Umidigi has become a household name for most readers. Whether this is negative or positive remains a subjective assessment, but you can clearly say that Umi shines when presenting new models and then regularly disappoints in reality. Now, the Umidigi Z2 has been launched and is a mixture between IPhone X and Huawei Honor 10. We have subjected the smartphone to an extensive test.
Design and build quality
As usual, Umidigi Z2’s packaging is noble: matt black cardboard and neatly stowed accessories. Accessories include the Type-C charging cable with quick charge adapter, a 3.5mm jack to Type-C adapter, a protective cover and a short manual. The build quality of the accessories looks great and we could not find any weak points in practical use. The smartphone itself is safely packed in a black rubber case designed for everyday use. At first glance, you immediately notice the colored back. Similar to the Huawei Honor 10, an attempt was made to capture incident light and reflect it in different colors. The effect is only varnished and thus a fake – Huawei Honor uses several layers to achieve this effect. But in any case the color is an eye-catcher, which I find very nice!
In the middle of the rear are two cameras and the fingerprint sensor. Umidigi has made a lot of publicity for his new AI Dual-Cam, but whether the promises also correspond to the truth, we will find out in the camera test. Compared to the huge Umi S2 Pro, the 6.2-inch Umi Z2 in 19:9 format now fits very well in the hand and can usually still be operated with one hand. Measuring 153.4mm x 74.4mm x 8.3mm, it definitely fits comfortably in any pocket. The weight of 165 grams also gives a pleasant feeling in the hand. The speaker and power buttons are located on the side of the smartphone, in a metal frame. Both are very well-built and work reliably. But the good build quality does not end with the buttons, it runs through the entire smartphone! Soft edges, no gaps or protrusions. The front of the Umidigi Z2 has however been the real highlight of the advertising. In order to follow the trend, a notch has been installed here. The display covers almost the entire front, only a small frame can be seen at the bottom. Everything is controlled by onscreen buttons, which unfortunately limit the usable screen area a bit. Here we would like to see gesture control in an update. Above the display you find the notch with sensors, speakers and a dual-selfie camera. What is missing is the notification LED, but whether you urgently need it is once again up to the subjective assessment of the respective user.
Access to the 3850mAh battery remains denied, as the rear is permanently installed and cannot be removed so easily. On the left side there is the SIM card slot, which can accommodate either two Nano-SIMs or one Nano-SIM and one Micro-SD. The fingerprint sensor on the rear works with 0.5 seconds recognition, as already in the Umi S2 Pro, not with record speed, but very reliably.
The display of the Umi Z2 measures 6.2 inches with a resolution of 2246×1080 in 19:9 format. If you are looking for a Gorilla Glass certification, you will be disappointed, because apart from the in-house scratch protection there is no further protection. Unfortunately, we had to learn that the glass is still easily scratched after a bunch of keys was in contact with the smartphone. Individual pixels are of course not visible in the image. The contrast is very good, as is the brightness that can be adjusted automatically. The smartphone can also be used outdoors without any problems, as the screen can be adjusted relatively brightly.
The viewing angle stability is fully convincing, only at the top, around the notch, you can see a slight weakness of the display at an oblique viewing angle. The 10 points of contact of the display are okay. 10 points of contact are enough, but they have to work. With the Z2, however, we noticed again and again that weaknesses were to be found especially on the sides or next to the notch. Sometimes the screen doesn’t react until you touch it again or after you lock and unlock the phone.
In the advertising, the new Helio P60 was promoted, but then only the Helio P23 was used. However, the Pro version of the Z2 is still promoted with P60, even though we have great doubts that Umidigi will be among the first companies to receive this processor. 6GB RAM and 64GB ROM still deliver a decent performance. Daily tasks are mastered perfectly and you can hardly speak of real loading times or lags, however, you notice that the Z2 cannot keep up with the upper class when playing more complex 3D games. Lower graphic settings can however help. Positive in terms of performance is the pure Android 8 without attached UMI OS, which unfortunately had some weaknesses with the S2 Pro.Antutu Result Geekbench Multi Result 3D Mark Result
System – Android 8.1
After Umi has disappointed us with their last models again and again with weak in-house OS on Android basis and advertising, the Chinese have this time managed to use a completely original Android 8.1! A big step forward compared to the S2 Pro where you couldn’t even uninstall the spam programs. With the Umi Z2, there is no advertising, no useless programs are pre-installed and also no performance is lost by a pre-installed launcher. So, one of the biggest criticisms of Umidigi is now gone! However, the system is partly not optimally adapted to the notch and you often find a small frame even below the screen corner. It would also be nice to give users the option of controlling the smartphone by gestures, but since this function is not inherently available on Android, it is also missing on the Z2 Pro. But I personally can do without it, as long as an intensive virus scan doesn’t show any anomalies (which it didn’t by the way).
So, the Z2 has an original Android 8.1, which looks simple, but in combination with the generous 6GB RAM it is fast and has relatively short loading times. Updates to the latest security patches are also available.
The tiresome topic of unfinished software on Umi smartphones is unfortunately also present on the Z2, in terms of the camera. If you look at the screenshots of the app, you will immediately recognize that it looks a bit empty here. No settings at all despite dual camera, only three different modes, one of which is a simulated bokeh mode and a very spartan look. Such a simple software for a mobile phone with no less than 4 camera sensors! A dual-cam at the front and rear with 16MP and 8MP Sony sensors, according to the manufacturer, are supposed to take breathtaking photos, but the reality is a little different here. The results are not bad, but the possibilities of double cameras are definitely not being exploited. Especially in the dynamic range you often have problems with overexposed areas. The colors are displayed relatively weak in normal mode, but if you activate the HDR mode, you will be amazed by the luminosity and intensity of the colors! With the Z2 you can therefore confidently leave the HDR mode switched on continuously. In daylight and HDR mode you still get quite good pictures, but as soon as it gets a little darker, the performance of the camera decreases extremely. Noisy pictures are quite normal, but at least the flash can help a bit and so the smartphone gets reasonably good results even in the dark. The Bokeh mode (the real purpose of the dual-cam) unfortunately appears without real function, but is simulated by the software. The trigger time is almost negligible. Unfortunately, videos can not be stabilized and so the actually nice sharp shots are blurred very quickly. A maximum resolution of 1080p is a little bit behind the promised 4k, but that shouldn’t be the only disappointment with the camera! The quality of the sound recordings is rather on average. As expected, both additional sensors are completely useless.
Connectivity and communication
When it comes to connectivity, Umi Z2 performs quite well because it covers all LTE reception frequencies worldwide except for 6 bands! Thus, you should have a perfect mobile phone reception also in the USA or in India.
There was never a moment when I had reception problems and I could not find any problems with the GPS either. The WiFi module (802.11 b/n/g – 2.4G), on the other hand, often had slight weaknesses. When watching YouTube videos, for example, the video was often interrupted by loading times because the WiFi connection was lost and had to be reestablished. This problem was also present in various WiFi networks in the test. Also we had no reception from 5G networks, despite the promised dual-band mode. Unfortunately, you won’t find an NFC interface. A stable connection is possible despite a slightly outdated Bluetooth 4.0. The speaker has been greatly improved compared to the Umidigi S2 and now offers distortion-free sound even at high volume levels. There is no 3.5mm jack connector, but an included Type-C to 3.5mm adapter was included to connect normal headphones. Umidigi has also installed the usual sensors (gyroscope, acceleration, brightness and proximity sensor and compass) in the Z2. A weak spot, however, is the earpiece, as it is very small due to the limited space on the notch and you always have to look for the right position on the ear when making calls in order to hear anything at all. The speakerphone has also slight problems with the microphone.
The Umi Z2 offers a 3850mAh battery with an 18 Watt quick charge function, which should recharge the battery within 60 minutes. In daily use, 60 minutes is a little exaggerated, but with the included charging adapter you get a charging time of about 80 minutes, which is still a very good value. Otherwise the battery life can be rated as average. During the day the mobile phone can be used actively for about 3-5 hours, which should be sufficient for most users. However, if you are a power user and often use your phone for gaming or for more than 4 hours a day, you should choose a different model. For the average user, however, the run time is sufficient. This performance is also confirmed by the value of 6 hours in the PCMark Battery Test.Battery lifetime Result Unit: hours