The French Wiko mainly makes very affordable phones. Early this year they also presented the more expensive WIM but we are testing the competitively priced WIM Lite.
This device is now available for less than 200 euros, which means that it is located in heavily-fought territory. The Nokia 5, Moto G5 and Wileyfox Swift 2X are all still a fraction cheaper and very similar in terms of specifications.
Content of the box
Micro USB cable
In-ear earplugs with microphone
The WIM Lite competes with a 13-megapixel camera and 16-megapixel camera, 5.0-inch Full HD screen, fingerprint scanner, octa-core Snapdragon 435 processor and 32GB of storage memory.
The WIM Lite is largely a reissue of the Wiko Ufeel Prime in a new look. Biggest external change is the fingerprint scanner which has been moved to the back. It also looks a bit like an iPhone 3GS with its shiny plastic back. Our fire red test sample is a sparkling appearance.
The front is completely covered with glass in which only a small slot with a grille for the earpiece is inserted. There is also a tiny notification light. The edges of the glass are slightly rounded but do not seamlessly merge into a chrome-colored rim that surrounds it. As a result, dirt and dust can get caught between them.
All around, the unit consists of a metal frame containing the only hardware buttons on the right side. These buttons are all the same size and have the same ribbing. This doesn't make it any easier to distinguish between the volume buttons on top and the power button below. On the left side is the slot with tray for SIM card and microSD card. By the way, our box lacked a pricker to open it. The bottom is for a microUSB port with a grille on both sides. One of these is for a loudspeaker and the other for the microphone.
The corners of the unit are rounded and also towards the back the unit is nicely rounded. This makes it comfortable to handle. The back is made entirely of plastic. This is reasonably sensitive to scratches and a magnet for fingerprints. The oval camera module protrudes a little bit and there is a chrome colored edge around it. Around the fingerprint scanner is a cheap and slightly sharp additional edge.
Initially we achieved a usage time of just over 24 hours with between 4 and 5 hours screen on time. We didn't think that was very generous for a device with a 3000 mAh battery. However, later we came up with 4 hours screen on time to a usage time of over 1.5 days. Strangely enough, our usage pattern had not changed dramatically.
What is noticeable is that at night, when not in use for a longer period of time, the device still shows a steady decrease in battery charge. This is strange because with Android 7.1, a phone should switch to a kind of sleep mode with minimal battery consumption. The usage overview does not show any specific app where this may lie. The WIM Lite doesn't come with a quick charger but that doesn't surprise us; the device doesn't support QuickCharge which should enable quick charging.
The battery management on the WIM Lite is completely the same as standard Android. So there is only the normal battery saving that can automatically switch on at 15 or 5 percent remaining battery charge. This limits device performance, location services and background data. We only use it to use the last 5% for as long as possible in case of an emergency. The WIM Lite's octacore processor is not really a powerhouse. Opening somewhat heavier apps takes quite a long time and animations sometimes go remarkably jerky. Still, you'll have to make do with it in this price range because almost all competing devices run on it.
The screen of the WIM Lite has a resolution of 1920 × 1080 pixels, which is more than enough for a 5.0 inch screen. This is certainly not inferior to the competition. The color and detail reproduction are fine. The automatic screen brightness doesn't seem to be quite right. Often the screen is too bright or too dark. It also changes from one extreme to the other while using the device and the light conditions remain unchanged. You can adjust the brightness using the quick settings, but it's not very pleasant. In the end, we turned off the automatic brightness. That was also good for battery life.
The WIM Lite has Smart Display. We don't know what this means because the explanation is literally "Optimize smart display funciton(sic) for look under panel under glare". Turning it off did not lead to an improvement in the functioning of the automatic brightness.
The WIM Lite runs on Android 7.1.1 and although that is not Android 8.0 Oreo yet, we find this quite commendable. Wiko does not customize the interface with a complete shell on Android but uses its own launcher. This only changes the appearance of the start screens and the app menu. The interface has quite a few similarities with standard Android but doesn't quite work as we are used to from Android.
In the Wiko launcher you do have the possibility to use shortcuts for specific functions or parts of apps, as introduced with Android 7.1.1, but no separate icons can be placed on the start screen. In addition, the shortcuts only work for apps for which you have an icon on a home screen and not for apps in the app menu. This slightly detracts from the idea of the shortcuts.
The advantage of a launcher is that you can easily replace it with another one to install from the Play Store. For example the standard launcher of Android. Strangely enough, the function of the shortcuts is not available at all on the WIM Lite.
Next, you still have to deal with the apps Wiko provides, which are already 40 in the WIM Lite's menu by default. There are good copies, such as file manager and a sound recorder, but also a few less usable ones. Among the latter we count 360 Security, News Republic, phone assistant and WiView. Apart from the news app, this is mainly due to the fact that you don't know what the apps do and what they are for. This is because many functions are poorly translated and the interface of the apps is confusing. In addition, these apps have the obnoxious urge to use notifications to force their presence and functions on you. Fortunately, they can all be easily removed from the device. The uninstallation of apps works differently and more unclear than usual on Android.
The app menu is a fairly standard grid that can be scrolled through vertically. At the top is a line with recently used apps. Unfortunately, this cannot be turned off. Swiping down on a start screen opens a search window where you can search in contacts, apps, SMS, files, settings and on the internet. To the left of the start screens is an extra screen called Wiko Smart Left Page. It can display five maps with an overview of recent contacts, favourite apps, news, weather and events.
The quick settings above the notification screen and the settings menu look almost the same as on standard Android. Only some options have been added. In the settings you will encounter some translation errors here and there. For example, the notes to the options of the notification light are completely in Basque.
The WIM Lite has a function called smart gesture. When you open it in the settings or accidentally activate it you will not be much wiser because the help text has been translated badly again. Further on in the settings it turns out that you have to drag the top left corner of the image down to open a window where you can draw a symbol to start an app or call or text someone.
Wiko likes it very much when you register your WIM Lite and let it know by notification. To register, please enter your gender, name, date of birth, email address and phone number. We think this is quite a bit of a good thing, but if you don't want to do this you can only postpone the notification by a maximum of one week.
When the power button is pressed, we are accustomed to the screen turning on on the lock screen. On the Wim Lite, the unlock pattern or unlock code screen opens. That's not very convenient if you just want to quickly view the notifications on the lock screen. After a while, we discovered that this can be turned off in the smart action section of the settings.
The screen can also be activated by tapping it twice. Then the lock screen will appear. Switching off the screen is not only possible with the power button, but also by tapping the home button twice.
When unlocking with a finger has failed a few times, a message on the screen tells you to try it again or use it in another way within a counting down number of seconds. The first is of course not possible because the fingerprint scanner is currently locked.
The fingerprint scanner also has one operation function. By tapping it briefly, you go back one step in the interface. Fingerprints can also be linked to an application or contact that needs to be opened or called respectively. Finally, it is noteworthy that the vibrator motor is quite weak.
The WIM Lite has a 13 megapixel camera on the back. The interface has been modified by Wiko and provided with the necessary extra functions. In the viewfinder window, HDR, flash and color filter can be set. An automatic mode is also available for HDR. It is also possible to choose from different recording modes. The available options are super pixel, face enhancement, professional photo, panorama, night, QR code, time lapse and portrait. With super pixel, the resolution can be increased to 52 megapixels by software. It takes a lot longer to take the picture and you need to keep the camera steady. In the menu for the settings (sic) there are a number of options of which, again, not all of them are immediately clear what they do.
For the 16 megapixel self-image camera, the portrait mode is of course also available. This can be used to blur the background. We already know this from considerably more expensive devices and it works reasonably well on the WIM Lite. Although the transition from sharp to blurred is a bit sloppy. We have also thought of extensive beauty options with which you can make your skin smoother, eyes bigger and face narrower.
In general, the WIM Lite shoots quite a lot of pictures in a smooth way. Exposure and color reproduction come out well. Details are also captured well and the noise is not that bad. The different shooting modes work nicely although they are not all of equal use. The WIM Lite can film up to 1080p with electronic image stabilization.
From the list of the plus and minus points of the Wiko WIM Lite will immediately become clear. To put it simply, the device has quite nice hardware, but it is largely deficient and undone by the software. There are a lot of flawed translations that do not benefit the operation and functionality. In addition, you are also too often confronted with intrusive functions and apps.
Moreover, we have little insight into Wiko's update policy for Android. Nokia and Motorola's devices are much better off because they run on a largely standard version of Android. In theory, Wiko should be able to roll out updates for Android relatively quickly by using a launcher instead of a complete shell. Whether this will actually happen will have to be determined. Certainly the Moto G5 is for 40 Euro less than the WIM Lite probably a much better buy. For that device the update to Android 8.0 has already been promised and the hardware is almost the same as the Wiko. The choice to choose the WIM Lite over the Moto G5 will probably be based on the looks of the devices and that's very well taken care of with the WIM Lite.