Another Chinese smartphone that has ended up replicating the design of Apple’s iPhone is Ulefone Paris. Though it might be less powerful as compared to the aesthetically beautiful Doogee F3 Pro, is looks remarkable in its appearance. However, can is physical appearance match its performance? Looks like we are going to have to find out.
Ulefone Paris: Design and appearance
Coming to our first impressions, Ulefone Paris is elegant as it is beautiful; it’s like smartphone designers for Apple’s iPhone ended up getting employed by Ulefone and rolled out this attractive phone. The device looks exactly like an iPhone except for a few minor differences that we are confident you will not notice even after taking a couple of glances at the device. Perhaps the only thing reminding us about the Chinese origin of a smartphone is that it has a 5.0 inch frame. If it did feature a 4.7 inch or even a 5.5 inch screen, then would have mistaken it for an iPhone 6 or an iPhone 6 Plus respectively.
Moving on to the build quality of the smartphone, the device sports a metal build, when we grabbed it in our hands, Ulefone Paris did not feel flimsy at all, indicating that the company really put in a lot of effort in to the craftsmanship in order to release a robustly built handset. Some companies do compromise the exterior side of their mobile products, but we were extremely glad to see that some of them do cater to that particular crowd of consumers that require devices to look great both inside and out.
Unfortunately, aesthetics are not the only thing that helps a smartphone to sell well. There should always be a healthy balance, which we will be finding out shortly. Has Doogee incorporated its F3 Pro with high-end components that perform well just as much as the device looks appealing to your eyes? Looks like we will find out soon enough.
Ulefone Paris: Button placement
Just like all the other smartphones that we have reviewed, let us come to the least important segment of Ulefone Paris; the button placement and other miscellaneous things. While button placement might be the least important part of our review, it still revolves around the purchase of thousands of consumers, who have a tendency of being very picky about their next purchase. Starting off, the power and volume buttons are present on the right hand side, with the power button placed slightly above the center part of Ulefone Paris.
The charging port and 3.5mm jack are both placed on the top side of Ulefone Paris, with some considerable amount of distance separating them so that there is cable entanglement between them. One of the biggest highlights of this appealing smartphone is that rear side is removable, allowing you to replace your battery once its overall charge capacity has shortened due to prolonged use. Also, there are two SIM card slots present right next to each other, with the only drawback being that you will have to reduce them down to a microSIM form factor before they can be inserted in to the vacant slot.
Additionally, there is 16GB of internal storage, which is quite low for a premium smartphone, but you will be pleased to know that Ulefone Paris has a microSD card slot that allows you to expand your storage up to 64GB.
These storage might be a lot more expensive as compared to regular ones, but trust us when we say this, you will thanks us later. Coming to the buttons, the device has volume and power ones present on the right hand side of the smartphone, which might make it difficult when you want to take a screenshot with just a single hand. There is no physical home button; just capacitive buttons that are extremely responsive. Ulefone did not want Apple to think that it was going to completely rip off its design so instead of a physical home button that actually delivers a tactile feeling to the user, you get a capacitive button instead.
Ulefone Paris: Display and resolution
Ulefone Paris has a screen size of 5.0 inches that will cater to nearly everyone since its size is placed directly in between a phablet and a miniature sized form factor. The display of the phone looks absolutely stunning because its gives off a resolution of 720p. At this point, 1440p resolutions are an overkill because they drain too much battery life while only granting a minuscule amount of image quality improvement.
Coming to the actual details of the display, visibility was exceptional, and the display was extremely vibrant even in areas where the surrounding area was extremely bright. Image quality would not degrade if we tilted the screen, which shows that the company invested a great deal of effort in incorporating a very high quality display.
Ulefone Paris: Interface impressions
In addition to running a 720p display, it is great to see that affordable smartphones are able to run Google’s latest Android update, Lollipop 5.1. Though the latest platform update at this current time happens to be Lollipop 5.1.1, we cannot complain about what we have received so far because the interface is absolutely brilliant. We sincerely hope that Google will release a compatible update of Android Marshmallow later on in the year.
Coming to the performance of the performance of the interface. We were quite impressed to see that the UI was butter smooth. In fact, this is probably the first time when we have seen a sub-$150 phone perform so well.
Ulefone Paris: Camera performance
For most consumers, having a smartphone that sports a very capable rear and front camera sensor is always a welcome feature. The rear camera is 13MP (and is a product of OmniVision), and it is thoroughly impressive in terms of the quality of images being snapped. We have taken some samples using the rear camera sensor in order to show you how the device performs. Take a look at these samples and be the judge yourself.
The rear camera being 13 MP definitely brings a touch of elegance to the device’s powerful camera. The front camera too stands at 5 MP which is definitely a big leap in that domain. Yes, the device has the auto-focus functionality integrated within. Ulefone Paris’s camera is also supplemented with the oncoming of integrated features such as the LED flash, GEO-tagging as well as the availability of the Panorama feature modes. You also get to avail the touch focus feature exhibited by the device’s camera. What adds to the impressive-nature of these features is the presence of the face detection feature.
Ulefone Paris: Performance (Processing and connectivity)
This is perhaps the most important segment of our review since we have to see how much performance can you actually get out of a sub-$150 price smartphone. That being said, we fired up AnTuTu to see how the device would fare when pitted against the remaining competition and we have to say that the smartphone might have missed its mark in the benchmarking tests, but it is still able to achieve a satisfactory score, as you can see in the image below.
One of the reasons why the device is able to obtain a high score was that not only it packs an octa-core processor running at a speed of 1.3GHz (Cortex-A53), but we also believe that the custom interface and Android Lollipop also had delivered some significant contribution as to why the device is able to perform so well. The only grip we had from the hardware specifications was the low clock speed and of course the chipset. MediaTek’s MT6752 packs much more punch and if this device was incorporated with the aforementioned SoC, then it would have been a winning combination.
Coming to the connectivity side of things, we fired up the 4G connection and immediately ran a speed test to see what kind of results we would get. Since China Telecom is known for its blistering speeds, particular on the 4G network, given below is the speed that we got after successfully running the test.
Ulefone Paris: Battery life measurement
Coming to the second most important component of a smartphone immediately after performance; battery life. There are very few handsets that possess large battery capacities, and sadly, Ulefone Paris does not fit that category thanks to its 2,250mAh cell.
Despite the small battery, we were impressed to see that the device is able to last a whole day while connected to the Wi-Fi network. The disappointing part is when we were connected to the 3G and 4G network. Understandably, 3G and 4G modems are much more power hungry as compared to Wi-Fi adapters, and Ulefone Paris was only able to last 11 hours on 3G, and 7 hours on 4G.
There are some devices that have performed much worse than this, so when we heard about the battery capacity, we were actually surprised that it could deliver this much battery life.
- Chipset: MediaTek MT6753
- Processor: Octa-core Cortex-A53 at 1.3GHz
- RAM: 2GB
- Memory: 16GB (supports a microSD storage card up to 64GB)
- Battery: 2,250mAh
- Display size: 5.0 inch IPS panel
- Screen resolution: 1280 x 720
- Charging port type: microUSB
After looking at each and every aspect of Ulefone Paris, we have summarized the following scores below:
- Build Quality: 10 out of 10
- Appearance: 10 out of 10
- Button placement: 10 out of 10
- Interface experience: 10 out of 10
- Display quality: 10 out of 10
- Price/performance ratio: 7 out of 10
- Camera performance: 6 out of 10
- Battery performance: 6 out of 10
Even though we had a little hiccup when we were testing out the battery, Ulefone Paris happens to be remarkable phone when its price and performance ratio is concerned. Its interface, button placement and perhaps the best part, build quality were all top notch. Performance was very good, even though we were hoping that the clock speed of the processor could have been slightly higher than 1.3GHz. MediaTek’s MT6752 packs a much more powerful octa-core Cortex-A53 CPU and that would have won everybody’s hearts.
Sadly, there are somethings that companies are limited to. All things said, if you have $119.99 in cash remaining, then we strongly recommend that you purchase this smartphone, especially if your primary concern is looks, performance, image quality and of course a healthy price/performance ratio. Trust us when we say this, Ulefone Paris should be your next affordable smartphone purchase.