Agree the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge caused a huge stir around itself. Thereafter some smartphone makers tried to design their own curved screen handsets. However, we have to write down not all of them succeeded. For example, the same Nubia Z9 sports a border-less display, but it will be a sin to call this phone a curved-screen smartphone. I guess no one will mind if I say the Xiaomi Mi Note 2 is the next (and probably the best) dual-curved smartphone. It’s the best combination of price and specs. But the Mi Note 2 is priced unaffordable for many customers. If my memory serves me well, the global version of the phone costs $619.99. This price tag allows many users to get their hands on a curved screen phone with high-class performance. But if you want to own such a handset at a lower price, you should have to look for other options such as the Elephone S7.
We have already managed to come in with the Elephone S7 design review. And if you are familiar with it, you should know it looks amazing. However, appearance is not the only feature people look at when buying a smartphone. That’s why one of our readers published an interesting article exhorting not to buy this phone. Of course, we apply any opinion, but the Elephone S7 is considered as the cheapest curved screen smartphone. So we worry about its popularity. Therefore, we’ve decided to come in with a complete review of the improved variant of this phone. You know the original model sports a Helio X20 processor. But we have got our hands on the Helio X25-packed variant. It is supposed this model will provide better performance. Therefore it can still fight with other curved phones including the cheapest curved screen phablet, the Bluboo Edge.
Elephone S7 Specs List
- OS: Android 6.0
- CPU: MediaTek Helio X25
- RAM: 4GB
- Storage: 64GB
- Display: 5.5 inches (1,920 x 1,080) Gorilla Glass 3
- Connectivity: 4G LTE support, 802.11 a / b / g / n, Bluetooth 4.0
- Camera: 5MP / 13MP
- Battery: 3,000 mAh
- Dimensions / weight: 150.4 x 73.2 x 7.6 mm / 175 g
The Elephone S7 features a MediaTek Helio X25 processor. Though it can be considered as the latest addition to Helio family as there are the Helio X27 and Helio 30 announced recently, this SoC still remains one of the best products of this manufacturer. It comes with ten cores clocked up to 2.0GHz. As for the memory combination, 4GB + 64GB options seems sufficient to put this phone into the category of high-end devices. The screen is at Full HD resolution. Many recent top-end smartphones sport displays at higher resolution, but this options is still acceptable. The Elephone S7 supports dual-SIM card slot supporting 4G LTE network. And there is a USB Type-C for more comfortable usage. However, this handset has a few shortcomings, and the camera modules are the most eye-catching of them. But let’s not jump to assumptions.
A Closer Look at the Elephone S7 Design
A high-end smartphone should be great in all aspects. But when a customer is looking for a new smartphone, he / she pays more attention to the look. In this sense the Elephone S7 has no reason to worry about. It can be considered as one of the best-looking handsets.
Obviously, the selling points of this device is the curved screen like the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge and Xiaomi Mi Note 2. Many say such displays are useless and it’s difficult to cover them with films. But as you can see this protective film covers the most of the display leaving unprotected only the edges. Isn’t it acceptable? On the other hand, the Elephone S7 display is covered with Corning Gorilla Glass 3, meaning no scratches are dangerous to it.
The home button is located below the screen. It also serves as a fingerprint scanner.
The SIM slot is located on the left side. It can be removed via a pin coming inside the box.
As you can see, the slot supports to SIM cards. But only one of them can apply a nano-SIM card. The second slot can be used either for microSIM card or for SD card expansion.
The volume rocker along with the power button are located on the right hands side.
The audio jack is on the top.
There are two stereo speakers as well as a USB Type-C on the bottom.
The phone frame is made of metal. But it’s difficult to say what material is used for the back panel. Probably, it’s plastic with high-class covering giving a glamorous look to the phone.
At last, the Elephone S7 box includes a special TPU case that fits extremely well on the device. So we can state it’s fully protected.
Elephone S7 OS
As the phone comes with Android 6.0 pre-installed, you will see a familiar Android home screen once the phone boots. There are nothing unusual but the customized UI. Using the Home key’s different options you can make various operations. I am talking about the eTouch. For example, a light touch is equal to Back operation; twice light touch gets you to the home screen; single press works as a home key; twice press acts as a shortcut key; and finally, long press opens recent tasks. This is identical to Meizu’s mBack. However, you can check the option ‘Navigation bar’ and regular set of navigation icons will appear.
The settings layout is based on AOSP (Android Open Source Project). But some custom menu items are added as well. For example, there is a turbo download function that understands what connectivity you use at a certain moment (WiFI or LTE) and enables or disables this mode. Something like this has been found on the Umi Z. You can also change the LED indicator colors.
Other than that, there is a ‘Shortcut button settings’, meaning you can set up any app to launch when pressing the Home button. The ‘Intelligent gesture’ means you can use different gestures to interact with the phone. For example, you can choose the ‘Screenshot when scrolling the screen from top to bottom with three fingers’ or the ‘Camera startup when pinching the screen with multi fingers (three fingers or more)’.
Note: The phone is eligible to get Android 7.1 OTA update.
Elephone S7 Performance
The Elephone S7 is packed with a MediaTek Helio X25 SoC, which is, in its turn, paired with a 4GB of RAM and 64GB of ROM. This processor runs on 20nm process technology, and it is capable of doing the most of tasks you want.
Other than that, there is a 3000mAh battery, which is thought to be the weakest features of this handset. On the other hand, this battery supports quicker and safer PE+ 2.0 Quick Charge technology allowing users to charge to 50% in 30 minutes and to 90% in 60 minutes.
To understand what category of processor we are dealing with the Elephone S7 has been put in a test. It scored about 92.000 at AnTuTu. This is not the best result we have ever seen, but it’s the way better than what we have seen before its launch. Say the same Umi Z with a Helio X27 scores 110.000, and the Vernee Apollo with the same X25 scores 93.000.
As for other hardware features, though there are two speakers, the sound quality is not satisfactory. And the last disappointing feature is the camera. The front camera seems enough for video calls and selfies, but the rear camera comes with 13MP lens, which is enough only for regular captures. However, I guess you understand the manufacturer has packed this model with weaker camera modules in order to reduce the price.
- Dual-curved design
- Curved edge screen
- MediaTek Helio X25 chip
- Good memory combination of 4GB + 64GB
- 5MP / 13MP camera
- 3000mAh battery
The most disputable question refers to the category it is designed for. Many think the Elephone S7 can be considered as a high-end device. Actually it looks so. Plus, it sports a quite respectable processor and memory combination. But there are a few eye-catching shortcomings throwing it to the mid-range category. Here it can be a king. So we can conclude the Elephone S7 is a lower priced curved screen smartphone with acceptable features, but it is still unable to compete with the mi Note 2 and Galaxy S7 Edge.