Update: After posting the review I have tried the SIM again and now it works! I performed a couple of factory resets and now the Sege (XYZ-X1) actually works as a phone. As such I have updated the review.
Full in-depth hands on review of the quad-core Sege (XYZ-X1) Android smartphone! Is this affordable Chinese phone worth buying? Find out after the below!
According to the company which say they custom manufacture the Sege (XYZ X1), this $159.99 quad-core Android smartphone is “very popular with our customers” and “it is a very good phone”. After reading over the specification sheet I felt inclined to agree, but what looks great on paper isn’t always the case in real life so a full review was arranged.
Sege (XYZ-X1) Design – You get what you pay for.
The phone which we have been sent is a loaner, meaning that once we have finished with it we will send it back. We originally asked to review the orange or yellow version of the Sege, but we ended up with the black and white version.
Upon opening the box and taking the phone out I was not surprised by what I found. You can read this as good or bad news. The Sege (XYZ-X1) is exactly what I expect from a phone costing this much, it is no where near the quality of the JiaYu G4, but then again it is also no where near the (international reseller) price either.
The functional design get the job done but in a rather bland and unispriring way. The front is taken up mostly by the 4.5-inch display with very thick borders, front facing camera and capitative navigation buttons.
For those of you unhappy with JiaYu’s decision not to give the G4 backlit buttons you will be happy to see that the Sege (XYZ-X1) does in fact have them. Sege have gone for a Meizu MX2 style arrangement with the ‘home’ button featuring a ring icon.
There is a physical volume rocker and the left side of the phone and the power button, 3.5mm headphone jack and Micro-USB are all located at the top of the phone.
A glossy white, removable plastic back covers the rear and features a small cut away in the corner making it easy to remove with your fingernail (something I wish Xiaomi have on their phones!).
We can also see the rear camera, dual LED flash, external speaker and XYZ logo.
Despite the generic design the Sege (XYZ-X1) does seem to be put together well, and actually feels a little better in your hand than Zopo’s entry level phones.
Sege (XYZ-X1) specification – Great package on paper
If you were in the market for a low-cost Android phone then it is easy to see why you might be attracted by the Sege (XYZ-X1) from the specifications on the box and those listed online it looks like a great package!
The official specifications state the phone has a 4.5-inch 1280 x 720 display, dual SIM support, quad-core MT6589 processor, 2 mega-pixel front camera and 8 mega-pixel rear with Android 4.2 Jelly Bean as standard! Not at all bad for a phone which costs just $159.99!
I wanted to ensure that these specifications are genuine so I installed Antutu and Mobile Uncle Tool to see what that came up with. Everything checked out, well except the cameras which were listed as 4.9MP front and 12.6MP rear, don’t get to excited though this is a software tweak on the phone designed to improve the quality of photos rather than surprise hardware update.
Screen – Budget 720p panel
As stated in the above specifications the screen on the Sege (XYZ-X1) is a 4.5-inch 720p unit, but it is a budget panel so don’t expect the same level of brightness or clarity as you would find on a Xiaomi, JiaYu G3 or even UMi X1s.
Over the past few reviews I’ve been impressed by the screen brightness of most Chinese phones we have reviewed over the past few months, and although the Sege can be seen in most bright conditions I really wish there was a little bit more brightness on tap.
Performance – Surprisingly high Antutu score!
With a 1.2Ghz quad-core processor and 1GB RAM with a compact 4-inch display we were expecting to get a fairly decent Antutu score. Running Antutu v3.3 the Sege (XYZ-X1) scored an impressive 13,096!
I also ran Quadrant on the phone too and it got 3981.
When running Antutu I did notice that the frame rates while rendering graphics wasn’t particularly high, and that things got a little jumpy and choppy when there was a lot of action on the screen. After seeing this I wanted to try out some actual games and perform more benchmarks, but that’s when I hit my first major hurdle!
No Google Play Store!
I remember back when we started GizChina and we would test the latest Android tablets and phones. Back then the quality was bad and performance was terrible, but what made us madder than anything was that all those early Chinese phones and tablets lacked the then Android App Store!
In 2013 (and even in 2012) this hasn’t been an issue as most Chinese phones have the Google Play Store on them as standard. The Sege (XYZ-X1) does not have the Play Store, which is going to be a major problem for a lot of potential customers who don’t have the technical nohow to do so.
So how easy is it to install Google Play on the Sege (XYZ-X1)? I don’t know, I didn’t try as I deemed the time trying would be a waste because here is the second big problem with the Sege (XYZ-X1).
UPDATE! Connectivity and Calling – Weak WIFI
review phone could not see SIM cards to test calling!
Android smartphones now have so many features and functions on them it can be easy to forget that they are still in fact phones. Obviously the call strength, speaker and other items need to be tested for a full review.
Unfortunately the test unit which we sent didn’t want to see any SIM card we placed in it! Try as we might the Sege (XYZ-X1) just would not see any SIM. We can be sure that the SIM’s worked as they had no problem in the JiaYu G4, Xiaomi Mi2 and Mi2a we had with us.
Since posting this article I performed a few factory resets and the Sege is now recognising my China Unicom SIM! I’ve made a video to show that the phone in fact works now, including streaming video over 3G and browsing the web, which is actually quite fast. There are issues with the internet here so I may not be able to upload the video to YouTube but I will try to post it on Facebook or somewhere later today.
Camera – Actually surprisingly good!
By this point I was not expecting the camera to be all that special, happily I was wrong! The 8 mega-pixel rear camera is fast, focuses well and manages to capture some rather nice photos!
Conclusion – It has a good camera
The Sege (XYZ-X1) is marketed as the most powerful phone for the money with the highest specifications, but is it the best value? I would have to say no it is not.
Yes the phone gives you a quad-core CPU, 1GB RAM with Antutu benchmarks you can brag to your friends about, but you
can’t make calls with it, and WIFI is so weak you would have to sit on your router to get a signal.
The Sege (XYZ-X1) costs $160 which isn’t all that much for an Android smartphone, but a quick Google search shows me the quad-core JiaYu G3S, which has a beautiful screen, can be found from between $140 – $170, the quad-core UMi X1s is on sale from $125 – $165 and the Newman K1 can be had for $140 – $170 and I would be much happier with any one of those.