itel P33 Plus is a new entry-level device in the local market that aims to entice first-time smartphone users and budget-conscious consumers to make it their next buy. The P33 Plus comes with a massive screen, a whopping battery capacity, and other standard tech features you need to get by.
With a very affordable price of P3,499, is the itel P33 Plus truly a bang-for-the-buck smartphone? Find out as we take a closer look at this handset’s specs and features.
Design & Construction
The itel P33 Plus is a big phone at 158.7mm height, 74mm width, and 9.3mm thickness. Up front, you’ll be greeted by the huge 6-inch display that is flanked by thick bezels–especially at the top and the bottom part of the screen. The bezels are hugely noticeable and may disappoint users who are already used to small- to almost no-bezel devices. The front camera, LED flash, and call speaker are housed underneath the top bezel. Meanwhile, while the bezel at the chin is also thick, it doesn’t feature anything, which I think is a waste of space. Still, despite the bezels’ size, the large display is big enough to distract you from it all.
In terms of handling, this device is quite heavy when held, weighing 133g despite the plastic build. This is because it carries a massive 5,000mAh Li-Ion battery inside. The big body also makes it difficult to use and navigate using only one hand.
Going to the rear, you will find that the plastic back cover is entirely removable. Under the rear shell are the dual SIM slots, the massive non-removable battery, and the microSD card slot. There’s also the rear fingerprint sensor in the middle (a common layout in smartphones) and the loudspeaker at the lower left side of the phone. On the upper left part at the back of the device rests the dual 8MP cameras together with the LED flash.
At the top of the device is a 3.5mm headphone jack. Meanwhile, the power button and volume rocker sits on the right side–again, a usual layout for smartphone keys. On the bottom, you’ll see the microUSB port for charging and data transfer as well as a microphone. The left side is clean of any buttons or slots.
Overall, at first glance, the itel P33 Plus gives off a look and feel that may be beyond its price point. You’ll only realize that it’s an entry-level device once you spend time with it and actually navigate its features.
Display & Multimedia
For the display, the itel P33 Plus touts a 6-inch IPS LCD capacitive screen with an HD+ resolution of 1440 by 720 pixels. The display is decent on viewing media content–watching videos, reading text, vieiwing photos, and playing games. The screen is already a good quality for a smartphone within its price range. A scratch-resistant glass also protects the display from any light damage that it may incur from using it over time.
Paired with the display is the loudspeaker located at the back of the device. The audio driver produces decent sound However, you may hear a bit of distortion once you crank up the volume to the maximum level. You can also opt for a wired headphone connection via the 3.5mm jack at the top of the phone.
For mobile photography enthusiasts, you may want to look for a better-spec handset. The itel P33 Plus already sporting a dual rear camera setup, with the main sensor boasting 8MP resolution and the secondary lens aids in producing Depth of Field in the pictures. Despite that, the captured images come out underwhelming. There’s a bit of noise in the photos, even when the lighting conditions are okay. They are sometimes blurry, too.
In front, the selfie camera with 4-in-1 big pixel technology and LED flash takes okay selfies. However, the resulting images are dark at times. Nothing exceptional. Plus, the Face Beauty V2.0 mode can look a bit unnatural.
In general, the cameras on the P33 Plus are there just so you can document significant moments and vital information that needs instant recording.
The biggest selling point of the itel P33 Plus is its 5000mAh battery capacity; it’s a rare feat for phones with the same price. Thanks to the big juice reserve, this phone can last for several days without charging. During my review, I was only able to drain the phone to 20% (from full charge) after using it for more than two days. My usage habits include internet and social media browsing, playing games regularly, and watching videos on YouTube. The phone can probably last longer on Standby and if you’re only using it for basic tasks like calls and messages.
Of course, such battery performance is already expected given that the phone does not use memory and graphic power extensively. Moreover, the smartphone comes with AI Power Master feature, which smartly manages power consumption and maximizes battery use. The power saving mode, on the other hand, adjusts automatically the phone’s performance. In particular the WLAN, Bluetooth, data, display brightness, and apps. Charging this handset from 20% to 100% also takes a while, again understandably because of the battery size.
The P33 Plus has 1GB RAM and 16GB of internal storage. It is also expandable up to 32GB via microSD card. For the processor, the handset carries a 1.3GHz quad-core hardware. This phone runs the Go Edition of Android 8 Oreo, which is said to be optimized for devices that are low in memory and storage. While testing the itel P33 Plus, running multiple applications shows significant effect on the whole experience. There are lags from time to time, navigating the phone shows slow response, and it takes some time to load apps. I recommend this phone to people that only uses smartphone as a communication device and not for consuming heavy content such as streaming videos and games. The lags are particularly noticeable when playing games; the graphics can be a little sluggish and unresponsive at times.
I tried to run several benchmark apps on this phone, but not all of them were able to complete the process. Here are the result for the benchmarks that worked:
Depsite that, itel have some saving graces on the P33 Plus. The additional security options on this device of this price point is nice. You will get a fingerprint scanner at the rear of the device. Plus, you also have another biometric feature, which is the face recognition. While both options are not the fastest, they are fairly accurate and does the job. The staple connectivity options such as Bluetooth 4.2, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, and GPS are also available.
The itel P33 Plus is a decent pick for an entry-level smartphone. For the price of P3,499, you already get a big screen and a large battery. Light users will enjoy this phone since the P33 Plus can offer decent performance for basic smartphone tasks such us social media updates, messaging, receiving and making calls, and watching YouTube videos. However, if you want to have a phone that can handle heavier workload and graphics, you may want to increase your budget by a few thousands and get a better-spec device.