Surprisingly smooth in use, Dual SIM slots, Removable battery
Android 4.2, Low-res screen, Limited internal storage
Outdated software and a sub-HD screen mean that the Thunder Q4.5 can hardly be considered cutting-edge, but it’s the perfect purchase for smartphone novices or those shopping on a shoestring budget
Kazam is a British mobile made up of former HTC executives which aims to shake things up in thesmartphone arena. The Thunder Q4.5 – which is enjoying a renewed push in the UK thanks to the efforts of Ebuyer – is one of the firm’s biggest releases to date, and offers a fresh experience for those shopping for a mobile on a tight budget. Is this forward-thinking company really going to change the way we buy smartphones, or is Kazam just another firm trying to make a profit at the lower end of the Android price spectrum? Let’s take a look and find out.
Design & Display
As you might expect from a phone which costs just over £130, the Thunder Q4.5 has a plastic casing and a rather understated design. A faux-metal bezel runs around the device, and there’s a black plastic rear cover which pops off to reveal the battery, MicroSD card slot and dual SIM bays. The cover has a matte finish which makes it easy to grip, and also features a grille for the speaker.
The 4.5-inch screen has a resolution of just 854 x 480 pixels. The lack of a HD display is a disappointment – especially if you want to use the phone as a movie player – but in general day-to-day use, it’s not all that noticeable. The panel is bright enough and has decent contrast, but it can be a little inconsistent when it comes to registering user input – sometimes a second tap is required.
Interestingly, Kazam says that it will replace your phone within two days if the screens becomes cracked or develops a fault – something to consider when making a purchase.
Software & User Experience
Kazam’s philosophy is all about keeping things minimal, and that extends to the software installed on the phone. It’s running a pretty stock version of Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, and the only unique apps are an FM Radio and remote assistance app. Everything else is standard Google stuff, which means the handset is free from bloat – unless of course you consider Google’s own offerings to be surplus to requirements.
There’s a 1.3GHz quad-core chipset inside the Thunder Q4.5 which is aided by just 1GB of RAM. That might make for depressing reading on paper but in reality the phone feels surprisingly nippy. A big part of this will of course be that low-resolution display – the processor has less pixels to push – and as a result you’ll find that Kazam’s phone is a pretty robust offering, assuming all you want to do is make calls, send emails and surf the web. It’s less adept when it comes to more demanding tasks, and certainly struggles when there are multiple apps all trying to access that paltry 1GB of RAM.
Battery, Memory & Camera
The 1800 mAh power cell in the Thunder Q4.5 is removeable and offers well over a day of use – again, the phone’s modest power requirements mean decent stamina. Being able to carry a spare battery will be a big plus for those who tend to be away from home for long periods of time.
Storage is meagre, with just under 3GB of memory available to the end user. This means that after you’ve installed a few apps and games, you’ll find yourself running out of space. Thank goodness then that a MicroSD card slot is included, allowing you to use cards of up to 32GB in size.
Finally, there’s the 8 megapixel camera, which surprised us by delivering decent snaps. There’s nothing mind-blowing on show here and the phone’s standard camera app is light on features, but for the price the Thunder Q4.5 makes a decent enough image capture device.
The Kazam Thunder Q4.5 might not be a dazzling piece of tech, but for the asking price it offers a fast, stable and well-made blower. The fact that it’s stuck on Android 4.2 will put off those who desire a cutting-edge handset, while the lowly specs might force more ambitious buyers to look elsewhere.
However, the Thunder Q4.5 is a pleasure to use, boasts a pleasing design and comes with some unique features – the most obvious of which is the ability to use two different SIM cards at once.