Umi have gained a reputation in the last 12 months or so as being a brand 'on the up' - their phones seem to get better with each new release. They first came to my attention with the Umi Iron, which gained generally favourable reviews, and continued through to the Umi Max. The Umi Super is basically the Umi Max with extra RAM and internal storage.
|SoC||MediaTek Helio P10 8 Core|
|CPU||4 x 2.0GHz, 4 x 1.0GHz|
|GPU||Mali T860, 700MHz|
|Storage||32GB + SD Slot|
|Screen||5.5 inch, 1920x1080, 401ppi|
|Camera||Rear: 13MP, Front: 5MP|
The Umi Super is a fairly standard looking device, it certainly doesn't make any great effort to stand out from the crowd but there's nothing wrong with that.
On the top of the phone we find a 3.5mm audio jack, and at the bottom there is the USB C port and 2 speaker grilles though only the right one emits any sound. On the right side is the power button and volume control, which both feel nice and solid, and give a reassuring click when pressed.
The right side of the phone features the SIM tray and a 'shortcut button' which can be used to open a number of apps with a single click, including the camera app - though sadly it doesn't double as a shutter button which is perhaps an opportunity missed.
The screen has the now obligatory '2.5d' glass curving at the edges, and to the top we have the front camera, speaker and sensors. Below the screen is the 'Harlequin' notification light, more on this later.
The rear of the phone has the camera, microphone and a dual LED flash. Below the camera is the fingerprint scanner and below this the Umi logo.
The sides and rear of the phone are made from metal and look nice - mainly matte silver with a beveled shiny edge. There are visible plastic antenna bands at the top and bottom but that's par for the course.
Overall the phone looks nice and feels solid to hold. Slight gripes would be weight, but there is a lot of metal used and a large battery, and the fact that it's worryingly slippery in the hand.
Umi have chosen to go with what appears to be stock Android which is refreshing for an import phone. There is a minimal amount of non-Google preinstalled apps; a browser, file manager, flashlight and sound recorder. I congratulate Umi on having the confidence to give us a phone and nothing more, allowing us to enjoy a clean Android experience without some of the operating system quirks that users can find irritating on other import devices, such as lack of app drawer etc.
Again, unlike a lot of import devices Umi don't expect us to make do with unlit capacitive buttons to navigate our device. There are on-screen buttons which can be configured as either back, home, recent apps or recent apps, home, back. There is also a 'hide' option to give you full screen real-estate.
If this is a little to out there for you, you can select physical buttons and use the notification light as the home button with the other 2 being in the general area to the left and right of this but without any specific markings, but to be honest I don't know why you'd choose this over the on-screen option.
The notification light itself is configurable per app, and you can choose from 7 colours for different apps/actions. It will display red when low battery/charging, green when charged. This is a great feature and probably the best implementation of a customisable notification light that I've come across.
As a final point to note, Umi have announced that the Super will be upgraded to Android 7 before the end of the year. Great news and a real surprise as (I believe) this is the first of the Chinese manufacturers to make such a commitment for an existing device.
While I have no specific complaints of the quality of the display in the Super, there is marginal light bleed round the edges of the screen - though I have seen a lot worse. One drawback of the stock Android interface is that everything looks a little big and chunky, and doesn't seem to make the best use of the decent 1080 resolution, but that can be resolved by installing another launcher if it gets too irritating.
While 4GB RAM is commendable at this price point, the Helio P10 is an upper mid-range SoC at best and the benchmarks confirm this.
Geekbench results below.
|Device||Single Core||Multi Core|
|LG Nexus 5X||984||2162|
Antutu results below.
|Samsung Galaxy Note 4||50120|
|Samsung Galaxy S5||42670|
We can see that the Umi Super is getting scores that we'd have seen from the top flagships of late 2014/early 2015. This is no slight on the Super, it operates in a different market position to those devices and the phone is plenty quick enough for all but the most hardcore user.
As I have said before, statistics don't really tell the full story but I've had no issues whatsoever in daily operation of the Umi Super. General usage has not given me any issues whatsoever for browsing, social media and casual gaming.
I've wrestled with this one. The camera on the Umi Super is certainly not great, but it is entirely adequate, and is at least consistent in its adequacy. Some import devices can give you a 'Russian roulette' type feeling where you point and click and hope for the best but are not really sure whether you're going to get a great or terrible photo at the end of it. The Super will pretty much give you an 'ok-ish' photo in most scenarios. It will look great on your phone screen, but when you zoom right in there will be a lack of detail, though this is perfectly fine for social media uses, or even getting printed as a photo - though I'd be wary about getting a large canvas done from any photo the Super has taken.
I'm having a few 'technical issues' but will upload sample photos soon.
Battery life on the Super is very good. I'd definitely consider this a 2-day phone for my own requirements, and I doubt even a Facebook-addicted teenager could use all the battery up - the 4000mAh unit is a good size and charges nice and quickly via the USB C interface.
The fingerprint scanner was mostly good, there are a few occasions where you have to make a couple of attempts but for the most part it played ball.
Connectivity is fine, I had no issues with my wireless speeds or range, and could get 4G everywhere that I'd expect. Bluetooth connected quickly and worked fine in my car for both music and phone functionality.
GPS worked absolutely fine both driving and walking. MediaTek phones have caused me a lot of woe in the past due to poorly performing GPS so they have clearly upped their game.
Music sounded fine through headphones. The loudspeaker is a little flat for music and could be louder for calls but even still it is acceptable.
I like the Umi Super. It does nothing badly and looks and feels like a more expensive device. While the camera is not great, it's good enough. If I had to moan about anything it really does feel a little heavy but this is down to the construction quality and size of the battery so that negative can easily be viewed as a positive. Umi have set a high benchmark here, and if they are serious about updating this to Android 7.0 then this is very much worth considering over other import devices.