SKK Mobile Griffin 2 Review: What the Original Griffin Should Have Been

Back when I reviewed the original SKK Mobile Griffin, I was aware that they also had a Griffin 2, which had the exact same specs, except with an IPS screen rather than your run of the mill TN TFT LCD screen. So I had to wonder why they would release two phones with one major difference between them while selling them both at the exact same price.

SKK Mobile Griffin 2 with Box

Well, I had the opportunity to find out since SKK Mobile eventually lent me a Griffin 2 review unit to try out. So in case you had the same questions as I did, read on for my full SKK Mobile Griffin 2 review.

What’s in the Box?

Box and Accessories

The SKK Mobile Griffin 2 comes in a typical bright blue box that the brand should be known for by now. In it, you can expect a set of accessories that comes with just about any standard retail package.

  • phone
  • headset with in-line mic
  • micro USB transfer cable
  • wall charger, 650mA output
  • battery
  • quick start guide

The headset is a standard earbud type, not the in-ear type that some local brands have been including in their phones. The wall charger’s output is a little disappointing, but the battery capacity isn’t that much to begin with anyway. The micro USB transfer cable is a little bit weird. The micro USB connector is longer than the typical ones you see, and later on you’ll find out why.

Build Quality and Design


Compared to the Griffin, the Griffin 2 has a much plainer appearance. Whereas the Griffin had an almost iPhone-esque appearance that feigned a premium handset, the Griffin 2 is about as generic as you can get. The only thing I can compare it to, appearance-wise, is the Gionee Pioneer P4, which isn’t a premium-looking phone to begin with.

Front Camera

While most touchscreen phones have screens that dominate the front of the device, the same can’t be said for the Griffin 2. The bezels are thick on all sides, making for a lot of wasted space. Above the screen is the earpiece and front camera, as well as the light and proximity sensors.

Navigation Keys

Below the screen is a set of capacitive navigation keys: menu, home and back.

Left Side

You won’t find any hardware controls on the left, although there’s a silver strip that runs along all 4 edges of the device, ala the iPhone 4.

Right Side

To the right is the power/lock button and volume rocker.


On top is a 3.5mm headset jack and the micro USB port.


At the bottom is a microphone pinhole for making calls.


At the back, you’ll find the primary camera with a dual LED flash setup and SKK Mobile branding below it. Toward the bottom is a small slit for the loudspeaker.

Now, I should mention one little kink in the design of the Griffin 2. That the aforementioned micro USB port is a little oddly placed. The actual port is situated deep into the body of the phone that a regular micro USB connector can’t reach it. That’s why the connector of the phone’s bundled micro USB transfer cable is longer than usual. While that means you can now charge the phone with a compatible cable, it also means if you lose the stock cable, you won’t be able to use another one with it.

Micro USB Connector Comparison
Griffin 2’s Stock Micro USB Transfer Cable on the Left

The Screen


This is basically the only spec that is different between the Griffin and Griffin 2. The original Griffin had one of the worst 4 inch WVGA screens I had ever seen on a smartphone so if there was only one thing that needed to be improved upon, it was the screen. Thankfully, they used an  IPS panel with the Griffin 2 and not a TN panel. The improvement is huge as it’s no longer an eyesore to use the phone.

Screen Wide Angle

Of course, this is a 4 inch phone we’re talking about so it’s still a bit cramped, particularly for texting in portrait mode. 4 inches is the absolute minimum I would recommend to anyone getting a touchscreen phone, unless of course they preferred the traditional T9 layout.

The Chipset

The SKK Mobile Griffin 2 packs a MediaTek MT6582 SoC under the hood with a 1.3GHz quad core processor and Mali 400 MP2 GPU. Considering it was designed for phones with qHD to HD screens, it’s a bit of overkill. Translating into real world performance, operating the Griffin 2 and navigating through the UI is buttery smooth. I ran a couple of my favorite benchmarking apps, namely Quadrant and Antutu. Here are the results.

Software and UI

The Griffin 2 runs Android 4.2.2 out of the box. Unlike most Android phones from budget brands, the Griffin 2 has gone a few lengths to customize the UI. The UI is a bit cartoonish and you have a choice between different built-in themes. They all look mildly similar to each other though. In addition, there are also a few custom widgets. My favorite is the Music widget, mostly because the vanilla Android Music widget kind of sucks.

Diving into Settings menu will present you with another tweaked aspect of the UI. All the standard options are there, it’s just a different theme than most Android users will be accustomed to.

Telephony and Wireless Connectivity

The Griffin 2 is equipped with a full suite of connectivity features, sans LTE. You get up to HSPA+ mobile data speeds, WiFi, Bluetooth and GPS. If you need to communicate from this device whether to text, call or access the internet, you won’t be lacking for options.

The 4 inch WVGA screen lends little space for the touchscreen-typist though. If you have large hands, texting and composing IMs and emails is going to be a pain unless you do it in landscape mode. Either that or you can switch to a T9 layout by installing an alternative keyboard from the Play Store.

I like the Griffin 2 better as a calling device. It’s small, easily pocketable, and fits very nicely in the hand. Also, because of the comparatively larger body in relation to its screen, the microphone pinhole is situated much closer to your mouth when taking calls.

Possibly the biggest value that the Griffin 2 brings in terms of connectivity is its support for HSPA+ speeds. With many HSPA+ portable hotspots selling for around the same price, I would rather get a phone that doubles as a hotspot than just a hotspot that does nothing else.



The Griffin 2 comes with a 5mp rear-facing fixed focus shooter with dual LED flash coupled with a VGA front camera. While the phone itself performs smoothly, the camera is another story. Quite frankly, it isn’t that good. Of course, this is a sub-Php4k phone we’re talking about so it shouldn’t really come as a surprise. Anyway, here are a few sample shots so you guys can be the judge.


As a portable entertainment device, the Griffin 2 is fairly good. The small 4 inch screen leaves a bit to be desired, but thanks to the excellent color accuracy and viewing angles of the IPS panel, it’s still good enough for watching movies every now and then. Browsing the web and reading eBooks isn’t as good though because you’ll be scrolling through content just as much as you will be reading it.

Griffin 2 with Headset

As a music player, the Griffin 2 does just about as well as any smartphone. The expandable storage will allow you to play your entire music library as long as you have a large enough micro SD card. The loudspeakers are loud but start to sound “tunog-lata” at medium volume. You’ll want to upgrade from the stock headset as it’s far from an ideal solution if you want to listen to your music in private. Thankfully, the headset port is CTIA compliant so you won’t encounter too many compatibility issues when buying a headset.


The Griffin 2’s MT6582 processor and accompanying Mali 400 GPU should make quick work of most games, at least on paper. However, the limited 512MB RAM means heavier games will sometimes encounter low-memory issues that send you crashing back to the homescreen. I tried to play my favorite test games on the Griffin 2 with some mixed results.

Minion Rush

The first game I tested was Minion Rush, a graphically heavy 3D runner/platformer of sorts that has made low to midrange phones beg for mercy. The frame rates weren’t particularly smooth, but the responsiveness to controls was good enough, especially for a game that really tests your reaction time.

Dead Trigger 2

Next, I played Dead Trigger 2. While I usually turn the graphics up to high settings, this time I opted not to since the difference wouldn’t have been noticeable on a 4 inch WVGA screen anyway. For the most part, gameplay was smooth, but there was the occasional graphical hiccup where frame rates would stutter for a fraction of a second. I assume that it’s because the game briefly runs out of RAM.

Finally, I tested the Griffin 2’s gaming prowess by playing Real Racing 3. Real Racing 3 is one of the most realistic and graphically heavy racing games that you can install from the Play Store. My first attempt ended in the app crashing to the homescreen because it ran out of RAM. Before I attempted a second try, I closed all other running apps to free up more RAM. This time, the game ran fine without any hitches.

While I was eventually able to finish a race in Real Racing 3, expect low-memory issues to abound if you like to play heavier games. It’s a shame that the MT6582 SoC and Mali 400 GPU should be hampered by such a limitation, but such is the price of compromise to keep the price as low as it is.

Battery Life


Ideally, I would recommend at least 1,400mAh battery for phones with 4 inch screens and 1,500mAh if it’s IPS because this kind of panel consumes more power. Well, we’re stuck with 1,300mAh on the Griffin 2 and based on my light usage habits of minimal calling and texting, constant connection to WiFi, occasional gaming and browsing, I used up about 6.03% every hour. That’s about 16.58 hours. Here’s my battery usage history for you to check out.

So Should You Buy the SKK Mobile Griffin 2?

Box and Specs

The SKK Mobile Griffin 2 represents a lot of value. At the tune of just Php3,599, you’re getting speedy processing power, a surprisingly decent 4 inch IPS screen, not to mention HSPA+ connectivity. It’s so affordable, it would make a better option over a dedicated portable hotspot that typically costs just about as much. If you can get over the generic looks, limited RAM and poor camera performance, the Griffin 2 is a great entry level option that does it all. Unfortunately, it now has to go against this phone.

SKK Mobile Griffin 2 Specs

  • 4″ WVGA IPS display (480 x 800 resolution, 233ppi)
  • 1.3GHz MediaTek MT6582 quad core processor
  • Mali 400 GPU
  • Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean
  • 512MB RAM
  • 4GB ROM, expandable via micro SD
  • 5mp rear-facing fixed focus camera with dual LED flash
  • VGA front camera
  • 3.75G/HSPA+
  • WiFi b/g/n
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • GPS with A-GPS
  • 3.5mm headset jack
  • Micro USB 2.0 port
  • Dual SIM
  • Price: Php3,599

2 thoughts on “SKK Mobile Griffin 2 Review: What the Original Griffin Should Have Been

  1. nope. you can get the starmobile play (almost the same specs) for 500php less or you can get (if you can get a hold of it) the cherry mobile flare 3 for 500php more which has better specs. 🙂

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