We live in a golden age of smartphones, where these synonymous black boxes can do just about anything. There is a caveat to this claim, however, as those high-tech portable rectangles also come with a hefty price tag, a price tag that makes them well out of reach for most ordinary citizens.
However, we’ve said it before that you don’t have to succumb to technolust, as the core technology of smartphones has largely become cheap enough to reproduce with a host of other brands, driving costs down enormously. However, what if you were running out of money and needed a phone that could do the basics and maybe a little more?
You’d probably be looking at something like the Itel Vision 1Pro, a brand I’ll gladly admit I had no idea existed until two weeks ago. However, if the phone has anything to offer, it is that it will hit the market with an extremely attractive price: R1,700, through stores like Pep and Jet. The question is, how much smartphone do you get for that price?
Surprisingly enough actually.
The phone itself doesn’t look too shabby. The back has a gradient finish with a satisfying texture, a decent amount of weight, a fingerprint sensor and a 6.5-inch HD+ display. Internally, the modest hardware includes 32 GB of internal storage that can be expanded with a Micro-SD card, a 1.4 Ghz quad-core UNISOC processor, 2 GB of RAM and a 4000 mAh .
Combined with its 8MP main camera with three lenses and 5MP selfie camera, that’s a very solid set of specs. It won’t set new benchmark records and you probably won’t want to run Genshin Impact on it unless you enjoy a game worse than King George giving a war speech, but for everything else it’s more than capable of doing what you’d expect a smartphone to do in modern times. You can even make phone calls with it, not too shabby.
And that’s a recurring theme with the Vision 1Pro, because everything on the phone evokes a sense of ‘decent’. Decent at this price point is excellent though, and if your options are limited, this phone can be seen as a taste of the good life. The hardware specs mean it’ll pop if it’s running more resource-intensive apps, but the Android Go OS is still solid and more than capable of delivering an intuitive experience.
The screen may be 720p for video content, but it still transmits video with bright colors and up to 500 nits of luminance. The sound quality won’t impress audiophiles, but you’ll still be popping some lo-fi beats on it via YouTube and getting some decent background noise.
The other big question is: how does the camera handle it? At a time when we communicate visually through images of our fresh espresso coffee and selfies on the beach, the 1Pro camera won’t turn heads like the behemoths on new Huawei and Samsung phones. Equipped with an 8MP primary camera and paired with two VGA camera lenses, the camera does an admirable job under optimal conditions.
Solid natural and indoor light provides vibrant images across the spectrum, with a fair amount of sharp detail popping through, but with high color saturation. In low light, however, the camera takes pictures that set back the progress of mobile photography by a decade, although you can activate the flashlight to compensate. As for video, don’t expect to start filming at anything higher than 720p, with output from that side of digital documentation also containing the same caveats as the primary stills function.
One major drawback to the 1Pro, however, is its excellent battery, a solid slab of rechargeable power that can be used throughout the day. Combined with its basic design, the 1Pro is excellent at sucking up every last volt from its battery, and in standby mode it barely draws any stored energy from its reserves.
If you’re looking for a device to meet basic communication needs or if you shudder at the thought of spending a ridiculous amount on a monthly subscription just so you can keep in touch with your child, this unassuming piece is good looking and inexpensive. technical technology should help allay those fears.
Last updated: June 15, 2021