When you think of SharafDG, you think of a power retailer that sports the latest and greatest electronics. You don’t however, think of a smartphone. But that’s exactly what the retailer did this GITEX, by ambitiously announcing the arrival of their very own branded series of smartphone and tablets. The first in the lineup is the eKlasse XM 590, an Android-based smartphone aimed at the entry-level user.
Build quality & design
There is one very obvious and rather alarming fact about the eKlasse XM 590, and that is it looks exactly like the Samsung Galaxy S3. The design similarities are just too close to ignore, and what makes it even funnier is that even the sounds found in the Samsung Galaxy S3 have been copied into the XM 590. But design aesthetics are the only thing that the XM 590 and S3 have in common – the XM 590 relies on cheaper plastic materials in its body, and features a very glossy back that makes it a bit unwieldy to hold if you happen to have sweaty palms. The back cover is also ridiculously stiff to take off, so expect a bit of poking and prodding when replacing your SIM card.
On the top of the phone you have the standard 3.5mm audio jack, with a volume rocker on the left side (rather than the right) and power button on the right instead of at the top. There’s also a large Home button on the front, flanked by two capacitive buttons for Back and Menu. These buttons are backlit, so when the lighting fades out it can get a bit difficult to find them in low light.
|Price:||AED 999.00||AED 999.00|
|Release Date:||September 9, 2013||August 8, 2013||July 1, 2013|
|Dimensions:||72 mm x 140 mm x 9.2 mm||66.9 mm x 131.8 mm x 9.9 mm||62 mm x 124 mm x 9.3 mm|
|Weight:||160 g||123 g||115 g|
|2G:||GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900||GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900||GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900|
|3G:||HSDPA 900 / 2100||HSDPA 900 / 2100||HSDPA 900 / 2100|
|SIM Size:||Standard SIM||Micro-SIM||Micro-SIM|
|Multiple SIMs:||Dual Standby||Dual Standby|
|USB:||microUSB v2.0||microUSB v2.0||microUSB v2.0|
|Wi-Fi:||802.11 b/g||802.11 a/b/g/n||802.11 a/b/g/n|
|Chipset:||Snapdragon 200||Snapdragon S4 Plus MSM8227|
|CPU:||Quad Core ARM Cortex A7||Quad-core 1.2 GHz Cortex-A5||Dual-core 1 GHz Krait|
|GPU:||Power VR SGX544 MP||Adreno 203||Adreno 305|
|RAM:||1 GB||1 GB||1 GB|
|Storage:||4 GB||4 GB||4 GB|
|Display:||LCD IPS||TFT capacitive touchscreen||TFT capacitive touchscreen|
|Resolution:||1280 x 720||480 x 800||480 x 854|
|Size:||5 in||4.3 in||4 in|
|OS Type:||Google Android||Google Android||Google Android|
|Interface:||N/A||HTC Sense UI 5.0||N/A|
|Capacity:||1750 mAh||1800 mAh||1750 mAh|
|Battery Type:||Lithium Polymer (Li-Poly)||Lithium Ion (Li-Ion)||Lithium Ion (Li-Ion)|
Benchmarks and Performance
Since it’s an entry-level phone there’s not much to boast about the phone’s performance. While most apps can be installed and run on the XM 590, you’ll find that certain apps cause the phone to stutter a bit, especially games that have a lot of animations or effects. You’ll also notice slowdowns when unlocking the phone or navigating in between apps, so it’s expected that the more content you download onto this phone, the slower it’s going to get. Surfing websites is bearable, though some websites did lock up for a few brief seconds before springing back to life. At the end of the day, you’re not buying a budget Android phone if you’re going to be running overly complex apps on it, so for general everyday use the occasional sluggish performance can be overlooked.
Screen and Camera
The XM 590 sports a 5” screen with a resolution of 1280 x720, and content looks quite acceptable on it. There’s a slight color fading when viewing the screen at slight angles, and it’s also hard to see outdoors or in bright light, mostly due in part to its ultra-glossy appearance. The camera on the XM590 is 8MP and is capable of taking most outdoor shots, but does poorly in low light conditions. Images have a fair bit of noise added to them, and colors aren’t as natural as they should be. But for casual photography, the XM590 should be just fine.
Call quality on the XM 590 was acceptable, with the phone only dropping a call once in my entire time of testing. The speaker on the back is adequate, but not loud enough to be heard over any considerable background noise. The phone also supports dual-SIM, however when one SIM is in use the other one will appear as switched off.
It’s hard to figure out why SharafDG would want to launch their own phone, but the eKlasse XM 590 is a phone that joins the many other Android clones floating around the market at the moment. It doesn’t offer anything that we haven’t already seen in a budget Android phone, but for the average performance it delivers, I would have liked it to be priced a little bit cheaper than it’s current price of AED 999.