Swipe Elite Power Review - A lacklustre camera undoes great battery and stock Android






Swipe Elite Power Review - A lacklustre camera undoes great battery and stock Android




























Indian smartphone brand Swipe very recently launched their affordable smartphone offering, the Elite Power in India for Rs. 6999 exclusively on Flipkart. The main selling point of the device is its 4000 mAh battery and we don't think there is any other smartphone in the country that can offer that large a battery capacity at that minimum a price. Swipe has always been known for good specifications at budget level prices. However, the brand has yet not been able to match the standards of its Chinese counterparts, be it in the quality or be it in the sales volume. Today we are reviewing the Swipe Elite Power and would put it to its paces to see if it stands tall in the behemoth of smartphones that we have available today.

You can buy Swipe Elite Power in Space Grey color here.

Design

Like a number of phones available at this price point, the design of the latest smartphone from Swipe also spells the word 'minimalism' in bold. It has a very simple, no frills design. It does look solid in the hands though the body is on a thicker side due to a large battery. The slightly curved back makes it easier to hold. However, the device feels a tad heavy. The front of the smartphone has a very prominent and large head and chin. The head houses the sensors, the front camera lens and the speaker while the chin space stands wasted as the brand has opted to go for on screen buttons, so in essence, the chin space is entirely empty. It does not even have the logo in front. The 5.5 inch display has a pretty thick black bezel on both the sides. A microUSB port and 3.5 mm audio jack is provided on the top edge, the left edge has a hybrid dual SIM slot, the bottom edge has a microphone hole while the right edge carries the metallic volume rocker and power button. The buttons are slightly less clicky than we would have liked.

The back is made out of brushed aluminum divided into 3 portions. The back has a bit of taper towards the edges which we talked about above. There is a circular camera lens, an LED flash below it and a circular fingerprint sensor right below that too. The branding and loudspeaker complete the back. Though a very tiny groove has been provided at the back to lift the phone a tad bit while listening to music, we still prefer a front or bottom edge placed speaker for higher decibels and more clarity. Its the simplicity of the design and sturdiness of the build quality that stands out though.

Swipe Elite Power Review - A lacklustre camera undoes great battery and stock Android




























Specifications

Swipe Elite Power sports a 5.5 inch HD IPS display running at a resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels. It is pushed by a Quad-core Snapdragon 210 (MSM8909) processor clocked at 1.1 GHz and supported by Adreno 304 GPU. The RAM available on the device stands at 2 GB while the internal memory available is 16 GB which can be further expanded to 32 GB via a microSD card. The dual SIM phone has a hybrid SIM slot, which though better than a single SIM slot, still serves little purpose for people who wish to use both the two SIMs as well as the microSD card. Both the SIMs support 4G VoLTE. First SIM slot uses a micro SIM card and the second uses Nano SIM. The rear camera resolution of the device is 8 Megapixels and that of the front camera is 5 Megapixels. It also sports a fingerprint sensor. The operating system powering the smartphone is Android Marshmallow 6.0.1. The connectivity options available on the phone include Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS and FM Radio. It also has a Li-ion battery slated at 4000 mAh which is the USP of the device. The phone is available in Space Grey and Champagne Gold colors.

Swipe Elite Power Review - A lacklustre camera undoes great battery and stock Android




























Display

Elite Power has a 5.5 inch HD IPS display supporting a resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels. The display is above average but does not maintain enough brightness with adaptive brightness turned on. The viewing angles are deep though the screen is extremely reflective. The colors lie on a warmer side of the spectrum and appear slightly washed out. But the screen does not hurt the eyes on long viewing. Moreover the display is fairly usable under direct sunlight. The only qualm we have is with the reflection issue which we wish was controlled slightly better.

Operating system

You really can't beat a smartphone that runs stock Android. Elite Power runs stock Android Marshmallow 6.0.1 and as a result, its peppy and fast. There is absolutely no bloatware on the device though we found a hassle in that there are no battery settings. We are not so sure if that's a case with other stock Android smartphones too but dug deep to search for battery settings with no returns. (Update: Our faulty first review unit had a software glitch and the replacement unit that we received showed battery options in settings successfully.)

Another small detail that caught our eye was that the toggle settings that appear from swiping down from the top list only 'Mobile Data' in capital letters and all the others normally. Again, we could not find any other stock Android device around us to know for sure but this looked awkward and silly. Moreover, we did miss the customisation and the gestures that we have come to love so much in other Android smartphones. Also, the system takes up around 5 GB of the internal memory, thereby leaving only around 10 GB for the user which can become quite a pain if you use two SIM cards in both the slots. That's the bane of a hybrid SIM slot.

Camera

The camera app is basic but does have settings like ISO, Exposure and White balance and a wide variety of shooting modes like HDR, Backlight and Landscape and many others. Sadly, the shutter lag is very prominent though and takes away the pleasure of clicking continuous photographs. Here are a few sample pictures we clicked with the rear camera.

Swipe Elite Power Review - A lacklustre camera undoes great battery and stock Android




























Swipe Elite Power Review - A lacklustre camera undoes great battery and stock Android




























Swipe Elite Power Review - A lacklustre camera undoes great battery and stock Android




























Swipe Elite Power Review - A lacklustre camera undoes great battery and stock Android




























Clearly, the camera is the weakest link of this smartphone. Colors are completely washed away and are not close to what you will see naturally with your eyes. Moreover, as you zoom in, you'll need to have rock solid hands else the picture easily goes out of focus. The camera tries to over compensate for exposure in situations with low lighting but does not perform up to the mark even with natural lighting conditions. The lack of detailing and sharpness in portrait shots is another issue plaguing the rear camera. Low light shots show a lot of noise and don't capture details at all. Even the front camera image quality is only usable at best and suffers from loss of sharpness and natural colors. Further, the recorded videos are extremely shaky due to lack of any kind of stabilisation. We find the cameras extremely lacklustre and consumers searching for a better camera should look elsewhere.

Performance

The usage of stock Android makes for a decently fast performing smartphone even though the amount of RAM or the processor is not what you will find in higher end premium devices. The phone shows no considerable lag except for the camera shutter lag we mentioned above. But yes, the more the apps you have opened at a given point of time, multitasking or switching between apps does tend to become slow which is quite reasonable at this price point. Moreover, the apps take a considerable amount of time to install on the phone after their download has finished. We also played Asphalt 8 Airborne on the device. Though the loading times were high, we were pleasantly surprised to see the phone handle the game well without any frame rate drops. And the phone does not heat up even while playing graphic intensive games.

We successfully called through Jio 4G which connected over VoLTE for HD voice. The call quality was loud and crisp. The loudspeaker at the back is loud enough and is good with high frequencies but muffles the sound a bit with lower frequencies. Being at the back of the device does not help the cause either. The fingerprint sensor at the back of the phone is fairly fast and can be further used to answer an incoming call, click a selfie, stop the alarm or clear the notification panel via a double tap.

Here are the phone's scores on a couple of benchmarks:
Antutu - 22577
Geekbench 4 - Single core - 390, Multi core - 1015

Battery

Swipe Elite Power is equipped with a 4000 mAh Lithium-ion battery which ran for approximately 1.5 days of moderate usage. This is impressive considering the price of the smartphone and can be a deciding factor for many consumers to make their buying decision. There is no fast charging available which should not be expected either. But sadly, there is no reverse charging either. The stock charger provided with the box is a generic charger and is not manufactured by Swipe.

Rating

3 stars

Swipe Elite Power Review - A lacklustre camera undoes great battery and stock Android




























Verdict

Swipe Elite Power tries hard at being a complete package but fails miserably on a few ends. Though you get great battery life and stock Android sans bloatware at an extremely affordable price, you cannot overlook the fact that the cameras perform poorly. Moreover, you'll most definitely have to give up the secondary SIM slot to use a microSD card since only 10 GB of internal memory is available. We recommend this phone only in a scenario where you are tight on budget and need a big battery 4G enabled device. The device directly competes with Coolpad Mega 2.5D and Xiaomi Redmi 3S, more so with the latter due to similar specifications though Redmi 3S lacks a fingerprint sensor. For all scenarios where a fingerprint sensor is not used, Swipe fill find it hard to compete against Xiaomi. We wish so much that Swipe had tried a little harder with the camera quality as a lacklustre camera can be a deal breaker for a large number of users. As a result, Swipe would again have to turn towards an offline sales model to be successful with this phone, they'll find it a hard run online.

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