The WP5000 comes with a big battery, sturdy physique, and great in-hand feel.
Oukitel recently launched WP5000 is a device purpose-built to serve those who need a smartphone but whose occupation or clumsiness can’t be survived by the average Android handset. That would normally mean a budget phone that doesn’t quite fit in the pocket and doesn’t have great specs. However, the company has also taken it upon itself to engineer something that fits the bill while remaining relatively sleek and with serious hardware backing that up. Happily enough, that all fit into a single device while still managing to keep the price down below $300 – although it’s worth mentioning that it doesn’t support the frequency bands used by U.S. carriers. So, consumers that need something rugged and long-lasting, without sacrificing too many premium features will definitely want to check the Oukitel WP5000 out.
In terms of specs, the two main selling points of the WP5000 are its 5,200mAh battery and the IP68-rated rugged build provided by its metal, rubber, and plastics frame. The power pack is charged via USB Type-C at 9V/2A and has a claimed life of 2 days along with an advertised charge time of around 2 hours and 15 minutes. Internally, that’s driving an octa-core MediaTek Helio P25 SoC clocked at 2.5GHz and backed up by a full 6GB of RAM and 64GB of expandable storage. Extra space is provided via one of the dual nano SIM slots, which are both 4G-ready. All of that hardware is managed by Android 7.1 Nougat. Meanwhile, the radio supports Bluetooth 4.2 protocol for near-lossless data and audio transference. GLONASS and GPS are included, as well as a digital compass.
On the outside, that’s powering a 5.7-inch “military grade” display with a ratio of 18:9 and a resolution of 1440 x 720. Sitting just above that is a forward-facing LED and camera array. The selfie shooter is rated at 8-megapixels, allows for facial recognition, and the sensors one would expect in a modern mid-range handset. Sensors included with this device are a geomagnetic sensor, gyro, gravity sensor, and both proximity and light sensors. Rolling over to the back of the handset, there is a fingerprint scanner set just below a dual-camera setup. Those are rated at 16-megapixels and 5-megapixels and wrapped in an extra layer of metal for protection. The sensors also feature what Oukitel calls “anti-shake.” A single rear-firing speaker can be found embedded in the back too.
In the Box
Cracking open the box reveals a wealth of accessories and inclusions that just wouldn’t surprise anybody who has purchased from Oukitel before. In fact, the only thing that seems to be missing here is a completely unnecessary protective case. A single film screen protector is, however, included. That comes pre-installed and users just need to remove the top layer. Setting aside the WP5000 itself, buyers also receive a USB Type C to 3.5mm adapter since this handset doesn’t have a headphone port. That’s alongside the OTG USB Type C to USB adapter, a charging cable, and a wall adapter. The wall adapter is the standard Type C plug that’s most common in regions where it is sold. Digging deeper into the box, new owners will also find a somewhat less-than-standard looking SIM tool and a “crowbar” that’s really a round piece of plastic with a wedge on one end. Those tools are vital to the use of this phone since there’s nothing standard about accessing the dual SIM drawer. First, users need to pry back at the SIM door – which we found could easily break a fingernail while not budging at all. Then the hooked end of the tool is used to pull out the drawer after its latch is released in the usual way with the tool’s pointier end. Beyond that, there are the usual warranty card and user manual.
Hardware and Design
In terms of design, there is a certain rugged beauty to the Oukitel WP5000. It does, of course, feature the usual thick rubber coating found on more durable handsets. However, that’s accented by textures and curves for easy comfort in hand placement, in addition to hard plastics for even more of a buffer. It’s also accented by brushed metal edges and a similarly designed surround on the cameras. Not only should that make the device more indestructible. It also adds a refinement that simply doesn’t exist on most other mid-range smartphones. On the technical side of the ruggedization, this phone is rated IP68. That provides a substantial amount of waterproofing and dust resistance, as well as shock protection from drops. Oukitel says it should withstand depths of nearly 5 feet for up to a half-hour. This smartphone really shouldn’t require accessories beyond a screen protector.
Adding to those are quite a few t-series fasteners that help keep things watertight and each port is covered in stoppers. The SIM port is particularly well protected, requiring an included plastic tool for wedging open and a hooked SIM tool to pull out after the key releases the internal latch. Despite that ruggedization, the whole package feels much slimmer and more premium than it might otherwise. Meanwhile, on the front of the device, there’s a very slight lip to add further screen buffering against drops. Each of the buttons is part of the metal edging and clicks through solidly, while all ports fit snugly, with no jiggle. For an added bit of flare, the WP5000 is also available with orange or green accents instead of just the typical black coloration.
The display in use here may not be the highest resolution and it doesn’t appear to be made of Corning’s Gorilla Glass. It also doesn’t really have anything in its design that breaks any molds. Having said that, it’s certainly not going to be weak. Oukitel says it has been rated for military-grade toughness and that’s not difficult to believe with consideration for how strong the rest of the design is. Better still, the display is plenty bright enough for outdoor use under almost any circumstances. Measuring in at 5.7-inches, the 18:9 ratio and full-screen design allow that to fit into the same profile a phone might have with just a 5.5-inch screen. That means it’s easy to hold and use with one hand, which is a prospect helped along by its relatively slim design.
Performance and Battery Life
The single core score for this device was surprisingly low in the benchmark we ran. However, the multi-core score places the WP5000 above the Galaxy Note 7 and the “compute” score was decent but not the best. So how the device performs in apps is going to vary quite a bit based on how a given app is optimized – if those scores are to be believed. it would be difficult to do a truly comprehensive test of a substantial number of the apps on Google Play. It goes without saying that the Helio P25 SoC is not a flagship chipset and there will almost certainly be some applications that do slow the handset down. With that said, benchmarks don’t always give a proper representation of what, exactly, a device is capable of and we didn’t notice any lag or other issues during use. With regard to gaming, some of the more demanding titles such as Into The Dead 2 could not be run on higher settings but it wasn’t at all unplayable with settings turned down. That’s not necessarily a big problem since this is, after all, not a flagship device but it seems to show that optimization was not as well done as it might have been.
Our battery benchmark showed a battery life of around 8 hours with the CPU listing at around 70-percent. Display dimming was turned off for the duration with screen brightness turned all the way up. What’s more, the test ceased with 16-percent remaining, so that’s actually quite impressive. Oukitel says the WP5000 should last around 2 days with normal usage. It’s difficult to see this handset having a hard time hitting that unless the user happens to be on their phone quite a bit more than the average and keeps the screen as bright as possible for the duration. However, that will depend entirely on usage and the term normal here is subjective. During our testing, we managed just short of two days of battery life. Thankfully, that doesn’t take too long to charge either thanks to quick charging at 9V/2A. The advertised 2.25-hours to reach a full charge seemed to be accurate. Better still, the 5,200mAh battery can be used to charge other devices if needed via the included OTG USB adapter.
Connectivity and Audio
Audio quality is as expected via the single rear-firing speaker. It’s certainly loud enough but bass tones and mids get washed out in favor of highs, resulting in a somewhat tinny listening experience. That doesn’t extend to Bluetooth speakers or headphones plugged into the USB Type-C to 3.5mm adapter, however. Audio out through either of those methods created an enjoyable experience, as with nearly any modern smartphone. The audio quality wasn’t necessarily spectacular but also doesn’t leave much to complain about. Meanwhile, the sound during via video chats or VoIP call was undistorted and call volumes good. Since sound is not one of the main selling points of the Oukitel WP5000 and is serviceable in the most commonly used ways, it’s not really a disappointment.
Of course, this device has launched globally but doesn’t work everywhere or on every carrier. We ran our tests on the MVNO Straight Talk via AT&T’s network but weren’t able to establish a connection. Extrapolating from the quality of Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connections, cellular data connections should be as solid and dual SIM cards can be used for travel. In the meantime, the bands that are supported by this device are included below. Unfortunately, there’s no NFC available here but HotKnot is present. That means near-field communications and data transfers are possible but that will only work with other MediaTek-powered devices that support the feature.
2G (GSM): 850 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 1900 MHz
3G (WCDMA): 850 MHz, 900 MHz, 2100 MHz
4G FDD-LTE: Bands 1, 3, 7, 8, 20
On the software front, there isn’t much out of place with the WP5000. In fact, nearly everything seems to be stock Google software with the exception of one or two AOSP-Oukitel inclusions. Google Now, Photos, Play Movies, Music, Maps, Duo, Drive, and Chrome are installed out of the box. Oukitel supplies its own Calculator, Calendar, Clock, Phone, and a few other apps like the Compass, Super Power Saver Mode, an app that explains the waterproofing, and one or two others. There’s also a Sound recorder and one other piece of software called Zello for walkie-talkie style communications. All things considered, the 64GB of storage are actually somewhat empty aside from the space taken up by Android 7.1 Nougat and the February 5, 2018 security patch.
In fact, aside from aesthetic changes, such as the use of a bright blue color in the notification shade and colorful icons in the settings menu, there’s no much to be surprised by. That’s not necessarily a bad thing since it leaves so much room for the user and doesn’t present a large learning curve. That makes it nearly perfect for new Android users or those switching to Oukitel for the first time. The icons on the home screen and app drawer are a bit different, though, since the company chose a metal rimmed design to reflect the device’s ruggedness. Moreover, for those who want to use casting, that’s available in the notification shade. There is one or two gesture and accessibility features such as the knock-on feature for turning on the display buried deeper in the settings. But everything seems to be nearly stock, otherwise.
The cameras on mid-range and budget devices are ordinarily weighed down by a combination of poor hardware and unoptimized post-processing. That turns out to not be the case with Oukitel’s WP5000. Instead, the performance is here pretty average and the software will be familiar to anybody who has used AOSP camera software on a smartphone. The 16-megapixel and 5-megapixel shooters perform admirably together and are primarily held back by how slow the shutter speed on shots taken in HDR mode can be. There seems to be little-to-no lag at all when that mode is turned off and the snaps can be pretty detailed in proper lighting. Low-light shots degrade in quality somewhat due to a loss of detail but, in general, still don’t turn out too badly and the HDR mode helps quite a bit with that. The standard Bokeh effect generated by the camera’s autofocus is nearly spot-on and there’s not a lot to complain about when it comes to the speed of that, either. At the same time, the built-in anti-shake mechanism ensures that video and photos are mostly smooth.
That doesn’t mean everything is perfect, however. The camera does have a tendency to autofocus on its own if the hand is let wander. That can result in blurry shots that are taken in the middle of focusing. It doesn’t occur frequently enough to cause major problems in most cases but is something to be aware of. On the other hand, the smoothness of videos isn’t always great and could also stand to improve some. That being said, this is still a far better camera than a large number of other handsets in the price range and should keep up with most tasks.
Ruggedized but well-designed and relatively slim
Brushed metal adds a premium look and feel
Battery life is great
The cameras are above average for the price
Near stock Android experience
Poor optimization for single-core tasks
Tinny-sounding rear-facing speaker
Taking all of that in combination, it would be very difficult to not recommend the Oukitel WP5000 to anybody looking for a truly rugged smartphone. The company really seems to have set a new standard on that front with a device that can take a serious beating but doesn’t feel like it’s too big or bulky. Best of all, for under $300, it also comes packed with a genuinely powerful SoC – even if it isn’t currently top-of-the-line – and plenty of RAM and storage to back it up. The addition of a 5,200mAh battery is really just icing on the cake, at this point. So, unless high-quality speakers and NFC are vitally important, this one is worth a look at very least.