The very young company Wieppo has mainly tried to build smartphones with a good price/performance ratio and remains true to this dedication with the newly introduced S8. So the goal is to create an excellent smartphone that stands up to the competition, especially in the coveted low-budget market. It’s a positive thing that the manufacturer did not fake a dual camera. Face-unlock is not mentioned either. In return the phone offers a nice 18:9 display, a Sony camera on the rear and many little things that complete the package. Read the following review to find out whether Wieppo can meet the high demands on the low-budget market.
The design, as with many representatives of this price segment, is currently based on Apple’s IPhone 8. The front looks almost identical, only the notification LED lights up in weak white instead of blue. The LED should have been a little brighter. Even in relatively dark rooms, the almost matt white colour fades. A second look reveals further differences:
A logo is embedded under the glass at the lower edge of the 154 mm long front. Still it does not function as a home button, but looks chic. If you turn the 73 mm wide phone to the rear side, the next thing you notice is that there is no fake dual camera. The single lens is supported by an underlying monochrome LED flash. Below it, you find the fingerprint sensor. There are no gaps or sharp edges. The rear is in plain matt black and is made of plastic and can also be removed.
The transition from the rear to the frame is noticeable. The battery, which Wieppo indicates as 2970 mAh, can be removed and thus also replaced. The battery may not be gigantic by current standards, but this in turn benefits the thickness of the smartphone. With only 8 mm it is really slim and with 185 g pretty light. Many should also be pleased with the next point. Like Blackview, Wieppo provides the S8 with three slots. Due to the marginal memory capacity of only 16 GB of ROM, an SD card is almost mandatory. In addition to this, two SIM cards can be inserted as indicated! One must be in micro-SIM format, the other in nano-SIM format. But if you happen to have kept the sockets for breaking out the SIM cards, you can simply reinstall them and use the empty sockets as adapters for the larger Micro SIM cards.
Wieppo’s S8 feels very well while holding it in the hand. The buttons on the metal frame are easily accessible and the fingerprint sensor (8/10 successful attempts) is always within reach of the index finger. Unlike Blackview, Wieppo decided not only to drill the speakers on the bottom of the smartphone for decoration, but also to use a mono speaker on the left side. Probably the microphone is behind the openings on the right side. Wieppo adds a USB Type-C connector to the S8. Although it only supports USB 2.0, Type-C is not a standard even in much higher price ranges. All you can say is: “Thumbs Up”! At the end of this first category one can still refer to the 3.5 mm jack connection, because this is also available!
“Designed by Wieppo Assembled in China” is written in white on the back of the S8, and Wieppo can rightly point out its own design here, at least if you look at the wealth of features. Here, Wieppo does a better job with the S8 than one of its direct competitors Blackview with the S6. Type-C connector, using the existing design instead of drilling a hole for the speaker and a variety of smaller goodies complete the package. So you could call it a good start.
Wieppo S8 scope of delivery
The S8 comes in a slim black box. The S8 attracts attention in curved, golden writing. Inside, next to the smartphone you will find:
- screen protector
- Power plug (EU)
- USB Type-C to Micro-USB cable
- Quick Start Guide
- Headphones with stop/start button
The 5.7-inch display has a resolution of 1440 x 720p and is perfectly OK. With a pixel density of 282 ppi it is slightly below the retina value, but this does not affect the optics. A light shade of red can be seen on a white background, nothing that can’t be solved with the integrated MiraVision tool. Wieppo indicates a screen to body ratio of 82%. Due to the on-screen buttons we would say that approximately 74% are more realistic. On the left and right, the S8 has a bezel of just 3 mm. It is 9 mm at the top and 13 mm at the bottom. The screen registers 5 points of contact at the same time.
The display offers sufficient brightness, but it could be even brighter. The lowest brightness level was dark enough to allow the use of the smartphone in the evening. However, we have noticed a bug that affects the adaptive brightness. If it is activated and the brightness is additionally adjusted manually from 100 % to 1 %, everything is still OK. But if you lock the phone and then want to unlock it again, the display starts to flicker. It continues doing this until the brightness is raised above a value of 20%. During our tests, this also meant that the screen did not even start sometimes and the smartphone had to be restarted first. Without adaptive brightness, brightness control worked normally; no error occurred even at 1 % brightness.
Apart from these discrepancies, which are probably also caused by software, Wieppo does not allow itself any major blunders. The black level is OK, there is no halo formation and the viewing angles are also stable.
In terms of performance, the S8 surprised us. Why? Well, it scored 43,100 points in the Antutu Benchmark 7.0, a good job for the 4-core Mediatek 6737T processor. Blackview S6 with a slightly slimmed-down version of the CPU scored 38700 points. 4400 points difference is not only due to the slightly higher clock rates of 1.5 GHz, here Wieppo has neatly tidied up and optimized the system. Antutu is a rather synthetic test, which does not say much about the so-called real-world performance. Geekbench 4 tries to reflect real conditions in the calculations. But here, too, the S8 outdoes its rivals by some margin. 670 points, 100 in the single core and 300 points more in the multicore. Now we come to the graphics performance of the Mali-T720 GPU. Awesome, at least in comparison to Blackview S6. Both have the same GPU, both clock at 600 MHz. 1220 is against 920 points in our graphic benchmark. Either Wieppo cheats a lot in benchmarks or they just did a good job here. Even in comparison with many other smartphones, which also contain a T version of the processor, the S8 wins with 2000 – 4000 points.
In games like Asphalt 8 you can see the higher performance very clearly. The power of the GPU is still not sufficient for high settings. But with a few cuts in FPS, you can enjoy gaming with even medium settings. Blackview S6 still had problems with low settings, but S8 gets finally good frame rates.
The RAM usage of the 2 GB (2200 MB/s) memory bar was also good, the speed is a little behind. The system takes about 1 GB. Whopping 500 MB were used to keep apps open and to make them available again quickly. About 200-300 MB were mostly unused. That’s a good average, because unused RAM is virtually useless RAM.
Like with Blackview, the 16 GB internal memory is no longer up to date and asks for more space even with a few apps and the music library (approx. 3.3 GB). After all, a microSD card with a capacity of up to 64 GB can help. Probably even more is possible, since even the smaller brother of the CPU knows how to manage up to 128 GB.
In conclusion, it can be said that the performance offered in this price category is almost unequaled. Even Xiaomi’s Redmi 5a is defeated in some disciplines. Wieppo buys the performance with two things: firstly, the device around the camera gets quite warm, up to 45 °C were not uncommon, and secondly the processor drains the battery quickly, but more about that later.
System – Android 7.0
Wieppo uses Android 7.0 (nougat) as basis for the S8. The operating system probably does no longer belong to the most up-to-date systems, as Android 9.0 (P, Pie) is already on the home stretch, but in reality, Android 7 is still state of art. Wieppo relies more on Google for the compilation of the apps than on its own programming skills and the calculation pays off. The system looks very clean and shows almost no changes compared to the raw Android. There are no own apps from Wieppo, even the gallery is available as a Google app. They didn’t even put effort in creating new icons. We think that’s good. If you don’t like Google Apps, there are plenty of alternatives in the Play Store or on websites like APKMirror.com. Navigation through the system runs smoothly. It’s hard to believe, but the higher result of the benchmarks, especially compared to the Blackview S6, is also noticeable in the system. However, you sometimes have to wait a second when starting apps. Switching between two apps was uncomplicated and fast, despite the slow RAM. The customization possibilities of the interface are limited but small details, such as the extra main page for the Google Assistant, can be hidden.
The biggest change is probably DuraSpeed, which has also been integrated into the options menu of the S8. A detailed description of the app and its effects can be found in the article about Blackview S6. Wieppo’s S8 behaves identically.
We found a somewhat unusual problem in the stand-by. When a message was received, the smartphone completely woke up from time to time and the screen was completely turned on instead of displaying the information in black and white. This was not the case with every new message, but it happened repeatedly. The repeated waking up of the smartphone naturally drains the available battery capacity.
There is also a gesture control. For example an O can be painted on the screen to open the camera, however, it will fail at the lock screen if you set up a fingerprint lock.
Apart from the adaptive brightness error described above, we could not find any crashes or bugs.
The bootloader can be unlocked simply by a switch in the advanced developer options. However, we do not expect many ROMs, as it runs with a Mediatek CPU.
Let’s talk about the “problem child” in the low price range. One advantage is the omission of a fake dual camera. Thus, all dual fake effects, such as the Bokeh mode, are not present in the menu of the camera app. HDR and EIS are available for image enhancement. HDR in this price segment often brightens up the image too strong and overexposes the snapshot. Electronic Image Stabilization (EIS) is responsible for the image stability and should compensate the movement of the hand. In the case of the S8, the effect is not visible in photos. With videos, on the other hand, you feel the intervention of the software and even get a slightly positive effect. This implementation cannot keep up with an OIS, but it is gladly taken along. The autofocus used to readjust sometimes well, sometimes badly. But the focus often had to be set manually.
The images of the main camera leave a mixed but rather negative impression. The Sony IMX 135 13 MP sensor with F/2.0 aperture tries its best to deliver results at least in bright light. Inside, even during the day, the quality decreases visibly. The edges are very blurred in most photos and image noise appears quickly. In the evening or in poor lighting conditions, you don’t need to fiddle around with the S8, the results are just about painful at best. The specified 5x optical zoom is, as expected, unfortunately pure marketing. The zoom is classically implemented as a digital zoom, but still offers the praised five-fold magnification.
The S8 offers two different modes: panorama and portrait. With the panorama mode the wide angle of 83° should be used, but the whole thing works rather mediocre. In the test we had much sharper results when we took single pictures in normal portrait mode.
An unnamed F/2.0 sensor with 5 MP is used as selfie cam, which should also have a wide angle of 81°. The implementation of the wide angle is not noticeable. The quality of the images drops sharply even in almost optimal lighting conditions. Basically, however, the selfie camera, with enough light, allows a usable snapshot after a few attempts and thus performs better than the cameras of Blackview’s S6.
Wieppo S8 supports the following frequencies:
2G: GSM: 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 MHz
3G: W-CDMA : 900 / 2100 MHz
4G: LTE: 800 / 900 / 1800 / 2100 / 2600 MHz
Two SIM cards can be used simultaneously. Reception is on average.
The GPS did its job without any trouble after a short phase of calibration, and led to the destination without major interruptions during navigation. Once in a whlie it happened that the position jumped into a side street, but only a few seconds later it was correctly aligned again.
We had no problems with the integrated radio module and also had very good reception in buildings. The same applies to the Bluetooth 4.0 chip. The data transmission was stable over several meters and the connection with a radio even lasted over several floors and through walls. The WiFi did not experience any dropouts either, but the reception strength could have been slightly better. As a standard, 802.11 b/g/n is used and S8 also used the 5 GHz network.
When it comes to sensors, the phone only provides the most necessary ones. Light, proximity and motion sensor are built-in, plus the fingerprint sensor, but that’s all. However, they worked perfectly. During phone calls, the screen was switched off and the adaptive brightness reliably adjusted the screen brightness, as already described above. The telephone call itself was very well understandable and also the interlocutor had nothing to complain about. Even the hands-free function achieved good results when background noise was moderate. The fingerprint sensor could have been a little more on the ball sometimes. However, the recognition rate was good. If the lock screen was already active, unlocking was instantaneous.
The built-in loudspeaker is not suitable for audiophiles, but the quality of the output was especially convincing in the mid and high frequencies, similar to the Blackview S6. Even at the highest level, there was no strong distortion that would have made a track unbearable. However, it must be admitted that the general volume was not particularly high. The OnePlus 3 can serve as a comparison here: The alarm clock is set to a value of 20 % and already reaches a decent volume. For the S8 it had to be 50-60 % to achieve a similar result. The S8’s speaker is therefore not suitable for noisy environments. However, if you direct the sound with your hand towards you, you can regain much of the lost acoustics. The audio jack, which was tested with quite neutral 1More Quad In-Ears, sounded almost impeccable and is also on a similar level with the Blackview S6. Details are not really distinctive or are easily swallowed. The bass could be a bit stronger. The jack connector also lacks a little bit of power, which could have made it a little louder. However, the S8 is a good musical companion on the road and passes the 3.5 mm jack test. Flac files cannot be played due to the audio codec of the processor. The enclosed in-ears were hardly worth unpacking. They are not suitable for more than an absolute emergency.
The battery: an aspect in which the S8 has to take quite a lot. With the 2970 mAh battery you only scratch the 3000 mAh mark, but do not exceed it. The competitors are taking a rigorously different approach and are offering more mAh. The processor, which gets a good performance, exhausts the limited battery very quickly. The otherwise successful optimization does not help here either. Those who use their phone often will get through the day with Wieppo S8, but nothing more. In the evenings, the device usually had to be charged. It took 3.5 hours to charge with the included power supply unit, quite a long time for the small battery. Wieppo’s S8 does not officially support QC, but the charging time could be reduced by half an hour.
With moderate use, a DOT of 5 to 6 hours was possible. The S8 doesn’t run marathons, but survives the sprint from day to day. And even if the battery should expire, it wouldn’t be a problem, since it can be changed!
Conclusion and alternative
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