Swipe Elite Note Review: Packs Decent Hardware! But Custom UI?
The Indian smartphone market is getting flooded with new smartphone companies; some are trying to go after the high-end budget segment, whereas some companies are trying to make a place in the low-budget segment, and such brand is Swipe. The company is not that old, and quite- frankly, they have not made a big impact in the smartphone pack, however, recently, they have managed to launch some pretty good smartphone in the low-budget segment; which is worth noticing, which brings us to the Swipe Elite Note, the device comes with decent specs and looks quite promising, so without wasting much time, let’s get started with the full review of the Swipe Elite Note.
The Swipe Elite Note is currently priced at Rs 7,999 and is sold in India via Flipkart & Amazon. Let's talk about the specs, the Elite Note comes with a 5.50-inch display, under the hood, the device packs a MediaTek quad-core processor bundled with 3 GB of RAM, and comes with 16 GB of internal memory. The one thing which is quite annoying is the weight, the Swipe Elite Note weighs around 194 grams, so the device is quite heavy and makes it quite uncomfortable to hold in hands. It’s a dual-sim device, and also comes with a microSD card slot, which can be expanded up to 32 GB.
As far as built quality is concerned, the device doesn’t have a metallic body, instead, it comes with magnesium alloy body and at Sandstone back panel, looking at the camera section, at the rear, there is a 13 MP camera, and at the front, there is a 5 MP camera. As far as OS is concerned, the device runs on Android v 5.1. Powering the device life is a 3000 mAh battery.
The Swipe Elite Note sports a 5.50-inch HD IPS grade display, having a resolution of (720 x 1280p), the device also comes with 2.5 D curved glass. For protecting the display from getting scratches, Swipe has added a Dragon Tail Glass, now let’s talk about the screen quality, the display is quite decent, the viewing angles are good but the color reproduction is not that great, and the brightness level is also average, so in harsh Sunlight, it becomes quite difficult to read anything. Overall, the screen quality is average, if it would have been a 5.0-inch display, then it would have been at bit better.
Underneath the display, the Swipe Elite Note packs a MediaTek MTK 6735 quad-core processor clocked at 1.3 GHz, the processor is getting sandwich between 3 Gigs of RAM, and a Mali T720 GPU, on paper everything looks good, but the reality is way too different, even though, you get 3 GB of RAM, but due to presence too much bloatware and memory management issue, you might face several lags while doing daily multi-tasking.
The gaming performance is also quite disappointing, on Nenamark it scores just around 46 fps, which is quite low, so if you are into gaming then this is not the ideal device to get, on the positive side, you will be able to play casual games, which requires minimum graphics and usage, but if you want to play heavy games, then you will face continuous shutters.
And if you do multitasking or gaming for a long duration then the device seems to overheat, and sometimes the application crashes.
If you look for the weakest point in this device then that have to the UI, the Swipe Elite Note runs on Freedom OS built on Android v 5.1 Lollipop, the custom skin comes with a lot of bloatware, and the background running apps kills around 80-90 % of the available RAM, and what’s worst is that, you will not be able to uninstall all the bloatware it comes with.
And sometimes, you might also face a pop up message saying that “battery is overheated”, which is a result of lack of optimization, and on day-to-day usage, several apps might crash while you are using it. So if you want to use the smartphone without facing such issues then it is recommended that you install a stock UI launcher instead of using the Freedom OS.
Swipe has also bumped up the camera in the Elite Note, as a result, at the rear, you are getting a 13 MP autofocus camera along with a LED flash, the rear camera also allows you to shoot HD videos at 720p, and at the front you are getting a 5 MP camera, that comes with 88 degrees wide angle lens .
Speaking about quality, although, it’s a 13 camera, but it doesn’t seem like it, shots taken in good Sunlight seems to be quite decent, but pictures taken indoor or low-light conditions comes to be quite blurry and sometimes colors seem to fade away. The 5 MP at the front, produces below average pictures most of the times even with the beautification mode.
At the back, Swipe has fitted a 3000 mAh removable battery, on paper it seems to offer good backup but as mentioned before, there are certain issues with this Elite Note, which also includes the battery, if you use the smartphone for more than 10-15 minutes, the battery starts to heat up, and while playing games, within 5-10 minutes, the battery overheats and sometimes reaches even 40-45 degrees.
Overall, with the 3000 mAh battery, you will not be able to get a full day of usage if you use your smartphone quite frequently, however, if you are a casual user, then the device will be able to survive a full working day before running out of juice.
Is the Swipe Elite a good option for a smartphone under Rs 8000? Well, if it was 2-3 months ago, then it certainly was a good competitor, but now with the entry of smartphones like Coolpad Note 3 Lite, Redmi 3S, K5 Plus, it really doesn’t make up a tough competitor. After all, it also comes with certain issues, which are quite frustrating.
- Display: 5.5-inch ( 720 x 1280p)
- Processor: MediaTek MTK 6735 1.3 GHz Quad-core
- RAM: 3 GB
- GPU: Mali-T720
- Internal memory: 16 GB
- OS: Android v 5.1
- Camera: 13 MP & 5 MP
- Expandable memory: Yes, up to 32 GB
- Battery: 3000 mAh
- 5.50-inch HD display
- 3 GB RAM
- 16 GB internal Memory
- Weight is on the heavier side
- Comes with too many pre-installed bloatware
- Overheating issues
- Freedom OS lacks Optimization issues
- Poor front facing camera
The Swipe Elite Note is overall a decent smartphone with multiple additional features in it. The Smartphone is expected for better user experience if compared with other smartphones of similar range in India.