Can’t afford an iPhone 6 Plus? If you’re looking for the next big thing in smartphones, look at the price tag. With advances in mobile technology getting increasingly incremental in nature, out-of-date specs no longer mean you’re getting a phone with limited functionality. That’s led to a glut of cheap phones that you can buy off-contract to help cut down on your wireless bill while not ending up with the feeling that you’re missing out on a ton of amazing new features reserved only for flagship devices.
That brings us to InfoSonics, a San Diego-based company making budget smartphones under the verykool brand. Their newest phone, the S5511 Juno Quatro, brings those small prices to the world of big phones. It’s a 5.5″ Android 4.4 phone, in the same class as the iPhone 6 Plus and the Galaxy Note 4. Despite its being a budget phone, the specs are good enough to satisfy most, with a 1.3 GHz quad-core processor, 1 GB of RAM, an 8 MP rear camera (capable of 720p recording) and a 2 MP front camera.
The only real dealbreakers here for smartphone shoppers looking for a good deal are the display and internal storage capacity. The 960 x 540 200 ppi IPS LCD display is a significant sacrifice to make, especially if you plan on frequently using your phone to watch videos or look at pictures. The 4 GB of storage space is also something to watch out for, although the phone does have a card slot for microSD/T-flash cards up to 32 GB. That said, display and internal storage are two of the more expensive components of a smartphone, and are usually the first two things sacrificed on budget phones in order to keep the price low. On both counts, the S5511 is about on the same level as other similarly-priced budget phones. In any case, the phone earned quite a good score of 6805 under Quadrant, indicating that it’s a capable device.
As for the 5.5″ display, the actual display quality is bright and colorful, but it’s unfortunately on the low-res end of things with a resolution of just 540×960 at 200 ppi. Over all it’s a solid display, but pretty mediocre compared to other 5.5” display phones. That said, it’s the sheer size of the display that makes this budget handset stand out.
You’ll also be sacrificing LTE connectivity, but considering you wouldn’t be using a budget phone to stream high-definition videos, that’s a reasonable thing to leave off. It’s 4G HSPA+ compatible, and also features Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity.We tested the phone on AT&T’s network in New York and saw download speeds of 7.39 Mbps and 1.64 Mbps up. Also, like many budget phones, the S5511 is a dual-SIM device, so it’s great for frequent travelers or anyone who signs up for two carriers to take advantage of deals or promotions.
The phone is powered by a 2,300 mAh battery that InfoSonics says should provide up to seven hours of talk time on a 3G connection. It’s a decently sized battery but as not as big as a capacity as its pricier 5.5″ competitors offer . And unfortunately, when we tested the phone, the battery got sucked away pretty quickly.
The verykool S5511 Juno Quatro’s greatest strength is its price—$159 off-contract, although we also spotted it for as low as $132 on Amazon. We’ve seen cheaper budget phones at similar specs, but not so much in a 5.5″ device. If you’re looking to get in on those larger screen sizes at a reasonable price that won’t lock you into an onerous contract, this verykool phone is one to keep an eye on.Buy it!
The Good: Affordable, large display, comes with two faceplates, comes unlocked with dual sim support, comes running Android 4.4 Kit Kat, solid performance, good call quality, nice design with good ergonomics, built-in FM player
The Bad: Display is mediocre and pretty low res, not compatible with LTE in the U.S.A., battery life could be better