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Review

Vernee Apollo review - Conclusion: Disappointing!

by 2. February 2017
Since the beginning of 2016 is known that Vernee is working on a flagship smartphone called "Vernee Apollo". In the meantime, the manufacturer released the Vernee Thor, a mid-range smartphone and the Vernee Apollo Light, which should provide a taste of the future Vernee flagship. Meanwhile, the Apollo is available and if it is really to count among the "flagship smartphones", you will learn in this review.
Overview
Manufacturer/Model

ments

Product

ments Apollo

Specifications

Processor and memory
CPU: Helio X25 Deca Core
GPU: Mali T880
RAM: 4GB LPDDR3
Internal memory: 64GB eMMC1.5
Memory extension: Yes

Display
Display Type: OGS IPS
Display diagonal: 5.5 inches
Display resolution: 2560x1440 pixels
Multitouch: 5 fingers

cameras
Main Camera: 21 Megapixel Sony IMX230
* Aperture: f / 2.2
* PDAF
* Dual LED flash
Front camera: 8 megapixel Sony
* Aperture: f / 2.4
* Field of view: 84 °

wireless
WiFi: 802.11a / b / g / n / ac
Bluetooth: 4.0
GPS: Yes
NFC: No.

sensors
* Brightness sensor
* Proximity Sensor
*Gyroscope
* Accelerometer
* E-Compass

Mobile
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

Accumulator
Battery: 3.180mAh
Quick batch: Yes
Connection: USB Type-C

other
Fingerprint scanner: Yes
Operating system: Android 6
Size: 15.2 x 7.56 x 0.93 cm
Weight: 188g

What's in the box

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

Vernee Apollo smartphone review / review - unboxing

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.

Display

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.

Virtual Reality

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!

Performance

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.

User Interface

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.

camera

main camera

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.

front camera

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.

Fingerprint scanner

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.

Accumulator

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!

Price Comparison

Price history

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Prices last updated on: April 5st, 2020 17:02

Final Words

rating
Positive

VR glasses included
Attractive design
Good workmanship
Good quality display
Good everyday performance
Fast fingerprint scanner
Clean Android 6
Voice quality and VoLTE

Negative

Poor game performance
Badly optimized main camera
Weak connection and weak WiFi module
Weak range Bluetooth module
Low-performance GPS
Hybrid SIM slot
Weak speaker
Uncalibrated battery

First impression
7.5
-
application
9.0
-
Design
8.0
-
Display
9.0
-
Performance
7.5
-
User Interface
8.0
-
camera
3.5
6.9
Fingerprint scanner
8.5
-
connectivity
6.5
-
GPS & sensors
5.0
-
Audio
4.0
-
Accumulator
3.0
-
Summary

Disappointing! With this one word can be summarized the result of several weeks of test run of the Vernee Apollo. Anyone who hopes for much from this smartphone will be (currently) bitterly disappointed and should (still) keep away from it. Although the 2K high-resolution display in combination with VR applications is certainly pursuing interesting approaches, the disadvantages of such a panel clearly outweigh its advantages. Extremely critical is the poorly optimized main camera and downright catastrophic was the non-calibrated battery. Especially on the software side there is room for improvement and one can only hope that Vernee gets rid of most mistakes.

6.6
Our rating
6.9
user Rating
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abbb
guest
abbb

Hey, the pictures of the camera I think not so bad. But you're right, somehow there is such a gray veil over the pictures. Do you think there's an improvement coming from Vernee? The Apollo has interested me since the announcement.

Gamazine
guest
Gamazine

I once bought a criminal Apollo Lite. The smartphone is not bad. The really bad are the empty promises of the company criminals. To date, no Android 7 has appeared for it, which should appear about 1 1 / 2 years ago. Strangely, even the modders have worked faster and have now released Android 7 and 8 as Rom.