With the Ulefone X another smartphone enters the hard-fought ring to fight for the best mid-range smartphone. The name of the mobile phone as well as the display with notch suggests one or the other side view in the direction of the apple. But apart from the usual copy-cat mentality: With a Helio P23 Octa-Core processor, 4/64GB memory, a large display with narrow bezels and a noble glass rear, the Ulefone X presents a neat overall picture on paper. Whether the smartphone can also convince in our test, you will find out in the following review.
Design and build quality
As already mentioned, the Ulefone X is similar to the Iphone X in terms of design. You can like this or not, it’s a matter of taste. Objectively you have to admit that the Ulefone X is of quite high quality and despite its low price does not make any big mistakes. The smartphone is very torsion-resistant and the glass rear looks elegant and noble at the same time. With a large 5.8-inch display – also the display size corresponds to that of the Iphone X – the Ulefone X also offers plenty of space for multimedia and apps. The manufacturer made every effort to keep the dimensions quite small despite the large display. Measuring 151 x 73 x 9mm, the phone is almost as compact as the Iphone X (143 x 71 x 7.7mm) and can also be operated with one hand. The only larger area on the front is the 1cm wide edge below the display. The weight of 219g is slightly higher though. On the bottom is a classic micro-USB connector – here we would have liked an upgrade to the new USB Type-C standard. In addition, there is a somewhat annoying special feature of the micro-USB port. It sits deeper in the housing than usual, so you need a longer micro-USB connector. One disadvantage of this is that you cannot charge the Ulefone X with every standard cable and that you have a problem if the cable is lost. It is best to order a suitable replacement cable right away from Aliexpress. Luckily, there is still a headphone jack on the top. To the left are the volume buttons and the on/off button. These are placed the other way round (power button above the volume control), which takes a few days to get used to.
The SIM slot of the smartphone is located on the right side. Two nano-SIMs or one micro-SD and one nano-SIM can be used in here. The glass rear is not removable and therefore you have no access to the battery. Of course, it should be noted that the rear made of glass also brings a double risk of breakage. On the positive side, however, both front and rear are well protected against scratches and are not scratched by keys or similar objects.
The Ulefone X is a very neat smartphone with a high-quality design. The manufacturer didn’t just follow Apple’s name, but skillfully imitated the look of the Iphone X. Whether you like it or not is simply a matter of taste.
The display of the Ulefone X measures 5.85 inches and has a resolution of 1512 x 720 pixels, resulting in a pixel density of 286ppi. In terms of sharpness, a Full HD panel would have made a visible difference here, but the HD resolution is also sufficient for everyday use. Individual pixels can still be recognized, but only if you look very closely. Although the sharpness is not on a top level, the display has a very high luminosity and also strong colors. The display of the IPS panel is natural and offers a realistic image. Therefore, it is also bearable that it is not possible to adjust the color representation, although a tool like MiraVision or at least a reading mode would certainly not have been too much to ask for.
Typical for an IPS panel, the contrast is good but not outstanding. The viewing angle stability, on the other hand, is very good. The touch screen registers up to 5 points of contact simultaneously and works with sufficient precision.
To reduce the bezels and certainly also to provide an Iphone X feeling, the Ulefone X offers a notch. The recess houses the proximity sensor, the front camera and the earpiece. Just like it is the case on the Iphone X, the notch is remarkably large with 3.5cm length and 0.8cm width. The battery display and the time are located to the right. On the left side there is a symbol for network reception and WiFi. Notification and Bluetooth icons are no longer displayed due to limited space. There is no possibility to fade out the notch (as e.g. with OnePlus 6).
The display of the Ulefone X is large, colorfast and bright and thanks to the notch there is hardly any unused space on the front. Only concerning the resolution we would have wished for Full-HD on a 175$ mobile phone. However, the display is still sharp enough for everyday use.
The Ulefone X houses a Helio P23 processor as central processing unit. The CPU by Mediatek has 9 ARM Cortex-A53 cores, which are divided into a power saving cluster with 1.65 GHz and a power cluster with 2.3 GHz. An ARM Mali G-71 GPU is used for graphical calculation processes. This chip is typical for the current middle class and also delivers a good performance in practice. The Ulefone X offers 4GB RAM and 64GB internal memory. In terms of multitasking, the Ulefone X performs well due to its large main memory and some apps can be kept in the cache. With a speed of 5GB/s the RAM’s speed is on average. The internal memory achieves very good values with 180MB/s in reading and 140MB/s in writing.Antutu Result Geekbench Multi Result 3D Mark Result
As far as everyday performance is concerned, the Ulefone X can be counted among the fast phones of its price range. The phone may also profit from the relatively low display resolution. Apps and system run pleasantly fast and even the rendering of complex websites is no problem. Even current games can be played well with medium or high graphics level. Asphalt 8 and Modern Combat, for example, run without problems, only PUBG does not produce a decent frame rate. The smartphone gets noticeably warm when playing, but not so much that it feels uncomfortable in the hand.
The performance of the Ulefone X is absolutely appropriate for a 175$ device. Apps, websites and multimedia can be used with very short load times and thanks to the large memory modules there are no problems when saving files or during multitasking. Games can also be used well on the device, but here you are better served with a Redmi Note 5.
The Ulefone X runs with a current Android 8.1 system. The Google Playstore is of course also available. With the exception of a few changed icons and a few extra settings, the system is largely untouched. A virus test does not show any abnormalities. There were also no bugs and crashes during the test phase. The manufacturer has done a great job here.
On the rear of the Ulefone X you find a 13 megapixel camera, which is interpolated to 16 megapixels. It is supposedly supported by a second camera with 5 megapixels. The second camera, however, is a dummy without a function. Bokeh shots or 2X zoom are not possible with the Ulefone X, or rather the results are all unusable. As far as the performance of the main camera with a Sony IMX135 sensor and f/2.2 aperture is concerned, the phone cuts an average figure. The images usually have a reasonably realistic color representation, but occasionally appear rather oversaturated. Unfortunately, sharpness is not one of the camera’s strengths. The pictures still look nice on the mobile phone display, but when you zoom in on a PC screen, you quickly see quite a lot of image noise even in good light conditions. As soon as less light is available, the noise increases even more, so low-light photography is not really fun. However, this is normal in this price range.
The front camera has 8 megapixels (interpolated to 13MP) and an f/2.4 aperture. Unfortunately, the pictures are anything but beautiful. The colours appear rather blurred and there is a strong grey haze. Here we would have wished for more!
Video recording is possible with Full-HD resolution and 30FPS. Sharpness and color reproduction of the videos are fine, but not particularly good either. After all, the focus does a good job and the sound recording is also satisfactory.
2G GSM: 1900/1800/850/900(B2/3/5/8)
3G WCDMA: 2100/850/900(B1/5/8)
4G FDD-LTE: 2100/1800/2600/900/800(B1/3/7/8/20)
The reception strength is neither conspicuously strong nor weak. When making calls, you get a good call quality both via the earpiece and the hands-free function.
As far as other wireless connections are concerned, WiFi with b/g/n standard and dual-band support is available. The reception strength of the WiFi is fine. Being three rooms away from the router, about 5-10 Mbit still arrive on the smartphone, directly next to the router it is 40 Mbit. Bluetooth is supported in version 4.0 and works perfectly up to a distance of 10m. In addition to the standard sensors (proximity, brightness, acceleration), there is also an E-compass and a gyroscope available. GPS and GLONASS are available for navigation and location determination works fast and error-free.
The loudspeakers are of average quality. The sound is reasonably loud and hardly distorts even at the highest level. However, typical for this price range, little or no bass is available. When connecting mid-range headphones to the Ulefone X, you get a clean and good sound.
For unlocking the Ulefone X you can use the fingerprint sensor on the rear. It works very well and unlocks the smartphone in less than a second successfully from standby in 8/10 cases. Face-Unlock is also advertised on the manufacturer’s website. However, the function is not yet available on our Ulefone X. This could be due to the fact that the smartphone has not been on the market for long. In any case, Ulefone should deliver the Face-Unlock with an update as soon as possible.
With a 3300mAh battery, the Ulefone X has a medium capacity for a 5.8-inch smartphone. The battery life is on average. Those who use their smartphones actively between 2 and 4 hours a day, get through the day with the capacity. This should be sufficient for most users, but if you use your mobile phone even more often, it is better to look for another smartphone. In my case (about 2.5 hours on-screen time per day) I could use the Ulefone X for about 1.5 days. The consumption depends of course strongly on the intensity of the applications. Playing intensive games require 32% battery power per hour. Watching a one-hour YouTube video and surfing consumes about 16%.Battery lifetime Result Unit: hours
Charging the Ulefone Power takes 3 hours with the included 5V/1.5A adapter. Given the average battery life, a quick-charge function would have been appropriate. Alternatively, a wireless charger can be used for charging, which then takes 4 hours.