Video: Unboxing and first hands on with the UMi Zero


umi zero review

The UMi Zero has arrived with us today at GizChina, keep reading to hear our first hands on impressions and watch our UMi Zero unboxing and hands on video.

Since the first time I help the pre-production UMi Zero, and through-out all the hype I have been wondering just how good the UMi Zero would finally feel once the production models started to ship. Today, my question was answered when our Zero arrived.

UMi Zero – Hands on Impressions

It is plain to see that UMi are going for a more upmarket approach with the UMi Zero. The phone has features, design and build never before seen in a UMi phone (and rare for a smaller Chinese company to produce) and the packaging oozes extra attention to detail.

umi zero review

The UMi Zero come in a black box with simple Zero and Umi branding and looks more like an expensive perfume box than the packaging of a Chinese smartphone. Once the tight lid is removed additional boxes containing the charge, and USB wire are revealed along with an envelope containing a screen protector and small sim ejector tool.

umi zero review

Of course the phone itself is in the box too, and once you get it in your hand the feeling of quality continues.

umi zero review

Make no mistake, the UMi Zero is not a cheap phone. For $299 it is way more costly than your average Chinese smartphone, and with the lack of 4G LTE that might be a price a little high for many to swallow. But I wouldn’t say it was too expensive as the build, materials and thoughtful specification do add up to a great package.

umi zero review

Umi obviously didn’t want to cut corners where it would matter so the screen is a 5-inch 1920 x 1080 Super AMOLED panel which looks stunning. The body is alloy and feels great with a flush fitting SIM tray. The only area where money has been saved on the body is the rear panel which feels like a clear polycarbonate rather than glass.

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umi zero review

A 2780mAh battery is quite impressive for a phone measuring only 6.4mm thick, but to get the body so thin it is a non removable cell. This means getting to the SIM is via a tray using the included tool. Cleverly the SIM tray is designed to either use dual micro SIM or a single SIM plus micro SD card.

umi zero review

The rest of the specs are equally impressive with a 2.0Ghz octacore MT6592 chipset, 2GB RAM, 16GB internal memory, 8 mega-pixel front camera, 13 mega-pixel Sony F1.8 rear camera and stock Android 4.4.2 Kitkat. You will also be happy to know that all Google services are installed and ready to use out of the box.

UMi Zero unboxing video

UMi Zero hands on photos

UMi Zero early conclusion

We’ll have to wait for my full review to know if there are any hidden Gremlins, but so far my initial impressions are very good. This is not a UMi phone like you have seen before, but a well made and well thought out device with a nice splash of luxury.

It isn’t as affordable as some phones and it lacks LTE, but the UMi Zero more than makes up for that in hardware, features, and quality.

The UMi Zero is on sale through various online resellers not for around $299. Thanks to UMi for sending us our review phone so quickly.

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