Cloudfone Thrill 450q Review: Sleek and Compact Quad Core Performance

Quad core phones from local brands are fairly new but they’ve been in the market for at least a few months now. However, it’s only been recently that Cloudfone launched their first quad core smartphone, the Cloudfone Thrill 450q. At Php8,999, this 4.5 incher is priced to compete with the big boys and Cloudfone has even thrown in some nice freebies to go with the standard retail package. But what are you really getting for the money and does it provide the performance people have come to expect from quad core phones? Find out in my full Cloudfone Thrill 450q review.

Update: Cloudfone got in touch to clarify that the flip cover is an optional accessory and does not come bundled with the Cloudfone Thrill 450q. My apologies for the mixup!

What’s in the Box?

The Cloudfone Thrill 450q retail package gives you all the basics plus a little more. The standard accessories include:

  • phone
  • headset with built-in mic
  • micro USB transfer cable
  • battery
  • charger
  • user manual
  • warranty card

Cloudfone Thrill 450q Box and Accessories

Then there are the free extras:

  • screen protector (pre-attached)
  • 4,400mAh power bank
Cloudfone Power Bank Angle Shot
The power bank is worth Php1,500 when sold separately. The one bundled with the phone doesn’t come with the extra adapters.

You can also get a custom flip cover that replaces the battery cover.

Cloudfone Thrill 450q Flip Cover Opened

I like how Cloudfone has thrown in a few extras the power bank and screen protector with the Thrill 450q. While it ultimately adds on to the SRP, these are accessories you would be getting anyway. The optional flip cover is nice and replaces the standard battery cover and adds a protective flap that covers the screen. However, it doesn’t protect the sides of the device, so you’ll still want to be a bit careful with the phone.

The pre-attached screen protector is also a nice extra and is something that not that many local phone brands include with their phones. The power bank is especially nice, not just because the Cloudfone Thrill 450q doesn’t have that big of a battery, but because you can use it to charge other devices as well.

Build Quality and Design: Sleek, Compact and Durable

The Cloudfone Thrill 450q features a sleek and compact design that’s only measures 131.1 x 66.5 x 9mm. It comes in both black and white and sports a silver accent strip along the edges for a bit of character.

Cloudfone Thrill 450q Featured

The front of the device is dominated by the 4.5 inch display. Along the bottom of the screen are the capacitive navigation buttons: menu, home and back. There’s also an LED notification strip just below the navigation buttons so you can tell if there are messages and other notifications that need to be checked without having to wake up the screen.

Cloudfone Thrill 450q Screen Close Up

Along the top are the earpiece, light and proximity sensors, and the front-facing camera.

Cloudfone Thrill 450q Left Side

On the left side of the device, you’ll find the long and slim volume rocker that runs along the silver accent strip.

Cloudfone Thrill 450q Right Side

The power/lock button can be found on the right.

Cloudfone Thrill 450q Top

On top, there’s the micro USB port and the 3.5mm headset jack.

Cloudfone Thrill 450q Bottom

At the bottom, there’s the microphone pinhole, lanyard eyelet and a small notch to help with prying off the battery cover.

Cloudfone Thrill 450q Back

At the back, you’ll find the noise-cancelling mic, 12mp autofocus camera with LED flash, the Cloudfone logo and the loudspeaker toward the bottom.

The phone strikes all the right chords, featuring a slick and sleek design that is just as about form as it is function. I like that the notification light accents the design really well, but the weird thing is that because it’s at the bottom of the screen rather than the top and kind of looks like the earpiece above the screen, I’m always confusing the bottom of the phone for the top o_O.

The Display: This Thing is Gorgeous

The Cloudfone Thrill 450q sports a 4.5 inch QHD (540 x 960 resolution) IPS display, giving it a pixel density of 245ppi. It isn’t the largest, but the Thrill 450q’s display has a couple of nice features. First, there’s the fact that it’s a one glass solution, meaning the touch layer and the display have been combined into a single layer of glass rather than several separate layers. This brings the actual display closer to the surface, making an already clear and vivid IPS panel that much better. It’s also protected by a scratch and shatterproof layer of Dragontrail glass.

Cloudfone Thrill 450q Display

I like that the Cloudfone Thrill 450q’s screen is large enough for most people without being cumbersome the way most phablets with 5″ screens and above are. The screen also has a lot of nice technology built-in, and it shows in the bright and vivid images that it’s able to produce.

The Chipset: Capable Entry-level Quad Core Chip

The local market basically has a choice between two SoCs when it comes to quad core phones: the Qualcomm 8225Q and the MediaTek MT6589. Of the two, the Cortex A5-based Qualcomm 8225Q the the Cloudfone Thrill 450q is equipped with typically posts lower scores in Antutu – usually about 10k+ – compared to the Cortex A7-based MT6589 which can post scores between 12-13k+. That’s why I didn’t expect the Thrill 450q to be as snappy as it was.

Yet there it was, navigating through the UI like butter, giving me as much performance as the MT6589-based phone that I had prior to the Cloudfone Thrill 450q. This is likely because the Thrill has a qHD screen vs my MT6589-based phone, which had an HD screen. A qHD (540 x 960) screen has fewer pixels for the GPU to process (518,400 vs 921,600) compared to an HD (720 x 1280) screen.

Benchmark scores aren’t everything, but I’m sure some of you will still want them, so here they are from Quadrant, Antutu and Nenamark 2.

Quadrant: Click to enlarge

Here we see the Cloudfone Thrill 450q comparing favorably with the HTC One X, which was the Taiwanese phone maker’s flagship phone from just a year ago. I/O performance is noticeably better on the Thrill 450q between the two, although its RAM isn’t as fast.

Antutu: Click to enlarge

In Antutu, the Thrill doesn’t compare as favorably with the HTC One X and instead performs more along the lines of a Galaxy S2. They both post similar scores, but here we see that the aging Adreno 203 doesn’t perform as well as the S2’s Mali 400.

Nenamark 2
Nenamark 2: Click to enlarge

If gaming and GPU performance is all you care about, then the Nenamark benchmark result is probably all you’re interested in. It simulates a number of effects into a single scene and simplifies the results into a single FPS-based score. The Thrill 450q scored a 36.3fps, which is comparable to an HTC Sensation XE (with Beats!).

Software and UI: Close to Stock Feel

Homescreen  App Drawer  Widget Drawer

The Cloudfone Thrill 450q runs Android 4.1 Jelly Bean right out of the box. It isn’t the latest iteration of Jelly Bean, but it’s not like a lot of phones out there are on 4.2 anyway. Besides, you’re still getting the benefits of the software optimizations and features vs ICS 4.0, such as the Project Butter optimizations and the improved notification area.

FM Radio  Sound Center

The FM Radio app is different from stock Jelly Bean though, and there’s an app called Sound Center, which is basically a pre-installed equalizer with a lot of preset sound profiles. There’s a bit of bloatware in the form of the Cloudfone app and Cloudfone Store app, but I can live with that.

One thing I don’t like is that you can’t hear the actual notification ringtone through the headset while using the FM Radio app. You’ll hear it from the loudspeaker just fine, but what you’ll hear through the headset is the radio cutting off for a few seconds and then resuming shortly after.

Telephony and Wireless Connectivity: Surprise! It’s a Phone Too!

Smartphones should never forget that they are supposed to function as phones, first and foremost. The Cloudfone Thrill 450q does the job of a phone quite admirably, featuring a spacious screen that isn’t cumbersome even for smaller hands the way phablets are. I’ve always had trouble with 4 inch screens and smaller because the onscreen keyboards were hard to press, but the 4.5 inch screen feels just right. Call quality was also satisfactory, although the earpiece could have been just the teensiest bit louder. For a better calling experience, you’ll want to use the headset.

The Thrill 450q also comes with a complete set of connectivity options all the way up to 3G/HSPA. There’s WiFi b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, and GPS with A-GPS. Wired connectivity is taken care of by the micro USB port and 3.5mm headset jack.

Imaging: Capable Point and Shoot Replacement

BSI is all the rage among locally-branded smartphones these days and the Thrill 450q certainly isn’t going to be without it. It features a 12mp BSI autofocus camera with a secondary 3mp fixed focus front camera. The primary camera is quite respectable, and I put it to the test on a rainy day to see how well the BSI sensor would do in less than optimal lighting.

Camera Sample Mama Chit's
Just wanted to throw in a shot in normal lighting before anything else.
Camera Sample Cloudy
Here’s a shot of an intersection near where I live. The color accuracy is pretty good despite the day being pretty cloudy, and the light reflecting off from the wet streets shows off nicely.
Camera Sample Cloudy 2
Here’s a shot of a nearby covered basketball court. Despite the lighting not being optimal, the camera was still able to capture a good deal of detail, particularly the grill pattern of the protective barrier around the court.
Camera Sample Cloudy 3
Here’s a shot of a busy street. Again, quite a lot of detail is captured. The text from various signage is easily readable.
Camera Sample High Glare
The glare reflecting off from the bar refrigerator was strong enough to affect the rest of the shot. Or maybe I just wasn’t holding the camera steady enough. Umm.. Probably the latter.
Camera Sample Night
Here’s a sample night shot. I had to take several of them before I got one that was decent enough to use for this review. I’m a bit disappointed that you have to find a really good light source before taking a shot in really low-light environments. Well, there’s the flash for that.

Entertainment: All-around Multimedia Machine

The Cloudfone Thrill 450q performs quite well as a multimedia device. Thanks to its Adreno 203 GPU, it’s able to decode up to HD quality movies (720p) and play them through the Videos application on the gorgeous 4.5″ qHD IPS display without any stuttering. The music listening experience is also enhanced thanks to the aforementioned Sound Center app that functions as a system-wide equalizer.


But my favorite part is that the 3.5mm headset port is CTIA compliant. Say what now? To keep it simple, there are basically two standards that headsets follow: CTIA and OMTP.  Phone and headset manufacturers have trended toward the CTIA standard, but a lot of phones from Chinese OEMs such as the ones that our local brands like to license tend to support OMTP. As a result, most headsets from popular manufacturers won’t work with out locally-branded smartphones. This is why it was a pleasant surprise that my Sennheisers and urBeats headsets worked wonderfully with the Cloudfone Thrill 450q without an adapter 🙂

Gaming: It’ll Play Anything You Throw at It

The Thrill 450q is equipped with a capable Adreno 203 GPU. If that sounds familiar to you, it’s probably because it’s the same GPU as on the Cherry Mobile Flare, which is considered entry level these days. Surprisingly, it performed admirably well considering it isn’t exactly the best GPU you can get on a locally-branded device.

Screenshot Dead Trigger
Dead Trigger

One of the first games I played to test the gaming performance of the Cloudfone Thrill 450q was Dead Trigger because I could easily switch between low, medium and high graphics settings to see how well it would perform on each one. Being the sadist that I am, I played it on the highest graphics settings first and found the frame rates and response to be playable. The lag was barely discernible and most casual gamers won’t mind that sort of thing in favor of prettier effects. When I cranked it down to medium, the lag disappeared and gameplay became quite smooth.

Screenshot Temple Run 2
Temple Run 2

Another game I like to test my phones on is Temple Run 2 because lag-free response is especially important in this kind of game that relies on the quickness of your reactions. Like Dead Trigger, it also features an adjustable graphics setting, and again, I played it on max settings. This time, the response time was pretty good, although I noticed the slightest bit of stuttering in the frame rates. Cranking it down again to medium settings eliminated that at the expense of the visual effects.

Screenshot Need for Speed Most Wanted
Need for Speed Most Wanted

The last game I played to test the phone’s gaming performance was Need for Speed: Most Wanted. While it’s typically with most phones, it’s also one of the more graphically punishing games you can install on your Android device. The onscreen action is frenetic and lower end phones tend to stutter when you do anything aside from drive in a straight line. Here, the Cloudfone Thrill 450q performed admirably, with only minimal slowdown when I drifted into corners. The gameplay was so smooth I actually finished the entire game from start to finish just on this phone! Yay!

Battery Life: You’ll be Thankful for That Power Bank

The Cloudfone Thrill 450q is equipped with a 1,800mAh battery, which isn’t that big compared other locally-branded quad core smartphones in the market. To be fair, it only has a 4.5″ qHD screen so it doesn’t require as much power as the 5″ screens of the quad core phones of other local brands. Still, battery life wasn’t the best. On my typical usage, which mainly centered around calling and texting, WiFi constantly on, with around 30 minutes of gaming, the Thrill would only last 9 to 10 hours.

Cloudfone Power Bank
The bundled Cloudfone power bank also doubles as an LED flashlight! Neat!

Thankfully, Cloudfone bundles a 4,400mAh power bank with the Thrill 450q’s standard retail package. The power bank packs enough juice to charge the phone at least twice and can be used to charge your other devices too. It even doubles as an LED flashlight. Pretty neat!

So Should You Buy the Cloudfone Thrill 450q?

Considering that it’s Snapdragon 200 SoC isn’t the best available in the market, the Cloudfone Thrill 450q still performed just as smoothly as my previous phone, which was equipped with an MT6589 processor and 5″ HD screen. And for Php8,999, you’re not just getting the phone and standard set of accessories, but a bundled screen protector, flip cover and power bank along with it. When bought separately, these bonus accessories would sell for a total of Php2k on their own, and since a lot of smartphone buyers would buy them shortly after getting the phone anyway, it’s an especially smart buy.

Cloudfone Thrill 450q Display Angle Shot

I must say that I’ve enjoyed using the Cloudfone Thrill 450q as my primary phone for the last month, so much so that I didn’t hesitate to get rid of my previous phone. It combines sturdy build quality and premium design with competitive specs for the price. Heck, I didn’t even have to worry about getting  screen protector or protective case since it already comes with those 🙂

Cloudfone Thrill 450q Specs

  • 4.5″ qHD IPS display (540 x 960, 245ppi) with Dragontrail glass
  • 1.2GHz quad core Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 8625Q processor
  • Adreno 203 GPU
  • Android 4.1 Jelly Bean
  • 1GB RAM
  • 4GB internal storage
  • 12mp BSI rear-facing autofocus camera with LED flash
  • 3mp front-facing fixed-focus camera
  • 3G/HSPA
  • WiFi b/g/n
  • Bluetooth
  • GPS with A-GPS
  • 1,800mAh battery
  • Price: Php8,999 with free flip cover screen protector and 4,400mAh power bank (the power bank is worth Php1,500), flip cover sold separately (Php500)

6 thoughts on “Cloudfone Thrill 450q Review: Sleek and Compact Quad Core Performance

        1. The sound output from the headphone jack is decent. The loudspeaker is a little weak, but it doesn’t sound like it comes from a rattling can.

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