Phones

Review: Ulefone T1. “Strong middling” With a Rich Bundle.

Written by Tyler Rondman

Review: Ulefone T1. “Strong middling” With a Rich Bundle.

Ulefone T1 was introduced in early August 2017. It’s one of the best Chinese smartphones in the middle price range. A combination of a thin body and high levels of autonomy is the key feature the manufacturer has added.

The second feature of the Ulefone T1 is its dual main camera 16.0 Mp + 5.0 Mp, Samsung sensors, five-lens optics, fast phase (not contrasting) autofocus and flash on four LEDs.

In general, if you take each factor of the new Ulefone individually, you can find a sharper device, but T1 “taxis” wins precisely on its total number of the indicators. Noticeably, it is worth highlighting and an unusually rich device configuration in modern standards.

It’s quite unknown when the same Russian market can bring Ulefone T1 officially. It’s also a mystery whether it reaches general CIS countries or not. However, now a smartphone even can be ordered from China with a traditionally free delivery and they also enjoy a substantial discount.

Ulefone T1 Key Chips

• Pretty cute design. It cannot be called very original, but the smartphone looks very decent (and on promo images, in general, it is so luxurious).

• Not bad performance, thanks to the eight-core mobile processor MediaTek Helio P25.

• Ulefone T1 has as much as 6 Gb of fast RAM LPDDR and built-in storage capacity of 64 Gb. It is quite solid and “grown-up.”

• A bright display with good color reproduction, a diagonal of 5.5 inches and a resolution of FullHD.

• Excellent dual main camera 16 Mp + 5 Mp, as already mentioned above. Below, we will discuss it in more detail.

• Support for all possible ranges of 2G GSM, 3G UMTS, 4G LTE and even CDMA / CDMA 2000 networks, making Ulefone T1 friends with almost any operator.

• Despite the slim body, the 3.5 mm headphone jack and headset are still available.

• Has a smart fingerprint scanner that works just 0.1 sec.

• Decent autonomy, thanks to a good optimization of system software and a 3680 mAh battery, as well as accelerated charging with MediaTek PumpExpress 3.0 technology.

• Rich equipment.

About Price: Questions-Answered

Initially, the acceptance of applications for a pre-order Ulefone T1 was started at a price tag of $ 229.99. But like any other Chinese product, the manufacturer soon began offering the device at a significant discount. Right now, you can buy it for $ 199.99 (-13%).

Design

Theoretically, the external appearance of the innovation from Ulefone cannot be called particularly original. There is neither “especially frameless screen” like the numerous Chinese clones of Xiaomi Mi Mix or Samsung Galaxy S8, nor original controls like the HTC U11 touchscreen.

However, with all this, the design of Ulefone T1 pleases the eye with its classic forms. In the front, the smartphone resembles the Samsung smartphones of the Galaxy A line, and the rear is a cross between the Apple iPhone 7 Plus (main camera design) and the iPhone 6S Plus (everything else).

Note that, Ulefone is able to take decisions verified by leading brands and make them available to the masses without loss of quality. The new T1 follows the same principle. We do not see the whole construction in the point of detailing. So, let’s do a thesis:

• The Ulefone T1 screen occupies about 70% of the front surface and has noticeable but thin side frames. Outside, it is covered with a protective glass with 2.5D-effect.

• At the bottom of the screen, there is a hardware “Home” button with an integrated fingerprint scanner and touch control keys on each side of it.

• Above the display, you can see not only the slot of the speaker, the “eyes” of the front camera and sensors, but also a special soft flash for “selfie”.

• All other mechanical elements (volume +, volume – and on / off buttons) are located on the right-side of the face.

• On the left – only a tray for SIM-cards and MicroSD.

• At top of it, there is a 3.5 mm jack for headphones and headsets.

• Below, you’ll get an USB Type-C connector, the main speaker grille and a microphone.

• The main double chamber isn’t repeated. It is implemented in appearance very similar to the Apple iPhone 7 Plus.

• Plastic inserts for antennas are located horizontally and resemble the iPhone 6 / 6S (but without the upper arc).

The “iron” Ulefone T1

It’s not difficult to guess that the manufacturer chose the MediaTek Helio P25 (also MT6757T) for its novelty. It is the most popular among the Chinese as it belongs to the affordable mid-range devices. It is quite fast, has good communication capabilities and is quite inexpensive.

The strengths of the Ulefone T1 processor are:

• Integrated controller of fast two-channel memory LPDDR4 with a clock speed of 1600 MHz, which the smartphone costs as much as 6 Gb. That is, it’s akin to the real flagships of 2017.

• Pretty serious graphics accelerator ARM Mali-T880, though contains only 2 cores.

• The ability to connect to 4G LTE Category is up to 6 networks, which also guarantees a data download speed of up to 300 Mbps.

• Built-in WiFi adapter MT6630, which “sign” not only with classic 2.4 GHz networks, but also more modern 5.0 GHz.

• Support fast charging Pump Express 3.0.

The downside of the Helio P25 is the relatively low-performance ARM Cortex A53 processor cores. Despite the fact that they are overclocked to 2.6 GHz, to compete with the faster ARM Cortex A72 and even with A73, but they cannot.

Ulefone T1 has a built-in storage capacity of 64 Gb, which is enough for most of its owners. Upon necessity, the user can also install a MicroSD memory card with a capacity of up to 256 Gb. But you need to consider that the slot for it is a hybrid, so you have to choose: either nano-SIM + nano-SIM, or microSD + nano-SIM.

The display device is based on the matrix IPS and has the most common diagonal of 5.5 inches with a resolution of FullHD 1080 × 1920 pixels. Outside, it is protected by a tempered, impact-resistant glass from Corning with a 2.5D effect.

One of the strengths of Ulefone T1 is a very good (and for its class – even excellent) main camera, consisting of a pair of 16 Mp + 5 Mp modules. At the same time, the main module is the Samsung S5K3P3 sensor with phase autofocus, equipped with a 5-lens lens.

Main characteristics of the main camera

The key task of such a tandem is to measure the depth of space and simulate the popular “bokeh” effect for portrait shots. Unfortunately, as in the case of other dual cameras of inexpensive smartphones, the novelty of Ulefone is not satisfiable.

The front camera of Ulefone T1 is not that good. Even simple shooting with it is also just a mess. First, its physical resolution is 8 MP, but it is programmed interpolated to 13 MP. Secondly, this is the effect of soft optics, which the Chinese love for the fact that it softens facial features.

But the “frontal” of the smartphone, as already noted in the section on design, has its own flash. It does not blind the eyes and gives soft lighting, which can be very useful in the dark. For some reason, manufacturers of expensive flagships forget about such a useful option.

Battery of Ulefone T1 is quite capacious 3680 mAh. Tests show that, once charged up to 100%, even after intensive use of a smartphone, it continues to serve a whole day. And thanks to the support of fast charging Pump Express the third version, so you do not have to wait for a long time at the outlet.

Equipment

I would like to note the unusually rich configuration of Ulefone T1 one by one. Once the manufacturers of smartphones spoiled customers with large boxes with a bunch of useful accessories, but then in the fashion of Apple’s efforts, it came as nothing big. Fortunately, now the trend has reversed.

In T1, apart from the smartphone itself, you can find:

• Charger.

• USB Type-C cable.

• Practical leather case (and not some silicone “back”).

• Holder in the car.

• Extractor tray for SIM-card and MicroSD.

• Instructions (in English).

Disadvantages of a smartphone

Actually, they are surprisingly few.

• Hybrid tray under MicroSD (but with the built-in “flash drive” on 64 Gb this is not a big minus).

• The smartphone turned out to be quite weighty – a whole 181.

Summary

With its price of about $200, Ulefone T1 is a very interesting purchase. In 2017, it’s very difficult for branded smartphones to find competitor among Chinese, and even others. Opponents of T1, in fact, can only be sold as last year’s flagships, as their support cycle is significantly limited.

About the author

Tyler Rondman

When he isn't enjoying the beautiful Northwest outdoors, you can find Tyler on business and tech sites, writing about the latest news, analyzing trends, and generally making the Internet a more interesting place.