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Razor sharp Cubot X17 reviewed

by on21 January 2016


Design and Build Quality

Ultrathin phones tend to ship with slower processors and smaller batteries than their bigger counterparts. That said, we have to admit Cubot managed to squeeze a lot of nice components into its budget X-series.

IMG 7970

While you don’t get a very powerful processor, the MT6735 is still a force to be reckoned with, at least in this price segment. It’s a modern 64-bit quad-core processor, based on Cortex-A53 cores backed by Mali-T720 graphics. More importantly, the phone has a 2500mAh battery and good 13-megapixel camera.


The layout is more or less standard. The power and volume buttons are on the right.


The SIM tray is located on the left.


The micro USB and audio out are located at the top and bottom respectively.


The camera housing is different, too. It’s not flush with the back like on the X16. It protrudes a bit, but not by much. You also get a dual-LED flash, whereas the X16 has a single LED.

IMG 7986

While the back is metal, this is not a unibody design. The metal back just replaces the glass back on the X16, but it’s not an integral part of the chassis.

On the other hand, the metal gives the phone a nice tactile feeling. Curved glass at the front, thin metal frame, alloy back – they all feel premium. The plastic bits aren’t as good, but there aren’t that many to begin with, just the thin, white bezels and the trim on the rear.

IMG 7931

The finish is quite good, although it’s not on a par with big brand phones. We are not sure what sort of metal Cubot is using. The rear feels like aluminium, while the frame feels like stainless steel, or some sort of alloy with similar properties. The phone’s not light, either. At 163 grams, it’s as heavy as many plastic 5.5-inch phablets, but it also happens to feel a lot better than these oversized devices.

IMG 7970

What about the design? Is it original? It is, sort of, but it obviously takes a few cues from Huawei, Vivo and other vendors with similar ultrathin designs. It does not look like a clone, and the design is pretty good for this sort of device. It looks and feels more expensive than it should, which was probably what Cubot was going for all along.

All in all, we have no complaints about the build quality or choice of materials. The design isn’t too spectacular, but it’s ok.

Last modified on 22 January 2016
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