Wiko T50 REVIEW! Jack of all Trades, Master of None


It does have some seriously thin bezels and our personal favourite: STOCK ANDROID!

It’s been three days since I’ve used the Wiko T50. It’s actually a phone for my brother as his old phone desperately needed to be replaced. There are several phones out there may be even better than the Wiko T50, but there is one thing why we chose it over the others: STOCK ANDROID! Stock Android will always be more stable than most Android skins (apart from OneUI).

It is also rare to see a European brand selling phones at an affordable price in a Southeast Asian country like the Philippines. The company is doing well from a marketability point of view so we’re hoping this would encourage more non-Chinese brands to enter the market (yes we’re aware Wiko is now owned by Chinese Tinno).

UNBOXING:

Okay before that can we discuss how everything about the Wiko T50 is simple? That’s the main theme here, simplicity and elegance. It is one of the first European brands to hit Philippine shores as Wiko is based in Marseille, France (with assistance from its parent company, Tinno Mobile, a Chinese ODM). We’re still considering it a French company nonetheless, just like how Volvo is Swedish despite being owned by Geely.

The Wiko T50 box is probably the most simple box I’ve seen. It’s simply just the phone model in front with the brand and model (this is repeated on the sides and even at the back). That’s about it and we actually like it that way. It’s not flashy nor eye-gauging, it’s a breath of fresh air.

Wiko 10 box. Image from Utterly Techies. Used with permission.

However, that might soon change as the company’s latest release, the Wiko 10, came with a more stylized box. In fact, the Klein Blue colour of the phone goes all out with design and it is its main selling point, coming in with a French-like black box.

The contents inside the Wiko T50 box are straightforward. You get the phone itself, a clear case and plastic screen protector (though we installed ours with a third-party tempered glass instead), pieces of paperwork including a warranty card, a SIM ejector tool, and finally the 40W USB-C charger and brick. With that said, you’re guaranteed to get all that 40W charging speed the phone supports, this speed is very rare for the price.

DESIGN:

Tinno is a smartphone designer so obviously designing smartphones should be their forte. The Wiko T50 truly did not disappoint in that regard. My brother chose the Midnight Black colour instead of the Emerald Green one, a company signature. There’s also a Lively Pink colour but that’s not available in the Philippines. The phone has some stupidly razor-thin bezels that make it look premium and immersive while the back features a glossy finish. I honestly don’t like glossy colours as this makes anything look cheap. It’s also reflective so you can see me taking a picture of the phone right there, plus the phone is a smudge magnet partially ruining the classy look. The reason for this choice is to mimic glass as the phone is made of plastic all the way to the frame (the only true glass here is the screen). Companies call this glossy plastic “glasstic”. Glasstic materials have a tiny portion that contains glass, and a larger portion that contains plastic.

The phone also has a dual SIM Card slot which we initially thought of as hybrid. No, it does not have any place for the MicroSD Card sadly. It goes in a back-to-back alignment which is apparently common. The Infinix Note 12 G96 also uses the same arrangement.

Nonetheless, we love the design because it looks simple and elegant, just like how a Frenchman would design it. Also, the phone does remind us of how Huawei would have made their phones. Not surprising as Tinno does design for Huawei, especially for their budget and midrange segments. The Wiko T50 even has a Huawei twin called the Nova 10Z but with different compartments, notably the Kirin 710A chipset and the lack of Google services.

Very eleganto indeed, as Henry would exclaim.

INTERFACE:

The phone shows its ODM roots thanks to it feeling like a template. It runs our favourite version of Android… STOCK ANDROID. Unfortunately, this phone is stuck with Android 11. Wiko is not part of the Android One program so we do not expect to see consistent updates. The good thing is, the moment we got the unit, it already has a security update available, ready to download and install.

The phone comes with two unremovable apps: Facebook and Messenger. For users who do not use Facebook and Messenger, this can be bothersome. On the bright side, at least it’s only those two apps and nothing more, aside from the usual Google apps pre-installed.

Not using a skin actually does have its benefits. For instance, you worry less about optimization as Stock Android is pretty much optimized, especially if it’s a slightly older version; and second, you don’t have to worry about the numerous ads in every app as well as countless bloatware.

If you use gestures, well then this phone isn’t for you. While it does have gestures, it only provides the most basic ones. So no three-fingered screenshots, fancy O-shaped Google Assistant activation, or anything like that. You couldn’t also customize the buttons so that the back button is on the right side, like a Samsung phone. That needs some getting used to.

For those who got used to the heavy Android skins from the likes of Vivo, Oppo, Xiaomi, or even Samsung, stock Android needs some getting used to. We know we did, as we initially had trouble navigating around this one especially because it offers multiple accounts. Those accounts do different things, and only the Admin (superuser) has access to everything and makes changes. For example, if you have Facebook installed on a separate non-Admin account, then on the second account, you have to install Facebook again. Settings are also different for each user. In a way, it is very similar to how Microsoft does it for Windows.

Another thing, you cannot adjust your SIM Cards outside of the Admin account. So if you want to make SIM 2 your default for data, then you have to switch back to the admin account before doing so. However, once this process is done, other users are also affected. Meaning, SIM 2 will now be the default mobile data SIM for all users.

DISPLAY:

Okay, this is very rare for a budget smartphone. The phone has razor-thin bezels that make it look more premium than any other phones within its range, and even then, more expensive smartphones can’t have a chin as thin as 3.5mm. According to Wiko, the entire screen occupies 94.58% of the front end, and honestly, this makes the phone super immersive. So if you like watching movies on the go, this phone is perfect.

Going into technical specs, the Wiko T50 features a 6.6in. FHD+ (2400x1080px) IPS LCD screen with 399ppi density. The screen is visible outdoors but it is still dim even when using it at maximum brightness.

Another thing, the Wiko T50 only has 60Hz refresh rate wherein others would have used an AMOLED screen, or a 90Hz IPS LCD panel. The camera cutout in the middle is also somewhat large. Thankfully this is not distracting. The small bezels are somewhat negated due to it being only L3 Widevine certified. Meaning, you can’t stream copyrighted content beyond 480p.

CAMERAS:

There are three cameras at the back all aligned vertically. The main camera is a 64MP Sony IMX682 that is complemented by an 8MP ultrawide (OmniVision OV8856) and a 2MP macro camera. The ultrawide also serves as a depth helper eliminating the unnecessary use of a 2MP sensor, although it would be nice if they let go of the 2MP macro as well, or made that at least 5MP.

Meanwhile, the front camera goes by a 16MP OmniVision OV16 sensor housed in the middle of the punch-hole screen.

CAMERA UI:

The camera UI is simple and one of the more unique ones we’ve seen (not copying Apple’s camera UI). The main screen shows the Panorama mode, Video, Auto, Portrait, and Stickers respectively. Tapping the zoom button allows you to switch between the main camera and the ultrawide (macro is located as a special mode).

On the top, there’s the Flash, HDR mode, Colour Filters, AI enhancement and recognition, and aspect ratio selector/

There is also a context menu located on the top right, opening it will let you view the various minimalistic modes the phone has to offer, including the Pro mode, night mode, time-lapse, slow-mo, macro, and “motion photo”, a mode similar to Apple’s Live Photo feature.

Swiping or selecting the settings will let you view various settings. Pretty straightforward we must say. Unlike other manufacturers though, this doesn’t have the quirky and gimmicky features such as Picture-in-Picture, Samsung’s Food mode, and Oppo’s super night mode. You will also not see things such as Light Trail mode found on most Huawei phones, and Realme’s street photography mode. It’s pretty minimalistic.

The 16MP front camera has the same ordeal except it cannot do AI-based shots, cannot take portraits, cannot take night shots, and has far fewer modes. It is also limited in terms of settings. Video here is capped at 1080p@30fps at best. It can still create stickers and stickers are actually designed for use in selfies so it would be strange if Wiko did not do exactly that.

The camera app itself is different compared to what you’re used to, especially coming from BBK or Xiaomi. It may not be user-friendly initially, and the icons can be a bit confusing. We even confused the stickers icon for portrait, and the portrait icon (at the left of the Stickers, the face icon) as macro.

CAMERA SAMPLES (64MP main)

All of the shots here are taken in a 16MP 4:3 aspect ratio format. As expected of the 64MP IMX682, the colours reproduced here are very accurate to real life. The images produced are not oversharpened (but the dynamic range needs a bit more balancing). In fact, I couldn’t believe this was a phone priced at Php 11K as the camera here is comparable to phones priced at sub Php 18K. However, I noticed that the cameras here have a slow shutter speed and can take a while to process the image, so if you’re capturing fast-moving vehicles, there’s going to be a lot of blur. That is also shown here.

LEFT: No HDR, Right: With HDR

HDR does improve the dynamic range fundamentally and even makes the colours pop out more without making it too vibrant, so that’s beautiful. However, shutter speed is still a problem. The phone is light-dependent and taking pictures with less than ideal lighting can become problematic.

ULTRAWIDE and MACRO

All photos taken with the Wiko T50 are captured with a 4:3 aspect ratio which gives the maximum megapixels possible for the sensor. The 8MP ultrawide also captures pretty well in well-lit areas. It has decent enough sharpness and clarity as with the main camera. We do notice that the ultrawide tends to do a “fish-eyed” view in an attempt to further widen the view range, so some images can have curved corners. Sadly, it’s noticeable and this may make the sensor look fake or artificial.

NIGHT PHOTOS:

The phone has a dedicated night mode, located on the top right of the camera app, under “modes”. The first three images are taken with nearly zero light and while we’re not too keen on the results, it’s still impressive how the phone tried to make it brighter and more visible. It’s not Php 11K-worthy, but the effort is there.

Under decent lighting conditions, the photos have improved quality but are far from a “good night shot”. The images are now more detailed but it still lacks vibrancy and it’s still very soft especially when zooming in. However, it’s decent enough for social media like Instagram, and it gets the job done. Nothing more here. It improves lighting and dynamic range, but that’s all ther

SELFIES:

We like the output of the selfies here. However, like the rear camera, this sensor is heavily dependent on the lighting conditions where you’re in. When you are in a bright area like a beach, it will produce vibrant images with a wide viewing angle and with decent contrasts as well as dynamic range.

If you’re somewhere in a darker alley, expect that photos would have inconsistent colouring and would become really soft. It also pales in the highlights section. Still, this is a solid front camera that you can use all over social media without making it look very grainy.

VIDEO:

The phone can only take videos between 720p and 1080p and capped at 30fps, despite the fact that the IMX682 does support 4K@30fps.

Similar to photos, video-taking is heavily light-dependent. With that said, 1080p video is acceptable enough for the asking price but not impressive. It produces better colours and output than 720p videos and also feels less compressed. It is present, but it’s subtle, to say the least. Overall, 1080p is respectable on the Wiko T50. My main problem here is the lack of EIS and 60fps options, other phones of similar price got this correct.

The video above is filmed at around 6:00pm so the night was fast coming. As you can see, 1080p at night produces softer outputs and paler colour reproduction, but we’re still impressed that, despite of its softness, it’s still not oversharpened, unlike the 720p video which produced grainy results no matter the time of day.

One massive problem I saw was the phone has a hard time focusing especially when trying to move it. This is evident through the constant “beats” it does because the phone is trying to be in focus. The slow shutter speed is one of the main factors of this problem. If you don’t mind that constant beating, then this phone will work out.

GAMING/PERFORMANCE

For some reason, the gameplay footage we recorded does not have sound, and it’s not just using the built-in recorder either, and it applies to every game we played. We’re not sure why this is the case. Because of that, we decided that, for this particular review, gameplay samples won’t be uploaded to our channel.

Anyway, the Wiko T50 comes with a MediaTek Helio G85 chipset with 6GB RAM and 128GB internal storage. The phone uses a hybrid tray and so you can hold a MicroSD card slot + 1 SIM or two SIM cards without a MicroSD card. Stock Android does not come with fancy gimmicks like virtual RAM and we checked, there are none. There’s also no game booster as with other skin-heavy phones. Wiko’s main selling point for the phone is its tall rounded display rather than performance or cameras. Stock Android is also one of the plus points.

As always, what would a performance test be without benchmarks? The Wiko T50 scored nearly 230K points on AnTuTu. However, this is not verified so this may not be 100% reliable. Checking other phones, this score is pretty close to what other Helio G85 phones get so it’s safe to say that no cheating is done here. On the other hand, on Geekbench, there are 343 points for single-core and 1293 points for multi-core. Again, this is pretty close compared to other Helio G85 handsets.

Due to how optimized stock Android is, we didn’t have problems scrolling through its clean and simple UI, almost everything flows smoothly, although somewhat slow as the phone lacks a high refresh rate. Slow doesn’t mean it’s lagging though. It just means that the screen refreshes at a slower pace and so users that got used to refresh rates higher than 60Hz may feel like their phone is unresponsive. It also has good haptic feedback and it vibrates every time I type, making for a satisfying experience, almost similar to a cheap mechanical keyboard.

In terms of gaming. We tried a few games, from Mobile Legends, to using a PS1 emulator called ePSXe, to heavier ones like Real Racing 3, APEX Legends, Call of Duty Mobile (since Warzone isn’t out yet), and of course, let’s not forget Genshin Impact.

Aside from the obviously heavy Genshin Impact, all of them ran smoothly and did not lag outside of very low battery capacity. So on a normal basis, the phone can pretty much game. Just expect that the device tends to get hot on longer gaming sessions as the chipset is being pressured to crank out most of its performance. The hotter the phone, the faster the battery drains and the higher chance the internals get damaged. Oh, we’re going to discuss the battery later.

By the way, if you run Genshin on the lowest settings, provided everything is downloaded, the game actually runs smoothly, although there are still some hiccups, it’s tolerable and will not affect your experience uncomfortably.

On the NEXT PAGE, we’re going to discuss the phone’s battery endurance, loudness, biometrics, and finally, we’re going to conclude the review.