THL 5000 Review: huge battery, 2.0Ghz octa-core and KitKat


THL 5000

The THL 5000 is one of those phone which looks like a total package on paper with large battery, powerful processor and decent cameras. So do those details equal to a great phone for everyday use? Keep reading the full THL 5000 review now to find out!

The THL 5000 is the bigger battery, faster processor brother of the THL 4400 that was reviewed a few weeks ago. A 5000MAh battery is larger enough to make the phone a powerbank in its own right, while the 2.0Ghz octacore MT6592 processor is a rare and exciting choice of processor. With a 5-inch FHD display, 13 mega-pixel main camera and Android Kitkat, it is easy to see why the phone has generated so much interest in the Chinese tech community.

THL 5000 Review – Design and build quality

A 5000mAh battery is a large cell and one that isnt easy to fit in a phone, especially one with a 5-inch display! Still the THL 5000 isn’t overly large with the dimensions of the phone coming in at 145 x 73 x 8.9mm with a weight of 170g. So, yes there are thinner narrower phones, but none with a battery so big.

The design of the device is simple, with rounded edges; nothing new or innovative in that, but still there are some nice design touches here and there.  A metal frame keeps the phone still and solid, and the metal ring and silver THL logo add nice touches to an otherwise normal looking phone.

A lot of plastc has been used in the constructon of the THL 5000. Plastic is no bad thing, and we have seen many a lightweight quality phone this year. Unfortunately the plastic in the THL 5000 isn’t of the greatest qualtity. The low quality plastic does mean that THL have kept the price low, but if you are looking for a quality feeling phone then this won’t be the one for you.

THL 5000 Review – Performance

This year was meant to be the year of the octacore with the MT6592 leading the way, but although Mediatek launched 2 version of the SoC we have only seen the 1.7Ghz version used in large numbers. The THL 5000 uses the 2.oGhz octacore MT6592T processor. This still doesn’t support LTE as standard, but it does give the phone that little extra grunt. The chipset also has a Mali-450 GPU and 2GB RAM.

THL 5000 ANTUTU

Yep we know Antutu really is a defunct method of testing a phone these days, but the numbers are still regarded as gospel by some so we ran it anyway. For a phone costing just $270 the benchmarks result of 29,751 is pretty amazing. In real life usage this meant the phone can handle daily apps well and gaming is just fine, but as usualy with the MT6592 3D animations are a sore point and tend to run slowly.

THL 5000

We tested games such as Real Racing 3, Ripitide Gp2 and Need For Speed on the THL 5000 all of which ran well with only the odd lag and framerate drop here and there. You won’t get the same sort of expericence as a Qualcomm processor, or even the newer MT6595 found in the Meizu MX4, but it is usuable and gets the job done.

THL 5000 Review – Battery

THL 5000’s battery is the feature that makes this phone so interesting. As mentioned before, the phone comes with a non-replaceable 5000mAh unit, which easily is above average capacity for a smartphone of today. In fact the THL 5000 really does stand in a class of it’s own for battery size, even above flaghip phones.

Other phone makers will build a smartphone with large battery and then give the rest of the phone an energy saving specification. THL on the other hand haven’t and instead we have a FHD display, and powerful processor, but still the phone offers several hours of usuage.

We tried our best to run the THL 5000 out of battery life in a single day and found it simply impossible under normal conditions. Even when using the phone as a dedicated portable gaming device (not really what THL intended) we still managed to get 5 hours of continued game play!

THL 5000

The THL 5000 also works as a power bank for other phones and device, using it’s huge battery to supply juice to other devices via the OTG USB.

THL 5000

Below are some usage scenarios of the THL 5000 and its battery life, considering the average usage of the device with messaging, browsing, video, email, social networking, using the camera and a bit of gaming.

  • 2 d 0 h 42 m 43 s of usage, with 5 h 2 m 48 s of screen, the smartphone was left with 10% battery.
    19 d 26 m 28 s of usage, with 3 h 16 m and 13 s of screen, the smartphone was left with 53% battery.
    2 d 11 h 17 m 25 s of usage, with 5h 44 m 13 s of screen, the smartphone was left with 14% battery.
    2 d 19 h 6 m 8 s of usage, with 5 h 56 m and 26 s of screen, the smartphone was left with 7% battery.
    2 d 15 h 56 m 52 s of usage, with 5 h 3 m and 28 of screen, the smartphone was left with 16% battery.

The battery life is amazing, however we think that THL will be able to improve it further! Through our tests we found that the OS on the THL 5000 has a few bugs in the power managment, sometimes resulting the in the phone rebooting when the battery hit a certain percentage. Hopefully an update will fix this and will also boost battery life even further still!

Read Also:  OxygenOS 13: users want the new version to ditch ColorOS influences

Even with the bug, we still believe the THL 5000 is one of the best options when choosing a phone based on a mix of battery life and performance.

THL 5000 Review – Camera

On paper the main camera of the THL 5000 is an impressive piece of kit for a $270 phone, not to mention one with the larger battery, FHD display and powerful processor. The sensor is a 13 mega-pixel model from the Sony stable, model number IMX135, and boasts a f2.0 aperture! The front camera is a basic 5 mega-pixel unit.

We know the sensor and aperture alone don’t make a great camera and it comes down to the lens used and the optimisation of the ROM, so how have THL done?

Well the camera certainly is capable of getting some nice shots, but the performance is inconsistent and to get the best out of it you really cannot rely on the auto mode. Thankfully there are plenty of manual settings to choose from, but this is not a camera that would replace a dedicated point and shoot, well at least not without some work anyway. For best results keep your photography outdoors and make sure there is plenty of light.

THL 5000

In addition, several features such as HDR and panorama photos are suffer from the lack of optimization of MediaTek’s camera app, and go to degrading the performance of this sensor. Since this is a smartphone with Android 4.4.2 KitKat, you can still install the Google Camera app, or pick any other applications available on the Play Store in a hope to get better results.

All in all, this camera does produce better shots than the average MediaTek smartphones, but at the same time, it doesn’t perform up to its potential. Interestingly the 5 mega-pixel front camera was quite pleasing, but this could be due to the fact we had quite low expectations for it.

Good light shots

Indoor shots

Low light shots

Others shots

THL 5000

THL 5000

THL 5000

1080p Video test

THL 5000 Review – Software

The 5000 comes with stock Android 4.4.2 with a ThL custom icons pack and the “launcher 3” from AOSP. As mentioned above the camera app isn’t fully optimised, and there are bugs in the power management, so what about the rest?

THL 5000

The system is generally responsive, much more than other smartphone MediaTek octa-core processor, and offers some pre-installed applications, including some in Chinese bloatware which is easily removable. Furthermore, there is “pocket mode” that can be enabled, and should help avoid any unwanted operations while the smartphone is in your pocket. The feature gets the job done, but sometimes slows the phone down while unlocking.

In the settings we also found a “float app”, which gives you quick access to some apps like the calulator and the music player The drawer does not contain widgets, which can be found by clicking the menu button on the home page.

THL 5000 Review – Screen

The display is a 5-inch panel with full HD resolution, made with IPS technology and OGS, and protected by glass Corning Gorilla Glass 3. The display is really nice on the THL 5000, with good viewing angles, good color reproduction, sharp images and excellent definition.

THL 5000 DISPLAY

Playing games, reading, watching movies or viewing photos are a pleasure on this device, and the display is able to recognize up to 10 simultaneous touches.

THL 5000 Review – Connectivity and GPS

The phone has all the standard connectivity options like WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, 3G, NFC and GPS, but it lacks of 4G connectivity. So, if you are looking for fast internet you’ll have look elsewhere, unfortunately. There are two SIM card slots, both of which take normal sized SIM cards unlike other Chinese phones that have come up of late. The 5000 supports 3G work in most places around Europe. We tested in Italy where it worked well.

The THL 5000 was a really satisfying in many ways, but in terms of GPS performance the 5000 is far from the best. As with a lot of MediaTek-powered smartphones, navigation is often inaccurate, even if the position is correctly detected.
However, with the navigation software Copilot, the results improve marginally, but we’re still left far from having the best navigation experience.

THL 5000 Review – Conclusion and pricing

The THL 5000 offers much more than other smartphones in this price tag. In fact, it packs one of the biggest battery in the global market with the added (and often crucial) ability to charge other devices. It comes with expandable memory, NFC, a beautiful 5-inch Full HD display, the MediaTek MT6592 processor clocked at 2.0GHz, a 13 camera from Sony, Android 4.4.2 KitKat. So on paper it really is an amazing bit of kit.

Unfortunately, the GPS is disappointing, there are some small bugs in the ROM. Also, the camera lacks the right software as we mentioned before. However, at a price of 269.99 dollars, the THL 5000 is still a very good phone, albeit with a few shortcomings here and there, which could easily be fixed through updates or custom roms. If you are willing to bet on getting those updates though is another matter.

The THL 500o is available on line now from $269.99. Thanks to chinavasion.com for providing us with a review sample.

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71 Comments

  1. Ivo001
    September 17, 2014

    Was waiting for this review for some time. looks like a really good alternative to the Jiayu G4S.

    • Manos
      September 17, 2014

      Yes you are right but the Jiayu is cheaper… I like this new battery and the 2Ghz cpu!
      And please someone tell Thl to fix the camera and the Rom the phone is good and is asame to have bad software!

    • desponent
      September 17, 2014

      Would have bought this too if it was available earlier. I like my G4S but the software support is horrible.

      Jiayu releases KK ROM with updated touchscreen firmware that screwed up all 4.2.2 ROM and don’t want to provide any way for those stuck to go back to 4.2.2. Shady bunch.

  2. CLAUDE
    September 17, 2014

    THX A LOT FOR THIS REVIEW WE WAITED FOR.
    THE PLASTIC A FRAGILE BODY IS THE FISRT PROBLEM FOR ME…
    I STILL HESITATE

    DO U THINK THAT THE V188 GIONEE WITH BIG BATTERY TOO WILL BE ON SALE SOON.. AND MAYBE FOLLOWED NY A GREAT REVIEW LIKE THIS ONE. ?

  3. amir
    September 17, 2014

    same here, Was waiting for this review for some time. thank you very much for this review.

  4. desponent
    September 17, 2014

    I’ve seen this go for as low as $240, pretty good deal.

  5. Ivo001
    September 17, 2014

    Was waiting for this review for some time. looks like a really good alternative to the Jiayu G4S.

    • Guest
      September 17, 2014

      Yes you are right but the Jiayu is cheaper… I like this new battery and the 2Ghz cpu!
      And please someone tell Thl to fix the camera and the Rom the phone is good and is asame to have bad software!

    • desponent
      September 17, 2014

      Would have bought this too if it was available earlier. I like my G4S but the software support is horrible.

      Jiayu releases KK ROM with updated touchscreen firmware that screwed up all 4.2.2 ROM and don’t want to provide any way for those stuck to go back to 4.2.2. Shady bunch.

  6. Guest
    September 17, 2014

    THX A LOT FOR THIS REVIEW WE WAITED FOR.
    THE PLASTIC A FRAGILE BODY IS THE FISRT PROBLEM FOR ME…
    I STILL HESITATE

    DO U THINK THAT THE V188 GIONEE WITH BIG BATTERY TOO WILL BE ON SALE SOON.. AND MAYBE FOLLOWED NY A GREAT REVIEW LIKE THIS ONE. ?

  7. amir
    September 17, 2014

    same here, Was waiting for this review for some time. thank you very much for this review.

  8. desponent
    September 17, 2014

    I’ve seen this go for as low as $240, pretty good deal.

  9. roni
    September 17, 2014

    for 270$ and up, it must have MT6595

  10. Mitu
    September 17, 2014

    @mario. From reading your review it seems you didn’t apply FOTA 1.09. It has improvements for Wi-Fi and GPS. I didn’t notice any unexpected reboots so far with FOTA 1.07 or 1.09. Also Antutu scores much better.

  11. Guest
    September 17, 2014

    for 270$ and up, it must have MT6595

  12. Guest
    September 17, 2014

    @mario. From reading your review it seems you didn’t apply FOTA 1.09. It has improvements for Wi-Fi and GPS. I didn’t notice any unexpected reboots so far with FOTA 1.07 or 1.09. Also Antutu scores much better.

  13. balcobomber25
    September 17, 2014

    THL used to make some beautiful phones (Monkey King 2, Iron Man). What in the world happened? This design is so plain and boring.

    • Airyl
      September 18, 2014

      I’m guessing it was to save costs. Sticking 5000mAh into a phone ain’t cheap.

      • balcobomber25
        September 20, 2014

        They have phones from the past with very close dimensions to this ones that didn’t look so vanilla. With a beautiful looking phone they can charge a little more and make up the added costs.

  14. balcobomber25
    September 18, 2014

    THL used to make some beautiful phones (Monkey King 2, Iron Man). What in the world happened? This design is so plain and boring.

    • Airyl
      September 18, 2014

      I’m guessing it was to save costs. Sticking 5000mAh into a phone ain’t cheap.

    • balcobomber25
      September 20, 2014

      They have phones from the past with very close dimensions to this ones that didn’t look so vanilla. With a beautiful looking phone they can charge a little more and make up the added costs.

  15. Angry Mobile Nerd
    September 19, 2014

    5000mAh cell and it’s still only 8.9mm thin and weighs only 170g?

    My bullsh*t detector is beeping.

    Seriously though, I question the integrity/quality of the “5000mAh” battery they put in this as the battery performance isn’t nearly as stellar as I thought it would be. 2+ days with 5+ hours of screen-on time, that’s all, really?

    • desponent
      September 19, 2014

      They have the new amprius battery, it has been tested as real. Softwares and background service also play a very BIG role for device life, currently even it’s known that it has bug.

      Custom ROM + Root to kill unnecessary service should help tremendously.

    • Andrew
      September 19, 2014

      I don’t really think it is bullshit. I have been seeing a lot of video reviews from everywhere, and it seems that even though KitKat only requires 512mb ram, their bloated THL rom uses up 1.5gb normally. Imagine the kind of load its octacore would be constantly going through. I am sure once a stock rom is available it would really boost the battery life to 4 days. I had a Lenovo P780 with 4000 mah and I saw 3 days battery life with it.

  16. Angry Mobile Nerd
    September 19, 2014

    5000mAh cell and it’s still only 8.9mm thin and weighs only 170g?

    My bullsh*t detector is beeping.

    Seriously though, I question the integrity/quality of the “5000mAh” battery they put in this as the battery performance isn’t nearly as stellar as I thought it would be. 2+ days with 5+ hours of screen-on time, that’s all, really?

    • desponent
      September 19, 2014

      They have the new amprius battery, it has been tested as real. Softwares and background service also play a very BIG role for device life, currently even it’s known that it has bug.

      Custom ROM + Root to kill unnecessary service should help tremendously.

    • Guest
      September 19, 2014

      I don’t really think it is bullshit. I have been seeing a lot of video reviews from everywhere, and it seems that even though KitKat only requires 512mb ram, their bloated THL rom uses up 1.5gb normally. Imagine the kind of load its octacore would be constantly going through. I am sure once a stock rom is available it would really boost the battery life to 4 days. I had a Lenovo P780 with 4000 mah and I saw 3 days battery life with it.

  17. Andrew
    September 19, 2014

    Hi, please I cannot find this detail anywhere. It is like no one is really concerned with the detail but it will affect me. The front facing camera, what kind of resolution is it able to capture for video calling? 1080p or 720p? Will be waiting for a reply please. Thank you

    • desponent
      September 20, 2014

      While you can find this device detail pretty easy with search (hint : device specification thl 5000), I agree that reviews should include them or at least link to them.

      • Andrew
        September 20, 2014

        Hey despondent, i feel dumb now 🙂 I’ve written so many queries in google, but i pasted device specification thl 5000 and i got the detail. Thank you. The video capture of the front facing camera is 720p at 30 frames per second

  18. Guest
    September 19, 2014

    Hi, please I cannot find this detail anywhere. It is like no one is really concerned with the detail but it will affect me. The front facing camera, what kind of resolution is it able to capture for video calling? 1080p or 720p? Will be waiting for a reply please. Thank you

    • desponent
      September 20, 2014

      While you can find this device detail pretty easy with search (hint : device specification thl 5000), I agree that reviews should include them or at least link to them.

    • Guest
      September 21, 2014

      Hey despondent, i feel dumb now 🙂 I’ve written so many queries in google, but i pasted device specification thl 5000 and i got the detail. Thank you. The video capture of the front facing camera is 720p at 30 frames per second

  19. Georgi Nikolov
    September 20, 2014

    I buy it and sell it the day after! Big lag, laggy interface, bad focus in camera, white color is over saturated and everything looks washed up. Battery capacity is overrated or system is not optimized?

  20. Georgi Nikolov
    September 20, 2014

    I buy it and sell it the day after! Big lag, laggy interface, bad focus in camera, white color is over saturated and everything looks washed up. Battery capacity is overrated or system is not optimized?

  21. george
    September 21, 2014

    If you ask, I would buy a 10,400 powerbank, that will support all electronic devices in the household. For 2 years.
    And then you still are left with 250$ to buy a phone. A decent one.

    • desponent
      September 21, 2014

      Like what?

  22. george
    September 21, 2014

    If you ask, I would buy a 10,400 powerbank, that will support all electronic devices in the household. For 2 years.
    And then you still are left with 250$ to buy a phone. A decent one.

    • desponent
      September 21, 2014

      Like what?

  23. Manos
    September 21, 2014

    So the GPS is not good? I have test a Jiayu G4S and its locking fast other tests I didn’t make…

    • Markus
      October 28, 2014

      I have this phone. GPS sucks. I suspect all mediatek phones are bad from what I have been reading. I made the mistake of listening to others who said the GPS worked. (Maybe the latest MTK chipset is good but I wouldn’t hold my breath)

      • Gary
        November 15, 2014

        On THL phones, the GPS is poor because the connection between the antenna and the motherboard is through a conductive plastic sheet which is not applied very well in some phones.

        I fixed it in my W3 by wrapping a thin aluminium foil around the contacts. If you are brave enough, you can try it.

  24. Guest
    September 21, 2014

    So the GPS is not good? I have test a Jiayu G4S and its locking fast other tests I didn’t make…

    • Guest
      October 28, 2014

      I have this phone. GPS sucks. I suspect all mediatek phones are bad from what I have been reading. I made the mistake of listening to others who said the GPS worked. (Maybe the latest MTK chipset is good but I wouldn’t hold my breath)

    • Gary
      November 16, 2014

      On THL phones, the GPS is poor because the connection between the antenna and the motherboard is through a conductive plastic sheet which is not applied very well in some phones.

      I fixed it in my W3 by wrapping a thin aluminium foil around the contacts. If you are brave enough, you can try it.

  25. Jozko Mrkvicka
    November 13, 2014

    PLEASE tell me how fix this
    https://www.youtube.com/v/UOfXpqAPFdg
    thanks 🙂

    • Joao Victor Reis
      November 16, 2014

      you forgot one simple thing… razr is not octacore, doesnt have a full hd display with 5 inches… what kind of comparison is this?

      • Jozko Mrkvicka
        November 29, 2014

        I bought this phone because it has a stronger battery but my old mobile is better ? this its no normal 😕

  26. Jozko Mrkvicka
    November 13, 2014

    PLEASE tell me how fix this

  27. Jozko Mrkvicka
    November 13, 2014

    thanks 🙂

    • Joao Victor Reis
      November 16, 2014

      you forgot one simple thing… razr is not octacore, doesnt have a full hd display with 5 inches… what kind of comparison is this?

    • Jozko Mrkvicka
      November 29, 2014

      I bought this phone because it has a stronger battery but my old mobile is better ? this its no normal 😕

  28. santyago33
    November 28, 2014

    Please, do the same tests of the battery in all reviews (or most of them).
    Was very very useful.

  29. santyago33
    November 28, 2014

    Please, do the same tests of the battery in all reviews (or most of them).
    Was very very useful.

  30. Carlos
    December 19, 2014

    Today when i wake up it was like that.

    I have the mobile for 3 days(THL5000),

    The screen is black, the notification led is blinking red every second.

    On/unlock button don’t do anything, same with volume.

    I try to hold unlock 10 sec, unlock+vol-,unlock+vol+.

    There is a reset button behind under the sim car, i push it, push it for more than 10 sec, unlock+reset, unlock+reset 10 sec.

    i can’t remove the battery because there is a sticker in the head of a screw, so they will detect that i remove that one.

    Any idea?

    Thanks for your time

  31. Guest
    December 19, 2014

    Today when i wake up it was like that.

    I have the mobile for 3 days(THL5000),

    The screen is black, the notification led is blinking red every second.

    On/unlock button don’t do anything, same with volume.

    I try to hold unlock 10 sec, unlock+vol-,unlock+vol+.

    There is a reset button behind under the sim car, i push it, push it for more than 10 sec, unlock+reset, unlock+reset 10 sec.

    i can’t remove the battery because there is a sticker in the head of a screw, so they will detect that i remove that one.

    Any idea?

    Thanks for your time

  32. Guest
    December 31, 2014

    He comprado uno desde Coolicool y ellos dan un descuento de 10 euros. Código:thl5000
    http://elchapuzasinformatico.com/foro/showthread.php?25211-Thl-5000-en-gran-oferta&p=348668#post348668

  33. Guest
    December 31, 2014

    He comprado uno desde Coolicool y ellos dan un descuento de 10 euros. Código:thl5000
    http://elchapuzasinformatico.com/foro/showthread.php?25211-Thl-5000-en-gran-oferta&p=348668#post348668

  34. Janmichael punzalan
    January 4, 2015

    how many hours will you charge this shit?

  35. Janmichael punzalan
    January 4, 2015

    how many hours will you charge this shit?

  36. Dany
    February 15, 2015

    Hello, can you please help me. I’m using thl 5000 about 6 months, but I still can’t find how to make contact picture to apear on small window when cover is closed (when someome is calling me). Please tell me can I do that and how?

  37. Guest
    February 15, 2015

    Hello, can you please help me. I’m using thl 5000 about 6 months, but I still can’t find how to make contact picture to apear on small window when cover is closed (when someome is calling me). Please tell me can I do that and how?

  38. Hasan
    May 31, 2015

    *** WARNING*** JUNK PHONE!!!! I BOUGHT IT AND IN LESS THAN 1 YEAR THE ON/OFF BUTTON IS DAMAGED AND THE “WOW” BATTERY IS DAMAGED. DON’T BUY.

  39. Hasan
    May 31, 2015

    *** WARNING*** JUNK PHONE!!!! I BOUGHT IT AND IN LESS THAN 1 YEAR THE ON/OFF BUTTON IS DAMAGED AND THE “WOW” BATTERY IS DAMAGED. DON’T BUY.

  40. Al Gaivoto
    August 2, 2015

    The on / off button on my THL is acting up after one year of usage…where is the customer care…

  41. Al Gaivoto
    August 2, 2015

    The on / off button on my THL is acting up after one year of usage…where is the customer care…

  42. jamestom
    February 17, 2016

    So nice the phone is.

  43. jamestom
    February 17, 2016

    So nice the phone is.