UMi London review: There are better places to put your $60 at


UMi have always been (a bit too) bold with their marketing antics, which sometimes backfire for them. They’ve been talking extensively about the all-new UMi London and how it’s a device well beyond it’s price point (of $60).

Well, we’ve been testing one for the past few days. If you’re considering getting one, read through the review for a little more insight on the device.

UMi London Review: Design and Build

In many ways, the UMi London is like the dwarf sibling of the UMi Rome X. It features a very similar design, but in my opinion, wins at looking slightly better. What I have to admit here is that unlike the Rome X, the London does look like a phone that’s a fair bit costlier than the asking price.

It even has a 2.5D curved glass on top of the display, which itself is fairly decent for what the phone costs (more in the next section). The screen apparently features some additional toughening as well; UMi call it ‘Dual T2X-1 Toughened Glass’. Not sure what it means, but the phone does appear to be fairly rugged.

A status LED and front facing camera (no flash) join the earpiece on the top section of the front, with subtly-marked capacitive buttons on the bottom (menu – home – back; left to right).

UMi seem to have done a better job at putting some sort of oleophobic coating on the screen, at least when compared to the Cubot X16S. While not completely smudge-free (like some more expensive phones), the coating is nice enough.

The back of the phone has a shiny and removable rear cover with curved edges. Like a few other phones in its range, the UMi London does remind of the Xiaomi Mi 5.

Subtle UMi smartphone branding, along with certification marks sit on the back of the phone along with the 8 mega-pixel camera (and its single LED flash).

The bottom edge of the phone has only the speaker grill and mic, with the micro USB port moved to the top, along with the 3.5mm jack. I’m not quite a fan of having a USB port on the top… but that could be subjective.

The power and volume buttons sit on the right edge, with the left edge kept as clean as a slate. In all, the UMi London scores heavily in the hardware department; I don’t think I’ve seen a $60 smartphone built as well as the London.

UMi also offer a ‘rugged’ case for it in case that isn’t enough.

UMi London Review: Hardware and Performance

UMi London Review 9

While it’s all moonlight and roses for the London in the build department, things start going south in an alarming manner when you move on to the hardware and performance section.

Without trying to exaggerate the situation, I’ve found the UMi London a very tough phone to live with. Whatever phone I’m reviewing is made my primary phone, and it was a really tough phase for me with the London.

The phone comes with only 1GB of RAM, so sluggish performance was expected. But the London takes it beyond sluggish to near unusable.

Switching between apps can be difficult, and something as simple as typing is a pain in the neck… and other places. The touchscreen is slow to respond to touches, so that rules out the possibility of using a swipe-based keyboard. If you type using two hands, the slow touchscreen will often miss registering a key press… and it goes on.

You’d assume that the poor performance is because of not-so-powerful hardware. But the UMi Rome X came with similar specs too, and that phone did not feel as slow and sluggish.

Using apps like Chrome, Facebook is quite an uphill task, if that gives you a better idea.

UMi London Review 12

As for the hardware, i.e., the screen and the sound, it’s exemplary for a $60 device. The screen is nice and vibrant, although it has been tuned with extremely high contrast which can make the screen look dull depending on what is being displayed.

The in built loudspeaker is also satisfactory for a $60 phone. It is loud, and contrary to what you would expect, isn’t tuned with extremely high treble levels.

London 7Another thing I’m happy to report is the battery life. UMi don’t seem to be fooling around when they list a 2050mAh battery on the phone. Paired with the entry-level hardware, the phone offers a very usable battery performance. You can expect over 4 hours of screen on time along with a full day of usage.

The fact that there’s no 4G support on the phone contributes to the battery life.

UMi London Review: Camera

After all the poor performance issues, I was surprised to see that the London does have a decent camera. It is an 8 mega-pixel sensor which actually takes photos like an 8 mega-pixel camera, and not like something that it helped by software to get to the 8 mega-pixel mark.

Have a look at some samples below.

IMG_20160825_224418_result

UMi London Review: Network and Radio

UMi London Review 8

As just mentioned, the London does not offer 4G support, courtesy the extremely entry-level MediaTek MT6580 SoC. This is a bit of a bummer, because there are local companies in many countries offering entry-level 4G phones for that much.

I’ve found that GPS on the London cannot be very dependable. The phone wasn’t able to get a GPS fix indoors, and a 3D fix outdoors took time often. Whenever it did happen, the accuracy was low (over 50 ft).

Also, the phone doesn’t appear to have a compass. While it doesn’t affect radio or network directly, it does affect how you are able to use the phone as a GPS device.

UMi London Review: Gallery

UMi London Review: Conclusion

UMi London Review 12

In all, the UMi London is a nice looking phone with a brilliant build quality. However, it falters a bit too much in the performance sector to make it any usable. For now, it might make sense to add a like more $$ to your $60 budget and get an MT6735 phone instead, perhaps something like a Cubot X16S.

From our experience here with the UMi London, it isn’t a place where you would want to invest your $60. If you want to do so anyway, head over to Chinavasion.

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104 Comments

  1. Semi
    August 30, 2016

    I believe the selling point of this phone was the double glass screen, yet you didn’t perform any scratch/drop test, why would anyone buy this phone if not for that feature? you could have saved the rest of the review as we know how mt6580/1gb phones perform.

    • Matthéo
      September 1, 2016

      Maybe someone who drops 100000000 times a day would buy this phone….Oooops

  2. Muhammad Yasir
    August 30, 2016

    well…

  3. Semi
    August 30, 2016

    I believe the selling point of this phone is the double glass screen, yet you didn’t perform any scratch/drop test, why would anyone buy this phone if not for that feature? you could have saved the rest of the review as we know how mt6580/1gb phones perform, no one sane enough would use something like this as a daily driver.

    • Matthéo
      September 1, 2016

      Maybe someone who drops 100000000 times a day would buy this phone….Oooops

  4. Eddie K
    August 30, 2016

    Thank you for the review and putting the ratings back.

  5. Guest
    August 30, 2016

    well…

  6. Faress ElFarissi
    August 30, 2016

    well , this is bad news for me ,i bought one for my fiancée .

    • Young
      August 31, 2016

      Avoid UMI, Elephone at all cost. Maybe Ulefone too.

      • Faress ElFarissi
        August 31, 2016

        yes i knew those brands is bad , but i gave it a try

  7. Guest
    August 30, 2016

    Thank you for the review and putting the ratings back.

  8. Faress ElFarissi
    August 30, 2016

    well , this is bad news for me ,i bought one for my fiancée .

    • Young
      August 31, 2016

      Avoid UMI, Elephone at all cost. Maybe Ulefone too.

    • Faress ElFarissi
      August 31, 2016

      yes i knew those brands is bad , but i gave it a try

  9. Frans
    August 31, 2016

    Go for the Ulefone U007 if you want to spend this amount of money. Snappy and great camera.

    • Karl Mager
      September 27, 2016

      In this case, I recommend you opt for Uhans A101. And a great camera and 4G support, and the price is less than

  10. Young
    August 31, 2016

    UMI producing scrap they know how to do.

    • Rem Anash
      September 24, 2016

      After 7 hours of web browsing battery died !!!

  11. Frans
    August 31, 2016

    Go for the Ulefone U007 if you want to spend this amount of money. Snappy and great camera.

  12. Young
    August 31, 2016

    UMI producing scrap they know how to do.

  13. MitsosDaBest
    August 31, 2016

    I keep telling it at every article… UMi sucks.

    I have used cheap Chinese smartphones with 1GB RAM and the MT6580, but they weren’t so slow as the London described…

    • Lora Soledad
      September 1, 2016

      Agreed.

    • Agnes Stewart
      September 23, 2016

      I recommend to watch the following video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V0VB8bmYK84

    • Student007
      October 3, 2016

      You want much from cheap phone from $50. And you read better than Samsung Galaxy j3 from 1.5 GB? It costs $150. Comments on him it isn’t better. Just all overpay for his known name.
      Recently looked narrowly at it and in comments saw that there is its Chinese copy of uhans a101. Cheap but good.

  14. MitsosDaBest
    August 31, 2016

    I keep telling it at every article… UMi sucks.

    I have used cheap Chinese smartphones with 1GB RAM and the MT6580, but they weren’t so slow as the London described…

    • Lora Soledad
      September 1, 2016

      Agreed.

    • Agnes Stewart
      September 23, 2016

      I recommend to watch the following video

    • Guest
      October 3, 2016

      You want much from cheap phone from $50. And you read better than Samsung Galaxy j3 from 1.5 GB? It costs $150. Comments on him it isn’t better. Just all overpay for his known name.
      Recently looked narrowly at it and in comments saw that there is its Chinese copy of uhans a101. Cheap but good.

  15. Matthéo
    September 1, 2016

    35 points for hardware and performance, the score says all about the Mt6580 cheap chip … don’t put your money at Umi London, it has better places

    • Richard Bob
      September 14, 2016

      Read about Uhans A101 …!

    • Сranky
      October 2, 2016

      I read the modern MT6737 processor better. Recently I saw inquiry in social networks, people shall vote for the smartphone with the MT6737 processor. And many selected Uhans A101 though it the cheapest in the list.

  16. Matthéo
    September 1, 2016

    35 points for hardware and performance, the score says all about the Mt6580 cheap chip … don’t put your money at Umi London, it has better places

    • Guest
      October 2, 2016

      I read the modern MT6737 processor better. Recently I saw inquiry in social networks, people shall vote for the smartphone with the MT6737 processor. And many selected Uhans A101 though it the cheapest in the list.

  17. MartinOk
    September 4, 2016

    Hello, thanks for the review. A month has passed, how you use your smartphone, share impressions. What are the advantages and disadvantages identified. Thank you. Simply choose an inexpensive smartphone young man, I want Android system, all applications work well? I saw that Uhans releases a new phone for the money on Android 6, to risk, to buy? or buy certified Ulefone? or both?
    root
    Thanks for the review, long interested in this model. Excellent value very glad that now there are phones with such features. But I ordered a Uhans A101, will be like on Android 6 🙂

    • Maloi
      September 4, 2016

      I never heard about Uhans A100 and about Uhans. :))))))

      • MartinOk
        September 4, 2016

        I think I will choose Uhans yet he has the support of advanced 4G networks.

        • Matthéo
          September 8, 2016

          support of advanced 4G networks, that’s what matters

      • Black
        October 2, 2016

        I didn’t hear too, didn’t begin to be interested in the Chinese market yet. There are cheapest phones. With good characteristics, very similar to iPhone. All Chinese prefer iPhone with one sim card. And for the whole world do smartphones with 2 of these cards

    • Agnes Stewart
      September 14, 2016

      I agree with you, the smartphone UMi London is good, but me and my friends Uhans A101 !!!

  18. Guest
    September 4, 2016

    Hello, thanks for the review. A month has passed, how you use your smartphone, share impressions. What are the advantages and disadvantages identified. Thank you. Simply choose an inexpensive smartphone young man, I want Android system, all applications work well? I saw that Uhans releases a new phone for the money on Android 6, to risk, to buy? or buy certified Ulefone? or both?
    root
    Thanks for the review, long interested in this model. Excellent value very glad that now there are phones with such features. But I ordered a Uhans A101, will be like on Android 6 🙂

    • Guest
      September 4, 2016

      I never heard about Uhans A100 and about Uhans. :))))))

    • Guest
      September 4, 2016

      I think I will choose Uhans yet he has the support of advanced 4G networks.

    • Matthéo
      September 8, 2016

      support of advanced 4G networks, that’s what matters

    • Agnes Stewart
      September 14, 2016

      I agree with you, the smartphone UMi London is good, but me and my friends Uhans A101 !!!

    • Guest
      October 2, 2016

      I didn’t hear too, didn’t begin to be interested in the Chinese market yet. There are cheapest phones. With good characteristics, very similar to iPhone. All Chinese prefer iPhone with one sim card. And for the whole world do smartphones with 2 of these cards

  19. Carmen
    September 14, 2016

    Everything looks great for the price without comparison-
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V0VB8bmYK84&feature=youtu.be Umi London is clearly overpriced, Uhans A101 has better specs for the same price. Give me a reason to buy Umi London!!!

  20. Richard Bob
    September 14, 2016

    Yes, a good device, but Uhans A101 smartphone with support for 4G and its graphics capabilities largely prevails!

  21. Agnes Stewart
    September 14, 2016

    Smartphone UMi London certainly good, but is more comfortable Uhans A101 !!!

    • afghanPower
      October 19, 2016

      I think “Jim Manlingerton” sound more like a real name.

  22. Agnes Stewart
    September 14, 2016

    Smartphone UMi London certainly good, but is more comfortable Uhans A101 !!!

    • afghanPower
      October 19, 2016

      I think “Jim Manlingerton” sound more like a real name.

  23. Rem Anash
    September 22, 2016

    Thank you for your interesting review. For the modern smartphone 2050mAh battery on the course is too small! But it has many other advantages.

    • Old man
      October 3, 2016

      I saw video where prove that the london battery is better, than the battery in an iPhone. I can’t provide if to carry out such test with Uhans A101 with the battery 2450 or blackview a8 max with the battery 3000.

  24. Rem Anash
    September 22, 2016

    Thank you for your interesting review. For the modern smartphone 2050mAh battery on the course is too small! But it has many other advantages.

    • Guest
      October 3, 2016

      I saw video where prove that the london battery is better, than the battery in an iPhone. I can’t provide if to carry out such test with Uhans A101 with the battery 2450 or blackview a8 max with the battery 3000.

  25. Josi Roshen
    September 25, 2016

    It’s hard to compete Umi London with their classmates and with the processor without the support of 4G …

    • Den List
      November 9, 2016

      The smartphone Umi London Memory 1GB RAM + 8GB ROM. Installed sensor Sony IMX149, 2050mAh battery is the main video camera. To date, he has a few old-fashioned. His rival Uhans A101s hardware is somewhat better. For reference: 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

  26. Josi Roshen
    September 25, 2016

    It’s hard to compete Umi London with their classmates and with the processor without the support of 4G …

    • Den List
      November 9, 2016

      The smartphone Umi London Memory 1GB RAM + 8GB ROM. Installed sensor Sony IMX149, 2050mAh battery is the main video camera. To date, he has a few old-fashioned. His rival Uhans A101s hardware is somewhat better. For reference: 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

  27. rakesh jain
    September 26, 2016

    I’m looking for a 60$~70$ budget phone with basic functions …4G network support is needed. I noticed many models in this price range like Umi London,Doogee X5 max, Ulephone u007, Bluboo Maya but they only support 3G. :(( Lately Uhans a101 caught my attention. It’s just what I’ve wanted. The only concern is I have little knowledge about this Uhans company. Can you possibly get a uhans a101 to review??

  28. Nancy Croftoon
    October 2, 2016

    I didn’t understand in it the removable battery?

    • Alfie
      October 2, 2016

      The battery is removable. But you won’t be able to change it. I take the spare battery in the road. But my sumsung very old. I want to buy cheap uhans a101 with the removable battery.

  29. Guest
    October 2, 2016

    I didn’t understand in it the removable battery?

    • Guest
      October 2, 2016

      The battery is removable. But you won’t be able to change it. I take the spare battery in the road. But my sumsung very old. I want to buy cheap uhans a101 with the removable battery.

  30. Agnes Stewart
    October 10, 2016

    It’s hard to believe but it’s true. Uhans A101 is on sale for just $ 0.99. Buy here link-http: //www.uhans.cc/promotion/a101/

  31. Zahar
    October 15, 2016

    The excellent smartphone, but for me is better than Uhans A101, it is very important that it works on a network 4G.

    • Madridik
      October 16, 2016

      Dear friend, you are completely right. Support 4G is very important. Very much pleases that Uhans, gives now the chance to buy the smartphone for $0.99

      • Mazelrep
        October 17, 2016

        The excellent share from Uhans. Itself I will participate in it. I hope that to me will carry.

      • afghanPower
        October 19, 2016

        Oh common.. It’s so obvious you and your friend are Uhans employees…

        • Zahar
          October 30, 2016

          I use Uhans A101 several days. It is very happy. Uhans A101 is very good phone.

  32. Guest
    October 15, 2016

    The excellent smartphone, but for me is better than Uhans A101, it is very important that it works on a network 4G.

    • Guest
      October 16, 2016

      Dear friend, you are completely right. Support 4G is very important. Very much pleases that Uhans, gives now the chance to buy the smartphone for $0.99

    • Guest
      October 17, 2016

      The excellent share from Uhans. Itself I will participate in it. I hope that to me will carry.

    • afghanPower
      October 19, 2016

      Oh common.. It’s so obvious you and your friend are Uhans employees…

    • Guest
      October 30, 2016

      I use Uhans A101 several days. It is very happy. Uhans A101 is very good phone.

  33. Dominic Jackson
    October 22, 2016

    1gb means it will be sluggish?? You dont know how computers or RAM work my friend!! 1GB ram is more than enough to run android and a heap of background apps. Even 512mb is not toooo bad as there are many highly regarded phones made with 512mb. Also the camera is awful how can you say it is good? It is noisey and terrible. Sometimes I wonder how people get a job reviewing phones when they are so out of touch with reality.

  34. jackominic
    October 22, 2016

    1gb means it will be sluggish?? You dont know how computers or RAM work my friend!! 1GB ram is more than enough to run android and a heap of background apps. Even 512mb is not toooo bad as there are many highly regarded phones made with 512mb. Also the camera is awful how can you say it is good? It is noisey and terrible. Sometimes I wonder how people get a job reviewing phones when they are so out of touch with reality.

  35. Mohammad Afzal
    December 5, 2016

    Umi London not support 4G, Uhans A101 support 4G. Uhans A101 support 64GB External memory , Umi London support 32GB. Uhans A101 battery 2450mAH, Umi London 2050mAH.
    i watched the video.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V0VB8bmYK84&t=539s

    • Agnes Stewart
      December 9, 2016

      For lovers of comparative analysis. Uhans
      A101 powered by Mediatek MT6737 1.3 GHz Quad-core, and its
      closest competitor Umi London Mediatek MT6580 1.3 GHz Quad-core
      processor. Test data of these processors are the following. MT6737: Ping 30ms; Download-49.28 Mbps; Upload-9.77 Mbps. MT6580: Ping-47ms; Download-3.72 Mbps; Upload-1.84 Mbps. Advantages Uhans A101 immediately visible!

  36. Mohammad Afzal
    December 5, 2016

    Umi London not support 4G, Uhans A101 support 4G. Uhans support 64GB External memory , Umi London support 32GB. Uhans A101 battery 2450mAH, Umi London 2050mAH.
    i checked the price at gearbest Uhans A101 > 70$ and Umi London > 74$
    i definitely buy Uhans A101.

    • Czarl Ke
      December 8, 2016

      I approve! A very correct decision. Software update Uhans happens regularly.

  37. Mohammad Afzal
    December 5, 2016

    Umi London not support 4G, Uhans A101 support 4G. Uhans A101 support 64GB External memory , Umi London support 32GB. Uhans A101 battery 2450mAH, Umi London 2050mAH.
    i watched the video.

    • Agnes Stewart
      December 9, 2016

      For lovers of comparative analysis. Uhans
      A101 powered by Mediatek MT6737 1.3 GHz Quad-core, and its
      closest competitor Umi London Mediatek MT6580 1.3 GHz Quad-core
      processor. Test data of these processors are the following. MT6737: Ping 30ms; Download-49.28 Mbps; Upload-9.77 Mbps. MT6580: Ping-47ms; Download-3.72 Mbps; Upload-1.84 Mbps. Advantages Uhans A101 immediately visible!

  38. Mohammad Afzal
    December 5, 2016

    Umi London not support 4G, Uhans A101 support 4G. Uhans support 64GB External memory , Umi London support 32GB. Uhans A101 battery 2450mAH, Umi London 2050mAH.
    i checked the price at gearbest Uhans A101 > 70$ and Umi London > 74$
    i definitely buy Uhans A101.

    • Len Filre
      December 8, 2016

      I approve! A very correct decision. Software update Uhans happens regularly.

  39. Mohammad Sami Qureshi
    December 6, 2016

    according to my search and comparison i will be choose Uhans A101 instead of Umi London because Uhans A101 support 4G network and battery is bigger than Umi London. Uhans A101 cheaper in price.

    • Czarl Ke
      December 8, 2016

      This is true! Outdated processor Mediatek MT6580, which does not support 4G network, battery 2050mAh and provides up to 4 -6 hours of active screen time have become critical for some modern users. In this regard, Uhans A101 much better. Yes and a software update they have issues do not arise.

  40. Mohammad Sami Qureshi
    December 6, 2016

    according to my search and comparison i will be choose Uhans A101 instead of Umi London because Uhans A101 support 4G network and battery is bigger than Umi London. Uhans A101 cheaper in price.

    • Len Filre
      December 8, 2016

      This is true! Outdated processor Mediatek MT6580, which does not support 4G network, battery 2050mAh and provides up to 4 -6 hours of active screen time have become critical for some modern users. In this regard, Uhans A101 much better. Yes and a software update they have issues do not arise.

  41. Ahtisham Ali
    December 7, 2016

    Umi London vs Uhans A101.
    I will be buy Uhans A101 because 4G network Support, huge external Memory support, and more powerful battery.

  42. Ahtisham Ali
    December 7, 2016

    Umi London vs Uhans A101.
    I will be buy Uhans A101 because 4G network Support, huge external Memory support, and more powerful battery.

  43. Charles Basil
    December 12, 2016

    Low RAM + ROM and camera quality not very good like a Uhans A101s.

  44. Addison Aiken
    December 12, 2016

    Umi London RAM 1GB and ROM 8GB. it is very low at the price.
    Uhans A101s RAM 2GB + 16GB and great camera quality.

  45. Ahtisham Ali
    December 12, 2016

    quality of camera is not good, and offering very low memory.

  46. Arsalan Khan
    December 12, 2016

    good mobile but its should have 2GB RAM and 16GB ROM like a Uhans A101s.

  47. Adam Chad
    December 12, 2016

    every things looking great but i am disappointed with camera quality and low memory.
    Uhans A101s looking much better than Umi London.

  48. Charles Basil
    December 12, 2016

    Low RAM + ROM and camera quality not very good like a Uhans A101s.

  49. Addison Aiken
    December 12, 2016

    Umi London RAM 1GB and ROM 8GB. it is very low at the price.
    Uhans A101s RAM 2GB + 16GB and great camera quality.

  50. Ahtisham Ali
    December 12, 2016

    quality of camera is not good, and offering very low memory.

  51. Arsalan Khan
    December 12, 2016

    good mobile but its should have 2GB RAM and 16GB ROM like a Uhans A101s.

  52. Adam Chad
    December 12, 2016

    every things looking great but i am disappointed with camera quality and low memory.
    Uhans A101s looking much better than Umi London.

  53. darrendarren
    December 22, 2016

    So they reused the UMI London’s casing, upgraded the SOC, added 2GB of RAM, increased the battery capacity, downgraded the loud speaker (and possibly the camera) and call it the UMI Diamond.

  54. darrendarren
    December 22, 2016

    So they reused the UMI London’s casing, upgraded the SOC, added 2GB of RAM, increased the battery capacity, downgraded the loud speaker (and possibly the camera) and call it the UMI Diamond.

  55. Maria Salman
    June 3, 2017

    Go for DOOGEE X6 !!! IT HAS 5.5 ” HD screen to fulfill your entertainment desire and comes with 1 gb ram and 8 gb rom which is extendable upto 32 gb !! why not this smartphone ? it has 3000 mah battery and all you will get in a small price !!! so try this beautifully designed phone
    http://www.doogeemobile.com/doogee-x6.html