We’re all passionate about the things we love doing, and Phicomm is no exception.
Except that this Chinese manufacturer has taken its love to literal levels by naming its flagship LTE Android smartphone Passion 660. It’s priced at ₹10,999, and here’s us telling you whether you should be spending that money on it at all...
Easy on the eye
The Passion 660 feels nice to hold, is surprisingly light at 110g and is finished rather well for its plastic body, with minimal usage of metal. Dual SIM card slots flank the lower part of the metal bezel along with the power button placed on the top. The Nano SIM slot doubles up as the tray for the expandable memory slot. Which means, if you plan to use a Nano SIM, you will not be able to use a microSD card at the same time, and that is rather tragic. Sigh. But if you use a Micro SIM, you get to increase your overall storage from the stock 16GB to 80GB by plonking in a 64GB microSD card. Sweet. The volume rockers are placed on the left, and positioned comfortably.
The Passion 660 rocks a 441ppi 5in Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels) display which does well when it comes to offering a good colour palette. This is evident when you play eye-popping games, but the overall picture quality wasn't convincing when we viewed HD videos. If you are outdoors under bright sunlight, you won't be entirely satisfied with the display as it tries hard to paint a convincing canvas with little help from the overall brightness. It’s a similar story with the overall sound output, which is taken care of by the single speaker on the bottom right at the rear. Both fidelity and output level need work, which is why we would recommend the use of headphones.
not just a pretty boy
The user interface, on the other hand, is snappy and the Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 Octa-core processor along with the 2GB of RAM make sure the experience stays that way even as you multitask. The Passion 660 doesn't yet feature Google's Lollipop OS update, but it should be on the cards. For now, you get Android 4.4 layered with Phicomm's very own Expect 5.0 skin (yes, unique name!) and it does not come too much in the way of a fluid experience.
A certain feature called 'Air gestures' works really well and comes in handy when you need to flip pages while pigging out on kebabs. It is a fun feature to show off as well - as you can see from the image, there is a lot you can do. For your photography and selfie needs, you get a 13MP camera on the rear with LED flash, and a 5MP front-facing snapper. While 13MP looks good on paper, we weren't impressed with this particular one. Images look washed out and auto-focus takes a long time to get the job done. Even in daylight, the overall colour capture left us wanting.
Overall, for a little over ₹10K, the Phicomm Passion 660 packs in a lot. However, given the fierce competition in our market, it is bound to fade away from our attention unless Phicomm either knocks down the price by at least ₹3k, or quickly launches a better device.