The Elephone P8 Mini is a smartphone that, for its price and performance, is in the entry-level range of the market, but has some hardware features that sometimes you won’t find even on mid-range devices. Elephone then produced a complete, functional, stable and bugless device, but perhaps lacking in personality. Let’s try it together in our review.
Unboxing, construction and design
The package of this Elephone P8 Mini is quite simple, but in addition to the 5V / 1A power supply, the microUSB cable and the pin for removing the SIM carriage, it contains a display film and a transparent silicone cover, accessories always well-liked.
The device is aesthetically pleasing, with a back made up of a satin aluminum panel on which we find the Elephone logo and the fingerprint sensor. On top and bottom there are two plastic bands that contain the antennas. Between the upper band and the aluminum back we find the dual camera of 13 + 2Mpx and the flash led. Under the camera there is the fingerprint sensor.
On the frontside, under the 5″ fullHD display, there are three capacitive keys, not backlit, but still visible in daylight. Above the display, we find the 16Mpx front camera with flash and headphone capsule. The lower edge houses the headphone jack, microphone, microUSB input, and speaker. On the side edges, on the left side is the dual SIM carriage or a nano SIM and a microSD, and to the right the volume bar and the power key. Unfortunately, the LED for notifications is missing.
The assembly could be better, in fact, applying a twist to the device will feel some creaking, resulting in particular from the plastic parts.
Medium size for this smartphone, which is still light and easy to handle.
Display: 5.0 inch FHD screen
CPU: MTK6750T Octa Core 1.5GHz
GPU: ARM Mali-T860
System: Android 7.0
Camera: rear camera 13.0MP + 2.0MP with AF and flashlight + front camera 16.0MP
Sensor: Ambient Light Sensor, E-Compass, Gravity Sensor, Gyroscope, Hall Sensor, Proximity Sensor, Fingerprint Sensor
SIM Card: dual SIM dual standby, Nano SIM + Nano SIM cards
2G: GSM 850/900/1800/1900MHz
3G: WCDMA 800/900/2100MHz
4G: FDD-LTE 800/850/1800/2100/2600MHz TD-LTE B38/B40/B41
The Elephone P8 Mini mounts a quite good 5 ” LCD with 2.5 bend bevels. There is not much to say, it is the classic display not bad and not too good that we usually find in the mid range smartphones. The colors are discrete, bright enough, but the self-regulating sensor is a bit lazy and sometimes does not know what to do. You can also customize the colors in the Miravision menu and activate the blue light filter. The touchscreen is quite responsive and I have never had problems typing fast on the keyboard.
Software and Performance
On board of the Elephone P8 Mini we find Android 7.0 in the Mediatek version, so almost completely stocked. The only customizations present are the integration of the Miravision menu described above and the possibility of scheduling the device to turn off / on at pre-set times. The launcher presents the app drawer, but no customization at all, and icons and the fonts have an old look. I found it more satisfying to use an alternative launcher (Nova Launcher is one of my favorites) that give a younger and more attractive appearance to the smartphone. There are the Play Store and preinstalled Google services, as well as support for all languages. There are no annoying bloatware if not an Elephone app from which you can send feedback and alerts.
Thanks to Android 7.0, you can take advantage of the convenient dual screen splitting function to use two applications simultaneously. The fingerprint sensor on the back is always accurate and discreetly fast.
The operating system is controlled by an entry-level processor, the Mediatek MTK6750T, which, however, probably thanks to the lightness of the OS offers good performance. In fact, I have never had bumps or restarts and even the gaming experience proved to be satisfactory and without lag. Obviously, we can not expect a high speed in the opening of the applications, which nevertheless operate smoothly. What’s surprising is finding 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal memory, which certainly does not go down in a device at this level!
Generally, these types of devices produced by Chinese brands are united by poor optimization and often fall into several bugs. After 10 days of use I was pleasantly surprised by the total absence of bugs in this Elephone P8 Mini (in fact it’s best to use ROM stocks rather than personalize them with poor results).
We open the paragraph by saying immediately that the presence of the 2Mpx secondary sensor is merely a matter of marketing. It is not exploited either by the depth of field (the “blur” effect is a software artifact in which everything is blown out of the “capped” area without differentiating objects at different depths) or for catching whites and blacks.
Let’s consider then the rear camera as a single 13Mpx sensor in 4:3, and note that we are talking about an entry-level smartphone. As often happens in the devices in this range, the camera works discreetly well in good light conditions, giving even detailed shots. Especially on the Elephone P8 Mini, the HDR function works pretty well, giving good overall brightness to the image. It suffers heavily in the backlight, where the photos are “burned” at the light source. Suffering that is also noticeable in dark photos, where noise increases considerably, but does it better than other similar devices.
The front camera, on the other hand, has 16Mpx and the quality of the photos is certainly above the average of the category, but it also suffers from backlighting and darkness. Very much appreciated is the presence of the soft front flash, which allows you to capture selfie even in the dark.
The videos are of mediocre quality, although the EIS option is also present. The videos look a little shaky and the colors are too saturated and in general the pictures are a little mingled. This is definitely a point to be improved by Elephone.
The camera application is quite simple and easy to use, and among other things it allows you to set exposure, scene mode, and turn on / off the image stabilizer.
The Elephone P8 Mini hardware is powered by a 2680mAh non-removable battery. Even though the processor is not particularly energetic (especially in stand-by), the autonomy appears to be subdued, especially on days of intense use in which I have not been able to exceed 2 hours and a half of active screen. With a normal use of the smartphone, you will not have trouble to reach the end of the day. If you are guys who always have the phone in hand, probably the P8 Mini is not for you!
Speaking of battery and battery life, here I found the only bug in this smartphone: hardware and software consumption details are not displayed. The display time had to be measured by a third-party app.
Connectivity and audio
The phone coverage in the P8 Mini is good and I have never found a much shorter signal than other devices. I’ve only occasionally felt some uncertainty in the 3G / 4G edge-to-edge connection, having to wait a few more seconds. At home the Wifi works well, even though 5GHz bandwidth is missing.
GPS is fast enough to connect to satellites and during navigation it did not slow down in position update or signal loss.
Speaking of audio, the lower speaker has a volume not too high and with a few bass, but I have never heard it distort the sounds. On the other hand, the speaker’s voice is a bit metallic, especially if it has a higher voice than normal. This aspect could have been definitely improved.
The Elephone P8 Mini is a smartphone in the entry-level category and in this segment it’s not easy to behave fairly well with an operating system that on the one hand is poor in customization (but we all know that the Play Store is very rich in app!), on the other hand it’s light and above all stable and as I said bug less. The photographic sector in some situations is better than its direct competitors, while it lacks in autonomy and audio. The experience of using this device for me has been positive and I recommend it to those who make a more traditional use of the smartphone and have a limited budget, or those who need a reliable substitute.