Landvo L200G review

Landvo L200G review

If the Landvo L200G looks familiar, you’d be right: it’s a shameless copy of the OnePlus One. We wouldn’t usually review a smartphone that you can’t buy locally in the UK, but with free international shipping, a low price and tempting specifications, we’ve made an exception here. Here’s our Landvo L200G review. Read: The 10 best budget smartphones: what's the best budget smartphone?

Landvo L200G review: Price

We got the Landvo L200G through Gear Best, which is offering it for $118. This converts to around £70, and is a decent price for any budget smartphone, let alone one of this quality.

Gear Best has also offered a discount code for PC Advisor readers. Enter L200GRX in the shopping basket and the price will drop to roughly £63. While you can purchase similar Landvo models from Amazon, this particular handset is only available as an import.

The Landvo L200G's main competition is of course not from the OnePlus One, but from budget smartphones, the best of which are the Motorola Moto E, the Nokia Lumia 530 and the EE Kestrel. Priced between £60-100, these are comparable in cost to the L200G, but are outperformed by it in many areas.

Read: Nokia Lumia 530 vs Motorola Moto E: Windows vs Android for best budget phone.

Landvo L200G review: Design

From a design perspective, the Landvo L200G looks exactly like the OnePlus One, and we suspect this was intentional; at first glance it would appear to be the knock-off 'Roy-Ban' of phones. It's smaller, as you can see, and that's because the OnePlus has a slightly larger screen: 5.5in against 5.0in

Landvo L200G review

The plastic back doesn't feel especially flimsy once it's clipped in but is as thin as we're used to seeing. The silver band around the screen looks nice but don't be fooled into thinking it's real metal. It's actually just plastic with chrome finish.

With the back clipped into place, the phone is relatively solid but signs of poor build quality are there without even looking too hard. The main issue is that the screen comes away from the frame of the phone all too easily at the top. We'd be worried about the L220G's ability to survive a drop – especially onto a hard surface.

It weighs 155g, which isn't bad for a smartphone with a 5in screen. It measures 72 x 144mm and isn't too thick at 8.9mm, a clear couple of millimeters thinner than many other handsets in the same price bracket.

Landvo L200G review

The colour options are a simple choice between black and white, going a different route from the plethora of vibrant options such as the iPhone 5c. As a reasonably small manufacturer, it's also unlikely that you'll find many options in the way of third-party cases but a clear silicon case is included in the box which is a decent bonus.

One thing the eagle-eyed will have already spotted is that the touch-sensitive buttons below the screen match the OnePlus One's. That means there's no recent apps button as we're now used to seeing. Instead you get a menu button, so getting to the multi-tasking screen is a long press on the home screen.

Landvo L200G review: Hardware

The Landvo L200G has a 5in IPS display, the same as the new Moto G (2014). Brightness, colours and viewing angles are all surprisingly good. The resolution (540 x 960) is fairly typically for a cheap handset but there's better available if you spend a little more, with the original Moto G offering 1280x720.

Pixel density, therefore, isn't overly impressive at 220ppi. However, we've seen a lot worse and this is more than acceptable for the budget price.

Landvo L200G review

The expandable SD memory is a welcome sight, with an upper limit of 64GB, rather than the 32GB we were expecting. You'll need to budget for a card as internal storage is only 4GB, the majority of which is taken up by Android. This leaves a measly 900MB of available internal storage.

Landvo L200G review: Performance

The Landvo L200G is powered by a MediaTek MTK6582 processor. It's a 1.3 GHz quad-core chip, which looks good on paper, and it isn't half bad in practice, either. It's backed by 1GB of RAM.

The same can't be said of the graphics chip, which isn't as powerful as even the Motorola Moto E's. It managed 9fps in GFXBench 3.0 T-Rex (Manhattan was unavailable). However, this doesn't make a vast difference in terms of real-world performance: the L200G can handle Temple Run 2 on the highest graphics setting with the barest hint of lag or stuttering.

In terms of the overall performance then, the Landvo is actually better than you might assume. Its Geekbench 3 score of 1189 puts it just ahead of the £300 Samsung Galaxy S5 mini.

Landvo L200G review

The L200G showed itself to be a reasonably capable handset in our web-browsing benchmark tests, scoring 1444ms in SunSpider which is better than competitors such as the Moto E and Nokia Lumia 530, and only just below the HTC One X+. It's a decent result for a £70 phone.

The L200G's battery life is also respectable. A full charge will last you around 17 hours with moderate to heavy use and judicious management of settings could easily stretch that figure out a little, meaning you won't be constantly searching for a wall socket. You will be needing to charge it on a nightly basis, but that's pretty standard for a smartphone and you shouldn't be in danger of running out of juice on the commute home.

Landvo L200G review: Cameras

Cameras on budget smartphones are always a let down, and the L200G only serves to reinforce this. It may have a 5Mp sensor, but just look at the ghostly image of St Pancras below. You're going to wow people with the quality of your snaps, but in a bad way. (The LED flash is best used as a torch, in case you're wondering.)

Landvo L200G test photo

The camera shoots video at 720, and quality - as you'd expect - is not great. The 2Mp front camera is a little better than the rear and is fine for selfies. It suffers in low-light environments, though - as does the back camera.

Landvo L200G review: Connectivity

The L200G supports 4G support, but only the 1800- and 2600MHz bands. This means only customers of certain UK networks such as Vodafone, Three and EE will be able to use the inbuilt LTE capabilities. Those on O2 or any networks which piggyback onto it, such as Giffgaff, will be out of luck.

The phone also has Bluetooth 4.0 and 802.11n Wi-Fi, rather than the more advanced 802.11ac, but this is a budget device, after all.

Landvo L200G review: Software

The Landvo L200G comes preloaded with the Android KitKat 4.4.2, which is just fractionally behind the very latest version. Landvo has made hardly any changes, but that's nothing to complain about - in fact, it's a good thing.

It comes with all the usual Google apps, inclduing the Play Store. However, one worrying discovery was that when we tried to install Barclays' mobile banking app, it told us that it couldn't be installed on rooted devices, suggesting that Landvo roots the phone itself. See also: How to root an Android device.

Landvo L200G review: Warranty

When buying from China, warranty is a bigger consideration than usual. The Landvo L200G has a 180-day warranty: much shorter than we're used to in the UK.

Of course, should anything go wrong, you'll have to pay to send the phone to China and you'll be without it for - at best - several days and, at worst, a couple of weeks.

Landvo L200G: Specs

  • Android 4.4.2 KitKat OS
  • 5in IPS LCD Display (540x960, 220ppi)
  • 1.3GHz MTK 6582 Gainestown CPU
  • 1GB RAM
  • 1GB internal storage
  • microSD slot (up to 64GB)
  • 5Mp rear camera with LED Flash
  • 2Mp front camera
  • Video recording
  • Wi-Fi up to .11n
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • 4G LTE Cat 4
  • 2000mAh battery
  • 72x144x8.9mm
  • 155g
  • Android 4.4.2 KitKat OS
  • 5in IPS LCD Display (540x960, 220ppi)
  • 1.3GHz MTK 6582 Gainestown CPU
  • 1GB RAM
  • 1GB internal storage
  • microSD slot (up to 64GB)
  • 5Mp rear camera with LED Flash
  • 2Mp front camera
  • Video recording
  • Wi-Fi up to .11n
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • 4G LTE Cat 4
  • 2000mAh battery
  • 72x144x8.9mm
  • 155g

OUR VERDICT

With a price that's among the cheapest smartphones you'll find, you might expect the Landvo L200G to be awful. But apart from the poor quality cameras and build, the Landvo isn't too bad at all. The rooted version of Android is worrying, though, and the short warranty doesn't inspire confidence. If you want a vanilla Android smartphone with 4G support and you're happy to be limited to Vodafone, Three and EE, it's really not too much money to risk.

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