Swipe made all the right noises and ticked the right boxes when they launched the Elite Plus phone. The phone is positioned as a small phone that is uncompromising on components and hardware but is available at an affordable price. We spent time with the device and here is our review of this new entry to the budget segment by Swipe.
At first glance, it looks like an unassuming and very simple device. The design does not scream out any brand message or try to grab your attention. It is a practical and simple design. The device is small enough to fit in a hand of any size. The volume rocker and the power button are on the right side of the phone and the left side does not house anything. The top has a 3.5 mm headphone socket and the bottom has the usual suspects, the speaker grill, micro-USB connector and a set of back-lit navigation keys on the front. The phone is very light at just 131 grams. Weighs little and feels like a feather.
Let us first list out the specifications of the device below
Swipe ELITE PLUS – Specifications
Display: 5” Full High Definition (FHD), 1920 X 1080 IPS display and energy-efficient screen
Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon™615 processor with 64-Bit Octa-Core
Camera: Front-Facing – 8.0MP and Rear Facing – 13.0MP
Battery: Li-ion Battery 3050 mAh, OTG Support
ROM: Built-in 16GB Memory
Memory: Expandable upto 64GB and 100 GB of cloud storage through SwipeBox
Compatible with: 2G/3G/4G LTE/ EVDO/CDMA standards
Glass: Scratch Proof Dragontrail
Some of the key points to note about the phone are below
- Ergonomic Arc Design in the back
- Premium Jaquard Polycarbonate body with thin metal frame, this has a concentric circle finish that is very easy to grip, totally non-slippery
- Extremely lightweight – 131 gm with 78% screen-to-body ratio, the fact that the screen is FHD adds to this and makes the experience wonderful.
- 40% more colors than normal LCD screen
- High End Qualcomm Snapdragon 64 bit OctaCore Processor
While we laud the efforts that Swipe is making incrementally in every device that they come up with, they keep doing that one thing on the rear side every time! The Elite Note had the branding right on the rear and the Elite Plus has excellent rear design that is marred by a rather tacky engraved elipse in the back with “Elite” written on it. They would have done well to avoid it. But it looks like a design trait in Elite phones now. And given the price of Rs 6999/- we really can’t nitpick at that level.
The 5″ Full HD screen is brilliant. The colors come out good and there are no issues there. Videos and pictures are handled very well. There isn’t any choppiness or pixelation to worry about. It is an IPS LCD made by SHARP. Looks like Swipe has gone for best in class hardware in this affordably priced phone. We tried a bunch of FHD and even 4K videos on the display and we must say that it handles everything excellently. Not a thing wrong with the display here.
It has 2GB RAM and 16 GB internal storage that can be expanded to 64 GB with the micro SD slot. The good thing here is the fact that the SD expansion is not at the cost of a SIM slot. That is practically thoughtful to have. We added a 64 GB micro SD card and observed that it did not cause any issues. There are some phones that stutter when you expand storage to more than 32 GB.
The company has added special amplifiers to the speakers to enhance sound quality and it is evident. But one should bear in mind that the device does not have stereo speakers. Call quality was good on 2G/3G/4G and no issues were noticed.
The phone supports the usual connectivity options – 2G/3G/4G and Bluetooth. The value add here is the fact that EVDO and CDMA are also supported by the device. So you will not be forced to get another device if you decide to move or travel to an area where these are supported.
The phone has a 3050 mAh Li-ion Battery , for most parts, there are no major complaints with the battery. It lasted about 11 hours on a single charge with above average usage on WiFi. The drawback is the fact that it does not support fast charging. Given the small size of the phone, that is a big problem. On the move, one would expect and want it to charge really fast.
That brings us to another big positive of this phone, the camera! We have never experienced such good cameras in a device that is priced so aggressively. The phone comes with Front-Facing – 8.0 MP and Rear Facing – 13.0 MP cameras. These are made by Samsung. The class shows in the pictures. The images come out really crisp and there are no color spills or saturation issues. The rear camera is the main hero here. But not to forget the 8 MP selfie snapper. The selfies are very impressive and of very high quality. The camera experience takes this mobile to the next level and makes one very impressed with it. We would have been ecstatic if it came with OIS though. But like we keep saying, given the price and the package, we are really not in the mood to complain.
The Elite Plus runs on Android 5.1 a.k.a Lollipop with Freedom OS being the UI on top of it. Swipe has set out to add a mind-boggling level of customization to Freedom OS. There are innumerable gestures and other options that are there. The options are so many that it is easy to write an entire blog post on them on a later date. They have nifty features on the lock screen and some amusing stuff like putting your own photo in place of the app drawer. Just the OS on this one can keep you engaged for hours to discover. And once you discover it, the nifty options actually mke your entire experience smoother and better. A Hat Tip to Swipe on this one.
At a price of Rs 6999/- it is very difficult to find a phone that is like this one, top notch hardware, good performance, impressive design and light to carry around! We recommend that you close your eyes and buy this one. You will not regret it one bit. We are now awaiting a flagship from Swipe. That will surely beat expectations like this one! Big Value in a Small package!