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Torque Ego One Review: Because Everyone Needs a Beater Phone

Torque Ego One

Torque had sent me a trio of their Ego devices earlier in the month for me to review. This time out, it’s the Torque Ego One smartphone that I’ll be taking a look at. If its price is any indicator, there’s no reason to expect anything special. However, having a good beater phone can be practical for a lot of folks and the Ego One is as good a phone as any to start.

What’s in the Box?

Standard Accessories

The Torque Ego One comes in a box sporting the Ego lineup’s trademark black design. Inside, you’ll find the usual set of standard accessories:

  • Handset
  • Headset with in-line mic
  • 500mA wall charger
  • Micro USB to USB cable
  • Battery
  • User manual
  • Warranty card

Surprisingly, Torque included an in-ear headset rather than the slightly cheaper earbud type. I’d still prefer buying a decent headset over these, but the sound isolation is good enough to be enjoyable if you can live without the bass. They didn’t include different sets of replaceable buds though, so your stuck with one-size-fits-all.

Build Quality and Design

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With just a 3.5 inch screen, the Torque Ego One is a tiny handset that fits easily in one hand. It’s an all plastic build with a feel to it that’s reassuringly solid.

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The location of the power/lock button and volume rocker was a bit weird as they were on the left side of the device whereas most smartphones would usually have them on the opposite side. Still, everything else is where you would expect them to be.

Display

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The Torque Ego One sports a 3.5 inch HVGA screen. While it’s not an IPS panel, the color reproduction and viewing angles are still pretty good. It’s hardly the sharpest screen and you may have a difficult time reading text or making out small details on the screen. Also, the resolution will limit what apps you can install on the Ego One since many of them will require screens with higher resolution.

Software and UI

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The Ego One runs Android 4.4.2 KitKat out of the box. For an entry-level smartphone, it’s not too bad. However, with Marshmallow 6.0 now coming out on today’s new smartphones, the Ego One is three versions of Android behind. Thankfully, aside from the Torque-branded wallpapers and a bit of bloatware, the UI is pretty much stock.

Benchmarks

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Seeing as the Ego One only packs a 1GHz single core processor paired with 256MB RAM, don’t expect much in the way of performance. Out of curiosity, I ran it through Vellamo Metal (single core test) where it scored a 423, which was somewhere near the performance of a Samsung Galaxy Nexus.

Camera

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The Torque Ego One is equipped with just a 2mp fixed focus camera and does without a front camera. This can cause an issue with some apps that actually require a front camera. The images themselves aren’t particularly great and the camera doesn’t take great shots in low light, but it does come with an LED flash to brighten things up if needed.

Entertainment and Gaming

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The combination of an HVGA screen, lowly single core processor, and just 256MB RAM means your entertainment options are a little more limited compared to most smartphones. The Ego One doesn’t have any issue playing most audio files, such as MP3s, but you’ll only be able to play up to 480p standard definition videos without any stuttering, frame skips, or audio sync problems.

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The limited storage also limits the kind of games you can install on the Ego One, and I wouldn’t have expected games like Dead Trigger 2 to be all that playable anyway. However, the phone is still able to support a lot of casual games to help you kill some time when needed. Just don’t expect Clash of Clans to show up in the Play Store.

Battery Life

The Ego One comes with a 1,000mAh battery, which may seem small to most informed buyers. However, considering the small low resolution screen and single core processor, it’s not like it needs a lot of juice anyway. It can last a day on a single charge, but battery life can quickly be drained if you play games too long.

So Should You Buy the Torque Ego One

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At just Php1,199, the Torque Ego One promises a smartphone experience at the price point of a feature phone. However, to keep it that low, some corners had to be cut. The screen size and resolution isn’t actually that bad once you get used to it, but the limited RAM and internal storage severely limits how much of a smartphone experience you’re actually getting. Still, I’d rather go with the Torque Ego One than your average feature phone because of the convenience of syncing contacts and reminders between all of my devices. Anything beyond that is really just frosting on top of a very inexpensive cake.

Torque Ego One Specs

  • 3.5″ HVGA display (480 x 320 resolution, 165ppi)
  • 1GHz RDA 8810 single core processor
  • Vivante GC860 GPU
  • Android 4.4 KitKat
  • 256MB RAM
  • 512MB internal storage, expandable via microSD
  • 2mp fixed-focus rear-facing camera with LED flash
  • 2G, dual SIM (2x mini SIM)
  • WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS with A-GPS
  • 1,000mAh battery
  • Price: Php1,199
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