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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  • phoenix_rizzen - Wednesday, December 23, 2015 - link

    Whoops, seems I misread that. There are Cubot phones with 10,000 mAh batteries, just not this specific model.
  • f0d - Wednesday, December 23, 2015 - link

    thats awesome, 10000mah batterys should be the norm :)
    do you have a link to a cubot phone with one? my googlefu is failing me and i cant find one anywhere
  • Notmyusualid - Sunday, December 27, 2015 - link

    And no 'Edit' function, right?

    Lord knows why Anandtech will not switch to Disquss.
  • - Wednesday, December 23, 2015 - link

    those are non-removable.

    the one in review has removable battery >>>>> non - removables.
  • f0d - Wednesday, December 23, 2015 - link

    yes true
    BUT 10000mah.!!!
    these devices are cheap enough that if the battery does die you can just buy another phone

    removable batteries "should" be on the more expensive phones like iphones and galaxy but its the complete opposite and the more expensive phones are non removable

    i do prefer removable batteries but if it was a choice between 5500mah removable or 10000mah non removable on a super cheap phone then the 10000mah one wins in my eyes
  • Notmyusualid - Sunday, December 27, 2015 - link

    Cool devices - thanks!
  • alexdi - Wednesday, December 23, 2015 - link

    I'll never understand the drive to cheap out on a device that's practically tethered to you and is, here, a primary work device. Take the phone away from anyone under 30 and you'll see something approximating heroin withdrawal. But hey, megabucks for a few extra frames in a device you use for play in evenings? Sure, why not.
  • Ian Cutress - Wednesday, December 23, 2015 - link

    I would argue and say my PC is my primary work device. Having a smartphone I can type on (without worrying about about the battery) is secondary, and that allows me to fill in potential wasted down time.

    And yes, there are people who won't spend $400-800 on a device, even if you can justify the cost to yourself. You have to convince others against some argument of increased productively. Because ultimately if you are campaigning on the business route, it's primarily about the productivity (then arguably security, product deal or image).
  • LukaP - Wednesday, December 23, 2015 - link

    One doesnt have to convince anyone about ones choice of spending money. I for one completly agree with Ian's priorities. My computer is my primary device, meaning i will invest in it, even if it seems silly to others. On the other hand my phone is merely used for contacting people and occasionally taking notes. That means i dont need the latest and greatest Snapdragon 820 with 8GB of ram, all rendering 4K for the curved screen. I need a good looking screen, 720p so all the stuff can be displayed on it, and a capable enough SOC so that it doesnt bog down when im listening to music while typing on the go, and someone calls me. Im not going to be spending more than about 100-150€ on a device that to me, doesnt deserve such an investment. But its perfectly understandable that some people desire/need more, and will also invest more there :)
  • ssj4Gogeta - Wednesday, December 23, 2015 - link

    Though mention a couple of times that you were using black text on white. But that shouldn't matter for LCDs. Or are you referring to content-adaptive backlight saving you battery when using white on black?

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