OUKITEL WP2 Review - Huge Rugged Handset With Massive Battery

OUKITEL's WP2 is a very rugged 6-inch phablet with a 10,000 mAh battery and mid-range performance.

OUKITEL is a relatively prolific Android handset maker that has specialized for quite some time in developing rugged devices in the mid-range with oversized batteries at a reasonable cost. It's fair to say there hasn't been a lot of change in those devices over the years, with each successive device bringing refinements or placing emphasis on a particular attribute meant to cater to a very specific audience. That continues with the company's latest mobile gadget, the OUKITEL WP2. This time around, OUKITEL has set its sights on customers that need a battery that keeps going for days at a time and in a package that won't break when they take it to work or out into nature. The result of that focus is an Android Oreo smartphone that both looks and feels as resilient as it actually is but won't fall apart in terms of performance except in the most demanding applications. 

Specs

As is the case with many of OUKITEL’s offerings, the WP2 comes with mid-range components in a durability-optimized frame. In this case, that means an octa-core MediaTek MT6750T SoC clocked at 1.5GHz and backed by 4GB RAM and 64GB storage. That drives a relatively stock iteration of AOSP Android 8.0 Oreo. Dual-band Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.2, and NFC are part of the package too, as are a digital compass, GPS, and a dual-purpose nano SIM drawer that supports either dual-SIM operation or a single SIM and an SD card. A respectable 10,000mAh battery with reverse OTG charging capabilities all of that, packed in behind a 6-inch FHD+ display panel with a resolution of 2,160 x 1080 and a display ratio of 18:9. Just above that, OUKITEL has included an 8-megapixel selfie shooter while rolling to the back reveals a dual-camera setup with Samsung-built 16 and 2-megapixel sensors. Below the main camera array, a four LED dual-purpose flash and flashlight bar is embedded in the textured rear-panel. The whole thing is coated in soft-touch polycarbonates, with a metal frame and accents allowing for a ruggedization rating of IP68. As of this writing, the OUKITEL WP2 is on sale at GearBest for $219.99 with a pre-order discount, with a price ordinarily set at around $269.99.

In the Box

Breaking into the packaging the OUKITEL WP2 ships in, consumers are met with a well-organized array of accessories and inclusions. For starters, there’s the WP2 handset itself with a film screen protector already installed and waiting for the overlaid plastic to be peeled away. A standard TYPE C two-pin wall adapter and USB to USB Type-C cable are packaged in as well, providing 9V/2A of charging power. Meanwhile, a USB Type-C to female USB is included for OTG reverse charging and data transfers, along with a USB Type-C to 3.5mm headphone jack adapter and a SIM tool. Documentation for operating guidelines, warranty, and user manual round things out.

Hardware and Design

The WP2 is not a small device by any means and actually feels quite a bit heavier, thicker, and bigger overall than other rugged handsets we’ve tested. The device measurements back that up, at 176.6 x 85.3 x 16.5mm and 360 grams, with OUKITEL seemingly aiming for the large-hands end of the market. For context, the display is only set at 6-inches with the WP2 but the overall diagonal size is at around 7.7-inches. It’s also over half an inch thick. This device simply won’t be the best option for those with smaller hands. Setting that aside, the build is also not slippery at all thanks to its use of polycarbonates. So those with average-sized hands, although a subjective term, should be okay to use the OUKITEL WP2 without too much strain.

Setting that aside, those materials also extend to the coverings and blocks used over the SIM drawer port and charging port. That helps keep everything as water-tight as possible and the overall build is very durable thanks to the oversized protective covering. Coupled with texturing and the use of either black or "champagne" metal accents along the edge, buttons, cameras, and branding, the overall aesthetic matches that rugged feel. From a design perspective, in fact, everything about this OUKITEL smartphone indicates that this is a phablet for those who like to work with their hands, spend time outdoors, or are just hard on their devices. Torx-head fasteners and rivets hold everything together and metal accents are used for AOSP icons on the software side. Even the LED flashlight is a testament to that, featuring a total of four daylight-tone LEDs in a bar configuration for even lighting over a wide area and at a distance.

Display

The display OUKITEL chose for its WP2 is set at a laudable 2,160 x 1,080 resolution at an 18:9 ratio with 403 pixels-per-inch and that’s topped with Gorilla Glass for crack and scratch protection. That's already a good start for any mid-range handset but, in this case, the company has gone above that to ensure that touches are very responsive and don't require a lot of pressure either. That is an LCD panel rather than OLED, so colors could be more accurate and vibrant, dark tones could be deeper, and there’s no curve to the display. Bearing that in mind, it isn’t at all bad and seems to match up well with the screens found on even high-end devices that use the technology. In short, the display on the OUKITEL WP2 isn’t the best on the market but could certainly be much worse and will either outperform or stand up to essentially any other device in its price bracket. Brightness is definitely high enough for outdoor use on a sunny day.

Performance and Battery Life

On the performance front, this handset performs at least as well as any other modern Android device in the mid-range category. The MediaTek SoC is clocked at 1.5GHz for four cores with four more clocked at just 1GHz. At least in terms of benchmarks, that places this handset around a Samsung Galaxy S4 in single-core operations and an ASUS Zenfone 2 in multi-core performance. Compute performance is around that of a Xiaomi Redmi 3s. However, what really matters is real-world task handling and day-to-day experience in terms of usability. We played around on this phone in a wide variety of applications ranging from intensive games to more menial document editing and photography. This is not a handset that’s likely to handle popular titles such as Fortnite or Life is Strange with grace and it does lag significantly when it’s really taken to task. But the OUKITEL WP2 should be more than sufficient for daily use and the majority of games on the Play Store, in addition to multitasking across those apps.

Battery life, on the other hand, is going to be more than enough for everything from standard uses to scenarios where a user might be several days away from a wall socket or battery bank. To our best approximation, the battery benchmark showing around 11-hours of screen-on time and usage on a single charge is entirely accurate. That’s time spent with the screen on, dimming and battery saving features turned off where they can be, and the screen at full brightness. Under normal use testing conditions, with those battery savings turned off and screen brightness turned down to a reasonable setting, there’s no way the average user would drain the WP2 over a couple of days - let alone one. Charging, on the other hand, takes so long that we stopped checking after a couple of hours. That’s mostly due to the size of the battery itself - 10,000mAh - and not really much of a problem since a half charged unit will almost certainly last well over a single day with pretty intensive usage. Meanwhile, this handset can also charge up a friend's device if they need it via the included cable.

Connectivity and Audio

The audio with this handset is, like many devices, not something most users would consider to be great. It is very loud, with enough output from the single rear-firing speaker that it should be able to wake up just about anybody from across the house if the alarm goes off at full volume. However, all bass tones are essentially lost at just a few clicks up and even the mid-tones get washed out at full output. Bluetooth and the included USB Type-C to audio port do solve that problem so it isn’t something that should necessarily keep most from considering the OUKITEL WP2. The sound from this device isn’t really touted as a strong feature or a selling point and the microphone and earpiece perform very well during voice interactions or phone calls. Since this isn’t really intended to be that kind of handset, that shouldn’t be a problem for the vast majority of users.

In terms of connectivity, we weren’t able to test this on our mobile network and it doesn’t appear as though it would work - at least out of the box - with the majority of carriers available in the US. Call quality was tested with a call over Wi-Fi and that aspect of the phone worked as well as expected. With that said, the handset is compatible with the below-listed bands on 2G, 3G, and LTE.

2G GSM: 850, 900, 1800, 1900MHz

3G WCDMA: Bands 1, 8

4G FDD-LTE: Bands 1, 3, 7, 8, 20

Software

Software with the OUKITEL WP2 is very nearly stock and should be fairly easy to use for anybody who has previously owned an Android handset, as a result. In fact, aside from the inclusion of a dedicated pedometer application and a toolkit called ToolBag that’s meant for use by consumers who take a hands-on approach to home projects, there isn’t much out of place here. Both of those inclusions are lightweight and really require very little by way of explanation. The first is a step-counter with a very minimalistic UI and set of features. Launching the app automatically starts the counter and users can set a target or view their step history. That keeps running unless exited via the only other button in the app. The ToolBag, on the other hand, is a suite of tools utilizing internal measurement hardware such as the gyroscope and accelerometers to help with a variety of tasks. That includes a compass, gradient measuring tool, and a plumb bob. Beyond that, there are picture handing, height measurement, protractor, and zoom tools which all rely on the cameras to work.

Camera

The cameras here are nothing to write home about but that doesn’t mean they’re awful. The forward-facing shooter is a fairly standard 8-megapixels while the rear array is comprised of a primary Samsung-made 16-megapixel snapper and a 2-megapixel sensor designated specifically for background blur. Photos are shot at 5376 x 3024 by default and under most circumstances are able to capture great detail even in relatively low-light compared to that which might be seen outdoors. The same bears out in up close shots too, which could make the handset perfect for documenting construction projects or a rare animal or insect encountered on a hike. There are, of course, at least one or two caveats that we’ll cover momentarily but the cameras here are not a negative aspect of the OUKITEL WP2 as compared to other mobile devices in its price range. Setting those aside, for the time being, Color capture is also very good and light balancing is, in general, just above acceptable. In terms of software and special features, the camera application is similarly unsurprising and just about as close to stock AOSP as possible.

As shown in the above images, really low-light circumstances are where this handset's cameras start to break down. Not only is detail and color balance shown to be quite a bit off, but graininess does start to creep in. That’s not immediately a deal-breaker since most users won’t be shooting in near-darkness or in deep shadows. However, it does also appear when there are significant variances in light in a single image - although some of the balancing there isn’t necessarily a bad thing. That would likely become a problem for those who might use this smartphone in the early morning hours on a job site or who might want to get some pictures of their nighttime activities during a camping trip. Meanwhile, the bokeh effect touted thanks to the secondary 2-megapixel sensor is not as smooth as it might be in other smartphones.

The Good

Includes a suite of handy DIY tools and a compass

Near stock Android 8.0 Oreo

IP68 military-grade ruggedization

Great screen resolution with Gorilla Glass

10,000mAh battery with reverse OTG charging and USB Type-C

4-LED flash and flashlight bar is close to daylight in tone and very bright

The cameras perform admirably in most conditions

The Bad

Massive device with huge bezels

Performance and specs haven’t improved much from prior devices

Moderate lag in high-intensity applications

Photos begin losing quality rapidly when in very low-light conditions

Conclusion

Whether this device is a worthwhile purchase or not will depend almost entirely on the needs of the consumer in question. Those looking to play the latest, graphics and CPU-intensive mobile games or for one that will shoot near-DSLR-quality photos should probably look elsewhere. Similarly, it won't be the best for users who listen to their music through a smartphone's built-in speakers. But for those who don't want to break the bank but do need an Android handset that will handle the toughest environments or circumstances, OUKITEL's WP2 is a solid alternative to more expensive options available. Not only will this device certainly survive far more abuse than even the most well-built top-tier smartphones available. It also won't run dead after just a few hours of use and none of its other features or associated caveats are beyond acceptable limitations either. While this definitely isn't much of an upgrade from the performance perspective, compared to other recent OUKITEL devices, that makes the OUKITEL WP2 a good value in its respective category.

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About the Author
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Daniel Golightly

Senior Staff Writer
Daniel has been writing for AndroidHeadlines since 2016. As a Senior Staff Writer for the site, Daniel specializes in reviewing a diverse range of technology products and covering topics related to Chrome OS and Chromebooks. Daniel holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Software Engineering and has a background in Writing and Graphics Design that drives his passion for Android, Google products, the science behind the technology, and the direction it's heading. Contact him at [email protected]
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