GizChina Video: FAEA F1 Penguin Review

We’ve had the FAEA F1 Penguin for a long time now and have been able to put it though it’s paces. Take a look at the phone in action in our hands on video review.

The FAEA F1 Penguin is currently one of the most affordable quad-core, 720p phones available with built-in NFC. The F1 is currently available for international customers at $169.99 which is actually a pretty good price for such a well made phone!

On paper the specs are really very good. There is a 1.2Ghz Snapdragon S4 processor, 1GB RAM, 8 mega-pixel rear camera, 2 mega-pixel front, 4.5-inch 720p display, NFC, 2000mAh battery and Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. In use though the phone isn’t quite up to the performance of phones equipped with Mediatek quad-core processors such as the MT6589 or MT6589T.

Video: FAEA F1 Penguin review

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There is no doubt in my mind that the F1 is a great phone for the money. There is nothing with NFC for the same price and if that is an important feature for you then this is the phone to buy.

It is also the phone you should buy if you just want a solid smartphone for browsing the web, keeping up to date on Twitter and Facebook, and casual gaming (games like Angry Birds) if you are a real power user though and like more complex games then the F1 isn’t going to cut it and it might be better to wait for the FAEA F2 to launch.

For those of you wanting to pick up the $169.99 FAEA F1 Penguin you can order it directly from the company at

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  1. July 17, 2013

    Thanks for this great review Andi. I have been wondering what the performance of Snapdragon S4 Play will be like when compared to the MTK Quad and Turbo Quad. Now that I know, I am gonna stay away from this Snapdragon for sure since I am a very heavy phone user. I play lots of very complex and graphic intensive games with my phone.

    • July 17, 2013

      Yep the FAEA F1 is not for big gamers. Solid phone though.

      • July 17, 2013

        how would you compare the build quality of this phone to the cubot gt99?

      • anastasios
        July 17, 2013

        What about batter life? Is MTK better?

  2. Stefan
    July 17, 2013

    Hi Andy,
    thanks for your review. Would be very fine if you could post the promised sampleshoots of the camera. Thanks a lot in advance.

  3. Stefan
    July 17, 2013

    PS: I think for the not so versed readers it would be better to clearly emphasize that the used processor is a Snapdragon S4 PLAY. The Play-Version of the S4 is not compareable to the Pro, Plus or Prime version. They have different GPUs, they are manufactured in 28nm instead of the 45nm of the S4 Play aso.
    The S4Pro e.g. the MSM8960T variant which is used in the Xiaomi Mi2, or the Quad APQ8064 used in the Mi2 outperforming the S4Play variants with ease.

    I know that most tec-affine users know that fact, but a not so interested user could get it wrong…

    • July 17, 2013

      Thnx for the explanation

  4. Henrik
    July 17, 2013

    Have you tested the GPS? After getting an MTK6589 phone, I am wary of time to get GPS lock and ability to keep it.
    Also, does this phone come rooted?

  5. Smobbo
    July 17, 2013

    Thanks for the review Andi!

    I agree with you, it is not a phone for power users, but it is a which is suitable for the majority of users.
    It feels really sturdy, solid. The GUI is smooth, no hiccups there.

    I’ve tested the GPS and it is very good. Much better than the MTK6577 devices i’ve had before. A fast lock (<30secs) and more importantly a very solid lock :D!
    This for me was the main reason to buy this phone as upgrade from the Jiayu G2s instead of any of the MT6589(T) phones.

    So if you're looking for a cheap dual sim phone with good GPS performance and a solid overall Android experience this is a really good choice :)!

    P.S. The english forum @ ( is quite active at the moment, with rom updates and fixes being released often. Might be interesting for other non-chinese speakers 😉

  6. July 17, 2013

    Wel for F1 question join/read the english forum

    And Andy……XD
    Couldn’t you arange a ‘gift-package’ code. A discount is nice.
    But I guess most can use an: Extra battery, screen protector and a case.

    And folks…not for me but for you!!! I already ordere myself one using Andy’s first discount code.

  7. Judah
    July 17, 2013

    A little bit too late for the review.
    The discountcode (i thought it was 20$ off) was available till 16-07 🙁

    • July 17, 2013

      There is a new discount code on this site for $10.

  8. July 17, 2013

    I bought one, it is a good all rounder, I would not expect the most graphic intensive games to play well, but Temple Run 2 is just fine, mine got 10,341 on Antutu, and the GPS is pretty good

  9. ahmed
    July 17, 2013

    hey andi the review video is nt showing n ur site wht to do help please its urgent

  10. July 17, 2013

    Ahmed do a search on YouTube and Gizchina Faea F1, should show up there

  11. Oemer
    July 17, 2013

    I prefer any MTK Quad phone over this..

  12. July 17, 2013


    I think you should include a GPS review of the phones.

    Lot of people use GPS everyday and sometimes MTK phones fail in this point.

    iOcean X7 is a very good phone but has poor GPS. if I had known it beforehand I would not have purchased it.

    Xiaomi 2S has good GPS but is Qualcomm…

    • Airyl
      July 18, 2013

      What’s wrong with Qualcomm?

      • July 18, 2013

        There´s nothing wrong with Qualcomm, it works great.
        The problem is that most of this phones use MTK chips and all have GPS issues.
        So i love this phones but if they don´t improve their GPS they are not for me

    • Michael
      July 18, 2013

      I own the phone and its GPS fix is quite fast, with no signal lost during navigation.
      There is a softare issue that GPS looses its fix when the phone is on sleep, but FAEA promised an update soon.

      Xiaomi is far more advanced of course, due to GLONASS support.

      • July 18, 2013

        Thats the point, everything works well, from a GPS point of view, like this FAEA F1, as long as they don´t use MediaTeK chips

        • July 18, 2013

          The FAEA F1 is a great all rounder. Price is good, screen is good, performance is fine for anything but really heavy gaming.

  13. July 17, 2013

    Very weak for me 9000 points in antutu not so good sorry!!!

    • July 18, 2013

      Mine managed 10341, with no sim cards and apps running, 10,337, with both sim slots activated, picture is on the Faea Mobile forum, along with some othre shoy=ts from the camera I feel Andy’s review is honest and gives a good picture of what this phone is about, I bought it as a cheap workhorse, it will do most things people will want. It is brilliant for the money.

      Now if Andy can negotiate a discount on the upcoming Faea F2 advanced,…

      • July 18, 2013

        I will do my best

        • July 18, 2013

          That would be great, I think if Faea Mobile keep up the standard they have set, they could well mix it with the best of them.

  14. Matthew
    July 17, 2013

    Hi Andi,¨
    Could you test a camera pls ?

    Thanks a lot !

    • July 17, 2013


  15. Anatasios
    July 17, 2013

    What about battery life, is better than the MTK processors?

    • Michael
      July 18, 2013

      Better than 5″ FHD MTK phones but worse than an MTK with the same specs like Jiayu G4.

      • Anastasios
        July 18, 2013

        Jiayu G4 has a 4.7 inch screen and a 3000mAh battery and FAEA F1 has 4.5 inch and 2000mAh battery so Jiayu G4 has better battery life because of bigger capacity or because it has the MTK 6589 processor?

        • July 18, 2013

          Only way to be sure would be to put a 3000 mAh battery in an F1,

      • Michael
        July 19, 2013

        Bigger Battery, more energy efficient CPU, double Price!!!!

  16. Mariner
    July 18, 2013

    All else being equal, the Cortex-A5 CPUs in the FAEA F1 should draw a good bit less power than the A7s in the Mediatek chips.

    However, as I understand it, all things aren’t equal as the Mediatek chips are manufactured on the 28nm process and (I believe), the Snapdragon in the F1 is manufactured on the 45nm process.

    It’s quite possible that the Mediatek devices will therefore draw less power from the chipset, even though they have higher-power CPUs.

    Hopefully not too much, however. I’ve got an F1 on order myself and could do with decent battery life!

    • July 18, 2013

      Judging by my use since it arrived you should get a working day’s use, but as with any Android, installing a battery saver app, like battery Doctor or Juice defender is a must.

      • Mariner
        July 19, 2013

        Never needed to use a battery saver myself in the past but then I’m not a user of many widgets which seem to me to be the main culprits when it comes to battery drain.

        I also have pretty light usage most of the time so battery life shouldn’t be an issue to me. I was slightly concerned by Andi’s review which mentioned the phone gets quite hot as I’d have thought a quad Cortex-A5 device ought to run pretty cool. Hopefully, shouldn’t be too much of an issue.

        • July 19, 2013

          Used the phone mixed mode a few calls, email updates, GPS for an hour, 20 minutes Temple Run 2, Wi-Fi for an hour, as I was on the road, some Google searches on 3G data, several texts, over a 0 hour period, battery is now at 47% Battery Doctor reports 8 hour 43 minutes left

  17. Jovha
    July 21, 2013

    Hi Andi,
    What about video recording resolution? hd or fhd? quality of pics?
    Thanks 😉

  18. faea lover
    August 7, 2013

    hi andi can you please make a review of the faea F2 i would be great!! thx! 🙂

  19. Kris
    September 27, 2013

    Hi Andi, I have bought this phone for my wife and she’s not happy, the power/ wake button stucks, you have to push very hard and most times it don’t work, you have remedy or more complaints about this? I want refund from faeamobile but then pay shipping or lose the phone!

    • September 27, 2013

      If you’re not happy with it then you should talk to the people you bought it from