Bush Spira E3X review

Strong specs on a small budget

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Interface and reliability

  • Largely stock Android 6.0 interface with little bloatware
  • Average call quality
  • No NFC

While a lot of budget Android phones ship with outdated software, Bush's device has Android 6.0 installed.

Granted, that's not the very latest version of Google's mobile operating system – that honour falls to Android 7.0 Nougat – but that's currently only available on a couple of handsets, such as the Google Pixel.

The Spira E3X is also refreshingly free of bloatware and unwanted applications; even the aforementioned Argos app can be removed if you so wish, and the interface stays close to stock Android, making it simple and intuitive to navigate.

As a phone, the Spira E3X performs well enough. Call quality is average, but we could hear the other person clearly, and in turn they could make out our insane gibbering without any trouble.

The phone supports 4G and comes unlocked to any network, but you'll need a microSIM card – a bit of pain if you have a more recent nanoSIM. There's no NFC, so you won't be able to use Android Pay for contactless payments with the Spira E3X.

Movies, music and gaming

  • Strong screen for media
  • Decent gaming performance
  • Weak speaker

The Spira's MediaTek Helio P10 chipset is perfectly up to the task of streaming HD movies, and the large 5.5-inch screen's punchy colours and excellent viewing angles make it ideal for film consumption on your commute home from work. 

The big let-down is the phone's single speaker, which is weak and lacks bass. It's concealed on the bottom-right edge of the handset, and while the presence of two speaker grilles might suggest stereo output, that's sadly not the case.

For any kind of audio playback, we'd highly recommend using the 3.5mm headphone socket.

Unlike many other Android phones, which double-up on music playback by offering their own native player, the Spira E3X opts for Google Play Music out of the box.

This service allows you to upload your own albums to the cloud for free, and offers a well-stocked music library which can be accessed via a monthly subscription.

You can also buy songs and albums individually, which you then own. This is essentially Google's answer to Apple's iTunes and on the whole works very well; you can even download playlists to your device for offline access.

Gaming on the Spira E3X is relatively trouble-free; some demanding 3D games suffer from framerate drops, but overall it's a solid platform for mobile entertainment.

Specs and benchmark performance

  • Mid-range processor leads to middling benchmarks
  • Smooth general performance

The Spira E3X is powered by MediaTek’s Helio P10 MT6755, the same octa-core processor as is found inside the Sony Xperia XA and Oppo F1 Plus. Mid-range performance at this kind of price is a given, and benchmarks indicate that Bush's phone is competing in the same ballpark as the Moto G4 Plus and Wileyfox Storm.

On Geekbench 4, the handset clocked a single-core score of 732 and a multi-core score of 2891. While those figures aren't awe-inspiring, general performance is perfectly fine and we didn't notice any sluggishness moving around the interface and switching between apps.

That's partly thanks to the whopping 4GB of RAM included – which is double what many phones at this price offer. There's also a roomy 64GB of storage, and if that's not enough storage space for your liking then you can use the microSD card slot to expand that total further.