Elephone S2 Engineering sample pre-release review

by shanos 1

UPDATE I have just received a newer version of the rom to install S2_20150704 this is said to improve the stability of the camera.

Once I have got this installed and had a good play I will add more information.

I have been using a pre-production model of the S2 for several weeks, the phone is still undergoing optimisations to both the hardware and software.

The phone comes in a nice box with a slide out tray that contains the phone and accessories.

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These include a spare screen protector (plastic not temperd glass), a silicone case, USB lead and 2 pin usb charger block.

The first thing you will notice when taking the phone out of the box is the diamond pattern to the rear, it has a nice deep luster and as Elephone have said when the light hits from different angles it is refracted differently looking like a cut gem stone.

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The HD screen is bright and clear with great viewing angles, whilst I would have preferred an FHD display, this screen has more than enough resolution to fill its 5” screen, the front screen is covered with 2.5D glass as is the rear giving a smooth stylish feel. 

Speaking of 5” screens, to me this is an optimum size for most users, it feels good and is easy to reach all corners of the screen  one handed, but for those of you that prefer a larger phone the S2 Plus will also be available.

The phones Alu-Alloy chassis feels sturdy (without exerting a large amount of force on the phone), and does not bend or flex, the fact that it has 2.5D tempered glass front and back probably helps the phones overall rigidity.

To help keep the overall width of the phone down, Elephone have decided to go with a fixed rear cover, this does mean that the battery is non removable.

Measuring in at just 6.8mm thick and weighing 130g, the phone is pocket friendly and looks very premium.

On the left side of the chassis you will find the sim/sd tray. 

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The right hand side has the volume up and down rocker as well as the power button, the buttons all appear to be made from the same Alu-alloy as the chassis.

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at the top of the phone you will find a 3.5mm headphone jack and a small hole that I assume is for noise cancelation.

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The bottom of the phone is where you will find the micro USB port and also the hole for the microphone.

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The front glass of the phone has three capacitive buttons, these are not illuminated but I think we all know where to find the home and back buttons etc by now.

At the top of the screen you will find the front facing camera, earpiece and proximity sensor.

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On the rear you will find the 13mp camera, led flash as well as the speaker at the bottom of the glass.

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The phone is dual sim LTE enabled and takes the sims in a tray that pops out of the phone’s side and is accessed using the ejection tool provided in the box.

The tray can also be used to house a micro SD card, but this will leave you with space for just 1 sim card.

The phone features a 13mp rear camera (actual make and model not known), with an f2.2 aperture, the camera is fairly consistent across colour ranges and works fairly well in low light conditions.

The LED flash unit to the rear is unfortunately not dual tone, but does a fairly good job of lighting a scene.

Hopefully before the phones release there will be further optimisations and tweaks to the software.

The S2 unit that I have received is pre-production and does not have functioning GPS, so I was unable to test it.

But the fact that Mediatek have now picked up their game with GPS on their latest SOC’s leaves me thinking this will not be an issue (Elephone have also confirmed that with the newer production ready S2 units GPS is fully functional).

The phone is powered by the popular (for low to mid range phones) Mediatec MT6735 quad core processor and comes with 2gb ram and a 16gb rom.

This is a combination that gives a fluid feel to the phones operation and will handle most games and apps well.

I have run Antutu on the phone but the results were fairly low (around 22k), this is down to the early non optimised nature of the OS that my phone is running and should increase significantly once the software engineers work their magic.

The phone comes with Android 5.1 installed, this brings lots of advantages and fixes over 5.0 and once optimised should help to keep the phone running smoothly and for longer.

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The phone also works well with gesture controls

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In general usage the phone feels smooth, menus can be flicked through without visible lags, apps launch fairly quickly and the phone does not seem to lag down when a few apps are running in the background.

I am looking forward to getting hands on time with a release model soon and have high hopes that this stylish handset will be a winner for the fashion and style conscious buyers out there.

Please feel free to leave comments and questions below