Wiko Harry Review – Expect More For Less

When it comes to budget smartphones, horror thoughts like horrible display, horrible experience and huge compromises came into mind. But recently, lots of smaller, newer brands trying to make the experience better, even at a lower price. Wiko is a rather well-known brand when it comes to the budget smartphone series. We have recently taken a look at 2 of their ufeel range products – Prime and Fab, and are impressed with them given their price point, RM899 and RM799 respectively. In this review, we’re taking a look at something that bares a lower price – the new Harry, which is part of Wiko’s latest line-up of latest devices. At just RM599, what does the Harry feel like as a primary daily driver, or even as a backup phone?

Unboxing

Like other Wiko devices, the Harry comes in a colourful and fun-looking box, with an actual image of the device printed in colour at the front. Most part of the box are covered in Wiko’s signature “bleen” colour. The rear of the packaging shows off the different colours available and the specs. Opening up the box, the phone is presented on the left. Even though the Harry is a budget device, Wiko is still kind enough to include all the accessories that are found in more expensive devices. Besides the usual microUSB cable, a pair of earphones and a USB wall adapter, you’ll also get a nice transparent soft case with smoked effect, a screen protector, some SIM card adapters and a battery.

Design

While being a budget device, the design of the Wiko harry hardly suggest its true identity at all. In fact, even though it does follow Wiko’s usual design language, there are some slight twist that makes the Harry stands out among its fellow Wiko siblings. While the design is rather grown up and stylish, it is also rather fun in certain ways. The overall proportions is alright and it fits and grips in your hands nicely due to it only having a 5-inch display. At 9.18 millimetres thin, it is not exactly the thinnest device in the range, but there are no problems at all.

When it comes to use of materials for the exterior, even though there are devices in this price range are starting to step up the game, you still had to slightly lower your expectations. There’s nothing wrong with the Harry either. There’s no premium materials or gorilla glass on the front, but that is ought to be expected. Still, the plastics used does feel rather good and there are no rough edges. The front panel can be rather reflective and picks up lots of finger greases, which wil tamper with the display quality. The plastic band on the sides have nice graining to it and is painted well. The back panel that goes with the plastic band has a nice brushed aluminium design, even though it definitely feels like plastic. Even though the materials used are mostly plastic including the chassis, it still weighs a moderate 160-grams with the battery in.

A 5-inch display is located at the front panel, with slightly ticker bezels on both the left and right side than we’ve seen, but it is still acceptable. The wiko logo is located in its signature spot, which is the top left of the device, followed by a dual-colour LED notification light, a 5-megapixel front-facing camera, a couple of sensors which are hidden from sight and an earpiece. The bottom houses 3 capacitive touch buttons for Android operation, while the middle button only serves as a home button, the two buttons on each sides are customizable, but only for back and recent apps. The orientation of both buttons are customisable, hence the dot symbol. Unlike other devices where the side bands wrap around the front panel, the panel on the Harry sticks out further from the side. It can feel slightly uncomfortable resting your fingers on the edges, but it is not a big deal.

The left is pretty clean of any clutter, and rather unusually, both the 3.5 mm audio output jack and the microUSB port are located on the top. The volume and power button casually sits on the right, and since all 3 of the buttons have the same design, the power button has a different texture on its surface to make it stand out. The bottom is rather clean apart from a noise-cancelling microphone.

The layout for the back panel is simple, but the brushed metal effect makes it look more interesting. The 13-megapixel rear camera sits in the middle-top, followed by a single-LED flash below it. The rear-firing speakers are located towards the bottom.

Like the uFeel Fab, the Harry also features a removable back cover, and in addition, the 2500mAh Lithium-ion battery is also removable, which is something we have not seen in a long while. Apart from that, there are 2 microSIM slots and a standalone microSD card slot which takes card up to 128GB. So the Harry actually has something to be proud of and offers something practical that are not offered in other devices that we’ve look at recently, including the top-of-the-line Samsung Galaxy S8+.

The Harry is offered in 3 colours – Anthracite (like our tester model), Gold and Wiko’s signature colour – Bleen.

Specs and Performance

On paper, the Wiko Harry might not sound like much, but as a budget device, it’s still rather well-packed. As usual, Wiko opted for the more cost-efficient MediaTek processors, and powering the Harry is a Quad-core processor clocked at 1.3GHz, with 3GB of RAM thrown in.

In the real world, the Wiko Harry actually performs surprisingly fine, even though it will not blow you away with amazing performance. With the aid of a close to vanilla Android operating system, it puts less load on the 1.3GHz quad-core processor during light tasks, such as using the included applications or going through the settings. But there are times it struggles, but that’s rather random and won’t cause too much problem. Stepping into third-party applications and things started to get a bit of a mixed bag. Some lighter apps won’t give a lot of problems and some does, and it really struggles when it comes to performance apps. Games take a while to load, and once the 3GB RAM is filled up which can be done easily, it tampers even with normal tasks. Switching between apps does take a while. But overall, it is still a usable device, but there are times where you need to lower your expectations.

Results obtained from Geekbench 4 does not yield much confidence either. Single-core score is settled at 516, while multi-core score sits at 1498.

The Harry does come with a standard 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, and dual-band Wi-Fi is not found on this device, so you had to stick to the 2.4GHz wireless. Bluetooth 4.0 is also thrown in to the mix and works very well. It does have 4G LTE connectivity, which is something that is unacceptable if a device does not come with one. The Harry still relies on a microUSB 2.0 port for charging and data transfer, and it supports On-The-Go devices.

Speaker

Since the Harry does not have a unibody design, Wiko has decided to place the mono speaker at the back of the device. The speaker does not sound as good as other mono speakers to start off with. There is little to no bass, the clarity could have been better and it’s not very loud either, but at least there is not distortion at maximum volume. The location of the speaker means that the audio will be blocked when you put it down on a flat surface. While the speaker on the Harry will not give you the best experience in terms of music and movies, something light such as watching a short clip on social media or YouTube is still acceptable. You can always hook it up to external devices over Bluetooth or the 3.5mm audio output jack for a better experience. It is also worth noting that there are no software audio enhancements.

Display

A 5-inch display is found on the Harry, with a rather average 720p resolution in 16:9 format. Even though the pixel density is at a lower side at just 294 pixels-per-inch, it is still perfectly usable and does not cause too much problems. It’s a pretty sharp display at this price range.

But, all goes down the drain by its display quality. While Wiko claims that it is a display with IPS panel, the setup is a pretty big let-down. First of all, there’s the front panel, which isn’t Gorilla Glass. It is pretty reflective, and while it is still usable, at bright conditions it does ruin the experience. There is also a noticeable slight gap between the front panel and the display panel, which is part of the reason why the IPS panel was unable to shine. While the colours are accurate and natural, the colours do not pop like other IPS panel we’ve seen. Even though it is quite bright and with high dynamic range, the experience under sunlight is pretty much ruined by the front display. There are times where you are constantly reminded that you are only paying RM599 for this device. But, credit where credit’s due, the blacks are pretty dark, and there is no noticeable light bleeding.

Like both the uFeel Prime and uFeel Fab, the Harry also comes with software enhancements for the display, called the MiraVision. It includes 3 main modes – standard, vivid and user mode. While vivid mode improves the colour, user mode is the one that actually allows you to tune the display to your preferred settings. Included adjustable settings are contrast, saturation, picture brightness, sharpness and colour temperature of the display. There is also a dynamic contrast option for video playback which deepens the black to make the colour pop more. It is nice to include those settings which allows users to fine tune the display to their desired setting.

Camera performance

For a budget device, the camera specs of the Harry on paper sounds rather positive. The camera setup is similar to the one found on the uFeel Fab – 13-megapixel sensor for the primary camera and 5-megapixel front-facing camera.

How does that translate to real life? Like the uFeel Fab, it is still a bit of both a hit and a miss. There are slight improvements the Harry compared to the uFeel Fab in terms of image quality. Images taken in sufficient lighting are alright – with natural colours and well preserved and sharp details. We do expect worse but it is close to blowing our minds. However, the camera does start to struggle when moving into darker conditions. Even with interior lights, it tends to blow the ISO up too much which results in noticeable noises, but image quality is still acceptable. Under dark conditions, details are completely wiped away, and colours can be inaccurate at times. Stick to conditions which favour the camera, and it can really take decent photos.

The Harry also only records videos, even though it is limited to 720p resolution (1280 X 720), it is now recorded in a clearer, more recent MP4 format. The videos are recorded at a steady 30 frames-per-second, and the frame rate is smooth and steady at favourable conditions. In darker conditions, it is what it is. Audios are recorded in stereo format, and unlike the ufeel Fab, this is loud and clear. There are no stabilisation aids whatsoever, and videos can be shaky.

The front-facing setup consists of a 5-megapixel sensor, and that is about it. The sensor itself is alright, and like the rear-camera, the quality of the image depends heavily on its surrounding conditions. With the right lighting, you can expect quality selfies out of it, but we do recommend more patience during low-light photography, and the flash feature which uses the display as a huge flash works fairly well to brighten up your face. Even though there are no auto-focus feature, at arm’s length, it is easy to get your face in focus. Also included is a software beautification mode, which simply picks up your face and apply filters on it. We recommend staying at lower settings as medium setting and onwards will totally ruin your face. Should you have more friends to join in a selfie, the wide selfie mode which acts sort of like a panorama mode for the front facing camera works really well, and images are well stitched together.

The camera app is pretty much the same as other Wiko devices. There are 5 toggles on the left, with the shutter and record button on the right. Everything is logically laid out and easy to use. Swiping down on the interface brings you to more modes, including a standalone HDR mode and a pro mode. The pro mode allows you to adjust settings for focus, exposure value, ISO, white balance, sharpness and saturation. The rest of the settings can be obtained by swiping up.

Software

Wiko has been well known for offering a rather vanilla Android experience alongside very minor customisations, and the Harry is no different. What comes as a surprise is the Harry runs Android 7.0 Nougat right out of the box. There are little-to-no devices out there at this price point that offers Android Nougat even as an update. Thanks to its close to vanilla setup, the overall experience is rather smooth, apart from a custom launcher and some bloatware. The launcher can be easily replaced with one that looks like stock, and you’ll have yourself a vanilla launcher.

Battery life

The Wiko Harry comes with a removable 2500mAh battery, which is something we have not seen in a while. While we expect this low-powered processor to handle battery life well, it turned out to be the other way round. With the processor running at full speed most of the time, the battery drains quite fast. At the end of our usual heavy day test, the Harry returned less than 20% of battery, and we do find ourselves plugging it in to a portable battery bank should there be even more heavy tasks.

The Harry can be charged through the usual microUSB 2.0 port, without any form of quick charging.

Conclusion

As a budget device, the Wiko Harry is actually a good device considering the features it is packed, but like other budget devices, as you are using, it constantly reminds you about its identity. With 4G LTE connectivity, latest, and vanilla Android 7.0 Nougat, the Wiko Harry showed us the direction that budget smartphones are heading.

Recap:
5-inch IPS display, 720 X 1280, 297 ppi
Quad-core 1.3GHz Processor
3GB RAM, 16GB internal storage, microSD card support up to 128GB
13-megapixel rear facing camera, up to 720p video
5-megapixel front-facing camera
2500-mAh battery

Pros Cons
Good looking design Cheap plastic for front panel
Offers value for money features Ruined display
Solid feeling device Battery life is terrible
Runs latest Android Nougat (vanilla) Includes few bloatware
Rather surprising performance Gap between front panel and display panel