Learning a lot from its previous releases, Hyve Mobility, an Indian Android-based smartphone startup, started by former Apple India enterprise head Sharad Mehrotra, has launched its first “Assembled in India” smartphone. Safely sticking to the current design trends in the smartphone market, the company launched the Hyve Pryme in India for Rs 17,999, which also happens to be powered by the MediaTek Helio X20 deca-core SoC.
Keeping its previous launches the Hyve Storm and Hyve Buzz in mind, the Hyve Pryme hopes to capture attention in the market this time thanks to its impressive specifications. The company has managed to make some changes to the overall structure of the phone as well as its performance. Documented below is my experience with the Hyve Pryme as my primary handset for over a week.
Hyve Pryme Design
When it comes to design, the Hyve Pryme is certainly different from the company’s earlier smartphones. A metal unibody design ups the style quotient by giving it a premium look. The curved rear panel design makes the smartphone look slim. Having used the 5.5-inch Redmi Note 3 before this, the 5.7-inch Hyve Pryme smartphone was comfortable enough to hold. However, one-handed operation while texting and playing games proved to be disappointingly difficult. Towards the back we have the camera with a slight bump and LED flash placed right next to it. The rear camera and fingerprint sensor are symmetrically designed and placed below each other. The Hyve logo is horizontally placed on the rear panel, with “Designed by Hyve in India” proudly engraved on it.
The 2.5D curved glass upfront adds to the premium feel of the phone. On the sides are the volume rocker, power button and hybrid SIM slot. The front camera and LED flash sits on the top. There’s no differentiating factor about the bottom half of the smartphone; it looks pretty much like every other smartphone in the market with the Android keys on-screen. Apart from that, at 188 grams, the smartphone feels pretty heavy in your hand too.
Hyve Pryme Specifications
At Rs 17,999, the Hyve Pryme sports a 5.7-inch HD (1080p) IPS display with a pixel density of 386ppi. The screen is bright and offers good clarity even under direct sunlight. You may need to manually adjust brightness when you go outside and turn it up so you can read on-screen text. Viewing angles are good, black levels are deep and whites are pretty bright too.
The dual-SIM Hyve Pryme runs Android 6.0 Marshmallow, and features 4G VoLTE capability. It sports a 5.7-inch full-HD (1080×1920 pixels) screen as well. The smartphone packs a 2.3GHz deca-core MediaTek Helio X20 SoC, along with 4GB of RAM. It comes with 32GB of inbuilt storage, which is expandable via microSD card (up to 200GB).
The phone comes with a 13-megapixel rear camera with dual-tone LED flash, and an 8-megapixel camera at the front which also has its own LED flash. The Hyve Pryme is also powered by a large 3,500mAh battery, which the company claims is good enough to offer talktime of 10 hours and standby time of 192 hours. In terms of connectivity options the smartphone offers options like 4G VoLTE, Wi-Fi 802.11 ac, Bluetooth 4.1, GPS, and USB Type-C.
Hyve Pryme Software
The smartphone boots into Android 6.0 Marshmallow, and runs a near-stock Android user interface on top. The interface comes with an app drawer that takes you to all the installed apps of the phone. The near-stock UI keeps things simple, and makes the overall performance smooth. There are no unnecessary pre-loaded apps either, which is a relief. The notification panel can be accessed by dragging down the top bar, that displays options such as Wi-Fi, brightness, do not disturb, Bluetooth and Audio profiles among other tools. However, the use of Android Marshmallow is a bit surprising, since Android Nougat has been out for a while now.
Hyve Pryme Performance
The Hyve Pryme is powered by the MediaTek Helio X20 deca-core SoC, along with 4GB of RAM. Unsurprisingly, the Hyve Pryme is a pretty good performer, thanks to all of that power under the hood. During my time with the phone, I didn’t come across any lag in the UI or while multitasking. At one point I had as many as 10-12 apps running in the background. Even so, the phone didn’t have any trouble keeping things going, and made sure that there was no need to kill the apps in the background to keep the phone running smoothly. The smartphone performed well while playing every day run-of-the-mill games like Temple Run, Subway Surfers and Candy Crush Saga. Even the graphics-intense Asphalt 8: Airborne ran without any hiccups or lags for that matter. Best of all, the device did not heat up at all.
The smartphone comes loaded with 32GB of onboard storage and a microSD card slot for additional storage. The Hyve Pryme also comes with a hybrid SIM slot, letting you use either two SIMs together, or one SIM and a microSD card for storage expansion. Connectivity options include 4G with VoLTE support, Wi-Fi 802.11n, Bluetooth 4.1 and GPS.
Hyve Pryme Camera
The smartphone’s camera includes a 13-megapixel f/2.0 rear camera with dual-LED flash and HDR photography for brighter and detailed pictures. The rear camera proved disappointing in low-light conditions. The detail in low-light images is poor, and pictures appear grainy and not properly composed.
Additionally, when zooming into photos, I could easily notice the lack of detail. At this price range, the 8-megapixel front camera is also not very impressive. Even though the camera comes with a front-flash, the photos were not up to the mark in dimly-lit conditions. The camera app does not even offer modes that could enhance the photo-capturing experience. Talking about the video output, that too remained a bit underwhelming as one might notice quite a bit of noise especially when you are zooming or trying to focus on the subject. Overall, the camera performance can be categorized as just about average.
Hyve Pryme Battery
The Hyve Pryme comes with a 3,500mAh battery with a USB Type-C port for charging and data transfers. After charging the phone to 100% in the morning and using it moderately with Wi-Fi always on, you will still have around 20 to 30% battery power left by the end of the day. Even with heavy usage, you should comfortably be able to get to the end of your work day before you need to plug in. While the battery life isn’t fabulous, it isn’t bad either.
Charging the phone is quick, all thanks to the 2A/5V charging adapter. On an average the phone takes under two hours to charge up completely, which is fairly decent. One good things about having a USB Type-C port over micro-USB is that you don’t have to worry about the plug orientation, which makes it a bit easier to plug in the charger or data cable. However, once again, Hyve offers nothing out of the box here, and these same features can be found on many phones that cost less than the Pryme’s asking price.
On the whole, the Hyve Pryme is an average smartphone, offering nothing out-of-the-box for the price, and falling short in a few departments. However, having said that, the smartphone does hit a home run with its deca-core processor, which will help while using the phone for intensive tasks such as gaming and multi-tasking. The design and performance are the decent, but the camera is a bit of a let-down. However, the biggest issue with the device is its price.
The Hyve Pryme is far too expensive, even considering the specifications on offer, and the deca-core SoC is simply not enough to justify the high price. It’s possible to get better smartphones with arguably better Qualcomm SoCs for less than this, and Hyve offers nothing that would help make sense of the Rs 17,999 price tag.
The Hyve Pryme will face neck-to-neck competition with the likes of Xiaomi’s Mi Max and Lenovo Phab Plus, both of which are priced at Rs 14,999, and offer a similar big-screen experience, along with performance and build that could be considered better. There simply isn’t enough in this phone to recommend it, except if you want to use the ten cores in your smartphone as a bragging point.