BARCELONA—UK-based phone maker STK’s new X2 is “the OnePlus for non-techies,” according to commercial director Henri Salameh.
The stylish midrange Android phone comes in two colors—pitch black and royal gold—and goes on sale in April, offering a lot of spec for just $359.
STK Care is a built-in diagnostic app that gives you access to 24/7 customer support, supplied by a third-party company. These aren’t chatbots; it’s a real human on the line, Salameh stressed.
STK Care also features tools that’ll let you do things like check to see if there are any unresponsive parts of the screen, accelerometer recalibration, and testing other components like the microphones and vibrate function.
Perhaps best of all is a claim from STK that the phone will work as well after three years as it did the day you took it out of the box.
Thanks to “a sequence of ROM-based algorithms” developed in partnership with marketing firm Agency Mobile, the phone will basically “feel like it’s brand new every day,” Salameh said.
“Through these back-end algorithms, we identified the top 10 reasons why a consumer would return one of our phones,” according to Salameh. “These algorithms would identify a potential concern or a threat and eliminate that threat before it becomes an actual problem for the phone.
“So it works with the chipset that we use, and the hardware components connected to the chipset, and the software programming connected to the hardware to always ensure that the phone is operating the same way it does when you first take it out of the box, no matter how many apps you download, no matter how much your phone is in direct sunlight or not.”
STK’s putting its money where it’s mouth is; every X2 will come with a three-year warranty. Machine learning-based algorithms are very much the order of the day in high-end phones from the likes of Apple, Nokia, and Huawei. It’s less common to see them on phones at such a low price point, one reason why, alongside the 24/7 support, the STK X2 could be a breakout hit—in the UK at least.
Those specs, then: For your money, you’ll get an Android phone running 8.1 Oreo out of the box, a 5.7-inch HD+ screen (282.45 pixels per inch) a 16+0.3-megapixel main camera and a 16-megapixel front camera (Sony sensors on both), and 64GB of storage, which can be bulked up to 128GB via microSD. Running the show is a MediaTek MT6750 processor and 4GB of RAM.
In the brief hands-on time we had with the X2, we didn’t notice anything particularly awry with the screen; viewing angles were strong and it seemed bright enough to compete with the overhead glare of the booth lights, but there’s no official word on how many nits this kicks out. The 2.5D glass layer also looks pretty good, though it’s noticeably not as sumptuous as the Nokia 8 Sirocco’s glossy body. But then again, the STK X2 looks to be about a third of the price. Fingerprints were particularly noticeable on the gold version, so if you’re swayed by that, you’ll want a microfiber cloth and/or a case.
While network availability and a solid launch date has yet to be revealed, it’s also unknown if STK has launch plans beyond the British Isles.