Neffos C7 by TP-LINK Review

The Neffos brand is TP-Link’s attempt at entering the smartphone market and has been around since 2015. Since then, its product focus seems to be mainly in the budget segment, with a few mid-range and top-of-the-line models thrown in. The Neffos C7 sits firmly in the budget zone, pricing in at a mere RM599 in the Malaysian market.

For those who are expecting the C7 to be a typical budget smartphone, you might be in for a little surprise. In some areas, yes, but TP-Link has packed in a few surprises that might raise some eyebrows with this package.

Specifications

  • 5.5-inch IPS LCD display (267 PPI) @ 720p resolution
  • MediaTek MT6750 with 4*Cortex-A53 1.5GHz + 4*Cortex-A53 1.0GHz
  • 2GB RAM / 16GB storage
  • 13MP / 8MP rear-front cameras
  • 3,060mAh battery
  • Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n on 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands
  • Supports dual Nano SIM cards
  • Network connectivity of up to FDD-LTE Cat4 (150Mbps)
  • MicroSD up to 128GB
  • Dimensions (HxDxW) 154.5mm x 76.96 mm x 7.85mm
  • Weight: About 157g

Design

Being brutally honest, the Neffos C7 is does not in any way look, nor feel like a premium smartphone. However, despite the plastic construction materials used the chassis is very well built. It feels firm and secure to the touch. There is also a benefit to the material, since it makes the phone feel lighter and less stressful on the pocket.

The IPS display is sharp and bright and is personally what I feel is one of the best parts of the phone. This display sits very neatly on the phone and is fitted so close to the bezel that some of you might think it’s like the curved glass screen that the Galaxy Edge series uses. Pretty good for a 1280×720 native resolution phone.

Neffos C7 02

The right side of the phone sports the power button and volume toggles, while the left is clean aside from the SIM port. The phone accommodates a Nano SIM along with space for a microSD card in a single mount slot.

Aside from camera and flash, the rear of the phone also houses a fingerprint sensor. The choice of including this in a budget model is a little unusual. Unfortunately, I’m still uncertain as to the real value of having a fingerprint sensor on any smartphone is when there could be so many other areas of performance to seek an upgrade in first.

Unboxing the Neffos C7

Coming in a simple rectangular, white box, there is nothing remarkable about the packaging. The phone is protected by plastic front and back protectors out of the box, which can be stripped off easily.

Aside from the phone, there is also bits of documentation, a pin to eject the SIM card holder, charging head and USB cable. I am happy that Neffos includes a screen protector as well. I think this is a good move, since someone buying a budget phone wouldn’t likely pay extra for that.

Be prepared for a LOT of updates out of the box. Once you get connected, practically everything on the phone will be demanding an update, especially all the bits from Google. Wi-Fi connection highly recommended.

Performance

Neffos C7 Performance

The Neffos C7 sports a MediaTek MT6750 processor that offers typical 4-big, 4-small configuration at 1.5GHz and 1GHz. This is an entry level chip, so do not expect it to shine like a Ferrari. That is coupled with a Mali-T860 MP2 graphics chip.

Performance-wise, benchmarks show that the C7 is obviously not outstanding and in fact, Antutu ranks it on the lower 15 percentage of all models tested. Here I need to insert a big caveat; It is important to note that the C7 comes with almost zero bloatware.

The Mali-T860 is a graphics solution that has seen widespread use and is packaged into the MT6755 SoC. Although it is configurable from 1 to 16 cores, the version seen on the C7 is the MP2, or dual core version that runs at 520MHz.

In terms of network connectivity, I was only able to link the Neffos to a 5GHz wireless network for a speed of 135Mbps. Fast enough, but curious since it should have been able to do more.

Experience-wise, I feel that this helps it run very light and very fast, even on low specs, while hosting the Android 7.0 (Nougat). The performance simply feels very speedy, even after I loaded it up with my own bloatware (guilty).

Sound Quality

This was the first real frown I had from the C7. While the sound from the phone is very loud – louder than many I’ve encountered, the quality of that sound is very lacking. There is an underscoring echo to sounds that makes it sound as if the speakers were very poorly placed within the housing.

I normally would play this off as part of the ‘budget phone’ phenomena, but given the reverberations on rings, even at medium sound volumes I must guess that this is due to poor design layout on the internals.

Twin speakers on the base of the housing should technically leave enough wiggle room for decent output without the echoes, but somehow, they don’t.

Camera

Despite Neffos trying to position the C7 as a ‘selfie phone’, there is honestly not much to shout about here. The cameras, both front and rear are about on par with other budget models. Focus is often quite poor for images at a distance.

Selfies are not really my thing, but I can see from strange duck faces on Facebook that I might be in the minority. Despite that, the front camera is also quite lacking. All in, I’m much more sold towards the phone’s build and core performance rather than camera workout.

Verdict – Is the Neffos C7 good enough?

In looking at the C7, keep firmly in mind that this device is not meant to be for overachievers. It is a budget phone and as such is built with many restrictions in mind. As a rule of thumb, any device with these specs can’t be expected to walk on water.

Yet despite this, I find that the Neffos C7 fulfils several key basic criterial. It is well-designed in a sturdy sort of way. Thanks to a reduction in bloatware, it also feels fast – there is a difference between a benchmark and actual user experience.

Finally, I give high marks for such a nice fit that the manufacturer has done with the display. Very well done for a phone retailing at only RM599.

Where to buy

Although the Neffos C7 is available through multiple avenues, the most convenient for a quick buy would be through on online store such as Lazada.

Prices seem standard at RM599, but if you shop around, there are a couple of merchants who are throwing in extra freebies such as powerbanks and such.

Click here to see all the places you can buy a Neffos C7

 

*Note: The Neffos C7 is a budget smartphone and we rate it taking into account the price point. These ratings are in no way meant to be reflective of a comparison towards other models or brands.

Neffos C7 Ratings

Neffos C7 Ratings
6.6

Design

6.5 /10

Build Quality

7.5 /10

Call Quality

6.5 /10

Display

7.5 /10

Sound & Multimedia

4.0 /10

Performance

6.0 /10

Value

8.0 /10

Pros

  • Well built for a plastic chassis
  • Excellent display quality
  • No Bloatware

Cons

  • Poor CPU/GPU performance
  • Terrible sound quality