This $100 smartphone is okay, and it’s not even a Xiaomi

We know Xiaomi for its smartphones with very good value for money, especially at the entry level. It is also one of the manufacturers that sells the most in this niche. However, a new brand could compete with the Chinese giant in this niche.

One of Amazon’s best-selling smartphones is the Xiaomi Redmi 9A. It is a bit of a basic example that shows Xiaomi’s recipe for the most affordable models: an aggressive quality/price ratio, and prices that are gradually falling. Its successor, the Redmi 10A, follows the same logic. However, it is not the only brand that is positioned in this niche: Thomson returns to the smartphone market after five years of absence. A few months ago, the manufacturer launched the Origin 679 without communication: a model at 99 euros. The experiment seems to have gone well since he says he wants to release the Thomson Origin 679 Pro by the end of the year, at the same price, but with a more solid technical sheet.

A surprisingly successful blue gradient

Two colors are planned for the Thomson Origin 679 Pro: black, as well as blue. Regarding the latter, it is more of a gradient from turquoise blue to white. A sexy color that wins over customers a priori: Thomson told us that this is the one that sells more than the black on the Origin 679. We find this color especially on the back “glossy“, which takes fingerprints. It is precisely on the back that we find a small photo block with the sensors and the flash, in a design with rounded corners.

On the right side sits a fingerprint sensor that unlocks the smartphone. As for the front, there is the punch selfie sensor. Unsurprisingly, the borders are quite thick, but not really if we take the price of the device into account. The whole thing weighs 198 grams, which is light.

HD+ screen, watch out for your eyes

The recipe is fairly standard for the screen: a 6.79-inch panel with HD+ definition (1640 by 720 pixels). The difference from the modelnon-Prois the refresh rate: it goes from 60 to 90 Hz. Enough to offer fluid animations without going for 120 Hz, which would be impossible at this price. Same for the Oled, you have to be content with the LCD here.

The definition could perhaps have been a little better, but it’s still usable. The refresh rate, on the other hand, is a real good point, especially since it is partially adaptive. In certain situations, it drops back to 60 Hz.

Performance: unsurprisingly, an entry-level chip

It is on this point that the Thomson Origin 679 Pro really seems to stand out, without being unbeatable either. There is an eight-core SoC, the Unisoc T606. Alongside it, the Mali-G57 MC2 GPU and 4 GB of RAM: it’s not much, but remember that the smartphone only costs around a hundred euros.

For storage, we are entitled to 64 GB, which is still correct for the price, especially since it can be expanded via a microSD. The latter does not take the place of a SIM card: we have two SIM ports and a microSD port. Everything is powered by a 5000 mAh battery: given the chip and the screen, we can expect good autonomy. Charging is obviously done via USB-C.

5G is not appropriate, you have to make do with 4G, but again, for 100 euros, it’s understandable. The smartphone runs on Android 13, so it will be slightly late in its release, at a time when other manufacturers will arrive with Android 14 directly. Concerning updates, no surprise: it will not go further than Android 15. The overlay is non-existent: no additional functions, but no pre-installed applications either, which is good. Thomson seems to want to consolidate its product before going further.

Let’s talk about photography quickly, we have a 20 Mpx main sensor as well as a 2 Mpx macro sensor. Concerning the latter, our expectations are zero: on smartphones at this price, it is most often of no use. On the other side, there is a 16 Mpx selfie sensor found punched in the middle of the screen.

Price and availability of the Thomson Origin 679 Pro

Thomson plans to release its Origin 679 Pro in December. However, we already know the price, 99 euros, just like the Origin 679 released a few months ago, which will disappear from sale. Thomson is in exclusive distribution at Électro Dépôt, the Origin 679 Pro will only be available there.

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