The Monaco 47 by Yezz Mobile is a dual sim Monaco-branded Windows smartphone targeting the European market. Yezz was kind enough to send us one and we take a look in our Monaco 47 review.
The Monaco 47 features the following specifications:
- 4.7″ IPS LCD screen (720×1280 ~312ppi)
- Qualcomm MSM8212 Snapgdragon 200 1.2 GHz Quad Core
- 1GB RAM, 8GB Internal Memory
- Rear Camera 13MP (4128×3096)
- Front Camera 5MP
- 1750 mAh battery
- Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, microUSB2.0
- accelerometer, proximity, compass sensors
- microSD card support up to 128GB
- Windows Phone 8.1
Unlike the recently reviewed Andy 5Q from Yezz, the Monaco 47 feels kind of cheap and my first thought was that I was picking up one of those dummy demo phones that you see at the mobile store. Upon closer inspection however, the phone is quite well built with an aluminum alloy frame and removable plastic back. Under the removable back are the dual SIM card slots, removable battery, and microSD card slot. The power button is on the right side, with volume buttons on the left side and – in an interesting design choice – the headphone jack and microUSB port are both on the top of the device. The back camera and flash are to the upper left of the phone, while the speakers are also on the back near the bottom.
First impressions aside, the phone is very thin – only 7.4mm thick – and extremely lightweight. It’s comfortable to hold and use, and the buttons are well placed. My only complaint is that the volume buttons are difficult to access when you have the smart cover attached as the hinge portion partially blocks access due to the placement of the buttons.
As with the Andy 5Q, the Monaco 47 ships with a plethora of accessories including the USB cable, AC adapter that includes four changeable plugs for use in pretty much any country, three plastic back covers, a smartcover, headphones, screen protector, and user manual (I can’t remember the last time I saw one of those included). Not only does this provide you with extra personalization out of the box, but the additional plug options allow you worry-free travel as you’ll most likely have a charging source depending on your destination or country of residence.
The Monaco 47 features a 4.7″ 720p IPS LCD screen with Asahi Dragontail glass. Even though it’s only a 720p resolution, the text is still crisp and easy to read, even at smaller font sizes. The colours are nice and fairly accurate without being overly saturated, and the games and videos I tried out on it looked decent as well. The content on the screen is also easily visible from a variety of viewing angles.
The automatic brightness setting seemed a little dim most of the time and I found that I ran the device using the low brightness setting most of the time, bumping up to medium, and on occasion, high setting outdoors in sunlight. The screen was easily viewable outside in bright sunlight as well.
Windows 8.1 is the operating system installed on the Monaco 47. As with other Windows Phone devices, it flowed nicely and it was easy to navigate. The Live Tiles on the home screen displayed relevant information, and the ability to resize, add, remove, and position the home screen tiles provided more than enough customization for quick access to frequently accessed apps. Aside from the default installed apps, the Monaco 47 also includes an FM Radio app and functionality.
The speakers are about average, the sound when playing music is a bit tinny and on the treble side of the spectrum, but the sound is clear and crisp especially considering the sound is being output from a single speaker on the back of the phone.
While the Monaco 47 ran most apps with no issues, there was a bit of stutter in a couple of the more graphic intensive games. YouTube videos, and even videos downloaded to the phone and played locally suffered from bad frame rates during playback as well. If you only plan on using the phone to surf the web, keep up on social media and playing basic games then you should be fine, I definitely wouldn’t plan on watching a lot of videos or playing some of the more graphic intensive games.
The camera app loads fairly quickly and focus is pretty quick as well. While the focus on the 13MP camera is good for closer objects, when viewed at 100% resolution, you can see bits of green, red and blue mixed in throughout the darker parts of the photo. This chroma noise behaviour was noticeable on both indoor and outdoor pictures, but more so on indoor ones where there was a lack of light.
While I don’t make or receive many calls these days, the reception and call quality on the Monaco 47 was clear and there were no complaints on either end of the call.
Battery life on the device is great, easily getting a day and a half to a couple days out of it with normal use checking email, using social media apps, and playing a few games between charges.
Because it uses the Windows Phone store and apps, as I mentioned previously in my Nokia 830 review, there is somewhat a lack of available apps. While there are versions of the more popular apps, there isn’t Google app support or less popular apps. That being said, the inclusion of the Xbox Games brand with Windows Phone is a plus if you own an Xbox and want to boost up your Gamerscore with Windows Phone games.
As mentioned above, the Monaco 47 came with pretty much everything you could ever need with a phone. The inclusion of extra backs, a flip case, and screen protector add customization and added protection. The backs are a bit tough to get off as there is only a tiny groove from which you start lifting, but they do snap on tight and there’s no worry of it falling off or coming loose. Being a European model phone, adding in the different plug adapters was a huge bonus as well and even though you may only use one of them most of the time, it does allow you to charge your phone in other countries if you travel without the need to shell out additional cash for an adapter.
The pricing of 249.99€ puts the Monaco 47 on the upper end of budget phone spectrum price-wise. It sports dual SIM card slots as well as includes perhaps the best bundled group of accessories I’ve seen come with a phone which definitely adds value for the price. While the 720p screen is nice for everyday functionality (email, apps, basic games), the fact that it suffers at times under video playback is something one would expect of a device with a lower price point.
While the lower priced Monaco 47 does come with quite a few accessories and runs basic apps and games fine, it does run into problems with video playback and more graphic intensive games. If you’re looking for a device that you can use for talk, text, keeping up to date with your social media accounts, listening to music, and simple gaming then the Monaco 47 is one worth looking at. If you’re looking for something that will play videos and more graphic intensive games smoothly then you might be better spending a few extra euro and picking up a mid-range device.
*We were sent a demo unit of the Monaco 47 by Yezz for the purposes of this review
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