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It really looks like UMiDiGi is the new Elephone, releasing a new flagship phone every few months before the old one has even entered the hands of consumers.

Enter the UMiDiGi Z1 Pro, the latest in the onslaught of UMiDiGi devices, this time coming in bright red.

UMiDiGi Z1 Pro Review

The UMiDiGi Z1 Pro houses some parts not usually seen in cheaper Chinese phones, such as an AMOLED display and 6GB of RAM. It is accompanied by the Helio P20 processor and a hefty 4000mAh battery as well. UMiDiGi is no stranger to controversy over QC issues, so let’s see if the Z1 Pro takes part in any of this.

UMiDiGi Z1 Pro Specifications

Processor MTK6757 Octa-core Processor
Display 5.5″ 1080p AMOLED
RAM 6GB
Storage 64GB eMMC
Operating System Android 7.0 Nougat
Cameras 13MP/5MP Camera, 5MP Front
Battery 4000mAh
Physical Dimensions 148g, 15.44 x 7.51 x 0.70 cm

Big thanks to UMiDiGi for providing this review unit. You can buy one here.

UMiDiGi Z1 Pro Build Quality

The bright, chili red colour of this phone really sold me. I pride myself on being immune to colour choice, but man has this red really sold me. Let’s ignore the eye catching colour for a moment, the build quality here is good but unexceptional. It looks and feels like every previous UMiDiGi phone all the way back to the UMi Super which isn’t totally a bad thing. However, I had hoped that UMiDiGi would iterate on the body of the phone, gradually reducing bezels, but it looks like the footprint and design stay almost the exact same as the older UMiDiGi Z Pro. The phone is fairly easy to hold, but not as easy as a five-incher, the thinness does make it feel very small though.The metal body is well made, the metal feels a bit thin on the back and tolerances are generally sharp with one possible exception; the camera module. I’m not sure if this is a quality control issue or a design choice, but the camera module is about a half a millimeter off center (up and down). This does not affect the functionality or performance of the phone in any way. I do have one more complaint, and that would be the capacitive buttons.

I’m not sure if this is a quality control issue or a design choice, but the camera module is about a half a millimeter off center (up and down). This does not affect the functionality or performance of the phone in any way. I do have one more complaint, and that would be the capacitive buttons.

They are not drawn on and I believe this is in case you wanted to enable the virtual buttons which makes the location of the button rather ambiguous. What is even worse is that the hitbox is rather small; meaning that you miss the capacitive buttons some of the time and have to readjust and tap again.

UMiDiGi Z1 Pro Display

The Z1 Pro comes with an AMOLED display, something that I rarely see from Chinese phones. This display placed side by side with an LCD shows the difference in colour saturation between the two, with many people preferring the oversaturated colours on the AMOLED over the “truer” shades on the LCD (myself included).

This display does have a slightly blue/purple tint that is almost unnoticeable in real life but does show quite noticeably on camera. Max brightness tops out around 400 nits which is quite respectable for an AMOLED, and is also quite easily viewable in sunlight. Touch sensitivity is excellent, and Gorilla Glass 4 provides scratch protection and a smooth surface to swipe on.

UMiDiGi Z1 Pro Audio

UMiDiGi has been using the same Awinic 8738 audio chip that they’ve used in almost every phone since the UMi Super, and this phone can provide some ear shredding volume, and audio quality is decent, we have fairly clear mids and highs, a bit of bass, but it’s mostly lacking in bass.

UMiDiGi Z1 Pro Battery

The combination of the 4000mAh battery, AMOLED display, and the Helio P20 should provide great battery life. And while that holds mostly true, I believe battery life can definitely be better. I obtained 6 hours of screen on time with ease, ending the day with 20% left. This consisted of about 2 hours of YouTube, about an hour of gaming, 2 hours of local video playback, and about 4 hours of Bluetooth music in addition to all the miscellaneous items I performed such as Whatsapp, texting, FaceBook etc.

The one area where UMiDiGi has to improve on is the standby battery drain. I was getting a guaranteed 1% battery drain every hour, with it jumping up to 1.5% sometimes. this has to be solved if possible through software. Charging the phone through USB-C took me about 2.5 hours without using a MediaTek PumpExpress charger.

UMiDiGi Z1 Pro Software

We have the latest Android 7.0 Nougat gracing the phone, and I must say that UMiDiGi’s software optimization has taken a step up again over the older UMiDiGi Z Pro, with this phone feeling even smoother when moving between home screens, going into settings even though the Z Pro features a much faster Helio X27 processor. Launching apps, on the other hand, is a more ponderous process with the Helio P20 struggling to keep up with even the old Helio X20 in app launching speed, rendering the already overkill amount of 6GB RAM almost useless as the bottleneck is the processor. In fact, 4GB of RAM would have been plenty, with 3GB being passable for many users.

The P20 doesn’t affect gaming, it’s able to play all the games at 1080p without issue, Modern combat, Asphalt, lighter games such as Super Mario Run ran without a hitch, even when I was recording the screen at the same time. The phone gets warm in the top left but never gets burning hot. I also ran a malware scan and didn’t find anything. The fingerprint sensor is very accurate and works with wet fingerprints, but it’s quite slow.

UMiDiGi Z1 Pro Connectivity

Reception on this phone is great. The phone does not officially support 3G network bands here, but this has been a trend in quite a few UMiDigi phones where it gets 3G reception anyway where it’s not supposed to and this is a very nice surprise. If I had to guesstimate how much time I spent in 4G, it would be at least 80%, with the remaining 20% split between 2G and 3G, heavily in favour of 3G. WiFi speeds are great, an 800MB file takes 4 minutes (on fast WiFi that is), and Bluetooth range is good also. I used the GPS to navigate to work, and it was fairly accurate and fast. There is no NFC so you cannot use Android Pay.

UMiDiGi Z1 Pro Camera

The camera is the weakest part of the phone, period. While I hesitate to call the entire camera bad (well the video is really strange), the photos don’t come out amazing either. In normal mode, detail is not bad as long as you keep your phone relatively still, the phone snaps photos pretty quickly so you don’t have to be a statue forever.

Colour reproduction ranges from OK to great, with colour sometimes being rather average and showing great saturation and vividness other times. Dark situations see the camera struggling to keep noise and grain out of the photo, failing most of the time. HDR mode, on the other hand, should be left disabled at all times, well almost all times. The HDR mode is way too aggressive, trying to equalize “bright” and “dark” spots when they aren’t that far apart in the first place. You have to leave it off unless there are extremely obvious bright and dark spots, e.g. taking a picture of the sun. In those cases, the aggressive HDR does its job well.Moving on to Bokeh mode, which I see more and more as a gimmick, it adds Bokeh in a very unnatural circle, and not only that the overall quality of the photo is lowered as well. There is also a pro photo mode that works quite well and uses very convenient sliders to change the camera settings. The front facing camera is rather average also.Now for the video. Before we even talk about the quality, let’s talk about the camera app. The camera app seems to lag behind real life by about ½ a second. Now a camera lagging behind real life slightly is normal, but ½ a second is reserved for low-end cameras, not in a $300 device. In addition, the video recording is weirdly laggy, almost like the video is recording normally for a second, then slow for the next. Now on to quality. The camera can record in 4K (third party camera apps cannot) and the video quality is weird also.

If you look at it on a small enough screen the 4K video looks incredibly crispy which is not true of all 4K phones, but when you watch on a big screen (think a laptop), you notice a lower level of detail resolved than what you would expect from a 4K camera. In fact, there is what I would dub “micrograin”, meaning there is the same grain you see in low-light present inwell-litt videos, except you have to zoom in to see it. It almost has an interpolated look to the video. Overall, these items make for an unpleasant video experience, and is really a downside to this phone.

UMiDiGi Z1 Pro Camera Gallery

UMiDiGi Z1 Pro Verdict

As a cheap person, I’ve learnt over the years (the hard way) that not everything is about the best price/performance, the best price/quantity, but people will actually forego that for other things, an iPhone being a prime example. What I see in the UMiDiGi is similar. If you want the best price to overall phone, the Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 with a Snapdragon 625 is and will be the best choice for a long time.

This Z1 Pro at $300 is almost twice the price of the Redmi Note 4 and is the definition a non price to performance phone. However, the UMiDiGi offers an AMOLED display and a beautiful lipstick red body, and I’ve fallen pretty hard for this phone.

Z1 PRO:

UMiDiGi Z1 Pro Video Review

UMiDiGi Z1 Pro Gallery

  • Build Quality - 90%
    90
  • Display - 90%
    90
  • Audio - 83%
    83
  • Battery - 85%
    85
  • Software & Performance - 73%
    73
  • Connectivity - 79%
    79
  • Camera - 62%
    62
80.3 %

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Tech Lover. Youtuber. Reviewer of phones, tablets, laptops, smartwatches etc. Gamer. PC only. Martial Artist. Star Wars Nerd. Current Main Drivers: Xiaomi Redmi 3, Xiaomi Mipad 2, and Jumper EZBook Air.
  • Ma PANG PANG

    You forgot to warn buyers NOT to buy this piece of shit. Please check internet before you buy this. Battery somehow popped/ ex/imploded.. No NOT buy this!!!

    • balcobomber25

      Umidigi does have some QC issues but batteries can explode in any phone, just ask Samsung.

  • Assefa Hanson

    And umidigi just continues to pop them out like crazy they always past the paper test we have the Crystal, c2, c note 2 ,S, s2 pro

    “For a company to be wise we must live by the saying,majority rules ..thats why we choose Quantity over quality”

    -elephone and umidigi

  • balcobomber25

    I would prefer to get the Ulefone (T1) version. Same ODM design, slightly different specs but from a brand with a much better reputation. And you can get it for under $200.

    • Semi

      much better reputation? they are perceived more or less the same, most of their model come frome the same OEMs.

      • balcobomber25

        Most of these brands are actually owned by OEM’s. They share ODM firms which is why most of them all look exactly the same. Sharing an ODM or even an OEM doesn’t mean the phones are the same. Even some of the major brands share ODM/OEM’s (think of how many name brand phones use almost the same exact designs).

        Just compare reviews of both brands, forum posts about both brands etc. They are both budget brands but Ulefone hasn’t nearly suffered the problems that Umi or Elephone have. Ulefone consistently puts out good quality budget phones. They aren’t the best or the worst but they consistently work.

        • mf1gt3r

          I totally agree with you on that.

  • Lazar Prodanovic

    You have double paragraph “Max brightness tops out around 400 nits which”, and spec sheet is wrong – says IPS LCD so correct those.
    As for the phone it’s overpriced, underpowered peace of garbage very north from quality product produced actually by third party fishy Chinese firm (they also aren’t real manufacturers), so not really even easy to track & impossible to service & when it comes with such untrustworthy branding slipped on only advice is avoid it.

  • LifelessNewt

    This piece of crap is a bad taste joke.

  • mf1gt3r

    Another day another crappy Umi phone reviewed. I guess UMi and Elephone will never learn. Oukitel and Ulefone are now way better.

    • Semi

      Oukitel better? maybe when they start using some decent Helio processors, decent quality camera sensors and put some gyroscope and compass on their devices they could be,
      Ulefone is the same as Umi, some good models, some average ones and some to totally forget.

      • balcobomber25

        “Ulefone is the same as Umi, some good models, some average ones and some to totally forget.”

        By that logic you could say Samsung is the same as Umi. Or any other brand of smartphone. They all have some good models, some average ones and some to totally forget.

      • mf1gt3r

        You’re wrong. When I was comparing Ulefone to UMi I wasnt making reference to how good hardware sounds on paper. For all we know a shitty no name company can fit Helio P25 into a crappy device that can die any minute. Ulefone and Oukitel both have less quality/durability issues as Elephone and UMi and by “less” I mean relatively very few when compared to UMi. Having used several devices from the 4 companies, I’ve learnt alot about them.
        For your info, an UMi Z1 died barely 4 hours after unboxing (a neighbor’s).

      • mf1gt3r

        You’re wrong. When I was comparing Ulefone and UMi I wasnt making reference to how good hardware sounds on paper. For all we know a shitty no name company can fit Helio P25 into a crappy device that can die in any minute. Ulefone and Oukitel both have less quality/durability issues as Elephone and UMi and by “less” I mean relatively very few when compared to UMi. Having used several devices from the 4 companies, I’ve learnt alot about them.
        For your info, an UMi Z1 died barely 4 hours after unboxing (a neighbor’s).

        • Semi

          ah, so you complain because of a personal bad experience, I imagined that. Would be interesting to see the datas about how many of the models of the companies you named returned back for repair, since you made a chart I assume you know them.

          • balcobomber25

            Which company do you work for? UMi or Elephone?

            • Semi

              So when someone doesn’t go for the generic easy bashing based on nothing like you did here has to work for that company? Then Apple has Millions of Employees!

            • balcobomber25

              When someone vigorously defends a company that is known throughout the Chinese phone community as bad. And when that same person denies that any problems exist with that company it gives clear signs you have a connection to that company.

            • Semi

              Where did I deny umi phones have issues? I pointed those same level producers are the same on quality level and it merely depends by the model if it has issue or not and not by the brand it has, and this applies to most of the somewhat smaller chinese brands with some experience which are not xiaomi, oppo, vivo and the rest of those. From this to saying umi phones are perfect ones it’s like night and day.
              You were saying that Ulefone products are so much better basing this assumption on nothing real.
              Umi has a forum and so you see the complaints, Ulefone had to shut their forum down to not show them, this makes them better?

            • balcobomber25

              “You were saying that Ulefone products are so much better basing this assumption on nothing real.”

              I am going to just ignore where you tried to compare UMi with Xiaomi, OPPO and the rest (which is a hilarious take) and move on to the quoted line above. My comment mentioned that if you read reviews of both Ulefone vs UMi you will see they are usually much better quality. My comment also mentioned you can check forums that specialize in Chinese phone and you will find out the same thing. And lastly you can ask the people who have been coming to this site since it first launched, oh wait I am one of them, and most of them will tell you that not all Chinese phones are the same. UMi and Elephone have had many more problems than Ulefone or Maze for example. The only one who made an assumption was yourself.

            • Semi

              Where did I compare umi with xiaomi? Find me the quote please. Then maybe we could talk. Otherwise this will show what kind of person you are, putting words never said in other people’s mouth just to make you right.

            • balcobomber25

              My mistake i misread your comment. But the rest of my comment stands anyone who has been around Chinese phones long enough is well aware of the problems that UMi and Elephone have both had over the years. Would you like me to share some of those problems to educate you?

            • Semi

              I know the problem those brands had, and I’m telling you again: it depends on the models.
              umi had shitty low-end models like rome, fair and something else, which were real junk and deserved all the bashing on this earth and even more, while Ulefone never arrived at this lowest quality point with cheaper models, even if products like Paris and Vienna had their issues.
              But the highest line of products between the two is on par, especially from umi super onwards. They both have some models which showed some tendancy to some defects but very rarely they become unusable, and they also rarely die from sudden death like it happened in the past with some china phones, so they both are kinda improving.
              I didn’t follow much elephone after what they did with P7000, but it seems their recent products improved as well and have less QC-related issues, their P9000 looks like a successful phone.

            • balcobomber25

              This review shows us they have not improved and are still offering below average products. Their own forums also show us that. They continue to lie about specs as well, something they have always been notorious for. They promise a phone will come with one spec and then later on blame some type of delay and change it permanently. That is something UMi has done since their beginnings, that and “accidentally” miss shipping dates. A lot of buyers of the UMi Z Pro suffered from units that crashed and died within hours of them setting it up. And then there is the Spyware, lots and lots of spyware. UMi is one of the companies that give other Chinese phones a bad reputation.

              As for the P9000 that might be the worst model you could have picked from Elephone. That phone has had some of the biggest problems from day 1 and because of how often Elephone releases a new flagship they will never be fixed. The list of problems that people had/have with the P9000 includes:

              – Not being able to make calls on 3/4G
              – Battery not charging
              – Sim card not detected
              – Phone randomly rebooting multiple times a day
              – Battery drains a lot faster than it should
              – Phone serial numbers aren’t correct
              – IMEI’s blacklisted
              – SD card not recognized
              – Bluetooth doesn’t work
              – NFC doesn’t work
              – One sim card won’t work
              – Speaker doesn’t work

              And there’s dozens more that phone has suffered. All phones will suffer from some issues but there are very few phones that have this many problems, many of which never get fixed.

          • mf1gt3r

            You have data/WiFi don’t you? Use the web then to get whatever chart you need. Do some research.

            • Semi

              I don’t see any. This means your assumptions are based on nothing more than a bad experience in your family.

            • mf1gt3r

              Where did you check? Shithole.com? Onyeara! I guess in your case it pays to be stupid. Keep talking. I have no further reason to respond to you.