ThL W8s – Initial Impressions

ThL W8s   Initial Impressions

I saw what appeared to be a cracking deal on a decent spec’d smartphone whilst surfing the web a couple of weeks ago, took the plunge and ordered directly from China.
I’d never seen or heard of the brand-name ThL or the W8s phone before and to be honest I’m not too sure what inspired me to dive in but I did and 12 days from the day of the order a package arrived. Saturday 7th, just this weekend in fact.
I’ve spent the weekend setting up the device to use as my daily driver and will be posting much more details once I’ve had time with the device.

ThL W8s   Initial Impressions

Immediate feelings:


  • Feels very light
  • Amazing screen
  • Two sim slots
  • Sd card slot


  • Comes with Chinese charger (although they added in a uk adaptor)
  • Is running Android 4.2.1, not the more recent 4.3

Not certain which of the above two categories to list these points under yet

  • Ok so lets get this out of the way at the start; the W8s looks extremely similar to the Samsung Galaxy S4
  • Overtly housed in quite shiny plastic therefore doesn’t feel as good as devices made with more  premium materials
  • Two batteries
  • To access the sim slots/sd slot you have to remove the entire back casing of the phone
  • Although it has a big in-built storage allowance it seems to be partitioned in a way which leaves a small part for apps

ThL W8s   Initial Impressions

Display – 5.0”, 1920 x 1080 pixels, 5 point multi-touch, Corning Gorillas Glass 3
CPU – MTK6589T Cortex-A7 Quad-core ARMv7, 1.5GHz
GPU – PowerVR SGX 544
O/S – Android 4.2.1
ROM – 32GB
Wi-Fi – 802.11 b/g/n
Band – 2G: GSM 850/900/1800/1900MHz / 3G: WCDMA 850/2100MHz
MicroSD up to 32GB
Dual SIM
Front Camera – 5.0M HD
Back Camera – 13.0M HD AF color with flashlight and auto focus
Battery – 2 x 2000mAh Battery
Net Weight(Including battery) – 154g
Size – 178 x 50 x 60 mm / 7.0 x 1.96 x 2.36 inch
3.5mm audio and mic jack
Extras – 3.5” earphone, 5.0V adapter, USB cable, screen cover case, screen protector

ThL W8s   Initial Impressions
ThL W8s   Initial Impressions
ThL W8s   Initial Impressions

If you have any questions or tests you want me to run leave it in the comments section below and I’ll include the answers in my follow-up review.

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  • Troy Dyall

    How much did this cost? did you get stung with import tax?

    • weirdstuff

      £180 (+about £3.50 for delivery). No import tax as it was pretty cheap, don’t think you get hit if it’s under £300?

      • the_prof

        I was wondering about this – different people appear to get import tax applied differently! When my Pebble came through from the US (value $99), I had to pay almost £15, which I suppose works out at about 20%. I’d have thought smartphone imports from China would have a similar levy applied.

        In any case, very cool phone for the money! I’m sorely tempted to go for one of these myself. Don’t suppose you could post a benchmark against the S4, One X, etc. for reference sake when you do your full review? I’d just be interested to see how it compares.

        • Martin

          Import duty and VAT *should* be paid on goods that have a value higher than £24-28 (if I remember correctly). It is down to luck and the carrier that is used. If the item is shipped by a courier (UPS, DHL etc) then they will always automatically add the VAT and/or duty charge. If it comes via normal mail then you can either be lucky or not when it comes to paying the extra. Some items have VAT added, some have VAT and duty added. I used to buy R1 DVDs from back in the day when they were released before the UK, I tried to stay under £30, when I did go over £30 then I got charged the VAT about 10% of the time.
          My missus bought some makeup from Hong Kong ages ago, the value was about £30, she got charged Duty and VAT and a post office charge for collecting the Duty and VAT! Cost her about £10 all together.
          For this phone you got lucky and didn’t get stung. I’m not sure if there would be a duty charge as well as VAT, if it is just VAT then you would have had to pay an extra 20% on the value + whatever change the post office would have added for collecting it. A lot of Chinese / Hong Kong sites / ebay sellers mark the item as a ‘gift’ to try and circumvent the duty/vat issue :)

          • weirdstuff

            Really? Wow, I got lucky then, cheers Martin. I’ll see if I still have the box at home so I can have a look at the customs labels…

          • Martin

            The £300 thing is if you are actually coming into the country with it. Just checked and it is £390.
            It is really confusing, the HMRC website mentions Duty and VAT….so….. duty is payable on goods over £135 and VAT on goods over £36, and I believe they include the shipping cost in the ‘value’ as well.

  • Martin

    From what I have read all of the phones using MTK SOCs have their memory partitioned like this to have only a small amount available for apps. The ACER phones that use the MTK SOCs are set like this too. You can get around this by using the link2sd app if you can get the phone rooted.

    • weirdstuff

      I rooted it yesterday. I’m at work but happily tinkering whenever I get a chance. For the moment I’m content to leave it until / unless storage space for apps becomes a issue…

  • Sal

    Please test the GPS for us. How fast does it lock onto satellites etc

  • MSG

    I did a similar thing recently by buying a Lenovo P780. Amazing price given the specs and battery size.

  • Matt

    Hi mate!

    Where did you order your phone from?

    I have ordered one from but since read that they are abit “dodgy” so trying to get a refund from PayPal



    • weirdstuff

      I bought it from a site called, they had a special deal on at the time. I’d never seen or heard of them before so it was a bit of a risk I suppose but I used a credit card rather than credit card in case I has any trouble getting my money back etc. Everything went perfect. Not advertising for them, just telling it how it worked for me…

  • Kevin Dart

    Hi, does this phone work with 3g in UK?

  • Mishmash

    How good is the camera?

  • José

    The GPU is SGX 540, not 544…that is a big difference

  • jason

    DOes any one buy the THL touch screeen from this website? my THL W8S touch screen was broken.but in my country can’t repiar it.