Vernee Apollo review - Conclusion: Disappointing!
Processor and memory
CPU: Helio X25 Deca Core
GPU: Mali T880
RAM: 4GB LPDDR3
Internal memory: 64GB eMMC1.5
Memory extension: Yes
Display Type: OGS IPS
Display diagonal: 5.5 inches
Display resolution: 2560x1440 pixels
Multitouch: 5 fingers
Main Camera: 21 Megapixel Sony IMX230
* Aperture: f / 2.2
* Dual LED flash
Front camera: 8 megapixel Sony
* Aperture: f / 2.4
* Field of view: 84 °
WiFi: 802.11a / b / g / n / ac
* Brightness sensor
* Proximity Sensor
SIM: Dual SIM
SIM type: Micro and Nano
2G: GSM 850/900/1800/1900MHz
3G: 900 WCDMA / 2100MHz
4G: FDD-LTE 800/1800/2100/2600MHz
Quick batch: Yes
Connection: USB Type-C
Fingerprint scanner: Yes
Operating system: Android 6
Size: 15.2 x 7.56 x 0.93 cm
1x Vernee Apollo
1x VR glasses with headband
1x Pump-Express Charger
1x USB Type-C cable
1x SIM needle
1x user manual
First impression of the Vernee Apollo
What's in the box
"Built for VR" - With this solgan Vernee markets the Apollo smartphone. Accordingly, the scope of delivery is more extensive. Included is in addition to the smartphone namely a Virtual reality glasses similar to a Google Cardboard. Unlike the Google Pappbrille Vernee VR glasses made of plastic. A USB Type-C cable, an EU Express "Pump Express" quick charger, a SIM needle and a multilingual user manual are included as additional accessories. A screen protector is already applied at the factory.
Design and workmanship
The design hardly differs from the smaller Vernee Apollo Lite and is reminiscent of a OnePlus 3 or 3T. The Unibody is still made of brushed aluminum. There are visual changes in both the camera frame and the fingerprint scanner, which are no longer square, but round. Due to the unibody design, the back is not removable, which is why the Battery not changed can be.
Vernee uses a display glass 2.5D Curved Glass, As a result, the edges of the display glass are rounded, which makes the smartphone appear visually sleeker above all. A Notification LED is located above the display. This is not configurable and only shines in the colors red, green and blue. Capacitive control buttons underneath the display are looked for in vain. Vernee prefers to sit up virtual display buttons, although there would have been enough space below the display. Too bad - the empty black bar under the display remains the only criticism of the pretty good looking Vernee Apollo.
The processing is not to be criticized. The unibody metal case is worked out clean. There are no ugly or sharp edges. The same applies to the two SIM card slots. The side power button and the volume rocker, which are also made of metal, sit firmly in the housing. Even with fast movements, the keys are not noticeable by any disturbing rustling. The pressure point of the buttons is not objectionable.
As befits a VR smartphone, the Apollo uses one 2K OGS IPS Panel, The term "OGS" stands for "One Glass Solution", which connects the display and touch panels without a second layer of glass. This makes smartphones, above all, thinner and easier to produce.
At a Display diagonal of 5.5 inches and a Resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels the Vernee Apollo reaches one Dot density of 534 DPI, There are virtually no advantages over a Full HD panel. On the one hand, the smartphone is better for VR applications, on the other hand, the high resolution and the energy consumption is increased, resulting in lower battery life. No matter if you have an 2K or Full-HD panel in front of you, with an 5.5 inch screen diagonal you can not see any pixels either way.
In a test phase lasting several weeks, the display scored points. After the first power up, the display looked cold and the colors looked a bit pale. Within the display settings, however, there are "Miravision", which also allows the color temperature to be adjusted later. The viewing angle stability is convincing. Even at extreme viewing angles, the display is not distorted. The maximum display brightness is also not objectionable. The touchscreen recognizes up to 5 simultaneous inputs. All input was precisely recognized during the test. So-called "Ghost Touches" have not made themselves felt. To what extent Vernee uses a high quality screen protector is not known. The display glass has no scratches when used daily in the trouser pocket.
VR applications should be the focus of this smartphone. The included VR glasses provide initial incentives towards virtual reality. The build quality is good and the wearing comfort fits. Even the lens distance can be adjusted individually, whereby the glasses are also suitable for people with ametropia. What the Vernee VR glasses are missing, however, is a magnetic switch. Without magnetic switch, for example, the Google Cardboard app can not be controlled. A QR code that matches the Cardboard app to the glasses is missing. However, app and glasses can be easily used even with the default settings.
In practice Virtual Reality with the 2K display of Vernee Apollo is a damn cool affair. The fly screen effect (see pictures), which usually spoils the VR experience, you hardly notice. Nevertheless, the Apollo is not the best choice for VR. Smartphone is not compatible with Google Daydream!
For a decent Alltrags performance provides the MediaTek Helio X25 processor in combination with one 4GB LPDDR3 memory, The processor itself is based on the lower clocked Helio X20 and offers a total of 10 processor cores, which are divided into 2 Cortex-A72 cores (2x2.5 GHz) and 8 Cortex-A53 (4x2.0 GHz and 4x 1.55 GHz) cores. The GPU is one Mali-T880.
Apps can be started without delay and even in multitasking the smartphone shows no weaknesses. Nevertheless, there is still a need for optimization. Based on individual benachmark results we performed with AnTuTu and Geekbench 4, it can be seen that Vernee has not yet exhausted the high performance of the Helio X25. In AnTuTu, the processor usually reaches around the 99.000 points. There were not more than 90.583 points in our test.
Challenging games on the 2K display fluently play for the processor to ordeal. Although the heat development is still in the reasonable range, based on the picture declines in games such as Real Racing 3 is clear that the SoC has to fight.
The memory equipment amounts, as already noted, to a 4GB large RAM and a 64GB large internal memory, The internal memory is additionally expandable with a Micro SD memory card. One should pay attention, however, that Vernee despite the two SIM trays on one Hybrid Slot is used, where either the dual SIM function or the memory expansion can be used. The write and read rates of the internal flash memory are average and are at 163.05 MB / s read and 137.08 MB / s write, respectively. The RAM achieves copy speeds of 6562.39 MB / s.
The Vernee Apollo comes with a almost Stock Android 6.0 delivered. Except for minor additional settings to Navigation Bar or MiraVision, there is no difference to Stock Android. For third-party apps, only the "GoVR Player" is preinstalled. It is not integrated with the system and can be easily uninstalled via the app management. Unfortunately, we had some crashes in the course of the test, which is why there is a need for optimization. Otherwise, the installed ROM is not to be criticized.
The last OTA comes from the 16.01.2017. The last security patch comes (unfortunately) from the 05. July 2016. For an update to Android 7 Vernee has currently no information.
The main camera, consisting of a Sony IMX230, 21 Megapixel mid-range camera sensor and a f / 2.2 aperture was already convincing in devices from other manufacturers. Accordingly, one should actually expect a good picture and video quality, but with the Vernee Apollo it behaves a little differently.
Software side is the Main camera so miserably optimizedthat good shots are hard to achieve. In good lighting conditions, the recording quality is still acceptable, but already shows a slight image noise and missing details. In addition, in the automatic photo mode recordings are partially completely overexposed. In low light conditions, it becomes even clearer how poorly the main camera is optimized. All shots are taken through clear picture noise and a clear blur overdrawn. In addition, the colors are increasingly fading.
The autofocus, the triggering time and the flash also lacks optimization. Autofocus focuses accurately in very few cases. The triggering time is below average. Sometimes it takes more than a second for the main camera to trip. Accordingly, the shots are blurred and blurred. The flash and shutter of the camera are not matched. Overexposed or unexposed images are the result.
More convincing is the 8 Megapixel front camera with f / 2.4 aperture. Details are well captured and the recording quality is not too dependent on the lighting conditions. For one or the other selfie, the front camera is quite suitable.
Connectivity and fingerprint scanner
The Vernee Apollo supports 2G, 3G and 4G cellular standards, Used to those in this country LTE tapes 3, 7 and 20 is the Apollo compatible. What you should pay attention to is the hybrid slot of the smartphone, through which the dual-SIM function or the memory expansion can only be used alternatively.
Telephony and audio
In the mobile network, the Vernee Apollo is first class. The reception strength and voice quality was at no time to complain about. By VoLTE ("Voice over LTE") the voice quality is further promoted.
The speaker sounds boring and flat. It clearly lacks the dynamics and the volume. To listen to music, the speaker is clearly unsuitable. For hands-free use, it is sufficient. The sound quality over the 3.5mm headphone jack is good. Music is rendered noise-free and dynamic.
WiFi and Bluetooth
The smartphone does not fare as well in WLAN. The connection quality and range in the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz networks are below average. Even in the immediate vicinity of the connected dual-band AC router, the signal weakness was noticeable. The Bluetooth 4.0 performs good services only in the case of short range. In conjunction with a Bluetooth speaker, the signal was disturbed after a few meters.
GPS and sensors
The sensors amount to a proximity sensor, a brightness sensor, a gyroscope, an acceleration sensor and an e-compass. NFC does not offer the smartphone. All sensors work accurately. The GPS module of the Vernee Apollo, however, works only on average. The fact that Smartphones with MediaTek SoC are lagging behind in competition with Qualcomm's GPS has long been known. In the test phase, a GPS fix was found only after a good 15 seconds. The signal strength was accurate to a few meters, but not always constant.
Praiseworthy is the back fingerprint scanner. The detection rate was 9 / 10 with only one finger scanned. Unlocking the smartphone succeeds in a timely manner with the support of the finger.
Finally, let's come to the most frustrating part of this review. The battery of the Vernee Apollo is a veritable catastrophe. The battery of our test specimen was anything but calibrated after the first power up. Although the battery was shown to be fully charged, the smartphone simply turned off for about 3 hours. After a restart, the charge level was displayed with 0%, but the smartphone was still usable for one hour.
With the Vernee Pump quick charger, the smartphone was already charged after 1er hour and 6 minutes. Surprisingly, the measured charge capacity was just 2.100 mAh. Accordingly, the term was canceled again. An 2K display simply consumes significantly more energy than a Full HD display. After the battery was discharged approximately 5x and also charged overnight, the capacity leveled off slightly below 3.000 mAh. The 3.180 mAh given by Vernee was not reached.
During normal use, the Vernee Apollo reaches a running time of about one day. With low usage a maximum of 1 ½ days is possible. In standby, the consumption is very low. Overnight, just 2% of the battery was consumed. If you use your smartphone a lot, you should definitely keep a charger handy with the Vernee Apollo!