inew-v5-review-11NOTE: If you’re looking for the KitKat article, please click here. We apologize for the incorrect link in the Newsletter.

Several months back, iNew released the revolutionary, but flawed iNew V3. For the price, it was and is an excellent bargain. At the time of the V3’s release, there was nothing else like it out there in that price bracket.

The V3 combined 16GB ROM with NFC, OTG, a beyond slick design with a unique button I’ve dubbed The Alien Eye. This inexpensive addition to the design of the phone, along with brushed aluminum sides and slim profile made the iNew V3 one cool looking phone.

The biggest issue with the iNew V3 was that it had a weak charging system and could only charge the battery to about 88%, which made the already low 1830mA batter less than ideal. Some users charged the battery externally and avoided the problem altogether, but it was still a giant blemish against iNew and the V3. Here we are 5 months down the line and the problem is still not fixed.inew-v5-review-12

Now mid Q2, iNew is set to release the iNew V5 and iNew V5c. The iNew V5c is 1GB RAM/ 4GB ROM 540p 5.5″ MT6582 phone. The iNew V5 will be the same shell, but have higher specs all around, including MT6592. Due to iNew V5 MT6592 specs not yet being finalized, we’ll mostly focus on the iNew V5c here.

iNew V5c review iNew i8000 RAM/ROM/SoC

MTK6582 is the same SoC as was used in the iNew V3. It’s more than enough to power Android smoothly. The Mali-400 GPU is adequate for playing most games — especially at 540p.

1GB of RAM is also adequate for a phone in 2014 and should satisfy casual and moderate users. The one caveat here is that users who often flip between apps a lot may find some things falling out of memory. It may happen with 2GB of RAM as well, but with 1GB the situation is more likely. I posted about this awhile back and recommend anyone considering a new phone give it a read prior to laying down their dough.inew-v5-review-10

ROM is 4GB. In early 2013 this might have been considered quite decent, but it’s looking a bit thin for Q2 2014. For myself, 4GB is enough. Normally EBR edits can be done to make sure you have enough internal memory, and then use SD storage for everything else. But users who install hundreds of apps may still feel cramped with 4GB storage in the iNew V5c.

iNew V5c review iNew i8000 LCD

As the push is towards bigger and bigger phones, it’s no surprise iNew’s next phone is 5.5″. I do prefer a 4.7″-5.0″ phone, but a 5.5″ LCD could still be considered. The real issue here is the resolution of 960*540 which gives a PPI of 200. Most 14″ notebooks are 720p which is a PPI of 111, however it needs to be considered that normally people sit at least twice as far away from their notebooks than when viewing their mobile.inew-v5-review-8

The LCD on the iNew V5c will be useable, but won’t be the prettiest screen to look at. If you’re not used to looking at retina screens, then it shouldn’t be a big issue. The problem comes about when looking at a 200ppi LCD, and then switching to 300+. You’ll really appreciate the difference and may end up hankering for a higher res screen.

The other thing to consider here is that with 540p, owners of the iNew V5 will gain significant battery economy and improved FPS vs. phones with 720p or 1080p.

iNew V5c review iNew i8000 battery

I mentioned above the problems with the iNew V3 charging system. As it is now, many users have already sworn off iNew due to the issues with the V3. It’s critical that iNew get it right with the iNew V5. Two phones in a row with garbage charging systems and iNew may have permanently damaged their rep with the majority of consumers.inew-v5-review-7

The battery in the iNew V5 will be 2270mA. Some may already be shutting the door on the iNew V5 because of this, but 2270mA in a 5.5″ LCD phone is fine and due to the low resolution should provide decent battery life assuming the charging system is proper and fully charging the battery.

iNew V5 review iNew i8000 dimensions & style

The dimensions of the phone are reported to be 142.5*70.8*7.2mm. It’s possibly the phone is truly this thin at it’s thickest point, but if we go by their past tout with iNew V3, it’s likely not the case. Still, if it ends up being 8mm, the iNew V5 can be considered very thin and it’s of little concern to me 8mm vs 7mm, other than iNew perhaps being a bit less than fully honest.

It’s interesting they haven’t gone with the very successful look of the iNew V3. There’s no Evil Eye, but the back case is one of the most unique I’ve seen. Very similar to the back piece on the Doogee DG350 Pixels. I’m on the fence on whether I like it straight off, but I have a feeling it would be something that would grow on anyone who purchased the phone.

iNew v5 review frequency

Great news for Europeans, but terrible news for many others

Take a look at the inside of the phone in the picture gallery. We see this unit is 900/2100. Great news for Europeans, but terrible news for many others. That includes anyone on DTAC in Thailand which uses 850 for 3G and nearly all countries in the Americas. It’s possible there will be two versions released, but I wouldn’t count on this being the case. For now, Americans need to stay away from this phone until it’s quite sure there are 850/2100 models available.

In regards to GSM / 2G, the V5 supports quad-band 850/900/1800/1900.

iNew V5c review iNew i8000 conclusion

Less than ideal resolution and minimal storage can be forgiven by considering the price. This phone is retailing in the $130 ball park. In this price range, the resolution and storage specs fit right in.

Even though the new design of the iNew V5 is interesting and unique, I think it was a mistake not sticking with the excellent design of the iNew V3. Fixing the charging system and releasing their models at different specs and sizes, but with the same slick looking aluminum sides, thin profile and The Evil Eye as the iNew V3 would have been a huge hit.

Still, that is water under the bridge, and those in the market for a $100 phone in Europe or anywhere with 2100MHz 3g carriers should have the iNew V5c at the top of their short list.inew-v5c-inew-i8000-review

Edit: This just in — the pictures in the gallery clearly show this phone as the iNew V5C. On the box, and on the phone’s sticker. Also several shops have this listed as the iNew V5. However an advertisement at inewphone website shows this phone as the iNew i8000. Whether this phone will be marketed as both iNew V5C and iNew i8000, or whether there’s a mistake in the mix remains to be seen. For now the review will list this phone as iNew V5c until the situation becomes clearer.