#Asia TP-Link’s Neffos C5: Is TP-Link’s smartphone venture a successful one?


TP-Link’s Neffos C5 is one of four phones in the Neffos lineup, stressing on its “smart and simple” theme. But does it deliver?

Untitled design

TP-Link has always been known for its networking products such as Wi-Fi routers and extenders. The company has established itself in the Infocomm space with its wireless products and, with its new brand Neffos, will look to further widen their business scope.

While their handsets don’t directly compete with the smartphone giants in the market, they’re often categorised as the user’s secondary device, or quite simply a budget phone. The phone surprisingly exceeds expectations and, for its price point, makes it a compelling choice for users who aren’t looking to spend too much but seek a reliable handset.


Within Neffos C5’s gleaming purple box houses the actual phone, an extra 2200 mAh lithium-ion battery, a 5 W USB charger, some quick start and warranty guides, a USB cable, and a pair of earphones – you’d be pleased to know that they have kept it nice and simple. The first boot took about a minute – and setting up the phone took a further 5 minutes, so not too shabby in the speed department.


The Neffos C5, although made mostly of plastic, has a fairly robust design and a slightly gaudy touch to it with the silver bezel. While the design is quite stylish, it doesn’t feel as premium and by no means has the best build quality. The phone is extremely light, weighing just 141 grams, and is very easy to carry around. Just like most android phones out there, the back cover is removable to reveal what’s inside the phone. The C5 powers the MT6375 chip, with 2GB of RAM and 16GB of built-in storage. Users have the option of expanding storage to up to 32 GB of SD memory.

The Neffos C5 comes in Pearl White and Dark Grey

The Neffos C5 comes in Pearl White and Dark Grey

The power and volume buttons are conveniently placed on the right side of the phone, and this allows for quick and easy access. The headphone jack is located at the top of the phone, which may be a good or bad thing depending on your preference. As a standard to all Samsung handsets, the micro-USB port is located at the bottom of the phone. Users would also find a speaker on the back that packs a punch with its volume. Most users would feel familiar and comfortable with this design – with its simple and light aesthetic.

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The screen is 5 inches, with a 720 x 1280p display that is sufficient for regular use such as browsing and streaming media. While it doesn’t compete with the power packed UHD displays we see today, it does a good job with colour tone and contrast. The dual-sim feature comes in handy as well, with both slots supporting LTE networks.


The Neffos C5 supports a 5 megapixel front-facing camera along with an 8 megapixel rear-facing camera. The quality of photos is substandard in low-light conditions, but still deliver images with good exposure and balance. Here are some sample images were taken with C5’s camera:

photo samples 2


Now, let’s talk tech specs. The Neffos C5 does power the MT6375, a 64 bit, 1.3GHz quad-core processor with ARM Mali™-T720 graphics that support 1080p resolutions. The processor has integrated 4G and 3G network capabilities and also features dual-band 802.11n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0 – these will support top of the line network devices. MediaTek’s chip edges out competing CPUs like the Snapdragon 410 in numerous tests and caters perfectly for the regular user.

In the video playback department, the Neffos C5 does surprisingly well. When watching and streaming content for long periods, the phone clocks in just below 1GHz and doesn’t overheat, hovering just around 35 degrees celsius even though it is powering a quad-core CPU. To put things into perspective, the MT6735 chip competes decently well with its more powerful cousin, the octa-core MT6753.

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The Neffos C5 runs Android 5.1 Lollipop – the operating system itself is pretty smooth and runs hassle free. Users will expect to find all standard apps native to the OS, and they run without any issues.

For routine uses such as web browsing, watch online content, the phone’s capabilities is more than adequate. Battery life seemed to be decent as well, as the phone churned out 50 per cent of its battery after 12 hours. In full working mode, the phone delivered a solid 9 hours – this is a very impressive figure considering the battery size.

The 2200mAh battery lasts an entire day on average, and our tests showed that it takes roughly three hours to perform a full charge. The C5 only comes with a 5W charger and doesn’t support wireless or fast charging, but still seems to charge relatively quickly.

Final comments

While the Neffos C5 won’t compete with high-end smartphones such as the iPhone, it will serve well as a secondary phone. Its basic functions and clean user experience, along with an attractive price point make this a worthy contender among the budget variety. For iPhone users, this phone can act as your entry point to Android and all its exclusive features like the Google Play Store or video streaming through Xiaomi TV – you’d essentially be enjoying the best of both worlds. Running in at just S$199 (US$148), the Neffos C5 is definitely worth checking out.

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