Hands on: Kazam Tornado 348 review

You may not of heard of the ambitious mobile start up, but Kazam has got itself the headline grabbing accolade of "world's slimmest smartphone" with its latest offering, the Kazam Tornado 348.

It's a record the company claims it isn't going to rave about, instead it says it wants to keep things simple and gimmick-free, although I find that a little hard to believe as that's just what the title it's claiming is.

Do we really need a handset that's just 5.15mm thick? Some will say no.

The Kazam Tornado 348 is planned to touch down in the UK and some other European markets on November 15 bearing a SIM-free price tag of £249 - which sounds relatively reasonable.

Kazam Tornado 348 review

For that you get a 4.8-inch 720p display, 1.7GHz octa-core processor, 1GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage, 8MP rear camera, 5MP front snapper and Android 4.4.2.

There's no microSD slot, so you could find storage a little limited if you have a large music collection or like playing games on your phone, but Kazam does throw in a free screen replacement if you break it within the first 12 months of ownership.

Take one look at the Tornado 348 and you'll be struck by that unmistakable feeling of deja vu... where have you seen this phone before?

Kazam Tornado 348 review

It looks remarkably similar to Apple's new iPhone 6, plus some features such as the arrangement of the camera and flash on the rear mimic that of the Sony Xperia Z3.

Kazam has confirmed that the core design of the handset was created by a third party vendor in China, which goes some way to explaining the familiar aesthetics on display here.

Sitting on a table the Tornado 348 does look respectable, this isn't just a cheap hunk of non-descript plastic which adorned previous devices by Kazam.

Kazam Tornado 348 review

I was surprised just how light the Tornado 348 was when I picked it up. At just 95.5g it's one of the lightest smartphones on the market, and if anything it feels just a little too lightweight.

Couple that with an obviously plastic (not glass) rear and the Tornado 348 feels a little toyish in the hand - there's no reassuring heft to tell you that this is actually a piece of tech you're holding.

A saving grace is the metal band which runs round the circumference of the device in a similar fashion to the Samsung Galaxy Alpha, and while this provides a more premium finish it fails to feel as good in the hand as its more expensive rivals.

Kazam Tornado 348 review

That said, I did find it sat nicely in the hand, with the dimensions and weight ensuring my palm had no trouble getting to grips with the handset and reaching the power/lock and volume rocker on the left of the device.

Kazam has opted to stick with touch-sensitive navigations keys below the screen, rather than sticking them on the display and they are easy enough to hit.

Kazam Tornado 348 review

On the right you'll find a microSIM tray, while the headphone port is located on the base (just like on the iPhone) along with the microUSB port and internal speaker.

With such a slender frame there is always the risk that the handset may be structurally weak, but after applying some heavy pressure I could only get the Tornado 348 to flex slightly. It should be able to avoid any #bendgate embarrassments then.