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Benco may sound like a new brand in Bangladesh or a new brand altogether. But they are not that new. The Chinese parent company INONE Technology was first established in 2009, although, they started to sell smartphones starting 2014. Back then brand like Laval Mobile was one of their brands. Then in 2019, the brand Benco was launched by INONE Technology in a few countries and Bangladesh was one of them.
It has been a few years but the brand activity was limited and they were fairly unknown to general consumers. Now in 2023, the brand started to get a significant amount of attention thanks to their releases Benco S1 and Benco S1 Pro. These phone models arrived in Bangladesh just some weeks ago and they have already got a lot of exposure in the market and interest from the consumers, especially from those with a lower budget.
The main specialty of Benco S1 and S1 pro is that they come in the 10-15K budget range with some attractive feature combination which has a lot of demand in the market.
Benco S1 Pro
The Pro model is the more popular one so, let’s start with that. There are two different versions of this device. 6/128 GB for ৳14,999 and 8/256 GB for ৳16,999 which is currently available at a discount price of ৳15,999.
At this price, you are getting 8 GB RAM with 128 GB or 256 GB UFS 2.2 fast storage which is its first advantage. It comes with a fine design, punch-hole display and frosted glass back, something that is considered quite premium. You have a big 6.8-inch Full HD+ display, a 64 MP main back camera, 16 MP front camera, 5000 mAh battery with 33W fast charging, Android 13, Unisoc T616 chipset, side-mounted fingerprint sensor and so on. Now, you get an idea of why consumers are interested in this product.
However, it has a few drawbacks as well. there is no 90Hz refresh rate, a very crucial feature that is missing. The cameras are decent but nothing over impressive. The Unisoc T616 chipset is a low-performance chipset when compared to standard low-budget chipsets like MediaTek Helio G80. This is especially true when it comes to gaming. You’ll find even stronger chipsets like Helio G85 or Helio G88 for the price. So, even though there is 8 GB RAM plus an 8 GB virtual extended RAM option, th phone remains behind in terms of performance.
The S1 model is priced at ৳12,199 (6/128 GB) which is more modest. There is just an HD+ display here and the back camera quality is a bit lower. You’ll get an 18W charger instead of a 33W one. The chipset is a Unisoc T606 one. You are still getting a UFS 2.2 storage. Now, compared to the Pro model, we think the S1 model stands out better because of its specs-pricing combination. For this price, it’s hard to find a better chipset than Tiger T606. The interesting factor is that both Unisoc T606 and T616 get a gaming score of 9 (out of 100) according to Nanoreview. Only in terms of CPU performance the T616 (CPU score 26) does a little better than T606 (CPU score 21). So, even though the Pro model got more coverage, we think the S1 is a stronger device for its cost.