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Verykool Spark LTE SL5011 hands-on


In recent years, we’ve seen smartphones become extremely affordable to own. Once thought of to be unachievable, there are now a horde of devices that lay claim to the sub-$200 segment, indicating that ownership doesn’t necessarily mean shelling out hundreds and hundreds of dollars. Today, we’re getting a quick hands-on look at one specific model from this San Diego based company called Verykool, which sells a variety of Android phones all under $200.

We’re specifically checking out the Spark SL5011, priced at $179.99 online. Quickly glancing through the specs sheet below, its pricing is indicative of comparable phones we’ve seen from other lesser known phone makers – such as BLU.

  • 5-inch HD IPS-LCD Capacitive Touch Display (720 x 1280p), with Tempered Glass
  • 13MP Camera with Autofocus and LED flash, 8MP Front-Facing Camera with LED Flash
  • 1GB RAM, 16GB ROM, External Storage via microSD card up to 64 GB
  • Speakerphone, proximity/light/gravity sensor and 3.5mm audio jack
  • Fully accessorized including a protective case, screen protector, stereo headset, travel charger and microUSB data cable.

Diving right in, the design of the Spark blends a plastic rear casing with a metal trim bezel. It’s a matte finish, which seems to do nicely to prevent smudges and fingerprints from caking on, but generally speaking, its construction very much feels like a sub-$200 phone – albeit, it still has a lot of ways to go before matching BLU’s more premium designs.

Naturally, the Spark is meant for people who don’t do a whole lot of taxing stuff. The quad-core MediaTek MT6735P processor coupled with 1GB of RAM is an effective combination for trivial tasks, such as surfing the web and other light operations, but don’t expect to do a whole lot of gaming with this. It’s just not meant for that kind of thing.

Global travelers might find the Spark as an attractive option, given the fact that it’s GSM unlocked and features dual-SIM slots. Combine that with its affordable price point, it makes for a great backup or secondary phone to use, especially if you plan on traveling outside the county.

Other key notable things about the Verykool Spark is that it’s running a mostly stock Android 5.1 Lollipop experience, which is never a bad thing. At the same time, though, it begs the question of whether it’ll be treated to future updates to newer software. Similar to other phones under the $200 threshold, especially from third-rated manufacturers, they have this reputation of never being updated – so it’s something to bear in mind, if that matters to you.

Anyone can own a smartphone nowadays, whereas before, they incurred hefty prices. Attached with that $179.99 price point online, the Spark is definitely a great choice for those who don’t want to spend a fortune – or as a backup to take with them abroad for trips and vacations. Indeed, it’s not a powerhouse of any sorts, but if you’re just into the basics, this will more than suffice.

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