The entry-level or affordable category for smartphones is much about making users get started with smartphone usage for the first time, or for those who want to have a second phone that is more about making calls or sharing data network from them without draining the battery of their primary smartphone.
While we might not see the top-tier brands coming up with really affordable devices, some brands have been actively working on smartphones that don’t burn a hole in the pocket, and some of them include InFocus, Celkon, Swipe, Phicomm, Yu and some other entrants from China. One of the phones that we are talking about here is the Swipe Elite 2. Swipe is a name you might have heard along with some numbers that the company boasts about its Android tablet sales, but the company is now targeting the low-end category with its Elite 2.
Before we begin, here’s something you need to know: The Elite 2 we reviewed is used as a second phone, and there were several calls made during that time, and the phone was used as an Internet hotspot regularly. Apart from that, occasional social media usage was also done.
Design: The Swipe Elite 2 is a sturdy little phone to hold on to regarding the first appearance and the feel in the hand. The first feeling was similar to what the YU Yunique felt like in hand with the borders smoothening out and it feels decent when held.
The right side of the device sports the Power button along with the volume rockers, the top of the phone has the 3.5mm jack along with the micro USB port. The bottom has a microphone, and the left of the device has no buttons. The speaker is on the lower back side of the phone.
Display: The Swipe Elite 2 comes with a 4.5″ TFT display with a resolution of 960 x 540 pixels. The viewing angles are good along with decent color reproduction. The 4.5-inch display size makes the device compact and easy to hold in hand for one handed usage. The Home and back buttons, i.e. the navigation buttons are not a part of the display, but placed below, they are not backlit, and this was a bit of a problem mainly during usage in dark areas.
The company is giving a Screen Guard with the box. The viewing angles for the display are decent, under direct sunlight the display is not that visible even at full brightness. Overall the display is good enough for a smartphone that is in the budget smartphone range.
OS: The Swipe Elite 2 runs on Android 5.1 Lollipop OS with the companies own Freedom OS 1.1 and comes with many unique features like gesture controls, along with bloatware apps. The Freedom OS 1.1 comes with some new features like Gesture controls which can be set from settings. It comes with a DIY dialer themes which lets users customize the look and feel of the phone dialer. It comes with a low-resolution filter for contact photos to increase sharpness.
There are various gesture features to launch applications instantly from any screen having on-screen gestures along with off-screen gestures.
Performance: For all the essential activities, running through the interface and running a few apps in the background, the Swipe Elite 2 didn’t throw any issue to worry about. Pushing to a certain extent with some games, will show a few lags. For the general UI as well, a little sluggishness is noticed but that is not very often, so the experience isn’t bad keeping in mind the price of the Elite 2.
Camera: There is an 8-megapixel rear camera with LED flash and a 5-megapixel front-facing camera on the Swipe Elite 2. The rear camera comes with Auto Focus option, which seems a bit slow to focus. There are many settings and options available in the OS to help you make your camera experience better like Zero shutter delay, Anti-shake, voice capture, face detection, smile shot, auto scene detection, self-timer, continuous-shot etc.
To get these features of a smartphone below 5k is good enough for the user. The natural light or captures under good lighting were nice with good detailing and lack of any noise in the image on zooming in. But under low light conditions it fails to impress giving a lot of noise in the pictures.
Camera Samples to be added soon!
There is an HDR mode that is not that great either. You can adjust the exposure and use the motion tracking option that was not that great in particular. There is an option called Live Photo, which gets saved as a small video file that fails the purpose of the Live Shot.
The Selfie or front camera is also good with good detail and decent captures under natural or good lighting, in low light the captures are not that impressive. There is a Burst mode which lets you capture photos up to 99 shots at a time and you can set the picture size as well. Coming to the Video Recording, it has an option of enabling Electronic Image Stabilization (EIS), you even get a Timelapse option. The Video quality can be set with options of Low, medium and High-quality videos.
Battery: The battery doesn’t last for a good time, but you aren’t promised a high usage otherwise for the given 1900 mAh capacity. In a way, keeping the other specs a low-key affair, Swipe has done its part in reducing the ask for power, but still for someone who might want to spend hours on the device every day, the phone would ask for the charger before the day ends.
Connectivity: The connectivity on the Swipe Elite 2 is one of the reasons why we feel the phone would be a choice for users. It supports 4G LTE connectivity on one SIM, and the support for major 4G bands in India is there. The 4G network connectivity was decent, and it can still certainly be a reason one would look at, if they are deciding to purchase the Elite 2.
The other connectivity options such as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth worked like a charm, without any glitch. The second SIM slot doesn’t allow more than 2G connectivity, but that is good enough to make calls with a good quality.
Final Verdict – Is the Swipe Elite 2 a good choice in the entry-level category?
As said a few times during the review above, the Elite 2 is a phone costing not even Rs. 5000, and for what it delivers, the phone is well worth the price asked. Especially for the decent performance, 4G LTE connectivity, and a camera which although might not feel great, but appreciable with natural light captures.