Advertisement
Advertisement

Kazam Tornado 348 review - The world's thinnest phone.

Katharine Byrne
31 Jan 2015
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
249
inc VAT SIM-free

The thinnest, lightest phone you can buy, but the Tornado 348's mediocre performance and poor battery life takes the wind out of its sails

Advertisement

Specifications

Processor: Octa-core 2.0GHz Mediatek MT6592, Screen Size: 4.8in, Screen resolution: 1,280x720, Rear camera: 8-megapixel, Storage: 16GB, Wireless data: 3G, Size: 140x67x5.15mm, Weight: 95.5g, Operating system: Android 4.4.2

At the time of writing, the Kazam Tornado 348 is officially the world's thinnest smartphone. Certified by the Guinness Book of Records, this tiny 4.8in smartphone is an astounding 5.15mm thick, making it noticeably slimmer than even Huawei's 6.18mm Ascend P6. An aluminium magnesium alloy chassis means the Tornado 348 weighs just 95.5g, making it even lighter than the featherweight iPhone 5s.

It's an incredible piece of engineering, and the metal frame makes it feel much sturdier than either its svelte profile or weight should allow. However, while we wouldn't have any qualms about carrying it around in our pockets, our review sample quickly picked up quite a number of scratches on both the front and back of the handset. This will inevitably happen to any smartphone after a while, but we're disappointed it happened so quickly on the Tornado 348. Admittedly, it does come with a protective silicone case in the box, but this rather defeats the point of it being so thin in the first place. Still, the minimal, iPhone 5s-inspired design is certainly attractive, and we're sure it will appeal to anyone conscious about the size and weight of their smartphone.

^ Very, very, very thin

That said, having such a svelte handset isn't always a good thing, as the Tornado 348 not only gets very warm very quickly when browsing the web and playing games, but it also means there's not much room for a decent sized battery. In our continuous video playback test, for instance, the 2,050mAh battery lasted just 8 hours and 26 minutes when we set the brightness to 170cd/m2, which less than we'd expect for a phone of this price. This should still just about get you through the day, but the similarly-priced Huawei Honor 6 lasted another two hours in the same test, making it that bit more reliable if you've got a long day ahead of you.

Likewise, despite its fast and powerful-sounding name, the Tornado 348's performance is more gust of wind than devastating force of nature. We were hoping its octa-core 1.7GHz Mediatek MT6592 processor might be able to match the octa-core processor of the Huawei Honor 6, but the Tornado 348 only managed a score of 1,136ms in our SunSpider JavaScript benchmarks compared to the Honor 6's score of 617ms. This was with the CPU power saving mode turned off as well, which is meant to limit the CPU's power in order to prolong the phone's battery life and lower the phone's internal temperature.  With it turned on, the Tornado 348 took even longer to complete the test, scoring 1,221ms.

This isn't particularly quick for a £250 handset, and there was a noticeable delay in our real-world testing when we began scrolling through complex, image-heavy websites. This meant web browsing could quite jerky and unresponsive at times, although it was still able to handle its largely vanilla Android 4.4.2 operating system perfectly fine.  

The Tornado 348 also struggled with several of our graphics tests. We were only able to select High rather than Ultra High quality in our Epic Citadel test, which it finished in a very respectable 61.1fps at its native resolution of 1,280x720, but our more demanding 3DMark Ice Storm test reduced it to an average of just 22.5fps with its score of 5,426. This pales in comparison to the Honor 6, which maxed out this test and performed almost twice as fast in our additional Ice Storm Extreme and Ice Storm Unlimited tests.

Read more

Reviews