In the current ‘bigger is better’ smartphone climate, it can be pretty refreshing to see smartphones that are made to fit into your pocket. This is especially true today when big screens and metal bodies, qualities that were once exclusive to the high-end extreme of the smartphone spectrum, begin trickling down the range. This is why we were quite delighted to see the Neffos X1 as our review subject this time around. While many midrange and even entry-level smartphones have started to get a massive upsize, the X1 is kept at a very comfortable 5-inch form factor. Granted, display resolution is kept at HD instead of going the standard Full HD, but that’s a really minor complaint on a phone of this size anyway. Besides, with a MediaTek Helio P10 SoC, you wouldn’t want the extra pixels to bog down performance unnecessarily.
Unfortunately, there are other things that we’d like to have remained, but that have also gotten an unfortunate downsizing. Chief among them is the battery capacity, which sits at 2,250 mAh. We have 2GB of RAM, which is pretty standard, but it wouldn’t hurt to have an extra gigabyte or two. A larger internal storage would also have been nice, but we have 16GB to play with – less after taking the OS into account. Incidentally, the Neffos X1 runs Android 6.0 Marshmallow, which has had the app tray removed. This is fine if you’re as minimalist an app user as the phone is, otherwise it would be a mess trying to organize them all on the homescreen.
That said, you do get some previously high-end exclusives, such as a metal body and the very responsive rear fingerprint sensor. Other things, at least on the outside, are pretty basic – a 13MP rear camera and a 5MP front camera, Wi-Fi 802.11n, Bluetooth 4.1, and 4G LTE. In our hands, it sat very comfortably not only because of its minimalistic size, but weight was down to a feather as well. This means you won’t be straining your wrist during day-to-day operation, and it won’t be dragging your pants off you when you have it put away either.
Fortunately, performance was within predicted parameters. We saw scores of 3,184 for PCMark’s Work 2.0, 325 for 3DMark’s Sling Shot Extreme, 9,331 for Ice Storm Unlimited, 45,912 for AnTuTu, 21,409 for Quadrant, and 51.5 fps for Epic Citadel running in Full HD on Ultra High Quality. Battery life, despite the smaller capacity, was rated at a surprisingly standard seven hours and 25 minutes.
The Neffos X1 is small and pleasant to use, but an app tray would’ve made it nearly perfect.