We had to wait a long time for Apollo Vernee had already announced it in the spring of 2016, but then published with the Apollo Lite a stripped down version of the new flagships (which admittedly admitted us). And with the Apollo X, the next offshoot of the model is already in the starting holes. At the beginning of this year, however, the Vernee Apollo finally appeared, and we still pass the overdue test. Here you can see if the wait was worth it.
Vernee Apollo: Design and processing
With the 5.5 inch display, the Apollo measures 152 x 75.6 x 93mm and weighs 188g. Like the Apollo Lite, the Apollo also has a slightly rounded back, which consists entirely of aluminum apart from the two antenna strips. Due to its shape and size, it is a good choice for a 5.5-inch smartphone. The volume control buttons and the power buttons are located in the usual position on the right, on the left are two slots for the SIM cards. While the buttons are very well incorporated into the case, it wobbles at the SM card slot on closer inspection a little. Camera and fingerprint sensor on the back are now round and no longer square with rounded corners; What one finds more beautiful one must judge oneself.Smartphone Vernee Apollo rear side
On the front, the Apollo does not have any physical keys or so-called smart keys – instead, this is done with on-screen buttons. As a result, the lower screen edge is relatively narrow; on the other hand, the buttons now occupy a part of the screen.
Also one must mention here the packaging of the smartphone. This is larger than comparable models, because apart from mobile phone and accessories, it contains a special VR-glasses for the Apollo, with the Vernee the focus on the 2K-display would like, which should specifically harmonize well with VR-glasses , You can not expect too much from the enclosed glasses, unfortunately she does not really sit comfortably on the nose despite elastic bands for the head. For the first impression of Virtual Reality with the smartphone is enough, however, one can at least test the 2K display directly after unpacking.
Vernee Apollo: Display
The display is one of the changes compared to the Apollo Lite and has a resolution of 2550 x 1440p with a very good pixel density of 534ppi. This reads on the paper impressively, and the display looks damn good, but the big difference to a FullHD display remains however with the superficial view.
From this, however, we would like to make no criticism at this point: the picture is sharp, the color intensity as well as the brightness very good and the display also in the open in the sunshine still readable. The 5-point touch screen reacts quickly and error-free. The display is protected by specially hardened Dragontrail Glass, which ensures a certain scratch against scratches.
If you want to criticize something, then possibly that the display is, of course, the battery is also heavier stressed. But more about this later.
Vernee Apollo: Hardware
The processor of the Vernee Apollo is an Helio X25 with ten cores divided into three clusters: four cores with 1.4GHz clocking, four cores with 2.0GHz and two with up to 2.5GHz. The memory is 4GB RAM, the internal memory is 64GB (usable around 54GB), which is a gamble in a league with current high-end smartphones, even if there are sometimes 128 or even 256GB can be found. An SD card with up to 128GB can be inserted additionally.
In the “normal” use, the Apollo convinces also absolutely and allows an absolutely liquid and disturbance-free working and surfing too. When playing with sophisticated graphics weakens the hardware but then, synonymous here, the display stands in the way of what would have been possible with a FullHD display. The Asphalt 8, which we installed for test purposes, for example, is playable, jerky but noticeable, and long-term gamers should look for another mobile phone. After just a few minutes, the mobile phone is very warm.
Here, the mobile phone cuts well and is in the upper midfield. The manufacturer is having an Anntutu score of over 100,000, in our test it reached 91,000.
Vernee Apollo: Operating system
Still running on the Apollo Android 6 Marshmallow, the update to Android 7 Nougat is already announced. At Vernee Android, of course, also in English and German, you do not have to worry about any problems with the Chinese language. Anyway, compared to the vanilla version of Android 7 has been little changed, everything looks tidy and familiar, there is no disturbing bloatware.
Vernee Apollo: Camera
Next to the display the second noticeable upgrade. With the MX230 sensor from Sony in the main camera makes the Apollo images with up to 21MP. Slide quality of the pictures is synonymous as expected good, even if in the case of missing lighting quickly a picture noise can be seen.
Videos can be recorded with up to 4K, thanks to built-in electronic image stabilization, disturbing camera shake is largely avoided. The front camera also has an acceptable resolution of 8MP.
Vernee Apollo: Battery and runtime
The battery has a capacity of 3180mAh, which is insignificant more than in the Apollo Lite and overall is still acceptable. However, other devices from the same capacity are much more powerful than the Apollo. Here the 2K display makes itself felt. Although it can be done with average usage over a day, but with longer YouTube sessions, not even that. Only economical users will come over two days.
After all, the (permanently installed) battery has the quick-charging standard “Pump Express” from Mediatek, by which the smartphone is fully charged in under two hours and already after just over an hour to about 75%. So you can be more easily forgotten that you will probably have to charge the mobile phone every day.
The Apollo has the usual connections, a headphone jack up and a USB connection on the bottom. The USB connection is a USB with type C. At least the enclosed plug is difficult to insert, it is not quite clear whether this is a general problem or an individual case.
Very pleasing is here again – from Vernee we are accustomed – that all LTE frequencies required in Germany are supported. The band 20, which is often missing at China phones, is also there, so you can get with each provider also outside of the big cities fast mobile Internet.
SIM cards can be inserted two, which is then however at the expense of the SD card. The Hybrid SIM called principle is still widespread against the actual dual SIM and forces you to choose between second SIM and additional memory. Which is, of course, only bad if you need both, which in turn will be the least.
Of course, a WiFi module (2.4 / 5.0GHz) is on board and also Bluetooth (4.0) and GPS are supported. Here we noticed no shortcomings in the connection quality and the mobile phone was unrestricted usable.
The speakers were not quite convincing. The quality of the telephoning is completely ok, music is demanding ears but not liked and they let the headphones grab.
Vernee Apollo: Extras and accessories
The included accessory is standard with every half-way smartphone and consists of instructions, a suitable USB-C cable and a mains adapter with a European plug. Since the loudspeaker was not quite convincing us, enclosed headphones would have been a nice bit, but you have to rely on its own.
The fingerprint scanner, located on the back of the camera, operates reliably and unlocks the smartphone in about half a second.
An extra addition is, of course, the VR-glasses mentioned above. This is hardly more than two lenses in a plastic box but still, works. For longer video recording, it is in my opinion not comfortable enough, for an occasional 360 ° video or to show the feature to his friends, but it is always enough. With the included straps, the glasses can also be attached to the head. The smartphone is held by a Velcro fastener in the mount, and even with faster movements loosened nothing.
Vernee Apollo: Conclusion
Is the Vernee Apollo a good smartphone? The big leap after the last Apollo Lite last year is certainly not. The display is, of course, a small highlight, and Smartphone-VR thus a whole lot better, but suffers the performance and the endurance of the battery. Your main focus in the selection of the next smartphone would already be the display, in order to prefer the Apollo to a comparable device like the Xiaomi Mi5. Apart from the recharge time and the strong heat development, the Vernee Apollo is, in almost all respects, an at least “good” smartphone.