Video: Neo N003 Unboxing, hands on and first impressions!

It’s always great to finally get our hands on a new phone for review. Take a look at our Neo N003 unboxing video and first hands on here.

We’re expecting a lot of phones to arrive over the next few weeks for review (Zopo ZP990, Newman K2, FAEA F2) but Chinapadmall must have the fastest courier service as their Neo N003 review phone has been the first to arrive at the GizChina office.

Below are details of the phone and our initial impressions of the Neo N003. Please don’t take this brief introduction as the full review, we plan to put the N003 throughly through it’s paces and publish a complete review with videos and photo samples later in the month. Keep posted!

Neo N003 – Better late than never

neo n003 in the box

The Neo N003 will be one of the last phone to launch with a 2013 flagship level of specification, which is a little odd as we have known about the phone and most of it’s specifications for months already!

It’s not clear why Neo have launched the N003 so long after rivals, but we know it was partly due to a last-minute update to a 1.5Ghz MT6589T processor.

Neo N003 Specifications

neo n003 hands on

So the N003 packs a 1.5Ghz MT689T processor, what about the rest of the hardware. Well there will 2 versions of the phone available the Neo N003 Basic which is on sale now, and then the Neo N003 Advanced which has yet to launch. The only difference between the two phones is the RAM and Memory, the basic getting 1GB RAM 4GB memory and the advanced 2GB RAM 32GB Memory.

neo n003 hands on

The rest of the hardware is the same on both phones. 5-inch 1080 laminated display, 13 mega-pixel rear camera, 3 mega-pixel front, Android 4.2.1, support for up to 64GB SD cards, dual SIM, 3000mAh battery and support for MHL and OTG. Also for your information the N003 also has a notification LED (to the right of the receiver) and back-lit capacitive buttons.

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As you will see in the video below the N003 runs a mildly tweaked version of the stock Android 4.2 Jelly Bean ROM, which comes pre-rooted, and with Google Play store, oddly though no browser was installed on the phone when it arrived.

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Neo N003 Design

neo n003 design

Below are a few photos we took of the N003 after recording the unboxing video. The body features a black front panel with metal edging which meets the screen and tapers around the edge of the body. That then meets a slim sliver of black plastic before meeting the removable white rear panel.

The overall looks is understated and not much different to the JiaYu G4 (obviously larger though). It’s not a particularly thin phone due to the very substantial 3000mAh battery, but it manages to fee very comfortable and easy to use one-handed.

neo n003 rear

A removable rear panel takes up the rear with a nicely styled rear external speaker (reminds me of the old Commodore Computers logo. We can also find the 13 mega-pixel rear camera and LED flash on the back too.

Neo N003 Performance

I have only had time to browse around the phone, add a Google account, install Google Chrome and Antutu, but from this brief experience I am very happy with the performance. The display handles touches and gestures as you would expect, there are no ghost touches, and the whole user experience if fast, smooth and bug free.

neo n003 specifications

Although having only 1GB RAM and having to power a 1080 display, swiping through screens is very snappy as is app launching and web browsing.

neo n003 antutu

I plan to run all popular benchmarking tools on the N003, but for now I have just ran Antutu. This gave me an accurate look at the specifications (hmm just under 2GB of memory for user use….), and also check the performance. Again I was happily surprised the Antutu result and the Neo managed an impressive 13,323.

Neo N003 Unboxing video and first hands on

Neo N003 full review coming soon

So that wraps up our Neo N003 unboxing and first hands on. Overall first impressions are very good, but we will leave a final judgement until we have had some serious time with the phone.

Thanks again to Chinapadmall for sending us this review unit.

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  1. Verno
    August 23, 2013

    great review

  2. j
    August 23, 2013

    What about reflections of screen?
    The majority of the chinese phones has very big reflections. This phone is likely to have acceptable reflections.

  3. August 23, 2013

    Looks like it has great build quality but where is the 2Gb RAM version?? Wait till when? December? I gave up on this and the Jiayu G4 Advance which by the way is crazily over priced by every reseller and just bought the iOcean X7 Elite which is currently on transit…..

    • Lisa
      September 12, 2013

      2Gb RAM version, somewhere i see before,search on google

  4. August 23, 2013

    Nice one Andi, looks great.

    Might be tempted to get this rather than hang around for G4 advanced.

    MHL support might swing it. Looking forward to your follow on review (MHL demo would be good 😉 )


  5. August 23, 2013


  6. Benny
    August 23, 2013

    Andi: Please Please Please.. confirm or deny the 850Mhz WCDMA for me (using UncleMobile tool or Engineering mode)!!

    Thank you in advance..

  7. SYHMS
    August 23, 2013

    Does it bend like zopo? Does it stiff?

  8. adri
    August 23, 2013

    What chinese phones have Omnivision camera?
    Thx !

  9. R
    August 23, 2013

    Any chance you could test the GPS in google maps? I’ve heard a lot of reports in Europe of the blue arrow “wandering around” on MediaTek devices. Thanks.

    • August 23, 2013

      Yes I’ll test it for the full review.

  10. August 23, 2013

    Given the difference in price (about 20-30$) between the Jiayu G4 and this device, which one would you suggest?

    • pell
      August 23, 2013

      If you gona use MHL NEO, if not G4

    • ursusc360
      August 23, 2013

      Take Neo

    • August 23, 2013

      To early to tell really, but the N003 does have a 1080 display and MHL for just a little more than the G4.

      • August 24, 2013

        Prefer 4.7″ on Jiayu G4 (720 enough), but MHL is very tempting.
        Still wait both advance model in the market to decide.

    • August 24, 2013

      Thanks for the replies. My first preference was the JiaYu because I prefer the 4.7″ screen as well, and probably won’t be needing the MHL. However, I need your point of view on the build quality aspect, if this one is close to the JiaYu then I guess it is worth saying the 30 bucks.

      • August 24, 2013

        Just gave is the ‘bend’ test. Almost on par with the JiaYu for stiffness, not quite as good as Xiaomi but miles ahead of Zopo. Spent the day with the N003 today taking photos and what not. Very responsive, fast phone. Photos look great on the 1080 display, will put them on my computer and take a closer look later.

        • Joel
          August 24, 2013

          It would be great if you also could upload some photos taken with the N003. It’s easy to just take the quality of the photos for granted when it says 13mp. Actually; I saw some sample photos from the N003 in the link below and I must say that the colors look all washed out and kind of blurry. Let’s hope thoose were taken with an early engineering sample of the phone.. anyways: keep the good stuff coming andy. Looking forward to see the picture quality of the N003’s camera and your full review on this device. thnx /joel from Sweden.

          the link:

          • August 24, 2013

            Hi, Joel. All of this will be in the FULL review. This is just an boxing and first impressions.

        • August 25, 2013

          Sounds great! Guess I’ll get the Neo then. I don’t need 2GB RAM, this one should do the job for me. However, waiting for your full review, Andi!

          Another thing, this reminds me how much of a waste the UMi X1 was last year. Wish I hadn’t bought that piece of crap! I agree it’s been 8-9 months but still, got the UMi for about 260$ which was a massive waste..

          • August 25, 2013

            I have to say that extra time Neo have put in to the N003 appears to have been worth it. It has been a joy to use to date 🙂

            • August 25, 2013

              This is good news 😀 Hope to see your review soon, I’ve pretty much made up my mind on the Neo…

      • August 24, 2013

        I have both-Jiayu and Neo, the built quality is much better in Neo.

        • August 25, 2013

          Wow. Have you done a review of the devices? Thanks.

  11. Daniel
    August 23, 2013

    can somebody plz HELP!?!?!?!?!?

    one of my relatives is in shenzhen,china now for a bussiness trip
    I asked him to buy me a pipo m9 pro 3g white , and a zoppo c2 platium . so that i can avoid taxes and postal prices as well , and i’ve been told that all these stuff in shenzhen have cheaper price . he is comming back in 2 days and today i called him and he said he couldnt find the things i want!!
    so can anyone plz give me a shop address which has original pipo m9 pro 3g white tablet and also sells it with good price???
    plz give me an address so that i tell him where to go , he is comming back in 2 days…. .

    • August 23, 2013

      Not sure about the Pipo but Zopo will be easy to find they have tons of their own stores across Shenzhen.

  12. cesarXD
    August 23, 2013

    finally kkk its take so long time… i cant believe… but now we have better choices…

  13. August 24, 2013

    Please tell me, here is the OGS screen?

  14. Allanitomwesh
    August 24, 2013

    Not bad,took them long enough. They did promise it would be the cheapest 1080p phone in the market long ago,do you think they’ll keep their promise,Andi?
    The screen doesn’t appear to be OGS,but it doesn’t bother me much.Are those full size sim card slots or micro sims?
    Waiting for the full review of this as a cheaper alternative to JiaYu G4 Advanced,the back-lit capacitive buttons may just sway me.

  15. Jhon
    August 24, 2013

    This looks like a great phone, I especially like the features MHL, OTG and Dual Sim!
    …just plug it into a monitor and add mouse + keyboard and you will have a great mobile workstation!

    Besides the NEO, are there any alternatives that support both mhl and usb otg?

  16. August 24, 2013

    I’d buy this phone for the box, LOL

  17. nuel
    August 24, 2013

    I already ordered for one, i should have it on my hands by monday. I’m really excited, i hope i wouldn’t be dissapointed

  18. James
    August 24, 2013

    What’s the glass type ? I don’t want another fragile device that will crack its screen from a 5 inch drop..
    Also, how’s the build quality? because this phone definitely looks like a winner (despite having just 2100mhz in wcdma)

  19. August 24, 2013

    o.O the phone that i was waiting for after so long =_=…to think that i wanted it in March……………………………….

  20. Hel
    August 24, 2013

    How does the MHL work with only 1GB of ram? it’s really interesting because I don’t know which model should I choose.

  21. Joel
    August 24, 2013

    Andi! It would interesting to see a comparison between the Neo N003 and the Jiayu G4’s the screen brightness on full backlight.

    • August 24, 2013

      I’ll have to get the G4 off my brother 🙂 see what I can do

      • Joel
        August 25, 2013

        Ok, well screen brightness comparison of the Neo and the Xiaomi Mi2 would be just as good! Really looking forward to this review. Could you also disclose whether the silver edge around the bezels are made out of metal or plastic please. ..And some full resolution images taken with the camera would be nice! ..Many requests here. Appreciate your solid work Andi! 🙂

        • Ryann
          September 22, 2013

          Good question! The silver edge around the bezels are made out of metal or plastic?

  22. August 25, 2013

    Sorry for hijacking the post, but does the Neo come with a metal frame like the JiaYu?

  23. Remco
    August 25, 2013

    Its a bit strange they use “1080p” as the phone’s model name and not just “neo”

  24. sergio
    August 25, 2013

    I see no CE logos anywhere.
    Which means, that no way this phone will pass EU border (with international shipping), customs have strict regulations for such things. That’s pity. I know enough cases, when such products were returned to sender.
    The only solution would be to find a EU internal seller.
    Any suggestion?

  25. SYHMS
    August 26, 2013

    I just ordered 3 units. These will be my first chinese phones 🙂

  26. Beginner
    August 27, 2013

    Hi Andy

    We are waiting for your detailed review of Neo n003. Also can you make a comparision review of this with FAEA F2/F2S ?

    I saw some sample camera pics of n003 in internet, though the macro images are stunning the phone struggles at wideangle images with poor brightness and in poor liget the image quality is worst. But will wait for your review and then I may probably buy n003 or Faea f2/f2s.

    • August 27, 2013

      Camera details coming this week 😉

  27. Mansuurr
    August 30, 2013

    Hi Andy ,
    I am using NEO N003 for more than a week now , this is a very affordable phone with all the specs it comes with , but , unfortunately I have lost my imei while trying to flash custom recovery and I can’t get it to load my sims . So , could you please extract the radio image for me .
    I have already tried almost all the methods to restore imei but no success and also on the N003’s official forum no one has given the official rom .
    Any help would be appreciated .

  28. Benny
    September 25, 2013

    Friend of mine just got one and within a few days of using it, the earpiece audio is blurred. I have some high doubts about the quality of this device. 🙁 Furthermore, it is also confrimed to be 2100Mhz Only – so anyone wanting 3G over other frequencies, better watch out.

  29. Bartman
    October 1, 2013

    The phone hardware is excellent, the ROM is rubbish. They not only forgot to add the stock browser but also the Data Transfer software is missing. I am totally not convinced that this was a good idea.