Considering the last Umidigi smartphones in the higher price range, we can expect another low-budget device with the A1 Pro, which according to the specifications has a lot to offer. However, it should also be borne in mind that Umidigi is one of the manufacturers who does not necessarily keep announcements or promises. Whether this is also the case with the cheap A1 Pro, you can find out here in the UMIDIGI A1 Pro test report!
Design / build quality/ scope of delivery
“A smartphone under $100 can only be cheap plastic, right?” The answer is “yes and no”. Yes, the Umidig A1 Pro is, as already suspected in our announcement of the beginning of May, only made of plastic. No, it doesn’t seem cheap, though. On the contrary. At first glance, you actually think that the smartphone has a frame made of aluminum or similar. That’s because Umidigi deliberately gave the frame and rear cover a piano lacquer look. This leads to beautiful light effects when the light falls on them. It is hard to believe, but the Chinese manufacturer has done a great job here. The design is simple but very elegant. Scratches cannot be avoided due to the plastic surface, I suppose. I used the A1 Pro partly without TPU and have not had a scratch so far. If you take a pointed object and scrub slightly on the surface, no damage occurs. If the pressure is increased, however, scratches and cuttings occur.
It is also pleasing that the exact specifications are listed on the manufacturer’s website of the device. Other manufacturers are quite stingy in this respect.
The smartphone is available in 3 colors (Moonlight Silver, Pitch Dark & Icy Blue). The dimensions of the A1 Pro are 145 x 69 x 9mm. Thanks to Umidigi’s “4D Curved body“, the smartphone fits perfectly in the hand. It simply means that all 4 sides of the display and rear surface are smoothly rounded. In addition, the phone is pleasantly light at just 184g. Umidigi cheated slightly and specified it 11g lighter. The SIM cards are inserted into the slot on the top side. Due to the common hybrid slot, either two Nano-SIM cards or one SIM and one Micro-SD can be used for memory expansion in the smartphone. Unfortunately, a notification LED is not included. On the right side, volume control and power button are located. Both buttons are very easy to reach, have a great pressure point and do not wiggle. Furthermore, they are in exactly the same color as the casing. On the bottom of the frame you find the good, old jack connector as well as the usual cut-outs for microphone and loudspeaker.
Last but not least, you have a USB Type-C connection. No, it’s not a typo, but reality. An absolute novelty in this price segment. Here the A1 Pro could be a prime example. The bottom side is “interrupted” only by the 2 typical plastic elements to ensure good reception. The left side of the frame is completely free.
A dual camera is located on the non-removable rear of the phone. The two sensors are arranged one below the other, but it should be mentioned that one of the sensors is only a fake. Surely not unexpectedly. Below it, there is the Dual LED flash and the fingerprint sensor. The rear is a bit susceptible to fingermarks, which was to be expected in view of the lacquering in piano look. The rear cover is neatly embedded in the frame and the transition to the frame is barely perceptible. Only at the bottom side the cover is not completely gap-free. With the test device, a very slightly sharp-edged transition is noticeable here. At least in comparison to the top side.
With the A1 Pro, Umidigi proves that even a very inexpensive smartphone can boast an otherwise good build quality. This is where the test device can score. If UMIDIGI has always been well up on something, it’s how to make a smartphone look high-quality.
The A1 Pro has a 5.5″ display in 18:9 format. The screen-to-body ratio is 85%. All corners of the IPS panel are nicely rounded. The resolution is 1440 x 720 pixels. Thus, it reaches a pixel density of 293 ppi and is only just below the retina value. Nevertheless, the curved 2.5D display is sharp enough to ensure a pleasant image. Thanks to IPS, the display’s viewing angle stability and brightness are perfectly good.
As predicted, the touchscreen registers 5 touch points simultaneously. In practice, everything works as it should. Gorilla glass is not used in the A1 Pro, however. Contrary to the advertising
pictures, the bezels are somewhat wider than advertised. Thus our healthy scepticism has come true. Nevertheless, the bezels are still very narrow with approx. 2.5mm for this ultra-low-level range. Navigation is exclusively via on-screen buttons. The brightness in the upper display area is an impressive 759 lux. In the lower part of the display it is still a good 695 lux. This high level of brightness ensures that the contents can still be seen on the display even in direct sunlight.
Of course, the display of the A1 Pro cannot compete with the displays of the high-class models. Measured by the price, you still get a display that is sharp and bright enough to be prepared for everyday use.
The heart of the A1 Pro is the new Mediatek MT6739 processor. The SoC is the successor of the MT6737, which has already been installed in numerous low-budget smartphones. The SoC continues to operate with 4 ARM Cortex-A53 cores at 1.5 GHz each. What is new, however, is that Mediatek no longer relies on a Mali GPU, but on a PowerVR GE8100 graphics unit by the company Imagination. The clock frequency is 570MHz and now also supports 18:9 display formats. 3GB LPDDR3 RAM are used as short-term memory. This is also the maximum possible memory size of the MT6739 SoC. The data throughput achieves a reasonable 3.5 GB/s. The internal memory, on the other hand, is rather limited with 16 GB. In practice, this is definitely not enough, so you won’t be able to avoid buying a MicroSD card. A maximum of 256 GB is possible here. Only the reading speed could be measured which is 133 MB/s.
We didn’t really notice any noticeable improvement compared to the previous SoCs. Of course, everyone should be aware that the MT6737 is not a power CPU either. So it would be okay if only hardcore games jerked, but the processor reaches its limits quite fast. Of course, all basic functions are performed without any problems, but when using Google Maps, for example, various jerks occur here and there. Another example is the camera. If the “Bokeh” filter is selected, the smartphone is no longer able to display a smooth image in the live view. Speaking of a smooth picture: Our standard test game Asphalt 8 only ran moderately with maximum details. For enjoying the game, graphics must be reduced to the minimum. In the AnTuTu benchmark, interference occurred as well. Nevertheless, the test was successfully completed.
The processor is sufficient for using the basic functions or for playing simple games. Demanding tasks are performed with smaller waiting times. At full capacity, the Umidigi A1 Pro also gets relatively hot.Antutu Result Geekbench Multi Result Geekbench Single Result 3D Mark Result
Well, let’s call that a surprise! Umidigi chose to offer the latest version of Android for the A1 Pro. In the low budget range, where other manufacturers deliver devices with Android 7.0, this is especially commendable. The security updates were released at the beginning of April 2018, and a smaller update was also installed via OTA during the test period. All known Google Apps are pre-installed, of course. If you are afraid that Umidigi again used the user interface UMI OS on A1, you can stay calm. It is good that they didn’t install it because the manufacturer must have taken a lot of malice for it. Nobody wants to be annoyed by advertising on a smartphone or find useless “security programs” that cannot be uninstalled. Thus, the user can enjoy a crystal-clear Stock Android version 8.1, which is also completely free of malware.
Only DuraSpeed is available, but it can be deactivated very easily. If you like, you can also use an alternative launcher. The classic icon of the app drawer has disappeared. Instead, there is now a circumflex without letters in the middle of the home screen, which gets you to the overview of all apps. This saves space in any case, as no large symbol is used.
Last but not least, I am pleased that the size of the font, as well as the symbols, can be adjusted according to your own preferences.
The Umidigi A1 Pro provides a 13 MP camera with an ƒ/2.0 aperture by Samsung. According to Umidigi, it is supported by a second 5 MP camera. As already mentioned in our announcement, the second sensor is only a fake. The notorious Bokeh effect is only possible with software filters. As a result, only the edges of the photo are blurred, which doesn’t really look good. But in this price segment there are only few devices, which provide a genuine Dual Cam (LeEco LeeRee LE 3 for instance).
Although the camera has no HDR function, you can still take decent photos. The colours are strong without appearing unnatural. The brightness values are OK, too. Only the overexposure with bright backgrounds or scenarios is somewhat noticeable, especially when using the Selfie-Cam. The latter takes pictures with 5 megapixels (aperture ƒ/2.4) and also leaves a positive impression. An electronic image stabiliser (EIS) is also part of the equipment of the A1 Pro. As it is so often the case, only the standard format (4:3) achieves 13 megapixels. If you switch to 16:9 format, only a maximum of 9 megapixels is possible.
The night shots were a little surprise. The quality of the pictures is not outstanding, but we already had other test candidates that were more or less lost here. The dual LED flash is bright enough to illuminate a completely dark room relatively well, which of course also benefits the camera. Objects that are further away are blurred and image noise quickly occurs.
It should also be mentioned that one time the camera completely failed during the test period. No connection to the camera could be established and the picture remained black. A restart did not help in this case either. Only a longer shutdown of the phone helped to solve the problem. This problem occurred after the last update, but remained a single case. It is pure speculation whether it was possibly due to the current high temperatures. Videos can be recorded in FHD quality at a maximum of 30 frames per second.
Connectivity and communication
If you have planned a trip around the world, but under no circumstances can do without LTE, you should pay attention to the A1 Pro. No smartphone in Mediatek’s lower price range has been able to show off such a brilliant band selection so far. Furthermore, both slots also support VoLTE. The call quality is at a good level. The following LTE bands are supported:
The A1 Pro supports dual-band WiFi in a/b/g/n standard and works without problems. Bluetooth is available in version 4.0. In addition to the must-have sensors for proximity, brightness and acceleration, the smartphone even offers a gyroscope, a pressure sensor and an E-compass. The device uses GPS, GLONASS and BeiDou for location. The navigation is also convincing. No matter whether on foot or by car, the A1 Pro will lead you safely to your destination. You only have to be prepared for some lags because of the moderate performance, e.g. after starting Google Maps, there is a certain delay until you can use the app.
By the way, the new feature of Android Oreo is quite useful here: While navigation is in full swing, Google Maps can also be reduced by pressing the home button. So you can use the phone and still know where to go. Of course, we clearly distance ourselves from using the smartphone while driving. Leave that to your passenger! 🙂
The fingerprint sensor integrated on the rear performs its work very reliably. In the test, the smartphone was unlocked in 9 out of 10 attempts. However, unlocking could definitely be faster. It takes up to 1.4 seconds until the A1 Pro is ready for operation. If you do not want to unlock by using your finger, you can also unlock the phone via Face ID. In practice, this works surprisingly well. Simply press the power button and the registered face is searched for. The sensor cannot be tricked with an image of the registered person. Even if you try to register a face via a photo, an error message appears. Well done Umidigi!
The Umidigi A1 Pro is exceptionally well equipped and can really convince in terms of connectivity. It is also OTG-compatible.
The smartphone is charged via a 5V/2A charging adapter. Watching a one-hour video in HD at half brightness consumes 21% of the battery. In the battery test the A1 Pro lasted 7 hours.Battery lifetime Result Unit: hours