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Elephone M1 Review – All Metal Phone on a Budget

by Linus 438 views3

Elephone has been producing quite a few phones lately but with the M1 model, they deciced to put an emphasis on the design, but is it a good phone? Stay tuned for our full review.
Thanks to Pandawill for sending Elephone M1 for a review.

Elephone M1 Review: VIDEO

Elephone M1 Review: SPECS

5.5″ 720p (HD)
MTK6735, 64-bit, Octa-core, 1.3GHz
2MP Front/13MP Back
Bluetooth, 3G, 4G, GPS, WIFI, GSM,EDGE, GPRS, UMTS, HSPA, HSPA+, dual-SIM, FDD-LTE B1/B3/B7
2.780 mAh (non-removable)
150.9 x 78 x 7.6mm /5.94 x 3.1 x 0.3 inch / 166g
Android 5.1
16GB (expandable via microSD card slot up to 64GB)

Elephone M1 Review: UNBOXING

IMG_4713 IMG_4714The phone comes with a charging brick, USB cable, screen protector and some documentation.

Elephone M1 Review: DESIGN

IMG_4716Let’s take a look at the design first and what we have here is an all-metal phone except for the top and bottom parts for a better signal reception. Also, it is not the smallest device out there due to its 5.5” display.
IMG_4722IMG_4723On the front we have the 2MP selfie snapper, earpiece, front firing LED and a sensor light. On the bottom there are 3 non-backlit capacitive keys.
IMG_4738 IMG_4724On the metal back there is a 13MP shooter with a dual LED flash and underneath it there is a fingerprint sensor.
img_4725 img_4726
On the right Elephone implemented a volume rocker and the power key and on the left there is a dual micro SIM and microSD card tray.
img_4728 img_4727
On the top there is a headset jack and on the bottom you have a charging port, speaker grill and a mic.
Overall, Elephone M1 is well built and metal materials add quite a lot of premium look and feel.

Elephone M1 Review: DISPLAY

When it comes to display, we are looking at a 5.5” 720p panel, which looks sharp, bright and vivid, and it is a good panel overall for a budget phone.

Elephone M1 Review: UI

Elephone M1 comes with the Android 5.1 out of the box and you can choose from either default Elephone’s launcher, which has customized icons and a few other features or a stock looking UI.
If you go with the Elephone’s launcher, you are still getting a pretty much stock build but there is no app tray, so the apps have to be organised in folders.
There is not too much functionality added in the ROM but Elephone has its own online theme store and some other customisation options.
One of the key features of the Elephone M1 is a fingerprint scanner and I have to say it works pretty fast and it is accurate. My only complaint is that it does not work straight from the standby mode.
Other complaints would be that the UI doesn’t show the juice left in the battery in percents. Also, if you select adaptive brightness feature, the display becomes simply too dim, so I had to use manual brightness.
Overall, the UI has a few bugs but it is snappy and I didn’t have a single hiccup during my testing period, which is pretty good.


Elephone M1 Review: BENCHMARKS

Elephone M1 Review: HARDWARE and PERFORMANCE

The phone has a pretty standard hardware package for a budget China phone. It has an MTK6735 chip with the clock speeds of 1.3GHz, 2GB of RAM and 16GB of expandable storage.
This hardware allows the Elephone M1 handle the 3D games quite well. As usual, you may get some skipped frames but I didn’t get much stutter that would make gaming experience annoying.

Elephone M1 Review: MULTIMEDIA

IMG_4740 IMG_4743
When it comes to the multimedia consumption, the loudspeaker is okay but not very impressive. Well, this is what you usually get in this price range anyway.

Elephone M1 Review: CAMERA

The 13MP camera is a hit or miss. Sometimes it is capable of producing some nice looking images with a decent amount of details but other times it struggles with focusing big time.
When it comes to the low-light shots, they are okay as we can’t expect more from a budget phone. The shutter speed is very slow as it seems that the camera software keeps it open for an extensive period of time to capture more light. However, it is annoying. Also, some of the low-light images have a significant red tint.
When it comes to selfies, I was surprised that there was no wide-angle lens. Also, the resolution is low, image quality is poor and the embedded front firing LED is practically useless.
Video quality does not impress either as it is shaky and lacks details.

Elephone M1 Review: CONNECTIVITY

I didn’t have any connectivity issues with the wifi, Bluetooth or GPS. Also, the call quality as well as signal reception are decent.

Elephone M1 Review: BATTERY LIFE

Elephone M1 comes with 2780mAh sealed-in battery unit, which performs okay but there is nothing to be impressed about. I could get around 4 hours of screen-on time when I used my phone with 1 SIM card for social media, emails, a bit of gaming and camera. Anyway, it will definitely get you through the day unless you are a hardcore user.

Elephone M1 Review: CONCLUSIONS

So here it is, a great looking all-metal Elephone M1. For less than $160 you are getting a phone with a great build quality, decent display and fast and fluid UI performance, which has just a few minor bugs.
On the other hand, the camera can be a good performer for a budget phone but it is not reliable as some of the shots are a hit or miss. Also, the selfie shooter is a disappointment.
Other than that, the Elephone M1 is a good phone for the price but you may also want to check out what the competition has to offer in this price category. If you are interested, I will leave a product link below the video for you.


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  • Steve B

    Camera is a 8MP Omnivision, Elephone “promoted” it to 13MP, but did a fairly good job. M2 model with 13MP IMX214 can be found for same price in flash pre-sales.

  • Najib Ar-Rahman

    First thing that impressed me with this phone is the design – No Fake Bezel-less Display, No black border, No Fake metal etc.

    Rest of the specs are pretty much run-off0the-mill variety. But can’t complain much for this price, I actually grabbed one for US$115, waiting for the delivery.

    But Linus, is the GPS accurate on this phone as I never used a MT6735 SoC before? And Elephone advertized this phone can be unlocked via the Fingerprint Scanner even when the screen is off. Can you confirm this?

    • Hi. GPS is not bad but it is not as accurate as e.g. Snapdragon-powered phones. Regarding fingerprint scanner, their advertisement was false, I’ve mentioned that i the review.