Its rare to see a smartphone having a proper name these days, many smartphones tend to rip names off famous products otherwise having overwhelmingly positive names for their not-so-impressive products. Fortunately, Wiko isn't a company that names its phones with the 'Pro', 'Note', and 'i' word, which makes its products interesting to explore. I have been using the Robby, an entry-level smartphone that's huge on size and sound for two weeks now, is it a smartphone worth owning and using as a daily driver? We find out.
Wiko Robby Hardware Specifications
Processor: MediaTek MT6580 1.3GHz Quad Core
RAM/Memory: 1GB/16GB (expandable with MicroSD up to 32GB)
Display: 5.5" IPS HD
Camera: 8MP (Main), 5MP (Front) with Selfie Flash
Connectivity: WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, BT 4.0
Networks: HSPA+ 21Mbps
Design and Hardware
The Robby may look as if it has a metal body build and it also feels the same when I got hold of it, however after being told by Wiko's marketing manager that this phone has a removable back cover, I was awed by how smart this design really is, the aluminum back cover makes the Robby an extremely solid device and gives a premium feel to it. Wiko has thankfully allowed the 2500mAh battery to be removed from the phone, if you are a frequent traveler you would be glad that the phone's SIM 1 slot is accessible without removing the battery, even though you will need to restart the phone for the SIM to work.
Aesthetically, the Robby is a huge and chunky phone to hold despite having a premium phone over it. Surprisingly, the phone sports dual front firing speakers, which has become a rare hardware setup since HTC's Boomsound speakers, the metal frame around the bezel sure adds a little score to the beauty department, and Wiko has even cared to include a blinding bright LED flash on the front to make your low light selfies look better.
If you happen to hold a phone wrongly for phone calls most of the time, the Robby will get that issue sorted with its dual speakerphones located at the top and bottom of the display, that’s a rather unique feature and each of them gets activated depending on the phone's display orientation, I may not be so forgetful most of the time but I find it really useful if I want to whip out the phone from my pocket to answer a phone call.
Despite having a HD resolution on a 5.5-inch IPS display, the Robby's display doesn't disappoint in terms of clarity and brightness, it is also responsive to my touch as I'm able to type really fast on Swiftkey Keyboard, you can also be assured of an immersive video watching experience on the phone with the inclusion of the phone's loudspeakers.
Software and User Experience
This is the second Wiko smartphone I have reviewed and sadly to say, the Robby's user experience isn't a satisfactory one, although it received a performance improvement OTA update during the review period, the Robby still delivers a somehow choppy user experience most of the time, I would put the blame on its underpowered MediaTek processor, which is based on a very dated Cortex A7 architecture that shouldn't exist on smartphones today.
Despite of performance issues, Wiko's software implementation on the Robby is a better one compared to its previous smartphones, I loved that the phone comes preloaded with Android Marshmallow and the launcher gives users the choice of accessing apps either through the app drawer or home screen, other than that a lot of stuffs remains very much stock, which is a good thing that the company doesn't overdo UI customizations.
Audio is a big thing on the Robby, the loudspeakers are loud enough to fill a small room and putting on headphones sweetens the music listening experience, the phone also has 3D Sound by Auro-3D to further enhance the listening experience with a virtual surround sound effect, I would recommend leaving that option disabled for the sake of your ears.
Last but not the least, the Robby lags 4G LTE capability and I do have a problem with it, even though I still get to upload my Instagram photos and stream YouTube videos perfectly fine, Wiko could have just provide this little feature to make it a little more attractive, but no thanks, I'm definitely not going to live with 3G especially when there are already 4G phones at its price range.
As an entry-level smartphone, the Robby's main camera is rather acceptable for what it is able to offer, colors don't look washed out at the very least and there is a certain degree of sharpness in subjects, its auto focus feature has also worked great in getting subjects focused properly in photos. In a nutshell, the camera is generally good for taking social media photos and you shouldn't be expecting too much from it.
The Wiko Robby has beautiful hardware and unique features of its own, things such as a removable back cover, dual front firing loudspeakers and speakerphones are something different from other smartphones, it may not be the most important feature, but it definitely is something that you could show off to people and say "Hey, my phone is called Robby!". Seriously, if Wiko could just included a better processor for the Robby, this would be a phone that I would gladly own. The Wiko Robby currently retails at RM449 and comes with a 1-year warranty.
- Great build quality
- Dual front firing loudspeakers and speakerphones
- Android Marshmallow
- Reasonably good battery life
- Performance limited by outdated MediaTek SoC
- Unnecessary software audio enhancement
- No 4G LTE
To know more about Wiko smartphones, visit Wiko Mobile Malaysia Facebook.