In today’s Scambook TV video, Kevan and Kase review the Hero H2000+, also known as the first iPhone 5 Knockoff from China. We showed you a side-by-side comparison of the real Apple iPhone 5 with the H2000+ in an earlier video. Now, we’ll tell you what we think about this phone after 5 days of real world testing. Kase discusses battery life, processing speed, camera, build quality, headphone interface, call quality and a few unexpected quirks. What’s our verdict? We don’t recommend the Hero H2000+. We suggest consumers stick with the real iPhone 5 or try another Android phone for the same price.
The Hero H2000+ was designed to resemble Apple’s iPhone 5, from the exterior shell to the operating system layout. It runs a version of Google’s Android mobile operating system that’s been “skinned” to mimic iOS 6. Despite this skin, it’s still an Android OS. For this reason, we decided to review the Hero H2000+ based on hardware and processing specs alone.
We also had to cut our review short. Kase, Scambook’s director of marketing, uses Google to manage everything from email to calendars. But when he synced the Hero H2000+ with his Google account, it erased all the phone numbers from his contacts! This was definitely Strike 1 against the H2000+.
As we pointed out in our unboxing video, the H2000+ comes with two separate batteries. With minimal usage, each battery lasted approximately two days on a full charge. We estimate with full usage, each battery would last roughly a day. Kase didn’t make many outgoing calls because his contact list was gone. To test this feature, Kase had the GPS, wifi, Bluetooth, and cell radios on the whole time.
The processor in the H2000+ is solid. Compared to Kase’s Samsung Galaxy, it had a much faster startup time. Game applications like Angry Birds ran smoothly once they loaded. However, the iOS skin — the graphics that make the H2000+ look like an iPhone 5 — slowed the phone down dramatically. It changed the phone’s functionality and menu settings in a way that we found confusing. As Kase demonstrates in the video, there’s also a significant lag time in the phone’s auto-orientation.
The H2000+ has a front camera and a back camera that both use Android’s standard camera software. The image quality isn’t as crisp as photos taken with the iPhone 5′s sapphire lens, but it’s a solid digital camera for the price. You can see the photos we took here:
The H2000+ has a touch screen that’s sturdier than most cheap touch screen phones, but there’s no comparison with Apple’s Gorilla Glass screen. Responsiveness is difficult to judge. When you’re using an app, it’s fairly sensitive, but the iOS skin creates a very annoying lag time when swiping between windows or accessing the menu. As for the phone’s plastic shell case, we were very disappointed. It doesn’t feel like a phone that’s built to last. We could feel it bending whenever we picked it up to talk. The back shell also had a tendency to pop off.
Hands-Free Headphone Jack
Kase tested several hands-free headsets with the H2000+. Curiously, whenever he pushed the headset’s plug all the way into the jack, the audio would cut out. We think it might be an audio-only headphone jack, not an input for a hands-free set with a microphone. This makes the phone useless for driving or multi-tasking.
Kase describes the call quality as poor and tinny. He made test calls on the H2000+ with a wired hands-free unit, Blue Tooth headphones and the phone’s regular microphone and speaker. Compared to the real Apple iPhone 5 and the Samsung Galaxy, the calls sounded substandard. The H2000+ also got very bad reception. Even in places where other phones detected strong signals, Kase could never get 4G on the H2000+. (Call quality and network connection didn’t improve when he tried the alternate SIM card slot).
Time Zone Trouble
To top it all off, the H2000+ kept reverting to a Chinese time zone! This little quirk became very frustrating, very fast. We adjusted the settings so the phone would change its clock based on the local network signal, but a few hours later it changed back again. This makes the H2000+ very unappealing for users who rely on their phone for alarms and calendar reminders.
Let’s face it, even the best features of the Hero H2000+ fail to rise about standard. For the same price as the H2000+ (around $200 plus shipping), you can get another Android phone that’s far superior. You could even get the real Apple iPhone 5, which is retailing at many service providers for $199 with contract.
However, if you want the sleek look of the iPhone 5 with Android’s OS, you still have options. On our last video, some of you mentioned 3 other iPhone 5 knockoffs that are gaining a reputation in the tech world: the Hero H3000+ (estimated retail price $160), the Goophone i5 ($250) and the Changjian A5000 ($160). We haven’t reviewed these other phones, but they might be a better buy for your buck.
What do you think of the H2000+? Do you want us to review more iPhone 5 knockoffs or other fake gadgets? Let us know in the comments!