There are a lot of music lovers out there, people who enjoy music and take it with them everywhere they go. You can see them on public transport, on the streets, in the gyms, while they’re working or relaxing. When they put their headphones on, it seems as they are on the another plain of existence. Although many people enjoy music on the go, not many people can afford it. At least, not as they would like to because smart-gadgets with good music playback quality are rare and expensive.
Enter the Ulefone Vienna – a smartphone that got its name from a beautiful European city and offers excellent sound quality. The only phone that has an independent audio solution, which packs both DAC and amplifier, and a mid-range price. We spend a couple of days playing with this smartphone, and you can read all about its sound and other capabilities in our review bellow.
Disclaimer – Due the technical malfunction, we’re unable to deliver images of the device (replaced by the pictures from the company’s official site), but only the camera samples. This will be fixed soon. XiaomiToday Team*
Before we go any further with our review, please take a moment to check out Ulefone Vienna specifications:
|Available colors||White, Black, Gray, Pink|
|Screen size||5.5 inches|
|OS||Android Marshmallow 6.0, U-Launcher|
|CPU||1.3 GHz, Octa Core|
|GPU||ARM Mali-T720 GPU|
|Connectivity||2G,3G,4G Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, GPS, A-GPS|
|Battery||Li-Ion, built-in battery|
|Battery size||3250 mAh|
|Front camera||5 MP OmniVision|
|Back camera||13 MP Panasonic|
Packaging is pretty standard these days when it comes to smartphones. In the box that arrived on our doorstep, there is a charger, USB cable, user manual to ease your usage with the device and needle for removing the PIN tray. Headphones are not included in the box because this is standard practice these days with the most smartphone manufacturers. Another reason may be that Ulefone didn’t want to put just any headphones in the box with the device that most audiophiles dream about. If they opted to include the proper headphones, that would drastically increase the price of the final product. If you are into music, the chances are that you already own a pair of good headphones, and you can use them instead because any headphones with 3.5mm audio output will fit here.
Headphones that pair with Ulefone Vienna like a charm are ECCI PR100MK2 In-ear Headphones. Get them here.
Ulefone Vienna Design
Manufacturer states that Ulefone Vienna is made for young people and individuals who are young in their hearts. We couldn’t agree more with this statement because Vienna looks very modern and has great design. It is made from a combination of polycarbonate and aluminum alloy on the back. Because of its rounded edges and non-slippery back, it fits great in the palm of your hand even though it is a quite large device. On the front of the phone, you will instantly notice a gorgeous 2.5D 5.5-inch display with a camera, earphone, and sensors above it. Bellow the screen there are capacitive buttons which prolong the device’s size a little bit but don’t occupy precious screen space.
Back of the phone houses the main camera with dual-tone LED flash and fingerprint scanner. Ulefone logo is inscribed sideways, and speaker grill is located on the lower portion of the back, along with a special sound box. On the left side of the device, there is a SIM tray with a Smart Key that offers several advantages. The right side houses a usual combination for an Android device, a power/lock button and a set of volume buttons. Buttons feel pretty sturdy and offer that clicky sound when you press them.
Top of the Ulefone Vienna is the place where 3.5mm audio jack resides with another great feature that is located next to it, an IR blaster. On the bottom of the phone, there is a standard micro USB port for connecting and charging the device. The smartphone is available in four colors; white, black, pink and gray. Ulefone Vienna is very robust and beautiful phone overall, and it will endure a harsh treatment.
Ulefone Vienna comes with a beautiful 2.5D 5.5-Inch LTPS screen made by Sharp. The display looks gorgeously vivid; colors seem true to life; contrast and viewing angles are on par as well. We believe that the Ulefone did a great job because they’ve put FULL HD screen on this phone instead of the QHD resolution screen. Don’t get the wrong impressions; Quad HD is great, but it shortens battery life faster and can be overkill on this size because the human eye cannot tell the difference between FHD and QHD. The display is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 3 and can sustain scratches as well as direct impacts from a short distance.
Processor and RAM
Ulefone Vienna is equipped with a MediaTek’s 64-Bit True Octa-Core MT6753 CPU underclocked to 1.3GHz for optimum performance and battery life in mind. GPU in charge of strenuous graphical operations is a well known Mali-T720 and 3GB of LPDDR3 RAM will ensure that you can enjoy in multitasking. The phone gets hotter when playing graphically intensive games like Asphalt 7 for a longer period, but that is understandable. Everything else worked like a charm.
Ulefone Vienna has a primary camera that protrudes a bit, made by Panasonic, with the resolution of 13-Megapixels and a large f/2.0 aperture. Images shot with it are of high quality, especially outdoors in good light. With the aid of Dual-tone LED flash, low light shots can turn out good as well. Images offer a good amount of details with little noise in proper lighting conditions. White balance and color rendition on par as well. Because of the lack of OIS low light shots are a bit tricky without the use of flash, and we don’t recommend them.
There are several shooting modes, including HDR, Beauty Face, Panorama, etc. Excellent addition to a fine camera is that you can shoot you pics and videos with a dedicated hardware button named Smart Key. The front camera is made by OmniVision, and its lense resolution is 5 Megapixel. It is quite right for taking selfies and very useful for video calling. Speaking of videos, Ulefone Vienna delivers 1080p videos with buttery smooth 30FPS. Videos offer fine picture and sound quality.
Here are some image samples for you viewing pleasure.
click on a thumbnail to preview a larger image
Ulefone Vienna comes with 32GB of onboard storage space and after the initial setup, you are left with about 26GB. There is a plenty of space for regular users, and you can fill your device with tons of apps, games, and multimedia. Let’s face it, people who enjoy their music and are buying a phone that is great in that department would certainly want to fill it up with FLAC music files. FLAC is known for the best sound quality and also, a vast capacity, so 26GBs (or less when you fill your storage with other stuff) is simply not enough. The Good thing is that Ulefone Vienna comes with micro SD support, and you can expand your phone’s memory by additional 64GB.
Operating System (OS)
Another ace up Ulefone’s sleeve is that Vienna is coming with the latest version of Google’s OS, the Android 6.0 Marshmallow. The latest version offers several advantages over the old one like Now on Tap feature, Doze mode, App standby feature, Native fingerprint reader support and many others. Ulefone’s new U-launcher is made on top of the latest Android. It is very light-weight and offers several themes that match the color of the device. Ulefone Vienna runs Android pretty well. There weren’t any slowdowns, hiccups or bugs; it was a very smooth sail. Of course, Google Play Store is available for installing additional apps and games, and you can choose from a vast collection. Other stores are supported as well.
Ulefone Vienna is great on the connectivity side too. It offers dual SIM support and networks up to 4G LTE. Theoretical download speeds with LTE are close to 150Mbit/s. If you want to preserve a battery or, don’t have an unlimited data plan you can connect to the internet wirelessly. Wi-Fi speeds supported are 802.11 b/g/n. GPS support is also included and in case you are lost you can locate yourself very fast with the help of Google maps. Bluetooth version on board is 4.0, and it offers faster transfer speeds with lower power drainage.
Ulefone Vienna Battery
The device is equipped with a monstrous, non-removable, Sony-made 3250mAh lithium-polymer battery. This battery will power your device trough a day of heavy using and rich multimedia experience with no sweat. On a regular usage battery usually lasted two to three days which is an excellent result.
Ulefonne Vienna comes with excellent codec support out of the box, and that is just the beginning of its additional features. It has several sensors that ease your usage greatly, some of them are gravity sensor, hall sensor, and ambient light sensor. There are built-in compass and FM radio as well. With the help of these sensors, you can activate some Smart features and silence your phone when you put it face down or increase the volume to the max when you put it in your pocket for instance.
The fingerprint reader is an awesome feature to use because it significantly improves the security of your device. It is located on the back, just bellow the camera and it can recognize one of five different fingers that you choose and unlock the phone blazing fast.
Another great feature that we would like to mention is an IR blaster. With it, you can control your TVs, DVD players and many other devices in your house. Great addition to the package, we must add.
Smart Key is one of those additional features that you would naturally fall in love with instantly. It can be used for starting the camera by touching it or for automatically recording voice memos by holding it. Who knows, maybe Ulefone will add more great features to it.
Probably the most important part that we would like to put in this column is NXP smart audio PA that includes DAC and an amplifier. You won’t believe how good the music sounds on this phone, especially when you plug in a good set of headphones and play a FLAC file. It alone is a good enough reason to buy this phone.
Pros and Cons
This part of our review is reserved for significant advantages and disadvantages that we noticed while using this device.
- Amazing sound quality
- Fine camera with dedicated button for shooting
- Large battery that will easily get you through a day or two
- Fingerprint scanner and IR blaster
- Dual SIM 4G connectivity
- Some might not like the size of the device, it’s quite bulky
After several days of using this device, we were pleasantly surprised, it worked very good and offered great battery life. Don’t get us wrong; there are plenty of smartphones that are far batter than Ulefone Vienna, but they cost several times more than it. In this price range, Vienna is a phone tough to beat. We would recommend people who want a terrific device and don’t wish to pay a premium for it to take a closer look at this phone.
If you want to purchase this smartphone while it’s on a presale, you can do that by clicking on any of the links bellow.