The smartphones of Ulefone’s Power series were one of the first big-battery smartphones from China. Whereas Ulefone Power 1 proved to be a top seller, Ulefone Power 2’s popularity was not that high. With Ulefone Power 3, the manufacturer reacts to the demands of the users and produces a surprisingly strong overall package, at least on the data sheet. The smartphone now houses an up-to-date MediaTek MT6763 (Helio P23) processor which is supported by 6GB of RAM. For a price of almost 200€, a FDH 18:9 display, 64GB of internal memory and the obligatory 6000mAh cannot be missing. In the test, after a software update, Ulefone Power 3 proved to be one of the most reliable daily drivers of the current smartphone market!
Design and build quality
Considering the battery size and the big 6-inch display, Ulefone Power 3 is not really heavy with 207g. The dimensions of 159 x 76 x 10mm are quite moderate, too. The casing consists completely of plastic and has a good build quality. The edges are rounded so that you do not feel the transitions. Ulefone Power 3 feels really nice while holding it in the hand. Power button and volume control are located on the right and have a pleasant feedback. The power button has a fluting on its surface. The scope of delivery is quite generous, although the smartphone does not offer a headphone jack.
The scope of delivery contains everything you could wish for. There is a silicone protective cover, a quick-charge adapter, a USB Type-C cable, a USB Type-C to Micro-USB adapter, USB Type-C to 3.5mm jack adapter, USB Type-C to OTG adapter and a SIM ejection tool.
You can use either 2 Nano-SIMs or 1 Nano-SIM and 1 Micro-SD card (up to 200GB) for storage expansion in Ulefone Power 3. An RGB notification LED is available, too, and can be found at the top next to the sensors. However, it shines a bit weakly. The front LED flash is rather useless. In 2018, the terms bezel-less, 90% screen-to-body ratio, edgeless, fullscreen and tri-bezelless are all the rage, and Ulefone Power 3’s bezels are kept also quite compact (3mm left and right, 10.5mm above and below the display). As usual, the phone is operated via on-screen buttons, while the area below the display is not being used for the good old sensor keys. On the rear, you find the fingerprint scanner, which is placed below the dual-camera and which works okay. The scanner unlocks the device in 7/10 attempts, but the speed of 1.5 seconds is not really flagship-worthy.
The additional face-unlock feature does not work reliably and the time it takes to unlock the phone is too long. The best method to unlock the device remains the fingerprint scanner. Pressing the power button to turn on the phone, it takes 3 seconds until the display reacts. Despite the plastic casing Ulefone Power 3 is very stable and feels good in the hand. The used material is a welcome change and those who are not addicted to glass and metal can do no wrong with Ulefone Power 3.
With the 18:9 format and the 6-inch display, Ulefone Power 3 is clearly not bigger than its predecessor. The slimmer construction secures a better feeling while holding the device in the hand. The display has an FHD+ resolution and a pixel density of pin-sharp 402 pixels per inch. You cannot detect any single pixels anymore and the rounded corners look really nice. The display is bright enough to be used outside and viewing angles are perfectly stable. The automatic brightness was mostly too bright for me, even if I put it to a minimum. The extreme brightness is only notable in the dark. It is possible to customize the display via MiraVision, although color representation is already very accurate and strong.
Ulefone advertises with Gorilla Glass and after 2 weeks of use, I could not find any scratches. Therefore, the display is definitely protected against scratches. The 10-point touchscreen reacts precisely, but it is not that fast. If you don’t type as fast as the wind, the touchscreen will not be a problem. Ulefone Power 3’s display is one of the most beautiful 6-inch display currently available on the market. It has no need to hide from Oukitel Mix 2 or Redmi 5 Plus.
System and performance
Ulefone Power 3 runs with an Android 7.1.1 system, which has not been changed much in terms of the look. The firmware version is from January 11, 2018 and significantly improved system stability and the camera. Malwarebytes confirmed a clean system, as it is typical of Ulefone. Except for the Google apps, there is nothing else pre-installed. In the options menu, you find some additional features like One-hand mode and gesture motion, which work quite well. Ulefone Power 3 runs fast and stable. According to the manufacturer, Ulefone Power 3 will get an update to Android 8 Oreo in March!
MediaTek’s new middle-class processor Helio P23 makes its debut in Ulefone Power 3, at least it’s our first device with the new processor. The new SoC is manufactured in the modern 16nm process and, as well as P25, it houses 8 Cortex-A53 cores. The processor consists of 2 clusters with each 4×1.5 and 4×2.0GHz. The performance is not that different from P25, although a new GPU, the Mali-G71, is now used. Ulefone Power 3 works well while scrolling in the browser, but also when playing most 3D games. Only when you play Asphalt 8 you have to decrease the graphics in order to get a fluent gaming experience. The temperature stays mostly the same also after 1 hour of playing a 3D game. This is where you mostly notice the new 16nm process.Antutu Result 3D Mark Result
With 6GB of RAM, Ulefone Power 3 is perfectly suitable for multitasking and in the split-screen mode there are also barely any lags. The RAM has an average speed of 4.5GB/s. The 64GB internal memory as an average reading/writing speed of 144/196 MB/s as well. The benchmarks confirm a fast system, too. Ulefone Power 3 offers exactly what you need in the middle class: a fast and stable system without any annoying defects of bugs. Most users will be satisfied with this Ulefone device.
2017 was the year of the fake dual-cameras, at least for the small Chinese manufacturers. Maybe in 2018, a manufacturer will succeed in presenting a useful dual-camera. Ulefone Power 3’s dual rear as well as the dual front cameras, however, do not offer an added value. The phone houses a 16MP sensor by Samsung (S5K3P3SX) with an f/2.0 aperture. Unfortunately, the camera produces only pixelated pictures when taking long shots. Close-ups are bearable, but landscape photos are mostly useless. The reason for that is probably a focus problem, but the update did not really improve the pictures. The camera is suitable for occasional snapshots, but you shouldn’t expect too much. The front camera is disappointing as well and produces pixelated and blurred images, like those taken by 100€ smartphone cameras.
Ulefone Power 3 was quite convincing up until now, only the cameras are not that good. In terms of battery and reception, it gets even better. If a good camera is important to you, we recommend not buying Ulefone Power 3.
Connectivity and communication
3G: WCDMA 900/2100MHz
4G: FDD-LTE 800/900/1800/2100/2600MHz
The reception was always excellent. Here, you notice the benefits of a plastic casing. WiFi reception in 2.4GHz networks with n-standard was also great. 5GHz is supported as well, but not with ac-standard. The Bluetooth module also provides a good and stable reception.
Voice quality during telephoning is convincing on both sides. The earpiece is loud and clear and all callers could understand me well. Using the speakerphone, there is, unfortunately, a slight echo, which occurs probably because of the missing noise-canceling microphone. The speaker on the bottom is good as well. The sound is always pleasantly loud. The only niggle is the lacking bass, but no smartphone offers real basses. For a 200€-smartphone, the speaker is simply good
GPS works great with a precision of 2-3 meters. Using the pedestrian navigation, the compass works mostly reliably. Besides the 3 standard sensors (acceleration, proximity and brightness sensors), the phone also provides a gyroscope. There is also an FM radio, which can be used when headphones are connected, as well as OTG. NFC, on the other hand, is not available.
Ulefone Power 3 houses a 6000mAh battery, whose capacity we can also confirm. The Helio P23 works great in the smartphone, which is why Power 3 provides an excellent battery life. 13 hours in the PCMark battery test are an awesome value, but Ulefone even tops it with the excellent standby runtime. After 2-3 days of intense use, you get a 9-10 hour DOT (display-on time). Constantly activated GPS and Bluetooth do not make a difference here. The recently presented Oukitel K8000 offered an even better battery life, but therefore, you have to deal with less performance. Redmi Note 4X remains the top seller with a monster battery life.Battery lifetime Result Unit: hours
Ulefone Power 3 is fully charged in 3 hours with quick-charge. Between 20 and 80%, you get 10% in 10 minutes. Considering the battery size, this is a good value. Those looking for a real battery monster will definitely satisfied with Ulefone Power 3.