It’s easy to get bored with smartphones now. Specs get better, thinner designs etcetera. But in recent years we haven’t seen anything so significant, that it could really change how we use our phones. With two displays, can Oukitel really show us something promising? Let’s find out, in our Oukitel U6 revew.
First, let’s make something clear; this design strongly resembles latest smartphone offering from Apple, with a little twist that is a second E-Ink display on the back. On the right you will find a power button, whereas volume rocker can be found on the left. Micro USB port is flanked by two speakers on the bottom and 3.5mm headphone jack is on top accompanied with an IR blaster. You will not find any capacitive buttons on the U6, front is all about that 5.0 inch display with an earpiece, front facing camera & all the usual sensors of course. Feel in hand is solid. You don’t really feel that second display after all when holding it, and frame made out of metal helps this phone to feel premium. It’s nice to see that the camera on on the U6 is not protruding out of the body like on most smartphones these days. Its dimensions are 142.2mm in height and 69.8mm in width. At 8.7mm it’s not the thinnest phone around, but not bad considering two displays.
U6 has a rather disappointing screen. On devices in the $250 range, we’re used to seeing Full HD panels. 5 inch panel on the U6 is only 720p. Nevertheless that results in decently crisp image at 294 pixels-per-inch. This is an IPS panel, which equals to solid viewing angles & color reproduction. Highlight feature of this device however is the second screen on the back. It is slightly smaller at 4.7 inches with a bit thicker bezels. This 16 grey level E-Ink panel with a resolution of 960 x 540 (235 ppi count) is the same technology as you will find in an Amazon Kindle or Pebble smartwatch. Like every other E-Ink display it does not reflect light under sun which makes it perfectly readable in direct sunlight and your eyes will feel like you’re reading a paper, which means you are not hurting your eyesight.
Unlike previous rumours were suggesting, this device will not sport the Helio X20 chip from MediaTek. Instead we’re seeing an MT6735 chip from the same company, which features a 64-bit quad-core processor running at 1.3GHz. There is also 16GB of internal storage with a microSD slot available to expand up to 64GB. 2GB of RAM will provide sufficient opportunities for users to multitask comfortable. A Mali T-720 GPU can handle most games from Google Play Store without a problem. That processing package will result in fluid operation, but similarly priced devices are offering better specs, like 3GB of RAM & octa-core processor.
Software & features
We were really happy to see yet another phone with the latest version of Android out of the box on this device – 5.1 Lollipop. There is no skin on top, and no excessive bloat. There are only a few applications that help you take advantage of that E-Ink display. Notable apps include a really nice looking music player that allows you to control basic functions like play, pause etc. on the secondary display, even if the app is closed or primary screen is off. E-Note allows you to set secondary display to display time, weather, calendar & more. Oukitel pushes this device to those, who like to read on their devices. There is an app where you can specifically push books to the back screen. This not only protects your eyesight, but conserves battery life of the device, allowing you to read for longer periods of time. We are yet to see if Oukitel will keep adding new apps & features to this device.
As with almost all smartphones these days, we have two cameras. Front facing camera is 5 megapixel & on the back you will find a typical 13 megapixel shooter. We can’t do any in-depth camera test yet, but we know that Oukitel usually delivers solid cameras in their devices, and we hope that the U6 is no exception.
3100 mAh non-removable battery found in the U6 is relatively big considering two displays & 8.7mm thickness. This capacity will easily allow Oukitel U6 to last you more than a day. In case you’re wondering, this secondary display won’t affect your battery life at all – that’s what E-Ink is known & loved for. In fact, if you use your secondary display more often, it will result in an even better battery life.
So, should you get it? If you want a unique device, that (most likely) no one else in your friend circle will have, get it. If you don’t really feel like using features that come with the second display, there are probably more viable options with better display, specs & value like the DOOGEE F5 which you can read my review here.
You can buy it right now on GearBeast.