Ulefone start the year with the release of the Ulefone Power, their first big battery phone, but there is more on offer here than just a big battery. Find out what we think about the latest Ulefone in our Ulefone Power review.
Ulefone announced the Ulefone Power with the very obvious large 6050mAh battery, but there is a lot more to this phone than just the battery size. It also boasts a very well made chassis, nice materials, and other good features.
Ulefone Power Review – Unboxing Video
Ulefone Power Review – Design
Whatever you say about Ulefone, there is always the design and build of their phone which has them standout from the crowd. Unlike other brands which simply buy in OEM products and slap their names on them, Ulefone design their phones from the ground up.
For the Ulefone Power, Ulefone moved away from their previous chassis design found in the Paris and BeTouch range, and made something more substantial to fit around the large 6050mAh battery. This is also the first Ulefone to feature a non removable rear panel and SIM trays to access SIM and SD slots.
As always we’ll start with the front of the phone, which in this case sports a 5.5-inch 1920 x 1080 display with 2.5D curved glass. As the phone was designed in 2015 it’s not surprising to see the ‘2015’ fashion of black borders around the screen, but they aren’t as thick as other phones.
It’s good to see that Ulefone have been generous enough to give the Power a Corning Gorilla Glass screen, and also fitted a screen protector to the phone in the box.
Above the display we have the front facing camera, receive, and proximity sensor. There is a small RGB notification LED up there too (between the receive and proximity sensor) but it is only visible when the phone is charging, you have a message etc.
Underneath the 5.5-inch display is a single ‘ring’ icon which acts as the marker for where the ‘home’ button is. The black white areas on either side are for back (on the right) and option (on the left). There is no icon for these two buttons and no back-light on the chin either. Personally this is fine, but I do know that some readers won’t be happy with this decision.
The tapered glass meets a white plastic bezel before swooping around to meet the 45 degree top edge of the Ulefone Power’s alloy chassis.
There is a lot going on around the chassis, and Ulefone have been smart enough to pay a lot of attention on the design to make sure it is functional and good looking rather than tacky and cluttered.
A SIM tray is found on the left side and upon opening it you will find space for either dual SIM cards or a single SIM and micro SD card of up to 128GB.
At the top of the phone with have a 3.5mm headphone jack and an IR remote. I didn’t manage to test the remote during my review as the TV we have isn’t supported, but then again its a feature that I would likely never use anyway.
Like most (not all) Chinese phones we find the physical buttons on the right of the body, and in this case there are 3. The top control is the toggle for volume, in the middle a power button and the last is a round ‘function button’ which can be used as a physical shutter button for the camera. This round button is actually in the perfect position to press with your thumb or index finger for selfies.
And finally in the base there is a standard micro USB for charing the phone via the including cable and fast charger.
Turn the Ulefone Power over and we have a wood look rear panel. It’s a plastic panel with authentic wood lecture and wood grain. Real wood would have been nice but that would surely have increased production time and the retail price of the phone.
This rear panel is where the dual LED flash, 13 mega-pixel Sony IMX214 rear camera, fingerprint scanner and rear speaker is found.
As I mentioned in my first hands on article with the Ulefone Power, I really am impressed with the build of the phone. The only slight niggle is that there is a tiny gap beneath the shutter button, but other than that all the other gaps are aligned perfectly, machining is accurate and there are no rattles or wobbles.
What else is impressive is that the phone, although thick, doesn’t feel all too bulky considering the size of the battery.
Ulefone Power Review – Hardware
The large battery is the obvious draw when looking at the Ulefone Power. 6050mAh is a good-sized battery even in today’s age of larger battery phones, but there are other highlights in the specification worth mentioning.
Up front is that 5.5-inch display with FHD 1920 x 1080 resolution. It’s a damn good screen made even better thanks to that 2.5D curve and the inclusion of Gorilla Glass (features that could have easily be left out to make room for more profit).
A fingerprint scanner on the rear is a nice surprise too, not just the fact the Power has one but that it’s very accurate and can be used to lock applications and activate short-cuts too (see video below).
Also on the rear is a 13 mega-pixel Sony IMX214 rear camera with dual LED flash. The Sony sensor has been used a lot over the past 1 year or so in phones from the Oppo Find 7 to devices from Elephone and JiaYu. It can be a good unit when optimised well (more on the camera below). The front camera is a 5 mega-pixel model from Omnivision.
Ulefone have given the Power a single speaker on the rear. It’s not as large as the opening suggests but does provide a lot of volume, enough to push music around a small room. It’s not a high-end speaker though and does sound tinny at high volumes.
3GB RAM is a nice to have, and the Ulefone Power uses a Medaitek MT6753 octa-core chipset. This isn’t the most powerful processor, but it is energy-efficient, and provides LTE support (800/900/1800/2100/2600 band20,band3,band1,band7,band8).
There is quick charging on the Ulefone Power and the phone comes shipped with its own 9V/2A-3A for a claimed full charging time of 120 minutes, although I was clocking closer to 3 hours for a full charge with our review unit.
The actual battery life of the phone is very good (as you would expect) with my average screen on time being around 7 hours with LTE, WIFI and full screen brightness.
Ulefone Power Review – Performance
The Ulefone Powers guts include a 1.3Ghz octacore Mediatek MT6753 processor, and 3GB LPDDR3 RAM and Mali T720 GPU. Its a fairly common set up for a Chinese Android phone so we knew that there weren’t going to be any insanely high benchmarks here.
If benchmarks are your think then take a look at the figures below. In actual day to day use the phone runs really well. The ROM is optimised nicely and the feeling of the phone is fast and snappy and gives a real good user experience.
Ulefone Power Review – Camera
The 13 mega-pixel IMX214 camera s the ‘go to’ camera for Chinese phone makers. It’s a proven sensor and has been used on some really successful phones, but just because the sensor is good doesn’t mean performance will be.
On paper the 13 mega-pixel IMX214 with F1.8 aperture sounds stellar, but the reality is less impressive and camera performance is pretty bad.
Focus isn’t accurate and in bright environments the optimisation of the camera can’t handle the brightness and tends to wash out.
To Ulefone’s credit they have taken my samples to look at and are working on optimising the camera performance. I think we will see an update which will improve the camera in the coming weeks months, after all the Ulefone Paris has already received 6 updates since launch and I expect similar support for this phone.
Ulefone Power sample photos
Ulefone Power Review – Gallery
Ulefone Power Review – Specifications
Fingerprint Scanner, Unlock in 0.1-0.3s,Multi-function
|Color:||Blue / White / Wooden|
|Capacity||RAM: 3GB LPDDR3 RAM
ROM: 16GB (Mircro SD card Up to 128GB)
|Multi-Languages||English as default
(For Multi-languages ,please refer to the screenshot showed above)
|Chipset||CPU : 64Bit MTK MT6753 processor Octa core 1.3GHzGPU : Mali T720 MP|
|System||Android 5.1 Lollipop / Upgrade Android 6.0 / u-Launcher|
|Screen||Display Size: 5.5-inch Screen
Resolution: FHD 1920*1080 pixels
Material: Corning® Gorilla® Glass 3
Type:LTPS AUO (2.5D Arc screen)
13MP 4th generation camera Sony IMX214,F1.8 Aperture,Dual FlashFront Camera
5.0MP (OmniVision OV5648)Video:1080P
|Network and Wireless Connectivity||4G: FDD-LTE: 800/900/1800/2100/2600 (band20,band3,band1,band7,band8)
3G:WCDMA 900/2100 (band8,band1)
2G:GSM 850/900/1800/1900 (band5,band8,band3,band2)
WIFI : Support
Positioning: GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS, Digital Compass
Bluetooth: Bluetooth 4.0
|Battery capacity and life||SONY 6050mAh Lithium-ion Polymer Battery
Standby Time: 4 Days
Charger: 9V/2A-3A Quick charge
Quick Charge 5 Min Talking time : 2 Hours
Quick Charge 30 Min Normal use : 1 Day
Quick Charge 90-120 Min Full Charge
|Sensor||G-sensor, Light Sensor ,Proximity Sensor ,Hall Effect Sensor|
|Functions||Infrared,FM,OTG,Hotknot,Miracast,Gestures to wake up,Smart Power saving mode|
|Size||Dimensions: 155 x 77 x 9.5mm
Net Weight: 190g (Built-in battery)
Ulefone Power Review – Conclusion
On paper the Ulefone Power looks like any other large battery phone, but the reality is the device has a lot more to offer than similar devices. The build of the Power is fantastic, as are the materials used and its design. The performance is excellent but remember that 8-core chip isn’t meant for hardcore gaming, and battery life is impressive.
The only issue I have is that the camera, in its current state, is disappointing. I do have confidence that Ulefone will improve this with updates though, and its good to know they are already working on it, but when the update will come is another matter.
Overall a really great effort from Ulefone only let down by the camera.