Torque EGO Note 4G Review: Battery-Efficient LTE-Ready Budget Phone

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We review the EGO Note 4G!

This August, Torque launched three new phones from its EGO line, with two of them being LTE ready, supporting the 700Mhz bandwidth. The EGO Note 4G, Torque’s “flagship” phone, has a few novelty features aside from LTE connectivity: It has an LED flash for its front camera, a 1.3Ghz Quad core processor, 1GB RAM, and runs Android Nougat out of the box. But how does the EGO Note 4G, marketed as a budget LTE-capable smartphone, fare? We got our hands on a unit, and here’s what we found out:

EGO Note 4G Specs
  • 1.3 Ghz Quad Core CPU
  • 5-inch HD IPS Display
  • 1GB RAM
  • 8GB Internal Storage
  • 8MP Rear Camera with LED Flash
  • 5MP Front Camera with LED flash
  • 3000MAh battery
  • 4G Connectivity with support for 700MHZ LTE Band
  • Android Nougat

Dated design, but quality build

Upon first impression of the EGO Note 4G, we noticed its design that reminded us of Samsung’s Galaxy S3—aka the hot flagship phone back in 2012, with its metallic sides and snap-on back cover. Starting from the back of the phone, you have Torque’s branding, a speaker grill on the bottom, and the camera and LED flash on the top portion.

There’s a slight bump along the camera area, and we recommend putting a case on it to avoid accidental scratches to the camera lens.

At the right side, you have your power button and volume rocker.

There’s nothing to see on the right side.

On the top of the phone, you have your 3.5mm audio jack.

The Micro USB port and the microphone can be found at the bottom.

At the phone’s front, you have the 5.5-inch HD display, the front camera and LED flash on the upper portion, and capacitative buttons at the lower portion. For its price point, the phone makes use of a sturdy material for its 2.5D glass. The design has similarities to the iPhone 6. Whoever designed the EGO Note 4G did some homework in combining design elements from other brands and merging them into one phone.

A budget phone performer

With novelties such as LTE and a front flash, a few compromises are made. One of them is its use of a 1.3 GHz quad core processor and 1GB RAM. Running the AnTuTu benchmarks on the phone, we only got a score of 22452. Not surprising, since we noticed frame drops while playing Asphalt Nitro with it. Also, given the limitations, the phone did get a bit warm after an hour of playing Asphalt Nitro.

The screen was able to display the colors properly, as evidenced with watching a YouTube video (in this case, an episode from Petrolicious, in HD of course). The color saturation is just right for an HD IPS display. However, the unit that we got suddenly rebooted in the middle of playing a video. We are not sure what happened, but after the reboot, the phone was performing normally, as if nothing happened. Perhaps Torque might issue a software update to deal with the said bug in the future.

The speakers on the EGO Note 4G is quite loud, and does not distort nor sound tinny when placed on maximum volume, which is good in times when you want to watch a video or play music (in this case, a few tracks from Metallica). Call quality is also good as well. We did not experience any dropped calls while using the phone.

The phone runs on Android Nougat (7.0), and unlike other manufacturers, there is barely any bloatware pre-installed in it. However, we found it disappointing that it only came with 8GB of internal memory, at a time when smartphones with 16GB of internal storage is the norm given its price range. While storage can be expanded with a MicroSD card, we wished Torque equipped the EGO Note 4G with 16GB of internal storage.

Snappy camera

Even with just 1GB of RAM, the camera is snappy enough. It takes photos quicker than expected (for context: the Cherry Cubix Cube Max we tested previously experienced lag while using the camera), and processes them quite efficient as well, with minimal delay. However, don’t expect too much with its f/2.8, 8-megapixel rear camera: while it works well during daylight situations reproducing colors with gusto, avoid using it during low light: unless you opt to use flash, the photos are soft and murky. As for the front camera, the LED flash does help in illuminating your selfies during low light situations. Not perfect selfie level, but still gets the job done.

A surprisingly power-efficient device

Having a 5.5-inch screen and a 3000Mah battery, we were expecting the EGO Note 4G to last us at least for the day. However, running the PCMark battery benchmark test, we were surprised that the EGO Note 4G managed to score almost 10 hours of battery usage while performing various tasks. A good reason for the surprising battery efficiency is the fact that the phone is running on near-stock Android, having barely any bloatware to drain the phone of precious battery life. This can translate to more than a day of usage before you need to juice up. Do note, that the unit does not come with a fast charger, so it will take you two to three hours before you get a full charge.

Verdict: Slightly pricey but makes up for power efficiency

While the EGO Note 4G may be pricey given its paltry 8GB internal storage and slightly dated internals, what we liked about this phone is its power efficiency and snappy camera. The overall design of the phone may be a bit dated as well, but has a sturdy build. We do hope Torque would consider releasing one with either more internal storage or add more RAM into it to make it more competitive in its price segment.

(unbox.ph, https://goo.gl/NAneaN)

 

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