It runs and runs and runs and runs: this is probably the best description of Ulefone’s Power 5. Those who want it nevertheless more detailed, should read the following review about the battery monster with 13000 mAh, as Ulefone not only tries to shine with a gigantic battery, but also with other aspects. Have fun reading and discovering.
Design and build quality
The Doogee BL12000 was already labeled a block, but the Power 5 even surpasses it! Weightlifters seem to get their money’s worth if they only look at the 331g smartphone! At second glance, the extraordinary design of the Power 5 is particularly striking. Ulefone stays away from the motto “slim and clean” and decorates the Power 5 with all kinds of frills. The Power 5 looks like an outdoor phone, only that it’s not. Not even low IP certifications exist. It still looks stable. The sides are reinforced with 4 screws each by a metal strip, all corners have a kind of plastic reinforcement and otherwise the Power 5 looks almost “indestructible”. The dimensions are as impressive as the design. With a width of 79 mm, a height of 169 mm and a thickness of a full 16 mm, the Power 5 is a real giant.
While the left side only accommodates the dual-nano SIM/microSD hybrid slot, you can find some buttons on the right side. In the upper third are the volume buttons. Right below you find the power button. At the lower end there is another button, pushing and holding long starts the memo recording, a short push the camera. Between these two buttons lies a fingerprint sensor (10/10 attempts successful) that reliably wakes the smartphone up from stand-by without great delay. All keys are made of metal and firmly in place. You won’t find larger gaps on the whole smartphone.
With all the decorations, the rear stands out again. It is designed in a leather look. In reality, however, it is hard plastic. The use of real imitation leather would have crowned the whole thing. Almost a bit sad. Just as outstanding as the Ulefone logo in the middle is the large camera, advertised with a “dual lens” sticker. Here again there is reason to shame, because although so prominently exposed, the second camera is, as so often, a dummy and the “dual lens” is a fake! The camera is flanked by a two-colour dual-LED flash and has an extra frame, which definitely stands out optically, but not in terms of height.
Apart from the 18:9 format, the front appears quite unspectacular. The well-known sensors consisting of brightness and proximity sensor are available, as well as a dual-selfie camera and a loudspeaker. With this camera, too, euphoria must be curbed. The second camera is also a fake!
There’s nothing on the top edge. On the lower edge there is the audio output with two large grids on the right side, on the left side the microphone is hidden. In the middle there is a modern USB Type-C connection! If you are looking for a headphone connection, you won’t find one. A 3.5 mm jack connection is not installed. However, Ulefone comes with a wide range of adapters, including one for USB Type-C to headphone jack.
At the end of this section, I’d like to add an enjoyable little something, which in my opinion should be included in every smartphone: a notification LED. Here it lights up in pleasantly pulsating blue, red or green. Red and green are mainly responsible for the battery status while blue signals all incoming messages or notifications.
Apart from the size and weight, which are probably primarily due to the huge battery, Ulefone doesn’t make any mistakes with the Power 5 and easily passes the test in the first category. You have to like the design, but the build quality is beyond any doubt.
Ulefone Power 5 scope of delivery
Ulefone leaves nothing to be desired. In the big black box you’ll find everything you’ve ever dreamed of in terms of adapters and equipment.
• Quickcharge 3.0 power supply unit (5V / 5A) (EU)
• USB Type-C cable (plug extra long)
• SIM ejection tool
• operating instructions
• thick protective cover (black/grey)
• USB Type-C to micro USB (adapter)
• USB Type-C to headphone jack (adapter)
• USB Type-C to USB Type-A (adapter) (OTG)
• screen protector (one is already attached)
The 18: 9 IPS LCD display resolves with 2160 x 1080 pixels and measures quite common 6 inches. This results in a good 404 ppi and individual pixels are not visible. If you only measure the size of the display glass you get a good screen to body ratio of 90%! However, if you take the entire front of the smartphone into consideration, the average is 68% and the on-screen buttons are not even included! To the left and right of the display the Power 5 has only a 1.2 mm bezel, which is a very good value at first glance. The metal frame is much wider than the display glass. If you include it, it’s already 5.2 mm. The same applies to the edge above (7 mm) and the lower edge (6.2 mm). The glass ends after these millimeters, but the smartphone extends much further in both directions.
Colors are reproduced very lifelike but strong. Unfortunately MiraVision or an alternative to adjust the color temperature is missing. However, this circumstance is bearable, as the representation is already very balanced. The brightness is in a good high range. In direct sunlight, however, depending on the contents, it took some time to recognize details. The lowest brightness level was perfectly OK and was still pleasant even in the dark. In most cases, the adaptive brightness adjusts quickly and appropriately. However, the brightness is also often adjusted too high. The black value is also impressive, the contrast is of course not infinite, as with AMOLED, but very good values are still achieved. The display of the Power 5 provides an almost perfect distribution of the back light. The viewing angle stability is also very good. The image only becomes noticeably darker when the viewing angle drops so steeply that you can’t see much anyway.
The reaction of the touch screen is wonderful and writing with two hands, which are needed anyway due to the weight, happens quickly. Friends of click-games will also enjoy hours of gaming using all 10 fingers. Fingermarks become visible, but it is kept within limits.
I couldn’t cause any scratches with a key or knife, so the glass is tempered. However, GORILLA glass is not advertised. The smartphone was even exposed to sand at times. For the insecure mind, however, a protective film is also applied and a second one is included in the scope of delivery, as mentioned above.
Ulefone also does quite a nice job with the display used. Modern 18:9, good illumination, great black level and equally good viewing angle stability and all this with very beautiful colors. The only small niggle is the brightness control.
System – Android 8.1 Oreo
The Power 5 runs with an almost unchanged version of the current Android 8.1. alias Oreo. So far so good. The adjustments are minimal, so there are slightly changed icons for the standard apps and the good old Dura Speed is also included in the settings. An explanation for Dura Speed can be found in the Blackview S6 review, but it should be noted that it is becoming increasingly useless for better equipped devices, especially those with bigger RAM. It is therefore better to leave it deactivated.
Bloatware in the form of completely unnecessary apps does not exist. A virus check with malware bytes did not reveal any findings.
Navigation through the system is intuitive and without major surprises. On the start screen, however, you have the option of using the familiar button in the middle to get into the app drawer or simply swipe up, just like Google Pixel. You can disable or remove the Google search bar as well as an extra start page for the language assistant in the settings.
The gesture control is available, but very slimmed down. Personally, what I lack most is the function of changing music titles by moving sideways when the display is switched off.
Face Unlock: In addition to the proven fingerprint sensor, the Power 5 offers the possibility to use your face for unlocking. It worked quite well in most cases. Even an image of yourself is not enough to outwit the function. Sometimes, however, the smartphone does not allow a change of hairstyle or a grimace, which can cause the function to fail or take a very long time to unlock. In general, however, unlocking is done quite quickly.
A little annoying in relation to the fingerprint sensor was the frequent triggering of the sensor by mistake. Due to the position on the side, directly in the grip field, the sensor also detects contact with the ball of the thumb or an unconscious grip as an attempt to unlock and is accordingly blocked after several failed attempts. Also here and there the face unlock and the fingerprint get in each other’s way. If the recognition with the finger fails or is already blocked, the smartphone will still be unlocked after waking up from the stand-by via face unlock. But this always led me to strange moments, in which an error message could be seen first, then I was suddenly granted access. However, a software update can help here.
If the Power 5 should find friends in the programmer scene, nothing would stand in the way of a custom ROM. The bootloader can be unlocked easily in the developer menu. There would be enough performance. Only the Mediatek processor often poses an obstacle that not many programmers are willing to overcome. Time will tell if the Power 5 is widely used and yet someone dares to create a modified OS.
The system is clean, but has small inconsistencies in unlocking if you use two different systems at once. That’s okay, and it doesn’t happen all the time. In most cases, one of the two sensors is much faster than the other. And even if an error occurred, it was unlocked anyway.
The Power 5 was fully convincing in terms of performance. A rather new Mediatek Helio P23 processor or MT6763 is used. The Octa-Core from 2017 is manufactured in 16nm and offers 8 Cortex-A53 cores. As usual, these are divided into a power and an energy-saving cluster. The power cluster reaches 2.3 GHz, but a single core can also boost to 2.5 GHz. The energy-saving cluster is somewhat more modest at 1.65 GHz.
A dual-core Mali-G71 MP2 GPU with 770 MHz speeds up games. Fun fact: The same GPU, but with 18 (of maximum 32) cores and 850 MHz clock rate, is also used in the Exynos processor of the Galaxy S9.
Thanks to 16 nm production, the chip is both high-performance and energy-saving at the same time. This gives the already oversized battery an even longer battery life. With the Doogee BL12000, among other things, the outdated processor accounted for a large part of the rather average battery life.
The phone is equipped with a 6 GB LPDDR4X RAM. In the benchmark it reaches 5000 MB/s. This is a value on average, but enough to quickly recall apps from the background. 64 GB ROM (200/160 MB/s) provide the ample space for apps. In addition, it can be expanded with an SD card with a maximum capacity of 256 GB. Once apps were opened, they remained active for a very long time, sometimes for a whole day, up to a longer standby phase (usually during sleep) and could be called from the RAM without loading time. The 6 GB-RAM also eliminates the need for the task manager to constantly free up disk space.
The MT6763 scores good points in the benchmarks. You can see that in the Antutu score of 82,000 points, which is slightly above a Snapdragon 625 (approx. 76,000). Games run smoothly. Asphalt 8 is easy to play on high settings – for hours!
Unlike the BL12000, Ulefone scores with a decent processor that lets you use the huge capacities of the battery smoothly and without restrictions. Memory and speed are therefore more than sufficient and easily meet most requirements.Antutu Result Geekbench Multi Result Geekbench Single Result
The camera is advertised as a highlight. In the past, the camera was rather bad in Ulefone smartphones. Sometimes there were even total fails, which were almost unusable. With the Power 5 everything was supposed to be different! Two times two cameras (2 selfie, 2 main cameras) are advertised. Unfortunately, it’s just advertising. The second selfie camera is just as fake as the second rear camera. The latter seems to be a VGA sensor, which at least detects if the lens is covered or not (totally useful…).
If you have resigned yourself to the fact that two useless cameras are installed, you can take a closer look at the two working ones. The data from the main camera is surprisingly positive. A specified 21MP Sony IMX230 sensor with supposed f/1.8 aperture is supposed to provide stunning photos. In fact, the snapshots are quite nice. With a lot of light, the photos become very detailed and sharp. Colours are well accentuated and strong. Macro shots succeed after one or two attempts with good results. But, even in low light, the images are anything but useless. One remedy is the HDR mode, which considerably increases the shutter release time but greatly improves the dynamics of the image, especially in insufficient lighting conditions, assuming a relatively steady hand.
With further decreasing brightness, however, the images become increasingly worse. If a f/1.8 aperture is actually installed, the software disappoints at this point, because photos are hardly usable in the dark. Close-ups with flash can save one or the other picture, but take away some of the colour fastness of the pictures as usual.
Since the dual camera is a fake, the dual functions are also a sham. A bokeh mode is realized as usual as a washed out circle with a sharp center.
A further advantage is the image stabilization. The Power 5 is supposed to have an optical image stabilization (OIS), which is usually reserved for high-priced smartphones. Unfortunately, even the best stabilization is useless if the software does not keep up. While photos still forgive small wobblers and the OIS can keep the picture quite stable, it has clear problems with videos. Small movements can still be compensated here, but the shot is still shaky. If you take your time and film carefully, you can create very appealing shots, otherwise you have to live with some shaky movements. Front and rear camera record in Full HD. 4K is not available. In video recordings, you can see on the screen how the suspension of the OIS wobbles after the movement in case of jerky movements.
The working selfie camera has a 8 MP sensor with an f/2.2 aperture. The images are quite useful as long as a healthy portion of brightness is available. For selfie shots, the extra button on the lower right side helps to trigger a photo.
The Power 5 doesn’t quite match the quality of a Meizu E3 or a Xiaomi Redmi Note 5, but the pictures are not to be despised, especially in good lighting conditions. Only in the evening or at night does weakness become really apparent. The manufacturer could have saved itself the fake dual-cam crap.
The Power 5 can’t be ignored when it comes to connectivity. All necessary frequency bands are supported. Concerning Wi-Fi, dual band Wi-Fi with 5 GHz and 2.4 GHz is available. Mobile telephony achieves better connectivity values than the Wi-Fi network. Judging by the icons in the quick start bar, the Wi-Fi connection is often much weaker, even though the transmission speeds are at a high level at all times.
The contactless charging function is especially cool. This means that the smartphone can be charged without cables via an induction pad. Read more about this in the battery performance section. Unfortunately, NFC is not available in return; too bad.
The navigation function does its work well. GPS, A-GPS, BDS and GLONASS find the location without problems and guide the user to the desired destination with a precision of usually 2-3 meters.
The Power 5 also performs well with the sensors. In addition to the brightness and proximity sensor already mentioned, it also offers a compass, a gyroscope and a gravitational sensor. Of course there is also a chip for rotation and acceleration.
Bluetooth is supported in version 4.2 and has a good range with proper connectivity. Even over one floor and through walls the connection was still good.
In terms of audio, we have to start with bad news: there is no jack connection and the built-in mono speaker also produces music more passably than great. Treble and midrange are still fine, voices and voice memos are clearly reproduced. However, there are virtually no basses. At maximum level and one or two settings below, the speaker is prone to additional distortion. That’s a bit of a pity, because there would have been enough space in the huge case to do a usable audio implementation. Things look completely different while telephoning. The microphone clearly picks up the spoken word and eliminates the coarsest background noise even without explicit noise cancelling. The output of the auricle is clean and voices are well understandable.
The remedy for music listeners is either USB Type-C headphones, such as the CDLA by Leeco or the in-ears by Xiaomi. Or you can use the enclosed Type-C adapter for the well-proven jack.
The sound via the USB connection is good, but could use a little more power at the highest volume levels. Details are almost completely displayed, but a small increase in quality is still possible with higher quality audio codecs. But if you’re on the road, you’ve got everything you need. FLAC files are supported by the chip.
Without any problems it was possible to use the phone over, believe it or not, 6 days. 6! The Power 5 was not spared: Constant photography, a little googling, navigation to the next destination, online article reading, a little gaming, checking e-mails… and much more. All this was done with permanently active Bluetooth including audio use via car and partly activated Wi-Fi. More is always possible, of course, but the use can definitely be rated as “above-average“. Half an hour watching a YouTube video at half brightness and in Full HD consumed only 2% of the battery capacity!
The PC Mark “Work” test then reveals the whole splendour. It is almost impossible to drain the battery in one day. The benchmarks say 27 hours and there is still 20% left! Definitely world record for a smartphone. On top of that, you can use the energy-saving mode in everyday life without major restrictions, with which I still managed several hours at 5%, despite listening to music at a high volume. If that’s still not enough, you can also switch on the Ultra energy-saving mode. The UI is reduced to a minimum and blackened. Apps will then only be available on a “whitelist” as well as telephone and SMS. Background data is clipped completely and used apps are quickly removed from the RAM.
Imagine what would have been possible with an AMOLED screen and an even more economical Snapdragon!Battery lifetime Result Unit: hours
If you have managed to drain the Power 5, of course it wants to be fed with energy again! Using the included Quickcharge 3.0 power supply, it takes less time than I first thought. In 40 minutes it was possible to make up 25%, which is easily enough for another day. After another 40 minutes the Power 5 reached 50%. It was fully charged after almost exactly 3 hours and 20 minutes. Start 14:20 with 1 %. End 17:45 with 100 %. When charging in the range of 20 – 80 %, however, the smartphone gets very warm, almost a little uncomfortable.
One thing that should not be missing having these values is the OTG mode, i.e. the possibility to use the smartphone as a power bank. The Power 5 has this function. The required cable is included in the packaging.
The Ulefone Power 5 supports a charging power of 10 watts via induction. Ulefone sent us the in-house loading pad UF002 for the test, which is definitely not as daring as the smartphone in terms of design. Simple elegance is better here. The surface of the pad is covered with white or black imitation leather, the rest of the casing is made of metal. The package includes a high-quality USB cable wrapped in fabric. A power supply is missing. The pad has a diameter of 10 cm and is 6.5mm thick.
The charger and smartphone automatically detect when a compatible device is within range and start charging. Miracles should not be expected here. A full charge with the pad took almost twice as long as with the normal power supply, about 6.5 hours. However, the speed should be sufficient for overnight loading after a long week.
The charging pad is not included with the smartphone!