Over the past few years, we have seen quite a battle in the budget smartphone market. There have been new competitors all trying to take down the Moto G line of devices, but none have really been successful. Teracube is a relatively new company that also tried to get in on the phone with the Teracube One, which started as a Kickstarter campaign.
After seeing successful funding, the Teracube One launched and brought with it an okay set of specs. But the real appeal of this phone was the four-year warranty that Teracube offered, along with a flat $39 fee for any screen repairs or replacements. Now, the company is back with the Teracube 2e, but the story is a bit different this time around.
Teracube 2e Specs
|Resolution||1560 x 720|
|Processor||MediaTek Helio A25|
|Storage||64GB GB w/ MicroSD Card slot|
|Battery||4,000 mAh (user-replaceable)|
|Rear camera||Dual cameras:
|Dimensions||155.2 x 73.3 x 10.1mm|
|Special features||Rear-mounted fingerprint scanner, removable battery, 3.5mm headphone jack, Dual SIM, 4-year warranty|
What you get with the Teracube 2e
The Teracube One was priced at $300, and brought a metal and glass sandwich, along with a little notch on the front. The phone felt largely like stock Android from a software perspective, and the cameras were just barely passable. With the Teracube 2e, the price is down to just $200, but you’re going to definitely get hit right in the nostalgia bone after you take it out of the box.
What the company is trying to do with the Teracube 2e is play to that nostalgic feeling of the old days. For one, there’s a removable back cover, in which you’ll find a removable battery. Yeah, it’s been like five years since we’ve seen a phone like that. Plus, there’s the ever-handy 3.5mm headphone jack, which even Samsung has finally ditched.
Teracube tries to combine the best parts of the One with the 2e, and that’s why we see a dual-camera setup, although it’s orientated vertically instead of horizontally. Then, there’s the rear-mounted fingerprint scanner. So everything sounds good so far, right? There’s even a microSD card slot, along with the ability to use the 2e as a Dual SIM phone.
Hell, Teracube even includes a case in the box, along with a pre-installed screen protector. But there’s one omission here, as you won’t find a charger anywhere. Just like Samsung and Xiaomi, Teracube is trying to do its due diligence by cutting down on its carbon footprint and does not include a charger in the box. You can request one from the company by going through its website, but you likely already have a charger somewhere in your home.
Not the fastest phone in the west (or anywhere)
From a hardware standpoint alone, the Teracube is a joy to hold and use. It’s comfortable, and we definitely had that nostalgic feeling from being able to take off the back cover to reveal the removable battery, microSD card slot, and SIM slots. But now it’s time to focus on the software.
Just like the Teracube One, the 2e sports a near-stock Android interface, with a few software tweaks here and there. The Home Screen is practically the same, albeit with a different clock widget and some custom wallpapers thrown in for good measure.
But as soon as you turn the Teracube 2e on for the first time and start going through the setup process, you’ll notice something. This phone is dead slow. It’s not unusably slow, but it’s slow enough that you’re going to get frustrated sooner rather than later. While navigating the interface, basic things like swiping up to reveal the app drawer can take a second. It’s like you can see when the processor is trying to compute what it needs to do.
And we know that the phone isn’t going to be a camera powerhouse, despite featuring a 13MP primary camera paired with an 8MP ultrawide. For the most part, the camera performed admirably, without very many hiccups. That is, unless you want to use the “HDR” mode within the camera app. There’s about a two-to-three second delay from the time that you tap the shutter button before the picture is actually taken.
But it’s supposed to last for four years!
Yes, we review a lot of the latest flagship devices with the latest Qualcomm and MediaTek processors. But the Teracube 2e isn’t supposed to be competing with those, right? Right. But there’s one more problem that we have with the Teracube that we just simply cannot ignore. Software updates.
On the Teracube website, the company claims that the 2e will receive THREE YEARS of Android and security updates. That’s pretty damn impressive for a company the size of Teracube. There are a couple of things to make note of though. For one, it arrives in April 2021, seven months after the release of Android 11, with Android 10 onboard. And to add insult to injury, you’ll find the November 2020 security patch along with the 08-01-2020 Google Play system update.
We aren’t saying that Teracube isn’t being transparent about its software update schedule. In fact, Teracube claims that you can expect to see Android 11 in Fall 2021. Ya know when Android 12 is going to be coming? Now, we get it. Teracube isn’t the size of Samsung or Google or even TCL’s mobile division. But this just feels a bit absurd to me.
It’s entirely possible that things will pick up for Teracube’s software development team, but this lead time on software, even for a $200 phone, just isn’t comfortable. Teracube got the hardware right here, but the software is where the company needs some help.
Teracube 2e Rating: star_fullstar_fullstar_fullstar_50star_empty (3.5 / 5)
- Near-stock Android software
- Three years of promised Android updates
- Removable battery is a shock
- Case included in the box
- Just too slow for many
- No charger included
- Cameras are just “there”
The Bottom Line
Should you be intrigued by the Teracube 2e and its promise of a four-year warranty and three years of software updates? Absolutely. But really the only reason to buy this is to use it as a YouTube player for your little ones.