After UMIDIGI S2 and S2 Pro, now follows UMIDIGI S2 Lite, the version of the series with the smallest price. UMIDIGI is well-known for exaggerated marketing promises and mostly invests more time in advertisements than in their devices. After making the users suffer with a UMI OS full of spam and daft marketing lies in 2017, UMIDIGI was facing the chop at the beginning of this year. However, they found a new investor and the marketing party can continue; but in case of S2 Lite, without the spam-contaminated UMI OS. Instead, you get “3D ID face-unlock”, which is hugely advertised on the website. In practice, you can easily fool the face-unlock with a simple photo, but honestly, we didn’t expect anything else.
For a 130€ device, UMIDIGI S2 Lite boasts a surprisingly well-built unibody metal casing, a 5100mAh battery and an HD display with 18:9 format. An octa-core processor by MediaTek (MT6750) secures enough power for the low-budget range, combined with 4GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage. Of course, UMI also provides a useless dual-camera – however, the device showed in the review that it also has its strong points.
Design and build quality
Umidigi S2 Lite has the exact same casing as both of the 2 more expensive sibling devices. The phone has a width of 75mm, is 159m long and only 8.8mm thick, despite the big battery. UMI uses a unibody metal casing with 2 curved antenna lines at the top and bottom. With a weight of 193g, the smartphone is not that light, but it leaves a high-quality impression. Our red test device looks freaking cool and has perfect build quality. With S2 Lite, UMIDIGI shows impressively how much build quality is possible already at a price of only 130€. Corners and edges are perfectly rounded, power button and volume control are firmly attached to the casing and consist of metal as well. The dual-camera was set in the casing a bit lower to protect the lens from scratches.
The bezels measure slightly less than 3mm on the left and right side. The 18:9 format makes it possible to have slim bezels of 10mm above and below the display. The fingerprint scanner on the rear unlocks the phone reliably within less than a second from stand-by. At the front you find a weak notification LED in the earpiece, which unfortunately only shines in red. On bright days you barely see the LED, it is only really visible in the evening or in dark rooms. Like almost all China smartphones now, the phone is operated via on-screen buttons, which can be configured in the options menu. You can also hide them with an arrow on the left, and let them show again via swiping upward.
You can insert either 2 Nano-SIMs or 1 Nano-SIM and 1 Micro-SD card (up to 128GB) in the SIM tray. On the rear, you find a second, noise-canceling microphone and there is also a USB Type-C port.
In terms of design and build quality, UMIDIGI gets nice results and convinces with a lower-middle-class phone with almost perfect build quality. UMIDIGI also did a great job with the black and red design.
UMIDIGI S2 Lite scope of delivery
The smartphone is delivered in a standard box, which contains:
- UMIDIGI S2 Lite with screen protector
- Power plug with 5V/2A
- USB-Type-C cable
- USB-Type C to headphone jack adapter
- Dark silicone cover
- Quick reference guide
- SIM ejection tool
The 6-inch IPS display has a resolution of 1440 x 720 pixels. Due to the 18:9 format, the smartphone is almost just as handy as a 5.5-inch device with 16:9 format, it is just a bit longer. The display is not the sharpest one with a pixel density of 268 ppi, but you do not really notice the low resolution in practice. Instead, the display offers nice contrasts, outstanding brightness, and accurate color representation. The automatic brightness mode does a fine job and adjusts the brightness fast and pleasantly. Viewing angles are very stable, as it is typical for IPS displays. Unfortunately, there is no MiraVision to customize the display, but the “LiveDisplay” mode adjusts the color temperature according to the circumstances. There is also a reading mode that reduces the blue light ratio.
The touchscreen registers up to 5 points of contact simultaneously and reacts fast and precisely to every input. Gorilla Glass to protect the phone from scratches was not used, but even without the ex-works attached screen protector, Umidigi S2 Lite’s display looked new after 2 weeks of use. The display also survived a test with the screwdriver. Although the display glass is rounded off at the sides, you can feel the transition to the frame. We are quite happy: Umidigi S2 Lite convinces with a display that could be easily used in a 200€-device as well.
Quite popular among the lower-middle-class, the MT6750 octa-core processor by MediaTek secures “efficient performance” in many battery smartphones and was also used in Umidigi S2 Lite. The CPU consists of 8 Cortex A53 cores with a performance cluster of 4×1.5GHz and an energy-saving cluster of 4×1.0GHz. The processor is supported by a Mali-T860 GPU and 4GB of RAM. Possessing this hardware, Umidigi S2 Lite is not a performance wonder, but does everything a smartphone should do (with some lags). Even demanding 3D games like Modern Combat and Asphalt 8 run smoothly with reduced graphics settings.Antutu Result Geekbench Multi Result Geekbench Single Result 3D Mark Result
The RAM of 4GB is not that fast with 3.8GB/s, but it is enough for multitasking. The internal storage of 32GB is kind of small compared to the many smartphones with a 64GB storage. The reading/writing speed of 139/64 MB/s are on average. The other benchmarks are also on average for the lower-middle-class.
Heat development was kept within limits also after 1 hour of gaming and the casing never got hotter than 41°.
Android 7.0 without UMI-OS
One of the biggest weak points of the last UMI smartphones was the UMI launcher that was contaminated with spam and bloatware. Thank god it is gone now, and UMI provides a slightly changed and adjusted Stock Android 7 system. The system is not really up-to-date; those who attach great importance to the latest Google security patch should not choose Umidigi S2 Lite. Despite two updates, the security patch and the 7.0 system stayed the same. Nonetheless, the occasional system crashes were disposed of with the last update. As additional features, UMI included a face-ID-unlock and a background manager. The latter reliably indicates apps, which consume a lot of energy in the background. Those apps can also be deactivated right away, if need be. The face-ID-unlock is disappointing, as expected. Unlocking the device does not work from stand-by and is rather unreliable. At the same time, the phone allegedly scans a 3D picture, however, you can easily fool the unlock with an ordinary picture. The fingerprint scanner reacts much faster and safely unlocks the phone. As we have expected, 2018 will be the year of the “fake face-unlock” function.
Otherwise, the system runs fluently and is mostly free from bugs. Also bloatware and spam apps can no longer be found on Umidigi S2 Lite.
The beautiful rear side of S2 Lite includes 2 sensors: one with 16MP and an additional fake sensor with 5MP. The second sensor is, as usual, without any function and the bokeh effect of the dual-camera is created by the software. Thus, the dual-camera is completely useless. The main sensor by Omnivision, on the other hand, is surprising. The OV16880 16MP sensor creates nice pictures in good light conditions. The photos are pin-sharp and have nice colors. Trigger time is low as well and the autofocus works fast and precisely.
As it is normally the case with low-budget smartphones, the image quality deteriorates as soon as there is less light. The focus then clearly has problems, too. The front camera is only useful in good light conditions; then you get nice selfies. Videos can be recorded with up to 1080p, but the autofocus is rather slow. Sound quality is not convincing either. Those taking occasional snapshots and selfies in daylight will be happy with Umidigi S2 Lite’s camera. For a lower-middle-class smartphone, the main camera convinced us.
Connectivity and communication
GSM (2G): 850(B5)/900(B8)/1800(B3)/1900(B2)
WCDMA/UMTS (3G): 850(B5)/900(B8)/1900(B2)/2100(B1)
LTE (4G): 2100(B1)/1800(B3)/2600(B7)/800(B20)
Voice quality was on a high level as well and you can use the speakerphone without any problems.
Considering the price range, the speaker lives up to the expectations. It provides a decent sound without bass. Unfortunately, there is no headphone jack available, but the quality using the provided USB Type-C to headphone jack adapter is very good.
The WiFi module offers n-standard and range, as well as throughput, are convincing. Bluetooth also worked well with a good range and the connection in the car was always stable. Besides the standard sensors (acceleration, proximity and brightness sensors), Umidigi S2 Lite offers a gyroscope and a compass. Unfortunately, the compass has to be calibrated very often and never shows the exact position. As orientation as a pedestrian, it is sufficient. The GPS was never more precise than 7-8 meters, and when using the phone as a navigation system in the car, the GPS often had problems. Therefore, a reliable navigation is not possible. For pedestrian navigation, it gets even worse.
Umidigi S2 Lite houses a 5100mAh battery, which provides awesome battery life. Our test also confirms the capacity. Thanks to the thrifty processor and the “only” HD display, the phone is a real battery monster. Two days of intense use with a DOT of 9-10 hours are no problem. The device is fully charged in 3 hours, and between 20 and 80% the battery is charged with 2A. Stand-by time is also perfectly optimized and overnight (8 hours), the phone loses 4%. In the PCMark battery test, the smartphone lasted for 14 hours. Great!Battery lifetime Result Unit: hours