UMi X2 Review!

The UMi X2 is one of the hottest phones to have this year. Not only does this phone great value for money, but offers hardware features even big brand names aren’t offering customers! So just how good is Umi’s flagship handset? Find out in our full UMi X2 review.

[templatic_contentbox type=”info” title=”UMi X2 Giveaway”] The phone in this review is the UMi X2 Youth with 1GB RAM. This is not the same phone as the one from our UMi X2 Giveaway. The giveaway phone is a full production model with 2GB and 32GB ROM. [/templatic_contentbox]

UMi are a Chinese based phone manufacturer with offices and factories in Shenzhen China. They first burst on to the phone scene last year with the UMi X1, a dual-core 720 phone which gave the JiaYu G3 a run for its money. A year on and the X1 has been updated to the X1s, and joined by the UMi S1 and of course the flagship UMi X2!

UMi X2 specifications

Officially specifications for the UMi X2 are a little confusing. The current version of the phone comes with a 1.2Ghz quad-core MT6589 process and either 1GB RAM 16GB ROM or 2GB RAM 32GB ROM, however these options will soon be joined with a more powerful 1.5Ghz MT6589T model. It’s unclear if UMi will continue to make the slower version.

Other hardware features include an impressive 5-inch 1080 display, 13 mega-pixel rear camera and Android 4.2 Jelly Bean.

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UMi X2 Unboxing Video

UMi X2 review

Design and build – They’ve learnt from the X1 but it could be better!

As the UMi X2 we tested offers a 1.2 Ghz quad-core CPU, 1GB RAM, a 5-inch 1080 display, 13 mega-pixel camera and up to 2GB RAM, it’s easy to get excited by the hardware and forget about the quality and build of the phone.

Last year the UMi X1 launched and offered great value for money on paper, but poor build quality let the phone down! It’s clear that UMi have learn’t a lot from the X1 as the X2’s build is much better, but it isn’t on par with the likes of the JiaYu G4.

umi x2 rear panel

The quality of the plastic isn’t as good as the JiaYu G4, the removable rear panel is very flimsy and does nothing to improve the overall feel of the phone, and although our unit seems to have been manufactured well it just doesn’t feel as premium as we hoped.

umi x2 in hand 1

If you were to pick up a UMi X2 without having held a G4 or other current flagship Chinese phone you wouldn’t be left disappointed, but on the other hand you wouldn’t be overly impressed either. In comparison the G4 feel much better and I often find myself showing the JiaYu off to friends while the X2 sits in its box.

umi x2 screen gap

We have seen images on the UMi forum of defects with the X2 when customers have ordered them. The most common issue seems to be a gap around the display. A close look at our review phone shows that the bezel on left isn’t quite straight and a small gap is present, trapping typical pocked debris in the phone.

umi x2 corner

Around the sides of the phone is a silver band which has a very obvious join in it from where it was manufactured. It looks like a weak point to us, one which could easily be broken if dropped on its edge.

umi x2 cracked display

Speaking of dropping the phone, some early adopters are already reporting cracked displays caused be relatively low drops, this sounds ominously similar to the problems UMi X1 owners faced last year.

umi x2 and jiayu g4 gizchina 3

And as we are talking about the screen, our review unit has a black line running along the bottom. I don’t know if this is a software issue or if the display is sitting to high in the body but it is something we hope is solved for the production versions.

Hardware and display Great performance even with 1GB RAM

umi x2 gizchina

One of the concerns many UMi X2 fans have voiced is if the quad-core processor and just 1GB RAM is enough to run the 5-inch FHD 1920 x 1080 display? I can confirm that yes it is fine. Gaming, browsing the web, watching movies, navigating are all handled fine with no notable slowdown. In fact the only time I have noticed any lag is when navigating the Vellamo benchmark app.

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umi x2 vellamo

In our UMi X2 hands on we compared the phone to the JiaYu G4. I was surprised to see that some commenters say they could see lag on the X2 when compared to the G4! I haven’t noticed any, although it does appear the LEWA ROM on the G4 has faster animations when compared to the UMi’s ROM which might be what people were noticing.

Speaking of browsing, the UMi X2 opens pages faster than the G4. Navigating to China’s popular Youku video sharing site resulted in the X2 opening and playing our chosen video before the G4. The UMi also enjoys a stronger WIFI signal too.

GPS is slow to lock on with the X2. This seems to be an issue with all MTK phones and could be improved with software updates, which are handled OTA.

umi x2 specs

As mentioned above, the phone we were sent to review has a 1.2Ghz CPU and 1GB RAM. That’s the same hardware as the G4, but in this case it is asked to handle a larger 5-inch display with higher 1080 resolution. It comes as no surprise then that Antut benchmarks are lower on the X2.

umi x2 antutu

The display on the X2 is really its crowning jewel. It offer crisp, clear images which makes browsing, reading and gaming a real joy! If there is one complaint though it is that it can be a little dull in some situations, but overall we managed to get along with the X2 even on bright sunny days.

Making calls on the X2 has been uneventful, which is exactly what we hope for. In our review we had no issues with dropped calls, poor reception of software hangups when making or receiving calls. Speaker quality is good, and the external speaker is pound and clear enough to be heard over the din of a busy Chinese Auto Show.

Cameras Fast focus, great images!

umi x2 rear camrea

As we reported in our UMi X2 vs JiaYu G4 camera showdown, the UMi X2 offers faster, more accurate focus than the G4 which make capturing the photo you want at the spur of the moment much more attainable.

Zooming in on details (if your inclined to do so) shows that the UMi offers better clarity on subjects further from the lens.

Many of you pointed out that the X2 creates photos with more red in them. I quite like my images to look brighter and more vibrant and preferred many of the shots captured with the X2 over the more natural colours of the JiaYu phone.

The camera is very good, but there are still better options out there for those of you who really want to replace your point and shoot with the phone.

Stills are one thing, but video is entirely another. The Video captured in the X2 is better than the G4, but it’s still not the greatest. The only way I would use the UMi to capture video is if a) I had no other option or, b) a future update fixes it!

UMi X2 Video Sample

UMi X2 hands on video

UMi X2 review conclusion

umi x2 back

The UMi X2 is a great performing phone with a beautiful display and good camera. If you must have a 1080 phone at a good price this year I would say it has to be on your list, along with the iOcean X7, Zopo ZP980 etc.

I think the X2 is a bold move for UMi, they have created a 1080 phone with up to 2GB RAM and 13 mega-pixel rear camera at a very affordable price, but along the way things have suffered. I’m not a fan of the design, and the build should be better on a flagship phone like this.

What UMi need to do now is use the X2 as a base and build on what they have. I don’t want to see news of a UMi X3 in a few months with a 5.5-inch FHD display, 3GB RAM and 8-core CPU, what I want to see is a refined version of the X2 with similar hardware but much improved body and quality.

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