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Gigabyte GSmart Roma R2 Review

Posted: , by Victor H.

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Camera


The Roma R2 comes with a 5-megapixel fixed-focus main camera and a basic VGA front-facing shooter.

Opening the camera app is fairly quick and since you have a fixed-focus shooter, you don’t have to wait for the camera to lock focus and capturing an image is a very fast process. Shot to shot time is a bit slower than we’d like, but there is a burst shot mode that you can select and it fires a very rapid sequence. The camera interface features a dedicated video and image still capture buttons, and that’s something we appreciate as a time saver. It’s also tightly packed with manually adjustable settings like ISO, white balance, exposure controls, and so on - great for more experienced camera folks. We do wish however that all those settings were easier to reach as right now they are hidden in menus and submenus.

The actual images however do not impress in any way. They are not terrible either, but we've seen similarly cheap devices capture better shots. The still image quality suffers from a sore lack of detail as daylight images turn out noticeably smudgy with a lot of noise even in broad daylight, plus pictures are a bit underexposed. Truth is the Roma R2 is an affordable device, and that forgives some of its camera flaws, but we've seen other similarly affordable devices raise the bar and offer picture quality that this handset simply does not match. Since this is a fixed-focus camera it does come with some limitations so for instance you cannot shoot macro - anything that’s up to around half a foot and closer will appear out of focus.

Now, indoors we like the performance of the camera better. Noise is still here, but it looks – for a lack of a better word - more natural, and we're content with the colors and general look of the indoor shots. In a dark room, though, the camera on this phone becomes pretty much useless as it just can't capture enough light. The built-in flash seems also worthless as the light it flashes is too weak, useless.


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Camera speed

Taking a pic (sec)Lower is better Taking an HDR pic (sec)Lower is better CamSpeed score Higher is better CamSpeed score with flash Higher is better
GIGABYTE GSmart Roma R2 3
No data
532
No data
Sony Xperia M 3.3
4.7
663
643
View all

Video recording maxes out at 1280 x 720 pixels and 30 frames per second. Video recordings actually look pleasingly smooth with quick and accurate exposure compensation, and we like the footage much better.



The front camera is very basic and cannot capture much detail, but at this price we appreciate having it there for video conferencing and the occasional selfie.

Multimedia


This little smartphone stands out among the rest in its class with a relatively big 4-inch display (this might sound a bit surprising, but cheap Android devices like this one often come with even smaller screens), but it’s not only big it’s also a display with vibrant colors making the Roma R2 a great companion on the road as you can watch movies or short clips on it easily. Actually, the device chewed through all video codecs and formats we threw at it with ease and despite its 480 x 800 pixel screen resolution, it even played back 720p files without a stutter.

For music, the device comes with a dedicated Music application that breaks down your collection by artists, songs and albums, and allows building playlists on the go. We also appreciate the built-in equalizer so you can adjust your tunes’ sound.

The large loudspeaker on the back of the device is sufficiently loud, but it lacks any depth, sounding rather flat and tinny. This however is more of a critique to the smartphone landscape in general (where we have only a few exceptions with truly good sound output) rather than just to the Roma R2.

Audio output

Headphones output power (Volts)
Higher is better
GIGABYTE GSmart Roma R2 0.36
Sony Xperia M 0.15
Loudspeaker loudness (dB)
Higher is better
GIGABYTE GSmart Roma R2 77
Sony Xperia M 79
View all

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Display4.0 inches, 480 x 800 pixels (233 ppi) IPS LCD
Camera5 megapixels
Hardware
MediaTek MT6572, Dual core, 1300 MHz, ARM Cortex-A7 processor
1024 MB RAM
Size4.92 x 2.49 x 0.37 inches
(125 x 63.2 x 9.3 mm)
4.41 oz  (125 g)
Battery1400 mAh, 3.5 hours talk time

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