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Prestigio Multiphone 5550 Duo review

Katharine Byrne
17 Feb 2015
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
126
inc VAT SIM-free

A promising first effort from Prestigio, but the Multiphone 5550 Duo's poor camera and battery life prevent it from being a real bargain

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Specifications

Processor: Quad-core 1.3GHz MediaTek MT6582, Screen Size: 5.5in, Screen resolution: 1,280x720, Rear camera: 13-megapixel, Storage: 8GB, Wireless data: 3G, Size: 156x78x9.2mm, Weight: 181g, Operating system: Android 4.4.2

For the past two years, the budget smartphone market has been dominated by a single handset: Motorola's Moto G. With fast internals, a great screen and excellent battery life, it set the bar so high for phones under £150 that most can't hold a candle to its amazing value. The Prestigio Multiphone 5550 Duo is the first handset we've seen in some time that comes close to narrowing that gap.

Prestigio is new to the UK, but is actually one of the biggest tablet and mobile phone manufacturers in Eastern Europe. On paper, the 5550 Duo sounds almost too good to be true: it's not only larger than the Moto G, with a 5.5in 1,280x720 display, but also around £20 cheaper SIM-free, making it the cheapest phablet we've ever tested by some margin. Add in a 13-megapixel camera and 8GB of internal storage, and it gives similarly sized phones like the HTC Desire 816 a real run for their money.

We like the design, too, as the rounded edges make it comfortable to hold and the smooth plastic back provides enough purchase without it slipping out of your hand. It's not the slimmest of phones, but at 9.2mm thick and weighing 181g, it feels sturdy and well built.

The 5.5in screen doesn't produce particularly accurate colours, as our colour calibrator only measured an sRGB colour gamut score of 80.5%. This is quite low, even for a budget phone, and colours looked weak and washed out as a result. Photos and videos don't look quite as rich and vibrant as they do on other handsets.

High brightness levels, which we measured at a peak 496.91cd/m2, don’t help this. Although it’s brighter than most flagship phones, which is great if you're using it outside, it almost certainly spells doom for the 5550 Duo's battery life. Our battery tests were surprisingly low considering it uses a massive 3,000mAh battery.

In our continuous video playback test, for example, the phone lasted just 9h 19m with the screen set to 170cd/m2, which doesn't even reach half its overall brightness. While still a decent score compared to the Moto G, which lasted another 20 minutes in our tests, other cheap phablets such as the HTC Desire 816 managed 13h 47m with a smaller battery.

Black levels were also high at 0.61cd/m2, which made it harder to read small text on websites like BBC News than the Moto G. There wasn't much in it, though, as the 5550 Duo’s cleaner, purer whites helped text to stand out against the background.

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