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Carbon 1 Mk II smartphone review - Innovative, light and outdated

New horizons. With some delay, but a revolutionary carbon chassis, the Carbon 1 Mk II finally comes to the end user. Some things still feel like a prototype, but at the same time you have the feeling that you are holding a revolution in your hands. Is that enough to convince in everyday use?
Florian Schmitt, 👁 Florian Schmitt (translated by DeepL / Ninh Duy), 🇩🇪 🇮🇹
Carbon Mobile Carbon 1 Mk II
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Carbon 1 Mk II
Processor
Mediatek Helio P90 8 x 2.2 GHz, Cortex-A75 / A55
Graphics adapter
Memory
8192 MB 
Display
6.01 inch 18:9, 2160 x 1080 pixel 402 PPI, capacitive touchscreen, AMOLED, Gorilla Glass 7 Victus, glossy: yes, 60 Hz
Storage
256 GB UFS 2.1 Flash, 256 GB 
, 243 GB free
Connections
1 USB 2.0, Audio Connections: audio via USB-C, Card Reader: microSD (shared), 1 Fingerprint Reader, NFC, Brightness Sensor, Sensors: acceleration sensor, gyroscope, proximity sensor, compass
Networking
802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (a/b/g/n = Wi-Fi 4/ac = Wi-Fi 5), Bluetooth 5.0, 2G (850/​900/​1800/​1900), 3G (B1/​B2/​B4/​B5/​B8), 4G (B1/​B2/​B3/​B4/​B5/​B7/​B8/​B20/​B28/​B38) , Dual SIM, LTE, GPS
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 6.3 x 153.5 x 74 ( = 0.25 x 6.04 x 2.91 in)
Battery
3000 mAh
Operating System
Android 10
Camera
Primary Camera: 16 MPix f/​2.2, phase comparison-AF, dual LED-flash, Videos @2160p/​30fps (Camera 1); 16.0MP (Camera 2)
Secondary Camera: 20 MPix f/2.0
Additional features
Speakers: mono speaker, Keyboard: virtual keyboard, USB-C cable, USB connector, SIM tool, 24 Months Warranty, LTE Cat 12/​7 (600Mbps/​100Mbps); IP-65 certified, fanless
Weight
125 g ( = 4.41 oz / 0.28 pounds) ( = 0 oz / 0 pounds)
Price
799 Euro
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

Possible competitors in comparison

Rating
Rating Version
Date
Model
Weight
Drive
Size
Resolution
Price from
79 %7
05/2021
Carbon 1 Mk II
Helio P90, PowerVR GM9446
125 g256 GB UFS 2.1 Flash6.01"2160x1080
88 %7
11/2020
Apple iPhone 12
A14, A14 Bionic GPU
162 g64 GB SSD6.10"2532x1170
89 %7
02/2021
Samsung Galaxy S21
Exynos 2100 5G, Mali-G78 MP14
169 g128 GB UFS 3.1 Flash6.20"2400x1080
86 %7
11/2020
Sony Xperia 5 II
SD 865, Adreno 650
163 g128 GB UFS 3.0 Flash6.10"2520x1080

Case, features and operation - Low weight

Why do smartphones always have to be made of plastic? Or made of metal and glass? That's exactly the question the start-up Carbon Mobile asked itself and quickly found the answer: A large number of radio signals must be able to pass through the material to the outside: Be it for mobile communications, WLAN, positioning or near-field communication. And only a few materials are really suitable for this purpose.

Carbon is not really one of them. So they worked on it until they found their own, radio-capable carbon composite material and used it to build a very light yet robust smartphone: The Carbon 1 Mk II from Carbon Mobile, which we will take a look at in this review.

The casing is quite compact with a 6.01-inch screen and surprisingly light at 125 grams. However, you also have to take into account the significantly smaller battery in view of most comparison devices. We like the fact that Carbon Mobile moves away from the standard design with rounded corners and presents an angular smartphone that also looks chic due to the carbon fiber structure on the back

The casing is protected according to IP65, so it can withstand dust and stronger splash water. The screen is protected by modern Gorilla Glass 7 (Victus), which is also particularly thin at 0.4 mm according to the manufacturer. The smartphone is stable despite its quite thin build of 6.3 mm. By the way, the smartphone does not come with a charger.

In terms of Wi-Fi, there is only Wi-Fi 5, which is a bit annoying in view of the price point. Thus, the Carbon 1 Mk II only achieves about 50% of the transmission performance of other smartphones in this price range. NFC is on board, so you can also use mobile payment services.

With 256 GB, the smartphone offers a lot of storage, but only comparatively slow UFS 2.1 flash

There is a strange indentation on the casing's right, so we first thought it was a recess for an unused button. Instead, the fingerprint sensor is located there, below the quite small standby button. It is heavily recessed in the casing, but it can still be operated fairly well and unlocks the smartphone quite quickly.

Carbon Mobile Carbon 1 Mk II
Carbon Mobile Carbon 1 Mk II
Carbon Mobile Carbon 1 Mk II
Carbon Mobile Carbon 1 Mk II
Carbon Mobile Carbon 1 Mk II
Carbon Mobile Carbon 1 Mk II
Carbon Mobile Carbon 1 Mk II
Carbon Mobile Carbon 1 Mk II

Size comparison

158 mm / 6.22 inch 68 mm / 2.68 inch 8 mm / 0.315 inch 163 g0.3594 lbs153.5 mm / 6.04 inch 74 mm / 2.91 inch 6.3 mm / 0.248 inch 125 g0.2756 lbs151.7 mm / 5.97 inch 71.2 mm / 2.8 inch 7.9 mm / 0.311 inch 169 g0.3726 lbs146.7 mm / 5.78 inch 71.5 mm / 2.81 inch 7.4 mm / 0.2913 inch 162 g0.3571 lbs
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Cross Platform Disk Test
Sequential write
Carbon 1 Mk II
 
41.9 (32.5min, 33P1 - 53max) MB/s ∼100%
Average of class Smartphone
  (29.3 - 42.6, n=22, last 2 years)
36.4 MB/s ∼87% -13%
Sequential read
Average of class Smartphone
  (35.4 - 86.8, n=22, last 2 years)
73.6 MB/s ∼100% 0%
Carbon 1 Mk II
 
73.4 (61.9min, 62.786P1 - 75.7max) MB/s ∼100%

Cross Platform Disk Test (CPDT)

05101520253035404550556065707547.547.251.947.848.55348.538.849.342.64536.342.549.142.445.642.44942.945.241.438.142.544.845.745.142.34545.545.442.84545.640.842.845.141.948.842.34545.845.842.740.843.140.932.539.244.939.341.941.441.839.335.739.44639.241.739.146.53933.342.345.439.741.242.541.440.741.142.23339.242.141.337.139.340.741.941.539.741.242.341.939.340.541.741.238.540.442.741.439.344.741.941.534.9334240.738.840.442.340.836.941.242.441.43944.538.941.238.844.638.841.138.644.936.239.141.242.533.33940.841.639.547.547.251.947.848.55348.538.849.342.64536.342.549.142.445.642.44942.945.241.438.142.544.845.745.142.34545.545.442.84545.640.842.845.141.948.842.34545.845.842.740.843.140.932.539.244.939.341.941.441.839.335.739.44639.241.739.146.53933.342.345.439.741.242.541.440.741.142.23339.242.141.337.139.340.741.941.539.741.242.341.939.340.541.741.238.540.442.741.439.344.741.941.534.9334240.738.840.442.340.836.941.242.441.43944.538.941.238.844.638.841.138.644.936.239.141.242.533.33940.841.639.569.774.374.274.374.173.874.274.369.474.273.974.674.174.373.974.374.174.274.273.873.875.174.173.974.274.274.374.27474.274.274.274.174.474.27474.173.974.274.374.173.974.274.27474.274.574.17473.774.673.774.474.674.673.974.27474.27473.974.274.17474.37474.374.274.273.774.274.374.673.873.474.974.674.47474.774.174.474.17474.674.473.974.47474.374.973.97474.774.174.274.874.175.77474.174.273.874.774.274.574.17474.774.373.774.574.3747573.974.174.274.966.365.265.464.662.364.164.264.361.9Tooltip
Carbon 1 Mk II PowerVR GM9446, Helio P90, 256 GB UFS 2.1 Flash; Sequential write: Ø41.9 (32.5-53)
Carbon 1 Mk II PowerVR GM9446, Helio P90, 256 GB UFS 2.1 Flash; Sequential read: Ø73.4 (61.9-75.7)
Networking
iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Sony Xperia 5 II
802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax
902 (810min - 935max) MBit/s ∼100% +169%
Apple iPhone 12
802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax
840 (797min - 876max) MBit/s ∼93% +151%
Samsung Galaxy S21
Wi-Fi 6E
789 (613min - 870max) MBit/s ∼87% +136%
Samsung Galaxy S21
Wi-Fi 6E
500 (390min - 572max) MBit/s ∼55% +49%
Carbon 1 Mk II
802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
335 (319min - 344max) MBit/s ∼37%
iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Sony Xperia 5 II
802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax
808 (744min - 847max) MBit/s ∼100% +143%
Samsung Galaxy S21
Wi-Fi 6E
778 (678min - 837max) MBit/s ∼96% +134%
Samsung Galaxy S21
Wi-Fi 6E
650 (249min - 792max) MBit/s ∼80% +96%
Apple iPhone 12
802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax
566 (363min - 614max) MBit/s ∼70% +70%
Carbon 1 Mk II
802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
332 (108min - 354max) MBit/s ∼41%
020406080100120140160180200220240260280300320340108222257319350343352342345334351342347350348338351351345354346346345351349354344353345353108222257319350343352342345334351342347350348338351351345354346346345351349354344353345353319340339330344333340332337328333336330335337335335331343338334330337337335335338339328344Tooltip
; iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10; iperf 3.1.3: Ø331 (108-354)
; iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10; iperf 3.1.3: Ø335 (319-344)

Cameras - Only moderately flexible

Recording front camera
Recording front camera

The carbon smartphone offers a main camera with a resolution of 16 megapixels, optical image stabilization and an aperture of f/2.2. That is not an insanely large aperture, so pictures sometimes look a bit dim. There are also slight problems with the dynamic range in bright and dark areas, but the general image sharpness is pleasing.

A second 16-megapixel lens is also found on the back. Its function is unclear to us, but it might be used for Boleh effects. We asked Carbon Mobile and will provide the information as soon as we have it.

Zooming is only possible digitally on the Carbon 1 Mk II and the camera software is quite sparse. Videos can be recorded in 4K, but only at 30 fps, which makes the smartphone look quite outdated for its price range.

The front-facing camera has a resolution of 20 megapixels. The pictures look quite good at first glance, but the details are inaccurate on closer inspection

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.

Hauptkamera BlumeHauptkamera UmgebungHauptkamera Low Light
ColorChecker
17.5 ∆E
13.8 ∆E
15.3 ∆E
15.7 ∆E
14.3 ∆E
8.8 ∆E
17.1 ∆E
16.2 ∆E
14.9 ∆E
8.9 ∆E
10.4 ∆E
12.1 ∆E
9.6 ∆E
14.3 ∆E
12.5 ∆E
6.4 ∆E
12.1 ∆E
11.2 ∆E
6.1 ∆E
7.8 ∆E
12.1 ∆E
11.1 ∆E
2.9 ∆E
6.2 ∆E
ColorChecker Carbon 1 Mk II: 11.56 ∆E min: 2.93 - max: 17.54 ∆E
ColorChecker
28.7 ∆E
53.3 ∆E
38.8 ∆E
35.9 ∆E
44.2 ∆E
61.6 ∆E
52.1 ∆E
34.8 ∆E
41.4 ∆E
27.4 ∆E
63.8 ∆E
63.2 ∆E
30.5 ∆E
47.1 ∆E
35.4 ∆E
75.6 ∆E
41.9 ∆E
42.5 ∆E
91.1 ∆E
70.3 ∆E
51.6 ∆E
36.6 ∆E
23.9 ∆E
13.4 ∆E
ColorChecker Carbon 1 Mk II: 46.05 ∆E min: 13.42 - max: 91.08 ∆E

Display - The AMOLED in the carbon smartphone is dark

Subpixel recording
Subpixel recording

Unfortunately, the AMOLED screen is not convincing in terms of brightness: It also looks like from another era and only has an average brightness of 336 cd/m². That is partly only half or even less than what the competing phones can achieve in bright ambient light.

The color reproduction is also rather moderately accurate. There is no option to adjust the white balance and other parameters ex-works. However, the screen looks quite sharp.

Since it is an AMOLED screen, there is also the usual PWM flickering as soon as you lower the brightness. Therefore, sensitive people should try the screen before buying it.

330
cd/m²
332
cd/m²
342
cd/m²
330
cd/m²
336
cd/m²
344
cd/m²
331
cd/m²
335
cd/m²
347
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 347 cd/m² Average: 336.3 cd/m² Minimum: 6 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 95 %
Center on Battery: 336 cd/m²
Contrast: ∞:1 (Black: 0 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 7.14 | 0.59-29.43 Ø5.6
ΔE Greyscale 3.7 | 0.64-98 Ø5.8
142.8% sRGB (Calman 2D)
Gamma: 2.04
Carbon 1 Mk II
AMOLED, 2160x1080, 6.01
Apple iPhone 12
OLED, 2532x1170, 6.10
Samsung Galaxy S21
Dynamic AMOLED 2X, 2400x1080, 6.20
Sony Xperia 5 II
OLED, 2520x1080, 6.10
Response Times
-44%
22%
11%
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
10 (5, 5)
10 (5, 5)
-0%
9.6 (4.8, 4.8)
4%
8 (3, 5)
20%
Response Time Black / White *
10 (5, 5)
22 (19, 3)
-120%
3.2 (2, 1.2)
68%
8 (5, 3)
20%
PWM Frequency
255.1
226.2
-11%
240.4 (99)
-6%
238.1
-7%
Screen
71%
77%
50%
Brightness middle
336
642
91%
790
135%
558
66%
Brightness
336
639
90%
793
136%
562
67%
Brightness Distribution
95
97
2%
97
2%
98
3%
Black Level *
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
7.14
0.9
87%
2.2
69%
3.01
58%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
11.68
2.42
79%
4.2
64%
6.86
41%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
3.7
0.8
78%
1.6
57%
1.4
62%
Gamma
2.04 108%
2.188 101%
2.13 103%
2.196 100%
CCT
7192 90%
6404 101%
6497 100%
6398 102%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
14% / 33%
50% / 59%
31% / 37%

* ... smaller is better

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
10 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 5 ms rise
↘ 5 ms fall
The screen shows good response rates in our tests, but may be too slow for competitive gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 12 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is better than the average of all tested devices (24.1 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
10 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 5 ms rise
↘ 5 ms fall
The screen shows good response rates in our tests, but may be too slow for competitive gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 636 (maximum) ms. » 10 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is better than the average of all tested devices (38.2 ms).

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 detected 255.1 Hz

The display backlight flickers at 255.1 Hz (Likely utilizing PWM) .

The frequency of 255.1 Hz is relatively high, so most users sensitive to PWM should not notice any flickering. However, there are reports that some users are still sensitive to PWM at 500 Hz and above, so be aware.

In comparison: 51 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 9720 (minimum: 5 - maximum: 151500) Hz was measured.


CalMAN Grayscale
CalMAN Grayscale
CalMAN color accuracy
CalMAN color accuracy
CalMAN color space sRGB
CalMAN color space sRGB
CalMAN Saturation
CalMAN Saturation

Performance, emissions and battery life - Warm-sounding sound

The Carbon 1 Mk II is equipped with a MediaTek Helio P90 it is an upper mid-range SoC that you would rather expect in a smartphone for 300 - 500 Euros. Thus, the performance cannot keep up with any of the comparison devices, which is especially visible in the graphics performance.

The smartphone is usually reasonably fast in everyday use, but the perceived speed is also much lower than in current high-end smartphones because the screen only has a 60 Hz display

The smartphone heats up quite a bit with up to 46.6 °C in some places. This warming is clearly noticeable, but only selectively so strong and also bearable in normal ambient conditions. The smartphone should be handled carefully during heavy load on hot days.

The mono speaker sounds quite decent, it does not overdrive and even produces a reasonably warm sound. You do not get stereo sound here, but it is a good speaker for occasional use. If you want to connect 3.5 mm headphones, you have to use an adapter for the USB-C port. Otherwise, external audio devices can also be connected via Bluetooth, and both work without problems.

The battery is relatively weak with 3000 mAh, but the quite small display still allows decent runtimes of 10:32 hours. You should be able to survive a day without recharging the battery. The iPhone 12 offers another 50% more stamina with an even slightly weaker battery. You should plan about 100 minutes for charging when the battery is very low.

Geekbench 5.3
64 Bit Single-Core Score (sort by value)
Carbon 1 Mk II
Mediatek Helio P90, PowerVR GM9446, 8192
408 Points ∼26%
Apple iPhone 12
Apple A14 Bionic, A14 Bionic GPU, 4096
1584 Points ∼100% +288%
Samsung Galaxy S21
Samsung Exynos 2100 5G, Mali-G78 MP14, 8192
1003 Points ∼63% +146%
Sony Xperia 5 II
Qualcomm Snapdragon 865, Adreno 650, 8192
764 Points ∼48% +87%
Average Mediatek Helio P90
  (407 - 416, n=3)
410 Points ∼26% 0%
Average of class Smartphone
  (58 - 1604, n=216, last 2 years)
559 Points ∼35% +37%
64 Bit Multi-Core Score (sort by value)
Carbon 1 Mk II
Mediatek Helio P90, PowerVR GM9446, 8192
1495 Points ∼38%
Apple iPhone 12
Apple A14 Bionic, A14 Bionic GPU, 4096
3913 Points ∼100% +162%
Samsung Galaxy S21
Samsung Exynos 2100 5G, Mali-G78 MP14, 8192
3228 Points ∼82% +116%
Sony Xperia 5 II
Qualcomm Snapdragon 865, Adreno 650, 8192
2687 Points ∼69% +80%
Average Mediatek Helio P90
  (1495 - 1534, n=3)
1518 Points ∼39% +2%
Average of class Smartphone
  (248 - 4201, n=216, last 2 years)
1925 Points ∼49% +29%
PCMark for Android - Work 2.0 performance score (sort by value)
Carbon 1 Mk II
Mediatek Helio P90, PowerVR GM9446, 8192
7666 Points ∼57%
Samsung Galaxy S21
Samsung Exynos 2100 5G, Mali-G78 MP14, 8192
13486 Points ∼100% +76%
Sony Xperia 5 II
Qualcomm Snapdragon 865, Adreno 650, 8192
9663 Points ∼72% +26%
Average Mediatek Helio P90
  (7129 - 9654, n=3)
8150 Points ∼60% +6%
Average of class Smartphone
  (82 - 15299, n=269, last 2 years)
7807 Points ∼58% +2%
3DMark
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 (sort by value)
Carbon 1 Mk II
Mediatek Helio P90, PowerVR GM9446, 8192
2412 Points ∼28%
Apple iPhone 12
Apple A14 Bionic, A14 Bionic GPU, 4096
7072 Points ∼81% +193%
Samsung Galaxy S21
Samsung Exynos 2100 5G, Mali-G78 MP14, 8192
7078 Points ∼81% +193%
Sony Xperia 5 II
Qualcomm Snapdragon 865, Adreno 650, 8192
8722 Points ∼100% +262%
Average Mediatek Helio P90
  (1248 - 2412, n=3)
2014 Points ∼23% -17%
Average of class Smartphone
  (68 - 11256, n=260, last 2 years)
3314 Points ∼38% +37%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 Graphics (sort by value)
Carbon 1 Mk II
Mediatek Helio P90, PowerVR GM9446, 8192
2337 Points ∼21%
Apple iPhone 12
Apple A14 Bionic, A14 Bionic GPU, 4096
10963 Points ∼99% +369%
Samsung Galaxy S21
Samsung Exynos 2100 5G, Mali-G78 MP14, 8192
10216 Points ∼92% +337%
Sony Xperia 5 II
Qualcomm Snapdragon 865, Adreno 650, 8192
11117 Points ∼100% +376%
Average Mediatek Helio P90
  (1076 - 2337, n=3)
1907 Points ∼17% -18%
Average of class Smartphone
  (54 - 16670, n=260, last 2 years)
3889 Points ∼35% +66%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 Physics (sort by value)
Carbon 1 Mk II
Mediatek Helio P90, PowerVR GM9446, 8192
2718 Points ∼55%
Apple iPhone 12
Apple A14 Bionic, A14 Bionic GPU, 4096
3153 Points ∼63% +16%
Samsung Galaxy S21
Samsung Exynos 2100 5G, Mali-G78 MP14, 8192
3411 Points ∼69% +25%
Sony Xperia 5 II
Qualcomm Snapdragon 865, Adreno 650, 8192
4973 Points ∼100% +83%
Average Mediatek Helio P90
  (2486 - 2718, n=3)
2630 Points ∼53% -3%
Average of class Smartphone
  (607 - 5301, n=260, last 2 years)
2721 Points ∼55% 0%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 Unlimited (sort by value)
Carbon 1 Mk II
Mediatek Helio P90, PowerVR GM9446, 8192
2456 Points ∼26%
Apple iPhone 12
Apple A14 Bionic, A14 Bionic GPU, 4096
9173 Points ∼97% +273%
Samsung Galaxy S21
Samsung Exynos 2100 5G, Mali-G78 MP14, 8192
7933 Points ∼84% +223%
Sony Xperia 5 II
Qualcomm Snapdragon 865, Adreno 650, 8192
9482 Points ∼100% +286%
Average Mediatek Helio P90
  (1245 - 2483, n=3)
2061 Points ∼22% -16%
Average of class Smartphone
  (149 - 11895, n=272, last 2 years)
3796 Points ∼40% +55%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 Unlimited Graphics (sort by value)
Carbon 1 Mk II
Mediatek Helio P90, PowerVR GM9446, 8192
2404 Points ∼11%
Apple iPhone 12
Apple A14 Bionic, A14 Bionic GPU, 4096
21465 Points ∼100% +793%
Samsung Galaxy S21
Samsung Exynos 2100 5G, Mali-G78 MP14, 8192
9889 Points ∼46% +311%
Sony Xperia 5 II
Qualcomm Snapdragon 865, Adreno 650, 8192
12696 Points ∼59% +428%
Average Mediatek Helio P90
  (1086 - 2410, n=3)
1967 Points ∼9% -18%
Average of class Smartphone
  (122 - 22052, n=272, last 2 years)
4779 Points ∼22% +99%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 Unlimited Physics (sort by value)
Carbon 1 Mk II
Mediatek Helio P90, PowerVR GM9446, 8192
2657 Points ∼53%
Apple iPhone 12
Apple A14 Bionic, A14 Bionic GPU, 4096
3053 Points ∼61% +15%
Samsung Galaxy S21
Samsung Exynos 2100 5G, Mali-G78 MP14, 8192
4688 Points ∼93% +76%
Sony Xperia 5 II
Qualcomm Snapdragon 865, Adreno 650, 8192
5027 Points ∼100% +89%
Average Mediatek Helio P90
  (2575 - 2776, n=3)
2669 Points ∼53% 0%
Average of class Smartphone
  (620 - 5765, n=270, last 2 years)
2839 Points ∼56% +7%
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) (sort by value)
Carbon 1 Mk II
Mediatek Helio P90, PowerVR GM9446, 8192
1263 Points ∼18%
Apple iPhone 12
Apple A14 Bionic, A14 Bionic GPU, 4096
5569 Points ∼80% +341%
Samsung Galaxy S21
Samsung Exynos 2100 5G, Mali-G78 MP14, 8192
Points ∼0% -100%
Sony Xperia 5 II
Qualcomm Snapdragon 865, Adreno 650, 8192
7002 Points ∼100% +454%
Average Mediatek Helio P90
  (224 - 1263, n=3)
912 Points ∼13% -28%
Average of class Smartphone
  (78 - 9138, n=258, last 2 years)
2619 Points ∼37% +107%
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) Graphics (sort by value)
Carbon 1 Mk II
Mediatek Helio P90, PowerVR GM9446, 8192
1099 Points ∼14%
Apple iPhone 12
Apple A14 Bionic, A14 Bionic GPU, 4096
7282 Points ∼92% +563%
Samsung Galaxy S21
Samsung Exynos 2100 5G, Mali-G78 MP14, 8192
Points ∼0% -100%
Sony Xperia 5 II
Qualcomm Snapdragon 865, Adreno 650, 8192
7958 Points ∼100% +624%
Average Mediatek Helio P90
  (1083 - 2167, n=3)
1450 Points ∼18% +32%
Average of class Smartphone
  (62 - 11573, n=258, last 2 years)
2789 Points ∼35% +154%
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) Physics (sort by value)
Carbon 1 Mk II
Mediatek Helio P90, PowerVR GM9446, 8192
2651 Points ∼54%
Apple iPhone 12
Apple A14 Bionic, A14 Bionic GPU, 4096
3054 Points ∼62% +15%
Samsung Galaxy S21
Samsung Exynos 2100 5G, Mali-G78 MP14, 8192
Points ∼0% -100%
Sony Xperia 5 II
Qualcomm Snapdragon 865, Adreno 650, 8192
4930 Points ∼100% +86%
Average Mediatek Helio P90
  (2499 - 2687, n=3)
2612 Points ∼53% -1%
Average of class Smartphone
  (435 - 5318, n=258, last 2 years)
2772 Points ∼56% +5%
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) Unlimited (sort by value)
Carbon 1 Mk II
Mediatek Helio P90, PowerVR GM9446, 8192
1217 Points ∼15%
Apple iPhone 12
Apple A14 Bionic, A14 Bionic GPU, 4096
6119 Points ∼76% +403%
Samsung Galaxy S21
Samsung Exynos 2100 5G, Mali-G78 MP14, 8192
6717 Points ∼83% +452%
Sony Xperia 5 II
Qualcomm Snapdragon 865, Adreno 650, 8192
8081 Points ∼100% +564%
Average Mediatek Helio P90
  (1217 - 2365, n=3)
1623 Points ∼20% +33%
Average of class Smartphone
  (91 - 9839, n=270, last 2 years)
3106 Points ∼38% +155%
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) Unlimited Graphics (sort by value)
Carbon 1 Mk II
Mediatek Helio P90, PowerVR GM9446, 8192
1078 Points ∼11%
Apple iPhone 12
Apple A14 Bionic, A14 Bionic GPU, 4096
9833 Points ∼100% +812%
Samsung Galaxy S21
Samsung Exynos 2100 5G, Mali-G78 MP14, 8192
7680 Points ∼78% +612%
Sony Xperia 5 II
Qualcomm Snapdragon 865, Adreno 650, 8192
9429 Points ∼96% +775%
Average Mediatek Helio P90
  (1078 - 2217, n=3)
1470 Points ∼15% +36%
Average of class Smartphone
  (73 - 12914, n=270, last 2 years)
3455 Points ∼35% +221%
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) Unlimited Physics (sort by value)
Carbon 1 Mk II
Mediatek Helio P90, PowerVR GM9446, 8192
2218 Points ∼41%
Apple iPhone 12
Apple A14 Bionic, A14 Bionic GPU, 4096
2635 Points ∼49% +19%
Samsung Galaxy S21
Samsung Exynos 2100 5G, Mali-G78 MP14, 8192
4668 Points ∼87% +110%
Sony Xperia 5 II
Qualcomm Snapdragon 865, Adreno 650, 8192
5387 Points ∼100% +143%
Average Mediatek Helio P90
  (2218 - 2784, n=3)
2567 Points ∼48% +16%
Average of class Smartphone
  (620 - 5780, n=270, last 2 years)
2903 Points ∼54% +31%
GFXBench
Aztec Ruins Normal Tier Onscreen (sort by value)
Carbon 1 Mk II
Mediatek Helio P90, PowerVR GM9446, 8192
6.5 fps ∼11%
Apple iPhone 12
Apple A14 Bionic, A14 Bionic GPU, 4096
57.7 fps ∼100% +788%
Samsung Galaxy S21
Samsung Exynos 2100 5G, Mali-G78 MP14, 8192
46 fps ∼80% +608%
Sony Xperia 5 II
Qualcomm Snapdragon 865, Adreno 650, 8192
43 fps ∼75% +562%
Average Mediatek Helio P90
  (6.5 - 9.3, n=3)
7.8 fps ∼14% +20%
Average of class Smartphone
  (1.5 - 73, n=274, last 2 years)
21.6 fps ∼37% +232%
1920x1080 Aztec Ruins Normal Tier Offscreen (sort by value)
Carbon 1 Mk II
Mediatek Helio P90, PowerVR GM9446, 8192
6.4 fps ∼8%
Apple iPhone 12
Apple A14 Bionic, A14 Bionic GPU, 4096
84.8 fps ∼100% +1225%
Samsung Galaxy S21
Samsung Exynos 2100 5G, Mali-G78 MP14, 8192
49 fps ∼58% +666%
Sony Xperia 5 II
Qualcomm Snapdragon 865, Adreno 650, 8192
53 fps ∼63% +728%
Average Mediatek Helio P90
  (6.4 - 11, n=3)
8.6 fps ∼10% +34%
Average of class Smartphone
  (0.95 - 257, n=274, last 2 years)
24.8 fps ∼29% +288%
Aztec Ruins High Tier Onscreen (sort by value)
Carbon 1 Mk II
Mediatek Helio P90, PowerVR GM9446, 8192
4 fps ∼9%
Apple iPhone 12
Apple A14 Bionic, A14 Bionic GPU, 4096
46.9 fps ∼100% +1073%
Samsung Galaxy S21
Samsung Exynos 2100 5G, Mali-G78 MP14, 8192
45 fps ∼96% +1025%
Sony Xperia 5 II
Qualcomm Snapdragon 865, Adreno 650, 8192
28 fps ∼60% +600%
Average Mediatek Helio P90
  (3.5 - 5.8, n=3)
4.43 fps ∼9% +11%
Average of class Smartphone
  (1.2 - 60, n=275, last 2 years)
14.3 fps ∼30% +258%
2560x1440 Aztec Ruins High Tier Offscreen (sort by value)
Carbon 1 Mk II
Mediatek Helio P90, PowerVR GM9446, 8192
2.4 fps ∼8%
Apple iPhone 12
Apple A14 Bionic, A14 Bionic GPU, 4096
30.1 fps ∼100% +1154%
Samsung Galaxy S21
Samsung Exynos 2100 5G, Mali-G78 MP14, 8192
25 fps ∼83% +942%
Sony Xperia 5 II
Qualcomm Snapdragon 865, Adreno 650, 8192
20 fps ∼66% +733%
Average Mediatek Helio P90
  (2.4 - 4.3, n=3)
3.5 fps ∼12% +46%
Average of class Smartphone
  (0.35 - 101, n=274, last 2 years)
9.85 fps ∼33% +310%
Carbon 1 Mk IISamsung Galaxy S21Sony Xperia 5 IIAverage 256 GB UFS 2.1 FlashAverage of class Smartphone
AndroBench 3-5
471%
217%
138%
120%
Sequential Read 256KB
496
1647.8
232%
1445.33
191%
821 (496 - 967, n=18)
66%
729 (41.9 - 2037, n=280, last 2 years)
47%
Sequential Write 256KB
207
1095.35
429%
229.47
11%
306 (199 - 474, n=18)
48%
314 (11.9 - 1321, n=280, last 2 years)
52%
Random Read 4KB
108.4
309.71
186%
187.29
73%
157 (108 - 208, n=18)
45%
130 (13.5 - 325, n=280, last 2 years)
20%
Random Write 4KB
24.9
282.64
1035%
172.57
593%
123 (22.1 - 182, n=18)
394%
115 (4.97 - 330, n=280, last 2 years)
362%

Temperature

Max. Load
 46.6 °C
116 F
33.8 °C
93 F
31.1 °C
88 F
 
 44 °C
111 F
34.2 °C
94 F
31.4 °C
89 F
 
 41.1 °C
106 F
32.7 °C
91 F
30.8 °C
87 F
 
Maximum: 46.6 °C = 116 F
Average: 36.2 °C = 97 F
31.3 °C
88 F
34 °C
93 F
46.3 °C
115 F
31.9 °C
89 F
34 °C
93 F
44.9 °C
113 F
31.5 °C
89 F
33.3 °C
92 F
43.5 °C
110 F
Maximum: 46.3 °C = 115 F
Average: 36.7 °C = 98 F
Power Supply (max.)  40.9 °C = 106 F | Room Temperature 21.6 °C = 71 F | Fluke t3000FC (calibrated), Voltcraft IR-260
(±) The average temperature for the upper side under maximal load is 36.2 °C / 97 F, compared to the average of 32.9 °C / 91 F for the devices in the class Smartphone.
(-) The maximum temperature on the upper side is 46.6 °C / 116 F, compared to the average of 35.2 °C / 95 F, ranging from 22.4 to 51.7 °C for the class Smartphone.
(-) The bottom heats up to a maximum of 46.3 °C / 115 F, compared to the average of 33.8 °C / 93 F
(+) In idle usage, the average temperature for the upper side is 26.5 °C / 80 F, compared to the device average of 32.9 °C / 91 F.


Heatmap back side
Heatmap back side
Heatmap Front
Heatmap Front

Loudspeaker

dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2042.345.52536.537.53131.730.74032.432.8503934.66331.733.98022.121.810021.224.412515.825.916017.533.220014.538.425013.344.231512.449.240012.554.350014.359630176180022.164.9100020.266.4125014.968.9160014.672200014.573.825001572.7315016.865.2400018.365.950001969.7630019.673.9800020.173.11000020.8691250020.264.41600021.157.7SPL30.382.3N1.250.2median 17median 64.9Delta2.61042.838.537.535.529.330.431.931.737.83529.127.619.524.819.931.516.539.314.845.613.144.312.545.110.848.810.551.114.857.31457.813.457.913.561.512.16311.7681270.613.175.413.574.114.566.415.463.916.364.916.96517.866.818.461.419.251.671.626.681.124.90.843.2median 14median 61.41.98.4hearing rangehide median Pink NoiseCarbon 1 Mk IIApple iPhone 12
Frequency diagram (checkboxes can be checked and unchecked to compare devices)
Carbon 1 Mk II audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (82.3 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 29% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (9.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(±) | higher mids - on average 5.2% higher than median
(+) | mids are linear (6.4% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(±) | higher highs - on average 5% higher than median
(+) | highs are linear (6.6% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (23.5% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 47% of all tested devices in this class were better, 12% similar, 40% worse
» The best had a delta of 12%, average was 24%, worst was 65%
Compared to all devices tested
» 68% of all tested devices were better, 8% similar, 25% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 65%

Apple iPhone 12 audio analysis

(±) | speaker loudness is average but good (81.1 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 19% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (9.4% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 4.9% away from median
(+) | mids are linear (5.8% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(±) | higher highs - on average 6.6% higher than median
(+) | highs are linear (5.8% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (19.2% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 14% of all tested devices in this class were better, 8% similar, 78% worse
» The best had a delta of 12%, average was 24%, worst was 65%
Compared to all devices tested
» 41% of all tested devices were better, 7% similar, 52% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 65%

Battery life

Carbon 1 Mk II
3000 mAh
Apple iPhone 12
2815 mAh
Samsung Galaxy S21
4000 mAh
Sony Xperia 5 II
4000 mAh
Average of class Smartphone
 
Battery Runtime
WiFi Websurfing 1.3
632
945
50%
544
-14%
793
25%
893 (425 - 2000, n=288, last 2 years)
41%
Battery Runtime
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3
10h 32min

Pros

+ innovative, lightweight device
+ compact, chic design
+ dust-protected and stable
+ decent speaker
+ lots of memory

Cons

- quite expensive
- little graphics power
- comparatively slow WLAN
- no 5G
- oddly placed fingerprint reader
- dark screen
- inflexible camera

Verdict - The pioneer smartphone

In review: Carbon 1 Mk II. Test device provided by Carbon Mobile.
In review: Carbon 1 Mk II. Test device provided by Carbon Mobile.

The Carbon 1 Mk II feels a bit like a prototype, as we mentioned at the beginning: Due to the long development time, battery life, performance, screen brightness, camera and storage speed lag far behind other smartphones in the upper class. Thus, those who expect top performance are wrong.

However, those who are looking for a light, stable smartphone without rounded corners are in the right place. Especially if he or she is willing to pay a bit more for modern materials and an individual smartphone that not everyone has.

The Carbon 1 Mk II is a technologically highly interesting smartphone. However, it only offers mediocre features at a high price in everyday use.

Unfortunately, you have to deal with many small annoyances, such as the strange fingerprint sensor and the not yet available Android 11. However, there are also positive aspects, such as the ample memory and the better recycling properties compared to conventional smartphones.

Overall, not a smartphone that will conquer the mass market at the issue price, but certainly worth a look for individualists and technology enthusiasts. If the prices drop, Carbon's first smartphone could also become interesting for other groups.

Price and availability

The innovative Carbon 1 Mk II is still quite close to the manufacturer's price of 799 Euros at the time of testing. Many online retailers have it in their program, including amazon.de.

Carbon 1 Mk II - 05/12/2021 v7
Florian Schmitt

Chassis
88%
Keyboard
65 / 75 → 87%
Pointing Device
91%
Connectivity
45 / 70 → 64%
Weight
94%
Battery
89%
Display
80%
Games Performance
12 / 64 → 18%
Application Performance
70 / 86 → 81%
Temperature
88%
Noise
100%
Audio
71 / 90 → 79%
Camera
60%
Average
73%
79%
Smartphone - Weighted Average

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Florian Schmitt
Editor of the original article: Florian Schmitt - Managing Editor Mobile - 856 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2009
I initially wrote about gaming laptops when I joined Notebookcheck in 2009. I was then involved with the setup of the comparison portal Notebookinfo and worked with social media concepts for large companies like BMW and Adidas, while also returning to work for Notebookcheck in 2012. Nowadays, I focus on smartphones, tablets, and future technologies. Since 2018 I have been Managing Editor for mobile device reviews, working alongside my colleague Daniel Schmidt.
contact me via: @FloSchmi26, LinkedIn, Xing
Ninh Duy
Translator: Ninh Duy - Editorial Assistant - 181636 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2017
My main responsibility as an editorial assistant is maintaining the Library section, which aggregates reviews from other publications and channels. In addition, my daily breakfast is Notebookcheck's long list of new content, which I comb through to select the most interesting topics for translation from English to French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, and Dutch."
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Carbon 1 Mk II smartphone review - Innovative, light and outdated
Florian Schmitt, 2021-05-13 (Update: 2021-05-13)