Umidigi is a reliable smartphone brand

Umi Plus in the test - a promising Chinese in aluminum garb

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The Chinese manufacturer Umi, or since January 2017 Umidigi, is pushing a lot of new smartphones onto the market. In the almost two years that the company has existed, it has already thrown 20 devices onto the market with more or less success. In 2016 alone 10 pieces, including the Umi Max, which we have already tested.

So now comes the Umi Plus, which is one price class higher, namely at US $ 219.00. That is still a hammer price. If you order an Umi Plus in one of the relevant China shops, you pay around 240 euros including import sales tax, or you can use Amazon (see below). Unfortunately, the test device fell onto the tiles from a height of one meter, so the pictures have some unsightly defects ...

Umi Plus design and workmanship

The Umi Plus comes again in an aluminum unibody case, in my case in gold. This is very precisely worked and thanks to the rounding makes a pleasant impression to be touched.

On the right side are the power button and the loud / quiet rocker. Also made of aluminum, they sit with a very slight play in the housing. Because they protrude slightly, they are easy to feel. I can't understand the reviews that the buttons would be too wobbly.

The USB Type-C port and the holes for the loudspeaker and microphone are located on the underside. Interestingly, third-party USB-C cables fit very poorly. In contrast to the supplied cable, these sit quite loosely and come off easily. This is particularly annoying when you want to charge the Umi Plus in the car: the charging cable tends to slip out on bumps. This can only be counteracted by attaching the Umi Plus in landscape mode.

On the left side of the device we find the dual SIM slot and the Smart Shortcut Key, which we already know from the Umi Max. This is both a curse and a blessing. More than once I accidentally activated it and started the assigned app (my camera). On the other hand, you are quickly ready for a snapshot, which parents of small children in particular will appreciate.

Unfortunately, the optional microSD card occupies the second SIM slot, which reduces the dual SIM function to absurdity. However, I think that you can live with it in this country. For everyone else, there is a video here that explains how to circumvent this shortcoming - at your own risk:

On the top of the Umi Plus we find the 3.5 mm jack plug for the headphones again. What is interesting about this is that it does not extend very deep into the housing and the connector therefore protrudes a little. It doesn't look nice, but it's not a problem in everyday use.

The fact that the housing is actually made of aluminum is particularly noticeable on cold days and later also on hot days. It gets cold quickly and then feels uncomfortable. Two plastic panels are incorporated on the back to ensure better antenna performance. These do not sit perfectly and show small gaps. A collection point for dirt.

The 13-megapixel camera sits in the middle in the top quarter and protrudes a little. This carries the risk of scratching the lens. The dual-tone flash is located a good two centimeters lower, which in turn is an advantage when taking pictures with flash.

The fingerprint sensor, which is integrated into the home button of the Umi Plus, can save five different prints. The detection is usually quick and reliable. However, if there is too much pressure, it brings you directly to the home screen. A little annoying if you had an app running before and actually wanted to return to it directly. A bit of “sure instinct” is required here. Here I found the rear fingerprint sensor from the Umi Max better.

Umi Plus technical data

Display:5.5-inch IPS 2.5D Sharp display (1,920 x 1,080 pixels / 480ppi) with T2x-1 Dinorex glass
Processor:MediaTek Helio P10 Octa Core @ 1.8 Ghz
Random access memory:4 GB Samsung eMMC + LPDDR3 RAM
Storage:32 GB expandable by up to 128 GB via microSD card
Operating system:Android 6.0 Marshmallow / Android 7.0 Nougat via OTA in distribution
Camera:Main camera with 13 MP Samsung sensor
Front camera with 5 MP GalaxyCore GC5005
Connections:USB Type-C; 3.5 mm headphone jack
Battery pack:4,000 mAh, supports Pump Express Plus, cannot be changed
Connectivity:Wi-Fi (802.11 a, b, g, n, Bluetooth 4.1 BLE, GSM / HSPA / LTE (all bands), GPS
Sound:Mono
Sensors:including fingerprint sensor in the home button
Dimensions:155 x 75 x 8.8 mm
Weight:185 grams

Umi Plus display

A 5.5-inch IPS display from Sharp is built into the Umi Plus, which has a resolution of 1,920 x 1,080 pixels with a pixel density of 480 dpi and is protected by T2X-1 Dinorex glass from Nippon Electric Glass. I haven't heard from this manufacturer to date, but it cuts a better figure than the alleged Corning Gorilla Glass 3 on the Umi Max. So far, no scratches have been noticed.

The color rendering is astonishingly good and is convincing for a smartphone in this price range. The presentation is clear, sharp and has a great depth of color. The viewing angle from the side is good enough and the display is easy to read even in bright sunshine. The 2.5D touchscreen makes operation extremely pleasant when it comes to the edge.

If the display doesn't fit, you can readjust extensively in the settings under the MiraVision item. From contrast, saturation and brightness to color temperature and protection against blue light to protect the eyes, everything is included.

Umi Plus battery life

As in the Umi Max, the Umi Plus has a built-in 4,000 mAh battery that easily lasts for the day. Sometimes it can even last 1 ½ days, provided you don't play too many games. The quick charge function called PE + charges the battery to 80% within 30 minutes. This is very useful when you don't have that much time. However, I strongly recommend using the supplied cable, as third-party cables can get quite warm. Extensive energy-saving settings can ensure that the Umi Plus can even last for three days.

When watching video with 50% display brightness, the Umi Plus loses approx. 10% charge per hour. With graphics-heavy games, such as Asphalt 8, it can be 15-20%.

Umi Plus camera

A definite plus is the Umi Plus's camera (caution, joke). Even in poor lighting, it takes good pictures. Certainly, these do not come close to the high-end smartphones used in the blind test, but the quality is excellent for a cell phone in this price range.

By the way, keyword: which smartphone has the best camera?

The PRO-FOTO mode allows many manual settings, from saturation, exposure, ISO and much more. Videos are recorded at up to 4K. Unfortunately there is no slow motion function, but there is a time lapse. The sensitivity of the microphone can be set to two levels - meet and normal - to ensure a better sound when recording.

Umi Plus software

The Umi Plus comes with almost unchanged Android 6.0 Marshmallow, since January even with 7.0 Nougat, which is currently being distributed via OTA update.

Some settings are due to the special functions of the smartphone. Thankfully you look for bloatware in vain. All pre-installed apps, such as Facebook, can be easily uninstalled.

Umi Plus Performance

A Helio P10 processor from MediaTek with 8 cores works in the Umi Plus. These are clocked at 1.8 MHz. An ARM Mali T860 is responsible for the graphics. Together with the 4 GB RAM, this ensures that games run smoothly. However, the aluminum case gets quite warm after a while at the logo level.

Overall, the Umi Plus cuts a really good figure for a smartphone in this price range and, despite the “bad” value of 48,134 points in the Antutu benchmark, it can easily compete with smartphones that are twice or three times as expensive.

The Umi Plus supports LTE in the bands 2100 (B1), 1800 (B3), 2600 (B7) and 800 (B20). This means that it can be operated with any provider in Germany. The reception performance is excellent. Even in areas with poor coverage, I hardly had any complete crashes.

Unfortunately, like the Max, the Plus shows its weaknesses in GPS / Glonass reception. A location always takes several seconds and the connection is often lost because not enough satellites are fixed. This makes reliable navigation impossible, especially when there are dense buildings. Umi still has a lot to learn here. In the picture below, by the way, I was standing on the blocked road, but the Umi Plus thought I was 20 meters further to the right.

Conclusion

The Umi Plus is another step forward for Umidigi's portfolio. Apparently they learn from the mistakes of the previous models. Hold on except for the thing with the GPS, which should, however, be changeable with the software. Here I am in contact and I will keep you up to date as to whether there will be a fix in the foreseeable future.

Otherwise, the Umi Plus really cuts a fine figure and doesn't need to hide behind more expensive devices. The processing is great so far, the camera is okay and in terms of performance it is even in the upper league. All of this for well under 300 euros.

The only drawback for us in Germany: You can only buy it through an import. This is of course unfavorable for guarantee services. Here I would like to see sales based in Europe at least.

Update: When asked, Umidigi confirmed that devices purchased through Amazon are subject to the German warranty conditions. For you, this means that devices purchased there can be returned within 30 days without giving reasons and that later warranty processing is also carried out via Amazon. If that is not an argument for this brand.