WTF UMI!


Having lived in China for a decade and getting to know how Chinese phone companies work, and their ‘business culture’ I’m quite relaxed, but UMi really have gone too far!

Over the past year I have watched UMi grow from a manufacturer many of you had never heard of, to one which now has one of the most desirable phones of any Chinese company. I’m of course talking about the UMi X2, a phone which now feels like it has been resting in limbo for a painfully long period of time!

The X2 suffered from a rather important set-back, basically the phone was announced to ship with a quad-core MT6589 CPU and 2GB RAM, despite the chip not offering support for that amount of RAM! UMi aren’t the only ones though Jiayu, iOcean and others have all promised the same and are all working on fixes.

That was their first strike!

umi x2

There second strike was how they dealt with announcing the delay to get the phone to work as advertised. Chinese sites were quick to announce that the phone was having issues, but UMi’s international distributors were either not told or just pretended the news wasn’t happening!

Strike 3

With a estimated launch date of ‘around May’, we have waited with baited breath to see just when the X2 would be bug free, ready to launch and finally get a real launch date! Then today’s news happened!

limited edition 64gb umi x2

Like many Chinese websites here, here and here, we read UMi’s new advertising to suggest the X2 as ready to ship in limited numbers and with the first available batch being a limited edition 64GB version.

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This has since turned out to be false!

Just to make it clear that this is not a poorly translated piece of news, I, my Chinese co-writing staff, and 3 separate Chinese tech-sites all saw the update on Umi’s website to say “limited edition 64GB UMi X2″!

UMi say this isn’t so

They say that in fact the phone which is on pre-order is actually a 32GB phone and supports 32GB SD cards making the 64GB of memory as advertised (promoted here and here). But, in Chinese this isn’t quite the case, and it reads as though the phone is a 64GB device.

Unfortunately for UMi they have a problem! Either A) They are trying to con customers with slick wording in their advertising OR B) UMi’s marketing department have failed big time!

Umi Phones are great, but…

shuame umi x2

The real issue here is that UMi really do make some great phones, the X1 was a phone which I throughly enjoyed last year, and the X1s, S1 and UMi X2 are all going to be excellent products which I would happily own, however to become truly international (and I believe UMi have the potential to do so) some changes need to be made!

Umi, you are no longer a no name brand!  You are an up an coming international phone company! so try to act like one!

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23 Comments

  1. Fabrizio
    April 15, 2013

    -_-

    • Abhishek
      April 16, 2013

      Don’t know about UMI china but…Umi india is worst branch of any launching company.”Like father like son”. I had paid money to them on 18th March..but when asked about delivery they had blocked me on there facebook page. i know 100’s of people who are blocked. even i have sent mail to refund my money…and there also not getting any revert from them. I simply hate the time when i thinked of this cheap china brand.

      • April 17, 2013

        I too ahd been blocked from UMI FB page. Waited and waited for x2….and at last have purchased canvas HD. UMI sux for now. Hate it!

      • deepak
        April 17, 2013

        file a consumer complaint?!

        • Abhishek
          April 17, 2013

          Yeah…that will be the next step….right now following the procedure…and reminding them to refund in mail ( count has reached to more then 10) …next step will be consumer court only…

  2. Vergi
    April 15, 2013

    am pretty sure they were trying to create a mediahype over their product…

  3. Aditya
    April 15, 2013

    They are disappointing everyone man! Hope they recover from all of this and make everybody happy! They have given a timeline, that probably 100 Indian customers (randomly chosen) will get their phones by this week. What remains to be seen is whether its the same thing they did like before (fake promises) or will live up to our expectations! Fingers crossed!

  4. April 15, 2013

    Despite all this … UMI might still make it … but they must have an OTA program for sales to the UK

    Well done Andi … please keep at them.

  5. XrainX
    April 15, 2013

    Andi, I understand you. But if you will see things moving in the correct way you will feel your fight was for a good reason.

    Another thing I don’t like in all this UMI, NEO, JiaYu battle is the price of their products. I don’t believe in the under 1000Y price for actual models. Maybe that could be their factory price for somebody which buy 1000-5000pcs. I saw online sites selling as preorder the JiaYu for more than $400. From the advertised $166 to $400 is a very long road.

    After so many post from GizChina I understand this: few companies not strong enough to pay some advertising are launching every week some “news”, spy photos, screenshots, and fantastic and not true prices just to keep people not buying another smartphones and wait for their (too late) launch. And what can be the best receipt to keep people waiting? It is this:
    5″ 1080p for under 1000Yuan ($166).

    You can post some screenshots with a smartphone named Gizchina and tell the price will be 699 Yuan. What will do then that companies?
    GizChina can even create their smartphones. Go to Ningbo and ask for a HTC clone. Then you can promote it here forever starting with a photoshoped GizChina smartphone like was that S1 screenshot from this site.
    😉

    • Lola
      April 15, 2013

      And launch date could be advertized as – around never at 5pm
      😀

  6. Camaman
    April 15, 2013

    They are all sketchy at best, since they have no fear of lawsuit retaliation.
    I take every word they say as official with a huge grain of salt.

    That is why you look to spend as little as possible on these devices when you buy them on line.

  7. Whyzor
    April 15, 2013

    All the real manufacturers with MT6589 phones to sell are names like Star, HDC, Hero. They don’t generate hype with marketing, they make real phones where people pay real money and they make real profits.

    • Leo
      April 15, 2013

      You serious Bro? Star, HDC and Hero are all OEMs, which mean they can get any phone they want and slap they’re name on it, which is why they have a lot of clones. They’re all literally sharing the same models.

  8. Freeje
    April 15, 2013

    As we all expats say here in the middle kingdom, “This is China!”

  9. April 15, 2013

    i’m kinda not feeling your disappointment. as i stated in the last news from you, i preordered umi 64gb collector’s edition with some custom body and when i did, i already knew it’s made of 32+32gb and it’s stated on the website, i was informed even before i preordered, besides it’s no prepayment for now, why so much anger..:)

    • April 15, 2013

      I’m not angry, just hoping that pointing these issues out now will help them grow and mature as a company.

    • anony
      April 15, 2013

      Interesting, what do you mean by custom body?

      • April 16, 2013

        http://m.shuame.com/component/content/article/11%20.html
        this page, which details btw the 32gb+32gb composition says also (limited edition custom body) via translator, but what would it mean exactly, i for sure don’t understand either. that could mean anything i guess from some writing to some imprint, or maybe as a collector’s edition you can get a black line underneath the display for free lol 🙂

  10. Qidamin
    April 15, 2013

    here they say it is 32gb internal storage plus 32gb memory card:
    http://m.shuame.com/component/content/article/11%20.html

    • April 15, 2013

      Yep, they have added this to clear up the confusion.

  11. Abir
    April 16, 2013

    Well I guess its not just UMI most chinese companies have problems sticking to a time frame, remember Huawei with the D1 and their quad core processor? Last year Jiayu made people wait for months for the G3, all I can say is that I hope they have sorted the issue with the RAM and people dont end up getting a device that effectively has just 1gb RAM instead of 2 after waiting for months.
    Peace

  12. deepak
    April 17, 2013

    Hi..need your smart advice. I want to buy UMI X1s. But looking at all the hodgepodge that the delayed launch of X2 has caused, I m in a bit if stick. The umi india website has started pre-booking. But no word on delivery, just as it happened with X2. Do you think it’ll be a wise decision to pre-book from UMI india website. Has anyone got ‘ANY’ handset from them till now? Thanks.

    • Arigatox
      April 17, 2013

      I am waiting also to buy one UMI X1S. It was released but no one can get it. Someone has information about the availability?