Umi Emax review: worths attention

UMI is one of the Chinese companies, which preferred to focus on the home market rather than a global expansion. We know that it’s a company, which offers tempting value-for-money smartphones and we were happy to see some new devices aimed at the global market. We recently saw several new devices being released – UMI Hammer, UMI Emax and UMI Iron. All of them are at top mid-range segment and are something, which we can’t just pass. We just got our UMI Emax review unit, so here’s what we think about it.

umi emax

MTK6752 – 64-bit Octa-Core 1.7GHz processor

Android 4.4.4

RAM 2GB+ROM 16GB (Support TF card up to 64GB)

5.5” multi-point capacitive LTPS screen with Full HD resolution (1920 x 1080 pixels)

5 MP front camera and 13 MP rear camera with flashlight

2G GSM – 850/900/1800/1900;  3G WCDMA – 900/1900/2100; 4G FDD – 1800/2100/2600

Design and build quality

The first time we saw UMI Emax we spot some similarities with the Alcatel Idol series. We got the silver version and it really reminds us of Alacatel Idol 2. They both have similar speaker’s position, similar sim/micro SD slots, similar curves, color and even slightly similarity with the camera and flashlight positions.

UMI Emax has the following dimensions – 152.3 mm x 76.5 mm x 7.9mm and weighs 148 grams. We would qualify the size and the weight of the phone as pretty adequate considering the big 5.5-inch screen. Let’s compare it with some similar phones (in terms of size). IPhone 6 plus is 158.1 mm x 77.8 mm x 7.1 mm and weighs 172 grams. Huawei Honor 6 plus is 150.5 mm x 75.7 mm x 7.5 mm and has a weight of 165 grams. Galaxy Note 4 has 153.5 mm x 78.6 mm x 8.5 mm and weighs 176 grams (but with slightly larger 5.7-inch screen). You can see that UMI has put some efforts in terms of design and Emax features pretty good body measures and especially weight (we hope that this is not done at the expense of fake battery capacity as some of the Chinese manufacturers use to do). The screen-to-body ratio is also pretty good – 71.53% (you can check our screen-to-body ratio calculator).

The body is made of plastic, although there’s an illusion like it’s made of metal (especially with our silver version). Again the plastic reminded us of Alcatel Idol. But being a plastic smartphone has one advantage – UMI Emax is really, really light. It feels more like a 5-inch smartphone, not a 5.5-ich phablet. The materials don’t feel cheap, but they don’t perfectly fit to a Full HD octa-core monster.

The power button and the volume rocker are both placed on the right side of the phone along with the second sim card slot. The power button is placed almost in the middle of the phone, which is not the perfect position by our opinion, but it’s still pretty intuitive. We would like to see the volume rocket on the left side, because it’s easier to control the volume during calls. The first sim card slot and the microSD card slots can be found on the left side. Moving to the bottom you can see a micro usb port in middle and a small microphone hole next to it. On the top there’s one single hole for the 3.5 mm audio jack.

The side bezels (at left and right) of the screen are acceptable, however they are pretty thick at top and bottom. The three navigation buttons under the display have no back light. Right above the display is the conversation speaker, the front camera and some sensors (light sensor, proximity sensor and so on). There’s a notification light at right, which stays solid red, when charging the phone.

The back of the phone comes with a sticker with some instructions of how to open and insert the sim cards and the microSD card. Of course this is a factory sticker, so you can remove it. There’s a noticeable camera hump, but the real issue is that the camera lenses seem to be absolutely unprotected. Because of the hump, the camera lens is with direct contact with the surface, which the phone rests on. This means high chance of getting scratches on the lens. There’s a metal ring around the camera, but it’s a little bit lower than the lens and it doesn’t protect it. It’s kind of disappointment, that UMI didn’t think of this. The flashlight is placed right under the camera and there’s a tiny hole above the camera (perhaps second noise-deduction microphone). There is a big speaker placed almost on the entire bottom part of the back.

The build quality looks good. There are no squeaky sounds or moving parts. Of course we must mention, that the phone is sealed. This means that you have no access to the battery and there’s no removable back lid.

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