Jiayu F2 preview

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I have not received this very interesting in many ways phone yet, it will arrive in about 10 days, so you can expect a full review later. But I’ve ordered some information about it from my friends who already have F2 in stock in large quantities for a modest $125. Do not forget about my coupon for 3% discount, ‘mykolaspe’, which makes the price even more interesting, only $121.25, shipping included.

To be fair, it is necessary to say that Jiayu F2 has some worthy competitors for comparable price. A couple of such devices, namely Cubot S350 and Cubot X9, expect to arrive in my test lab soon ;). And yet, except a little more affordable price, Jiayu F2 has two substantial advantages over most of the competitors: fairly capacious battery up to 3000 mAh, which, coupled with a modest and energy efficient MTK6582 and HD screen allows us to hope for a decent battery life, as well as full support of 4G mobile networks. Also, a very pleasant, but not unique feature to date even for such money – it has 2 GB of RAM and 16 GB of internal storage. Such amounts of memory out of the box enhance the usability of the phone greatly.

More details about the technical characteristics of the phone below:

SoCMediatek MTK6582, 1,3 GHz, 4 cores, Cortex A7 ARM v7
GPUARM Mali-400MP2 500 MHz
RAM2 Gb
ROM16 Gb
Phone bandsGSM/WCDMA/FDD-LTE, 2G:GSM 850/900/1800/1900 MHz, 3G:WCDMA 900/2100MHz, 4G: TDD B38/B39/B40, FDD B3/B7/B20
SIM cards2 Micro SIM cards, both active in standby mode
Colorblack, white, panda
OSAndroid 4.4
Screen5", 1280х720 HD IPS OGS LED, capacitive multi-touch
Batterytypical capacity 2880-3000 mAh, removable
Camerasfrontal 5 Mp, main 8 Mp, Sony IMX179 image sensor, F2.2, autofocus, LED flash
WirelessWi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 3.0HS + 4.0LE
NavigationGPS, A-GPS
Dimensions143.5x69.8x8.9 mm
Sensorsaccelerometer, proximity sensor, light sensor, magnetic compass and orientation sensor
OtherUSB 2.0 OTG support
LanguagesOver 60 interface and input languages

Good 5″ HD IPS OGS screen, 2/16 GB of memory, decent battery, quad-core cpu – until recently we had such hardware in good middle class phones for over $200. Today we have all the same specs, plus full LTE support, for less than $125. It should be noted that MTK6582 does not support LTE on its own, so its support is implemented with a separate chip, installed on motherboard, Mediatek MT6290. MTK6752 in recently reviewed Jiayu S3, for example, does not require such tricks. However, for the consumer it does not change anything. Unlike most phones in this price range, Jiayu F2 supports LTE with transfer rate up to 150 megabits per second, the same speed as Wi-Fi 802.11n.

Appearance and build quality

We have already seen something very similar…. G3, is that you?
Well, almost… Indeed, Jiayu F2 at first glance is very similar to the old man Jiayu G3 (G3S, G3ST, G3T). But upon closer examination, we note the increased due to screen size dimensions. The screen now has a diagonal of 5 inches versus 4.5 inches in G3, and it is now OGS screen, but the resolution is not changed. The thickness of the device, on the other hand, has decreased significantly, to 8.9 mm, so the phone no longer looks like a brick. In addition, significantly reduced the unused space above the screen. The inserts on the front panel have not disappeared, although somewhat modified. They are now made of plastic, not metal. No wonder, as F2 is much less expensive than G3. Slightly corrugated back cover is enliven a bit by the chrome ring around the lens of the main camera, and a chrome manufacturer’s logo. But in general, the phone is still very similar to G3, and if you liked the latter – you’ll love the F2, and vice versa. To assess the build quality, you need to hold the phone in your hands. We had some problems with Jiayu G3 in this respect. But assessing the build quality of Jiayu S3 I can say that Jiayu rehabilitated in my eyes. Judging by the photos, Jiayu F2 should not have problems with the build quality: defects, chinks, gaps and substandard materials are not detected.

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Performance and battery life

Here we should not wait any revelations. MTK6582 platform, coupled with HD screens, have been studied far and wide. Considering that Jiayu F2 is equipped with 2 GB of RAM, you can expect quite decent results both in applications and games, and synthetic tests – everything will work as expected. But without much reserve to the future. The performance of MTK6592 and, especially, MTK6752, should not be expected. On the other hand, MTK6582 is built based on the same 28 nm process, and that more productive and new processors, that allows us to expect a decent energy efficiency. Tests show that MTK6592 and MTK6752 are good optimized in terms of energy consumption, but twice the number of cores and their higher frequencies, with higher performance graphics processors will inevitably lead to higher energy consumption. Add here the relatively useless up to 5 inches, but often applied in MTK6592 and MTK6752 devices FullHD screens, and the advantage of MTK6582 in terms of energy efficiency will be undeniable.

The words above about the performance, are also true for the battery life: revelations are not expected, but here everything should be pretty good. In Jiayu F2, as well as in Jiayu S3, the manufacturer uses a new way of marking the battery capacity: 2880-3000 mAh. The Jiayu S3 review I have already said that I do not like this method. In practice, this means that we will get 2900 mAh almost for sure, but 3000 mAh – only with a little luck. In any case, such a battery capacity in combination with above mentioned hardware must be sufficient for 2 days of active work, or at least one day of very active work. The probability that you will loose your phone till evening, especially given the fact that the firmwares for MTK6582 are more than polished by now, is very close to zero. Practically, this means about 5-6 hours of heavy games, 8-10 hours of surfing the Internet via Wi-Fi or mobile networks, 8-12 hours of video, depending on the brightness of the screen, and more than 15 hours of reading books, again, if not turn up the brightness to maximum.

Sensors, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, navigation and other features of the phone

Besides the standard for most phones proximity, light sensors and accelerometer, Jiayu F2 is equipped with magnetometer, that is an electronic compass, and orientation sensor. There are also working temperature sensors on CPU, motherboard and battery.

Wi-Fi supports transfer speed up to 150 megabits per second and has quite a high quality antenna.

Bluetooth supports profiles 3.0 High Speed ​​and 4.0 Low Energy. Therefore, if you have Xiaomi MiBand, for example, it will work just fine, and the power consumption will be close to zero.
Unlike newer MTK6595 and MTK6752, MTK6582 supports only one navigation system – GPS. Last year in Hong Kong and Thailand even Xiaomi Red Rice, based on a bit older MTK6589T, saw a lonely Japanese satellite, but it couldn’t connect to it anyways, so it didn’t affect the quality of positioning. The number of satellites at Jiayu F2 will always be less than for Jiayu S3, for example, which also supports the Glonass and BeiDou navigation systems. The number of GPS satellites here in Ukraine, as well as anywhere in the world, is still higher than for any other navigation system. I was able to catch up to 14 GPS, up to 8 Glonass, and only one Chinese BeiDou satellite at the same time. However, at least 3 different BeiDou satellites, #205, 210 and 214 may be seen in Ukraine, just not at the same time. So, in several years BeiDou may become a good competitor not only for Glonass, but even for GPS.
But for today GPS is absolutely number one positioning system in the world, and the GPS antenna in Jiayu F2 is, apparently, very good, so you should be able to use your phone as a navigator without any problems.
I’ve got the following results of random GPS test  from China:

If you need more details, please, read this topic.

In addition, the phone supports USB 2.0 OTG, so you will not only be able to connect a USB flash drive, mouse, keyboard or other USB device, but can even charge the other phone from Jiayu F2.

Cameras

And the last thing I would like to pay attention in Jiayu F2, is its cameras. The frontal camera has a standard for most of today’s medium- and high-grade phones resolution – 5 megapixels. 8 megapixels frontal cameras are becoming more and more popular, but they are usually used in much more expensive phones. I have no pictures from the frontal camera on hands now, but I am more than sure that it will be acceptable for most users. And the main camera is quite interesting. As usual, it is equipped with autofocus and single LED flash. But its resolution is relatively low – 8 megapixels. Many competitors today have 13 megapixels, although in most cases we can not be sure that the interpolation is not used there. But the image sensor in Jiayu F2 is Sony IMX179, as clearly stated on the phone box. So here we may be sure that the image is not interpolated. In addition, the manufacturer declares a comparatively good for budgetary phone lens aperture – F2.2. I can only say that the picture quality is really good – see for yourself.

Conclusions

The phone is quite interesting. Among the shortcomings we can only notice its processor. Yes, quad core MTK6582 in 2015 moved into the category of budget processors. Even Mediatek has several more powerful systems on chip by now, and Qualcomm, Samsung and many other manufacturers are also keeping their eyes open. Again, MTK6582 is still quite good for any task in HD resolution, and we should not forget about the price, but there are no reserves of performance for this processor in 2015. In addition, for another 20-30 dollars you can already take a similar phone with MTK6592 on board. On the other hand, additional 20-30 dollars means 20% higher overall price. The original design is good for some and bad for others. Personally I rather like it. Obvious advantages for such a price: good 5″ HD IPS OGS screen, large amount of built-in memory (2/16 GB), good battery (up to 3000 mAh), relatively small size and weight, high-quality main camera, despite relatively low resolution, OTG support, quite a large number of built-in sensors, and of course the full support of LTE.

So if you are looking for an inexpensive but reliable “workhorse”, then Jiayu F2 is definitely worth to be considered.

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