China is the country that once built a replica of an entire Austrian town so its affluent citizens wouldn’t have to travel, you know, all the way to Austria in order to enjoy the town’s charms. That’s probably the most spectacular example of what’s known as China’s “knock off” culture, which basically means the Chinese regard copyrights and intellectual property – or, you know, authenticity – as mere phantoms. We suppose that when you’ve got billions of American dollars in reserve, billions of acres of useless wilderness, and billions of uneducated peasants that need to be kept busy lest they rise up and burn Beijing to the ground, doing things like building entire towns that already exist makes sense. To the rest of the world, it makes us all look askance at China and everything that comes out of it: How can you trust what you’re getting?
Which brings us to the Neo N003.
Neo N003 Specs
Never heard of Neo N003? That’s because you’re not in China skiing on artificial snow in their fake Austrian town. Neo makes phones in China and has become quite successful at it, but the main reason they draw our eye today is because they’ve just announced a new phone model, the Neo N003. The Neo N003 features:
A quad-core processor
A 5.3-inch 720p display
A 13MP main camera
A 3,000mAh battery
That’s not bad! Not revolutionary, but certainly Neo N003 is a fairly high-end phone. The price is what makes Neo N003 interesting: $160. Yup, one-hundred-and-sixty-American-Dollars.
Neo N003 Specs: Behind the Marketing
Of course, let’s scale this back a little. Marketing is a devious beast, and we all know that many of the terms used to sell things like phones are deceptive. For example, yes, the chip in Neo N003 is quad-core – but “quad-core” by itself doesn’t mean anything, and the actual chip in this phone (a MediaTek MT6589) is a wimp. The battery sounds good but we have to see some benchmarks before we know whether there’s any power management built into Neo N003 to make it last as long as we might expect, and you can have all the megapixels you want, but if the rest of the camera components are made from bamboo and wishes, your pictures will stink. There are a million ways those specs can be deceiving, and a million ways those deceptions can explain Neo N003’s price tag.
Still, even with these caveats the Neo N003 features might make it an excellent choice for those looking for some power in their pocket (we already regret coining that phrase) for a low price point. From what we understand, the Neo N003 release date will be in late April or Early May 2013, so there’s plenty of time for the brave souls among us to get their hands on Neo N003 and let us know exactly what’s going on: Does Neo N003 have a lot of software and hardware hacks that make it sing like a more expensive phone, or do you get Neo N003 home and discover it’s a case filled with small pebbles, some spiders, and a note of ashamed apology?