Competition in the budget phone market has been really heating up over the last couple of years. With companies like BLU producing devices with quality hardware at affordable prices, There is little need for anyone to stretch themselves for that next flagship, anymore. The question remains, which budget phone is the best?
Enter FiGO, a mobile company I had never heard of, putting some serious pressure on the competition. According to its website, “Our goal is to provide a vast portfolio of advanced unlocked mobile phones at incredible pricing to thousands of dealer agents.” With this as the goal, it better bring some serious game to the table to compete with the other budget beaters. I am here to tell you that the Gravity X55L meets the goal set forth and sets itself high up on the “best budget phone” list. Let’s take a look.
“Our goal is to provide a vast portfolio of advanced unlocked mobile phones at incredible pricing to thousands of dealer agents.”
I must admit, I have never heard of FiGO before receiving this phone for review. It actually took me a minute of research on Google to find out that this wasn’t the first device it had released. I was shocked to see of the other budget devices produced by the company and was eager to jump into this review.
When I first received the device I actually had no idea how much it would sell for. Paying homage to that, we will make you wait to reveal the retail price. Upon opening the box, I was presented with the phone, front and center. As it lays in the box, all you can see is the screen, front facing camera, and speaker for phone calls; there are no physical buttons aside from the standard lock button and volume rocker. Continuing on with what’s in the box, we find the typical charger, cord, earbuds and manual but, we also find an additional, longer charging chord, and tempered glass screen protector (which I promptly installed because I am the WORST at scratching screens).
For a budget phone, the exterior of this device is absolutely amazing. The rear appears to be a solid piece of aluminum milled to cover both sides and house the camera, LED flash, fingerprint sensor, and buttons. On the back we find the 13MP rear camera, an LED flash just to the right of the camera, and the rear mounted fingerprint sensor sitting just below the camera.
The right side houses the power button and volume rocker. They protrude out just the right amount to let you feel for them in a pocket or purse, but not to much as to get snagged on anything. On the left side, the only thing we can see is the dual sim card slots (one of which can be used for SD memory expansion).
The bottom of the Gravity exposes a microUSB charging port as well as what looks like dual speakers (unfortunately, the one on the right is non-functional). Moving to the top, we see the 3.5mm audio jack for your headphones and an IR blaster. Seriously, just by looking around the outside of this phone I am getting at least one thing that I don’t have on my S7 (IR blaster in case you didn’t know).
Top: 3.5mm and IR blaster
Bottom: microUSB and Speaker
Finally, the front of the device is where we see the first clue that this is a budget device. Unlike many of the flagships or premier phones today, we see no beveled edges on the screen. The glass does not feel as smooth as a premium device, almost sticking to my finger as I try to slide it across the screen. Thankfully, the glass screen protector that was provided is a little more user-friendly. Along with the glass, the amount of visible bezel on Gravity X55L is larger than we are used to seeing on premium devices. There is clearly visible black space between where the screen ends and the aluminum frame begins. Initially, I found this relatively annoying, but the longer I use the phone, the less I care about empty black space.
AndroidGuys has been a big proponent of budget phones. But what makes a great budget phone is not simply a low price but what we can get for said price. In the case of the FiGO Gravity X55L we are talking about a phone under $200. Some of the technical highlights are:
- 5.5″ IPS display (720p)
- 1.3 GHz octa core processor
- 3GB RAM + 32GB ROM
- 13MP rear camera / 5MP front camera
- 3000mAH battery
- IR Blaster
- FM Tuner
- Fingerprint sensor
- Android 6.0 (with a promise of an upgrade to Nougat post-release)
Now, some of these spec’s don’t really seem like much compared to many of the phones that are advertised regularly, however, if you compare apples to apples and realize that we are only paying 1/4 of the price of some flagships, things start to fall into perspective.
When I first fired up the Galaxy X55L, my initial thoughts were, “Wow, is this stock Android?”. Indeed, what I was experiencing was my first endeavor into stock android since I rooted my Galaxy S3. Now some of you may argue this point, but there is something refreshing about not having any third party apps thrown in your face and draining your battery.
One of the first things I do when setting up a new phone is get my work email set up (yes, I, unfortunately, have to go to work too). This requires that I set up a password (not a PIN but an actual password). Thankfully the X55L has me covered with the fingerprint sensor in the back. My experience with fingerprint sensors consists of the Galaxy S7 and the Huawei Mate 9 and in comparison, the FiGO device falls right in the middle. It has the convenience of the Mate 9’s location and style but lacks responsiveness like the Galaxy S7.
One place that budget phones tend to lose people is in the camera. I was actually impressed with the camera that FiGO went with here. We are looking at at 13MP camera in the rear and a 5MP camera in the front. That makes it a little better than the camera that what comes in my S7 (12MP). I know we are talking about a year later but wow. Don’t just take my word for it, check out the pictures that we took with the phone and let them speak to the quality. (https://goo.gl/9gbGmo)
Digging deeper into the phone we find the FM Tuner app. I know it is not a huge thing but sometimes I just want to listen to the Radio. Being able to plug in a set of earbuds and listen to my favorite FM stations right on my phone is just something that is a convenience to have, and is not an option on any premium devices I have used.
Look at those wide edges
Now, I have obviously covered some of my favorite things about this device but, I know what you are thinking, “For a phone under $200 there has to be some negatives, right?” Well, yes there are a few. The device is pretty large for only having a 5.5″ display. As I put it to one of the editors here when I turned the phone on “Holy Bezels Batman!”, referring to the extra black space I talked about earlier between the touch screen and the aluminum sides.
One of the problems you can’t see is that the screen is not as accurate to the touch as I would expect from a more expensive device. I have decided to relate this to the glass used, working under the theory that if your finger can’t slide well, detection is probably off also.
Before I begin my final thoughts, I think this is a great time to reveal to you that the retail price of this phone will be $159.99. No, that is not a typo, you can get all these features and a stock android experience for well under $200.
With that said, my final thought about this device is, wow. When I initially received the FiGO Gravity X55L I never thought I would have enjoyed using it this much. In fact, I am highly considering switching to using it as my daily driver instead of continuing with my Galaxy S7, at least for the time being. The Gravity is now available at Amazon. Pick one up if you are in need of that new budget phone.