MyPhone A919 Duo Review and Unboxing by Actual Owner, Sample Camera Photos, What Makes It A Pinoy Phone?

Mark of TP: When my friend and AdMU batchmate, Jeremy Go, told me on Facebook last week that he got himself a MyPhone A919 phablet, I immediately asked him if he'd be interested in sharing a quick review of the device for all of my readers. I told him that local Android phone brands are on a roll these days and a lot of Pinoys would surely find such post very helpful. Being the nice guy that he is, just like Jim Paul who shared with us his Cherry Mobile Cruize review last Tuesday, Jeremy unselfishly said yes. Thanks bro!

Disclosure: I was given this phone by MyPhone as part of their sponsorship of a sports team I am in. But the words and opinions below are mine, they have not been approved or vetted by MyPhone. For those interested, I am a huge iOS fan and currently use both an iPhone and an iPad mini, which replaced the iPad I reviewed here a few years ago. This is my 1st Android phone. You may follow me on Twitter @jeremyg0 and Instagram @jeremy_go12

An 8 thousand Peso Dual Core Dual Sim Smart Phone and it comes with a free Ice Cream Sandwich!

Well, P 7,999 and the Ice Cream Sandwich is the continuation of Android's dessert based nomenclature, but with or without an iced, dairy-based dessert, this phone is pretty cool.

The A919 comes in a rather unassuming box. But it packs in quite a bit in a small package. There’s the phone itself, which is quite large (more on that later), battery (of course), charger, which also doubles as the USB cable (cool), 4GB SD card (and free case!), headphones, and the surprisingly small amount of documentation which comes with smartphones these days (I still remember when phones came with instruction manuals in every language).

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On the phone or phablet as the kids apparently call it these days.

What’s a phablet?

A phone-tablet of course, where the hell have you been hiding?

Anyway, as you can already guess, this is a rather large phone. Even though it looks the latest space named Korean phone, it’s actually larger. It’s got a 5.1 inch IPS LCD screen. I don’t know what that means, but the screen is crisp and the colors are vivid. So must be a good thing.

But, back to the size, check out the size comparison below with my other smart gadgets.

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Apple iPad Mini, MyPhone A919 Duo, and Apple iPhone 4S, respectively.

For me, the size is the one thing that is personally polarizing. It’s definitely a 2 handed phone, which makes doing mundane phone tasks more difficult, especially on the move. However, the screen real-estate makes surfing the internet and playing games like Angry Birds Star Wars a joy! The good thing is that if you want an iPhone and iPad, and can’t afford both or even either, the A919 is the answer. Honestly, nowadays, I find that I charge my iDevices less because I use my A919 more.

And speaking of battery life, nothing surprising, I find it’s on par with my other smart products, between 1 to 2 days depending on usage.

One thing that did surprise me was the user interface. The graphics were cool and surprising intuitive. Quite a step up from the “China phone” I received for Christmas one time, which I affectionately call “CrapBerry”.

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I’m sure everyone is interested in the camera. Well, it’s got 2 cameras, one in front, which is crap like most front facing cameras, Apple included, and a rear facing 8 mega pixel camera. Here are a few pictures it took.

Not bad eh? The last pic was taken in the dark with the flash.

One a final note, there are a few things I don’t like or perhaps understand.

1st, is not about the phone but about the OS, on my iOS device I can turn off apps running in the background. I can’t figure out how to do it on Ice Cream. (Mark of TP: Jeremy, you can do that by long pressing on the Home button and swiping active app thumbnails to either sides.)

2nd, as an avid and longtime BB user, what finally convinced me to give up a physical keyboard was the excellent intuitive text prediction of Apple. Sadly, the MyPhone goes without this. (Mark of TP: Jeremy, you can turn on text prediction by going to Android Keyboard settings.)

And lastly, a minor quibble, inserting the battery in the back, the case felt a bit soft and flimsy. Not so much that I felt it would break, but not solid or substantial like other products I’ve used. That being said, it’s quite a light phone, which I like.

So, there, my quick first impressions of the MyPhone A919, when I have more time with this phone, I’ll post another report.

Oh, one last, last thing, I find it really cool, that banks, fast food, and even police numbers are preprogramed into this Pinoy Phone. It’s really ready to go, it even has apps already preinstalled, like the surprisingly useful MMDA app. (Mark of TP: I guess that's what makes it a true Pinoy Phone -- not because it was made in the Philippines, but because of those localized apps, which are relevant to the lives of Filipinos. Thanks for the review, Jeremy!)

[to be continued...]