Swipe Elite is an entry level mobile from Indian based startup called Swipe Technologies. Swipe has a huge market share in the tablets market in India. The Swipe Elite mobile is not about hardware, but its all about the user experience. Its been a while since I have been handling the Swipe Elite and here are my thoughts.
The Mobile is a 5 inch device. It has a matte finish at the back and smooth rounded corners. It is very comfortable to hold. It is made of plastic and it does not spell premium when it comes to build quality. It does not feel cheap either. The back panel is removable and though it is flimsy, when it is fitted back in the mobile, it fits snugly. The right side has volume and power button made of plastic. The top has the 3.5mm audio socket and a microUSB socket. The mic is at the bottom. The 13 MP camera is at the back assisted by a single LED flash. The 5 inch display takes over most of the front apart from the 8MP sefie camera, sensors, earpiece and non-backlit android keys. Overall, the build quality is decent and the design is very minimal. Nothing fancy here, so lets move on.
Hardware and Performance
The Swipe Elite is powered by a quad core MediaTek processor clocked at 1.3 Ghz. It has 2 GB of RAM and a Mali processor for GPU. It has an internal storage of 16 GB and expandable by upto 32 GB with microSD card. It supports USB OTG. It has a 13 MP camera at the back and a 8 MP camera on the front. While the specifications do not sound exciting, this device does surprise you with its performance. The smooth performance of this device is attributed to its customized Android UI. It was able to run the graphic intensive games smoothly with very minimal lag or frame drop. It does not get heated up beyond 42 degree after 30 minutes of continuous gaming. While the graphics and the performance is not the best we have seen, it definitely has a surprising potential at the price band of around Rs 6000.
The Swipe Elite has a 720p HD display. The screen if 5 inch diagonally. It is not the best display out there in this price range. The text is not crisp. When you play full HD content, you would find it pleasing, but with 720p or lower resolution video, the quality suffers as there is dithering around the edges. Also direct sun light readability is pretty bad. The screen is responsive and smooth. It comes with a sub-standard screen protector already applied on it. I suggest getting a better protection for the display. I haven’t removed the screen protector on my mobile and that maybe the reason for loss of quality.
The Swipe Elite has a 13 MP sensor at the back and its assisted by a single LED flash. The camera is also capable of recording video at 1080p resolution with 30 fps. The front facing camera is an 8 MP sensor. The image quality from the rear facing camera is decent. The color reproduction is natural. The focusing is slow and randomly accurate. The images have a bit of grainy noise when the light levels drop a bit. But on daylight, its clean though not crystal clear. The front facing camera is surprisingly good for selfies. The camera application is straight forward and is easy to use. Check out these sample shots.
Swipe Elite is the first mobile from Swipe Technologies to run on Freedom OS. Freedom OS 1.1. has a bunch of features and a few of those features are innovative. The Swipe Elite runs on Android 5.0.2 with Freedom OS skinned on top. Freedom OS has loads of customization features built into it. After MIUI, this is the ROM which I am experiencing, that gives so much importance to customization. The customization on Freedom OS, is not just skin deep, it penetrates to features. Much of the customization is on the dialer, contacts application. The dialer can be customized with different colors and themes based on user preferences. The tabs on the dialer app can be rearranged or removed. User can now switch between list view or card view for contacts. The dialer pad can be optimized for one handed operation. Freedom OS also offers a huge list of gesture based controls. It also offers offline password recovery to help you recover a forgotten password on the mobile, even if the mobile is not connected to the Internet.
To me the Swipe Elite is a beginning of a larger vision. The UI is very ambitious and highly functional. I feel that it has so many options that the user will have fun just by fiddling with the settings. Also the overall experience is still pure Android. The features that have been added by Freedom OS, sits on top and functions parallel to native android applications, without hampering the experience in anyway. If you are a person, who don’t like to customize, you still have your traditional pure Android in the mobile. Mr Shripal Gandhi, Founder of Swipe Technologies, mentioned that Swipe has no immediate plans of making the Freedom OS available for other mobiles, but if that is what the market likes, they are still open to the idea.
The mobile is powered by a 2500 mAh battery and it comes with a regular 1000 mA charger. The battery gets charged from 10 to 100% in less than 1.5 hours. On 3G network and normal usage, the mobile lasts for little over 24-25 hours.
The Swipe Elite is different from the average entry level mobiles you get. It emphasizes a lot on the UI and the user experience. It also has a decent set of specifications. It is a good mobile and I have been using it as my standby for the past few weeks. The UI is stable and the battery is reliable. Swipe Elite retails at Rs 5999 and is available exclusively on Flipkart.