Review: Kult Gladiator’s allure lies in its attractive pricing

Indian smartphone startup Kult has a small but interesting portfolio of smartphones. They are uniquely named and quite affordable. After the Kult Beyond (Rs6,999), they have come up with another smartphone called Kult Gladiator. It is priced at Rs6,999 and is targeted at users looking for a big screen smartphone that can last longer on one charge. The company is betting big on after sales and claims to have over 750 service centres in India.

Kult Gladiator’s lustreless metal back gives it a solid feel and improves grip quality too.

Kult Gladiator’s lustreless metal back gives it a solid feel and improves grip quality too.

Design: Stylish, but bulky

The Gladiator is a big and burly smartphone and Kult hasn’t tried to mask it with rounded edges or thin bezels. It is 156mm tall and 9.3mm thick. The lustreless metal back gives it a solid feel and improves grip quality too. In terms of overall looks, it matches up well to the design and looks of some of the more expensive smartphones. The phone has a fingerprint sensor too. It is placed at the back, accurate 9 out of 10 times, but is a little sluggish. The back panel is removable, but it is not easy to take off. It covers a big 4,000mAh battery, dual SIM slots and a micro SD slot.

Kult Gladiator’s 5.5-inch IPS screen has a resolution of just 1,280x720p.

Kult Gladiator’s 5.5-inch IPS screen has a resolution of just 1,280x720p.

Display: Big screen, lacks sharpness

The 5.5-inch IPS screen has a resolution of just 1,280x720p, which is a bit on the lower side considering the screen size. It provides ample space for reading, web browsing and watching movies, but don’t expect too much. Colours look washed out, but text in webpages and ebooks look crisp. Kult has added the option to enhance colours in the display settings, but we didn’t notice any major improvement in visual.

Kult Gladiator runs over Android 7.0 (Nougat).

Kult Gladiator runs over Android 7.0 (Nougat).

Software: Clean Android experience

To keep things simple, Kult has used plain Android interface. It runs over Android 7.0 (Nougat) and is free from any bloatware that would otherwise slow down the performance. It offers a Panic button, supports double tap to wake and allows users to switch the position of navigation keys, as per their convenience.

Performance: Strictly for casual use

Gladiator is a mixed bag when it comes to performance. It runs on MediaTek’s entry-level MT6737 quad-core processor which even with 3GB RAM in tow can handle modest tasks at best. It was able to handle individual tasks and some light games well, but struggled with multi-tasking. It is ideal for casual users looking for a big screen smartphone. It offers 32GB storage and accepts microSD cards of up to 32GB. Battery backup is impressive. It packs in a fixed 4,000mAh battery which comfortably lasted a day and half on one charge.

Kult Gladiator’s 13-megapixel rear camera scores in terms of colour accuracy.

Kult Gladiator’s 13-megapixel rear camera scores in terms of colour accuracy.

Camera: Average picture quality

The 13-megapixel rear camera scores in terms of colour accuracy. The amount of detailing in close-up is a lot better than in landscape photos, even in daylight. It isn’t very effective in low light and you can see the fuzziness on the images clearly. The 8-megapixel front camera is surprisingly good and can take good looking selfies even in indoor conditions. It is backed by front facing flash too.

Closet rival

The Gladiator is competing with the Infinix Note 4 (Rs7,999). It has a slightly bigger 5.7-inch screen with higher resolution of 1,920×1,080p, is powered by a superior MediaTek MT6753 octa-core processor with 3GB RAM, packs in a 4,3000mAh battery and offers 32GB storage with microSD support. It is also looks more stylish with a glass back design.

Verdict

Kult Gladiator offers much more than an average budget smartphone selling at the same or lower price point. But, by spending Rs1,000 more, you can get a lot more powerful and attractive-looking Infinix Note 4


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