[Review] Phicomm Passion 660

Leave a Comment
A few days ago, I shared the first impressions I had of the Phicomm Passion 660. In this post, I am going to share the detailed review of this debut smartphone by a Chinese OEM. Kindly note that the following is observed after using the device for over a week.

Phicomm Passion 660

Phicomm Passion 660 box contents

The box contains the handset (with a 2,300 mAh non-removable battery) with its display covered, a travel adapter, a USB cable for charging and data syncing, a user guide, a pin (to insert the SIM card), a screen guard and a warranty card. There are no earphones in the box. (I do not understand why OEMs opt not to go for a pair of earpiece. Is it a Chinese custom or anything? Remember that Xiaomi Mi 4 (review) and Xiaomi Redmi Note (review) were also deprived of earphones. Looks like they are following the footsteps of their competitors.)

Phicomm Passion 660 build and design

The device resembles a rectangular slab with sharp corners and flat edges. The left and the right edges feature a brushed magnesium alloy, while the rear and the top edges are made up of plastic with a matte finish, same as the rear of the device. This plastic is said to be coated with a scratch-resistant powder, which appears to be true. But the build quality doesn't appear quite good.

The three capacitive buttons in the front aren't back-lit, and this is something which I didn't personally like. Also, there is no notification LED. The power button on the right side of the device has a bronze finish, thus reflecting light. The same is not replicated for the volume rocker keys though!

The smartphone has a unibody design, i.e., the back panel is non-removable. One plus point is that the device is extremely light weight, just 110 g (note that I already mentioned this in the first impressions article). This device allows two SIM cards - one micro and the other nano. The latter one is a hybrid slot, which can either be used as a SIM card slot, or as a means to expand the device storage via a micro SD card.

Phicomm Passion 660 features

In terms of specifications, the device features an IPS display with a resolution of 1920x1080 pixels. It is powered by 1.5 GHz Qualcomm octa-core processor, 2 GB RAM, 16 GB internal flash memory (expandable up to 64 GB via the hybrid SIM-cum-microSD slot). It comes with a 5-inch screen, protected by Corning Gorilla Glass. It runs on Android 4.4 with Phicomm's skin, the Expect UI, and packs 2,300 mAh battery. It also features a 13 MP camera, along with a 5 MP front-camera which is good at taking selfies/groupfies.

The smartphone possesses direction, acceleration, light, e-compass, proximity, pressure and rotation vector sensors. It does not have gravity, gyro, temperature, ambient temperature, relative humidity and linear acceleration sensors.

Phicomm Passion 660 software

The Expect UI

The device runs on Android KitKat, with its own custom skin as a topping. It is called the Expect UI. Unlike its name, to a certain extent, it doesn't fulfill my expectations. I say so because there is no customization possible, which is very unlike its Chinese competition. Also, there are no themes.

The device features an app drawer and a widget section, and the apps are arranged in alphabetical order

One thing I like about the interface is the stock Android experience. The apps in the app drawer are arranged in alphabetical order. Yes, you read it right! The UI offers an app drawer, and also a widget section. This is very unlike other Chinese OEMs who always try to replicate iOS on Android. If you are an Android fan boy/girl, you'll definitely like it.

The notification center is soothing to eyes

The notification center has a clean look, and the color combination is soothing to the eyes.

Wave gestures

One of the trending feature present is the gesture control mechanism. The idea is to use the front camera to detect wave gesture of the user's hand, and perform some predefined tasks in response.

The Pedometer app is highly inaccurate

There are many in-built apps. But two of them caught my eye. The first one is the Pedometer app. It is expected to record the number of steps taken and the distance traveled, and offer time-bound statistics. It does so, but with no accuracy at all! For instance, in the image above, it shows that I've walked a record 32,766 steps (equivalent to 25.9 kms). But in reality, I had hardly walked 100 meters by then!

Barometer app

The other app I want to mention is the Barometer app. It determines and displays the pressure and altitude with respect to the device's location.

Phicomm Passion 660 performance and benchmarks

Gaming on this device is a joyful experience, many thanks to its 1.5GHz octa-core processor backed by 2 GB RAM. No lag was observed while launching and switching between apps, clicking or editing photos, watching videos or browsing the internet. The phone gets heated, though, after playing games for around 10 minutes.

AnTuTu rating: 19368

General performance: Rather high (surpasses 95% other devices)
Game performance: High (surpasses 60% other devices)
Battery performance: Average (surpasses 50% other devices)

Phicomm Passion 660 supports 5 finger multi-touch

The device supports 5 finger multi-touch, i.e., the touchscreen can detect (and act at) five touches at any instance in time. This is different than other devices, which support 10 finger multi-touch!

Phicomm Passion 660 display

The device features an IPS display with a resolution of 1920x1080 pixels. It comes with a 5-inch screen, protected by Corning Gorilla Glass. The display is ideal for single-hand usage. The viewing angles are decently wide, making it easy to view at any angle. The glass is too reflective, and it affects outdoor visibility, hence tough to use in direct sunlight. Also, the color reproduction on the display is quite dull. The brightness levels are decent. The touch sensitivity is good, and the full HD resolution is superb.

Phicomm Passion 660 camera

One of the best things of this device is its camera. It features a 13 MP rear Sony Exmor camera, along with a 5 MP front-camera which is good enough for taking selfies/groupfies. The camera interface is decent. It has most of the common features, including various filters and modes. The focus time of the lens is slow, which is annoying at times. Low light photography is not recommended, due to the poor color reproduction issue.

Find below a few sample images clicked using this device's camera:

Phicomm Passion 660 camera sample 1

Phicomm Passion 660 camera sample 2

Phicomm Passion 660 camera sample 3

Phicomm Passion 660 camera sample 4

Phicomm Passion 660 battery life

The device packs 2,300 mAh lithium-ion polymer battery, which does not last long. If used heavily, the device needs to be charged every 6 to 7 hours! I was forced to carry the charger/powerbank to work to stay connected. And this is disgusting.

Why you should buy it?

1. Great design

2. Extremely light weight

Why you shouldn't buy it?

1. Display not up to the mark

2. Camera not that great compared to competition

3. Poor battery backup

Phicomm Passion 660 verdict

The design is nice,
Like topping on the ice.
And with its light-weight,
the smartphone did entice.

If you want to take my good advice,
It is not worth the price.
Because the battery backup is disappointing,
And the camera quality does not suffice.

Phicomm Passion 660 specifications

Operating System: Android 4.4 KitKat

Processor: 1.5 GHz octa-core

Memory: 2 GB RAM

Storage: 16 GB internal, expandable up to 64 GB

Display: 5 inch full HD

Resolution (pixels): 1920x1080

Primary camera: 13 megapixel

Secondary camera: 5 megapixel

Battery: 2,300 mAh

Dimensions (WidthxHeightxDepth): 69.0x139.5x7.4 mm

Weight: 110 g

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Price:  Get a price on the Phicomm Passion 660
Phicomm Passion 660
Reviewed by Garg Ankit Rating: 3.5


Post a Comment