Sometimes the specs you're promised aren't the specs you get. Initially billed as an aluminum Windows Phone 8.1 with a 13-megapixel camera and quad-core processor that costs about $250 unlocked, Miami-based phone maker Yezz downgraded the camera specs in production to 8-megapixels, and the casing felt like plastic to me, not metal.
The Billy 4.7 (and yes, it is named in honor of Microsoft founder Bill Gates) still runs on Windows 8.1. Waifish at 0.28-inch thick (7.2mm), the 4.7-inch phone has a 1,280x720-pixel HD resolution and support for HSPA+ 42, though not LTE.
It felt ridiculously light and thin when I handled the Billy 4.7 at CTIA 2014; maybe even a smidgen too light. I even checked the back to make sure that the battery was loaded in. The soft-touch back cover helped it feel nice in the hand as well. These are all superficial markers, yes, but still a good starting point nonetheless, especially for a little-known company that's trying to ramp up its US and European business.
Available on Amazon and from Yezz's own website in with white, red, and blue exchangeable backplates, the dual-SIM Yezz Billy 4.7 will sell in late May for $249 in the US and €229 in Europe, which converts to roughly £185. It'll also show up across Latin America.
The Yezz Billy 4.7 is absolutely priced to sell, and the specs are definitely still compelling for a midrange handset at this price.
Its biggest competition will come from Nokia's (now Microsoft's) dual-SIM version of the Lumia 630, which sells for $169 or £129 and runs on 3G only (its Lumia 635 is the single-SIM 4G LTE variant). Although the Yezz's camera megapixel count is higher on paper than the Lumia 630's 5-megapixel shooter, it takes real-world comparisons to tell which one produces the better images.
For those on a tighter budget, Yezz is also releasing the smaller, sparer Billy 4.0, whose 4-inch, 8-megapixel camera, and quad-core processor add up to a $139, or €129 (£105 converted) price tag.