Low price, poor hardware, but a monster-battery: Vernee Thor Plus bets on stamina rather than speed. The concept works, at least if users are willing to lower their sights a bit. The following review tries to find out whether or not the 130$-smartphone is a good all-rounder for daily use.
We have to confess: we love big batteries and long battery lives. It’s so nice to be able to use your phone for 2-3 days without even thinking of having to charge it. Therefore, I have been using Ulefone Power 2 daily since 6 months and it does a great job. The only problem is that it is quite heavy.
The aspect of size is exactly when Vernee Thor Plus comes into play. With its dimensions of 15.3 x 7.6 x 0.9cm and its weight of 189g it is surprisingly thin for a device with this much battery power – and it looks even thinner than it really is! The device is available in black and gold; the pale black version easily catches fingerprints, but it still has an elegant appearance despite the plastic parts at the top and bottom. It feels well while holding it in the hand, but it also feels a bit slippery, which is because of the rounded off edges of the metal body. Unfortunately, the scope of delivery does not contain a protective cover.
Build quality is perfect, the button on the sides are firmly attached to the casing and there are no gaps. Everything is on the usual spot: power button and volume control are on the right side, the audio jack is located at the top and at the bottom you find speaker and the micro-USB port. The camera on the rear slightly juts out; next to it, there is an LED flash. The “endurance mode”-button on the left side is a special characteristic (you will find out more about this button in the section ‘battery’).
The 2.5D touch panel fits well in the overall consistent design. The rounded off edges of the display melt perfectly into the black body. The displays’ inner values on the other hand are not as promising.
Vernee promises the user “brilliant colors” thanks to a super AMOLED display. All right, you get an AMOLED display, but the colors are anything but brilliant. Optimists would say that the color representation is “vivid”. Playing games you especially notice that the colors are much to gaudy and they do not look natural. MiraVision is available, but even this tool cannot entirely fix Vernee Thor Plus’s display. However, texts are still well readable, as the display has excellent contrast, high brightness and nice viewing angles (178° according to the manufacturer).
Another negative point is the missing full-HD resolution. You notice this when looking closely, as images and even bigger fonts seems to be pixelated. A 1280×720 resolution is simply not up-to-date for a display size of 5.5 inches (267.02ppi). The manufacturer saved on the wrong spot.
You operate the phone either via non-illuminated soft touch buttons at the lower edge or via on-screen buttons that can be activated in the menu. In the middle you find the center-button, which also functions as fingerprint scanner that is very reliable (10/10 attempts were successful).
The operating system is really nice. The setup is child’s play and transferring data and apps from an already existing Google account is done with a few clicks. An apparently almost unchanged Android 7.0 is installed ex works. In fact, the operating system is a VOS 1.0 (Vernee OS), which even contains some useful features.
The app drawer has been expanded by the very useful functions “search apps” and “recently used”. These functions make working with Vernee Thor Plus faster and easier. Another special quality is the keyboard. VOS 1.0 offers several designs to choose from and the possibility to enlarge the number pad. Everything runs smoothly and stable, there are no lags and operating the phone is very easy.
In daylight, Vernee Thor Plus takes quite good pictures. The autofocus works well and trigger time is low. We recommend adjusting “sharpness”, “saturation”, “brightness” and “contrast”, which will lead to a better output. Considering the low price, you can’t really complain about the camera….
….if it wasn’t for the awful performance in low light. The reason for the bad performance is that the ISO automatic does not work. In the automatic mode, the 13MP camera takes any picture with an ISO value of 100. The camera is only able to take a (bad) photo at all if you manually set the value to the maximum of 1600. The selfie front camera does not do a good job either. If you do not hold the phone absolutely still, you cannot take a decent picture.
In terms of CPU, nothing has changed compared to the “normal” Vernee Thor. Vernee Thor Plus also uses the slightly out-of-date MTK6753 processor, who has 8 cores that clock at 1.3GHz. 3GB of RAM is not that big, but it’s sufficient for daily tasks. The internal storage of 32GB has a good size for this price range. Those who think this is not enough can expand the storage via a micro-SD card (up to 128GB).
The operating system is not the only component to secure a fluent execution of tasks, the speed of the RAM (3.2GB/s) as well as of the internal storage (100MB/s reading, 87MB/s writing) also contribute to a nice performance. To cut a long story short: Vernee Thor Plus is suitable for all standard tasks and even for occasional gaming.Antutu Result Geekbench Multi Result Geekbench Single Result
The little brother Vernee Thor already had a good Wi-Fi range, which Vernee Thor Plus has as well, but now it supports the 5GHz network, too. Vernee Thor Plus only houses acceleration, light and proximity sensors.
The following Network bands are supported by the two SIM-Slots:
UMTS: 1/ 8
FDD LTE: 1/3/7/20
The Bluetooth 4.0 connection is stable; navigating via Google Maps and at the same time listening to music worked without any problems in the car. The GPS signal was sufficient.
Voice quality is good, as is the reception and I always understood the caller well. You have the possibility to use 2 SIM cards simultaneously. However, in order to use expandable storage (up to 128GB), you can only use 1 SIM card.
The integrated speaker works exactly as you would expect a speaker of this price range to do: it works, but at full volume the sound is not that good.
Vernee Thor Plus scope of delivery
The scope of delivery contains:
- Vernee Thor Plus
- USB cable
- Operating instructions
- SIM ejection tool
Normally, it is not a problem to examine the battery of a smartphone thoroughly, but Vernee Thor Plus’s battery simply wouldn’t run down. The battery ran down only after 5 days of occasional use and we could finally continue our tests regarding actual capacity and charging time.Battery lifetime Result Unit: hours
Vernee Thor Plus also passed these tests with flying colors. However, the manufacturer did fib a bit in terms of the capacity. The promised 6200mAh are in reality just 5500mAh. Thanks to a pump express 2.0 charger, the smartphone is fully charged in only 1.5hours. Vernee Thor Plus has another useful feature: using an OTG plug, you can use the device as energy supplier, e.g. as a power bank.
If for you even 5500mAh are a too small capacity, you can press the “endurance” button on the left side of the Vernee device. The phone then goes into an energy saving mode to get the maximum run time. Of course, this cannot work without restrictions: the display is black-and-white and you can only use 6 apps, 3 of which can be configured manually. You cannot change the function of the “endurance” button.