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The Vernee Apollo was dropped into a pretty heavily saturated phone market. You have phones like the Redmi Note 4 and LeEco phones that represent much better price to performance ratios, and Vernee’s own Apollo Lite (review here) could be seen as cannabalizing the Apollo’s sales.

Vernee Apollo Second Opinion

To be honest, I’m not quite sure what the Vernee Apollo offers that the Vernee Apollo Lite does not, especially considering the slight price discrepancy. The differences include a 2K screen, an overclocked Helio X20 processor, and a different camera.

For Your Reference

The original Vernee Apollo review can be read here.

That’s not to say the Vernee Apollo is a bad phone though. I share quite a few of the same sentiments as our very own Pierre (who reviewed the phone), but a few differing ones as well.

Value?

Vernee Apollo Specifications

Processor Mediatek Helio X25 Processor
Display 5.5″ 2560×1440 px, LCD
RAM 4GB
Storage 64GB eMMC
Operating System Android 6.0 Marshmallow
Cameras 22/8MP Camera
Battery 3180mAh
Physical Dimensions 0.188kg, 15.20 x 7.56 x 0.93 cm

Big thanks to Gearbest for providing this review unit.

Vernee Apollo Hardware

In terms of build quality, the Vernee Apollo is my favourite phone by far. The sand-blasted aluminum unibody definitely outclasses many devices out there and is something I would pick over a glass encased phone (ahem Zuk) in a heartbeat. It feels a bit thick considering there’s only a 3180mAh battery in there and a protruding camera module. Overall though, the Apollo is my absolute favourite.

I recently dropped the Apollo onto dirty concrete and there is sadly a small scratch on the corner and a couple of small nicks on the glass as well, but the glass scratches are well obscured by the multitude of smudges left by my fingers.

“Incredible build”

Vernee Apollo Display

The display quality is one area where my opinions differ from Pierre’s. While objectively the screen is sharp, the difference in sharpness just doesn’t do enough for me to justify using a 2K display. I would rather take the slight increase in battery life that comes from using a 1080p display.

Again, objectively the colours on this phone are quite accurate, definitely closer to Nexus 5 levels of accurate than AMOLED displays, but with a bit more obvious pop added in. It is a lot easier to think that completely oversaturated and inaccurate displays look “better” than accurate and well calibrated (yet seemingly washed out) displays like what we find here.

The state of colour calibration in Android handsets is rather indicative of how OEMs use oversaturated screens to pull customers over to their own device, the same way TVs in Big Box stores do as well.

That’s not the say that the screen is bad, it is just calibrated more towards colour accuracy than it is towards saturation, and that can be adjusted slightly using the included Miravision.

Vernee Apollo …Meh

There are a couple of things that had me go… meh. First of all is battery life. After the recent January OTA update I experienced slightly better battery life. In fact I was able to get around 6 hours of screen on time over 12 hours, which doesn’t impress me in the slightest but is actually a very good score for a 3180mAh battery powering a 2K display and an overclocked processor. Audio while incredibly loud, isn’t great quality either.

Vernee Apollo Verdict

I’m not sure Vernee needed to release the Apollo, not when they had a popular phone in the Vernee Apollo Lite. The Vernee Apollo is built like a flagship and has specs like a flagship as well, but it sits in a market saturated with competition.

Yes, the phone is built impeccably, but there are too many other phones that provide similar specifications for less.

“An expensive starting price”

 Vernee Apollo Gallery

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  • I wouldn’t buy a 5.5 inch phone that weighed 188 grams. Even 175 grams is on the heavy side (Xiaomi Redmi Note 4) when the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge is only 158 grams. The Meizu Pro 6 Plus with a 5.7 inch display is also only 158 grams. I look at bulk when I consider what new phone to buy; that means minimal non-screen real estate and minimum weight, preferably not more than 160 grams for a 5.5 inch phone and not more than 145 grams for a 5 inch phone. The Xiaomi Mi 5 was fantastic in this respect at only 129 grams!

    • Do you have a hard limit on the maximum weight a phone can be or is it just the ratio of weight to screen size? Because those maximum numbers you put on each screen size would rule out many metal phones (or phones with huge batteries). Also are you willing to sacrifice performance for weight as long as it still performs OK? There are many light devices in the entry level segment of the market.

      • Just ratio of weight to screen size. It’s not that I can’t handle a heavy phone, it just seems to me that a more compact phone – size and weight – is better built, more elegant, classy, better designed. The Xiaomi Redmi 3 series had big batteries but were only 144 grams. As I said in my original comment, the Xiaomi Mi 5 was a very light phone but still had good battery life and performance. I take this as a benchmark. I’d actually rather have a plastic phone if it was lighter – I put a TPU case on all my phones so I don’t care what they are made of. Some of Sony’s high end phones are not metal but they don’t feel cheap either.

    • balcobomber25

      Personally I prefer a heavier phone but for me the weight is one of the last things I look at.

      • True. For most consumers but less so those who read blogs like this.

  • Fuselman

    I like the phone. The weight is fine for me, I like it to feel the phone. The battery could be better.
    Only problem is the camera on my phone (only one?) can’t film, when I want to film the camera freezes. When using an app eg barcode scanner or an app using the flashlight. The flashlight doesn’t work and also the camera doesn’t work. after a restart the camera and the flashlight (icon) are working again. wehen the camera freezes the flashlight icon dissapears, and is back after a restart. I have daone a factory reset and reinstalled the 2 OTA from the Vernee support site, didn’t work. I hope it is a software issue that will be resolved with the next OTA.
    What I dislike is that Vernee is not responding on (several) emails send to [email protected], there is no service at all. I bought the phone at Gear Best and they respond quickly when sending an email for support.

    • I can help you there.
      Go to Vernee’s site and download the FULL LATEST OTA.
      Install it on your phone and you’ll be OK.
      I had problems with the small OTA, screwed battery life and camera.
      After I installed the full OTA phone runs like a dream, camera actually is incredible for the price.
      You can check my photo samples here:
      https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/albums/72157675836465343

      Video quality is not great, but I was expecting it.

      • Fuselman

        Steven I have done this. Also the first OTA. Also cleared the cache of the phone. Didn’t work. i will wait for the next OTA. Shame that Vernee ([email protected]) isn’t responding on my problem. Customerservivce???

        • Could be that you just had a defective device, I suggest you return it and they give you a new one.
          I had no issues with mine(except battery life that got fixed with the full OTA)

  • Arie Kravchuk

    My story (sad one)
    I bought Vernee Apollo
    First 3 month’s works as expected (poor battery, not great display, but beautiful)
    After that I couldn’t charge the cellular
    Use different cables & found the problem – USB type C inner connector doesn’t work properly.
    Only if you press strongly the cable it starts periodically work.
    Send phone back to the Vernee customer service in China ( there is no service for this phone in my country)
    They didn’t found any problem???!!!!
    Send me back with suggestion to buy another cable. I bought Samsung original cable after two day’s same problem.
    They(Vernee service) send me a cable ( I paid for that) nothing , not working.
    So what they sad ?
    That they are really sorry and it is my problem ????!!
    So what to do?