Once smartphones go below a certain price point, they tend to stop having any real aesthetic appeal. So when the Happy Mobile D-Lite Plus 2 arrived with its metal frame and beveled edges, I was pleasantly surprised. Of course, a smartphone should be as much substance as style. Does the D-Lite Plus 2 deliver. Find out in my full review!
What’s in the Box?
The Happy Mobile D-Lite Plus 2 comes in a surprisingly compact box. You still get all the standard accessories though, plus a nice little extra.
- Headset with in-line mic
- Wall charger
- Micro USB to USB cable
- Flip cover
- User manual
- Warranty card
Save for the flip cover, none of the accessories are anything special. The headset is the normal bud-type that are more prone to popping out of your ears while the charger has a rated output of 1A.
Build Quality and Design
As mentioned, the Happy Mobile D-Lite Plus 2 is one unexpectedly stylish phone. It features a metal frame with beveled edges while the back cover can be replaced with the included flip cover. It a little hefty for a 5-inch smartphone, but at least you’re reassured of the build quality.
The one thing I don’t like though is that the capacitive navigation keys don’t light up, so you might end up with a few mispresses, especially at night or in a dark room.
The D-Lite Plus 2 packs an adequate 5 inch screen with qHD resolution. Of course, HD would be preferable, but it’s good enough for consuming most content. Just don’t expect to catch many details without zooming in. Also, contrast, color reproduction and viewing angles aren’t the best, but still quite acceptable especially when you consider the price point.
One notable downside though is that it only registers a maximum of 2 simultaneous touch-points. The problem with 2-point multitouch screens is they can sometimes have difficulty recognizing simultaneous touches and will often only register one finger touching the screen even if you have two. This mostly affects texting, as well as multiple gestures in apps and games.
Software and UI
On paper, the Happy Mobile D-Lite Plus 2 runs on Android 5.1 Lollipop with a few customizations to set it apart from the rest. To be honest though, it certainly doesn’t look at all like Lollipop 5.1, although the theming engine is pretty neat as it lets you give the UI a new appearance by switching the wallpaper and icons.
There are also a few interesting widgets that I have a love/hate relationship with. They look pretty and all, but they’re big and interactive so sometimes I’ll be swiping through the screens and end up accidentally tripping the music widget instead of navigating to the next homescreen as I intended. Thankfully, they’re just widgets and can easily be removed.
Benchmarks and Performance
Driving the Happy Mobile D-Lite Plus 2 is a rather dated 1.3GHz MT6572 dual core chipset from MediaTek. At this price point, I wasn’t expecting anything fancy, but it’s worth noting that the MT6572 SoC has been powering many of our local phones since at least 2013. For benchmarking against other devices, I could only run it through it through Vellamo Metal (single core) as there was a RAM/compatibility issue with Vellamo Multicore and Antutu. It didn’t fare well in the sole benchmark I ran it through, scoring just 594 in Metal. With that score, the D-Lite Plus 2 ranks barely above the Samsung Galaxy Nexus — a 5 year old phone.
Communication and Wireless Connectivity
The D-Lite Plus 2 is as capable a communication device as any. While it doesn’t support 4G/LTE, it’s still capable of decent connectivity speeds that 3.75G/HSPA+ can allow. Because of its 2pt touchscreen, I wouldn’t recommend it to the heaviest texters, although once I personally got used to it, it wasn’t much of an issue for me.
The Happy Mobile D-Lite Plus 2 comes equipped with a 5mp fixed focus camera on the back with an LED flash. Serviceable shots are possible in really good lighting. The flash is mostly ineffective in low light though, so it’s best if you only use it when lighting is ample.
The 2mp front camera isn’t that good though. Images taken with the front camera tend to be pretty dark, even in good lighting. It’s best to use it solely for video chatting.
Entertainment and Gaming
Thanks to its screen size, watching movies, browsing through your gallery, or reading web articles should be enjoyable enough on the D-Lite Plus 2. Sure, the screen only has a resolution of 960 x 540 (qHD), but it only becomes a problem with smaller text and finer details.
The sluggish chipset does present a problem though that affects the kind of games and videos you can play. It’s best to stick to just 480p standard definition videos if you want them to play smoothly as HD videos start to cause audio sync problems. Also, don’t expect to play any hardcore 3D games. Stick to casual games like Candy Crush or Subway Surfer and you’ll be fine.
The D-Lite Plus 2 is powered by a 2,000mAh battery, which is adequate enough for everyday use. Also, the D-Lite Plus 2’s screen has a lower qHD resolution, which helps reduce power draw.
The MT6572 processor isn’t the most energy-efficient though. I ran the D-Lite Plus 2 through the PCMark app’s battery life benchmark tool, which simulates continuous usage across 4 different work scenarios: web browsing, video playback, writing and editing text, and photo editing. According to the benchmark, the phone should only be able to last through 2 hours and 18 minutes of active usage.
Standby battery life is a different story though as it’s able to maintain its charge with a minimal drop in battery level. Since the D-Lite Plus 2 is hardly a power user’s phone, I imagine it should last the average working day for most users.
So Should You Buy the Happy Mobile D-Lite Plus 2?
Phones under Php3k generally aren’t aesthetically pleasing, so its nice to see the Happy Mobile D-Lite Plus 2 stepping up in this department. It’s one solidly crafted phone and feels more durable than a lot of other smartphones in this price point. The 2pt touchscreen and aging SoC do leave something to be desired, but this price bracket does require compromises, even if just a couple.
Happy Mobile D-Lite Plus 2 Specs
- 5″ qHD IPS display (960 x 540 resolution, 220ppi)
- 1.3GHz MediaTek MT6572 dual core processor
- Mali 400 GPU
- Android 5.1 Lollipop
- 1GB RAM
- 4GB internal storage (1.3GB user-accessible), expandable via microSD up to 32GB
- 5mp fixed-focus rear-facing camera with LED flash
- 2mp front camera
- WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS with A-GPS
- FM Radio
- Micro USB 2.0 port
- 2,000mAh battery
- Price: Php2,999