- Page 1 Elephone P9000
- Page 2 Performance, Camera, Battery life, Verdict
Elephone P9000 – Performance, Speakers & Call Quality
The P9000’s Helio P10 processor is unique in that it’s a “true” Octa-core chipset. This means that its eight Cortex-A53 cores are running at the same level of performance, rather than using the “big.LITTLE” architecture where smaller, weaker cores are paired with more powerful ones.
As a result, performance dips found in other phones due to the presence of slower cores aren’t really a feature on the P9000. It’s an incredibly fast device, and the roomy 4GB of RAM included means that switching between apps is rarely anything but buttery-smooth.
In terms of pure processing grunt, however, the Helio P10 isn’t in quite the same league as the leading silicon from the likes of Qualcomm and Samsung.
In real-world performance the handset rarely feels like it is lacking power. The only time I found it struggled was with detailed 3D games, which, while perfectly playable, don’t run as smoothly as on cutting-edge Android devices. Again, it’s perhaps foolish to expect this, since the P9000 costs less than £200.
In AnTuTu Benchmark, the device scored 47,864, which places it way behind the likes of the Galaxy S6 (81,087) and HTC One M9 (79,965) – two phones which, it should be pointed out, cost substantially more than Elephone offering.
Geekbench 3 returns a single-score rating of 810 and a multi-core score of 3,056. Again, these are behind the very best Android phones, but by no means disastrous – in fact, the P9000 scores better than the Google Nexus 6, OnePlus One and Galaxy S5 in the multi-core test.
The Elephone includes 32GB of storage space, which again bucks the trend for this end of the market. Of that total, around 24.5GB is available to the end user once preinstalled files and OS data is taken into account, and using the aforementioned microSD support, you can add to that total if you so wish.
Elephone P9000 – Camera
The Sony IMX258 sensor on the rear of the P9000 is capable of snapping 13-megapixel shots and is aided by laser auto-focus and a two-tone LED flash.
4K video recording is supported, and it’s also possible to snap images in the low-compression RAW format – something that purists will be pleased to learn. The camera software comes with the usual array of settings and shooting modes, allowing you to have a pretty deep level of control over your shots.
Colours are bright
The app is quick to boot up from the cold start, and the sensor captures photos with impressive speed. However, the resultant shots suffer from a lot of noise when viewed up-close.
There’s quite a lot of overexposing going on here
The phone’s somewhat sluggish HDR mode also seems to overexpose images, washing them out with too much light as a result. To be honest, I stopped using HDR after the first few shots.
Elephone has told me that the camera software that currently ships with the P9000 isn’t the finished article though, so this may well be rectified with a future OTA update. For selfies there’s an 8-megapixel camera, which was more than up to the job of taking vanity shots and holding video calls.
Elephone P9000 – Battery
Surprisingly for such a slim handset, the P9000 is packing a 3,000mAh power cell, which gives the phone impressive real-world staying power. Stamina of this kind is welcome in such a cheap phone, but what’s even more remarkable is the inclusion of both quick charging and wireless charging. For the former, the P9000 takes advantage of MediaTek’s Pump Express technology, which is similar to Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 2.0 standard.
We were able to entirely fill the battery in just over an hour, but it’s worth noting that you’ll need a compatible quick charger to do this – and amazingly, there isn’t one bundled with the phone as standard. Instead, you just get the reversible USB Type-C cable and are obviously expected to slum it with standard charging via one of the many compatible wall chargers you’ll inevitably have lying all over the house.
The official Elephone quick charger is available for purchase separately, and is actually pretty cheap. I was sent one along with the review phone, and had to use it with a UK travel plug adapter. I was also sent a rather fetching, official faux-leather flip-case, which can be purchased with other items in a special accessory bundle.
Wireless charging is a real bonus, especially in a phone of this price; Google couldn’t even stretch to fit it in the Nexus 5X or the 6P. Any Qi charger will do the job – I used an old Nokia one from a couple of years back and it worked flawlessly, although it’s worth noting that it doesn’t charge anywhere near as fast as when using a wall charger or fast charger.
Stamina-wise, that 3,000mAh battery will get you through an entire day of use without much trouble. If you’re playing games, watching films or generally taking part in activities that require the screen to be on for long periods, however, you’ll notice a sharp drop-off in longevity. During my video test – where I streamed an HD movie from Netflix for an hour – around 20% of the battery was consumed.
Should I buy the Elephone P9000?
In the past there have always been a few niggles that have held me back from wholeheartedly recommending Elephone’s products. However, the P9000 manages to get pretty much everything right, with the possible exception of its inconsistent fingerprint scanner and unfinished camera software.
Practically every other element of the device is exemplary: the pin-sharp screen, the surprisingly nippy performance and the impressive build quality. Not to mention the inclusion of features such as fast charging, wireless charging, NFC and Android 6.0 out of the box.
When you consider that all of these elements are featured in a handset that costs less than £200 – albeit one that has to be imported from China, and therefore risks possible import duties – then the P9000 becomes even more remarkable.
It’s powerful, runs the latest version of Android and comes with a checklist of features one would normally associate with a flagship handset from the likes of Samsung or LG. If you’re not concerned about having a phone manufactured by a brand nobody in the UK is likely to have heard of, then this should be a serious contender for your cash.
The Elephone P9000 offers cutting-edge features and performance at a superb price.
Score in detail