It’s the year of bezel-less smartphones and now, you can get one for as less as $110. Well, at this price, you don’t exactly have a true bezel-less screen, but there are a few options that take you near the bezel-less design. The Leagoo KIICAA Mix is one of these cheap bezel-less options that’s available in the market right now and today we try to find out whether the phone is as good as it seems on paper in the Leagoo KIICAA Mix Review.
IN THE BOX
- Type-C Charger
- Type-C earphones
- SIM Ejector Tool
- Silicone Case
The first thing you notice about the phone is that its compact. And not just compact according to 5.5-inch standards, it’s as small as a 5-inch smartphone. For example, comparing the 5-inch Redmi 4A with the 5.5-inch KIICAA Mix reveals that the phone is only as tall as the 4A. It does compensate the larger screen size with a few additional mm in width, but overall, it’s one of the most compact 5.5-inchers that you’ll find in the market. Given its $110 pricing, this is really a commendable feat.
One hand operation is going to be easy with its compact form factor and 157 g weight. The overall design is pretty simple. Buttons on the right are tactile and responsive, the bottom features USB Type-C port and a speaker, on the left you have the dual SIM hybrid slot and on top you have the earpiece. Yes, this brings us to one of the biggest design flaws in the KIICAA Mix. The earpiece, which traditionally lies on the front, is shifted to the top to accommodate the bezel-less design. But this results in bad call quality. I mean, you can hardly hear what the person on the other side is trying to say. It’s that bad! I have been using the phone for more than a week and I always had to ask the person calling on my phone to call back on my second number. You can’t have a conversation lasting more than a couple of minutes on the KIICAA Mix, and even if you try hard enough, you’d start missing a lot of sentences in between.
Moving on, the front features a fingerprint embedded home button and it’s as good as other phones in this segment. It’s actually a multi-purpose button that acts as a home button, back button, and a recent apps button.
Apart from the earpiece, rest of the design is pretty solid. It’s actually a shame that the ear piece is this bad. The compact form factor makes this phone a very comfortable handset for everyday use. It’s really hard to find an equally compact 5.5-incher anywhere near this price, especially with FHD 1080p display.
The display is kind of a surprise. Considering its $110 price, when I got the Leagoo KIICAA Mix review unit, I expected an average screen with dull levels of saturation. That wasn’t the case with the phone. The phone has a vibrant display, which is nearly bezel-less on three sides. It’s a FHD 1080p panel and the overall quality is better than the similarly priced Redmi Note 5A.
The brightness levels are good and even outdoor visibility is satisfactory. Thanks to this 1080p display panel, watching videos on the screen is a pleasure.
At this price, it’s really hard to find a better screen.
The MT6750T octa-core chip manages to handle everything with ease. The UI is snappy and apps open up pretty quickly. For some reason, youtube took more time to load than the Snapdragon 425 powered 5A, but in most cases, the KIICAA Mix was faster to open up applications.
Games like subway surfer run with ease, but what’s really impressive is that even higher-end graphic games like Modern Combat 5 run well with minimal lag on the device. Considering how the same game lagged on the Redmi Note 5A, I would have to say that the graphics performance of the device is pretty good.
In short, the performance of the $110 Leagoo KIICAA Mix is quite impressive for its price! Plus, you get ample 32GB of storage for all your videos and docs.
Here are some key specs of the Leagoo KIICAA Mix.
- Display: 5.5 inch, 1920 x 1080 Pixel screen
- CPU: MTK6750T Octa Core 1.5GHz
- System: Android 7.0
- RAM + ROM: 3GB RAM + 32GB ROM
- Camera: 13MP front camera + 13MP + 2MP rear cameras
- SIM Card: dual SIM dual standby. Nano + Nano SIM
- Feature: GPSA / GPS
- Bluetooth: 4.0
The Leagoo KIICAA Mix runs on Android 7 Nougat and the overall UI performance is smooth. Unlike other companies who have moved towards stock Android UI, Leagoo has a customized launcher, which I’m not a big fan of! There’s no app drawer and the overall UI is quite different from vanilla Android experience. It’s not too bad, but I always prefer stock Android over custom launchers, and I wish the company would have opted for a simple setup. That said, you get used to the UI quickly and its something that won’t bother you in the long run.
Connectivity wise, everything is good. Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, GPS, all have solid coverage. But speakers are a let down. The sound output is low and the quality is mediocre. Plus, there’s no headphone jack and you have to live with the provided USB Type-C earphones, which suck. The sound comes out hollow and its noway near to the good quality 3.5mm headphones that we are used to. Now I might be a bit too harsh in saying that the provided Type-C headphones suck, but the company didn’t even provide a 3.5mm to Type-C connector inside the box. So, even though its as good as other stock headphones that you get with cheap phones, you can’t use any other headphones, simply because there’s no connector. I feel the company could have included the adapter to make things a lot easier.
The 3000mAh battery is not very large, but it manages to power the device for a day. Moderate usage ranging from watching a few videos, playing a game and browsing on 4G brought the battery down to 10% by the end of the day. But that’s pretty decent. The phone also charges pretty quickly – it goes from 10% to 100% in less than 1.5 hours.
I always tend to keep camera at last for local Chinese phones, simply because they tend to suck. Things are the same in this Leagoo KIICAA Mix review because the phone, as usual, comes with issues like slow focus, unusable portrait mode, and dull colors ruining the camera experience. That said, I could take a few decent shots a couple of times, but the results are never consistent. There’s nothing more to elaborate about the camera, so its best to look at the provided samples to check out its quality. Be advised, it’s just average.
The front camera is decent for a few selfies.
Original samples can be found from here.
To sum up, the Leagoo KIICAA Mix is a fantastic phone with a couple of big flaws. I loved the compact body, its vibrant display and snappy performance, but things like bad call quality and no headphone jack does ruin the experience. In many ways, the phone could have outdone the Redmi Note 5A which is currently one of the best 5.5-inchers in the price range. But it’s the simple things like call quality and headphone jack that matter the most to a regular user and if that’s flawed, it’s really hard to recommend the phone for everyday use.
The Leagoo KIICAA Mix was turning out to be an amazing $110 smartphone. But the lack of the headphone jack and the sub par call quality ruins an otherwise impressive smartphone.