Some months ago China-phones.net presented the Ulefone Gemini, a 130$ smartphone with dual camera. Of course Oukitel had to keep up with their competitor, so they now present the Oukitel U22 that houses unbelieveable 4 lenses – a dual dual camera phone, one could say. Even the price caught our attention: at the moment it is sold for less than 70$.
At first we have to say that for a smartphone in this price range the camera-performance is something they can boast with. Everyday snapshots in good light are well exposed, sufficiently sharp and color representation is okay. Autofocus is rather reliable, however it does not work with the promised 0.1s.
But: who promotes four cameras and “fantastic pictures” has to expect being examined critically. Even at the first look through the camera you notice that the image arrives at the display only with a delay: a passing car downright jerks across the screen. Additionally there is a two second lag after pushing the trigger until the picture is really taken. Those who can live with that get a solid picture thanks to the 8MP (interpolated 13MP).
As it has passed the basics, let’s now have a look at the treats. Due to the two lenses at front and rear Oukitel U22 should be able to create a “bokeh” with its F2.0 aperture, a blurred background to the actual motif that is sharp. This effect usually can only be generated by expensive lenses at the widest aperture.
The camera app offers the following modes: panorama, photo, video, broken, beauty and mono. If you activate “broken”, apart from the brightness control there appears an aperture control. You can tap the area that should stay sharp and with the control you can simulate a small/wide aperture (swiping up/down). Small aperture means the whole background is sharp. Wide aperture means everything behind the motive is blurred or rather faded.
We have to admit that the software works well and users with low expectations will be satisfied. However, having a closer look, you will realise that the software has only a certain radius around the selected motif that is sharp, no matter how far away it is from the camera.
So we suspect that this is only some kind of blur-filter. And in fact, covering one of the two lenses the results remain the same. The results are absolutely reproducible with only one lense. The same applies to the front camera (5MP, 8MP interpolated), which apart from that produces good selfies. Are we dealing with a camera cheat? Having asked the manufacturer we have not gotten a response, yet.
No bad surprises with the operating system. There is a nice and clean Android pre-installed that everyone should be able to use immediately. We tested the device with the Oukitel_U22_V17_20170609_143627 version. During the two-weeks testing time there were no flaws and the function “search apps” in the app drawer turned out to be extraordinarily useful. Google PlayStore is pre-installed and the device gets its updates easily via the integrated OTA function.
Oukitel seems to have been inspired by a combination of heavy metal and plastic bomb in terms of design. The frame is made of metal, the removeable rear consists of plastic that is not very high-quality, but it has the advantage that the battery can be removed easily.
Apart from the battery, the plastic covers the slots for two SIM cards and an SD card (up to 32GB). Due to the three slots you can use two SIMs and storage expansion simultaneously.
With its 149g, U22 is light and feels comfortable while holding it. The smooth surface makes it a little slippery. The included transparent silicone shell helps here. The slim dimensions of 15.4×7.6×0.96cm combined with the metal frame make it very filigre and the overall image is very harmonious.
Build quality is good, only when looking very closely you can detect gaps that are a little askew around the jacks at the top and the bottom of the phone. The volume control as well as the on/off button at the right side are worked in nicely and have a pleasant feedback. Volume control can also be used as trigger for the camera app. At the top there is the audio jack, at the bottom there are the microphone, the speakers and the microUSB port.
At the rear there is the fingerprint scanner that unlocks the display with a 7/10 precision. Next to it there are the cameras and the LED flash that finish nicely with the rear.
At first we noticed that Oukitel U22’s display could have been a little brighter since the display is too dark in direct sunlight. The same problem occurs when looking at the phone from different viewing angles: with a 45 degree incline the 5.5-inch IPS screen with 2.5D glass starts to get shady.
There is nothing to complain about the resolution. 1280×720 (267ppi) are more than enough for everyday use. The vivid colours, strong contrasts and the soft-touch buttons below the display are a strong point. Despite them not being illuminated, they make operating the phone easier.
Sadly Oukitel was saving on a notification LED as well as on multi touch registration. It only can register two points of contact at the same time.
Lieferumfang des Oukitel U22
The small orange box contains apart from the Oukitel U22:
- USB cable
- Charging adapter
- Silicone cover
- Manual in English
As a matter of fact a smartphone in this price range is no performance champion. As the 3D-Mark or PC-Mark test show, Oukitel U22 is significantly slower than for example its brother U13 for 40$ more.
A slow reading/writing speed of the internal memory (106MB/s and 47MB/s) combined with only 2GB RAM contribute to the Quad Core CPU (MTK6580A) not being able to ace it. Therefore, it is no surprise that multitasking is not one of the device’s strong points.
Despite all criticism about the weak hardware we have to keep in mind that it is absolutely sufficient for simple everyday tasks. Surfing, mailing, simple games and a bit of multimedia of course are manageable for the phone. Those who use their phone mainly for WhatsApp etc. therefore will get a sufficiently fast system.
Here, in contrast to the cameras, Oukitel tells the truth. 2700mAh battery are indicated on the website, 2700mAh battery are housed by the phone, as we found out with our measuring device. With this battery size Oukitel U22 is not in the upper league but they do not have to hide neither. A full charge is enough to get through a day with excessive use, then it has to be re-charged. Charging takes about 2 hours.
Calling works well with the Oukitel U22, reception is almost as good as with phones that cost about twice as much. Calling quality at the other end of the line is perfect, the voice of your partner, however, sounds a bit tinny.
Oukitel U22 supports the following frequencies:
2G: GSM 850/900/1800/1900MHz
3G: WCDMA 900/1900/2100MHz
The bluetooth connection in the car works fine and sound quality is good as well. Combined with the Google GPS unit U22 works reliably. After entering the destination Oukitel needs a minute to get ready. Then it finds your position and navigates reliably.
Sadly Oukitel saved in terms of sensors: There are only the three common sensors for acceleration, proximity and brightness. Quality and volume of the integrated speaker is not that bad keeping the price in mind. With headphones (not included) the music’s quality can be improved considerably.