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Umi Touch review: cheap and cheerful

AndroidPIT umi touch 4313
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The Umi Touch is available for only $150, making it much less expensive than similarly-equipped devices. Whether this budget device is a solid daily driver with good specs, we’ll investigate in this Umi Touch review.

Umi Touch

Good

  • Low price
  • Interchangeable software
  • Long battery life

Bad

  • Poor touchscreen
  • Poor call quality
    Umi Touch: All deals

    Umi Touch release date and price

    The Umi Touch is available as an import device via AliExpress. There it is listed for $150. If your preference Amazon: there it is sold for around $187.

    The Umi Touch is considerably cheaper than similarly-equipped devices. Alternatively, the Honor 5X, which is similarly spec’d, costs about $50 more. However, it is not as fancy as the Umi Touch, but we’ll delve a little deeper before making a final judgement in this review.

    Umi Touch design and build quality

    The Umi Touch gives a chic impression from its front and and profile. The silvery edge frames a display that should transition seamlessly thanks 2.5D glass. Unfortunately, the transition is not as smooth as you’d expect.

    AndroidPIT umi touch 4317
    The shiny edge and the glass could be a bit smoother. / © ANDROIDPIT

    The back is plain. The cobalt-nickel unibody is painted either matt silver, gray or gold. On the top and bottom are plastic caps which conceal the antennas. After some time I noticed scuffs and dirt collecting on the phone.

    AndroidPIT umi touch 4319
    The build is not entirely uniform. / © ANDROIDPIT

    At 154.5 x 8.8 x 76 mm, this 5.5-inch device in approximately the dimensions of the 5.7-inch Nexus 6P. At 190 g in weight, this is a beautiful ballast in the pocket. But 60 g of this weight has been invested in a good battery, which I will discuss later.

    AndroidPIT umi touch 4321
    For ergonomics you can't really complain. / © ANDROIDPIT

    Umi Touch display

    When viewing the display on the Umi Touch, there are some negatives to note. Sorry, but something with the touch screen is not quite right. It ignores many inputs, which you’ll notice as early as when unlocking the device. This sucks, especially when typing, because roughly every third letter simply doesn’t appear.

    AndroidPIT umi touch 4313
    The display is great for viewing, but the touchscreen is not so good. / © ANDROIDPIT

    This is a Full-HD display filling a 5.5-inch surface area with 404 ppi. It is quite an easy display to read on. The Umi Touch comes with a screen protector to help you avoid scratches. Incidentally, we couldn’t test touchscreen performance with the protector on as we removed it.

    Umi Touch special features

    The Umi Touch has a fingerprint sensor. However, it's unreliable and not so fun to use. Since it didn’t operate correctly every time, I quickly ignored it and decide that it was not a value-add. But at less than $200, I didn’t even expect even a fingerprint sensor, so it doesn’t bother me so much.

    AndroidPIT umi touch 4314
    The physical home button can be used as a fingerprint sensor. / © ANDROIDPIT

    Umi Touch software

    My impression of the software of the Umi Touch is very positive. What’s unique is that you can use a program to exchange different firmware via PC. At the time of testing no alternative firmware was available. For other Umi devices you can use MIUI (used for Xiaomi devices), EMUI (Huawei and Honor devices), Flyme (Meizu), CyanogenMod or Windows Phone.

    umi touch software update
    Umi installed an almost natural and Google-free Android. / © ANDROIDPIT

    The further advantage of the software is that your full backups, including application data and log-ins, can be re-used. So you can move quickly back in the old state your smartphone was in after changing the firmware or performing a reset.

    umi touch gestures
    The Umi Touch has complicated gesture controls, if you will. / © ANDROIDPIT

    The Umi Touch comes with the latest version of Android Marshmallow installed on it. Updates come, at least for the period of this review, early and often. This increases the security of your data. Umi has no pre-installed apps and also the number of Google Apps is kept to a minimum. You’ll even need to manually install Gmail. The launcher is so empty that you can not even scroll at first.

    The only pre-installed application is an FM radio, which can be found in almost any other smartphone.

    Umi Touch performance

    The power of the Umi Touch is reasonable for its price. During the test period, I didn’t experience crashes or any major hiccups. The small 16 GB of internal memory will be, in the long term, not enough for many owners. You can simply remedy this with a microSD card. With a 128-gigabyte card this problem is easily solved.

    Umi Touch audio

    The call quality of the Umi Touch was poor during this review. Voices on the other end of the line sound heavily distorted and dull. Conversely, the quality is fine: people listening to you will be able to understand you well.

    Umi Touch camera

    The camera captures rich and deep colors. Unfortunately, most snapshots are blurry. Moreover, a lot of details are lost in the images it snaps. A closer look might reveal that, rather than blades of grass, it’s just a green field.

    The photo app is enriched with a picture-in-picture function, with which you can stick your likeness over photos. Unfortunately selfies can look pale and with a slight reddish tinge, hinting that you might not be particularly healthy.

    umi touch review image
    You look slightly ill, young man. / © ANDROIDPIT

    Umi Touch battery

    The battery life of the Umi Touch is around two days with average use. Thus, the Umi Touch lasts roughly twice as long as the average smartphone. The included charger fully recharges the Umi Touch battery within four hours. The 3,800 mAh battery is non-removeable, but if it was it’d be perfect.

    AndroidPIT umi touch 4330
    The Umi Touch is charged via micro-USB. / © ANDROIDPIT

    Umi Touch technical specifications

    Final verdict

    Apart from its less-than-stellar touchscreen, the Umi Touch is decent purchase. Because this smartphone provides amazing battery life, the hardware is above average for this price. And thanks to its software, this really is a dream for geeks like me.

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    Go to comment (18)
    Eric Ferrari-Herrmann

    Eric Ferrari-Herrmann
    Senior Editor

    Eric has been with AndroidPIT since 2014. He’s writing articles and reviews for the German website. Topics are mostly privacy and new technology but there's also the occasional piece on environmental sustainability.

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    18 comments
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    • David Abbott 1
      David Abbott Jan 4, 2017 Link to comment

      I bought two umi touch in 2016 and they work fine but no more updates or info about updates. It seems that UMI is a company that sells cheap phones and then dumps them with no real prospect of after sales service. I will never buy an umi phone again and will tell anyone I know to keep away from this scam company.


    • 4
      Adam-Tom Sep 12, 2016 Link to comment

      The Umi touch is good, but I prefer vkworld T1 Plus, I love the 6.0-inch big display and the 4300mAh battery, and the price is affordable.


    • 2
      Marlene Feeley Jul 25, 2016 Link to comment

      I am wondering if we have the same phone? Maybe they addressed your issues in some of the updates.
      I was the proud owner of a Samsung 5 and the UMI Touch is a much easier phone . I love the battery life. No one has noticed the voice issue over the phone and as far as the screen , it is fine.


    • 2
      Rupert Moran Jul 6, 2016 Link to comment

      The Touch is a piece of junk unsupported by UMI customer service. Two of my friends , like me, spent our $150 only to end up with a useless device. Why ?...well, the touchscreen does`nt register when using the bottom third of the screen ! For instance, when you want to use a keyborard, the letter you type often does`nt register. When this was reported to UMI Customer Service their agent JoJo referred me repeatedly to the reseller. Its a design and manufacturing fault...not a fault of the reseller. UMI attempt to shirk their responsibility. This, together with a return button placed askew in its housing during manufacture (so far seem on multiple Touch`s) ...shows that UMI are not into quality control. And hey, even the Touch`s replacement, the Super, does`nt have NFC.
      My suggestion to anyone contemplating a UMI purchase is to hang on to their money.
      cheers.

      Taoufiq LakDavid Abbott


      • Taoufiq Lak 14
        Taoufiq Lak Jan 26, 2017 Link to comment

        Man thanks for the report. I was just about to put my money on it.


    • 2
      2015KIKI Li Jun 27, 2016 Link to comment

      anyone know the first 5 inch android 6.0 budget 3G smartphone oukitel c3? it's said that it is using AUO brand screen for the display which is the same display as iPad mini.
      regarding Chinese products, I prefer oukitel..lol.


    • 2
      Feno Jun 24, 2016 Link to comment

      I bought an UMI Touch , very disappointed. No compass sensor, the GPS sensor is not even close to be accurate. the fingerprint sensor died after 2 weeks, could not get any help from UMI or the online seller everbuying.com. All in all it was a nightmare, STAY away from this rubbish.

      David Abbott


    • Kashan Ali 2
      Kashan Ali Jun 22, 2016 Link to comment

      Bluboo Maya are getting prepare to bang out the chinese market :)
      with $69.99 pre-sale price the device will be came out with 2 GB of super RAM into the markets Get Ready for it!


    • 1
      offer world May 20, 2016 Link to comment

      I Read This Article. check comparison video for the 4 popular flagships in 2015: Bluboo Xtouch, UMI Touch, Elephone P7000 and Doogee F5. On the video compare the appearance, camera, display, frame, camera and others.
      http: // youtu.be/BDtA1MoIYGw


    • CJ Brown 29
      CJ Brown May 11, 2016 Link to comment

      Okay North America. It's time to head to Cricket Wireless on Friday the 13th for the LG Stylo 2 ($170) -- decent specs for a 5.7 phablet


      http://www.androidauthority.com/lg-stylo-2-cricket-690861/


    • Wolf Grossefeste 1
      Wolf Grossefeste May 8, 2016 Link to comment

      Not usable for navigation with Google Maps, very inaccurate
      poor sensor equipment


      • George Kotashvili 1
        George Kotashvili Jun 19, 2016 Link to comment

        What about magnetic sensor and compass? Works?


    • 2
      James May 6, 2016 Link to comment

      Got it for a week and have to return it for a full refund.

      1) Large white spot on the screen (poor QC checking system)
      2) Poor quality camera, worst than a 8MP camera phone, very grainy.
      3) Overrated battery, much less than the declared.
      4) Fingerprint is disappointing.
      5) Touch screen not as sensitive as others.

      I am not sure if I have the confidence to get another UMI phone in the future.


    • 9
      Alex W. May 1, 2016 Link to comment

      Looks alright, which CPU is it? It must be a better one than the 6730


    • Alex 17
      Alex Apr 30, 2016 Link to comment

      Sounds cool!!But there are Phones which are cheap and way better than that!In the Market

      James


    • 18
      Deactivated Account Apr 29, 2016 Link to comment

      Umi touch's best part is you can exchange different firmware.


      • Alex 17
        Alex May 8, 2016 Link to comment

        so does every android phone


    • 9
      Charudatt Kumbhare Apr 29, 2016 Link to comment

      This phone is not good except in battery and software front. Check out Coolpad Note 3 available in India and China. Just cool product and at less price say approximately US $ 127. On amazon.in . Total value for money. Western guys you need to dig more now on and stop depending upon big firms to show you good products.

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