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Homtom HT17 Review: 5.5″ Display and Fingerprint Scanner for $66!

by Linus 15

If you are in the market of a 5.5” HD smartphone, which also has a fingerprint scanner but you don’t want to spend a pretty penny, the $66 Chinese phone Homtom HT17 brings a lot of value for money. Learn more in our full review.

Thanks to Chinavasion for sending Homtom HT17 smartphone for a review.

Homtom HT17 Review: VIDEO REVIEW

Homtom HT17 Review: UNBOXING

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For just $66, you get all the usual accessories and some extras like a soft TPU case and a screen protector.

Homtom HT17 Review: SPECS

Display
5.5″ 720p (HD)
Processor
Mediatek MT6737, quad-core, 1.1GHz (max)
RAM
1GB
Camera
5MP Front/13MP Back (interpolated from 2MP/8MP, accordingly)
Connectivity
Bluetooth, 3G, 4G, GPS, WIFI, GSM,EDGE, GPRS, UMTS, HSPA, HSPA+, dual-SIM.
Battery
3.000 mAh (removable)
Dimensions
152×78 x8 mm / 163g
OS
Android 6.0
Storage
8GB (expandable via microSD card slot up to 64GB)

Homtom HT17 Review: DESIGN and DISPLAY

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The phone is made of plastic but the build quality is surprisingly good. The phone does not look fancy or anything but it does not look very cheap either. The 5,5” 720p display is pretty good but the main shortcomings are that it has a poor brightness output that leads to a subpar sunlight legibility.

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We have a 5MP interpolated selfie camera along with LED notification light. The capacitive buttons, however, are not backlit.

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Rounded corners of the soft plastic back help with the grip and thus it is quite comfortable to hold the phone in the hand.

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You can easily remove the backplate and underneath it, you will find 2 SIM card slots and the microSD card slot. Also, you can remove the 3000mAh battery.

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As for camera, we have an 8MP sensor that can take 13MP pictures and the LED flash. The fingerprint scanner is a nice addition considering a low price of the phone. It is not the fastest on the market but it is pretty accurate and it unlocks your phone straight from the standby mode.

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The loudspeaker is mediocre in general but it is very good for the phone this cheap.

The buttons are tactile and easy to press.

Homtom HT17 Review: HARDWARE and PERFORMANCE

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For the price of just $66, you can’t expect any great specs. The Homtom HT17 ships with the quad-core MTK6737 chip, which has maximum clock speeds of 1.1GHz, 1GB of RAM and just 8GB of expandable storage.

The phone is definitely not designed for the hardcore gamers but you can still enjoy some games if you reduce the graphics settings. There are quite a few skipped frames while playing Asphalt 8 but it is still possible to enjoy playing it.

Homtom HT17 Review: BENCHMARKS

Homtom HT17 Review: USER INTERFACE

As for user interface, the device ships with Android 6.0 out of box. It clearly reminds stock Android but we have some redesigned icons and added features.

For example, there are plenty of gesture and motion controls that work pretty well.

The day-to-day performance of the UI is pretty fast. There were a few minor hiccups and it may take a bit longer to open certain apps but I was happy with the overall speed of the user interface.

Homtom HT17 Review: IMAGE QUALITY

The image quality is definitely far from the best but it is one of the best if we talk about sub-$60 phones.

The phone can take some pretty good looking photos in daylight but it will struggle in lower-lit situations.

The 720p video quality is mediocre as on most of the phones in this price range. See a video review for a video sample.

A front-facing camera is a bit disappointing as the images lack detail.

Download full resolution camera samples

Homtom HT17 Review: CONNECTIVITY

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As for connectivity, I didn’t have any issues with Wifi, call quality or signal reception. Even the GPS lock speeds are fast and it is usable for navigation.

Homtom HT17 Review: BATTERY LIFE

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The 3000mAh battery will last you at least a full day, depending on the usage. I could get around 4 hours of screen-on time on a mixed use of the phone.

Homtom HT17 Review: CONCLUSIONS

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Homtom HT17 is a budget phone that brings quite a lot of value for money.

It has a decent display and good build quality, some added features in the user interface, decent overall performance and a fingerprint scanner that works pretty well.

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Also, the phone has an okay camera, which is a rare feature to have in this price range.

However, don’t expect to play the high-end games or take a lot of low-light photos with this phone – the performance will be pretty disappointing. Also, the display could be slightly brighter.

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Other than that, Homtom HT17 is a surprisingly good and usable $66 phone, despite a few shortcomings.

4.5

Homtom HT17 is a surprisingly good $66 phone, despite a few shortcomings.

Design and Build
Display
Hardware
User Interface
Camera
Connectivity
Battery Life
Overall Performance
Value for Money
Buy Xiaomi Mi5
  • Pros: It`s cheap
    Cons:Doogee/Homtom;MT6737 is just a 10% overclocked entry level SoC;Only 1GB of RAM;Appalling Camera.

    • Riccardo Benzoni

      at this pricepoint, i’d consider mt6737 and that camera a plus, compared to what mt6580 and those 5mpx you find in this price range.
      I’d consider the pro version with 2gb/16gb ram, a really decent option for basic users.

  • Pros: It`s cheap
    Cons:Doogee/Homtom;MT6737 is just a 10% overclocked entry level SoC;Only 1GB of RAM;Appalling Camera.

  • balcobomber25

    Knowing Doogee that fingerprint sensor will fail after a month.

    Linus what car is that in the pictures?

    • Muhammad Yasir

      wow .. you noticed the car but not the rating…
      HE GAVE 4.5 out of 5 to this CRAP !

      • balcobomber25

        I skipped over most of the actual review.

        • Muhammad Yasir

          lol same…

      • I knew that once we add ratings systems people will talk mostly about the ratings, not the review itself. The ratings are given according to the price/overall package ratio. For $66, it is a good phone. Should I give 2.5 stars for this phone because it is not as good as $150 phones?

        • Muhammad Yasir

          plz give 1.5 :p

        • Muhammad Yasir

          btw wat car is that?

  • Muhammad Yasir

    wth .. shit phone and STILL 4.5 / 5 ?!

  • loller

    Nice! Have SGS6 as a daily driver but I like to buy and test phones under 70-75usd just for fun and sell them after.
    I’ve ordered the pro version(2/16gb) for just 69$.. sure it will be a lot faster.
    Very nice to get case included for free.

    • loller

      HT17 PRO VS HT17:
      mem 2/16gb – 1/8gb
      cpu 1.3ghz – 1.1ghz
      gpu 650mhz – 550mhz

  • Rem Anash

    Homtom HT17 – a great smartphone. Uhans A101 – this is still unsolved mystery! You agree with me?

  • Rem Anash

    Very cautiously, I’m such a cheap smartphone. They are not reliable