Rugged smaarphone Phonemax Rocky 2 has arrived! but does it stand out amongst other midrange device in this price range? Well, Check that out in this Review
When buying phone people usually care for better RAM, Good camera, Extra battery and good overall specs, But if you are not into these and durability is your highest priority for a smartphone then the Phonemax Rocky 2 might happen to be your next smartphone.
As its priced cheap and at the same time being giving attention to the highest durable materials as well, But this definitely cuts some main important highlights of a traditional 2017 smartphone like a good ram, better internal storage, good design, and also the main lack of even a budget decent processor, Well but that’s really something what a specs sheet gives and real-world usage might be better different from this, Well to know whether this is a good buy to consider or not, Do see our full Phonemax Rocky 2 review below because we will cover some highlights giving a deep detail of the phone performance in the real world testing usage and being this durable does it impact being to be very heavy and comfortable for usage? Well, you will know it soon below, But you might have some questions as:-
Why to buy a rugged phone in 2017?
Well nowadays phone in all segments have decent hardware no matter what price they are even we saw that we could get bezelless smartphone at a price of around even as low as $130 So that a pretty concerning price since we get good hardware feel and a pretty good design without compromising any of the features, But not everyone has some choices or taste to buy a smartphone, some people consider to have a much durable smartphone because they feel that will last them a pretty long time, And yes that’s true, If you buy a decent rugged smartphone you could easily make it last for a year or more without any complaints, That’s because no matter how many times you drop your phone, how many times you make it undergo water and how many impacts it will take in your daily life usage. It will be always good as new, Thanks to the premium materials used by the corners surrounding the smartphone area, And nowadays it is pretty rare you could find a person using a rugged smartphone. Because nowadays only looks matter and durability are being shaded away, It is a good choice to buy a rugged smartphone because it will never break out like any other bezelless or non-bezelless smartphones, And as mentioned above can be your good long a last daily driver. So summing it up at last, Yes you should definitely go for a rugged smartphone no matter what the trend is going around the world, You should check your priorities first, As the smartphone will be used by you and your needs, But always look for a well overall rugged smartphone which has decent amount of RAM and Storage as that are the main things which can help smartphone long a pretty last time without making it being outdated. And a pretty good processor, Because that’s the heart of any smartphone to make it run faster and get it bein lagged free from those junky apps you install on your smartphone. And the design should be reliable too because mainly now a days rugged smartphone have pointed edges which you may not realize before buying, But will regret after having it because it will make the smartphone uncomfortable to hold in your hand for longer period of tasks and hence making it harder to carry around you, Because it will definitely make an uncomfortable texture in your pocket and will hence make you always carry it on your hand, These above aspects are must be considered before buying a smartphone.
Phonemax recently introduced a new sequel to its predecessor rugged smartphone. The Phonemax Rocky 2, It turned out to be a pretty robust smartphone in our testing and has the ability to perform well in daily normal usage, But lacks somewhere which you will know below in our review.
- Display: 5.0 inch, 1280 x 720 Pixel screen
- CPU: MTK6737 Quad Core 1.3GHz
- System: Android 7.0
- RAM + ROM: 2GB RAM + 16GB ROM
- Camera: 2.0MP front camera + 8.0MP back camera
- Sensor: Ambient Light Sensor, Gravity Sensor, Proximity Sensor
- SIM Card: dual SIM dual standby. 1 Micro SIM card + 1 Micro SIM card
- Feature: GPS, A-GPS
- Bluetooth: 4.1
2G: GSM 850/900/1800/1900MHz
3G: WCDMA 850/900/2100MHz
4G: FDD-LTE 850/900/1800/2100/2600MHz TDD-LTE B40
- Wireless Connectivity: 3G,4G,Bluetooth,GPS,GSM,WiFi
- WIFI: 802.11b/g/n wireless internet
- I/O Interface: 2 x Micro SIM Card Slot, Microphone, Micro USB Slot, Speaker, TF/Micro SD Card Slot
- IP rating: IP68
- Battery Capacity (mAh): 4000mAh
- Product size: 14.66 x 7.60 x 1.27 cm / 5.77 x 2.99 x 0.5 inches
- More Feature – Rugged Body Design, LTE Cat 4 150 Mbps Download, 50 Mbps Upload, Computer Sync, OTA Sync, Tethering, OTG Support, FM Radio, VoLTE Support, Bluetooth, IP68 Waterproof, Rounded Edges, Corning Gorilla Glass 3 Screen Protection.
- Weight: 230 g
Body & Design (look and feel)
The build quality of the phone is pretty durable and that’s what it meant to be, but when we practically held it in our hand the phone feels quite heavy and the corners are bit on the lacking side, Making the device uncomfortable to hold for a longer period of time and cant be used constantly for more than 1 hours (that’s what I felt in the test and is my opinion, Though your usage might be different and can be adjustable or changed).
Although, the design is not as quite astonishing as other smartphones in this price range category phone, If you are used to a rugged smartphone or have used it for a practically long time, then this phone is not an exception for you. But as I am a Normal smartphone user and when I tested this device for the first time, It looked pretty awesome in the looks and is not any of the other smartphones out there in the market, Have to say that design is good for a phone at this price but it is uncomfortable to hold for me.
Display Design & Feature
This display looked pretty awesome for a 720p panel and the colors looked natural too, But it would have been better if PhoneMax Rocky 2 would have come with a 1080p panel to make it more comparable to other budget smartphones. The display in general usage seems to be pretty well for me without having anything to be pixelated and being pretty capable of viewing videos in general. But as it has no 1080p panel so neither it can view it!. But very this phone falls out is the display under direct sunlight, Though it can be viewed if seeing the phone nearer to the eyes but still it becomes very unreliable to use it at sunlight presence, As I always have to cover my hand with the upper part of the screen to make it visible.
The display Features are very well present here when coming to the exterior point, For having Gorilla Glass 3 on the front and Is covered by extra thin screen protector to accompany its durability design. Having said that I also dropped the phone onto a concrete surface from waist height and it survived that with flying colors. And I have been using this device for 1 week or more and I usually carried my keys and the phone in the same pocket (for testing) and yes the phone didn’t get any scratches or so. Because the gorilla glass 3 is rated as 6 in Mohs scale of scratches rating and the keys are usually can be scratched at 5 or so. Now coming to the software display features, And it has various options available like auto brightness sensors which are pretty rare in budget phones at this price and having this features is pretty reliable thanks to the ambient light sensor available in the phone, It can automatically adjust brightness and various situation like dim light or bright sunlight (but as mentioned above it doesn’t help out that much) Also one more thing it is lacking behind is too adjust the color temperature of the device according to the preference, And that’s what happens in my case, I don’t like the natural white tone ips display but consider to have a bit warmer tone, Though it can be done via a third-party software. But still would have been a good option if implemented right out of the box, But still, the colors are really accurate and even tend to fade out. As what I found on my review device.
Camera Quality (Both)
The camera experience from this device provides decent looking photos as per my need in daylight conditions but fails to undergo any of the big highlights like any dual cameras. Also, it happens to give blurry images in any low-light situations. Making the images completely unusable. The recording capability is quite same as any other midrange smartphones giving 1080@30fps recording footage with lack of any EIS or OIS. The camera can also take panorama shots and stitching is quite well too. The Rear Camera on this device is really good for its price and can be considered for taking decent looking shots at outdoor lighting conditions
Now coming to the front camera! Well, its a pale in every situation to use and its presence is almost negligible to have it. Because when I tested to take photos in outdoor natural lighting conditions it takes over pale colors giving the face and all the surrounding a complete white tint and in the night, The quality becomes more and worse giving a complete blur photos when in good artificial lighting conditions, Which makes the front camera to be very bad and cant be used for even making video calls or any other general purposes.
In my testing and experience with the phone, It performed quite well in the speaker output department giving a rich tone of voice through videos and a good bass output with the music. It doesn’t have any dual or stereo speaker but neither it needs it, Because already the speaker is pretty well and even leaving behind the flagships phones output, But the only minor Con got me disappointed was the speaker is at the back of the device making its capability underestimate-able and giving the output to the opposite side of the screen. So if you are watching videos then the output will max out to the back of the phone making it pretty annoying for some sim voice music conditions.
The Video experience from this device is a bit on the fall side for my experience. As in 2017, a 1080p screen is general for any phone. Though 720p is not bad at all and many people would have considered having a smaller pixels screen to help get more battery out of the usage. But there is a huge difference between 720p and 1080p when compared side by side as for the viewing angles and sharpness goes. And having a little bit less juice for that can be completely compromised according to my perspective.
Network & Internet Connectivity
The comes with support for 2G, 3G, and 4G with vo-LTE and can be widely used on any network in almost Asia-pacific regions and the network stability is quite good without any drops to speed and connection. But the speed is limited to 150 Mbps downloading and 50 Mbps for uploading. Well for me that’s pretty good and anything above that is overrated. In my testing with the device for 1 week the Phone seems to give a pretty decent output for the network and giving a constant coverage to anywhere. Where I would expect the network to be available.
In my testing period of time with the phone, The Wi-Fi worked pretty fine and has good stability overall. Giving an 802.11b/g/n wireless internet configurations. But the only major drawback for it was that it doesn’t have dual-band antennas and if you happen to have a happen a 5GHz Wi-Fi connection then you might know that Extraordinary feature of it. But if you have 2.5 GHz band then there is no problem for you.
The PhoneMax Rocky 2 comes With GPS support with which you can navigate through the maps and have the ability to Get Directions and get your exact locations right. It happens to work well for me on this phone without having any complaint to any issues faced on.
The call quality from the PhoneMax Rocky is quite good, And it also has a pretty loud earpiece with well rich clear output and pretty rich noise reduction. In my testing, it performed really well I was able to hear the reception voice very clearly even in a crowded public place. But in the event you are not satisfied with that and want to have an extra boost of voice, You can use the main speaker of the device which is well loud and can be heard even from long distances.
The microphone in my testing performed good and the receptionist had no issue regarding hearing my voice. but if I placed my phone 5 meters away from me, then the microphone lowers my volume to the receptionist and make it uncomfortable to hear for him. So it is advisable to talk to nearly with your phone for the overall better experience.
This is something many will look before buying a smartphone. Or even expecting to get the basic standard function as for a phone in 2017. But well here it is where the PhoneMax Rocky 2 disappoints, As being powered by a MediaTek MT6737 processor which is pretty low for a standard smartphone in 2017 and cant even happen to play games such as Modern Combat 5, Asphalt 8, Asphalt Extreme and other high-end games etc.
So if you are looking for a smartphone with a basic function like this to perform well and good in every situation then the PhoneMax Rocky 2 is a no buy for you. But, if you are a person who’s not into mobile gaming and wants to use their smartphones for making decent tasks like facebook, WhatsApp, and other non-GPU based service. Then you can consider the PhoneMax Rocky 2 to buy for light to moderate usage.
Now coming to an aspect of testing it was, I didn’t find any lag or stutter in the main UI such as hovering over social media pages or basic light application. The RAM management is also really impressive for this device making it always 5+ apps ready for usage. But when I tend to open Basic games like Temple Run 2 or any other. The phone felt quite warm, But I used the device for constant 1 hour or more. So, as said above the chipset inside is pretty not capable for even moderate usage and talking about heavy usage is way more par than what it can support. Also, that being said it got better-optimized thanks to Android 7.0 Nougat running out of the box.
Battery Backup & Charging Time
The PhoneMax Rocky 2 comes with a 4000 mAh non-removable battery accompanied by 2A/5V charger provided in the box.
Well in my testing purpose of usage for the smartphone it gave me 12 hours of Screen On Time, Well that’s something pretty rare and impressive for a budget smartphone in 2017, As battery has been the main flaw for many phones out there no matter in which price they are, And This is where the phone shows its maximum capability by optimizing the power usage and having a 720p display is also what makes it good for its autonomy.
I have even tweaked some setting in the developer options menu like to force GPU rendering and keep the animation off. And yes there is a slight bit of difference I got for the backup and at the same time making the phone pretty snappy and fast for its usage.
It took me 2.5 hours to charge the phone from 0% to 100% and between that, the phone felt warm on the back and making it nothing hot like that to be unusable.
Conclusions and Price
The PhoneMax Rocky 2 is priced at starting for $115 at gearbest. Well for this price it is hard to recommend this phone to anyone who is not used to rugged smartphones. But if you are wanting or Happen to already have it then you can consider it a go, But the phone provides many flaws such as a pretty weak processor and limited storage and RAM configuration available also one point worth concerning is a 720p display, Though it looked sharp and accurate still happen to be much dimmer and lower in pixels than any 1080p display.
But where this phone shines is by providing exceptional build an awesome interface to use also in normal tasks the phone didn’t get any complaints about my usage and didn’t tend to get warm (Norma Usage), Also the Rear camera provides decent and natural looking pictures in Good Natural and Artifical lightning condition. But again fails to provide usable photos via the front camera.
I would not recommend this gadget to anyone unless and Until he wants an IP68 water resistance, Good Battery life, and an Exceptional Build quality.