 480 pixels (16M colours). The display is frankly good for watching HD videos, Pictures and playing games but it would have been much better if the resolution would have bit higher. Even reading eBooks or websites seems to be good with clear text and pinch in/out. The screen supports 5 point multi touch but I dint found it as effective as other budget devices from Micromax or Karbonn.Talking about the touch, it is average. Not good but not too bad as well. If we compare it with other Phablet like Lava Iris 501 (http://www.techarena.in/review/256686-lava-iris-501-smartphone-review.htm) which costs Rs. 7,700, it has very good touch than the Domo. The brand needs to work more on the touch screen.
OS, Processor, RAM:
The nTice F12 comes pre-loaded with Android 4.1.1 JellyBean operating system and I don’t think this can be updated further as there is no option for Software Update provided under device settings. If you ever want to get Android 4.2 then there is no other choice rather than going with any Custom ROMs. Also the OS we have is the Stock Android ROM with default Google apps and settings. Domo has not done any customization or optimization in the operating system, however the device manages to perform good to some extent. But if you need to do multitasking on this Phablet, you may be in problem because the performance gets slower and slower with the number of apps running in the back.
As per configuration the device is powered with 1.2 GHz Dual Core Cortex A9 Processor with 1MB Secondary Cache along with 512MB of RAM. It would have been much better if Domo has provided atleast 1GB of RAM. Also as we know most of the smartphones with even smaller screens are now a days coming with Quad Core CPU, I don’t know what makes Domo think to launch the phablet with Dual Core processor. As I said the phone manages to perform good but slowdowns while doing multitasking and that is because of this slow CPU and low memory.
However the device comes integrated with PowerVR SGX 531 (OpenGL ES 2.0) GPU as well to provide better gaming experience. It would be surprising to know that the same GPU is used in few successful smartphones such as Micromax A110 or Lava Iris 501. We will find out the gaming performance of this device later in the review’s Gaming Section. Overall Domo nTice F12 is mid ranged phablet with low processing power and Ram Memory and Stock Android operating system. It can be good choice for Average users but for guys who love chatting, browsing, Gaming and doing lots more stuff, the phablet may put them in problems.
Though the configuration of DOMO nTice F12 seems average with 1.2GHz Dual Core processor, 512MB of RAM and PowerVR SGX 531GPU, lets find out how much the device scores in Benchmarking test. We ran few test using Atutu, and Quadrant, and here are the results:
Multimedia and Gaming:
Watching Movies on this device cannot be said the best experience because of its low resolution and less processing power as the device is not capable to play FULL HD movies. It can play videos upto 720p comfortably but trying to play 1080p videos, you will only hear the Audio, no video. Even MX Player is not able to run those video while the default Android Media player says unsupported format. As far as Music is concerned, the loud speaker is pretty good with loud and clear Audio but without and bass effect. If you are a music lover, you can use the headphone provided with the device for better sound effects.However there is just the default Music player which requires a reboot everytime after adding music files on your phone to get synced.
As far as Gaming is concerned, as we know the device comes with the same PowerVR SGX 531 (OpenGL ES 2.0) GPU which was used in Lava Iris 501 which is said to be one of the best budget Phablet for gaming. Still the gaming experience on Domo nTice F12 is not as good as Iris 501. We tried running few standard games like Manuganu, Subway Surfer and few High end games like Real Racing 3 and Dead Trigger. But HD games like NSF Shift or Asphalt 6 show up as not compatible with the device. Well this was expected from the bench marking scores above. Hence in short nTice F12 is not for HD gaming.
Connectivity and Storage:
Domo nTice F12 comes with built-in 4GB storage but only 2.05GB is available for the users access. With the built-in option under Storage settings, you can switch the default write direve to your SD card so that you can install as many applications and games you want and to keep the phone memory clean for better performance.
As far as connectivity is concerned, the device supports Built-in 2G/3G connectivity, WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0 and GPS. I didn’t found any problem with the connectivity on this phablet. Most of the devices starts lagging when connected on WiFi, but with Domo nTice F12 there was no lag, nor any freezing problems. You can do web browsing, chatting or anything using the WiFi comfortably. The device comes with default Android Browser and Chrome web browser, all websites loads fine and allow you comfortable reading with zoom in/out.
No matter the configuration of nTice F12 failed to impress us but the camera do. The device features a 8 Megapixel rear camera with LED Flash allowing you to capture high quality clear images. We tried clicking few images under sunlight and were surprised to see the image quality. Very sharp and clear like captured from any Sony or Samsung devices. The same happens with Video Recording. The camera is capable to record a better quality video (720p) @30 fps. However, you may face difficulty to some extent while capturing images or videos under low light environment. Though the Flash is quiet powerful but still the images or videos appear dark.
There are also some extra features provided with the camera like Panoram, Burst click which allows you to click several images simultaneously and then select the best shot among them, Multiple Angle Image, Scene Mode, Color Effects, self timer, etc. We also have a 0.3 Megapixel front facing camera which is almost a VGA type. You can only use it for video calling. Clicking images from the front camera is not at all a good idea because the image quality is poor
As I said the device comes with Stock Android operating system, you have the only apps which comes preloaded with Android 4.1.1 such as Gmail, YouTube, PlayStore, Sound Recorder, Fm, File Manager, etc. Unlike Micromax and few other brands, there are no third party apps preloaded with the device. However if you want you can download as many as applications you want from PlayStore, just remember that you have the limit of 2GB for apps and games.
Domo nTice F12 is powered with 2500 mAh Polymer battery. During testing the device we found that the battery backup is very good. I used it as an average user for a day for tasks likes chatting on Facebook and WhatsApp, few minutes of web browsing, few hours of music and 3 to 4 video clips. All the time the device was connected on WiFi and the battery too about 8 hours to drain completely (100% to 1%). That means for hard core users who love to play games most of the time or watch videos, the phone should work for atleast 5 hours in one charge. So as per battery, the device is same as other budget smartphones around the market.
Domo has also provided a battery application that allows you enhancing the battery backup regularly. It stays on in the notification area showing you the left percentage and time left for the battery getting drained. You can according change the Modes to increase the battery backup as shown in the image below. There are three modes, each of them disable few specific apps to increase your battery life. Quiet useful.
Domo nTice F12 could be a good choice for people looking for a larger display at budget price and with good specification. Except the RAM and un-optimized operating system, this phablet fulfils the same with 1.2GHz processor, powerful PowerVR SGX 531 GPU and 8 Megapixel camera with large 5.2-inch display. The device sounds good in photography, Music and Gaming but may depress you for HD video playback or Multitasking. But that is what we can expect from a budget phablet priced at Rs. 8,900/-
According to its large and wide design reading ebooks or web browsing seems confortable but as at the same time the grip is very difficult and so does the accessibility with one hand. Also talking about its weight 199 grams, you should know that it is almost double of any 7-inch tablets. You will require to use it as a Mini Tablet with both hands. Over all after testing the device deeply I will rate the entire device 4 out of 5.
- Large 5-2 inch Touchscreen
- Budget Price
- Good Camera quality.
- Un-comfortable grip
- Huge and bulky packaging
- Not compatible with HD Games
- Average battery.