This was my first phone review on my YouTube channel, and I’m very pleased I got to get my hands on the Umidigi S2 for this inaugural phone unboxing! As always, no money changed hands, and you’ll read my own opinions in this Umidigi S2 review. Also, a big thanks to Gearbest for sending me the phone to review!

On a side note, if you are a new reviewer, you can find out in this post how to get companies to send you cool stuff to review yourself!

David vs Goliath?

When phone manufacturers release a product, you get the feeling they already have a market in mind… it’s that guy or girl who just has to have the latest shiny object from a big name. It is clear from the outset that Umidigi are trying their best to rival the big player in the park – Samsung. Most people would compare the S2 to the Samsung Galaxy S8, and in a straight up, toe-to-toe deathmatch, most would also say Samsung would be the victor. But if there’s one thing I have learnt in the tech review business – never underestimate the budget model.

Unboxing

The first thing you’re going to notice when you unbox the S2, is the premium packaging, and sleek compartmentalisation of all your accessories. As you can see in the video, the packaging was easy to remove. The whole thing is just put together to make the customer feel they have a high end piece of equipment akin to the market leaders. This is a critical plus point for me, and for millions of consumers who expect premium price tags to offer a little luxury. The Umidigi S2 is obviously priced to sell at under $180, with the Galaxy S8 weighing in at over $600 at the time of writing. You’d be forgiven for thinking you’d spent three times as much going by the presentation alone.

Hands on with the Umidigi S2

The screen is slightly bigger than the Galaxy S8, at 6.0”, whereas the Samsung is 5.8”

Inside the box, the luxury keeps on giving, when you get your fingers on the quality USB-C cable that comes encased in high-impact foam, complete with USB-C audio adaptor. Yes, folks, there’s no 3.5mm audio jack on the S2, but I wouldn’t let that put you off. Many manufacturers are looking at the ways they can save manufacturing time and cost by implementing changes of this nature.

First thing you’ll notice is that the IPS LCD screen vibrancy really does shout at you for attention. The colours are fluid & bold. The phone feels intuitive in your hand, with the buttons perfectly positioned for easy access. The bezel-less screen swipes and scrolls beautifully, with no visible blurring. The screen is slightly bigger than the Galaxy S8, at 6.0”, whereas the Samsung is 5.8”. The fingerprint sensor stays frosty, and reacts fast enough when you need to get into your phone quickly. I was impressed with the speed of access overall, when it came to installing games and flitting between apps.

Processor & RAM

The processor is an Octa core (2.3 GHz, Quad core, Cortex A53 + 1.6 GHz, Quad core, Cortex A53), and in the benchmarks later in the article you can stack it up against other processors in its class. In conjunction with the 4gb RAM, the Umidigi makes all the right moves in terms of speed and multi-tasking.

Games and apps

I tested the Umidigi S2 Smartphone with some native Android games and Bomberman (PSP) & God of War 2 (PSP) using PPSSPP. Framerate and game speed were right on point with the native apps & games, and the Umidigi handled itself well when it had to multitask with apps running in the background. There’s nothing worse than a text coming through and making you miss that sniper headshot, now is there?

There is, it has to be said, a sluggish behaviour with the PSP games, much like you’ll see in a lot of Android devices – not just the Umidigi S2. That said, optimization can fix some if not all issues. Framerate drops significantly, so if this is a purchase for a high-end gaming phone, you might want to think twice.

Installation is smooth and fast in the Umidigi S2, as you’d expect from Android 6.0. Apps are up and running quickly after download & install.

Cameras

The quality of the 5MP front-facing camera alone was incredible – stills and video. I recorded a high quality video, and was very impressed with the colour and fluidity of the image. The Umidigi has 13 Megapixel camera, with Digital Zoom, Auto Flash, Face detection, and Touch to focus; and it is worth noting that the Samsung Galaxy S8 has only got a 12MP camera. The resolution is excellent, at 4128×3096, and I was particularly fond of the very bright & sharp quad LED flash. You’ll get all the clarity you need from the Phase Detection AutoFocus, and with the impressive colour depth, the photos from that birthday bash or nightclub crawl are going to look great!

Battery Life

5100MaH battery

As with all phones, the battery is a major factor in purchasing. We don’t like running to the USB charger when we fancy killing wizards for an hour on our lunchbreak. So this is where the Umidigi really gets a big pat on the back. The fast charging 5100MaH battery will give you about two days of general use, and I am astounded to learn that most of the rivals in its class are coming in to the ring with the usual 3000MaH.

Network Coverage

GSM: 850/900/1800/1900MHz

WCDMA: 850/900/1900/2100MHz

FDD-LTE: 800/1800/2100/2600MHz

Check if your network supports these here: Gearbest Network Checker

Other notes

At the time of my original video, this was the only Umidigi S2 review from an actual owner. The rest were manufacturer focussed.

I love this phone, it has to be said. Coming in at less than a third of the price of it’s rivals, it managed to deal with just about everything I could throw at it in the tests, and came out great on the benchmarks. The WiFi was good, and range was more than acceptable. The earpiece was crystal clear audio, and I had no trouble with signal strength. Overall, this is a very impressive cell phone.

Comparison Umidigi S2 vs Samsung Galaxy S8

SUMMARYUmidigi S2Samsung Galaxy S8
PerformanceOcta coreOcta core
Display6.0″ (15.24 cm)5.8″ (14.73 cm)
Storage64 GB64 GB
Camera13 MP12 MP
Battery5100 mAh3000 mAh
Ram4 GB4 GB
SPECIAL FEATURES
Fingerprint Sensor PositionRear-0
Other SensorsLight sensor, Proximity sensor, Accelerometer, CompassLight sensor, Proximity sensor, Accelerometer, Barometer, Compass, Gyroscope
Fingerprint SensorYesYes
GENERAL
Quick ChargingYesYes
Operating SystemAndroid v6.0 (Marshmallow)Android v7.0 (Nougat)
Sim SlotsDual SIM, GSM+GSMDual SIM, GSM+GSM
ModelS2Galaxy S8
Launch DateNovember 15, 2017 (Official)May 5, 2017 (Official)
BrandUmidigiSamsung
Sim SizeSIM1: Nano SIM2: Nano (Hybrid)SIM1: Nano SIM2: Nano (Hybrid)
Network4G: Available (doesn’t support Indian bands) 3G: Available, 2G: Available4G: Available (supports Indian bands) 3G: Available, 2G: Available
Fingerprint SensorYesYes
MULTIMEDIA
LoudspeakerYesYes
Fm RadioYesNo
Audio JackUSB Type-C3.5 mm
PERFORMANCE
ChipsetMediaTek MT6757Samsung Exynos 9 Octa 8895
GraphicsMali-T880 MP2Mali-G71 MP20
ProcessorOcta core (2.3 GHz, Quad core, Cortex A53 + 1.6 GHz, Quad core, Cortex A53)Octa core (2.3 GHz, Quad core, M2 Mongoose + 1.7 GHz, Quad core, Cortex A53)
Architecture64 bit64 bit
Ram4 GB4 GB
DESIGN
Build MaterialCase: MetalBack: MetalCase: MetalBack: Metal
Thickness8.8 mm8.0 mm
Width74.6 mm68.1 mm
Weight186 grams155 grams
Height158.1 mm148.9 mm
ColoursBlack, RedMidnight Black, Orchid Gray, Coral Blue, Arctic Silver, Maple Gold
DISPLAY
Display TypeIPS LCDSuper AMOLED
Screen To Body Ratio78.77 %84.57 %
Pixel Density268 ppi568 ppi
Screen ProtectionCorning Gorilla Glass v4Corning Gorilla Glass v5
Screen Size6.0 inches (15.24 cm)5.8 inches (14.73 cm)
Screen Resolution720 x 1440 pixels1440 x 2960 pixels
Touch ScreenYes Capacitive Touchscreen, Multi-touchYes Capacitive Touchscreen, Multi-touch
STORAGE
Internal Memory64 GB64 GB
Expandable MemoryYes Up to 256 GBYes Up to 256 GB
CAMERA
SettingsExposure compensationExposure compensation, ISO control
ApertureF2.0F1.7
Camera FeaturesDigital Zoom, Auto Flash, Face detection, Touch to focusWide Angle Selfie
Image Resolution4128 x 3096 Pixels4000 x 3000 Pixels
SensorExmor-RS CMOS SensorExmor-RS CMOS Sensor
AutofocusYes Phase Detection autofocusYes
Shooting ModesContinuos Shooting, High Dynamic Range mode (HDR)Continuos Shooting, High Dynamic Range mode (HDR)
Resolution5 MP Front Camera8 MP Front Camera
FlashYes Quad LED FlashYes Screen flash
BATTERY
User ReplaceableNoNo
Quick ChargingYes Quick, v2.0Yes
TypeLi-PolymerLi-ion
Capacity5100 mAh3000 mAh
NETWORK CONNECTIVITY
WifiYes Wi-Fi 802.11, a/b/g/nYes Wi-Fi 802.11, a/ac/b/g/n/n 5GHz, MIMO
Wifi FeaturesMobile HotspotMobile Hotspot
BluetoothYes v4.0Yes v5.0
Usb TypecYes (Doesn’t support micro-USB)Yes (Doesn’t support micro-USB)
NfcNoYes
Network Support4G (doesn’t support Indian bands), 3G, 2G4G (supports Indian bands), 3G, 2G
GpsYes with A-GPS, GlonassYes with A-GPS, Glonass
Sim 14G Bands:FD-LTE 2100(band 1) / 1800(band 3) / 2600(band 7) / 800(band 20)3G Bands: UMTS 2100 / 900 MHz2G Bands: GSM 1800 / 1900 / 850 / 900 MHz GPRS:Available EDGE:Available4G Bands:TD-LTE 2300(band 40) FD-LTE 2100(band 1) / 1800(band 3) / 2600(band 7) / 900(band 8) / 700(band 28) / 1900(band 2) / 1700(band 4) / 850(band 5) / 700(band 17) / 800(band 20)3G Bands: UMTS 1900 / 2100 / 850 / 900 MHz2G Bands: GSM 1800 / 1900 / 850 / 900 MHz 4G Speed: 150 Mbit/s ? 1024 Mbit/s ? (LTE category 16)3G Speed: HSDPA 42.2 Mbit/s ?, HSUPA 5.76 Mbit/s ?GPRS:Available EDGE:Available
Sim SizeSIM1: Nano, SIM2: Nano (Hybrid)SIM1: Nano SIM2: Nano (Hybrid)
Sim 24G Bands: FD-LTE 2100(band 1) / 1800(band 3) / 2600(band 7) / 800(band 20)3G Bands: UMTS 2100 / 900 MHz 2G Bands: GSM 1800 / 1900 / 850 / 900 MHz GPRS:Available EDGE:Available4G Bands: TD-LTE 2300(band 40) FD-LTE 2100(band 1) / 1800(band 3) / 2600(band 7) / 900(band 8) / 700(band 28) / 1900(band 2) / 1700(band 4) / 850(band 5) / 700(band 17) / 800(band 20)3G Bands: UMTS 1900 / 2100 / 850 / 900 MHz 2G Bands: GSM 1800 / 1900 / 850 / 900 MHz 4G Speed: 150 Mbit/s ? 1024 Mbit/s ? (LTE category 16) 3G Speed: HSDPA 42.2 Mbit/s ? GPRS:Available EDGE:Available

Benchmarks

Antutu: 57319

Geekbench 4 – Single Core: 870 Multi-Core: 3644

Conclusion – Umidigi 2 Review

Okay, I’m smitten. If you are looking for a budget conscious purchase that has performance to equal the big players, then you will be hard pressed to find a better phone than the Umidigi S2.

The look and feel is premium, and the performance really does surprise you in a very nice way. There are pros and cons with any product, and I just can’t help thinking the cons are something I’d learn to live with quite happily, because the Umidigi is a great bit of kit.

I genuinely used this the Umidigi S2 in place of my iPhone 6 – so this tells you something, right?

Buy Umidigi S2 Smartphone on GearBest