Notebookcheck

CUBOT R11 Smartphone Review

Florian Wimmer, 👁 Florian Schmitt, Tanja Hinum-Balaz (translated by Alex Alderson), 07/29/2018

Cheap and shiny. The CUBOT R11 is a budget device that has a lot to offer. Stock Android, a removable battery, a fingerprint scanner and dual rear-facing cameras for under 100 Euros (~$116) sounds like a great offer. Find out in this review whether the CUBOT R11 lives up to expectations.

CUBOT R11

The CUBOT R11 is a budget smartphone that costs less than 100 Euros (~$116). CUBOT has packed in a removable battery, dual-SIM support, a 2:1 aspect ratio display, dual-rear facing cameras and a fingerprint scanner. This all sounds encouraging on paper, but our review puts the CUBOT R11 through its paces to see how good the device really is.

We have chosen to compare the CUBOT R11 against other similarly priced devices. Our comparison devices are the Xiaomi Redmi 5A, the Motorola Moto E4, the Nokia 1 and the Blackview A20.

Cubot R11
Graphics adapter
Memory
2048 MB 
Display
5.5 inch 2:1, 1440 x 720 pixel 293 PPI, Capacitive touchscreen, IPS, glossy: yes
Storage
16 GB eMMC Flash, 16 GB 
, 12.8 GB free
Connections
1 USB 2.0, Audio Connections: 3.5 mm jack, Card Reader: Up to 64 GB microSD cards, 1 Fingerprint Reader, Brightness Sensor, Sensors: Accelerometer, Ambient light sensor, G-sensor, Fingerprint sensor, Proximity sensor
Networking
802.11 b/g/n (b/g/n), Bluetooth 4.0, GSM: 850, 900, 1,800, 1,900 MHz. UMTS: 850, 900, 1,700, 1,900, 2,100 MHz., Dual SIM, GPS
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 8.85 x 150.3 x 71.4 ( = 0.35 x 5.92 x 2.81 in)
Battery
10.64 Wh, 2800 mAh Lithium-Ion, removeable
Operating System
Android 8.1 Oreo
Camera
Primary Camera: 13 MPix , f/2.4, Contrast Autofocus, LED flash. 2 MP depth of field sensor
Secondary Camera: 8 MPix , fixed focus, LED flash
Additional features
Speakers: Mono speaker on the underside of the device, Keyboard: Virtual keyboard, Charger, USB cable, protective case, FM Radio, fanless
Weight
166 g ( = 5.86 oz / 0.37 pounds), Power Supply: 56 g ( = 1.98 oz / 0.12 pounds)
Price
99 Euro
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

Case

The most outstanding external feature of the CUBOT R11 is its glossy rear case, which is available in black, blue or gray. We should point out that our test device has thicker bezels than CUBOT’s marketing pictures would suggest. Unfortunately, we have recently seen a return of this style of misleading marketing with the Lenovo Z5 and the UMIDIGI S2 Lite.

Our test device feels well-constructed and could not be twisted despite our best efforts. Equally, neither the case nor display reacted to any pressure that we applied to the device. Overall, CUBOT’s workmanship is solid.

The CUBOT R11 is comparatively hefty though. Our test device weighs 166 g, which is heavier than most of our comparison devices. The CUBOT R11 is longer and thicker than most of our comparison devices too.

Incidentally, our test device comes with a preinstalled screen protector.

CUBOT R11
CUBOT R11
CUBOT R11
CUBOT R11
CUBOT R11
CUBOT R11

Size Comparison

Connectivity

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The CUBOT R11 is equipped with 2 GB RAM and 16 GB of internal storage. These RAM and storage volumes are typical for devices at this price, none of our comparison devices is better equipped than the CUBOT R11 in this regard.

A word of warning: The included USB cable sits loosely in the port and is prone to becoming disconnected.

The CUBOT R11 is a dual-SIM device that also supports up to 64 GB microSD cards. The device supports either a second nano-SIM or a microSD card though, so there is somewhat of a trade-off.

Software

The CUBOT R11 ships with Android Oreo 8.1, but our test device’s Android security patch level is outdated. At the time of writing our test device remained on the April 5, 2018 security patch, which is now over three months old.

Thankfully, the CUBOT has left the OS bloatware- and customization-free, with only the typical array of Google Apps preinstalled.

CUBOT R11: Device information
CUBOT R11: Device information
CUBOT R11: App drawer and preinstalled apps
CUBOT R11: App drawer and preinstalled apps
CUBOT R11: Default home screen
CUBOT R11: Default home screen

Communication & GPS

The CUBOT R11 does not support LTE, but it does support all the necessary GSM and UMTS frequencies for using mobile data networks; our test device managed at least half signal when using the device inside in a built-up area.

The CUBOT R11 only supports IEEE 802.11 b/g/n, which means that it can only connect to 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi networks. Despite this, our test device achieved around 50 Mb/s in both iperf3 Client tests, which is higher than all our comparison devices.

Networking
iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Average of class Smartphone
  (5.9 - 939, n=311)
212 MBit/s ∼100% +313%
Cubot R11
Mali-400 MP2, MT6580M, 16 GB eMMC Flash
51.3 MBit/s ∼24%
Nokia 1
Mali-T720 MP2, MT6737, 8 GB eMMC Flash
49.1 MBit/s ∼23% -4%
Xiaomi Redmi 5A
Adreno 308, 425, 16 GB eMMC Flash
47.1 MBit/s ∼22% -8%
Blackview A20
Mali-400 MP2, MT6580M, 8 GB eMMC Flash
44.4 MBit/s ∼21% -13%
Lenovo Moto E4
Mali-T720 MP2, MT6737, 16 GB eMMC Flash
43.1 MBit/s ∼20% -16%
iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Average of class Smartphone
  (9.4 - 703, n=311)
206 MBit/s ∼100% +286%
Cubot R11
Mali-400 MP2, MT6580M, 16 GB eMMC Flash
53.3 MBit/s ∼26%
Nokia 1
Mali-T720 MP2, MT6737, 8 GB eMMC Flash
51.2 MBit/s ∼25% -4%
Xiaomi Redmi 5A
Adreno 308, 425, 16 GB eMMC Flash
49 MBit/s ∼24% -8%
Lenovo Moto E4
Mali-T720 MP2, MT6737, 16 GB eMMC Flash
46.1 MBit/s ∼22% -14%
Blackview A20
Mali-400 MP2, MT6580M, 8 GB eMMC Flash
46 MBit/s ∼22% -14%
GPS test: outdoors
GPS test: outdoors
GPS test: inside
GPS test: inside

Our test device cannot locate us indoors. The device is accurate up to four meters when using the device outside, which is impressively accurate for a device at this price.

The CUBOT R11 lacks a compass though, so you cannot see in what direction you are facing when using Google Maps, for example.

We took the CUBOT R11 on a bike ride to test its location accuracy against a professional navigation device, the Garmin Edge 520. Our test is 95% accurate to the Garmin over the total distance covered, with the CUBOT R11 recording a total distance covered of 5.4 km while the Garmin recorded 5.65 km. The CUBOT R11 frequently placed us just next to the road on which we were travelling and struggled to accurately plot us through corners. Overall, the CUBOT R11 should be suitable for general navigation tasks but nothing where you need precise location accuracy.

GPS test: Garmin Edge 520 – Overview
GPS test: Garmin Edge 520 – Overview
GPS test: Garmin Edge 520 – Wooded area
GPS test: Garmin Edge 520 – Wooded area
GPS test: Garmin Edge 520 – Bridge
GPS test: Garmin Edge 520 – Bridge
GPS test: CUBOT R11 - Overview
GPS test: CUBOT R11 - Overview
GPS test: CUBOT R11 – Wooded area
GPS test: CUBOT R11 – Wooded area
GPS test: CUBOT R11 – Bridge
GPS test: CUBOT R11 – Bridge

Telephone Function & Call Quality

The CUBOT R11 uses the Google Phone and Contacts apps for telephony. They work as expected so there should be no adjustment period if you have previously used either app.

Call quality is good with the microphone reproducing both soft and loud voices well; there is some clipping when you speak loudly though. Moreover, our call partner sounded comparatively quiet to the extent that background noise frequently overpowered their voice.

The call experience over speakerphone could be better too. Call partners also sound quiet and somewhat dampened over speakerphone. Worse still, the microphone struggles to pick out our voice unless we speak loudly.

Cameras

Photo taken with the front-facing camera
Photo taken with the front-facing camera

CUBOT markets the R11 as being equipped with dual rear-facing cameras. Typically, a dual camera device can take photos with either sensor, but the CUBOT R11 can only use its 13 MP sensor with the 2 MP secondary sensor helping to create bokeh effect shots in portrait mode. In this sense, the CUBOT R11 does not have a true dual rear-facing camera system like the Apple iPhone X, from which CUBOT has arguably taken inspiration when designing the R11’s camera housing and positioning.

In short, the CUBOT R11 takes unimpressive photos. The rear sensor struggles to capture fine details and the dynamic range is poor. Bright areas are overexposed while darker areas are frequently underexposed.

The situation is worse in low-light conditions though, with shots looking noisy, blurry and lacking in detail.

Overall, the rear-camera is enough for occasional photos but little else. Budding amateur photographers should look elsewhere.

The CUBOT R11 can record videos in up to 1080p at 30 FPS. The camera adjusts exposure levels quickly and reliably according to changing lighting conditions, albeit not seamlessly. Videos suffer from noise and a lack of sharpness in low-light conditions too.

The CUBOT R11 has an 8 MP front-facing camera. Surprisingly, this camera has better color reproduction and dynamic range than its rear-facing counterpart. It is not all good though as colors look washed out and the edges of objects are somewhat jagged.

Image Comparison

Choose a scene and navigate within the first image. One click changes the position on touchscreens. One click on the zoomed-in image opens the original in a new window. The first image shows the scaled photograph of the test device.

Scene 1Scene 2Scene 3
click to load images

Our test device struggles with capturing our test chart under controlled lighting conditions. Colors are generally too dark when compared to the reference color and there is noticeable image noise. Furthermore, black text on a dark brown background is barely legible and some blocks of color appear to blend into each other.

ColorChecker: The reference color is displayed in the lower half of each patch
ColorChecker: The reference color is displayed in the lower half of each patch
Photograph of our test chart
Photograph of our test chart
Test chart in detail
Test chart in detail

Accessories & Warranty

The CUBOT R11 comes with a charger, a USB cable and a case. The device will come with a warranty if you buy it from a European supplier, but you will struggle to enforce any manufacturer’s warranty as CUBOT is only based in China.

Input Devices & Operation

The CUBOT R11 has a rear-mounted fingerprint sensor that reliably unlocks the device. In practice the device takes a few seconds to unlock when the display is off; the fingerprint sensor unlocks the device much faster when at the lock screen. Either way, the experience with our test device is nothing like CUBOT’s claim that the fingerprint sensor will unlock the device in 0.1 seconds.

The whole touchscreen responded quickly and reliably to inputs throughout our tests even with the screen protector left on. Navigating the device is handled by the typical three on-screen button array that we see on many other Android smartphones.

The CUBOT R11’s only hardware buttons are its power button and volume rocker, both of which are on the right-hand side of the device. The buttons have a clear pressure point and sit firmly within their housing.

The keyboard in portrait mode
The keyboard in portrait mode
The keyboard in landscape mode
The keyboard in landscape mode

Display

Sub-pixel array
Sub-pixel array

The CUBOT R11 has a 5.5-inch 1440x720 screen with a 2:1 aspect ratio. This resolution is typical for devices at this price; none of our comparison devices has higher resolution displays than the CUBOT R11.

X-Rite i1Pro 2 gives our test device an average maximum brightness of 401 cd/m², which is somewhat darker than both the Xiaomi Redmi 5A and the Motorola Moto E4. Our test device has a 72% uniformly bright display, which is around 20% worse than our comparison devices. In daily use, this means that large areas of color will look brighter on some parts of the display than on others.

357
cd/m²
435
cd/m²
471
cd/m²
349
cd/m²
428
cd/m²
419
cd/m²
339
cd/m²
398
cd/m²
413
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 471 cd/m² Average: 401 cd/m² Minimum: 16.58 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 72 %
Center on Battery: 428 cd/m²
Contrast: 486:1 (Black: 0.88 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 6.29 | 0.4-29.43 Ø6.2
ΔE Greyscale 6.9 | 0.64-98 Ø6.5
89.7% sRGB (Calman 2D)
Gamma: 2.718
Cubot R11
IPS, 1440x720, 5.5
Blackview A20
IPS, 960x480, 5.5
Xiaomi Redmi 5A
IPS, 1280x720, 5
Lenovo Moto E4
IPS, 1280x720, 5
Nokia 1
IPS, 854x480, 4.5
Screen
-18%
20%
53%
54%
Brightness middle
428
364
-15%
503
18%
488
14%
256
-40%
Brightness
401
375
-6%
499
24%
474
18%
251
-37%
Brightness Distribution
72
90
25%
84
17%
87
21%
89
24%
Black Level *
0.88
0.71
19%
0.73
17%
0.3
66%
0.12
86%
Contrast
486
513
6%
689
42%
1627
235%
2133
339%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
6.29
10.12
-61%
5.44
14%
5.4
14%
4.82
23%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
13.2
19.63
-49%
10.01
24%
9
32%
11.75
11%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
6.9
11.1
-61%
6.8
1%
5.5
20%
5.2
25%
Gamma
2.718 81%
2.722 81%
2.451 90%
2.27 97%
2.3 96%
CCT
7296 89%
10121 64%
6590 99%
7397 88%
7107 91%

* ... smaller is better

Screen Flickering / PWM (Pulse-Width Modulation)

To dim the screen, some notebooks will simply cycle the backlight on and off in rapid succession - a method called Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) . This cycling frequency should ideally be undetectable to the human eye. If said frequency is too low, users with sensitive eyes may experience strain or headaches or even notice the flickering altogether.
Screen flickering / PWM not detected

In comparison: 53 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 8929 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

The CUBOT R11 has a 0.88 cd/m² black value, which is considerably higher than both the Moto E4 and the Nokia 1. This relatively high black value contributes to an underwhelming 486:1 contrast ratio.

CalMAN highlights that the display has a strong violet tint to it and that color and grayscale deviations are within acceptable levels.

CalMAN: Color Accuracy
CalMAN: Color Accuracy
CalMAN: Color Space
CalMAN: Color Space
CalMAN: Grayscale
CalMAN: Grayscale
CalMAN: Saturation
CalMAN: Saturation

Display Response Times

Display response times show how fast the screen is able to change from one color to the next. Slow response times can lead to afterimages and can cause moving objects to appear blurry (ghosting). Gamers of fast-paced 3D titles should pay special attention to fast response times.
       Response Time Black to White
28 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 15 ms rise
↘ 13 ms fall
The screen shows relatively slow response rates in our tests and may be too slow for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 59 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is similar to the average of all tested devices (25.6 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
42 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 21 ms rise
↘ 21 ms fall
The screen shows slow response rates in our tests and will be unsatisfactory for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.9 (minimum) to 636 (maximum) ms. » 53 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is similar to the average of all tested devices (41 ms).

Using the CUBOT R11 outside is difficult. While we could use our test device in the shade, its relatively low maximum brightness and contrast ratio combined with the display’s highly reflective finish means that you will struggle to use the CUBOT R11 on sunny days.

The CUBOT R11 has good viewing angles thanks to its IPS display, but there is a slight color shift at acute angles.

Using the CUBOT R11 outdoors
Using the CUBOT R11 outdoors
Viewing angles
Viewing angles

Performance

The CUBOT R11 is powered by a MediaTek MT6580M SoC, which is based on a quad-core ARM Cortex A7 processor that clocks up to 1.3 GHz. The performance is disappointing, with our test device claiming the last place in CPU benchmarks. In daily use the CUBOT R11 experiences micro-stutters when navigating through menus and switching apps. App loading times are relatively long too.

The MT6580M SoC also integrates an ARM Mali-400 MP2 GPU, which is similarly slow when compared to the GPUs with which our comparison devices are equipped.

AnTuTu v6 - Total Score (sort by value)
Cubot R11
23275 Points ∼30%
Blackview A20
24802 Points ∼32% +7%
Xiaomi Redmi 5A
36883 Points ∼48% +58%
Lenovo Moto E4
30856 Points ∼40% +33%
Nokia 1
Points ∼0% -100%
Average Mediatek MT6580M (15185 - 25237, n=10)
22450 Points ∼29% -4%
Average of class Smartphone (23275 - 254229, n=394)
76519 Points ∼100% +229%
AnTuTu v7 - Total Score (sort by value)
Cubot R11
19465 Points ∼17%
Blackview A20
19581 Points ∼17% +1%
Xiaomi Redmi 5A
43861 Points ∼37% +125%
Nokia 1
Points ∼0% -100%
Average Mediatek MT6580M (17073 - 21088, n=4)
19302 Points ∼16% -1%
Average of class Smartphone (17073 - 348178, n=171)
117893 Points ∼100% +506%
PCMark for Android - Work performance score (sort by value)
Cubot R11
2516 Points ∼51%
Blackview A20
2696 Points ∼54% +7%
Xiaomi Redmi 5A
4559 Points ∼92% +81%
Lenovo Moto E4
3518 Points ∼71% +40%
Nokia 1
3054 Points ∼62% +21%
Average Mediatek MT6580M (2516 - 3041, n=10)
2719 Points ∼55% +8%
Average of class Smartphone (4058 - 13531, n=424)
4956 Points ∼100% +97%
BaseMark OS II
Web (sort by value)
Cubot R11
10 Points ∼1%
Blackview A20
580 Points ∼80% +5700%
Xiaomi Redmi 5A
723 Points ∼100% +7130%
Lenovo Moto E4
617 Points ∼85% +6070%
Nokia 1
571 Points ∼79% +5610%
Average Mediatek MT6580M (9 - 640, n=10)
404 Points ∼56% +3940%
Average of class Smartphone (7 - 1731, n=500)
697 Points ∼96% +6870%
Graphics (sort by value)
Cubot R11
136 Points ∼8%
Blackview A20
145 Points ∼8% +7%
Xiaomi Redmi 5A
444 Points ∼26% +226%
Lenovo Moto E4
208 Points ∼12% +53%
Nokia 1
176 Points ∼10% +29%
Average Mediatek MT6580M (136 - 145, n=10)
140 Points ∼8% +3%
Average of class Smartphone (18 - 15969, n=500)
1735 Points ∼100% +1176%
Memory (sort by value)
Cubot R11
346 Points ∼28%
Blackview A20
376 Points ∼30% +9%
Xiaomi Redmi 5A
762 Points ∼61% +120%
Lenovo Moto E4
576 Points ∼46% +66%
Nokia 1
505 Points ∼41% +46%
Average Mediatek MT6580M (189 - 404, n=10)
332 Points ∼27% -4%
Average of class Smartphone (21 - 6283, n=500)
1243 Points ∼100% +259%
System (sort by value)
Cubot R11
958 Points ∼38%
Blackview A20
969 Points ∼39% +1%
Xiaomi Redmi 5A
1463 Points ∼58% +53%
Lenovo Moto E4
1077 Points ∼43% +12%
Nokia 1
859 Points ∼34% -10%
Average Mediatek MT6580M (958 - 1011, n=10)
980 Points ∼39% +2%
Average of class Smartphone (369 - 12202, n=500)
2509 Points ∼100% +162%
Overall (sort by value)
Cubot R11
144 Points ∼11%
Blackview A20
418 Points ∼33% +190%
Xiaomi Redmi 5A
774 Points ∼62% +438%
Lenovo Moto E4
531 Points ∼42% +269%
Nokia 1
457 Points ∼36% +217%
Average Mediatek MT6580M (144 - 432, n=10)
323 Points ∼26% +124%
Average of class Smartphone (150 - 6097, n=504)
1253 Points ∼100% +770%
Geekbench 4.1/4.2
Compute RenderScript Score (sort by value)
Cubot R11
836 Points ∼19%
Blackview A20
858 Points ∼19% +3%
Xiaomi Redmi 5A
1333 Points ∼30% +59%
Lenovo Moto E4
938 Points ∼21% +12%
Nokia 1
943 Points ∼21% +13%
Average Mediatek MT6580M (773 - 875, n=4)
836 Points ∼19% 0%
Average of class Smartphone (836 - 21070, n=198)
4508 Points ∼100% +439%
64 Bit Multi-Core Score (sort by value)
Cubot R11
1131 Points ∼26%
Blackview A20
1160 Points ∼27% +3%
Xiaomi Redmi 5A
1874 Points ∼44% +66%
Lenovo Moto E4
1532 Points ∼36% +35%
Nokia 1
1252 Points ∼29% +11%
Average Mediatek MT6580M (1131 - 1237, n=4)
1166 Points ∼27% +3%
Average of class Smartphone (883 - 11598, n=248)
4298 Points ∼100% +280%
64 Bit Single-Core Score (sort by value)
Cubot R11
394 Points ∼31%
Blackview A20
427 Points ∼34% +8%
Xiaomi Redmi 5A
681 Points ∼54% +73%
Lenovo Moto E4
530 Points ∼42% +35%
Nokia 1
492 Points ∼39% +25%
Average Mediatek MT6580M (394 - 431, n=4)
419 Points ∼33% +6%
Average of class Smartphone (394 - 4824, n=249)
1267 Points ∼100% +222%
3DMark
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Physics (sort by value)
Cubot R11
7498 Points ∼58%
Blackview A20
8200 Points ∼64% +9%
Xiaomi Redmi 5A
10556 Points ∼82% +41%
Lenovo Moto E4
8266 Points ∼64% +10%
Average Mediatek MT6580M (7498 - 8913, n=10)
7999 Points ∼62% +7%
Average of class Smartphone (3958 - 37475, n=540)
12875 Points ∼100% +72%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Graphics Score (sort by value)
Cubot R11
2433 Points ∼14%
Blackview A20
2470 Points ∼14% +2%
Xiaomi Redmi 5A
5532 Points ∼31% +127%
Lenovo Moto E4
3168 Points ∼18% +30%
Average Mediatek MT6580M (2396 - 2485, n=10)
2463 Points ∼14% +1%
Average of class Smartphone (2465 - 162695, n=540)
17971 Points ∼100% +639%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Score (sort by value)
Cubot R11
2863 Points ∼19%
Blackview A20
2924 Points ∼19% +2%
Xiaomi Redmi 5A
6186 Points ∼41% +116%
Lenovo Moto E4
3671 Points ∼24% +28%
Average Mediatek MT6580M (2841 - 2946, n=10)
2910 Points ∼19% +2%
Average of class Smartphone (2915 - 77599, n=541)
15098 Points ∼100% +427%
GFXBench (DX / GLBenchmark) 2.7
1920x1080 T-Rex HD Offscreen C24Z16 (sort by value)
Cubot R11
4.1 fps ∼13%
Blackview A20
4.4 fps ∼14% +7%
Xiaomi Redmi 5A
7.7 fps ∼25% +88%
Lenovo Moto E4
6 fps ∼19% +46%
Nokia 1
5.1 fps ∼16% +24%
Average Mediatek MT6580M (4.1 - 11, n=10)
5 fps ∼16% +22%
Average of class Smartphone (4.1 - 251, n=565)
31.3 fps ∼100% +663%
T-Rex HD Onscreen C24Z16 (sort by value)
Cubot R11
6.9 fps ∼28%
Blackview A20
10 fps ∼40% +45%
Xiaomi Redmi 5A
14 fps ∼56% +103%
Lenovo Moto E4
11 fps ∼44% +59%
Nokia 1
14 fps ∼56% +103%
Average Mediatek MT6580M (4.4 - 12, n=10)
8.57 fps ∼34% +24%
Average of class Smartphone (6.9 - 120, n=568)
24.9 fps ∼100% +261%

Legend

 
Cubot R11 Mediatek MT6580M, ARM Mali-400 MP2, 16 GB eMMC Flash
 
Blackview A20 Mediatek MT6580M, ARM Mali-400 MP2, 8 GB eMMC Flash
 
Xiaomi Redmi 5A Qualcomm Snapdragon 425 (MSM8917), Qualcomm Adreno 308, 16 GB eMMC Flash
 
Lenovo Moto E4 Mediatek MT6737, ARM Mali-T720 MP2, 16 GB eMMC Flash
 
Nokia 1 Mediatek MT6737, ARM Mali-T720 MP2, 8 GB eMMC Flash

Our test device performed inconsistently in browser benchmarks. While the device slots into the midfield of our comparison devices in JetStream 1.1 and Octane V2 benchmarks, it is resoundingly beaten by all our comparison devices in Mozilla Kraken 1.1.

Subjectively, websites take a while to load, but this is often the case with devices at this price; only the Redmi 5A performs better than expected of our comparison devices in this regard.

JetStream 1.1 - 1.1 Total Score
Average of class Smartphone (10.8 - 273, n=423)
36.7 Points ∼100% +203%
Xiaomi Redmi 5A (Chrome 67)
17.927 Points ∼49% +48%
Lenovo Moto E4 (Chrome 60)
14.57 Points ∼40% +20%
Average Mediatek MT6580M (10.8 - 14.5, n=10)
13.2 Points ∼36% +9%
Cubot R11 (Chrome 67)
12.124 Points ∼33%
Nokia 1 (Chrome 66)
11.55 Points ∼31% -5%
Blackview A20 (Chrome 67)
11.351 Points ∼31% -6%
Octane V2 - Total Score
Average of class Smartphone (1506 - 43280, n=559)
5558 Points ∼100% +159%
Xiaomi Redmi 5A (Chrome 67)
3224 Points ∼58% +50%
Lenovo Moto E4 (Chrome 60)
2270 Points ∼41% +6%
Cubot R11 (Chrome 67)
2144 Points ∼39%
Average Mediatek MT6580M (1645 - 2280, n=10)
2066 Points ∼37% -4%
Nokia 1 (Chrome 66)
1907 Points ∼34% -11%
Blackview A20 (Chrome 67)
1769 Points ∼32% -17%
Mozilla Kraken 1.1 - Total Score
Cubot R11 (Chrome 67)
21256.7 ms * ∼100%
Blackview A20 (Chrome 67)
19213 ms * ∼90% +10%
Nokia 1 (Chrome 66)
18927 ms * ∼89% +11%
Lenovo Moto E4 (Chrome 60)
17184.6 ms * ∼81% +19%
Average Mediatek MT6580M (14579 - 21257, n=10)
16774 ms * ∼79% +21%
Xiaomi Redmi 5A (Chrome 67)
13112.2 ms * ∼62% +38%
Average of class Smartphone (603 - 59466, n=579)
11477 ms * ∼54% +46%

* ... smaller is better

We usually test our devices with a Toshiba Exceria Pro M501 microSD card so that we can compare microSD performance more evenly across devices. The CUBOT R11 would not read our reference card though, so we had to use a backup Kingston 32 GB instead. Our test device achieved disappointing microSD card transfer speeds. The Blackview A20 achieving considerably faster transfer speeds when tested with the same microSD card.

Internal transfer speeds are similarly uninspiring too. The CUBOT R11 performs particularly poorly in sequential read speed tests, where it is 116% slower than the Redmi 5A, for example.

Cubot R11Blackview A20Xiaomi Redmi 5ALenovo Moto E4Nokia 1Average 16 GB eMMC FlashAverage of class Smartphone
AndroBench 3-5
-12%
293%
215%
13%
143%
226%
Sequential Write 256KB SDCard
6.38 (Kingston 32GB)
11.2 (Kingston 32GB)
76%
62.6 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
881%
44.9
604%
37.2 (6.38 - 65.4, n=111)
483%
45.8 (3.4 - 87.1, n=323)
618%
Sequential Read 256KB SDCard
10.8 (Kingston 32GB)
20.6 (Kingston 32GB)
91%
84.9 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
686%
65.4
506%
55.9 (10.8 - 87.7, n=111)
418%
64 (8.2 - 96.5, n=323)
493%
Random Write 4KB
10.8
3.4
-69%
9.28
-14%
29.2
170%
9.1
-16%
7.34 (0.49 - 37.9, n=226)
-32%
16.1 (0.14 - 164, n=608)
49%
Random Read 4KB
22.1
11.3
-49%
42.32
91%
18.7
-15%
25.7
16%
20 (2.49 - 61.7, n=226)
-10%
38.3 (1.59 - 173, n=608)
73%
Sequential Write 256KB
52
8
-85%
49.86
-4%
45.3
-13%
51.8
0%
41.5 (8.74 - 97.6, n=226)
-20%
79.8 (2.99 - 246, n=608)
53%
Sequential Read 256KB
135.8
90.2
-34%
293.76
116%
187.6
38%
208.3
53%
158 (9.66 - 294, n=226)
16%
230 (12.1 - 895, n=608)
69%

Games

The SoC is so weak that even playing simple games are a struggle. There are long loading times and some stuttering when playing Angry Birds 2, which is a particularly undemanding game.

The touchscreen is precise though and the positional sensor worked well throughout testing.

Angry Birds 2
Angry Birds 2
Temple Run
Temple Run

Emissions

Temperature

The CUBOT R11 is a relatively hot device, but surface temperatures do not reach dangerous levels. Our test device averages around 30 °C at idle, but idle surface temperatures can reach up to 31.1 °C on the front and 34.5 °C on the back of the device.

Surface temperatures remain relatively cool under load, with most of the device remaining below 33 °C. However, the top third of the device averages around 40 °C, with the area around the earpiece reaching a noticeably hot 41.2 °C.

Max. Load
 39.5 °C
103 F
32.8 °C
91 F
31.8 °C
89 F
 
 41.2 °C
106 F
32.7 °C
91 F
32.8 °C
91 F
 
 39.7 °C
103 F
32.7 °C
91 F
32.1 °C
90 F
 
Maximum: 41.2 °C = 106 F
Average: 35 °C = 95 F
31.9 °C
89 F
32.8 °C
91 F
39.5 °C
103 F
32.1 °C
90 F
32.5 °C
91 F
40.3 °C
105 F
32.1 °C
90 F
33.2 °C
92 F
39.1 °C
102 F
Maximum: 40.3 °C = 105 F
Average: 34.8 °C = 95 F
Power Supply (max.)  39.5 °C = 103 F | Room Temperature 22 °C = 72 F | Voltcraft IR-260
(±) The average temperature for the upper side under maximal load is 35 °C / 95 F, compared to the average of 33.2 °C / 92 F for the devices in the class Smartphone.
(±) The maximum temperature on the upper side is 41.2 °C / 106 F, compared to the average of 35.7 °C / 96 F, ranging from 22.4 to 51.7 °C for the class Smartphone.
(±) The bottom heats up to a maximum of 40.3 °C / 105 F, compared to the average of 34.2 °C / 94 F
(+) In idle usage, the average temperature for the upper side is 29.7 °C / 85 F, compared to the device average of 33.2 °C / 92 F.
Heat-map of the front of the device under load
Heat-map of the front of the device under load
Heat-map of the rear of the device under load
Heat-map of the rear of the device under load

Speakers

Pink noise speaker test
Pink noise speaker test

The CUBOT R11 has a small mono speaker on the underside of the device. The speaker reaches a maximum volume of 67.4 dB(A), which is much quieter than the Redmi 5A, for example. The sound quality is poor too, with the speaker having a high-pitched and thin sound to it that has hardly any deep mid-tones. Listening to music on the CUBOT R11’s speaker is not a pleasant experience.

Audio output via the 3.5 mm jack or over Bluetooth is clean though, so we would recommend playing music over headphones or external speakers rather than using the CUBOT R11’s internal one.

dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2032.731.32530.136.23130.530.24031.132.55033.739.66326.735.78024.229.710022.924.112519.422.716018.11920017.721.825016.526.731514.236.140013.647.650013.752.363012.457.180012.462.610001266.312501265.4160011.564.6200011.663.5250011.465.3315011.368.2400011.370.6500011.371.2630011.558.8800011.543.91000011.557.11250011.458.71600011.344.7SPL67.452.324.278N19.48.80.637.5median 12median 57.1Delta1.614.32727.825.927.629.532.231.428.732.634.224.123.223.122.724.123.117.21916.623.616.833.216.438.714.147.513.85713.662.712.163.311.564.211.566.911.265.511.263.511.264.711.26511.166.211.266.111.266.711.465.211.466.811.360.811.450.311.441.86023.977.113.70.539.7median 11.4median 63.31.811.5hearing rangehide median Pink NoiseCubot R11Xiaomi Redmi 5A
Frequency diagram (checkboxes can be checked and unchecked to compare devices)
Cubot R11 audio analysis

(±) | speaker loudness is average but good (78 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 32% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (10.3% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(±) | higher mids - on average 6.4% higher than median
(±) | linearity of mids is average (9.2% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(±) | higher highs - on average 8.8% higher than median
(-) | highs are not linear (15.3% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(-) | overall sound is not linear (30.8% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 83% of all tested devices in this class were better, 7% similar, 10% worse
» The best had a delta of 13%, average was 25%, worst was 44%
Compared to all devices tested
» 89% of all tested devices were better, 4% similar, 7% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Xiaomi Redmi 5A audio analysis

(±) | speaker loudness is average but good (77.1 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 32.5% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (10.6% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 1.9% away from median
(+) | mids are linear (5.8% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 2.7% away from median
(+) | highs are linear (3% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (22% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 25% of all tested devices in this class were better, 10% similar, 65% worse
» The best had a delta of 13%, average was 25%, worst was 44%
Compared to all devices tested
» 55% of all tested devices were better, 8% similar, 38% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Battery Life

Power Consumption

The CUBOT R11’s power consumption is a mixed bag. On the one hand, its idle power consumption is comparatively low and is generally on par with our comparison devices. Conversely, our test device consumes a maximum of 6 W under load, which is considerably higher than all our comparison devices except for the Blackview A20.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0 / 0.1 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 0.9 / 1.5 / 2.2 Watt
Load midlight 4.6 / 6 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy
Cubot R11
2800 mAh
Blackview A20
3000 mAh
Xiaomi Redmi 5A
3000 mAh
Lenovo Moto E4
2800 mAh
Nokia 1
2150 mAh
Average Mediatek MT6580M
 
Average of class Smartphone
 
Power Consumption
-8%
8%
2%
12%
-1%
2%
Idle Minimum *
0.9
1.1
-22%
1.2
-33%
0.87
3%
0.9
-0%
0.816 (0.56 - 1.1, n=10)
9%
0.879 (0.2 - 3.4, n=642)
2%
Idle Average *
1.5
1.5
-0%
1.5
-0%
2.38
-59%
1.5
-0%
1.76 (1.36 - 2.26, n=10)
-17%
1.721 (0.6 - 6.2, n=641)
-15%
Idle Maximum *
2.2
2.3
-5%
1.8
18%
2.47
-12%
2
9%
2.11 (1.38 - 2.39, n=10)
4%
1.998 (0.74 - 6.6, n=642)
9%
Load Average *
4.6
4.8
-4%
2.9
37%
2.63
43%
3.5
24%
4.85 (3.11 - 6.97, n=10)
-5%
4.04 (0.8 - 10.8, n=636)
12%
Load Maximum *
6
6.5
-8%
4.8
20%
3.86
36%
4.3
28%
5.69 (3.59 - 7.03, n=10)
5%
5.76 (1.2 - 14.2, n=636)
4%

* ... smaller is better

Battery Life

The CUBOT R11 has a 2,800 mAh replaceable battery which lasted 10 h 33 m in our Wi-Fi battery life test. During this test, we run a script that simulates the load required to render websites. We also set the display brightness to 150 cd/m². The CUBOT R11 does relatively well in this test, with our test device lasting 12% longer than the Blackview A20 and 18% longer than the Moto E4; the Blackview A20 has a 200 mAh-larger battery too.

The CUBOT R11 should last a couple of days with light use and will take around two hours to fully recharge with the included charger.

Battery Runtime
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3
10h 33min
Cubot R11
2800 mAh
Blackview A20
3000 mAh
Xiaomi Redmi 5A
3000 mAh
Lenovo Moto E4
2800 mAh
Nokia 1
2150 mAh
Battery Runtime
-12%
59%
-18%
-13%
Reader / Idle
1302
WiFi v1.3
633
556
-12%
1009
59%
522
-18%
552
-13%
Load
316
H.264
608

Pros

+ stable case
+ long battery life
+ removable battery

Cons

- poor performance
- weak speaker
- low-contrast display
- no manufacturer’s warranty

Verdict

The CUBOT R11 in review.
The CUBOT R11 in review.

The CUBOT R11 is a sub-100 Euro (~$116) device that impresses with its sturdy case and long battery life. However, there are now plenty of similarly priced devices that offer more power, better cameras and LTE support. On the plus side, the CUBOT R11 has a replaceable battery, a 2:1 aspect ratio and compact dimensions, the latter of which will benefit those with smaller hands.

The CUBOT R11 is a solid budget smartphone that has good battery life, a replaceable battery and a sturdy case. A more powerful SoC would have done wonders though.

Overall, the CUBOT R11 is a typical entry-level smartphone that does well in some areas but is let down in others.

Cubot R11 - 07/26/2018 v6
Florian Wimmer

Chassis
70%
Keyboard
65 / 75 → 87%
Pointing Device
79%
Connectivity
32 / 60 → 53%
Weight
91%
Battery
93%
Display
77%
Games Performance
4 / 63 → 7%
Application Performance
21 / 70 → 30%
Temperature
89%
Noise
100%
Audio
47 / 91 → 52%
Camera
45%
Average
63%
74%
Smartphone - Weighted Average

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > CUBOT R11 Smartphone Review
Florian Wimmer, 2018-07-29 (Update: 2018-08- 2)