When I got my hands on the Kata V5, it took me a few days before I decided to unbox the dang thing. Well, dang! This budget smart phone is actually not bad at all, besides it being priced millennials will want to consider buying – maybe as a second phone. I mean, I myself don’t really like the dual-SIM function of most phones; so, I carry two phones. LOL!

LI-ION BATTERY

Despite the number of days with and assuming more number of days in the stock room, there was still about three-fourths battery charge in it. I actually plugged it into my laptop (no electrical outlet device or plug-head included) and was surprised I didn’t have to. I was also expecting the Kata V5 to be NiMH (Nickel-metal-hydride), it’s actually using Lithium Ion (or Li-Ion) which allows for an incredibly high charge capacity relative to the size. It’s part of what makes phones like Kata V5 a little more expensive. More so, it’s the type you want which you don’t need to completely discharge, meaning shorter charger cycles even if the phone is half-charged will not diminish battery life. So, now you know!

But you’ll need to bring a power bank with you if you plan to use the Kata V5 occasional internet surfing and social media networking  during the day. 1800 mAh won’t give you that long. Double that amount will suffice.

BOOT UP

The first time I switched on the Kata V5, it took about 90 seconds before the first screen popped out. Once I went through the half-dozen or so things to do, the next time I switched it on, it took 20 seconds. Just saying.

3G ONLY

In the land of 4G and LTE, the Kata V5 unfortunately uses 3G. Still, up to 4Mbps internet speeds for this third-generation mobile network isn’t bad considering that (surprisingly) many times, the 4G/LTE network is more congested than 3G.

WIFI

I have a typical router connected to a Converge ICT 100Mbps fiber. It’s maxing out at almost 50Mbps upstream and downstream (a little less on the download). So, I guess I’m good with it using a private or public hotspot.

CAMERA

For a budget phone, the Kata V5 only gives you 8 Megapixels (MP) for the rear, and 5 MP for the front or selfie camera. It has your usual user settings like GPS location, exposure, color effect, scene mode (14 modes including auto), white balance, image properties (sharpness, hue, saturation, brightness, and contrast), and anti-flicker.

Here’s what I can’t figure out – Voice capture using the still camera, not video. I tried saying about two dozen words to no avail. But the Kata V5 now comes with face detection, smile shot (show your teeth and it automatically takes a photo), self-timer, continuous shot (either 5 or 10 shots when you hold-press the shutter icon), picture size (from VGA to 8 MP), preview size (full rectangular screen or Standard 4:3 ratio), ISO (100 to 1600) and shutter sound.

The Kata V5 a “Face beauty” function but it’s grayed out, meaning you can’t toggle it. I realized (later on) that you have to toggle the separate magic wand icon and the face beauty options appears – wrinkle removal, whiten, and shape of face. Holy Kamote! Girls and women would want this budget phone ASAP!

VIDEO

For video, the Kata V5 has EIS (Electronic Image Stabilization), microphone on/off (silent movies, anyone?), audio mode (normal or meeting), time lapse interval (from 1 to 10 seconds), and voice quality (low, medium, high and fine).

There’s also a separate icon to toggle “Gesture capture” – auto-capture when the “peace sign” is made. If toggled, the Kata V5 gives you a three second countdown before it takes a photo. Yay!

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MEMORY

There are three videos included, occupying about 126 MB. So, you might want to remove it since you already have less than 8 GB storage available. Here’s a roster of what’s being used:

  • 33 GB = System memory
  • 491 MB = Apps data & content
  • 124 MB = Pictures & videos

From the apps and videos included, it leaves you with about a little less than 4.5 GB to download apps and music, take photos and videos, save screenshots, and more. In case you’re wondering 8 GB less all those three listed is less than 4.5 GB free memory listed on the phone (4.055, to be exact), here’s the story: Internal storage capacity is actually 5.17 GB less 702 MB used, equals 4.48 GB free. But yes, if you look at all the math regarding memory, I am also confused.

VIDEO FILES

So, I checked the photos and videos – just three videos using 124 MB of space. But interestingly, the first video is about some kind of short film about hacking networks so that the URL “128online.com” appears on people’s web devices, and even on the buildings. Paid advertising? Don’t know.

The second video is another short film advertising the use of Kata devices at work and at home – smart phone for mom, tablet for dad (and dad’s the homemaker, not mom), and Kata Box with the game controller for the kids. Cool, huh? Kata’s catch words at the end of the video: Simplicity. Innovation. Elegance.

The last video is by OWTEL, the original company and business of Kata, which provides telephone services, especially long-distance calls, from the U.S. to any part of the world. The video features one of their service – the OWTEL app which, when downloaded, allows you to get a U.S. number plus unlimited calls and text to the U.S. and Canada – all for $4.00 per month. I think I’ll try that out.

RESPONSE / UX

The Kata V5 is unbelievably fast response for a 1 GB RAM smart phone. I mean, swooshes and taps results to a fast response. There are some 1 GB smart phones that take forever to do what you want it to do. The Kata V5 is, as I said, fast. Nice one, Kata!

SPECIFICATION / SPECS

As with most smart phone blog posts, readers always look for the specs table. Well, here is the Kata V5 specs or specifications:

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IN SUMMARY

For a smart phone that’s priced at retail for P3,299, this is actually a good phone. Most 64-bit quad core phones are above the Kata V5 price, including LTE versions. Yet, when you want a no-frills, fast and inexpensive phone, the Kata V5 should fit your wallet, so to speak. It’s just 9.6% the price of a Samsung Galaxy S8. Yeah, baby!

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Sources: eBay | Giz Guide 1 | Giz Guide 2 | Droid Chief | Amazon | Kata Digital

Photos: by @theworxpresso @miniphils @raffypekson

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