First Impressions: The Elephone Trunk is a shockingly nice $100 smartphone

elephone trunk review

Elephone have launched their Elephone Trunk, an entry-level phone that they hope will compete against the likes of the Xiaomi Redmi, but don’t scoff too soon as this little phone is surprisingly good!

After the P7000 and P8000, Elephone are know for launching devices with crazy specifications at affordable figures and with huge bezels. We all know they make other phones too, but they have never really gotten much attention for their low-cost efforts. I believe this could change with the Elephone Trunk.

When the Elephone Trunk arrived with me today I really didn’t know what to expect. In my mind I knew the phone looked good on paper, but I had a sneaking suspicion that it might not feel and operate as well as we all hope it might.

I’m glad I didn’t say something silly like “I’ll eat my hat if it’s good” otherwise I would be out shopping for a delicious looking baseball cap right about now! The Elephone Trunk is a surprisingly budget phone.

elephone trunk review

The Elephone feels good as soon as it lands in your palm, and the experience gets better when you look at the details and turn it on.

It’s a personal thing, but I really love those soft to the touch rubberized finishes, and the Elephone Trunk has one. The black phone which arrived with me isn’t slim but the soft finish and the very rounded body help to give the illusion of a much thinner phone in the hand.

elephone trunk review

If you give the Trunk the once over you might be fooled in to thinking the device has a unibody construction but there is a a slight indent on the bottom right corner to pull off the rear. Removing the rear means to you switch to one of the bright colour options and also get at that 2100mAh battery, SD card slot and dual SIM locations.

elephone trunk review

With the rear off you can also see that Elephone may have taken some lessons from Xiaomi on the internal construction of a phone. It is all extremely neat and very professionally finished.

elephone trunk review

On the back we can see the simple ELE logo, space for a single speaker, LED flash (blindingly bright) and the glass lens which protects the 8 mega-pixel rear camera (interpolated to 13 mega-pixel).

As usual the camera was one of the first items to test, and I am pretty impressed! First of all the camera application in the ElE ROM really is packed to the brim with features. Everything from pictures size and quality to manual camera settings are all easily accessible from the settings menu. Focus is fast, shutter speed is good (and without one of those tacky camera shutter sounds) and the images are way above my expectations for a phone of this price.

Some camera samples from the Elephone Trunk below.

At the heart of the Trunk is a Qualcomm chipset, this is the first non Mediatek phone from Elephone and uses the budget Snapdragon 410 with 2GB RAM and an Adreno 306 processor. The choice of this chipset opens up the possibility of better and longer support for the Elephone Trunk, and even the chance of third party ROMS.

elephone trunk review

Speaking of the ROM, the Elephone system is based on Android 5.1. The menus and notification tray are all stock Lollipop, but the main UI has custom Elephone icons and a neat method of swiping from one opened folder to the next. I haven’t played around with it too much but so far it is very smooth and all that necessary Google support is built right in.

Elephone Trunk First Impressions

I think you can see that I am impressed with the Elephone Trunk. I would go so far to say that the Trunk is possibly the best Elephone device on the market (by a long way), in fact its possibly the best Elephone full stop! The build is impressive, camera is way above expectations, and the custom ROM runs smoothly on that Snapdragon chipset. I’ll need more time with the phone to see if there are hidden issues, bugs and to check the battery life, but so far I’m happy to use this as a daily driver.

Elephone Trunk Specification Highlights

  • Snapdragon 410 chipset
  • FDD LTE (800,1800,2100,2600)
  • 2GB RAM
  • 32GB SD support
  • 5-inch HD display
  • Samsung 8 mega-pixel camera
  • Dual SIM
  • Compact and well made.

If you have any questions about the Elephone Trunk feel free to ask in the comments below.

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