Even though Umidigi’s mobile phones often didn’t perform well in our tests, one thing has to be admitted: the manufacturer stays persistent. And so the Umidigi One Pro has accompanied me as a test device for the last two weeks. The smartphone has the ambition to churn up the lower middle class. The One Pro combines a Helio P23 Octa-Core processor with a premium design including a notch display as well as small but fine extra features such as wireless charging, dual camera, USB Type-C and stereo speaker. Can Umidigi succeed with the One Pro or is the smartphone all kippers and curtains? We will settle this question in the following review.
Comparison Umidigi One / One Pro
In addition to the Pro version of the Umidigi, there is also a standard version. This version does without some of the extra features like wireless charging and NFC and has only 32GB internal storage instead of 64GB. As a small consolation, however, the battery of the standard version is somewhat larger.
Design and build quality
After opening the simple packaging of the Umidigi One Pro, you get a “wow” effect. This also withstands a second glance, although it is relatively obvious that the Umidigi One Pro is a kind of cross-breeding between iPhone X and Huawei P20 Pro. Regardless of that, Umidigi managed to create a mobile phone that can really compete with any high-end smartphone despite the aggressive selling price of 170$. The smartphone has a cleanly built metal frame, which covers the front and rear which are made of glass. The weight of 188g isn’t particularly light, but it also underlines the value of the phone. The smartphone measures 148.4 x 71.4 x 8.5mm and can still be operated with one hand despite the large display. The USB Type-C port at the bottom, next to the 3.5mm headphone jack, is also a positive point.
The rear in the color version “Twilight”, which is obviously inspired by the Huawei P20 Pro, is especially striking. Depending on the incidence of light, the phone reflects in blue, purple and turquoise and looks really nice. The colors don’t change as much as in the original, but the effect is still quite impressive. Alternatively, the phone is also available with a carbon-fiber optic, and the surface here is also made of glass. On the rear there is only the LED flash and the dual camera module, which protrudes about one millimeter from the casing, next to the manufacturer’s logo.
As there are no other elements on the rear and the front is almost completely occupied by the display, the question arises where the fingerprint sensor has gone. Here, Umidigi has actually come up with something of his own. The sensor is located on the right side of the frame below the volume control. The scanner is directly integrated into the home button. The position of the sensor is ergonomic, as the thumb is placed at this point anyway when gripping the mobile phone. The unlocking takes about one second and succeeds in approximately 8 out of 10 attempts. In addition, the One Pro also supports Face Unlock. However, face recognition is intended more as a support in case the finger is not recognized correctly. In daylight, it works quite reliably and quickly, in dark rooms, almost no longer at all or only very slowly.
In a nutshell: The Umidigi One Pro manages to stand out from the crowd with its exceptionally successful design. All the design elements have been copied by other manufacturers, but ultimately the overall result counts. And that’s really something to be proud of. The One Pro is definitely one of the most beautiful low-budget devices on the market. End of the matter.
The display of the Umidigi One Pro measures 5.9-inches in the diagonal and is in 19:9 format including notch. With a resolution of 1520 x 720 pixels, the compact phone unfortunately only achieves 287PPI and is just below the retina value. If you look very closely, you can still see individual pixels. However, the resolution is still okay if you consider that it saves battery life and computing power. The viewing angle stability and color representation are good. The brightness is also sufficient to use the display well even outdoors in light sunlight. In the settings you also have the possibility to activate a blue light filter for the evening hours. But there is no tool to adjust the color representation.
The Umidigi One Pro has a notch to let the display occupy a large part of the front. The notch houses the proximity sensor, the front camera and a notification LED. Above the notch the distance to the frame is only 3mm. On the bottom, the chin is a little wider with just 8mm than on the iPhone X. For a cheap device like the One Pro, the display-to-front ratio is nevertheless considerable. With a smartphone with notch, one wonders, of course, to what extent the system is adapted and optimized to this “feature”. It’s important that the symbols are displayed correctly and aren’t cut off in the middle, how other apps react to it and that the area can also be set to black in order to hide the notch. Overall, Umidigi has done an average job on these points. Since the notch is quite wide (3.3cm), there is only room for the time in addition to the network reception, WiFi and battery. However, bluetooth or a plugged in headset can no longer be displayed and only become visible when the status bar is pulled down. This didn’t bother me much during the test phase. What I found annoying, however, was the lack of the possibility to display the battery percentage with a battery symbol. Here, they could definitely have looked how other manufacturers, like OnePlus, coped with that matter. In order to display the exact battery capacity, it is also necessary to drag the status bar down. However, Umidigi does a good job in displaying apps. In the display options, there is the possibility to limit the display to the area without notch if an app is not adapted.
The touch screen registers up to 10 touch points at the same time and works precisely, so that even fast typing persons can cope well with the mobile phone. Another big advantage is that Umidigi used scratch-resistant glass on both sides.
The Umidigi houses a Helio P23 by MediaTek. The Octa Core consists of a performance cluster with 4 x 2.3GHz and an energy saving cluster with 4 x 1.65GHz. The graphics solution is the ARM Mali G71 MP2 with 700MHz. We could also see with our previous test devices, like the Cubot Power, that the Helio P23 calculates accordingly efficiently and doesn’t consume too much of the battery. The Umidigi One and One Pro also offer 4GB RAM: in terms of internal storage, the normal version has 32GB and the Pro version 64GB.
The Android smartphone is easy to use with its performance: the system runs very smoothly and in basic tasks (surfing, WhatsApp, navigation,…) you hardly notice the difference to a flagship. 3D games can also be played with the Helio P23, but sometimes you have to cut back on the graphics level. For casual gamers the performance is still sufficient, ambitious gamers should rather go for the Redmi Note 5 in the budget range.Antutu Result Geekbench Multi Result Geekbench Single Result 3D Mark Result
The storage is large enough with 4GB RAM for having some apps in the background. In terms of multitasking capability, the Umidigi One Pro gets a good result. The internal storage achieves a reading speed of 160MB/s and a writing speed of 130MB/s. The RAM is 5GB/s fast. For a mobile phone in this price range, that’s something to be proud of.
The Umidigi One Pro runs with Android 8.1. Thank God the manufacturer showed insight and buried Umi OS. Therefore, you have a clean Android system without major changes to the user interface. Compared to Xiaomis Mi A2 / A2 Lite, there are a few additional settings that improve the user experience considerably. For example, you can adjust the position of the navigation buttons, change the font or control background activities with DuraSpeed. There is no bloatware on the system and the virus test was also negative. The Google Play-store is of course available by default and also works perfectly.
The camera on the rear consists of a main sensor with 12MP and an aperture of f/2.0 and a second one with 5MP. The chip comes from Omnivision and is called OV12870. On the front is a single S5K3P3 with 16MP and an f/2.0 aperture by Samsung. In terms of image quality, the Umidigi One Pro surprised me positively. Of course, the phone can’t keep up with flagships that are twice or three times as expensive, but the pictures are above average for the price range around 170$. In daylight, you get pictures with good sharpness and details, only the colors often look a bit pale. When zooming in further, there is a slight image noise, but the photos still look usable in the details. As soon as the day approaches evening and the light becomes less, the image quality naturally decreases quite quickly. But you can still take useful photos here, too. But here you shouldn’t rely on the auto focus of the mobile phone, which often tends to make mistakes with low light. But with a little patience and manual focus, the pictures are often still usable here as well. The result of the rear camera can be transferred almost 1:1 to the front camera. Here, too, you get good photos with a decent amount of detail in plenty of light, but some of them look a bit pale. Selfies don’t look so well with the front camera with less light, because there a strong image noise occurs very quickly.
The video recordings taken by the Umidigi One Pro are quite okay. Even more than with photos, a lot of light is needed for good videos. However, the focus seems to have quite a problem with videos and generally reacts very slowly. Strangely enough, the OpenCamera app from the Play-store gives you much better focused videos. By the way, there is a button for electronic image stabilization (EIS) in the settings. But this doesn’t change the fact that in motion all videos are affected by strong jerking.
Finally, the big surprise. The Umidigi One Pro has a REAL dual camera. So the One Pro will go down in the annals of Chinese mobile phone history as the first inexpensive smartphone from a smaller manufacturer with a real dual cam. Congratulations! Of course, the quality of the bokeh shots can’t quite keep up with those of the big players like Xiaomi and Meizu, but with a lot of patience you get kind of useful results. Look and marvel:
Connectivity and communication
The Umidigi One Pro is a Dual-SIM mobile phone. Two Nano-SIM cards can be used simultaneously in the mobile phone. Alternatively you have the possibility to use one of the two SIM slots for storage expansion via microSD. The network reception is sufficiently strong and all important 3G and 4G frequencies are supported, as well as a whole range of other LTE bands, so that the mobile phone should have 4G reception in almost every country in the world:
4G TDD-LTE 34 /38 /39 /40 /41
4G FDD-LTE 1 /2 /3 /4 /5 /7 /8 /12 /13 /17 /18 /19 /20 /25 /26 /28A /28B
The call quality when making calls is on average and the hands-free function can also be used. Noises are filtered out well.
Dual-Band WiFi is also supported, but you have to do without the .ac standard. But in practice this is not a big limitation. Bluetooth is supported with the 4.2 standard, which is also typical for a mid-range mobile phone. The Umidigi One Pro also offers a gyroscope, an e-compass, proximity, acceleration and brightness sensors and navigation with GPS and GLONASS. Determining the position works surprisingly well and the Umidigi phone can be used as a navigation replacement without any problems. The Umidigi One Pro also offers NFC in contrast to the standard version.
For sound output, the right speaker opening at the bottom and the auricle work together. To speak of real stereo sound here is therefore somewhat exaggerated. Nevertheless, the sound is neat and only slightly overdriven, even at the highest volume. Typical for a mid-range mobile phone, however, the low frequencies are quite underrepresented.
The Umidigi One Pro houses a 3250mAh battery. The capacity is slightly smaller than in the standard version with 3550mAh, probably to accommodate the coil for wireless charging in the mobile phone. The capacity of the battery is on average for a 5.9-inch smartphone and the battery life accordingly as well. Over the day, I had an on-screen time between 4 and 6 hours with the Umidigi One Pro and the battery usually lasted for 1.5 days. Even if there are clearly more enduring mobile phones like the Redmi Note 5, this result can be lived with well.Battery lifetime Result Unit: hours
The battery is charged in 90 minutes with the included power adapter. In addition, the One Pro supports wireless charging with 15 watts. We only had a 10W charger at our disposal at the time of testing with which the charging process from 10 to 90% took about 2 hours and 40 minutes. With a correspondingly strong power supply it should go a little faster.