FAEA F2S Review

faea f2s review
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FAEA are a new Chinese phone manufacturer for 2013, and their phones so far have been feature packed and well price, but can the FAEA F2S take on similar phones from big brands Neo, Newman and Zopo? Keep reading for full in-depth review of the FAEA F2.

FAEA F2S

FAEAmobile sent us the basic version of the FAEA F2S to review. The phone features the same 1.5Ghz MT6589T processor as the advanced version (once it finally goes on sale) but with 1GB RAM.

Of all the Mediatek phones we have tested this year, possibly ever, the FAEA F2S is the best looking. It is a very handsome phones and looks much classier and expensive than it’s price tag would suggest, so just how good is this phone?

FAEA F2S Features

Although NFC (near field communication) technology is catching on here in China, it is still rare to come across a phone with NFC built-in. The FAEA F2S is one of the few phones which has NFC, it’s a great feature which we are going to see more of over the next few months as newer technology evolves to make use of it.

faea f2s review

In addition to NFC the FAEA F2S also has a 5-inch 1920 x 1080 display, quad-core 1.5Ghz processor, 13 mega-pixel rear camera, 5 mega-pixel front camera, 1GB RAM, dual SIM, Bluetooth, GPS, 16GB memory and 2300mAh battery.

FAEA F2S full specification

[komper pid=110,106 compareform=no]

FAEA F2S design

This year we have reviewed the JiaYu G4, Newman K2, Zopo C2, C3 and ZP980, Neo N003 and more. Specifications on each of the phones are pretty close, but design couldn’t be further apart!

faea f2s review

The FAEA F2S is by far the best looking Mediatek phone of the bunch!

faea f2s review

FAEA have taken a few styling ideas from the HTC One and the new Meizu phones with the F2S and have created a very stylish and sleek-looking handset. It draws attention to itself whenever it leaves the confines of your pocket!

From the front and sides of the body the FAEA F2S could easily be mistaken for a phone costing twice, even three times as much!

faea f2s review

Although FAEA designers were obviously on top of their game when designing the front and styling the sides, they must have used up all their inspiration before tacking the rear. Compared to the rest of the phone the rear  is cheap looking and really a let down for such a nice looking device!

The phone measures in at 141 x 71 x 9.7mm, not the thinnest phone in the world, but thanks to the nicely tapered design it does feel and look much thinner than the dimensions suggest.

faea f2s review

A 5-inch 1920 x 1080 display takes up most of the front of the phone. Bezels aren’t the narrowest, but they aren’t overly big either.

A single capacitive ‘halo’ ring is the only Android navigation button which is visible on the chin of the FAEA F2s. This acts as the home button, and the black areas either side are the ‘back’ and ‘menu’ options. There is only a light in the halo, which also pulses to notify you of messages.

faea f2s review

One handed operation isn’t an issue, and FAEA have placed all the physical controls in the same place as most popular MTK phones, so the power button is on the right and the volume toggle on the left.

faea f2s review

A 3.5mm headphone jack is located at the top of the phone, and micro USB in the base.

faea f2s review

As mentioned above the rear is a bit of a styling let down. The red anodised ring around the camera lens is a little too thick and tacky looking, but it is all functional. A dual LED flash adds plenty (sometimes too much) light to dark subjects and the rear speaker is ample enough for gaming and the odd movie.

faea f2s review

FAEA have done a great job of making a really nice looking phone, but they haven’t managed to make a sturdy one! It is relatively flexy! Holding the phone like a sandwich you can easily bend it enough for the removable rear panel to pop off! Even using the phone to take photos you can hear creaks coming from the plastic body.

FAEA F2S display

The display on the FAEA F2S is as good as any of the 5-inch 1080 panels we have used this year.

faea f2s review

Having a resolution of 1920 x 1080 lends itself well to gaming, browsing the web, watching movies and reading.

The brightness is fine and is as easy to see day of night as the Neo N003 or my Xiaomi Mi2.

faea f2s review

It’s also a very responsive display, reading touches well and not suffering from annoying ghost touches which are present in similar 5-inch 1080 Chinese Android phones.

FAEA F2S performance

Our review phone has the same 1.5Ghz MT6589T processor and 1GB RAM as the Neo N003 we tested earlier this month. With a similar 5-inch display and 1920 x 1080 resolution we expected performance to be on par with the Neo.

faea f2s review

Running the latest version of Antutu on the FAEA F2S the phone scored 14,622, more than 1000 points more than the N003.

faea f2s review

Vellamo is also better on the FAEA F2S too, with a HTML 5 score of 1547 and Meta at 568. In comparison the N003 got 1544 and 488.

faea f2s review

In Quadrant the F2S received 4809.

faea f2s review

Nenamark 2 results were on par with the N003 with an average FPS of 34.1.

As usual I installed Riptide GP2 on the F2S, but unlike the N003 and Newman K2 the FAEA had a real tough time handling the game. Compared to the other phones the F2S ran the game very slowly and i really couldn’t continue playing it. I also tried Riptide GP1 as it is less graphically challenging on a device, surprise surprise it ran as fast and smoothly as you would expect.

So unless you don’t play anything more challenging than Angry Birds or Fruit Ninja you may well want to either wait for the 2GB RAM model F2S or possibly opt for the Neo N003.

I also found that the stock launcher isn’t as responsive as I would like. Installing Nova launcher improved things, but this obviously doesn’t help gaming performance! Some optimisations and tweaks from FAEA will be much appreciated!

Camera

faea f2s review

The FAEA F2S has a 13 mega-pixel rear camera like other phones we have tested, but some improvement is needed in both the image capture and video capabilities of the phone.

faea f2s review

With Flash

The sensor and optics are just as capable as other phones we have tested, so getting great looking photos is possible.

faea f2s review

faea f2s review

Plus colour reproduction is quite good even in dull stormy conditions.

faea f2s review

However, the focus is slow on the FAEA F2S and is only suitable for taking photos of stationary objects. It isn’t a device you could rely on for a sporting event, birthday party, night out with friends or basically any time you need to photograph a moving object.

faea f2s review

As usual I have posted these photos as reference only,  you can download the full size, untouched FAEA F2S photos here.

Video performance is better than most of the Mediatek phones we have reviewed this year, but it isn’t as good as the Neo N003. The video below shows that the F2S does look for focus now and then, but it isn’t as bad as other phones. However, is this because FAEA have done a good job optimising video on the F2S or is it just because the focus is just so damn slow we don’t notice as much?

Other

After the poor gaming performance, slow camera and bending body I’m pretty sure that most of you have come to the same conclusion as I have, so I’ll just quickly mention the other features before wrapping the review up.

Battery life

faea f2s review

Battery life is average, but with optimizations to the ROM I’m sure FAEA can get a little more run time out of the 2300mAh battery. As it was, I just used the F2S as a phone with email and internet due to the poor gaming and camera performance. Even with this workload battery life could have been better.

Connectivity

faea f2s review

NFC, Bluetooth,WIFI, 3G all work great with no issues. GPS fix sorts the GPS speed issue.

Conclusion

The FAEA F2S is the best looking Mediatek phone of this year. That is without a doubt! FAEA have done a great job of making a really handsome phone!

faea f2s review

However this is all they seem to have concentrated on. The body of the phone is easy to bend in your hand and creaks and cracks in use. The camera is slow to focus, and the gaming performance isn’t up to scratch!

faea f2s review

What I hope FAEA do now is take the F2S make it more sturdy, improve the camera and optimise gaming, and then they would have a great phone. I don’t want them now to go and launch an all new 5.5-inch or 6-inch phablet, I want them to fix the FAEA F2S and make it as great as it could be.

For a new phone brand FAEA took on quite a challenge! Producing a feature packed, NFC equipped, 1080 phone, isn’t easy and unfortunately they haven’t managed it this time round. Let’s keep our fingers crossed that FAEA can take this handsome device and get it sorted!

Thanks to FAEAmobile for supplying our FAEA F2S review phone.

  • dusman

    Thanks Andy for your review.

    • http://www.gizchina.com Andi

      No problem, but realised I forgot to add the photos zip. Adding it now :)

      • Espresso

        Andy are these the pics from the test phone?
        The model on the pics is the F2.

        HY509 = F2
        HY509S = F2S

  • http://www.markoff.biz/pivot/entry.php?id=1656 Markoff

    link to sample photos is missing

    bezel seem quite thick

    btw. why not Coolpad reviews/news at all? it’s one of the best selling brands in China although it has close to zero coverage on this site, e.g. 8720 looks like phone with decent design and reasonable specs

    you could do also some round ups based on taobao popularity, for now when I searched on taobao for MTK6589T the list of bestselling phones would be (based on individual shops, not combined):
    1. UMI X2 – 1299RMB
    2. You phone D91 – 1390RMB (HTC One fake)
    3. Neo N003 – 1199RMB
    4. Xiaocai X9 (emoto E900) – 888RMB
    5. exun d99 – 1150RMB
    6. Jiayu G4 – 1195RMB
    7. Neken N6 – 1299RMB
    8. gaoke MX58 pro – 1293RMB
    9. ihtc HD780 Oulefeng N9599T – 1050RMB (fake Samsung S4)
    10. Xiaocai G6 (emoto e58) – 988RMB

    judging by this list at least Xiaocai/emoto (coko.com.cn) should have bigger coverage, behind TOP10 start repeating N003, Neken N6, Jiayu G3T would make it to TOP10 and more of the fake HTC One

    • Airyl

      Doing coverage on everything is better than coverage on a HTC ONE clone. Those round ups also don’t mean much to many people.

  • SlypDrip

    The 1GB Ram Version also has 16GB ROM Variant

  • Greg

    Thanks Andi, sometimes finding out about a phone’s weaknesses are more useful than its strong points.

    From everything I’ve seen it really looks like the GPU is the MT6589’s weak point, especially when it is being asked to drive a full HD screen. I wonder if this is why so few Chinese phones support MHL – duplicating the display on a tv is certainly very taxing. The other day I borrowed a Samsung Galaxy S4 and connected it to a tv, it could only manage 22fps in Epic Citadel with lots of stuttering that made it look awful. Presumably MTK phones would do even worse.

    • Airyl

      +1, hopefully Mtk6592 comes with a way more powerful GPU.

    • murray

      HI Andy ,good review again .
      i have the N003 youth and my Antutu score without any weird and wonderfull settings are 14620 just 2 behind the FAEA ,and Greg , when using MHL on the NEO there is no differance in performance and i use a 1080p TV .The only niggle i have with the NEO is low light pictures the flash is not good. That being said i have not seen a chinese phone with a decent flash.

      • http://www.gizchina.com Andi

        Wow great Antutu score. Neo is the best 1080 MTK phone this year in my opinion.

      • Airyl

        ThL w11 has a really good flash.

        • Vince

          Hi,
          I got 15432 antutu now with FAEA F2S with clockworkmod.
          I have not tried it before but I trust your review, when I received the phone it was not working very well.

  • Patrick

    It appears that there (as with many Chinese phones) is confusion about the 3G frequencies this phone support.
    The faeamobile website claims that the 3G frequencies are 900/1900/2100 MHz.
    Users on the faeamobile are claiming that their phones are only working on 2100 MHz.
    Your review states that the supported frequencies are 850/1900/2100 MHz.
    ……it appears that buying a Chinese phone with specific 3G frequencies is a bit of a lottery.

  • Vincent

    hello, the faea f2s is in store now, its the “advanced” version with 1g/16g, but the elite is not yet (2g/32g).
    do you know if F2 elite will have wcdma 900 ? (faea f1, f2 and f2s got wcdma 850/900/1900/2100 on the international website)
    thanks

  • shikhi

    is this the Mainland price??

  • Jak

    I will get the F2S advanced (1GB/16GB) in a few days. Let’s see how it goes. Actually I got the F2 almost a month back, but have to return as the problem with the camera, so I have a chance to upgrade to the advanced version with 30 USD.

    Yes, the phone is great looking and well built.

    Keep my finger crossed!

  • Patrick

    Yesterday Faea changed the specs shown on their international website. Now the F2 only supports WCDMA on 2100.

    • http://fr.linkedin.com/in/frenchsalesconsultant/ Laurent J.V. Dubois

      I’ve received the phone today, purchased on the false announced wcdma support 850/900/1900/2100 due to my French network …
      For discovering this change on their website today!

      My most expensive fuc*ing experience as customer …

  • Vince

    it is a week now that I am using a FAEA F2S and at the beginning the phone was not working well at all.
    Very laggy, app crushed easily.
    Then a guy called Gravasio on the FAEA forum published a clockworkmod recovery rom and suggested to reinstall GApps since he noticed that they were not installed properly.
    I have done this and the phone has changed completely. Everything is smooth, no lags and I am now very happy about the purchase!!
    The phone is well built, screen is amazing and the battery last a good day with a normal use (mail, text, maps, and web browsing, few calls).
    Honestly ,without the clockworkmod recovery rom I think I would have returned the phone.

    Please find below the link where you can find the resources…

    http://forum.faeamobile.com/forum.php?mod=viewthread&tid=1021&extra=page%3D1%26filter%3Dtypeid%26typeid%3D2%26typeid%3D2

  • Erik

    I only see the 1 GB version in the market, where can i buy the 2GB model?

    (i am from Spain, Europe)

    I would like to know more about the 2GB Version (RAM), please contact me at this mail!

    ([email protected])

    Thanks

  • Davide

    Good news for European customers, I just found out that they open the European website with shipping from Europe: http://www.faea.eu

  • http://mf1gt3r.blogspot.com/2013/11/neo-n003-review.html?m=1 chukuka

    http://mf1gt3r.blogspot.com/2013/11/neo-n003-review.html?m=1 You can check out my Neo N003 advanced antutu score pictures 14,900+.