Interestingly the 1.6GHz A53 were all rock-solid, and the 2.2Ghz A73 cores were the ones that throttled. I suspect that this is more about heat control. Heat load at 100% topped out at 40°, which is warm but not uncomfortable – especially in winter.

Comms

Wi-FI Wi-Fi 5 (AC), dual-band, 2 x 2 MU-MIMO
Wi-Di, Hotspot
BT Bluetooth 5.0
Codecs: SBC
NFC Yes
USB USB-C 2.0

Wi-Fi 5GHz signal strength is -49dBm compared to our reference Galaxy Note9 at -48 (lower is better). That means it has excellent Wi-Fi connectivity. It achieves a maximum of 866Mbps at two metres from our reference D-Link AC5300.

4G/5G/LTE

LTE Cat 12/13 – 600/150Mbps  
Bands: 1/2/3/4/5/7/8/12/17/28/66
Sim Dual or hybrid with microSD
Other One sim can be VoLTE and VoWiFi depends on carrier

Signal strength was -87dBm and picked the next nearest cell up at -113. Our Galaxy Note9 has -96 and does not bring up the adjacent tower, so it reflects later technology.

Sound

Sound 3.5mm audio jack
Earpiece speaker
Mono: down firing
Mics: 2
Buds type: 3.5 combo standard
FM Radio
Res Unknown

It has Dolby Smart Audio that automatically adjusts the speaker characteristics to content. You can also select music or movie. Our tests were on Smart settings.

Maximum ringer volume is 88dB – very loud. Music/voice is 75/78dB – also very good.

  • Deep Bass: 20-40Hz – nil
  • Middle Bass: 40-100Hz – nil
  • High Bass: 100 to 200Hz – almost nil creeping in at 180Hz
  • Low-mids: 200-400Hz – building
  • Mids: 400-1000Hz – flat
  • High-mids: 1-2kHz – flat
  • Low-treble: 2-4kHz – flat
  • Treble:4-6kHz – flat
  • High Treble: 6-1kHz – flat
  • Dog whistle: 10-20 – good to 16kHz

This is a bright vocal sound signature – good for clear voice but a little harsh for music. We did test selecting Dolby Audio Music mode, but it made little difference – it is hard to change the natural characteristics of a small speaker.

In hands-free, it was excellent – loud and callers could hear me clearly.

The phone supports BT 5.0 but no high res codecs. We tried with a pair of Sony WH-100XM3 headphones, and the results were commensurate with that type of codec.

We tested the 3.5mm buds – themselves a curiosity these days and the sound was, as expected, with weak upper-mids and treble. It appears to support 4-ohm buds and headphones, and you may expect lower volumes with 8/16/32-ohm headsets.

Other

Other Fingerprint sensor on the back
Face recognition
GPS and e-compass

As expected, the rear fingerprint sensor was reliable. Face Unlock is software-based and took about a second to activate in good light. Forget using it in low light.

We took it for a drive to test out the GPS functions. It was perfectly adequate for turn-by-turn navigation.

Battery

Battery 3500mAh battery
Charger   USB-C/USB-PD 2.0, 5V/3A, 9V/2A, 12V/1.5A (18W)
Quick Charge: 15W Turbo – 7 hours use for 15 minutes
Approx recharge time: under two hours

The battery is slightly above average size for this class of device. 15W turbo charge is excellent and ensures a full battery in around 1.5-2 hours or under four hours with a standard 5V/1A charger. USB-C/USB-PD is rare on this class of device.

Some days I had 20% left at 10 PM and others 50% for what were very similar use. It could stretch for two days with moderate use. However, Android Pie battery management takes several weeks to kick in so we would expect some improvement over time.

Tests:

  • 1080p Video loop, 50% brightness, Airplane mode nearly 14 hours
  • Under 100% load, maximum brightness and everything turned on – four hours

Given typical use we expect this to run for 24+ hours between charges.