Price (RRP): $149
I want to start with a compliment – the Aspera Gem 4G dual sim is all you can expect from a $149 phone.
No, it is not a backhander – the Aspera Gem 4G dual sim passes most of our test parameters which admittedly are for testing phones costing several times as much.
Now with the Aspera Gem 4G dual sim, it is important to match expectations with the price – no champagne on a lemonade budget.
- Do you expect blinding speed (1.5Ghz quad-core MediaTek) – No
- Masses of ram/storage (2/16/microSD to 64GB) – No.
- A camera that will perform well in all conditions (8+5MP) – No
- Huge screen with small bezels (5.45-inch with very prominent top, sides and chin) – No
And that is what the Aspera Gem delivers. The more I reviewed the Aspera Gem, the more I decided that that is a ‘what you see is what you get’ device. And to that end, it is not too shoddy.
Aspera Gem 4G dual sim
- Website here
- Price: $149
- Warranty: 1-year
You only need to ask what you need a $149 device to do? We will use FAIL, PASS or EXCEED against test criteria.
Who is Aspera? PASS
Aspera Mobile (website here) is based in Sydney and sells Aspera Easy phones, Rugged phones and Smartphones. The bulk of its products are from $79-199 with the Aspera R8 Rugged at $399.
MobiWire – a Chinese ODM (makes for other brands) makes the Aspera Gem. I suspect it makes much of the Aspera range.
As far as we can ascertain it has C-tick approval and complies with all Australian requirements for warranty and carrier certification. Sales are via Big W, Harvey Norman and online. And being an Aussie company, it complies with ACL for warranty and service.
Screen – PASSable
It is 5.45”, 1440 x 720 (HD), 324ppi, 18:9, LCD screen. It is a Fingerprint magnet and has poor off-angle and daylight viewing. We estimate 200 nits and low contrast as blacks are quite grey (our test suite does not work with MediaTek Power VR GPU).
What more do you need? A screen protector would have been ideal.
Processor, GPU, RAM and Storage
MediaTek MT6739WW, 4 x Cortex A53 300MHz/1.5GHz. The Alcatel 1X and Nokia 1 Plus as well as many lower-cost handsets not sold here use it.
Often compared to a circa 2013 Qualcomm SD 410 but it runs slower and hotter.
It is an older 28nm processor (read thicker and less energy efficient) launched in 2017 for ‘small budget Android devices.’ It has a CAT 4/5 DL/UL (150/50Mbps) modem with AGPS, VoLTE (dual sim but only one active), Wi-Fi N dual-band and BT 4.2 (Aspera claim 5.0 LE but our test software shows 4+).
The GPU is a PowerVR Rogue GE1800. Video encoding is only H.264. Playback will decode HVEC, H.263/264, MP4 and V8/9. It will play very low frame rate mobile games in 720p.