UMi Rome X Review


Chinese phone makers keep surprising us with more phones that get cheaper by the day. However, there’s a fine line between usability and namesake. The UMi Rome X is a $62.99 phone that wants to be the flag bearer of budget phones.

Unlike the case of the UMi Rome, the Rome X can actually be bought for around the $65, so the price definitely isn’t just a marketing stunt.

We spent a few days with the phone to find out if its worth what you pay for.

UMi Rome X Review: Specifications

Model: UMi Rome X
Sim Card: Dual SIM
Color: Black | Gold
Capacity RAM: 1GBROM: 8GB
Chipset CPU: MediaTek MT6580

CPU frequency: 1.3GHz quad-core

System Android 5.1
Screen Display Size: 5.5-inch

Resolution: 1280 x 720pixels

Multitouch: Yes

Camera Rear Camera: 8MPFront Camera: 2MP
Radio 2G: GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900MHz

3G: WCDMA 900 / 2100MHz

Battery 2500mAh removable
Size 15.3 * 7.7 * 0.8cm
Net weight:177g

UMi Rome X Review: Design & Build

It seems as though the Rome X’s design is a rip off of something between the Samsung Galaxy S6, the S6 edge and some newer Samsung phones. From a distance, the phone does look like a more expensive piece of kit, too. However, that’s only until you get the device in your hands.

In general, the Rome X feels like a very ‘crude’ device. It’s a little difficult to explain in words, but the phone lacks sheen and polish. The weight seems a bit unevenly distributed too, making the phone feel a tad heavy sometimes.

UMi Rome X 1

Both, the front and the rear of the phone are fingerprint and smudge magnets. This can really irritate the hell out of some people, and unfortunately I happen to be one of them. Not just that, getting the stains off of the rear panel is quite a task, too.

While the phone looks really good for a $65 device, it unfortunately feels like nothing more than a $65 device.

The front of the phone has a very generic look to it… somewhat like no-name Chinese phones from 2011-12. There’s (surprisingly) a front flash next to the earpiece, and the front camera on top of the screen. Below the screen are the three capacitive keys — Recent Apps, Home and Back, from left to right.

Another, rather conspicuous addition is a mic hole that goes right through the glass panel and takes one point away from the looks department of the device.

UMi Rome X 2

The chin of the phone has two sets of machine drilled holes on either side of the USB port. I’m pretty sure there’s just one speaker, perhaps somewhere between the two sets of holes — skewed towards the right.

UMi Rome X 3

To sum this section up, it feels as though the Rome X is made out of inexpensive but durable material, which however lacks polish — figuratively speaking. The weight of the phone is a little jumbled up also, both in magnitude and balance.

UMi Rome X Review: Hardware

While the digitiser on top of the screen isn’t something you’ll want to write home about, the display beneath is genuinely impressive for a phone worth as much as the Rome X. On the scale of natural to saturated, the balance is more towards the latter. Colors kind of pop out like they do on an AMOLED usually.

I’ve always been a fan of MediaTek’s MiraVision ever since it started showing up on their 64-bit phones last year. MiraVision helps in the Rome X’s case too; not only does it allow you to make the display looks much nicer, you can even tone down the saturation, contrast and other things if you’re more into natural-looking picture.

Since it’s an LTPS display, the viewing angles take a bit of a beating. Anyway, I believe viewing angles are often overrated and I’m perfectly OK with what’s on offer here.

Moving on to audio. As I mentioned before, the phone seems to have a single speaker and a deceptive two speaker slots… anyway, it’s how it sounds that matters, and it doesn’t sound too good. The audio output is what you’d call ‘cheap quality’ with too much treble, virtually no bass, and a low volume.

I also had issues trying to make sense of what people said during calls — so the bad audio isn’t restricted to the loudspeaker, the earpiece is a victim also.

The digitiser that UMi are using on the phone seems to be of a low resolution, but that is expected when you’re talking sub-$65… at least at the time of writing this review.

Battery backup stands somewhere between poor and average. There’s no 4G LTE support on the phone that helps the issue a bit; however, I’ve found that there’s quite a bit of a difference in overall battery life (more than other phones) between 2G and 3G modes.

If you don’t connect your phone to a WiFi network on a work day, you can expect about 8-10 hours of battery on a charge. With WiFi, an hour or two extra is what the phone manages.

For the SOT folks, it’s around the 3-3.5 hour mark generally.

UMi Rome X Review: Performance and Benchmarks

I’ve been spoilt with some nice hardware of late, after which the Rome X and its MT6580 seemed like a few steps back. While it is true that the phone is extremely affordable and such, but I believe a better overall phone can be made out of the money.

For instance, the MT6582 was a chipset that was really inexpensive and did a good job. I believe I’d prefer the MT6582 over this.

Basic functionality expected out of any smartphone: ability to browse the web, IM/Mail, camera and of course phone calls. The Rome X doesn’t do too well with any of those, unfortunately.

With web sessions becoming more important by the day, cached web pages in browsers don’t help. The Rome X struggles with a couple of tabs open in Chrome.

Anyway, here are some benchmark scores.

UMi Rome X Review: Camera

UMi Rome X 7

I’m fairly impressed with what the Rome X can ultimately produce with it’s camera. Emphasis on ‘ultimately’; it takes quite a bit of time to get to the saved image file after hitting the shutter button. Again, not something that you wouldn’t expect from a $65 phone.

Overall, besides the slow camera speed (which, to be fair, should be attributed to the SoC), the Rome X takes some decent photos… No complaints here.

UMi Rome X Sample Shot in HDR

UMi Rome X Sample Shot in HDR

UMi Rome X Review: Gallery

UMi Rome X Review: Conclusion

UMi have been fairly adventurous, releasing phone one after another. While it’s phones like the Touch that make the most noise, UMi have been trying to crack the sub-$100 code for a while. The Rome X is what I’d call a fairly unsuccessful attempt, but I can see other Chinese manufacturers, if not UMi, get there very soon.

I’d reckon you get the Rome X only if you are on a very limited budget; there are plenty $100 phones out there that can do a much better job otherwise.

The UMi Rome X can be bought off of TomTop for $62.99, the folks who supplied this review unit. Use coupon code TOMTOPROMEX to get another $2 off.

Previous Is the Helio X25 in the Meizu Pro 6 really that weak ?
Next Homtom HT10 will come with magnesium-titanium alloy body

89 Comments

  1. saor
    April 18, 2016

    So in short it’s a banger!

  2. iKosh
    April 18, 2016

    I bought my wife a redmi 2 for $85. It’s a very good device, she’s happy with it. I wouldn’t risk buying one of these cheaper phones.

    • April 18, 2016

      Yep, looks like the right thing to do.

    • Millet Air Purifier
      April 18, 2016

      Yeah exactly, Xiaomi you can trust that the quality standards are high even if the price is not

      • Nilzie
        April 19, 2016

        I have owned two Xiaomi products and had problems with both. Worst is the miband. The software is really garbage.

        • Millet Air Purifier
          April 19, 2016

          What problems did you have

          • Nilzie
            April 19, 2016

            For miband:
            It vibrates sometimes for no reason
            I have to repair it every once in a while
            App notifactions just do not work. After re-pairing the band they work for a day if Im lucky.

            for redmi note 3:
            faulty flex cable (the cable which contains the underlaying buttons for power, volume up and down.
            The aluminium used is pot grade material. Its just a back cover thats made from very cheap and thin aluminium. it buckles super easily
            its squeeky

            • Millet Air Purifier
              April 19, 2016

              Why repair it just refund it and get a new one. I own a Redmi note 3 but I dont have any trouble, just ask the reseller for replacement. Makes no sense to repair yourself.

              One question tho: How do you repair a miband yourself??

            • Nilzie
              April 19, 2016

              When i said re-pair I meant repairing the device by unpairing it in the app then adding it again

  3. balcobomber25
    April 18, 2016

    There is literally nothing exciting about this phone. This is a budget phone from 2013, it doesn’t even have full 3G coverage. You are better off saving a little bit more, it will be worth it in the end.

    • Joel Adames
      April 18, 2016

      Exactly …

      • balcobomber25
        April 18, 2016

        Yea I would buy several used or older phones before this. I don’t remember which site it was but they had a Mi3 listed for $85. I would buy that before this.

    • Nilzie
      April 19, 2016

      If you are browsing for a phone in this price range, I recommend homtom ht3 pro. With some luck and looking around you get it for 69 usd. It has 4g, faster soc, bigger rom and 2gb ram. Also has 3000mah compared to umi 2500 ram but who knows if the mah is real or not.

      • balcobomber25
        April 19, 2016

        I am not and if I was I wouldn’t buy HomTom, I don’t trust the brand anymore than Doogee, Elephone or Ulefone.

  4. Millet Air Purifier
    April 18, 2016

    Where’s that ulefone employee that always posts a video about “Ulefone paris & Umi Rome X Artwork vs. crap”? Would be very fitting now wouldnt it

    • Joel Adames
      April 18, 2016

      Exactly

    • Dante
      April 20, 2016

      theres already a comment lol

      • Millet Air Purifier
        April 20, 2016

        Saw it now perfect 😀

        • Dante
          April 23, 2016

          your name sounds weird – is it a direct google translation of xiaomi’s mi air purifier

          • Millet Air Purifier
            April 23, 2016

            Do you have something against air purifiers from the beloved brand?

  5. saor
    April 18, 2016

    So in short it’s a banger!

  6. Semi
    April 18, 2016

    here for that price you usually buy an old clamshell, so I’d say that’s not too bad after all, camera seems better than some phones with double the price.

  7. iKosh
    April 18, 2016

    I bought my wife a redmi 2 for $85. It’s a very good device, she’s happy with it. I wouldn’t risk buying one of these cheaper phones.

    • Yash Garg
      April 18, 2016

      Yep, looks like the right thing to do.

    • Beloved Chairman Lei Jun
      April 18, 2016

      Yeah exactly, Xiaomi you can trust that the quality standards are high even if the price is not

    • Nilzie
      April 19, 2016

      I have owned two Xiaomi products and had problems with both. Worst is the miband. The software is really garbage.

    • Beloved Chairman Lei Jun
      April 19, 2016

      What problems did you have

    • Nilzie
      April 19, 2016

      For miband:
      It vibrates sometimes for no reason
      I have to repair it every once in a while
      App notifactions just do not work. After re-pairing the band they work for a day if Im lucky.

      for redmi note 3:
      faulty flex cable (the cable which contains the underlaying buttons for power, volume up and down.
      The aluminium used is pot grade material. Its just a back cover thats made from very cheap and thin aluminium. it buckles super easily
      its squeeky

    • Beloved Chairman Lei Jun
      April 19, 2016

      Why repair it just refund it and get a new one. I own a Redmi note 3 but I dont have any trouble, just ask the reseller for replacement. Makes no sense to repair yourself.

      One question tho: How do you repair a miband yourself??

    • Nilzie
      April 19, 2016

      When i said re-pair I meant repairing the device by unpairing it in the app then adding it again

  8. balcobomber25
    April 18, 2016

    There is literally nothing exciting about this phone. This is a budget phone from 2013, it doesn’t even have full 3G coverage. You are better off saving a little bit more, it will be worth it in the end.

    • Joel Adames
      April 18, 2016

      Where I live people rather buy an used phone than something like this. This is left for those who only want a calling phone not really a SMARTPHONE, or old folks who don’t really care much about tech stuff

    • balcobomber25
      April 18, 2016

      Yea I would buy several used or older phones before this. I don’t remember which site it was but they had a Mi3 listed for $85. I would buy that before this.

    • Nilzie
      April 19, 2016

      If you are browsing for a phone in this price range, I recommend homtom ht3 pro. With some luck and looking around you get it for 69 usd. It has 4g, faster soc, bigger rom and 2gb ram. Also has 3000mah compared to umi 2500 ram but who knows if the mah is real or not.

    • balcobomber25
      April 19, 2016

      I am not and if I was I wouldn’t buy HomTom, I don’t trust the brand anymore than Doogee, Elephone or Ulefone.

  9. Beloved Chairman Lei Jun
    April 18, 2016

    Where’s that ulefone employee that always posts a video about “Ulefone paris & Umi Rome X Artwork vs. crap”? Would be very fitting now wouldnt it

    • Joel Adames
      April 18, 2016

      Exactly

    • Dante
      April 20, 2016

      theres already a comment lol

    • Beloved Chairman Lei Jun
      April 20, 2016

      Saw it now perfect 😀

    • Dante
      April 23, 2016

      your name sounds weird – is it a direct google translation of xiaomi’s mi air purifier

    • Beloved Chairman Lei Jun
      April 23, 2016

      Do you have something against air purifiers from the beloved brand?

  10. Semi
    April 18, 2016

    here for that price you usually buy an old clamshell, so I’d say that’s not too bad after all, camera seems better than some phones with double the price.

  11. Marco Lancaster
    April 18, 2016

    Ouch…
    I’m expecting for a Bluboo Xfire 2 at the moment… for a review.

    Same Setup, I guess I’ll be pissed too 😛

  12. Marco Lancaster
    April 18, 2016

    Ouch…
    I’m expecting for a Bluboo Xfire 2 at the moment… for a review.

    Same Setup, I guess I’ll be pissed too 😛

  13. MitsosDaBest
    April 19, 2016

    OMG! You are so lucky your got yourself one UMi device that is really working and has not hardware problems… LOL!

    • balcobomber25
      April 24, 2016

      I’ve used a few that had no issues.

  14. MitsosDaBest
    April 19, 2016

    OMG! You are so lucky your got yourself one UMi device that is really working and has not hardware problems… LOL!

    • balcobomber25
      April 24, 2016

      I’ve used a few that had no issues.

  15. Olivier Weber
    April 19, 2016

    Thanks for that unbiased review, Yash. Glad to see you’re not afraid to criticise. I’m always so curious as to what these ever cheaper devices really deliver.

    • April 20, 2016

      I can say with confidence that bias is something GizChina.com is free of. Thank you for noticing 🙂

  16. Olivier Weber
    April 19, 2016

    Thanks for that unbiased review, Yash. Glad to see you’re not afraid to criticise. I’m always so curious as to what these ever cheaper devices really deliver.

    • Yash Garg
      April 20, 2016

      I can say with confidence that bias is something GizChina.com is free of. Thank you for noticing 🙂

  17. NO.5
    April 20, 2016

    Never forget what UMI has done with UMI Rome

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oPpOO1S5yNM

    • Dante
      April 20, 2016

      its crap vs crap , ulefone is no better and bet your stupid employee ass knows this , if you attack me again with “u puur shit man sad cheildhood ” crap i will laugh at your shoddy company and its attempts to save it…

      • MitsosDaBest
        April 21, 2016

        Not really… I think Ulefone is a good company and UMi is just really bad… I have phones from both companies and I have read many user reviews about many models.

        • Semi
          April 22, 2016

          You just know nothing, otherwise you would have known both companies have good and bad models… Now maybe you know something.

          • MitsosDaBest
            April 22, 2016

            What model of the UMi was good? Right, no one! =)

            • Semi
              April 22, 2016

              Emax mini and touch are very good mobiles, but I guess you know better than everyone here, so we all should listen to you and your truth, the one and only.

            • MitsosDaBest
              April 22, 2016

              You mad bro? I have the UMi eMax Mini in white color and it sucks! All people have many software problems (I see them at the UMi community site) and UMi won’t give any Updates! My phone has some hardware problems too!! It’s just rubbish and I don’t use it any more…

              Also, the eMax Mini is just a rebranded TCL M3G, not really a UMi phone… Anyway, TCL is making all the phones of UMi. Finally, the UMi Rome has Fake battery and search some info about the UMi Zero problems, to see how “good” company is… =)

            • Semi
              April 23, 2016

              If I should judge a company by the users complaining, there wouldn’t be a single one surviving. I could find millions of complains for apple, Samsung, htc and so on, does that make those companies shit? Internet is the place of complaining, you also prove this 🙂

            • balcobomber25
              April 24, 2016

              I liked my UMi Zero.

        • Dante
          April 23, 2016

          ule is a crap company too , just dont bring crap in here , i tried both phones too…

    • Millet Air Purifier
      April 20, 2016

      OMG I WAITED FOR THIS VIDEO THANK YOU SO MUCH UR THEEE GUY

      • Semi
        April 22, 2016

        Ahahah, was missing those guys also!

  18. NO.5
    April 20, 2016

    Never forget what UMI has done with UMI Rome

    • Dante
      April 20, 2016

      its crap vs crap , ulefone is no better and bet your stupid employee ass knows this , if you attack me again with “u puur shit man sad cheildhood ” crap i will laugh at your shoddy company and its attempts to save it…

    • Beloved Chairman Lei Jun
      April 20, 2016

      OMG I WAITED FOR THIS VIDEO THANK YOU SO MUCH UR THEEE GUY

    • MitsosDaBest
      April 21, 2016

      Not really… I think Ulefone is a good company and UMi is just really bad… I have phones from both companies and I have read many user reviews about many models.

    • Semi
      April 22, 2016

      You just know nothing, otherwise you would have known both companies have good and bad models… Now maybe you know something.

    • Semi
      April 22, 2016

      Ahahah, was missing those guys also!

    • MitsosDaBest
      April 22, 2016

      What model of the UMi was good? Right, no one! =)

    • Semi
      April 22, 2016

      Emax mini and touch are very good mobiles, but I guess you know better than everyone here, so we all should listen to you and your truth, the one and only.

    • MitsosDaBest
      April 22, 2016

      You mad bro? I have the UMi eMax Mini in white color and it sucks! All people have many software problems (I see them at the UMi community site) and UMi won’t give any Updates! My phone has some hardware problems too!! It’s just rubbish and I don’t use it any more…

      Also, the eMax Mini is just a rebranded TCL M3G, not really a UMi phone… Anyway, TCL is making all the phones of UMi. Finally, the UMi Rome has Fake battery and search some info about the UMi Zero problems, to see how “good” company is… =)

    • Semi
      April 23, 2016

      If I should judge a company by the users complaining, there wouldn’t be a single one surviving. I could find millions of complains for apple, Samsung, htc and so on, does that make those companies shit? Internet is the place of complaining, you also prove this 🙂

    • Dante
      April 23, 2016

      ule is a crap company too , just dont bring crap in here , i tried both phones too…

    • balcobomber25
      April 24, 2016

      I liked my UMi Zero.

  19. Lennald
    June 18, 2016

    Watch this comparison video to know more about Umi rome x: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WOANYdVp5Tw

  20. Lennald
    June 18, 2016

    Watch this comparison video to know more about Umi rome x:

  21. Agnes Stewart
    September 22, 2016

    2016 – Android 5.1?!

    • Rem Anash
      September 25, 2016

      And this class smartphone price is too high

    • Josi Roshen
      September 27, 2016

      And I do not like a smartphone. Late with the birth!

    • Den List
      November 9, 2016

      An older operating system Android 5.1 and Sony IMX164 sensor main video camera. For comparison: Uhans A101s. MT6580 processor, 2GB RAM + 16GB ROM, 8MP camera, Android 6.0 Marshmallow. It has a decent camera, enough RAM and ROM. Wonderful smartphone for entry-level users

    • Matthéo
      November 10, 2016

      LOL….

  22. Agnes Stewart
    September 22, 2016

    2016 – Android 5.1?!

    • Josi Roshen
      September 27, 2016

      And I do not like a smartphone. Late with the birth!

    • Den List
      November 9, 2016

      An older operating system Android 5.1 and Sony IMX164 sensor main video camera. For comparison: Uhans A101s. MT6580 processor, 2GB RAM + 16GB ROM, 8MP camera, Android 6.0 Marshmallow. It has a decent camera, enough RAM and ROM. Wonderful smartphone for entry-level users

    • Matthéo
      November 10, 2016

      LOL….

  23. Josi Roshen
    October 10, 2016

    For the consumer it is necessary to struggle. How do you know Uhans. Now Uhans A101 is on sale for just $ 0.99. Details on the website link-http: //www.uhans.cc/promotion/a101/

  24. Danial Farooq
    May 23, 2017

    well my choice is DOOGEE Y6 . it support 4g+ and comes with 4 gb ram and 64 gb rom … so why we should not try this ? it has 13 mp samsung camera and 8 mp front camera..it has ips display technology and 2.5 d curve screen !!! it come with beautiful colors 🙂 so give it a try