Visual Inspection

At a quick glance, it kind of looks high end premium, especially in gold. I had a few people who I met at the SC15 conference ask if it was an iPhone, though anyone who plays with iPhones will know that with at least a moments glance, this is not one. Nevertheless, it requires more than a momentary glance to spot the differences.

At 9.2mm thick, it is not that noticeable in most situations compared to the array of 7mm devices. Truth be told though, combined with the 5.5 inch screen it is slightly too big for my 5ft 6 frame to text in one hand comfortably.


The rear is slightly raised for the camera, and the flash underneath is a simple LED affair. The rear cover feel obviously plastic, with a patterned cross hatch finish, but as I've used the phone with the silicone case pretty much the whole time, I get the sense that I'm using it with a protective case rather than the constant feel of plastic. The rear speaker grille is a series of holes at the bottom here, but the speaker is off center to the right hand side, which the silicone case leaves an opening for.

The front of the phone has one of my current requirements for a smartphone - fixed buttons for menu, home and back, with a long press of home giving the apps list. These light up when touched, aiding low light situations.

The display as mentioned is a 1280x720 affair, with no viewing angle issues. Most of the time I have it in the lower brightness setting unless I am outside in the sun (which is no danger for the UK in autumn and winter). Despite the lower resolution than my previous HTC One max, and the smaller screen size, I can barely tell any difference in sharpness or quality due to the reduced PPI (369 to 267). While I absolutely see the use case for high PPI devices when using a complex character set (Chinese, Japanese), it would seem that it might be a lost battle on my monolingual testing, especially if it gives better battery life.

The screen comes with a pre-applied protector, and mine was placed on pretty much perfectly out of the box. I did spot one small air pocket in the top corner, which only got worse when I tried to fix it. The sticky undercoating gets dust and dirt on it quite quick, so now it's pretty obvious where the screen protector is in that corner. There's another protector in the box, should it need to be replaced.

There is one small niggle with the display. As I have typed up a good chunk of several reviews on it over the month (using Evernote + Swype), it is easy to notice areas on the bottom of this unit which aren't picked up properly by the touchscreen. In this case, the A button registers correctly about 90% of the time, which moves down to ten percent when I'm also pressing shift. This is very noticeable as the other buttons have had a 99.9-100% success rate. I haven't noticed this issue elsewhere on the screen, so I can only put it down to a slightly faulty touch display that also passed QA for Cubot.

The top of the screen shows the ear piece for calls, two light sensors and the front facing 5MP camera. On the right hand side is a notification sensor which glows red when charging or flashes blue when a notification is present. The light for this is actually quite bright, meaning at night I have to turn the phone upside down so it does not light up the room. The blue notification light will supersede the red charging light when both are in play.

The top edge holds the micro-USB connection, an infra-red sensor for use as a TV remote and the 3.5-inch jack for headphones. The silicone case is molded to give plenty of space for the charging USB cable, although I will admit that on occasion I have lifted it out of the case to ensure a good charging connection.

The power button is on the right hand side, with the volume rocker on the left. These are not flush with the sides, making them easy to find, but the silicone case actually rises out slightly to compensate and gives a soft gradation. This is a double edged sword, making the buttons slightly harder to press, but also my brain I wired for the buttons to be on opposite sides, so for the best part of this month I have accidentally been putting my phone to sleep instead of adjusting the volume.

The bottom of the phone has nothing special, except a tiny divot in the top part of the device and a corresponding divot in the silicone case. I presume this is to facilitate easy removal of the screen if required. It certainly isn't to remove the back cover, as that tab is on the rear on the bottom left hand side.

Removing the rear casing is a bit of a chore if you happen to groom your nails and don't have a tool to assist. It always feels as if you're going to break the thing with the force required. Nevertheless will the rear off we can see the 5200 mAh battery taking up most of the room.

Contrary to what you might imagine, the battery is the lighter part of the device, coming in at 83 grams compared to the phone body at 118 grams, which converts to 42% for the battery of the total 201 grams.

Behind the battery we have the indications for the dual SIM of the phone, with the first SIM for 3G/4G requiring a traditional miniSIM card and the second microSIM for 2G (basic data/SMS) but it is placed the other way around to the first SIM. I will point out that you shouldn't place the wrong sized SIM in the wrong hole. I put my microSIM into the top slot designed for a full size card and it started veering sideways - an hour later with the screwdriver and a pair of tweezers, unscrewing things that I'm sure I wasn't supposed to unscrew, and it had it out although a little battered. The microSD card slot is on the left hand size, using a simple slide in mechanism that allows for removal without taking the battery from the phone. I will point out that it didn't see my microSD at first, namely because I put my standard 64GB in there and one of the downsides of the device is the 32GB microSD limitation. 

Gallery: Cubot H1

The CUBOT H1 Smartphone Test The Feel, The Camera and Video
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  • Notmyusualid - Sunday, December 27, 2015 - link

    Signal strength! Possibly the most important aspect!

    Despite living in Denmark for years, I have little Danish - everyone spoke English to me. But I understood a little. So jeg taler ikke Dansk, you see.

    But nice to see my trusty S5 in 2nd place. I feel I've still no reason to change my phone, but seeing a battery like the one has on this phone, has me looking at reviews again.

    If I use my S5 as a GPS, and connected to the cars hands-free, I can *burn* up my battery in hours. And I can't have an extended-back battery, because I have the Qi-wireless-s-view case on the back... so I've no option. I did however, buy one of those 2.4A car chargers, so it can be used, and charged in a timely manner...
  • Alexvrb - Wednesday, December 23, 2015 - link

    That's only really true if your wireless is the limiting factor. If you're in an area with good LTE signal quality and you're using VoLTE, yes there IS such as thing as better than tolerable voice quality. At that point you may very well find out you're being held back by the phone. Good speakers and mic(s) can make a difference. Especially when using it on speakerphone occasionally.
  • buxe2quec - Thursday, December 24, 2015 - link

    For example, mics can be really different. Mz iPhone 4S can tolerate up to (arbitrary scale) 101 dB before saturating, while my LG G2 only 81 dB. I measured with the two phones next to each other, even if the absolute values are off, the 20 dB difference stays.

    This can mean a lot in loud environments.
  • Robalov - Wednesday, December 23, 2015 - link

    That'll teach me I guess.

    But I would've thought call quality would deserve its own heading.

    I still believe it won't have the longevity of your previous phone, however.
  • leexgx - Friday, December 25, 2015 - link

    Ian Cutress (not sure if you would like a follow up on my useage as well)

    i cant use my HTC One M7 without a Mophie battery case and it turns the phone into a brick as only lasts short time without the morphi and has to be plugged in constantly when navigating (even when the HTC one M7 it was in good condition the battery it still lasted as long as i expected and that was 2-3 hours of constant use/SOT) 2400 is yes good for maybe the first 6 months to a year but due to battery not holding as much capacity after 1 year it ends up like a iphone (unless you can replace the battery)

    well hopefully it's a good phone as i own it on 27th december (2015 assuming the shop is open so i can do my collect location) see how it goes,

    i know it's slower then a HTC ONE M7 and no boomsound speakers, but slower CPU should mean less heat when navigating and same with screen, a slim phone with a 5200mAh battery, it be like using the Old Motorola RAZR Maxx again (just this time its a 5200mAh, quad core, 720p and 2GB of ram and 16GB + the 32GB SD card i got at the same time)

    i only paid £110 so worth it to try any way (its from amazon so can send it back if its not fit for purpose, why i got it from amazon not ebay, as amazon is there to make customers happy and sellers unhappy, ebay not that far off really but amazon have better return policy and how they handle it as well),

    HTC need to pull there finger out and start making phones that last more than half a day
    3200-3500 battery size needs to be the minimum so to last more then 2-4 hours of SOT (not benchmark SOT time or phone with nothing installed) and the battery needs to be replaceable as my HTC ONE M7 is now turning off at 50%, if i could of changed the battery in the M9/M10 i might consider it (M10 hoping replaceable battery) we don't give a dam about Thin phones (as it turns into a iPlug device like where lots of iphone users are hunting for the nearest USB socket to get a small boost) going from 2400mha battery to 3400 might not sound like much but it has so much a dramatic effect on the day use of the phone, most phones nealy Suck More than 1A when phone is in use at times, phone makers need to add 1000mAh on top of there phones if its works fine on light loads (or what Stupid way they test there phones) so if think they can get away with a 2200 2400 2600 battery they should fit a 3200-3600 battery
  • Notmyusualid - Saturday, January 16, 2016 - link

    The battery life (and the slow charging off too), of the M7 is the ONLY reason I changed it.

    I loved that handset too...
  • leexgx - Thursday, December 24, 2015 - link

    you say knock off phone so not a real cubot H1 phone
  • f0d - Wednesday, December 23, 2015 - link

    if you want to get crazy there is this 10000mah monster (its a bit ugly)
    or this more sane 6000mah (not so ugly)

    im loving these phones that are coming out now with super batteries, battery life is much more important than speed or a lot of other things in a phone for me
  • SunLord - Wednesday, December 23, 2015 - link

    That's more of a battery with a phone built on it...
  • phoenix_rizzen - Wednesday, December 23, 2015 - link

    The Cubot H1 has the same size battery (10,000 mAh) as the Oukitel. In fact, just about every spec is the same between the two phones. They're almost identical.

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