Ulefone T1 Review: a powerful – yet attractive – clone


It seems that Ulefone finally decided to focus on what’s worth it, in this market: the midrange “flagship” segment, an area where more and more Chinese manufacturers have recently began to launch their first models. You might find the term midrange “flagship” strange, but – trust me- it has huge possibilities.

In this market we can find really powerful Chinese smartphones with adequate quality build but affordable price tags, aiming to please those performance-hungry individuals out there who’re on a very tight budget, but still like to push their phones to their limits.

The Ulefone T1 is one of those smartphones – and surely one worth buying- offering quite adequate performance, runs on Android 7.0 Nougat, along with a typical Helio P25 chipset, 6GB (!) of RAM and a dual camera setup on its back. It’s available at a really affordable price – when compared to its specs- and can easily become one of those models that belong into the competitive market. Let’s take a close look at its features and functions.

Ulefone T1 – Technical specifications

  • Display: 5.5 inch, 1920 x 1080 Pixel screen
  • CPU: Helio P25 Octa Core 2.6GHz 
  • System: Android 7.0
  • RAM + ROM: 6GB RAM + 64GB ROM
  • Camera: 8.0MP ( Interpolated to 13.0MP ) front camera + 16.0MP + 5.0MP back cameras
  • Sensor: Gravity Sensor, Proximity Sensor, Light Sensor, Touch Sensor
  • SIM Card: dual SIM dual standby. Nano + Nano SIM
  • Feature: GPSA / GPS
  • Bluetooth: 4.1
  • Network: 2G: GSM 850/900/1800/1900MHz – 3G: WCDMA 850/900/1700/1900/2100MHz – 4G: FDD-LTE 700/800/850/900/1700/1800/1900/2100/2600MHz

Ulefone T1 review: Design and general appearance

The phone is available in 2 color variants which are mainly: Black and Red and I got the first one. It’s quite impressive and really looks like an iPhone 7 Plus clone, if you see its back side. It’s not however the first time that a Chinese company decides to copy some other – especially Apple. In any case the phone surely looks impressive thanks to its metallic build and its overall design that allows for excellent grip and usability. Note that the back side of the device is made out of matte aircraft-aluminum alloy which improves its durability and enhances the whole “appearance” factor but its surely a fingerprint “magnet”, attracting a lot of unnecessary smudges. 

Ulefone designed the T1 model based on the style of its predecessor Ulefone Gemini Pro, using CNC and NANO metal technology, providing the device with 8.5mm of thickness,  15.50 x 7.69 x 0.85 cm dimensions and 181 gr. weight. On the front we can spot a selfie camera and a home button, on the back side, there’s an impressive dual camera, LED flash light, placed exactly at the same place the iPhone 7 Plus has them. Yes, it’s a good clone! 

The device comes with a really impressive 5,5 inch display with 2.5D glass and FHD resolution (1920x1080p) with decent luminosity during sunny days, along with 178 degrees of viewing angle. It has a whopping 400.93 PPI with multi touch capacitive ability, however, it comes equipped with a scratch –resistant screen and not a Gorilla Glass cover, so be careful – it’s not as durable as one would expect. 

Just below the display there’s a rather fast fingerprint sensor, able to unlock the phone in less than 0.1 second with almost 97% success rate. It can basically store up to 5 different fingerprints and can recognize them all from 360 degrees, something that’s a standard nowadays.

Hardware & Performance

This is an area where this phone performs above average – when compared to other similar smartphones. It comes with a Helio P25 Octa Core 2.6GHz processor, along with 6GB RAM and 64GB of internal storage, expandable via microSD card up to 256GB. The available RAM is more than enough for you to run all your day to day apps very smoothly, and the gaming performance is almost excellent if you play games like Asphalt 8 on normal graphics. Still, you should expect some skipped frames thanks to the GPU but with no significant lag. 

I was quite impressed by the general performance of the T1 model guys, I have to admit. It’s available RAM is ALWAYS above 3-4GB, no matter how many apps I may open and use. It offers excellent multi-tasking with no significant impact on its everyday performance. To confirm our deductions, do have a look at the benchmark results of the device as they appear above, showing the Ulefone T1 scoring 64849 points in AnTuTu.

I had one issue with its GPS receiver, as the device could only connect to 7 or 8 at the most sattelites, even though more than 12 were always available. It could be connected to more I guess, in order to offer even better results when scanning for our location. It took 5-6 seconds initially to locate my position but after this, all Facebook check in’s were easy with no hassle.  In any case it still offered good global positioning services, no complains at all.

The Ulefone T1 is a 4G/LTE smartphone (FDD-LTE 700/800/850/900/1700/1800/1900/ 2100/2600MHz) with awesome performance when it comes to LTE networks, achieving average data speeds of 60Mbps that surely offer a decent feeling when you use it, along with great performance in everyday use. It has good GSM/WCDMA/LTE signal reception with flawless handovers and no dropped calls – during my tests that is.

Read Also:  Power Armor 16 Pro Giveaway On Ulefone Official Website

Ulefone T1 review: Android software and UI performance

The Ulefone T1 runs on Android 7.0 Nougat, however the company hasn’t disclosed yet when (and if) it will be updated to Android 7.1.2 or (one can hope) Android O. In any case, it runs on Nougat, with all the perks of Google’s previous operating system and – most importantly- the beauty of “vanilla” pure Android.

I love this type of Chinese phones, those that come with no themes, no bloatware or other unnecessary apps inside. You can be sure that it supports all the classic Nougat features, but the UI is as simple as Google wanted it to be. You can easily understand that the combination of a pure Android with a Helio P25 chipset and 6GB of RAM can be quite pleasing for almost any type of user. So as long as you don’t choose to put any extra pressure on it with severe multi-tasking, more than 15-18 apps opened simultaneously (!) you can be sure that it will be there for you, providing quite impressive performance – for the money you have to pay!

Dual camera/Selfie camera performance

OK, we have an iPhone 7 Plus clone in our hands, with a dual camera setup on its back which are 16.0MP and 5.0MP in resolution, with dual flash along with a 13.0 MP selfie camera, a treat for selfie lovers. For the dual camera fans, note that one camera sensor is used for creating the bokeh effect and the other will capture the image with quite impressive portrait photos, but average performance in low light conditions.

GOOD PHOTOS, AVERAGE VIDEOS, adequate LOW LIGHT PERFORMANCE

The OV 13MP sensor technology is the main reason why the camera turns the most lifeless things into jovial ones. A special soft light for the selfies is provided in the front camera of the phone. The soft light would help to have the brighter picture with the more defined look. You can shoot photos at 77.9 wide angles, and the 1.12um pixel size of the main sensor can result in good photos given its price tag. There is an extra instant beauty mode that would remove away all possible glitches from your selfies and turn them into highly beautiful ones. The selfie fans will surely love it.

Both cameras have independent vision processing unit, which enables background blurring in real time. It also allows you to choose where to focus (touch focus/autofucus) and where to blur, with the ability to adjust the intensity of blurring, too.

It’s quite easy to capture decent photos in daylight conditions, panoramic images with a helpful assistant that shows the way to do it correctly and the same goes for video capture. However when the sun goes down problems appear, such as low ISO, increased digital noise in photos and reduced framerate in videos.

All of the above however are typical for this type of phones, and the final verdict is that using the Ulefone T1 you will be able to capture decent photos in daylight conditions but not that impressive photos during low light conditions.

The LED flash works OK in close ups, portraits or distances up to 1 meter but it won’t do you any good if your subject is a bit further. Have a look at our photo samples by clicking on the link here (Flickr).

Battery consumption

The Ulefone T1 is equipped with a relatively large 3680mAh battery that can provide really impressive stand by times, in cooperation with the Helio P25 energy efficient processor. You can easily get a full day’s usage (28 hours) with no problems and perhaps a bit more if you are able to be gentle with it, or use a power save feature.

All in all we have a winner here, an impressive smartphone with decent standby times if you’re an average user (6 hours of active screen).

Conclusion – So what about it?

impressive performance, for a beautiful… clone

Hands down, this is one of the best Chinese smartphones I had during the past months. It provides an impressive feeling when you use it everyday, with a quite responsive FHD display, ample RAM memory (6GB) and a powerful – yet energy efficient – chipset (Helio P25).

If you’re in the market for an affordable 6GB RAM/64GB ROM, dual camera smartphone with impressive display and great build quality then the Ulefone T1 should definitely be among your top choices.

The Ulefone T1 is currently available with a price tag of 209,99$

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58 Comments

  1. mf1gt3r
    September 20, 2017

    Shitty bokeh pictures. Meizu M6 note kills this one in camera performance.

    • Lazar Prodanovic
      September 21, 2017

      M6 note is a big disappointment (as I loved Meizu once) & this (Ule T1) is just another peace of junk. Compared to Mi A1 they both loose and compared to the original Mi 5 (basic edition) which now can be found for just cuple $ more (then Ule T1) even A1 loses.

      • balcobomber25
        September 21, 2017

        The T1 isn’t the best phone but it’s far from a piece of junk. It’s a good budget option for many people. And it has one major advantage over both the A1 and M6 Note: Universal LTE.

        • Lazar Prodanovic
          September 21, 2017

          Looking forward to you coming back here in a six months after it fall apart as you bought one. So try not to sell it out in a month or two as you usually do. To me proclaimed “Universal LTE” makes a zero advantage as I don’t travel all that much. On the other hand a long stand software support from the manufacturer along with community is a big advantage along with decent & proven build quality. Then their is; camera, battery life & performance as you know it loses all across the board. I just hope for yours sake that they had used decent glue.

          • balcobomber25
            September 21, 2017

            Having used Ulefone devices in the past they have very good build quality and it will be just fine six months from now. Ulefone is one of the better cheap Chinese companies. Universal LTE is much, much more important to me than updates. An update doesn’t do me any good if I can’t use the phone in every country I go to. As for the rest of your points:

            Camera – Looking at Linus gallery (Techline HD), the images it takes are good for a $200 phone.
            Performance – I have yet to use an Helio P25 phone that hasn’t had very good performance. I don’t play any games on my business phone so the P25 is more than powerful enough.
            Battery Life – Should be very good, and according to the reviews, it is very good.

            • Lazar Prodanovic
              September 21, 2017

              All right if you say so. I buy my phones on the long run and usually do help improving them (as a developer). I simply think Mi A1 is the best value phone so far regarding this year and last year’s Mi 5 is currently a best buy in generally. As I stated before I don’t travel all that much & certainly less than you do. You know how it is, everyone have its needs along with its opinion. Let’s just hope Meizu again stands on its feats.

      • September 22, 2017

        Why is the M6 Note a disappointment? Based on the specs it looks like a Redmi Note 4X.

        • Lazar Prodanovic
          September 22, 2017

          Well I particularly don’t like that SoC.
          Well for Meizu me by it isn’t but compared to the last year global competition with S65x and X2x. Actually I don’t found any this year phone worth of much attention thanks to actual spec degradation along with price highs. Would lower my expectations up to some point (thanks to situation) for Mi 1A (even it’s a same S625) because of software & support for a best price for a package this year. Still last year flagship’s are this year best buy.

          • September 22, 2017

            If you ignore the price, the Mi Note 3 is interesting because its a SD660. I feel that the SD660 is the perfect balance between battery/performance for power users like us, SD625 is too weak. One of the reasons why I never switched completely to a SD625 phone.

            • Lazar Prodanovic
              September 22, 2017

              While S660 is welcomed improvement in efficiency it by all means isn’t a big improvement over last year’s S65x SoC’s as it comes with same GPU which runs faster as coupled with the faster RAM. Mi Note 3 is interesting only because of that even we expected lower price. On the other hand Xiaomi employees seam to have a hard time figuring out how hotplug works and for that matter should be configured. So don’t expect it to be as efficient as it can. We will see what the future brings, so far S670 looks promising but I would like to see similar cheaper products based on recently announced 12nm half nodes (13 sub layers compared to 17 on 14/16nm & 20/24 on 10nm).

            • September 23, 2017

              Again ignoring price, because the SD660 Note 3 is outrageous, more than the Mi6 (like what?), the S660 should perform almost to hte level of the SD820 CPU wise while keeping lower power consumption, correct me if I’m wrong. That’s what i’m looking for, just too bad there are no SD660s in 5″ phones.

            • Lazar Prodanovic
              September 23, 2017

              Well 18:9 (I hate it) 6“ is not really enormous big… Yes 660 is up to date one of the best SoC’s regarding power efficiency and speed, wouldn’t actually compare it to the S820 because S820 has a 2x sized GPU & all do CPU performance is similar S660 wins in SMP tasks and task switching so it does in efficiency. S820 remains oddest and pretty ill big little (which is also big cores) design up to date. On the other hand S830 is a win win with Mi 6 and otherwise.

            • September 26, 2017

              18:9 is too long for me, I always say width is the most important dimension and it is, but if length is too long it gets to a point where its unuseable.

              I’m actually surprised at the efficiency of the S830, I was expecting it to be a lot closer to hte SD660.

            • Lazar Prodanovic
              September 27, 2017

              It’s 10 nm FinFET after all which translates into some 25% power sawing compared to 14/16 nm. Problem remains that the mixed & analogue RF components (basically all transmitters) still remain 28 nm planar. Something I thought it will change with FD-SOI but recently almost no one even mentions it anymore. New half nodes (aka 12 nm) are there especially with a purpose of killing it but they still aren’t suitable for analogue & mixed RF.

            • balcobomber25
              September 23, 2017

              If you look at the phones that the Mi Note 3 is actually competing against, the price isn’t really that outrageous. It’s clear that Xiaomi created this phone to take on the Oppo R11 and Vivo X20, which both also use the SD660. Using the SD835 in the Mi Note 3 would have meant it was competing with the Mi Mix 2.

            • September 26, 2017

              I agree, but at the same time, charging more money for an SD660 Note vs an SD835 Mi6? That’s outrageous

            • balcobomber25
              September 26, 2017

              Yes, yes it is but it’s a sign of the future of Xiaomi. The more they try to compete with OPPO/Vivo the higher their prices are going to rise.

            • balcobomber25
              September 23, 2017

              I was actually pleasantly surprised with the SD625, it’s one of Qualcomm’s best lower midrange chips in years. It’s definitely not for power users but the efficiency of that chip is incredible. Nearly matches Kirin chips.

              But currently using the Oppo R11, the SD660 is incredible. I have yet to find something that it can’t handle, even some of the most demanding games.

            • September 26, 2017

              You using the Oppo R11? Nice, I’m hoping to get the Mi Note 3 soon. What’s your experience with battery life? if I remember correctly, the R11 was a 3000mAh + AMOLED? What’s your SOT?

            • balcobomber25
              September 26, 2017

              I am only planning to use it for another month. I do contract work in China/India and the current contract I am working on is a supplier of BBK. So the device was free so I’ll use it till this contract runs out next month.

              It is a 1080p AMOLED + 3000mAh. Battery time has been excellent, I never pay attention to actual SOT’s but what I can tell you is after a heavy day of usage I can usually end the day with around 40% battery life. This is my first time using VOOC and I have been very impressed with that, probably the fastest charging I have ever seen on a phone.

  2. mf1gt3r
    September 20, 2017

    Shitty bokeh pictures. Meizu M6 note kills this one in camera performance.

    • Lazar Prodanovic
      September 21, 2017

      M6 note is a big disappointment (as I loved Meizu once) & this (Ule T1) is just another peace of junk. Compared to Mi A1 they both loose and compared to the original Mi 5 (basic edition) which now can be found for just cuple $ more (then Ule T1) even A1 loses.

    • balcobomber25
      September 21, 2017

      The T1 isn’t the best phone but it’s far from a piece of junk. It’s a good budget option for many people. And it has one major advantage over both the A1 and M6 Note: Universal LTE.

    • Lazar Prodanovic
      September 21, 2017

      Looking forward to you coming back here in a six months after it fall apart as you bought one. So try not to sell it out in a month or two as you usually do. To me proclaimed “Universal LTE” makes a zero advantage as I don’t travel all that much. On the other hand a long stand software support from the manufacturer along with community is a big advantage along with decent & proven build quality. Then their is; camera, battery life & performance as you know it loses all across the board. I just hope for yours sake that they had used decent glue.

    • balcobomber25
      September 21, 2017

      Having used Ulefone devices in the past they have very good build quality and it will be just fine six months from now. Ulefone is one of the better cheap Chinese companies. Universal LTE is much, much more important to me than updates. An update doesn’t do me any good if I can’t use the phone in every country I go to. As for the rest of your points:

      Camera – Looking at Linus gallery (Techline HD), the images it takes are good for a $200 phone.
      Performance – I have yet to use an Helio P25 phone that hasn’t had very good performance. I don’t play any games on my business phone so the P25 is more than powerful enough.
      Battery Life – Should be very good, and according to the reviews, it is very good.

    • Lazar Prodanovic
      September 21, 2017

      All right if you say so. I buy my phones on the long run and usually do help improving them (as a developer). I simply think Mi A1 is the best value phone so far regarding this year and last year’s Mi 5 is currently a best buy in generally. As I stated before I don’t travel all that much & certainly less than you do. You know how it is, everyone have its needs along with its opinion. Let’s just hope Meizu again stands on its feats.

    • Zi Jin Cheng
      September 22, 2017

      Why is the M6 Note a disappointment? Based on the specs it looks like a Redmi Note 4X.

    • Lazar Prodanovic
      September 22, 2017

      Well I particularly don’t like that SoC.
      Well for Meizu me by it isn’t but compared to the last year global competition with S65x and X2x. Actually I don’t found any this year phone worth of much attention thanks to actual spec degradation along with price highs. Would lower my expectations up to some point (thanks to situation) for Mi 1A (even it’s a same S625) because of software & support for a best price for a package this year. Still last year flagship’s are this year best buy.

    • Zi Jin Cheng
      September 22, 2017

      If you ignore the price, the Mi Note 3 is interesting because its a SD660. I feel that the SD660 is the perfect balance between battery/performance for power users like us, SD625 is too weak. One of the reasons why I never switched completely to a SD625 phone.

    • Lazar Prodanovic
      September 22, 2017

      While S660 is welcomed improvement in efficiency it by all means isn’t a big improvement over last year’s S65x SoC’s as it comes with same GPU which runs faster as coupled with the faster RAM & improvement in CPU performance is also more attributed to the A73 design along with production node but still not that much higher. Mi Note 3 is interesting only because of that even we expected lower price. On the other hand Xiaomi employees seam to have a hard time figuring out how hotplug works and for that matter should be configured. So don’t expect it to be as efficient as it can. We will see what the future brings, so far S670 looks promising but I would like to see similar cheaper products based on recently announced 12nm half nodes (13 sub layers compared to 17 on 14/16nm & 20/24 on 10nm).

    • Zi Jin Cheng
      September 23, 2017

      Again ignoring price, because the SD660 Note 3 is outrageous, more than the Mi6 (like what?), the S660 should perform almost to hte level of the SD820 CPU wise while keeping lower power consumption, correct me if I’m wrong. That’s what i’m looking for, just too bad there are no SD660s in 5″ phones.

    • Lazar Prodanovic
      September 23, 2017

      Well 18:9 (I hate it) 6“ is not really enormous big… Yes 660 is up to date one of the best SoC’s regarding power efficiency and speed, wouldn’t actually compare it to the S820 because S820 has a 2x sized GPU & all do CPU performance is similar S660 wins in SMP tasks and task switching so it does in efficiency. S820 remains oddest and pretty ill big little (which is also big cores) design up to date. On the other hand S830 is a win win with Mi 6 and otherwise.

    • balcobomber25
      September 23, 2017

      If you look at the phones that the Mi Note 3 is actually competing against, the price isn’t really that outrageous. It’s clear that Xiaomi created this phone to take on the Oppo R11 and Vivo X20, which both also use the SD660. Using the SD835 in the Mi Note 3 would have meant it was competing with the Mi Mix 2.

    • balcobomber25
      September 23, 2017

      I was actually pleasantly surprised with the SD625, it’s one of Qualcomm’s best lower midrange chips in years. It’s definitely not for power users but the efficiency of that chip is incredible. Nearly matches Kirin chips.

      But currently using the Oppo R11, the SD660 is incredible. I have yet to find something that it can’t handle, even some of the most demanding games.

    • Zi Jin Cheng
      September 26, 2017

      You using the Oppo R11? Nice, I’m hoping to get the Mi Note 3 soon. What’s your experience with battery life? if I remember correctly, the R11 was a 3000mAh + AMOLED? What’s your SOT?

    • Zi Jin Cheng
      September 26, 2017

      I agree, but at the same time, charging more money for an SD660 Note vs an SD835 Mi6? That’s outrageous

    • Zi Jin Cheng
      September 26, 2017

      18:9 is too long for me, I always say width is the most important dimension and it is, but if length is too long it gets to a point where its unuseable.

      I’m actually surprised at the efficiency of the S830, I was expecting it to be a lot closer to hte SD660.

    • balcobomber25
      September 26, 2017

      Yes, yes it is but it’s a sign of the future of Xiaomi. The more they try to compete with OPPO/Vivo the higher their prices are going to rise.

    • balcobomber25
      September 26, 2017

      I am only planning to use it for another month. I do contract work in China/India and the current contract I am working on is a supplier of BBK. So the device was free so I’ll use it till this contract runs out next month.

      It is a 1080p AMOLED + 3000mAh. Battery time has been excellent, I never pay attention to actual SOT’s but what I can tell you is after a heavy day of usage I can usually end the day with around 40% battery life. This is my first time using VOOC and I have been very impressed with that, probably the fastest charging I have ever seen on a phone.

    • Lazar Prodanovic
      September 27, 2017

      It’s 10 nm FinFET after all which translates into some 25% power sawing compared to 14/16 nm. Problem remains that the mixed & analogue RF components (basically all transmitters) still remain 28 nm planar. Something I thought it will change with FD-SOI but recently almost no one even mentions it anymore. New half nodes (aka 12 nm) are there especially with a purpose of killing it but they still aren’t suitable for analogue & mixed RF.
      Interesting is the last wedding of SOI wafers with FinFET lithography IBM solo made for it’s needs at Globefonders…

  3. Ellis Ford
    September 21, 2017

    Perfect good, already have used it for one month, everything is good, nice price for such a 6GB smartphone.

    • September 21, 2017

      Nice buy Ellis 😉

    • balcobomber25
      September 21, 2017

      How is the audio performance with headphones?

  4. balcobomber25
    September 21, 2017

    I have one waiting at my house for when I return from India/China. Pretty excited to use this as my new business phone.

    • Muhammad Yasir
      September 25, 2017

      wow , never took you for a Ulefone customer !

      do let me know how it goes, @balcobomber25:disqus !

      • balcobomber25
        September 25, 2017

        It is my second Ulefone.

        I am a customer of all brands though with the exception of Elephone.

        • Muhammad Yasir
          September 25, 2017

          HAHA !

          let me know how good is that T1 cam, esp in lowlight

  5. Ellis Ford
    September 21, 2017

    Perfect good, already have used it for one month, everything is good, nice price for such a 6GB smartphone.

    • GizChina Greece
      September 21, 2017

      Nice buy Ellis 😉

    • balcobomber25
      September 21, 2017

      How is the audio performance with headphones?

  6. balcobomber25
    September 21, 2017

    I have one waiting at my house for when I return from India/China. Pretty excited to use this as my new business phone.

    • Guest
      September 25, 2017

      wow , never took you for a Ulefone customer !

      do let me know how it goes, @balcobomber25:disqus !

    • balcobomber25
      September 25, 2017

      It is my second Ulefone.

      I am a customer of all brands though with the exception of Elephone.

    • Guest
      September 25, 2017

      HAHA !

      let me know how good is that T1 cam, esp in lowlight

    • balcobomber25
      September 25, 2017

      It will be another month or so until I get back to the US but Linus from TechLine HD has a Flickr gallery with pics he took on the T1. For $200 phone they don’t look too bad.

      https://www.flickr.com/photos/146228843@N02/albums/72157688185474645

  7. Muhammad Yasir
    September 25, 2017

    need the camera improved !

  8. Guest
    September 25, 2017

    need the camera improved !