Unique to look at but lack of performance

Comio C2 detailed review

Budget smartphones compromise on various aspects to meet the right price. While the category has grown in the right direction over the years, our needs and expectations have also been updated over time. However, there is no denying the fact that adding a fingerprint scanner, the availability of 4G capabilities has changed the way we use our phones now. Good battery life has always been a key aspect of budget phones, but these devices need to perform better to provide a more seamless smartphone experience. Nowadays, if you are in the market to buy a budget smartphone, you will be immersed in both good and bad options. However, Comio believes that its C2 could be a better choice than any phone in the vicinity of the same price. Is that enough to justify the claim? Find out.

Construction and design

Like most devices in the sub-7K smartphone segment, the Comio C2 sticks to the basics. The Comio C2 looks like a 2016 smartphone in terms of design with touch-up exterior and specific design accents. The quality of the plastic used is satisfactory but does not share the same level of strength in a metal-clad phone as in the Xiaomi Redmi 4. That being said, I like the fact that Comeo has tried to give the phone some flair with golden accents all around, giving the phone a unique look. The phone seems to weigh well and can be easily used with one hand. Removing the back cover gives you access to dual SIM slots and dedicated microSD card slots. Although the battery is sealed and therefore the user is not changeable.

What I miss from this phone is the fingerprint scanner which is fast becoming a mainstay for the budget smartphone segment.

Display and UI

The Comio C2 also employs an IPS LCD display that has a decent color reproduction and is bright enough (560 lux) to be used in normal lighting conditions. That said, the display is not very clear under direct sunlight. The Touch Response price is also decent and the overall Touch Experience is just as good as any other phone in this price category.

For the UI, I prefer Comio’s approach to a non-app drawer interface. This is nothing new but still looks fresh from what we have seen from most of its competitors. The iconography and animations suggest an iOS-eque interface, but then there’s nothing to complain about. Comeo has also added some nifty features like speed-up buttons on the home screen. Tap it and the phone will automatically clear some RAM with a nice animation The wallpaper icon works in the same fashion and you tap to make the wallpaper random. The all-in-all interface is easy to use and has no real learning curve attached to it. Animations sometimes feel slow, a common feature of budget smartphones in this price range.

There is a significant problem though I think some raise eyebrows. The problem is that native applications like Camera, File Manager and even Theme Manager want permission to make calls. While we’ve received similar treatment from other smartphone brands, it still doesn’t allow Comio to be scott-free when it comes to asking for unnecessary access.

Performance

The phone is powered by a MediaTek 6737 SoC, which offers enough performance to offer a decent experience for the price combined with 2GB of RAM. However, compared to its peers, it’s nothing different or game-changing, especially when compared to Xiaomi and Smartron’s similarly priced smartphones. There is a noticeable gap in performance when switching between apps or loading more than two tabs in the browser (Chrome). Needless to say, the gaming performance is not great and the gaming experience is filled with constant frame drops, slow loading menus and lag. Overall, if you need a good user experience across heavy apps and gaming, the Comio C2 is definitely out of the question. Even when considering it a budget smartphone, the C2 is below the expected performance set by the likes of Xiaomi Redmi 5A and 10.or D.

Battery life

Like the phone’s performance, battery life isn’t great either, although the 4000mAh battery rating puts it on the side of most competitors. The Comio C2 acquires a day’s worth of use under normal use, but if you want to stream videos or play light games on that subject, you may need to charge the phone at least once in a while. Also, the phone does not support fast charging, the phone takes two or more hours to fully charge, which makes me rather frustrated.

The camera

Then there is the 8MP camera on the back, which is not bright but does the job. In normal daylight, the camera manages to capture a decent amount of detail. The dynamic range is the best average, but you can change it a bit, but turn on the HDR mode. Color saturation is also good. Although the shutter response is not the fastest, the camera will reward you if you keep your hands steady.

In sufficient light conditions

Under adequate lighting conditions (100% crop)

Inside the house under indirect light

As I moved into low light conditions the image quality started to decline and the images started to get noisy. Images also begin to lose color fidelity as the camera’s algorithm tries to brighten the image in low-light conditions. This technique works sometimes and in some situations, but most of the time, you end up with a bad image.

A little light

Low light (100% crop)

Whether you’re taking a selfie in low light or daylight, the front camera is average again. That being said, the detail of the level captured during the day is impressive. The camera can best capture video at 720p and has good quality and audio capture.

How to compare

The Comio C2 Sub-10K is not the best looking phone among the smartphones as it will be the Micromax Canvas Infinity. Xiaomi Redmi 4, Redmi 5A and 10.or D are not the best in terms of performance or camera quality as they offer better performance across the board near the same price point. The Redmi 4 Sub-10K offers better battery life than phones in brackets. In addition to all this, the lack of a fingerprint scanner further reduces the appeal of the phone compared to what is available in the market.

The last row

The Comio C2 is an average smartphone at best and it doesn’t work well enough for us to recommend it in the sub 7K category. The only thing that sets the Comio C2 apart is the unique design, which can appeal to buyers looking for a budget smartphone that looks (rather than tries) different from the rest.

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