Reviews

Cubot P12 Review: A Smartphone for Everyone

Have you ever wondered where do people find the phones that are reliable, yet affordable? You know, the smartphones with all the neat features but ones that are not too big or overcomplicated. If that’s what you are looking for, you can stop your search as the Cubot P12 meets all the requirements for an everyday smartphone.

The review of the P12 model is our way of introducing you to a whole new world of reasonably priced smartphones. Suitable for beginners and tech-freaks alike, the P12 is a perfect example of a well-made product that will most likely reach millions of customers throughout the world.

Cubot P12 held in hands to show the screen turned on

Stick with us and get yourself a first-hand experience about the Cubot P12 as we uncover the reasons behind this illustrious intro. Following the natural order of any decent review, firstly we bring you the list of specifications so you can take a quick glimpse of the essential characteristics.

Cubot P12 Specs:

Brand Cubot
Model P12
Color White and Black
Screen Size 5.0 inches
Display resolution 1280 x 720
OS Android 5.1
Chipset MTK6580
CPU Quadcore 1.3GHz
RAM 1GB
GPU Mali – 400MP
Internal memory 16GB
Bluetooth Yes, v4.0
Wi-Fi Yes
GPS Yes
Battery Li-Ion
Battery size 2200 mAh
Front camera 8MP
Back camera 13MP
Network 2G, 3G
Sim Card Dual
Dimensions 143.9 x 71.5 x 8.1 mm
Weight 143g

Packaging

Box Contents
1 x Cubot P12
1 x USB cable
1 x Charger
1 x screen protector
1 x case
1 x manual

Once we have unpacked the box, we saw that the Cubot Company had packed quite a number of nice things in the packaging. Besides the obvious P12 smartphone (neatly packed in tight foil, and with the case already placed), there is a USB cable with a micro USB at one end and the standard USB at the other. The charger is USB based as that has become a standard for smartphones in the recent years. We, of course, got the one with the European plug, but you can ask for a different one when ordering online. You will also get a screen protector that you have to apply manually since it is packed separately from the phone. As we have said, the case comes already placed on the phone, and it seems reliable, most probably made of silicone. Lastly, you receive a manual written in English so you can get accustomed to the phone (especially useful if you are a novice when it comes to smartphones).

You will also get a screen protector that you have to apply manually since it is packed separately from the phone. As we have said, the case comes already placed on the phone, and it seems reliable, most probably made of silicone. Lastly, you receive a manual written in English so you can get accustomed to the phone (especially useful if you are a novice when it comes to smartphones).

Cubot P12 packaging

Be advised that the Cubot P12 does not come with its own set of headphones, so you would probably want to check out a cheap solution. For example, you might like the KZ ED9 headphones we reviewed a couple of days ago.

Design

Without a doubt, the first thing you will notice about the Cubot P12 is that is made out of plastic. Sure, we all long for the reliable metal casing, but we have to understand that plastic makes the phones much easier to make, therefore, to produce them substantially cheaper.Weighing just shy of 150g, the phone feels surprisingly light when held in the hand. The dimensions seem to be just right for us, as we are not fans of the recently introduced phablets – they are ideal for watching videos but very uncomfortable in everyday situations.

The exterior of the phone is dominated by the large 5.0-inch screen that covers its side to side, leaving some space above and below. Once you light up the display, dark bezels are visible, giving the phone a nice contrast especially if you have opted for the white version.

Cubot P12 front design

Above the screen are the headphone receiver and the front camera. At the bottom of the phone, you will find three buttons that are always visible. Going from left to right, those are menu key, home key, and the back key. As you can see, there are no surprises here; those of you who have had experience with smartphones will recognize the pattern that has become somewhat of a standard.

The entire phone is encircled in a mid-frame that is in fact made from metal and hosts many features. On the tip is the 3.5mm audio input while on the right side, you will find a larger button for volume and a smaller power button. The bottom holds the Micro USB port. This metallic frame really gives the P12 a sophisticated look and definitely upgrades the overall quality.

Cubot P12 side buttons

The phone is not made in unibody which means you can detach the plastic back. The battery is removable, and a peek “under the hood” shows where the designers intended to place both the Micro SD card and the Micro SIM cards.

Cubot P12 opened without the battery

Display

The Cubot P12 houses a rather large 5.0-inch screen with IPS HD display. It is made by using the OGS technology and is carved from a 2.5D curved glass. Being an HD model with a resolution of 1280 x 720p and having 294ppi, you will have no problem watching high-quality photos or videos. 1300:1 ratio in contrast produces 16M colors and in our test showed itself to be adequate for both Youtube videos and mobile gaming.

Cubot P12 display

The screen looks pretty good even when it is looked at from awkward angles or from afar. With the screen being the dominating feature on the P12, we can see why the engineers at Cubot did not invest too much time in the design – the magic starts as soon as you hit the power button.

Processor and RAM

With its MediaTek6580 1.3GHz quad-core CPU and 1GB of RAM, the P12 succeeds in completing the everyday tasks. The phone runs smoothly when moderately operated, and we even got to play some fancy 3D games. We were able to run some of the more demanding apps, and the phone reacted very well better than we expected. Still, these hardware specs won’t shine on more demanding apps.

There were some problems with multitasking and the inability to follow the latest trends in gaming and apps are the reasons you should avoid this phone if you want a powerful machine. The company went on to produce a phone that will serve as a life necessity with great features for multimedia and social networking, not a phone for gamers and technology aficionados. We are very well aware that to achieve such a low retail price some things needed to be kept simple.

Camera

This is where Cubot P12 shines the brightest. The cameras mounted on this phone are similar to those of the most expensive smartphones. Again, this shows how the company targeted this phone to be used for social media and by younger generations.

The primary camera is positioned on the back of the phone and is actually a 13Megapixel camera with Auto-Focus and an LED flashlight right next to it. We have tested the camera and played around with different settings and features. The camera comes with HDR, smile recognition, panorama, motion tracking and many other features.

Cubot P12 back of the phone

We took some very decent pictures and was impressed with the quality. Creating really sharp images with just the right lighting is possible. The only downside we saw is that you have to keep your hand really steady as the pictures tend to get very blurry if any motion is applied.

Cubot P12 camera

The video has proven itself to be strangely satisfying. If we look past the typical setbacks that come with videos in cheap phones (sound distortion and dark spaces), the video option on the P12 can be a source of a lot of fun for you and your friends.

Cubot P12 video

The secondary, front camera is an 8 Megapixel one, also known as the selfie cam. With that resolution, this camera could be used for more than just selfies as it also produces excellent images. It is superb for taking that picture of yourself when you feel the most beautiful.

Internal Storage Capacity

Once again, to achieve a low price some features had to be sacrificed. The sacrifice part applies really well to the amount of internal memory. On the paper, you will have 16GB, but when you check the phone’s memory, you will see that you have only 12GB of free space, mainly due to the operating system and default apps.

12 GB is enough for an average user but for the music lovers or those of you who wanted to use the phone as a kind of a storage device, this amount simply won’t do. You can always expand the capacity with a MicroSD card, right up to 32GB (still a small number for the neediest ones among us).

Operating System

The built-in operating system of choice for the Cubot P12 is the Android 5.1 Lollipop. We have all become accustomed to this OS with its simple yet reliable layout and a user-friendly interface. The Android 5.1 runs pretty well, especially when considering the hardware specs and it gave us quick response times and of course, access to Google Play Store.

Cubot P12 Android 5.1 Lollipop operating system

The bad news is that there seems to be no way of upgrading the OS to Android 6.0 Marshmallow. The company has not released any updates or patches. This could be labeled as a downside to some users, but we’re sure that the tech department from Cubot will solve this.

Connectivity

This device supports all of the 2G and 3G networks that are available anywhere in the world. As you can see, there is no possibility of using the latest 4G networks which remind us that this phone is far from the top of the shelf.

Supported networks:

2G: GSM 850/900/1800/1900MHz

3G: WCDMA 900/1900/2100MHz

Dual-SIM is available on the P12, a feature not so common on low-tier smartphones. You can have two Micro SIM cards and with the option of Dual-SIM Standby, you can use them both at the same time.

Another way to connect yourself to the world (by the world, we are talking about the internet) is the Wi-Fi receiver that is supported. If you would like to sync with another smart device, you can do that with the Bluetooth v4.0 if the other device has the same or higher version of Bluetooth. The MicroUSB port can be used for the transfer of data and files between the smartphone and a desktop computer.

Battery

The battery featured is Li-Ion 2200mAh and is removable. Even though 2200 appears to be tiny when compared to other smartphones, it had lasted us two days of moderate usage before it depleted. Bear in mind that we tried out almost everything, including games and phone calls and although we would have liked it to last longer, there is no doubt that this still is a pretty good battery.

Cubot P12 battery

Don’t forget to remove the adhesive foil which protects the battery during transport or you won’t be able to turn on the phone.

Additional Features

As it is with most new gizmos and devices, the P12 also comes with a number of built-in features and apps. Some of them are really awesome, and some of them are the ones you delete as soon as you feel the need for some additional space. We are going to mention those that really stand out for being useful or creative.

The Cubot P12 comes equipped with an array of different sensors: accelerometer, light sensor, gravity sensor, and distance sensor. These are all pretty standard for smartphones, but it is nice that they got included in the package.

With built-in drivers and codecs, this phone supports almost all of the existing audio and video files as well as all E-book formats.

For additional apps you can access the Google Play Store and buy them or download them for free, depending on the app itself.

Pros and Cons

When we finished testing and playing with the Cubot P12, we tried to write down all the things we liked and all of the things we found that could be better. We are giving you the list so you could use it for future reference.

Pros

  • The high-quality camera caught our eye completely. It stands out as probably the best feature on this phone, so it gets the number one spot.
  • The affordability – it had to be mentioned here as this phone comes really cheap, even under-priced when compared to its performance.
  • Smart design that looks elegant, yet it is very ergonomic.

Cons

  • There is no option of utilizing the latest 4G networks. Gives the feeling that the phone is a bit outdated.
  • Insufficient internal capacity, especially not in the day and age when smartphones are more pocket computers than phones.
  • The amount of RAM proves to be inefficient when met with difficult tasks or intensive usage.

Cubot P12 outro

Cubot P12: Our opinion

We won’t lie to you; the P12 is not the latest marvel of technology and leaves much to be desired for when it comes to its overall performances. However, in this short time we got to test it, it has proven itself to be quite the gadget. We would recommend it to novice users and those of you who are not really that into technology but want a reliable and affordable smartphone.

The price speaks for itself as it will probably be the most appealing factor to potential buyers. If you are thinking how you should own a more expensive, modern phone, just remember that the Cubot P12 will not fail you in any way. We like to think of it as that cheap second phone everyone should have.

 

What are your thoughts about the Cubot P12? Type your evaluation in the comment section below.

Cubot P12 smartphone rated according to our categories
  • Design - 8/10
    8/10
  • Display - 8/10
    8/10
  • Processor and RAM - 4/10
    4/10
  • Camera - 9/10
    9/10
  • Memory storage - 4/10
    4/10
  • Battery - 6/10
    6/10
  • Connectivity - 5/10
    5/10
6.3/10
User Rating 5 (1 vote)
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