There is this new impressive gaming smartphone from a company called Snail; It is the MOQI i7s. It resembles the PlayStation Vita. But it still differs a lot. MOQI i7s is a powerhouse for emulation and native Android gaming, and that’s precisely what I’m going to be covering in this article i.e., native Android gaming and emulation on this phone.
I want to share some benchmarks on this phone as well. For the price, these don’t come in cheap – three hundred and fifty to four hundred and twenty dollars in the United States. But you’re not just paying for a handheld gaming device; this also dubs as a real smartphone. In the United States, it is compatible with AT&T, Verizon, T-mobile, and Sprint. I do have to say that this thing is huge for a smartphone. All that extra bulkiness in the phone comes from the built-in joysticks, d-pad, and buttons.
Complete Specs of MOQI i7s
MOQI i7s is a real gaming phone, in my opinion. Before we get into performance testing, I do want to go over the specs and features because there’s a lot to cover here. The phone rocks a Snapdragon 710 8 core CPU, and Arderno 615 clocked @ 650MHZ GPU. It has 6GB LPDDR4 1866MHZ RAM and storage is 64GB Built-in with Micro SD Card up to 256GB. We do get USB type-c, and this supports Qualcomm quick charge. They’ve also included a 3.5-millimeter audio jack for your headphones.
Taking a look at the other side reveals our power button, our volume rocker, L1, and R1. Unfortunately, this is it; you only have L1 and R1 on this unit. I wish they would have added an L2 and an R2, but this is it. Now those buttons can be set up on the screen with different emulators or games. But we have a built-in controller, and I wish they would have added them from the start. The back cover is rubberized, so it’s got an excellent grip to it. But you will notice some fingerprints here and there. It’s not as bad as if this thing was glossy, but they are noticeable.
After a while, the battery is user-replaceable, which is a big plus on a newer device like this. Most modern smartphones coming out nowadays do not have user-replaceable batteries, so I’m glad to see it here. MOQI i7s packs a six thousand milliamp hour lithium-ion battery, and they claimed 6.5 hours of intensive 3d gameplay straight through. MOQI i7s has Dual nano-SIM card slots, and like I mention in the US this is compatible with AT&T, Verizon, T-mobile, and Sprint 3G and 4G.
The manufacturer states that the CPU is liquid-cooled and by liquid-cooled, they don’t mean that there’s a reservoir in here filled with coolant and tubes going all over. The CPU, it’s just a copper heat pipe, and inside it, there’s a copper wick. They do drop a little tiny bit of coolant inside of these so that it expands. Theoretically, it should keep that heatsink cooler pretty much. All new higher-end smartphones are using this technology right now, and it does do a great job keeping the CPU cool for extended periods.
MOQI i7s has a 6 inch IPS 1080p display, dual stereo speakers – these are 1-watt speakers, and they sound amazing. This thing gets loud, and it’s got some bass to it. It runs Android 8.1; this is a 64-bit operating system right out of the box. They do have plans to go to Android 9.0, USB type-c with Qualcomm quick charge. As for the cameras, this phone comes with a 16 megapixel Sony sensor rear camera and a 5-megapixel front. Connectivity-wise it supports 802.11 Wi-Fi so that we can pick up that five gigahertz network and built-in Bluetooth 5.0. With a price of three hundred and fifty to four hundred dollars, I think it’s reasonable for what’s out there on the market right now.
As for the built-in physical controller, we have our left shoulder button, right shoulder button, left analog stick, right analog stick, and D-pad. Finally, we have our four face buttons, X, Y, B, and A – labeled as Mountain, water, Moon, and Sun, which is a little different take on the layout. This thing is pretty massive. I did want to compare it to some other handheld devices like the PS Vita and the PSP because obviously, this looks just like a PS Vita, but it’s much more substantial. The PSP is just tiny.
Nowadays a lot of people are also going to probably make the comparison between the i7s and the GPD XD or the XD Plus. So I have the XD here, which is the same form factor as the XD Plus. It’s got that clamshell design so that you will protect the screen, and unfortunately, this i7s will be prone to scratches unless you get like a glass screen protector or something like that. But overall, it is much bigger than the XD or the GPD, which are one of my favorite handheld devices. But those come in at around 700 to 800 dollars.
So now I think it’s time to get into some benchmarks. I did run Geekbench 3D Mark and Antutu. I just wanted to see what this thing could do before we get into some gameplay and emulation. So here’s Geekbench for pro on the single-core score we got 1839 multi-core 5777 now this is higher than the Nvidia Shield Android TV but much lower than a Snapdragon 845 or 835 device. After all the MOQi7s isn’t running a flagship CPU, this is a Snapdragon 710.
Next up I have Antutu, and the score here was pretty decent for a mid-range CPU. We scored a 168,000 now on the CPU. UX and memory we were much higher than the Nvidia shield, but on the GPU it just kind of destroyed this thing and it does that with most devices. So on Raw CPU performance, the MOQi7s does outperform the Nvidia Shield Android TV. But when it comes to GPU intensive tasks or benchmarks, the Shield’s always going to win. The last benchmark I ran was 3D Mark. For Slingshot we scored 2736, for Slingshot extreme on OpenGl 3.1 1874, Vulcan 1719 so overall it did a decent job in all these benchmarks.
While emulating games on Android using this phone, older stuff like NES, 2600 PC engine, SNES and all of that’s going to run fine on here. But I did show off some higher-end emulators that struggle on lower-end devices, and it does a fantastic job. Full speed Dreamcast emulation using Redream and you can go up to the resolution in there.
The same thing with PSP, using PPSSPP and as you saw it’s even got you covered in some GameCube games. I would recommend this over the GPD XD or the XD Plus. Now you got the money; the GPD is personally my favorite handheld device. It’s just an amazing little device, but it’s 700 to 800 dollars, it’s costly. Another thing to note is, if you already have a Galaxy S10 or up like a Pixel 3 or something like that; then there’s no need to buy this except for the physical buttons. Having an option like the MOQI i7s with physical buttons is worth it to me.
If you’re interested in one of these up, I will leave links below.