The Snokor Rocket X5000 is the first of a new brand from the Transsion mothership company that also has brands Tecno and Infinix. Snokor stands out as the budget proposition sitting pretty at the bottom of the food chain. In a few words, it’s the proper entry level that someone who is just migrating from feature or dumb phones to the smartphone world seeks. It gives you a taste of everything and also feels for your pocket.
See specifications of the Snokor Rocket Z5000 in our preview here.
Design & Display
It is well-designed and the plastic build feels solid. The glossy plastic removable back cover is complemented by a sturdy plastic frame around the device that separates the back from the glass front which features the 5-inch display.
The first thing you notice about the IPS display is that it is too bright. You won’t have issues using it in well-lit surroundings but you’ll definitely notice how washed out it is outdoors.
The bottom of the screen is marked by Android Jelly Bean-esque soft buttons for recent apps, home and back.
The 5-megapixel camera protrudes slightly at the top left corner of the device’s back with the LED flash right next to it. The speaker grille is at the opposite end with five cut-outs on the plastic to let out all the sound the device is capable of when you start playing Sauti Sol’s Kuliko Jana.
The Snokor Rocket’s software, while not pure Android like it is on the Infinix Hot 2, has many touches of Android purity save for the obvious. Like the launcher and a few interventions to cover up for the deficiencies of stock Android. Google applications are what you will turn to for things like music and snapping photos.
Everything is simple and basic further telling you what the device is all about and what it sets out to accomplish. That should not fool you, however, into thinking that there isn’t much you can get off it. You’ll only be limited by obvious things like the memory.
The device is very responsive and I found it to perform much better than I expected. One thing that is worth pointing out is that no effort has been made to curtail how applications operate. Unlike what I encountered on the Infinix Note 2 where applications are aggressively hibernated moments after you exit them and there’s no way to reverse that in the settings, on the Snokor Rocket, anything goes and the device still doesn’t lag or stutter as was the case on the Infinix Hot 2, a device that is several thousand shillings more expensive and packs slightly better internals and unadulterated software.
Removing the back cover reveals a beefy 3,600 mAh battery unit. With it, 2 days without looking for a charger is guaranteed for the average user. A full day of exhaustive usage is guaranteed for everyone. This is the main highlight of the phone. Yes, it is cheap and smart but can it really last you all the way? The answer is a firm yes!
Call quality and 3G network reception is okay as is the sound you get off the speaker at the back of the device.
Its makers say that the device is able to charge up other devices as well. You may need to give that a try since I wasn’t and see whether it’s true or not.
- The price. Kshs 6,500 for a decent smartphone? Hell yeah!
- Some thought was put in the phone’s design. You only need to hold it, have a second look and you’ll see what I’m talking about.
- The device’s performance is above average. Performance being above average is usually nothing to talk about since it is what you expect but it is something you don’t expect to get at such level. My experience has taught me that not even having pure Android can hide that. My experience has also taught me that tampering with the software also goes a long way in degrading the performance and overall user experience. That is not the case here. Maybe my expectations were too low or the phone is that good. I am not sure.
- You also get some headsets in the box, something that is usually omitted in most budget smartphone buys. The Infinix Note 2, just like most such phones, doesn’t ship with earphones in the box. This phone that is half the price does! Not that they are the best headsets (far from it!) but half a loaf of bread is better than none at all, right?
It is not hard to spot the Snokor Rocket’s rough edges. They are quite a number. The display for instance may not appeal to people who’ve used other smartphones. The camera as well could be better. However, focusing on these rough edges for too long will only serve to distract us from the bigger picture: the Snokor Rocket’s mission.
Anyone picking up the Snokor Rocket gets a device they can use to take good enough selfies, play a game or two without having to contend with a non-responsive device and browse using their preferred mobile network operator’s 3G network all-day long without having to worry about charging.
The device impressed me with its feature set and ease of handling/use. The only issue I have is, with a package so good, what’s the catch? I mean, Kshs 6,500 for the impressive device that the Rocket is, still doesn’t add up. I’m awed as much as I am shocked.
Where the Snokor Rocket Z5000 succeeds single-handedly is in being able to marry its low pricing and what it actually brings to the table. This is something that has been lacking for so long. Only the Infinix Note series has been able to fix that, in my opinion. But the Infinix Hot Note and its successor the Infinix Note 2 sell at over Kshs 10,000.
What if you don’t have such an amount? You have several options but all those options are now mostly inferior to what you get with the Snokor Rocket. At Kshs 6,500 you get a 5-inch display, 8 GB internal storage (expandable using a memory card), 1 GB RAM, a 1.2 GHz processor, better battery life and the option to slot in an extra SIM card. You can visit your nearest mobile phone store or look around online and see for yourself smartphones that cost twice that and offer half that. Your only reservations? That you may never have heard of the Snokor brand before. Now you have!