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THL 4000 Smartphone Review

Great inexpensive solution. It's a $99 Chinese smartphone, yet it feels solid and performs more fluidly than its competition. The THL 4000 is made for those who want a cheap, reliable, and long-lasting Android phone without any hidden hardware issues or performance glitches.

A quad-core smartphone for under $100 was a mere pipe dream just a few years ago, but the ubiquity of quad-core SoCs have allowed for a wide range of devices from budget to high-end to begin sporting multiple processors. Chinese manufacturer THL (Technology, Happy, Life) offers such a device with their inexpensive THL 4000 smartphone. For just $99, the THL 4000 offers all the basics including a 4.7-inch 960 x 540 resolution IPS display, 1 GB RAM, a 1.3 GHz MTK6582M SoC with integrated Mali-400 MP graphics and 5 MP and 2 MP rear and front cameras.

Ideally, all phones should be reliable regardless of price. While this is an issue with a number of Chinese smartphone brands, the THL 4000 surprised us with its stability and usability. We take this budget model out for a spin and see how it compares to some more popular alternatives.

Case

According to THL, the manufacturer aims to build a "first-class brand" for "the lowest price". Our initial impressions are indeed favorable as the THL 4000 feels good to hold with a very solid and tough plastic construction, especially for the price. The silver edges around the perimeter feel thick and the phone barely creaks or bends when applying twists or pressure on the faces. The textured matte back cover also gives the phone a slightly more premium feel as opposed to just smooth plastic and it negates fingerprints very well as an added bonus.

The distinct downside to the sturdy build is its thickness. At 11.2 mm thick, the THL 4000 is noticeably thicker than most other 4.7-inch smartphones including the HTC Desire 510 and LG G2 Mini. The LG L Fino is one exception, though the THL has the advantage of a removable back cover. Its weight of 158 grams is also hefty compared to 145 grams and 129 grams of the LG L Fino and iPhone 6, respectively. Even the popular HTC One M8 with its aluminum body, glass display, and larger 5-inch screen is only 2 grams heavier than the THL.

No glass protection. Front is very susceptible to fingerprints
No glass protection. Front is very susceptible to fingerprints
Removable back plastic cover also comes in white
Removable back plastic cover also comes in white
slight matte texture
slight matte texture
Very thick build compared to iPhone 6
Very thick build compared to iPhone 6
Top to bottom: LG G2, iPhone 6, THL 4000
Top to bottom: LG G2, iPhone 6, THL 4000
Quite heavy at 158 grams
Quite heavy at 158 grams
146.36 mm / 5.76 inch 70.6 mm / 2.78 inch 9.35 mm / 0.3681 inch 160 g0.3527 lbs140 mm / 5.51 inch 68 mm / 2.68 inch 11.2 mm / 0.4409 inch 158 g0.3483 lbs139.9 mm / 5.51 inch 69.8 mm / 2.75 inch 9.99 mm / 0.3933 inch 158 g0.3483 lbs138.1 mm / 5.44 inch 67 mm / 2.64 inch 6.9 mm / 0.2717 inch 129 g0.2844 lbs129.6 mm / 5.1 inch 66 mm / 2.6 inch 9.9 mm / 0.3898 inch 125 g0.2756 lbs127.5 mm / 5.02 inch 67.9 mm / 2.67 inch 11.9 mm / 0.4685 inch 145 g0.3197 lbs

Connectivity

Physical ports include the basic 3.5 mm audio and micro USB 2.0 interfaces. Removing the back cover will also reveal dual SIM slots and a microSD reader, which are definite surprises for a sub $100 price tag. The USB port supports OTG, so users can connect generic mice and keyboards in a plug-and-play fashion. We were able to use our external Microsoft and Logitech devices with no major latency issues.

Bottom: microphone
Bottom: microphone
Right: Power button, Volume rocker
Right: Power button, Volume rocker
Top: Micro USB 2.0, 3.5 mm audio
Top: Micro USB 2.0, 3.5 mm audio
Left: No connectivity
Left: No connectivity

Communication & GPS

Wireless connectivity includes 802.11 b/g/n with expected Bluetooth and Miracast options. Connecting to a home wireless network with the THL 4000 is straightforward with no random disconnects or stability issues. Range is also quite good as it is comparable to the LG G2 and slightly longer than the budget ECOO Focus E01.

Similarly, the GPS radio locks on to satellites reliably even without WLAN or 3G support. We had no issues using the THL for driving or other location-based applications like Yelp.

1 meter from WLAN source (LG G2)
1 meter from WLAN source (LG G2)
40 meters from WLAN source (LG G2)
40 meters from WLAN source (LG G2)
1 meter from WLAN source (THL 4000)
1 meter from WLAN source (THL 4000)
40 meters from WLAN source (THL 4000)
40 meters from WLAN source (THL 4000)
GPS Test (LG G2)
GPS Test (LG G2)
GPS Test (THL 4000)
GPS Test (THL 4000)

Telephone & Speech Quality

Battery blocks physical access to all three slots
Battery blocks physical access to all three slots

The THL is officially compatible with 2G GSM (850/900/1800/1900MHz) and 3G WCDMA (850/900/1900/2100MHz) bands. This leaves CDMA users out of luck, so most U.S. users will be using AT&T with this particular smartphone. Furthermore, users expecting 4G connectivity will be out of luck as well. The model has dual SIM slots (1x micro SIM, 1x mini SIM) adjacent to the microSD slot behind the removable back cover, but the battery must be removed first before any SIM or SD cards can be inserted.

Call quality is good with sufficiently high volume and no significant static. Users on the other end also had no issues listening clearly, though we did sound a bit muffled outdoors with traffic nearby. Call connection is spot on as far as AT&T goes as we experienced no random drops or breaks in speech that may be specific to the THL 4000.

Cameras

The front 2 MP and rear 5 MP cameras take good pictures even for a budget phone. However, it is still a couple of steps below cameras found on flagship smartphones like the LG G2. Colors are less natural and bit on the cool side with evidence of purple fringing and a slightly grainier picture overall. And like most cameraphones, the THL will typically overexpose images and lose background details in the process. The phone should be held very still when taking pictures indoors due to lower ambient lighting and the built-in flash, of course, is insufficient in most cases. In this situation, pictures will have much more noise compared to outdoor shots.

It's worth noting that although the manufacturer specifies the rear camera as 5 MP and the front as 2 MP, the camera app itself allows for pictures up to a resolution of 4160 x 3120 (13 MP) for the rear and 2448 x 3264 (8 MP) for the front. Users can customize White balance, sharpness, contrast, saturation, hue, shutter sound, HDR, and ISO down to 100.

Video recording supports up to 1080p with files saved as .3gp. Unfortunately, there is far too much blurring for it to be practical in most cases as moving or panning the smartphone will produce unacceptable quality. Additionally, the video preview on the phone is far too slow with stutters and laggy processing that was common when taking pictures with older generation cameraphones. For shorter videos with little movement, however, the video mode should get the job done albeit barely satisfactorily.

LG G2 (13 MP)
LG G2 (13 MP)
THL 4000 (5 MP)
THL 4000 (5 MP)
Canon EOS Rebel XSi
Canon EOS Rebel XSi

Input Devices

Touchscreen

The 5-point capacitive touchscreen operates precisely and responsively including around corners and edges. Inputs are registered quickly enough to catch up to fast touch-typists without lag or delays. Thus, we had no issues navigating through menus or surfing the web on the THL. The onscreen keyboard can be a bit small in portrait mode and does not include Swype out-of-the-box.

The standard Options, Home, and Back buttons have dedicated keys below the display, which is definitely a good move in order to preserve as much of the low resolution display as possible for applications. While we're not fans of having the Back button be on the right side of the phone, this particular layout should feel familiar to most Samsung users.

Display

The THL 4000 utilizes a 4.7-inch display with a pixel resolution of 960 x 540 for a density of 234 PPI. This sub HD resolution is significantly less dense than 4.7-inch smartphones with more standard 720p displays and the differences are easy to see. Images and text are simply not as sharp as they would appear on a denser 720p or 1080p display. This becomes more apparent when browsing text-heavy webpages like our review pages or other sites that may not be optimized for mobile reading.

Despite the low resolution, display quality is subjectively good with no unintended blur or other issues. Brightness, however, is very good at over 400 nits on average. This is very bright and compares well against more well-known smartphones like the iPhone 6, HTC One M8, and Xperia Z3.

425.9
cd/m²
457.6
cd/m²
445.3
cd/m²
423.5
cd/m²
437.8
cd/m²
420.8
cd/m²
401.1
cd/m²
428.1
cd/m²
395.4
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro Basic 2
Maximum: 457.6 cd/m² Average: 426.2 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 86 %
Center on Battery: 437.8 cd/m²
Contrast: 865:1 (Black: 0.506 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 8.74 | 0.6-29.43 Ø6.1
ΔE Greyscale 10.7 | 0.64-98 Ø6.3
Gamma: 2.44

Color analyses with an X-Rite spectrophotometer reveal generally inaccurate colors. Teal is especially inaccurate much more so than other colors at all tested saturation levels. This leads to a poorer RGB Balance with a very skewed reproduction of Blue. Other colors like Red and Yellow perform well in comparison, especially at higher saturation levels. For most users, however, color accuracy should not be a determining factor for a smartphone.

Grayscale
Grayscale
Saturation Sweeps
Saturation Sweeps
ColorChecker
ColorChecker

Outdoor usability is very good due to the bright display. The THL 4000 can be used under sunlight at maximum backlight brightness, though text and images will have to be zoomed in for more comfortable viewing. As usual, glare should be avoided to maximize usability.

Maximum display brightness on a cloudy day
Maximum display brightness on a cloudy day
Viewing angles THL 4000
Viewing angles THL 4000

Viewing angles are very good as expected from an IPS display. Colors do not shift dramatically when viewing from obtuse angles to allow for both portrait and landscape orientations. Brightness will take a small dip if viewing from the corners and at shallower angles, though viewing from such an unusual orientation should have no affect on everyday use.

Performance

The quad-core MTK6582M SoC in the THL 4000 can also be found in a few other budget smartphones including the Vphone I6, LG L Bello, and the larger 5.5-inch Huawei Ascend G730. Raw performance is roughly on par with the older Tegra 3, which was Nvidia's premier mobile processor just a few years ago. If the THL is idling, three of the four cores will be disabled with the last remaining core operating at 600 MHz to preserve power. Otherwise, all four cores are fully capable of running at 1300 MHz simultaneously should the application demand it. The MediaTek SoC includes a Mali-400 GPU for mainstream 3D gaming as well. More specifications and benchmarks on the MTK6582M SoC can be found on out dedicated page here.

CPU benchmarks like LinPack and GeekBench place the MTK6582M right between the HTC Despire 510 and its entry-level Snapdragon 410 SoC and the LG L Fino and its Snapdragon 200 SoC. Thus, the THL 4000 is in the expected performance ballpark compared to its Qualcomm competitors. For reference, the HTC One M8 and its Snapdragon 801 SoC is at least two to three times the raw performance of the THL 4000 according to the same benchmarks.

System information THL 4000
Geekbench 3
32 Bit Multi-Core Score (sort by value)
THL 4000
1157 Points ∼4%
HTC One M8
2785 Points ∼9% +141%
HTC Desire 510
1421 Points ∼5% +23%
No. 1 Vphone I6
1080 Points ∼3% -7%
LG G2 Mini
1141 Points ∼4% -1%
LG L Fino
1113 Points ∼4% -4%
32 Bit Single-Core Score (sort by value)
THL 4000
346 Points ∼7%
HTC One M8
957 Points ∼20% +177%
HTC Desire 510
475 Points ∼10% +37%
No. 1 Vphone I6
348 Points ∼7% +1%
LG G2 Mini
343 Points ∼7% -1%
LG L Fino
329 Points ∼7% -5%
Linpack Android / IOS
Multi Thread (sort by value)
THL 4000
254.399 MFLOPS ∼9%
HTC One M8
575.654 MFLOPS ∼19% +126%
HTC Desire 510
259.487 MFLOPS ∼9% +2%
No. 1 Vphone I6
218.48 MFLOPS ∼7% -14%
LG G2 Mini
226.703 MFLOPS ∼8% -11%
Single Thread (sort by value)
THL 4000
116.597 MFLOPS ∼11%
HTC One M8
337.474 MFLOPS ∼33% +189%
HTC Desire 510
105.717 MFLOPS ∼10% -9%
No. 1 Vphone I6
87.968 MFLOPS ∼9% -25%
LG G2 Mini
86.426 MFLOPS ∼8% -26%
Smartbench 2012
Gaming Index (sort by value)
THL 4000
2913 points ∼63%
HTC One M8
3935 points ∼86% +35%
HTC Desire 510
4259 points ∼93% +46%
No. 1 Vphone I6
2174 points ∼47% -25%
LG G2 Mini
3780 points ∼82% +30%
Productivity Index (sort by value)
THL 4000
4344 points ∼23%
HTC One M8
5021 points ∼27% +16%
HTC Desire 510
6053 points ∼32% +39%
No. 1 Vphone I6
4106 points ∼22% -5%
LG G2 Mini
5137 points ∼27% +18%
AnTuTu v5 - Total Score (sort by value)
THL 4000
18409 Points ∼19%
HTC Desire 510
20041 Points ∼20% +9%
No. 1 Vphone I6
19113 Points ∼19% +4%
AndEBench
Java (sort by value)
THL 4000
326 Iter./s ∼10%
HTC One M8
505 Iter./s ∼16% +55%
HTC Desire 510
405 Iter./s ∼12% +24%
No. 1 Vphone I6
371 Iter./s ∼11% +14%
LG G2 Mini
336 Iter./s ∼10% +3%
Native (sort by value)
THL 4000
6115 Iter./s ∼20%
HTC One M8
17104 Iter./s ∼56% +180%
HTC Desire 510
6416 Iter./s ∼21% +5%
No. 1 Vphone I6
6937 Iter./s ∼23% +13%
LG G2 Mini
6500 Iter./s ∼21% +6%
Quadrant Standard Edition 2.0 - --- (sort by value)
THL 4000
7155 points ∼17%
HTC One M8
24045 points ∼56% +236%
HTC Desire 510
12432 points ∼29% +74%
No. 1 Vphone I6
4838 points ∼11% -32%
PassMark PerformanceTest Mobile V1
3D Graphics Tests (sort by value)
THL 4000
704 Points ∼12%
HTC One M8
1291 Points ∼23% +83%
HTC Desire 510
665 Points ∼12% -6%
No. 1 Vphone I6
827 Points ∼15% +17%
LG G2 Mini
642 Points ∼11% -9%
2D Graphics Tests (sort by value)
THL 4000
2550 Points ∼14%
HTC One M8
3356 Points ∼18% +32%
HTC Desire 510
2929 Points ∼16% +15%
No. 1 Vphone I6
2046 Points ∼11% -20%
LG G2 Mini
2568 Points ∼14% +1%
Memory Tests (sort by value)
THL 4000
1940 Points ∼0%
HTC One M8
4438 Points ∼0% +129%
HTC Desire 510
3239 Points ∼0% +67%
No. 1 Vphone I6
1991 Points ∼0% +3%
LG G2 Mini
1817 Points ∼0% -6%
Disk Tests (sort by value)
THL 4000
5340 Points ∼3%
HTC One M8
17200 Points ∼10% +222%
HTC Desire 510
15385 Points ∼9% +188%
No. 1 Vphone I6
15227 Points ∼9% +185%
LG G2 Mini
4971 Points ∼3% -7%
CPU Tests (sort by value)
THL 4000
10173 Points ∼1%
HTC One M8
17999 Points ∼2% +77%
HTC Desire 510
9346 Points ∼1% -8%
No. 1 Vphone I6
9174 Points ∼1% -10%
LG G2 Mini
7514 Points ∼1% -26%
System (sort by value)
THL 4000
2400 Points ∼11%
HTC One M8
4433 Points ∼20% +85%
HTC Desire 510
2662 Points ∼12% +11%
No. 1 Vphone I6
2607 Points ∼12% +9%
LG G2 Mini
2184 Points ∼10% -9%
Vellamo 3.x
Metal (sort by value)
THL 4000
719 Points ∼19%
HTC Desire 510
767 Points ∼21% +7%
No. 1 Vphone I6
674 Points ∼18% -6%
Multicore Beta (sort by value)
THL 4000
1210 Points ∼27%
HTC Desire 510
1226 Points ∼27% +1%
No. 1 Vphone I6
1273 Points ∼28% +5%
Browser (sort by value)
THL 4000
1734 Points ∼23%
HTC Desire 510
2139 Points ∼28% +23%
No. 1 Vphone I6
2102 Points ∼28% +21%

Legend

 
THL 4000 Mediatek MT6582M, ARM Mali-400 MP, 8 GB SSD
 
HTC One M8 Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 MSM8974AB, Qualcomm Adreno 330, 16 GB iNAND Flash
 
HTC Desire 510 Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 MSM8916, Qualcomm Adreno 306, 8 GB SSD
 
No. 1 Vphone I6 Mediatek MT6582, ARM Mali-400 MP2, 16 GB SSD
 
LG G2 Mini Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 MSM8926, Qualcomm Adreno 305, 8 GB SSD
 
LG L Fino Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 MSM8212, Qualcomm Adreno 302, 4 GB Flash

System Performance

Subjectively, system performance when navigating through applications and menus is fast and responsive and much better than what we were expecting from a budget smartphone from a Chinese manufacturer. We experienced no crashing or random reboots during our time with the THL 4000. Much of the stability and responsiveness can be attributed to the Android 4.4.2 default software. After just reviewing the Ecoo Focus and the Sharp Aquos Crystal, the THL 4000 performs much more fluidly than the former and is comparable to the latter. The lower resolution display of the THL may have a part in it running a bit more fluidly than the more demanding 1080p display of the Ecoo.

Our test 1080p .mov and .avi files play smoothly without playback issues, though audio from .avi files may not be compatible with the built-in video player. The built-in multitasking feature allows picture-in-picture playback while other apps are running. Videos running in this minimized mode appear smooth as well.

Smooth playback of 1080p .mov files. The popular .mkv files are not recognized
Smooth playback of 1080p .mov files. The popular .mkv files are not recognized
Multitasking window for picture-in-picture playback
Multitasking window for picture-in-picture playback
Sunspider
1.0 Total Score (sort by value)
THL 4000
1552 ms * ∼17%
HTC One M8
594.2 ms * ∼7% +62%
HTC Desire 510
1264.8 ms * ∼14% +19%
No. 1 Vphone I6
1368.4 ms * ∼15% +12%
LG G2 Mini
1085.6 ms * ∼12% +30%
LG L Fino
1525.9 ms * ∼17% +2%
0.9.1 Total Score (sort by value)
THL 4000
1578.2 ms * ∼15%
HTC Desire 510
1261.5 ms * ∼12% +20%
No. 1 Vphone I6
1296.4 ms * ∼12% +18%
LG G2 Mini
1095 ms * ∼10% +31%
WebXPRT 2013
Offline Notes (sort by value)
THL 4000
2564.7 ms * ∼53%
HTC One M8
1355.3 ms * ∼28% +47%
HTC Desire 510
2016.4 ms * ∼42% +21%
No. 1 Vphone I6
2864.3 ms * ∼60% -12%
Stocks Dashboard (sort by value)
THL 4000
2495.9 ms * ∼67%
HTC One M8
952 ms * ∼25% +62%
HTC Desire 510
2080.3 ms * ∼56% +17%
No. 1 Vphone I6
2128.6 ms * ∼57% +15%
Face Detection (sort by value)
THL 4000
2907.9 ms * ∼24%
HTC One M8
4534 ms * ∼37% -56%
HTC Desire 510
3133.9 ms * ∼26% -8%
No. 1 Vphone I6
4629.8 ms * ∼38% -59%
Photo Effects (sort by value)
THL 4000
1518.7 ms * ∼17%
HTC One M8
948.6 ms * ∼11% +38%
HTC Desire 510
1423.2 ms * ∼16% +6%
No. 1 Vphone I6
1635.1 ms * ∼18% -8%
Overall Score (sort by value)
THL 4000
180 Points ∼8%
HTC One M8
271 Points ∼12% +51%
HTC Desire 510
200 Points ∼9% +11%
No. 1 Vphone I6
159 Points ∼7% -12%
Mozilla Kraken 1.1 - Total Score (sort by value)
THL 4000
15717 ms * ∼26%
HTC One M8
8990.4 ms * ∼15% +43%
HTC Desire 510
14332.3 ms * ∼24% +9%
No. 1 Vphone I6
18485.7 ms * ∼31% -18%
LG G2 Mini
15670.5 ms * ∼26% -0%
LG L Fino
15615.8 ms * ∼26% +1%
Google V8 Ver. 7 - Google V8 Ver. 7 Score (sort by value)
THL 4000
1776 Points ∼9%
HTC Desire 510
2759 Points ∼14% +55%
No. 1 Vphone I6
1180 Points ∼6% -34%
LG G2 Mini
1807 Points ∼9% +2%
Peacekeeper - --- (sort by value)
THL 4000
627 Points ∼10%
HTC One M8
1164 Points ∼19% +86%
HTC Desire 510
619 Points ∼10% -1%
No. 1 Vphone I6
591 Points ∼10% -6%
LG G2 Mini
686 Points ∼11% +9%
Browsermark
2.1 (sort by value)
THL 4000
980 points ∼3%
HTC Desire 510
1241 points ∼4% +27%
No. 1 Vphone I6
677 points ∼2% -31%
--- (sort by value)
HTC One M8
2653 points ∼37%
LG G2 Mini
869 points ∼12%
PCMark for Android - Work performance score (sort by value)
THL 4000
1938 Points ∼10%

Legend

 
THL 4000 Mediatek MT6582M, ARM Mali-400 MP, 8 GB SSD
 
HTC One M8 Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 MSM8974AB, Qualcomm Adreno 330, 16 GB iNAND Flash
 
HTC Desire 510 Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 MSM8916, Qualcomm Adreno 306, 8 GB SSD
 
No. 1 Vphone I6 Mediatek MT6582, ARM Mali-400 MP2, 16 GB SSD
 
LG G2 Mini Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 MSM8926, Qualcomm Adreno 305, 8 GB SSD
 
LG L Fino Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 MSM8212, Qualcomm Adreno 302, 4 GB Flash

* ... smaller is better

Storage Devices

8 GB of internal storage space is included and only about half (4.17 GB) is immediately available for the end-user. Fortunately, the microSD slot supports cards up to 32 GB for much needed additional storage. Results from AndroBench are impressive as sequential write speeds are close to that of the flagship HTC One M8. More high-end devices like the Xperia Z3 compact have notably higher read rates of 133 MB/s.

AndroBench 3-5
Random Write 4KB (sort by value)
THL 4000
1.52 MB/s ∼1%
HTC One M8
0.88 MB/s ∼0% -42%
HTC Desire 510
1.05 MB/s ∼0% -31%
No. 1 Vphone I6
0.9 MB/s ∼0% -41%
LG G2 Mini
1.18 MB/s ∼0% -22%
LG L Fino
0.6 MB/s ∼0% -61%
Random Read 4KB (sort by value)
THL 4000
11.71 MB/s ∼7%
HTC One M8
10.53 MB/s ∼6% -10%
HTC Desire 510
8.55 MB/s ∼5% -27%
No. 1 Vphone I6
14.31 MB/s ∼8% +22%
LG G2 Mini
14.18 MB/s ∼8% +21%
LG L Fino
9.5 MB/s ∼5% -19%
Sequential Write 256KB (sort by value)
THL 4000
18.06 MB/s ∼4%
HTC One M8
19.51 MB/s ∼4% +8%
HTC Desire 510
7.29 MB/s ∼1% -60%
No. 1 Vphone I6
8.05 MB/s ∼2% -55%
LG G2 Mini
11.81 MB/s ∼2% -35%
LG L Fino
10.79 MB/s ∼2% -40%
Sequential Read 256KB (sort by value)
THL 4000
80.01 MB/s ∼5%
HTC One M8
88.41 MB/s ∼6% +10%
HTC Desire 510
86.15 MB/s ∼6% +8%
No. 1 Vphone I6
86.73 MB/s ∼6% +8%
LG G2 Mini
110.05 MB/s ∼7% +38%
LG L Fino
55.7 MB/s ∼4% -30%

Legend

 
THL 4000 Mediatek MT6582M, ARM Mali-400 MP, 8 GB SSD
 
HTC One M8 Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 MSM8974AB, Qualcomm Adreno 330, 16 GB iNAND Flash
 
HTC Desire 510 Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 MSM8916, Qualcomm Adreno 306, 8 GB SSD
 
No. 1 Vphone I6 Mediatek MT6582, ARM Mali-400 MP2, 16 GB SSD
 
LG G2 Mini Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 MSM8926, Qualcomm Adreno 305, 8 GB SSD
 
LG L Fino Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 MSM8212, Qualcomm Adreno 302, 4 GB Flash

Gaming Performance

As common as it may be on budget MediaTek SoCs, the ARM Mali-400 MP is ancient for a mobile GPU. Nonetheless, 3D titles will play smoothly and scale well to the low resolution of the display. The Epic Citadel benchmark scores a respectable 54 FPS on a 960 x 544 resolution, while 3DMark Ice Storm is able to bring the THL to its knees to single digit frame rates. More information and benchmarks on the Mali-400 MP can be found on our dedicated page here.

Epic Citadel
Epic Citadel
3DMark Ice Storm
3DMark Ice Storm
3DMark Ice Storm Standard Score
3218 points
Help

Emissions

Temperature

Surface temperatures are relatively cool under standard load conditions. Browsing for 10 minutes, for example, will increase surface temperatures around the back just barely. When under maximum load with Stability Test 2.7, we were able to record temperatures as high as 36 degrees C on the front of the unit near the earpiece. Fortunately, this region is not normally held by the user, especially when in portrait mode. The LG G2 Mini does come in a little cooler at maximum load, but users will never need to worry about temperature or stability issues regardless with the THL.

Max. Load
 36.6 °C
98 F
34.2 °C
94 F
32.4 °C
90 F
 
 35.6 °C
96 F
33.4 °C
92 F
32.6 °C
91 F
 
 36.4 °C
98 F
34.4 °C
94 F
32.6 °C
91 F
 
Maximum: 36.6 °C = 98 F
Average: 34.2 °C = 94 F
33.2 °C
92 F
33.2 °C
92 F
35.4 °C
96 F
30.8 °C
87 F
33.2 °C
92 F
35.6 °C
96 F
31.4 °C
89 F
32.4 °C
90 F
35.4 °C
96 F
Maximum: 35.6 °C = 96 F
Average: 33.4 °C = 92 F
Room Temperature 20 °C = 68 F | Fluke 62 Mini IR Thermometer
(±) The average temperature for the upper side under maximal load is 34.2 °C / 94 F, compared to the average of 33.1 °C / 92 F for the devices in the class Smartphone.
(+) The maximum temperature on the upper side is 36.6 °C / 98 F, compared to the average of 35.5 °C / 96 F, ranging from 22.4 to 51.7 °C for the class Smartphone.
(+) The bottom heats up to a maximum of 35.6 °C / 96 F, compared to the average of 34.1 °C / 93 F
(+) In idle usage, the average temperature for the upper side is 27.4 °C / 81 F, compared to the device average of 33.1 °C / 92 F.

Speakers

Sound quality is good for the price
Sound quality is good for the price

The mono speaker on the bottom rear of the smartphone is sufficiently loud and clear with no static or significant vibrations at higher volumes. In fact, it is actually quite balanced as far as smartphone speakers go. Users may unintentionally cover the speaker grilles when using the phone in landscape mode due to their positioning, but we'd be lying if we said we aren't satisfied with the overall sound quality.

Battery Life

Runtimes are very good with the THL 4000 and its removable 4000 mAh Li-ion battery pack. This battery is quite dense compared to the 2440 mAh pack on the LG G2 Mini and the 2600 mAh pack on the HTC One M8. The iPhone 6 has an even smaller pack at 1810 mAh.

Our maximum load test includes running Stability Test 2.7 continuously at maximum brightness until automatic shutdown. Under these conditions, the THL 4000 lasted for well over 7 hours. This means that owners will be able to use the smartphone for at least 7 hours under the most arduous of demands. For typical browsing at a more normal 150 nit brightness setting, however, expect this smartphone to last for about 15 hours before powering down. This is comparable to the LG G2 Mini and way ahead of more demanding flagship devices.

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
21h 00min
WiFi Surfing
15h 41min
Load (maximum brightness)
7h 08min
THL 4000
Mali-400 MP, MT6582M, 8 GB SSD
HTC One M8
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AB, 16 GB iNAND Flash
Apple iPhone 6
PowerVR GX6450, A8, 128 GB eMMC Flash
LG G2 Mini
Adreno 305, 400 MSM8926, 8 GB SSD
LG L Fino
Adreno 302, 200 MSM8212, 4 GB Flash
Battery Runtime
-53%
-35%
7%
-47%
Reader / Idle
1260
863
-32%
1369
9%
1848
47%
801
-36%
WiFi
941
453
-52%
530
-44%
1003
7%
407
-57%
Load
428
102
-76%
128
-70%
284
-34%
228
-47%

Verdict

We jumped in with mild expectations and came back impressed with a handful of aspects. We love the tough plastic construction and dual SIM support, but the very bright backlight of the display is brighter than many mainstream smartphones. This unexpected characteristic deserves mention as it allows owners to use the THL under bright outdoor conditions without needing to squint heavily at the screen. Battery life is also fantastic and should meet the heaviest of daily demands.

Perhaps best of all, this phone simply works smoothly on all fronts without hidden issues. There are no hardware or software stability problems tucked away that users may be expecting from a Chinese brand smartphone. Given the aging MediaTek SoC, the THL 4000 performs quite well.

Downsides include its sub HD display and very thick build and bezel. Don't expect Gorilla Glass protection, precision colors, breathtaking pictures or videos, or other novelty features that more expensive smartphones enjoy. A 720p display would have rounded off the package quite well as HD resolutions are becoming the norm. Despite the obvious drawbacks, this is a solid phone that just works and can last for quite a while on a single charge. Certainly one of the better choices for those looking for a very inexpensive and unlocked $100 Android smartphone.

THL 4000
THL 4000
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In Review: THL 4000. Test model provided by Coolicool.com:
In Review: THL 4000. Test model provided by Coolicool.com:

Specifications

THL 4000
Graphics adapter
Memory
1024 MB 
Display
4.7 inch 16:9, 960 x 540 pixel, 5-point Capacitive, IPS, glossy: yes
Storage
8 GB SSD, 8 GB 
, 4.17 GB free
Connections
1 USB 2.0, Audio Connections: 3.5 mm audio, Sensors: Accelerometer, proximity sensor, ambient light sensor
Networking
802.11 b/g/n (b/g/n = Wi-Fi 4), Bluetooth Yes, 2G: GSM 850/900/1800/1900MHz 3G: WCDMA 850/900/1900/2100MHz
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 11.2 x 140 x 68 ( = 0.44 x 5.51 x 2.68 in)
Battery
15 Wh Lithium-Ion, 4000 mAh
Operating System
Android 4.4 KitKat
Camera
Webcam: Rear: 5 MP w/ Flash and autofocus, Front: 2 MP
Additional features
Micro-USB 2.0 cable, wall charger, OTG, screen protector, case cover, user manual, 12 Months Warranty
Weight
158 g ( = 5.57 oz / 0.35 pounds) ( = 0 oz / 0 pounds)
Price
80 Euro

 

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Links

  • Manufacturer's information

Compare Prices

Pros

+Solid and sturdy construction
+Bright IPS display
+Long battery life
+Removable battery
+Dual SIM support and microSD slot
+Good and stable system performance
+Includes case protector, screen protector, and earphones
+Very inexpensive
 

Cons

-Sub HD resolution display
-Thick and heavy
-Uninspiring plastic design
-Colors could be more accurate
-No glass protection
-Aging processor and graphics
-Battery must be removed to access SIM and microSD slots

Shortcut

What we like

For a very cheap smartphone, the THL 4000 does its job and does it very well on all fronts. There are no software or hardware issues that are typically common on some Chinese branded phones.

What we'd like to see

A higher resolution display with a better processor to accompany it. We understand that the sub $100 price point is important, but better hardware features will attract more buyers as well. The sub HD resolution is getting very hard to swallow.

What surprises us

A basic smartphone with solid hardware and software performance without most of the drawbacks of other cheap competitors. Excellent battery life and very bright display.

The competition

Apple iPhone 6

HTC Desire 510

No. 1 Vphone I6

LG G2 Mini

LG L Fino

Rating

THL 4000 - 12/22/2014 v4(old)
Allen Ngo

Chassis
76%
Keyboard
80 / 75 → 100%
Pointing Device
86%
Connectivity
40 / 60 → 67%
Weight
92%
Battery
96%
Display
75%
Games Performance
52 / 63 → 83%
Application Performance
65 / 70 → 93%
Temperature
90%
Noise
100%
Audio
75 / 91 → 82%
Camera
72%
Average
77%
78%
Smartphone - Weighted Average
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Archive of our own reviews > THL 4000 Smartphone Review
Allen Ngo, 2014-12-22 (Update: 2014-12-22)
Allen Ngo
Allen Ngo - US Editor in Chief
After graduating with a B.S. in environmental hydrodynamics from the University of California, I studied reactor physics to become licensed by the U.S. NRC to operate nuclear reactors. There's a striking level of appreciation you gain for everyday consumer electronics after working with modern nuclear reactivity systems astonishingly powered by computers from the 80s. When I'm not managing day-to-day activities and US review articles on Notebookcheck, you can catch me following the eSports scene and the latest gaming news.