THL 4000 review: cheap endurance

THL is a company with a long story behind. It’s well-known not only in China, but around the world as well. The company produced some spectacular devices: THL 5000 – octa-core smartphone with FHD display, an amazing 5000mAh and it’s just 8.9 mm thick; THL 4400 – a mid-ranger with a big 4400maH battery; THL T6 Pro – an affordable octa-core smartphone for just $100. The cheapest member of the THL family packing a big battery is called THL 4000. As you can guess the name refers to the mAh size of the battery.

THL 4000Main specifications

  • 4.5-inches screen with qHD resolution (960 x 540)
  • quad-core MT6582M processor clocked at 1.3GHz
  • 1 GB RAM and 8 GB ROM (microSD card up to 32 GB)
  • dual sim card standby
  • 5 MP back camera with flashlight and 2 MP front camera
  • replaceable 4000mAh battery
  • Android 4.4.2 Kitkat

Design and build quality

There’s nothing impressive in THL 4000 design. They didn’t put any efforts in making the phone unique or adding any impressive body elements. THL just played safe and kept it simple. It has a plastic metal-like frame, which goes all the way around the phone. The back of the phone is rough, which helps for better grab. The exact measures are 140 mm x 68 mm x 11.2 mm. It’s a little bit thick and there are noticeable bezels above and under the screen. The side bezels are not so big and actually the phone has almost similar width and height compared to HTC One M7 (137.4 x 68.2), although M7 is not so compact 4.7-inch phone (it’s as big as Nexus 5, which is with 5-inch display). There’s nothing at the left and the bottom side of THL 4000(except a tiny microphone hole), just the metal-like plastic gray frame. At the right side you’ll find the power button and the volume rocker above it. They are placed comfortably and are easy to reach. At the top you’ll find the micro usb port and the 3.5 mm audio jack. Looking at the front side, you’ll see three navigation buttons under the display, which are back-lightened. However the buttons don’t light all the time, but only, if you press any of them. So if you actually need to find the exact location of a button in a dark room, then you should not expect that you will be able to see it. But once you find it and press the button, then all buttons will be lightened and visible. However they go dark after a few seconds and you can’t see them again. Above the display you’ll see the front camera, sensors and the ear speaker. Moving to the back (it’s rugged as we mentioned) you’ll find the camera at the top with the flashlight below. The THL’s logo comes right after that. At the bottom of the back lid you’ll find THL’s slogan and the speaker at the bottom left. Removing the back lid is easy and it gives you access to the battery, the sim cards slots and the microSD card slot. You need to remove the battery in order to insert your cards (sim and microSD). The sim card’s slots are placed a little bit odd. The micro sim goes on the top and you need to insert the mini sim beneath it.

We find the build quality solid. The materials are cheap and it’s all plastic, but there are no loose elements and THL 4000 looks good enough. It doesn’t feel slippery thanks to the rugged back lid. It’s a little bit heavy and thick, but it’s acceptable for a budget device with a huge battery.

Display

The display is 4.7 inches with qHD resolution. This gives THL 4000 around 234 ppi density, which is fine. The touch screen responds well and we didn’t encounter any issues, while operating with the phone. The minimum brightness is with decent levels and it’s not very bright for using the handset in a dark room. We noticed the same, let’s say bug, we experienced with other Chinese phones running the same Android version (Doogee Titans2 for example) – the automatic brightness. It’s changing all time, while we are in a room with artificial light. It’s a little bit annoying, because the screen goes darker or brighter every few seconds.

The viewing angles are decent, but we can’t say good. Turning the phone with several angles will wash out the colors and darken the display. The difference is visible within several degrees difference from the usual 90 degrees hold. At about 130 degrees the display looks darker and if you continue to lean it, then the image gets washed a little bit and it’s not so clear. It’s visible, but not with the same quality and there’s noticeable difference. It will not bother you most of the time, but it’s something that you’ll easy notice.

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