At Kes.7,000 we have to be “understanding” in a lot of ways. Reviewing budget smartphones is harder than you think, with every negative, a reference to the price is made with the hope of cushioning the blow, however, this time, it was a little different.
No, the Fero Vibe is not a perfect smartphone but it has less of price reference due to the negatives and more of “I can’t believe this phone costs 7k”. It’s all in the name, Vibe by Fero. I call it the affordable phone with positive vibes.
In my possession was the bronze coloured one with the logo on the plastic back and a front with reduced bezels and thankfully no notch. The back is removable so you get to insert your two sim cards and a microSD card. Also, the speaker is located at the back – yeah, this is…
The camera has a slight bulge but will be hardly noticeable when placed on a flat surface. There’s no fingerprint scanner but the phone has facial recognition for fast and convenient unlocking. On the top, there’s the headphone jack and the charging port. On the side is the volume rocker and the power button. Its small size fits perfectly in the pocket and will provide comfortable one-handed operations.
The phone comes with a 5.45″ 720p HD IPS display with an 18:9 aspect ratio. The attention to detail can be seen from the curved edges of the screen – something you never find with budget phones. The screen itself is stunning that it even astonished my colleagues who use phones priced in the upper tier.
The screen’s 720p resolution makes it look like it’s a 1080p screen, thanks to the small size and you’ll enjoy watching videos or scrolling through photos. It has excellent viewing angles indoor and outdoor but struggles with visibility in direct sunlight.
Vibe runs on Android 8.1 Oreo Go Edition with a UI Fero calls 360 OS on top of it but you can still customize it using a Nova launcher or one you prefer. The phone comes with a SC7731E Quad-Core clocked at 1.3 GHz. Under the hood, you get 1GB RAM and 16GB of internal storage which you can expand using an external microSD.
I’ve had the phone for a couple of days and while setting it up, I had low expectations but the phone exceeded them in the long run. Android Go really utilizes the 1GB RAM, especially for the easy tasks but there’s a slight lag when you open heavy apps but resumes to running smoothly again.
To compensate for the lack of a fingerprint sensor, Vibe comes with face unlock. It works pretty well during the day or when you’re in well-lit areas at night. In low light places, it takes a while and you’ll have to use the pin you set for faster unlocking.
The device comes with an 8MP rear camera and a 5MP front camera with both packing an LED flash. The cameras are as standard as they come and this is where the real shortcuts start showing. The main camera comes with the usual modes such as Panorama and continuous shooting. There is also bokeh mode but don’t use it.
The front camera’s beauty mode includes options for increasing smoothness or whiteness to produce better selfies. During the day and in well-lit areas, the main and the selfie camera do a forgivable job, however, in scenarios with low light, you will notice the drop in picture quality unless you play around with the available manual mode to better the situation. Here are a few sample shots:
The Vibe comes with a removable battery that packs 3200mAh which will be sufficient for the entire day as a moderate to heavy user. With light use, it can push you for two days. As usual, there’s a battery saver toggle if you want to extend its battery life when you’re low on charge and not near any power outlet. There’s no fast charging available, so it will take you a full two hours to get it fully charged.
Why Shouldn’t You Buy It?
For a phone that at this price point, it’s a steal. Vibe by Fero has a lot of good things going for it. It makes a perfect first smartphone for people making the switch from feature phones which are the target market for Fero. In the previous years, we’ve seen brands making subpar phones for the low tier budget category but Fero’s Vibe changes that – you don’t miss on a lot.
Despite the high praises, we don’t recommend getting it. Ok, just kidding. There’s no going wrong with this phone or as Saruni says it, “It literally doesn’t get better than this”. Get the phone exclusively from Jumia and tell them Techweez sent you using the button below:
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