Comio’s new smartphone is designed for comfort.
Comio’s new smartphone is designed for comfort.

Review: Comio P1 needs more to compete with the Xiaomi Redmi Note 4

Comio's new smartphone fuses some of the most sought after features such as big battery, big screen and ergonomic design together, but lacks the firepower to take on rivals

More Chinese companies have been trying to expand their presence outside China and they are making a beeline for the growing Indian market. The latest to join the club is a Shenzen-based company called TopWise communications which sells phones under the Comio brand. Like most of its Chinese counterparts, it is gunning for the affordable segment and its latest smartphone Comio P1, available on Amazon.in at Rs9,999, is a testimony to that.

The phone packs in a 5,000mAh battery, yet doesn’t feel hefty or unwieldy at all
The phone packs in a 5,000mAh battery, yet doesn’t feel hefty or unwieldy at all

Design: Big but manageable

The P1 has a metal exterior with hard plastic strip around the side panel which almost feels like rubber. It improves the grip and makes it quite handy. In the gold variant, the strip is black in colour. The phone packs in a 5,000mAh battery, yet doesn’t feel hefty or unwieldy at all. It tips the scales at 177g and is easily manageable with one hand. It also offers a fingerprint sensor, which is placed on the back. It is accurate but feels a bit sluggish in terms of response. The volume and power keys are made of metal and placed in the middle of the left side panel. They are easily accessible and also respond to the slightest of taps.

Display: Looks good despite low resolution

The smartphone has a big 5.5-inch display with modest resolution of 1,280x720p which results in pixel density of 320ppi. It is less than Redmi Note 4’s 401ppi. Despite the low resolution, it doesn’t feel dull. Colour reproduction is pretty good for a budget smartphone which makes watching movies enjoyable. It doesn’t suffer from poor visibility from wide angles and poor legibility under bright light either.

Comio P1 has some funky looking themes which feel polished but isn’t as feature packed as Xiaomi’s MIUI.
Comio P1 has some funky looking themes which feel polished but isn’t as feature packed as Xiaomi’s MIUI.

Software: A polished custom UI

Having Android 7.0 is a big bonus. It is not the latest OS, but at this price, even the 7.1 is available in very few smartphones. There is custom UI on top of Android. It has some funky looking themes which feel polished but isn’t as feature packed as Xiaomi’s MIUI, for instance. But that doesn’t mean it is completely devoid of unique features. What stands out is the Freezer folder allows user to put apps which they don’t use often, and any app in the Freezer folder is automatically closed when they are minimised.

Performance: Limited performance

Most phone makers in the budget segment come with entry-level processors to keep the cost down. The Comio P1 runs on a modest MediaTek 6737 quad-core processor with 3GB RAM. Navigating through the home screen, switching between apps and typing on the keyboard was smooth and lag free. Except for the occasional lag we noticed during multi-tasking and gaming, the overall performance was stutter-free. The phone offers 32GB storage and supports microSD cards of up to 128GB, which is not bad at the price.

What makes the Comio P1 tower over rivals is the 5,000MAh battery. In order to keep the weight in check, most rivals’ phones have around 4,000mAh battery capacity instead. The P1’s battery lasts about two days of moderate use on a single charge and that is no ordinary feat. The Redmi Note 4 has a 4,100mAh battery which lasts about a day and half.

Detail reproduction is not one of its strong points.
Detail reproduction is not one of its strong points.

Camera: Don’t expect much

The 13-megapixel suffers from numerous inconsistencies. Even in broad daylight, images look a bit underexposed. Detail reproduction is not one of its strong points either. Even slight zoom affects clarity. Close-up shots in day time look comparatively better. Darker areas in low-light shots are barely visible, making it harder to get good shots out of it in low light. The 8-megapixel front camera can capture good enough shots for your social media posts if the lighting is good.

Verdict

Comio’s new smartphone is designed for comfort and despite the fact that it packs in a 5,000mAh battery, it does not feel unmanageable or hefty. It is strictly meant for casual users whose requirements are limited to web browsing, watching videos and social networking. What goes against it is the fact that the price difference is not much compared to the Redmi Note 4 (Rs10,999 onwards). So if you can spend a little more, you get a more powerful device with much superior hardware, a more feature-rich UI and a slightly better camera.

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