Cubot S200 review: a secret weapon

Cubot is a Chinese manufacturer, who’s in the shadow of big names like Lenovo, Huawei, ZTE and recently Xiaomi. It’s not a new name in the smartphones’ industry, but it’s not much recognized out of China. However this doesn’t mean, that the company doesn’t have a portfolio, which worth some attention. Cubot S200 is an interesting device for a competitive price.

Main specifications

  • Cubot-S2005-inch screen with HD resolution (720 x 1280)
  • quad-core MT6582M processor clocked at 1.3GHz
  • 1 GB RAM and 8 GB ROM (microSD card slot)
  • dual sim card standby (1 normal + 1 micro sim)
  • 8 MP back camera (interpolated to 13 MP) with flashlight and 5 MP (interpolated to 8 MP) front camera
  • replaceable 3300mAh battery
  • Android KitKat 4.4.2

Design and build quality

Cubot S200 makes a nice first impression. There’s a plastic metal-like frame all around the phone and leather-like back lid similar to Samsung Galaxy S5. The exact dimensions of the phone are 144.0 mm x 71.0 mm x 9.5 mm and it weights 169 gr. It’s almost 10 mm thick, but because of the 5-inch screen and the tall wide body, the phone actually can get you into an illusion, that is actually slimmer. It doesn’t look thick at all, but once you take it in your hand, you’ll feel that it’s almost 170 gr. Because of the big body and more than the average for smartphone weight, the phone feels kind of not so stable, while in the hand. The grab doesn’t feel absolutely secure and safe. The leather-like back lid is not slippery and helps a little bit for safer hold, but you can get the opposite effect, if your hand is wet or sweat.

The left side is absolutely clean and there are no buttons. At the right side there is a power button and a volume rocker above it. The power button is easy to reach and press, but the volume rocker is kind of tricky and you have to put some efforts, while trying to press it. At the bottom there’s a tiny hole for the microphone and at the top you’ll find micro usb port in the middle and a 3.5 mm audio jack next to it. At the back you can see the camera and the flashlight at the top and Cubot’s logo at the bottom. The back lid can be easily removed and it gives you access to the battery, the sim cards and the microSD card slot. However you need to remove the battery, if you want to insert/remove the sim cards or the microSD card. The sim cards are placed a little bit odd and it took us a few minutes to figure out how to insert them. Next to the camera you can see the speaker, which promises 3D Sound technology. At the front side probably the thick bezels, at the top and the bottom, will grab your attention. There are three capacitive buttons at the bottom, just under the screen. Unfortunately there’s no back light and they are just invisible in the dark. Above the screen you can see the front camera, sensors next to it and the ear speaker in the middle.

Holding and operating with the phone is something in the middle between convenient and inconvenient. It’s no slippery, but its dimensions and weight don’t make the overall experience so good. Don’t get this wrong, it’s still good enough to hold and operate, but we just felt like something could be done better.

Anyway the build quality looks good. Cubot S200 is a solid device (expect the volume rocker, which needs more efforts to press) and there are no loose parts. The used materials are not premium, but the overall appearance of the phone is great.

Display

Cubot S200 is equipped with high-definition 5-inch display. With its 720 x 1280 resolution this gives the screen 294 ppi density, which is good. There are no visible pixels and the image look bright and colorful. The display is IPS and the viewing angles are great.

The brightness is high even at minimum level. The phone is too bright for comfortable reading in dark room and the automatic settings always gives you a brighter level than you need. This can lead to increased battery consumption.

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