As I was reviewing the Mintt A5, I began to wonder at what price you had to sacrifice too much to make a capable smartphone.
Thankfully the Mintt A5 both surprised and delighted me. At $199 it does all you need and is quite a step up from the competent Mintt 2019 Duo 3 and A3 models.
You can read about the Mintt 2020 smartphone range here. The Y5 at $379 4.0/5 is a terrific value phone that managed to include Qi wireless charge and NFC. The nearest brand with Qi charge phone is $799! The X5 has a huge 6.5″ screen for $279. Note Mintt has just dropped to these prices – courtesy of a stronger Aussie dollar.
The way Mintt can get such good pricing is that they sell and support via an online model only – no middlemen and retailers profit to add on.
In fact, the Mintt A5 and X5 (technically an UltraMintt X5) – share similar internals. The X5 extra price pays for a larger screen, more RAM/Storage, and upgraded camera. The hallmark of both is that they have Wi-Fi 5 AC, BT 5.0 USB-C charging (still an oddity at this price), dual sim and microSD and pure Google Android.
As this is a lower cost device, we don’t go to the time expense of executing all tests. We use FAIL, PASS and EXCEED to arrive at a rating.
First impression – PASS
The Mintt A5 is a boring classic piano black, fingerprint magnet, glass slab. Oh, how I wish for the bright greens, oranges, reds, and yellows of Nokia Lumia past.
Having gotten my black ‘phonist’ adversity off my chest, it looks pretty good. It has a tri-camera back (stable on the desk) and a rear fingerprint button just above the Mintt logo. It has a 3.5mm combo audio jack. The winning feature is a dual sim and a dedicated microSD slot – tri-slot card. This is very rare at $199!
It’s a nice flat, bright screen with a pre-fitted screen protector and a TPU bumper case.
Max: 82,278 GIPS, Average: 78.493 13% loss over 15 minutes CPU temp reached 50°
It’s a low power processor. Don’t expect fast performance or no lag! It is competent and fit for purpose.
Interestingly its most often compared to the Qualcomm SD630/636. It is in the Mintt X5, LG K40/42/50, Samsung A10, OPPO A1. Realme C2, Nokia 3.1. Moto e6s and about 140 more phones.
Comms – PASS+
Wi-Fi 5 AC 1×1 MIMO Signal Strength 5Ghz – distance from ASUS AX1100 router – 2m: -33dBm/433Mbps (excellent strength) – 5m: -61dBm/390Mbps – 10m: -75/5Ghz not usable but 2.4Gz was 65Mbps
Single and adequate 10m radius for turn-by-turn navigation
Combo Accelerometer Magnetometer Proximity
This is everything you can expect for the price. A tri-slot is amazing.
LTE – PASS
Dual sim (one active at a time)
VoLTE – carrier dependent – generally yes Wi-Fi calling – Yes ViLTE – Yes on Vodafone
Test: 4.2 Mbps
Test: 26.8 Mbps
1, 3, 5, 7, 8, 20, 28A, 28B, 38 – fine for Australia
-106 dBm in a 3-bar reception area (average)
It has all the bands, including band 28. Reception is average for the test – it is more of a city/suburbs phone. This reflects the antenna design and MediaTek modem capabilities.
Battery – PASS
4000mAh (3930 test)
5V/1.5A/7.5W USB-C Charge Time under 5 hours You can use any USB-A charger and any USB-C PD charger, but it does not fast charge topping out at 7.5W
Tests Most at 60hz screen
Video Loop test: 1080p/50%/aeroplane mode – 19 hrs Typical use 4G, Wi-Fi Test – 16 hours MP3 music test: 50% volume played from storage – 20+ 100% load Battery drain – 10 hours T-Rex – 615m/1480 frame Drain screen off: about 15 days)
The battery is quite large and will last 2-3 days with power-saving measures (assuming screen time of about 3 hours per day). It has a low drain (screen off but idle) and should go three weeks without a charge.
Sound – PASS
Mono earpiece and down-firing speaker*
Tests dB Anything over 80dB is excellent
Media – 75-80 Ring – 80 Alarm – 80 Earpiece – 50
* It is not fair to measure the sound signature on a mono speaker system. The primary use is for clear voice. It is not for music or movies with no bass or mid before 1000Hz and no treble after 10kHz.
It is reasonably loud all around. But a single mic makes this an average handsfree speakerphone.
The 3.5mm buds were poor with no bass, high mid and harsh treble.
BT output to our reference Sony WH-1000XM4 on SBC and AAC codecs is loud and clear – more than CD quality.
We don’t measure this on mono devices.
Build – PASS
154.6 × 73.8 × 8.8mm x198g
Glass – Panda toughened Frame – polycarbonate Back – plastic paint deposited
In the box
Bumper cover 7.5 W charger USB-A to USB-C cable 3.5mm standard buds
It is well-made and should stand up to the rigours of daily use.