The Prestigio MultiPhone 5430 Review

Prestigio might not be a name you know well. The company is new to the UK smartphone market, though it is established elsewhere in the world. It has recently launched the MultiPhone 5430, an average-sized Android device with a 4.3-inch screen that sits inside a body that’s made from slightly creaky plastic. The front has a minimal design, the sides are characterised by an inoffensive silvery plastic strip, but the back is not to our liking. The large gaudy branding logo and fl ashy patterning give off a bit more of the budget vibe than we like to see. That 4.3-inch screen offers 960 x 540 pixels. Text is crisp, but not super-sharp, and viewing angles are good.

The Prestigio MultiPhone 5430 has a point of immediate interest in its specifi cations as it sports an Intel processor. Now, it isn’t ploughing an entirely new furrow here. We’ve seen Intel processors in handsets before. But they remain something of a rarity, and much as Intel might want to push its way into the lucrative smartphone market, progress has been slow.

What we have here is an Atom Z2420 running at 1.2GHz. It has a single core, which might immediately make it sound old hat. But this is a relatively new processor, and it includes hyperthreading. This technological wizardry caters for a virtual rather than a real second core, enabling the processor to work faster when it needs to, just as a multi-core processor does.

We didn’t feel the processor held the handset back at all – it responded well to fi nger presses and swipes, webpages resolved quickly enough and video played without stuttering. We can’t see why anyone should avoid the Prestigio MultiPhone 5430 because of the processor choice. Although, equally, the Intel Inside logo on the back doesn’t constitute a selling point either. With 1GB of RAM, the all-round performance was adequate, while never pushing the boundaries.

There’s only 4GB of storage built in and this is far from the whole story as there’s just 1GB free for your own use. That’s not even enough to store some larger apps like games, so perhaps it is a blessing that the handset is equipped with Android 4.0. True, this is far from the leading edge, but at least you can store apps on a micro SD card.

Prestigio also gives you the option when you set the phone up not to include some apps it considers you might like to have. You can opt to install – or not – an eReader that’s also a portal for purchasing eBooks, Evernote and the MobiSystems Offi ce Suite. Leaving those off should save space, and we welcome the fact that they are optional, when so many manufacturers install countless – and often unremovable – extras whether you want them or not.

The micro SD card slot isn’t accessible until you remove the battery, so if you are into hotswapping music or video to your smartphone this isn’t going to be the ideal phone for you. Prestigio has not skinned Android 4.0, so you get the Vanilla Android experience. That’s fi ne by us. Android has not been left entirely alone, though. There’s an FM radio built in, and the Android standard keyboard has been augmented with a Prestigio alternative that has a number row. We like this – it beats long pressing keys. As if to counter the pleasant keyboard there’s a bit of shutter lag in the eight-megapixel main camera, which is a bit annoying if you are trying to photograph a moving subject.

Actually, ‘a bit annoying’ isn’t a bad way to sum this handset up. It does have its good points, and the Intel processor is not a bad thing. But there’s not enough internal memory, sound quality through the speakers is not great and the design lacks strong appeal. Even the fact that the handset ships with a sleeve-style case doesn’t really draw it out from the realm of the average.