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SKK Kraken Price Php 7,999, Specs, Unboxing, Initial Review, Antutu Score : Most Affordable Octa Core Smartphone Currently

I always get excited whenever I see upcoming gadgets that are low on price but high on specifications and features. As a tech blogger, I really want to see Pinoys get the most value for the amount of money that they spend on their gadgets.

Tight competition in the devices market - both in the local and international scene - is what makes this possible and products like SKK Kraken - that push the envelope in terms of retail price - greatly help in keeping the SRPs of competing products more affordable, which - in turn - benefits all Filipino consumers.

SKK Kraken, SKK Octa Core Android Smartphone

If SKK made the right compromises to keep its SRP low - SKK Kraken could very well the ideal handset for very budget-conscious Pinoy Android fans who want to experience the benefits of a smartphone with a top-notch processor.

SKK Kraken, SKK Octa Core Android Smartphone

With official suggested retail price of only Php 7,999, as of today, SKK Kraken is the most affordable Android smartphone running on a True Octa Core chipset: The Octa Core 1.7 GHz ARM Cortex A7 and Mali 450 based MediaTek MT6592 SoC. As I've explained on TP earlier, this processor is both powerful and energy-efficient as it can run all eight or just one core depending on the need or requirement of the game or application that youire running on the device.

SKK Kraken, SKK Octa Core Android Smartphone
Before I show you Kraken's benchmark score and user interface, let's do a little unboxing.

SKK Kraken, SKK Octa Core Android Smartphone
SKK Kraken comes with a simple blue paper carton packaging. And you can see in the second photo of this post, at the bottom of the box, SKK listed down the key technical specs of the device -- albeit not in great detail.

SKK Kraken, SKK Octa Core Android Smartphone
This is the unit itself. It has a pre-installed on-screen sticker with labels for the phone's ports and buttons. If you ask me, SKK should have left the labels out so the user could at least use it as a clear screen protector right out of the box.

SKK Kraken, SKK Octa Core Android Smartphone
SKK Kraken's back panel is greatly reminiscent of that of Samsung Galaxy S4 from last year. Heck, they're almost the same - even the location of the 8 MegaPixel camera module and LED flash is a mirror image of that of SGS4. The only difference is that SKK Mobile's logo is embossed on this back plate. (Note: This cover is a bit hard to pry open. I would suggest that you use a plastic load card to help you lift or release it.)

SKK Kraken, SKK Octa Core Android Smartphone
And the similarities don't end there. Apart from the elegant glazed finished, SKK Kraken also flaunts the same brushed faux metal accent - like that of SGS4 - running down its sides. Likewise, the power button is located on the right panel for easy access using the thumb (or index finger, if you're a lefty) when holding the phone.

SKK Kraken, SKK Octa Core Android Smartphone
The microUSB port is located at the rear of the device.

SKK Kraken, SKK Octa Core Android Smartphone
You'll find the volume rocker on the left panel.

SKK Kraken, SKK Octa Core Android Smartphone
The 3.5mm audio jack can be found on top. And from this view, you will notice the subtle curves or the slightly tapered edges of the phone's back plate.

SKK Kraken, SKK Octa Core Android Smartphone
The Php 7,999 package includes this free Window Case for SKK Kraken.

SKK Kraken, SKK Octa Core Android Smartphone
When you install it on the device, it will replace the back cover, which means that it doesn't add too much thickness to your smartphone.

SKK Kraken, SKK Octa Core Android Smartphone
The microUSB to USB cable for charging the smartphone or connecting it to your PC.

SKK Kraken, SKK Octa Core Android Smartphone
The travel charger with non-retractable prongs.

SKK Kraken, SKK Octa Core Android Smartphone
The SKK Kraken User Manual, which I don't intend to read -- at least, anytime soon.

SKK Kraken, SKK Octa Core Android Smartphone
The warranty card with a list of all SKK Mobile Service Centers currently.

SKK Kraken, SKK Octa Core Android Smartphone
And this little promo card for SKK Mobile Frontliners. I have yet to ask SKK what it's all about.

SKK Kraken, SKK Octa Core Android Smartphone

One of the first things I did after unboxing the phone is to run Antutu Benchmark Score on it. I was eager to see how high the phone's score would be given the combination of MediaTek MT6592 chipset, 1 GB of RAM, 8 GB of ROM, and the not too power-hungry display.

SKK Kraken, SKK Octa Core Android Smartphone

Interestingly, SKK Kraken got an Antutu Benchmark Score of 27,216, which is almost similar to that of more expensive Octa Core handsets - with more RAM and higher resolution screens - out in the market currently. I guess the handset's rather low-res and smaller display greatly helped boost its score as it doesn't saddle the performance of the device's innards. Anyway, this high score is well-reflected in the buttery-smooth touch response and non-HD gaming performance that the device will give you.

SKK Kraken, SKK Octa Core Android Smartphone

SKK Kraken flaunts a 5-inch FWGA or 854 x 480 pixels IPS display. It's obviously not the most crisp screen out there but - thanks to IPS technology - it does look clear and vibrant when you look at it face front. If only there's less noticeable gap between the glass panel and display itself, details would have looked better regardless of the viewing angle.

SKK Kraken, SKK Octa Core Android Smartphone

It's clear that screen quality - especially the resolution and the thickness of the glass used - was compromised in SKK's effort to keep the price of this release down. Nonetheless, I don't think it would be a big issue for users who will be upgrading from their feature phones or even entry level to midrange Android phones from a couple of years ago. But if you've owned a device with an IPS OGS display, you might find the gap a bit distracting if not annoying.

SKK Kraken, SKK Octa Core Android Smartphone

Aside from SKK Kraken's physical design, the Octa Core phone also borrows from Samsung Galaxy S4 in terms of its user interface.

SKK Kraken, SKK Octa Core Android Smartphone

The handset's Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean operating system is skinned by this TouchWiz-like user interface replete with familiar-looking easy access control buttons on top of the drop-down notifications panel and an icon set that's unique to Samsung Android phones.

SKK Kraken, SKK Octa Core Android Smartphone

Even SKK Kraken's multitasking panel is almost the same as that of Samsung Galaxy handsets. You even have the same Task Manager, Google Now, and Close All Apps tabs at the bottom of the screen.

SKK Kraken, SKK Octa Core Android Smartphone

Frankly, I think the similarities are just a bit too much -- enough to make me want to call SKK Kraken a 'wanna-be Samsung phone'. I'm sure some users would love to buy an affordable Pinoy phone that looks and feels as if it's made by the Korean company -- but for me, I would have preferred this handset to just have default or vanilla Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean user interface. TouchWiz is not all that, anyway.

SKK Kraken, SKK Octa Core Android Smartphone
SKK Kraken has a very simple Window Case interface, which shows the date and time as well as the notifications tab.

How's the battery life, you ask? I get around 12 hours of uptime with mixed usage from the phone's fully charged 2,000 mAh Li-Ion battery pack. This includes making calls, sending text messages, playing non-specs intensive games like Temple Run , Zombie Tsunami, Raging Thunder 2, Flappy Bird, and Jetpack Joyride, reading and updating my social networking accounts, and visiting my favorite websites via Firefox mobile browser.

Off hand, I think SKK Kraken offers a very viable alternative to consumers who want to own a phone with an Octa Core processor but can't really spend too much money on the device. Design-wise, if you like how SGS4 looks, you'll like this one -- I mean, they're practically look-alikes. As for features and performance, like what I've mentioned, SKK made several compromises to lower the phone's price - to be honest, SKK Kraken's screen and dual cameras are nowhere near good as that of Cherry Mobile Cosmos Z2, MyPhone Infinity, THL W200s, THL T100s, Starmobile Octa, and O+ Air - but I think these shortcomings will be acceptable to most casual consumers. If you like HD games, though, you might want to pass on it as, obviously, it doesn't support that resolution.

That's it for now, TP Friends. I will beef up this post and add sample photos taken using both the front and back cameras in the coming days. If you have questions, kindly post them below.

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