Root NationMobile GadgetsSmartphonesTP-Link Neffos C5A review – A very affordable smartphone

TP-Link Neffos C5A review – A very affordable smartphone


Not that long ago (more precisely, February 15 2018) TP-Link announced a couple of new smartphones from the Neffos lineup. Today I can tell you about the most affordable of them – TP-Link Neffos C5A.

TP-Link Neffos C5A technical characteristics

  • Display: 5″, TN, 854 × 480 pixels
  • Processor: MediaTek MT6580M, 4-core with a frequency of 1.3 GHz
  • Graphics Accelerator: Mali-400 MP2
  • Memory: 1 GB
  • Storage: 8 GB
  • Support for microSD: up to 32 GB
  • Wireless networks: Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0
  • Main camera: 5 MP, f/2.4
  • Front camera: 2 MP, f/2.8, flash
  • Battery: 2300 mAh, removable
  • Dimensions: 145.5×72.6×9.6 mm
  • Weight: 159 g

TP-Link Neffos C5A costs about $75, but even that doesn’t prevent the company from giving its customers 24-month warranty. A very good deal for a phone this cheap.

TP-Link Neffos C5A
TP-Link Neffos C5A

In the box

Nothing special here. The smartphone, the battery, the power adapter (5V/1A), USB/MicroUSB cable and documentation. That’s all.

TP-Link Neffos C5A

Design, materials, build quality

TP-Link Neffos C5A is a typical low-range phone. Its price is obvious from the way it looks: I wouldn’t call it stylish. It is a typical gray brick. No logos on the front – only the flash attracts attention, since it’s a rare sight when it comes to cheap smartphones. Do we actually need it here? Well, no matter, better with it than without it.

TP-Link Neffos C5A

The back of the phone also does not excite.

TP-Link Neffos C5A

There are no other color variations – there’s only the grey model. Materials are modest to say the least – cheap plastic and glass without the oleophobic coating.

The build quality is fine: when you press on the removable back plate, it makes a noise, but only because you pushed on it. In normal use there are no problems.

Elements’ configuration

On the front there are: a speaker, a proximity sensor (no light sensor), a flash and a camera.

TP-Link Neffos C5A

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Below the screen are three sensor navigational buttons. No backlight.

TP-Link Neffos C5A

On the right edge there’s a power button and a volume button, both of which are very sturdy. The left edge is completely empty.

TP-Link Neffos C5A

On the bottom edge there’s the main (and only) mic, as well as a MicroUSB port. Both are located to the right.

TP-Link Neffos C5A

The top edge hosts a 3,5 audio jack.

TP-Link Neffos C5A

On the back we have a protruding (and rather large) camera eye. Below are: LED flash and the Neffos logo.

TP-Link Neffos C5A

Below there’s a TP-Link logo and the main speaker. There are two points on its sides to prevent the sound from being muffled when the phone is lying on the table.

TP-Link Neffos C5A

The battery is removable. There are also slots for two SIM cards (Micro) and a MicroSD.

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TP-Link Neffos C5A


Nothing special here. TP-Link Neffos C5A is neither big nor small. I can’t complain – all is usual for that class.

TP-Link Neffos C5A

TP-Link Neffos C5A display

The smartphone has a 5-inch display with a very cheap LCD matrix (TN technology). The resolution is extremely low – 854x480p.

TP-Link Neffos C5A

The screen is the only obvious downside of the device. TN matrix is to blame – all of its problems are synonymous with it.

The screen is very bleak and fuzzy, with cold color temperature. But the biggest problem are the viewing angles. All colors and contrasts distort while viewing the display from different angles. In addition, the picture becomes inverted – good luck reading anything on this screen. There are some positives there, though: your typical snoops on the subway won’t see a thing over your shoulder. A win for low tech in the battle for privacy!

Once again, let’s not forget the price. All other phones of that class have similar screens.

The software allows for manual adjustment (MiraVision): you can change contrasts, saturation and brightness, but it won’t help much.

TP-Link Neffos C5A performance

What can we say about the performance of a device like this? Inside there’s an outdated processor MediaTek MT6580, 4-core, with a clock speed of 1.3 GHz and Mali-400 MP2 GPU. The phone boasts 1 GB of RAM and 8 GB of storage.

The UI is fast and smooth enough with no freezes. The typical user won’t complain: the phone will run most of the usual apps like messengers, mail, browser, music etc. That about covers what it can do.


The main camera is 5 MP, f/2.4 aperture.

TP-Link Neffos C5A

If you shot in excellent condition, the quality of photos won’t disappoint you. The camera is fast, the autofocus works well. Don’t hope for good levels of detalization, but that’s to be expected.


The maximum resolution of the videos is 1920 × 1080. The overall quality is about the same. On the plus side, we have electronic stabilization which works well.

The front camera has a resolution of 2 megapixels. The quality is mediocre, but it will suffice for video calls.

The camera application is very simple. The usual set of features, like panoramas and face beautifiers.

Battery life

TP-Link Neffos C5A is equipped with a removable battery with a capacity of 2300 mAh, which is… not much. Smartphone works for a day, if used sparingly. If you rarely use it, then it will survive for a day and a half. The time of active screen operation varies from 4 to 5 hours.

Sound and communication

Sound is, overall, okay. Both speakers are loud, but not very good. The sound is the headphones is adequate. Nothing to write home about. There were no problems with cellular and wireless network.

Firmware and software

The smartphone runs on Android 7.0, but, unlike, say, Neffos X1, there’s no NFUI shell. The OS looks like a slightly modified Android. Settings menu is a bit different, with a feedback app. The shell is alright, no major problems.

The verdict

What can I say? TP-Link Neffos C5A is your typical low-range smartphone with appropriate specs. For $75 we get a decent device for undemanding users.

TP-Link Neffos C5A

For a budget phone, TP-Link Neffos C5A has a very stable software, which is a big plus. And let’s not forget the official 2-year warranty.

Dmitry Koval
Dmitry Koval
I write detailed reviews of various gadgets, used Google Pixel smartphones and interested in mobile games.
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