Aside from a brief appearance late last year with mid-range F3 and A3 smartphones, BenQ has been relatively silent. Now the manufacturer is trying to revive its position and name by outing two new LTE-enabled smartphones for Taiwan's population.
The distinction between the BenQ F5 and BenQ T3 is a rather fuzzy one, with the former poised as a more "serious" high-end offering while the latter is a bit more "playful" entry-level device. The fact that the T3 comes with a yellow color option reinforces that image. The T3 also comes with a 1.2 GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor, 1 GB of RAM, and 4 GB of storage. The 4.5-inch screen doesn't even reach HD levels, capped at 960x540 pixels. There is an 8 megapixel camera at the back but only 0.3 megapixels at the front. It does run on Android 4.4.2, though, which is always a plus, but it overlaid by BenQ's custom Q Home interface.
The BenQ F5 shares the same CPU and RAM as the T3, as well as the same Android KitKat version and Q Home UI. In almost all other aspects, the F5 is the clear hardware winner. The 5-inch screen boasts of 1280x720 pixel resolution. The 13 megapixel rear camera carries the Sony Exmor name, while the front of the device has a semi-decent 2 megapixel shooter. There are 8 and 16 GB configurations for internal storage, expandable of course with a microSD card. There are only white and black models available for this smartphone, however.
Both the BenQ F5 and T3 come with support for Taiwan's LTE networks, but which network bands and which carriers are supported depends on the model. The BenQ T3 naturally has a lower price tag of 6,990 TWD or around $235, while the BenQ F5 isn't exactly far off with a 7,990 TWD tag, roughly $270. No word yet on availability outside Taiwan, but BenQ will be facing stiff competition if it decides to venture out.