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Wickedleak Wammy Neo 3: Competitive price, good performance

DECCAN CHRONICLE | DECCAN CHRONICLE
Published Aug 24, 2015, 6:21 pm IST
Updated Mar 28, 2019, 2:27 am IST

Indian smartphone manufacturer Wickedleak had recently announced their flagship smartphone, the Wammy Neo 3. The device is a great alternative for those who prefer a large display screen along with a good performing hardware and on a strict budget. The Wammy Neo 3 is a dual SIM Android smartphone with 4G compatibility and a substantially large battery life.

The Wammy Neo 3 sports a large display screen, pushing it into the phablet area. The display comprises of a full HD 1080p panel built with an OGS display technology and protected by the Corning Gorilla Glass 3. Below the display, a powerful MediaTek MT6752 chipset powers the smartphone with its eight 1.7GHz 64-bit processors and a MALI T760 MP2 graphics processor. The Neo 3 is one of the few smartphones out there, which incorporates 3GB of LPDDR3 RAM, sufficient enough to support multitasking along with the relief from force closing apps to speed up the device. An internal storage of 16GB has been supplied, of which, a total of around 12.7GB is available for your data and apps. If you find this insufficient (which all definitely do), a micro SD card slot is available, which can expand the storage by an additional 64GB.

The Wammy Neo 3 sports a camera with a 14MP sensor and a single LED flash. The front camera has a 4.9MP sensor for the selfie friendly audience. On the connectivity front the smartphone supports 4G data network, along with 3G and 2G compatibility, wireless a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth v4.0, GPS and a micro USB with OTG. Powering the entire smartphone is a 3000 mAh battery, and the Wammy Neo 3 is driven on Google’s Android KitKat operating system, which the company promises to upgrade to Lollipop in a few weeks. The Wammy Neo 3 measures 8.7mm in thickness and weighs in at 177g.

What we found missing was a few features that could have added value to the device in the longer run. Wickedleak could have implemented a wireless charging option and an NFC chip within to help make the Wammy Neo 3 a little more future-proof and add more value to the product. A fingerprint sensor would be too much to ask for—right?

As far as the build is concerned, the Wammy Neo 3 has a rugged chassis with a dual-tone design. The front-panel sports a silvery matte-finished colour along with a chrome trim running around the edges of the display. The rear panel is made of a black polycarbonate plastic and sports a granulated (rough) texture and is very nice to the touch. If you have experienced the OnePlus One, which has a coarse, rough rear panel, this one has a fine granular texture, somewhat like fine-grade sandpaper. The rough texture gives the phone a good grip and a nice feel when using the device. (One of our office colleagues referred to the texture similar to her nail file).

Moving on, the front-panel sports a simple design with the display and the earpiece, sensors and the front camera towards the top. The bottom has absolutely no capacitive buttons or a physical one. The control buttons are integrated into the operating system itself. Though the option is good, Wickedleak could have made use of this space for a fingerprint sensor or used it as a front-facing boom speaker.

The power and volume buttons take their place on the right side of the device, while the top and bottom sports the earphone jack and the micro USB connector. The rear panel features the primary camera with an LED flash just below it. The lower part of the rear panel has two slits, one each for the stereo speakers below it.

Housed under the rear panel are the two SIM slots and a micro SD card slot, along with a removable battery. Bundled along with the Neo 3 handsets are a USB cable and a charger. It seems like including a headset is no more a requirement, since it helps make the device a little cheaper and gives the user a preference of using their earphones.

Surprisingly, the Wammy Neo 3 feels pretty light and slim, even though the device weighs in at 177g with an 8.7mm thick body. Though slightly wide, the Neo 3 seems comfortable enough to hold and use—thanks to the light weight and the textured rear panel. Those with smaller palm sizes would find this a little disappointing. As for the physical buttons, we did find the power button less tactile, but that could vary from device to device—probably our review piece wasn’t the lucky one.

As for the user interface, Wickedleak has installed a minimalistic custom Android-flavored ROM with almost no bloatware, whatsoever. It’s a good choice, since this helps make the device’s operating system smoother and perform better and also gives the user additional room for more personal apps.  The user interface is straightforward, with a few themes and apps that can be installed according to the user’s choice. Sadly, there are no themes that you can download or add on your own. Wickedleak should consider this for its future projects.    

The Wammy Neo 3 has a few unique features added into its user interface. One of which is the ‘HotKnot’. Yes, we spelled it right, and since it was under the networks tab in the ‘Settings’, we too thought it was a misspelled ‘Hotspot’ option. Well, HotKnot was a good feature that was known around two years ago, but does not seem to be implemented in many handsets out there. HotKnot technology is patented by Goodix and MediaTek, which is pretty similar to NFC, but uses the display instead of an antenna. To use HotKnot, you need two devices that feature it. The technology helps transfer data from the display of one device to the display of the other, taking advantage of the capacitance of the two display panels. They have to be placed on top of each other, displays touching together, where the display senses the other handset, and starts the data transfer. Once synced, the two devices can transfer data between each other at a speed of around 7Bb/s.  Since the technology is not as efficient as NFC, and the data transfer is slower, the feature is not seen in many smartphones today. However, the technology is unique and could be beneficial in future requirements.

Other features include gesture wakeups, where you can simply swipe the display with a particular pattern to open a particular app or function.

As far as the performance is concerned, we played around with the smartphone for quite a while. High-end gaming and high-definition videos are absolutely no problem—thanks to the 8-core processor and the 3GB RAM within. We found absolutely no lags, stutter or slowdowns whilst gaming, multimedia or casual usage. However, yes, this experience will differ from person to person and depend on the type of app and the number of apps being used simultaneously.

We did find that the Wammy Neo 3 was pre-rooted, out of the box. Once can make use of the rooted smartphone to install some of the few, good apps that require a rooted phone. No more looking up the internet and XDA forums on how to root the Neo 3—it’s already done. So Android developers can be happy with a device they don’t have to prepare for bootloader unlocking. Simply flash it!

With regards to the camera, which is one of the most important part of the specification sheets that are usually scrutinized, is above the average. Though the unique number on the megapixel count kept us thinking, the Neo 3’s 14MP camera does a fairly good job. Photos in broad daylight are fairly good with a nice balance of brightness and contrast. We did find that the colours are a tad vibrant, but it can be fixed using any photo suite software. Photos in the shade were also captured with good sharpness. HDR mode makes up for the photos with darker areas and captures a slightly over-sharpened, but a fairly good quality photo. Only a slight disappointing issue is what we noticed here—HDR mode with a moving subject or a frame that has moving objects, creates ghost images, which is very prominent. You have o make sure you have a steady hand or use a tripod. Wickedleak should try fixing the issue with an OTA update, where the second picture for the HDR mode should be captured higher speeds. Check out the sample pictures from the Wammy Neo 3 below. To see the actual quality, you can click on the images for the full picture.

 

 

Images below show the HDR performance for the Wammy Neo 3

 

The image below shows the ghosting effect caused by moving images in the frame during HDR capture

Finally, after playing around with the device for a few days, testing the user interface and snapping pictures around the place, we conclude to state that the Wickedleak Wammy Neo 3 is definitely a good smartphone with a decent price tag. What makes this device stand out from its competitors is the 3GB of RAM, good performance, above-average camera performance and a lower price tag.

The Wammy Neo 3 is priced at Rs 14,999 and comes along with a 7-day money-back guarantee, a 1-year comprehensive warranty and a life-time of free pickup and drops in case you run into issues with the piece. We recommend the Wammy Neo to those who are hunting for a large-screen smartphone with priority on performance and cautious on price. The Wammy Neo is available on Wickedleak’s own online shopping website and is not available in local stores.  

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