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Ulefone Be Pro Review [UPDATED]

by Frank Tu 11

In 2014 the Android market space was shaken by the arrival of the powerful, yet competitively priced OnePlus One. However the invite system and the insufficient supply made many potential buyers give up hope of ever owning one. Here comes the Ulefone Be Pro review, a smartphone that takes many design points from the OnePlus One, but offers them to you at a much more affordable price point.

You can also check out our full video review of Ulefone Be Pro:

 

 

UNBOXING

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I’ve been using this device for more than a week right now, but I repacked it just to show you guys all the contents that come in the box. First, the packaging is fairly simple it has a Ulefone branding on it and some basic specs on the other side of the box.
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Another item that comes in the nice separate box is a regular micro USB charging cable.
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Also, there is a pair of headphones included. They don’t seem to be made out of the highest quality materials, but still, it is a nice touch by the manufacturer to include it. The headphones are made out of plastic with some chrome elements. Also, it has a dedicated mic with the functional key.
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Finally, the last item that is included in the box is the smartphone itself. The first impressions are that it is made out of plastic and glass materials. Still, it does not look very cheap and has quite solid feel in the hand. The design has some inspiration by OnePlus One, but I will get back to it later very soon.

THE DESIGN 

While it’s true that the Ulefone Be Pro borrows its design quite heavily from the OnePlus One that still doesn’t change the fact it’s still a good-looking phone. The dimensions of the phone are 156.5 x 77.8 x 10.2 mm which should point out this isn’t a small device by any means.  The in-hand feeling is quite good since the sides of the phone aren’t completely rounded so the chance of you accidently dropping the phone is quite small. It should also be noted that back cover of is removable and you can choose between three different color options (white, dark blue and sandstone black).

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The device spots a 5.5 inches display with the 720p resolution. The front side of the smartphone does look very similar to the OnePlus One. On the bottom there are 3 capacitive keys, which, however, don’t have the backlight. On the top side, there is an 8MP shooter along with the proximity sensor, earphone and LED light.
The screen is protected by the Gorilla Glass and I don’t see any scratches on it after one week of use. I will get back to this 5.5 inches screen quality very shortly.

The back shell of the device has a very smooth matt surface, which doesn’t attract fingerprints. Also, there is a 13MP snapper along with the single LED flash on the top. What is more, there is a Ulefone logo in the middle and the speaker grill on the bottom. The speaker has an average quality, but is very loud. You can watch our video review to hear the audio sample of it.

The Ulefone Be Pro has a plastic frame, which is painted in metallic colour. On the right side there is a power key, which, in my opinion, could be placed a bit lower to be able to reach it easier. Also, there is a little spot, where you would need to start opening the back cover. 

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The top side spots a 3.5 mm headphone jack along with the Micro USB charging port. I don’t think that putting the charging port on the top is the best solution, but it’s not a deal breaker.

On the left side you can find the volume up and down keys. In general, the buttons feel a bit plasticky, but they are responsive and easy to press.

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Finally, on the bottom of the smartphone you find only the microphone. That is the only mic installed as I don’t see any noise cancelling mics on the device.
Let me take the back plate off to show you what we have inside. The best way to do it is to use the credit card, because the back cover has a very tight fit, so it’s a bit annoying taking it off using only the nails.
The back shell is made out of quality plastic material and feels sturdy when trying to flex it. Under the cover there is a one full sized SIM card slot, which can only support 2G networks. Another is a Micro SIM card slot, which supports all the networks, including 4G. So far the 4G connectivity has been absolutely flawless. The last slot is dedicated to the Micro SD card up to 64 GB and works without any issues. Finally, the battery is removable and has the capacity of 2600 Mah.
Putting back the back cover is very simple as you just have to press it till you get all the clips in place. As I said, the back plate doesn’t come off very easy, but the good thing that it sits very tight and there are no moving parts or wobbling noises.

 

 

THE DISPLAY

The display on the Ulefone Be Pro is 5.5 inches diagonally and comes with a 1280 x 720 resolution and a pixel density of 267 ppi. While it is not the best resolution in its size range, the display is still very pleasant. The colours are vibrant and the viewing angles are quite good as well. The whites looked white while the blacks were black impressive for an IPS panel. Since we are talking about an IPS panel, the screen does get bright so you don’t have to worry too much about sunlight completely washing out your screen. We are also dealing here with an OGS display which helps keep the phone a bit slimmer. The auto brightness on the phone seemed to do its job quite well, however, I guess many people like me will constantly keep it on 80% all of the time.

SPECS SHEET 

Display 5.5 inch 1280×720 IPS screen
Processor MTK6732 64-bit 1.5 GHz GPU: Mali T760
RAM 2GB
Camera 13.0 MP back camera, 8.0 MP front camera
Connectivity Bluetooth, 3G, GPS, WIFI, GSM,EDGE, GPRS, UMTS, HSPA, HSPA+, FDD LTE
Battery 2600 mAh
Dimensions 156.5 x 77.8 x 10.2 mm, 0.166kg
OS Android 4.4 kitkat
Storage 16GB + sd card(up to 64GB)

 

 

PERFORMANCE

The UI is very light and it runs Android 4.4 Kitkat. The Lolipop update should be released very soon.  It is almost stock Android version and runs very smooth and fast, without any hiccups so far. The great thing is that I received a few software updates within one week (no Lolipop yet, though), but it sounds very promising as Ulefone seems to care about software upgrades and improvements.

The performance of the Ulefone Be Pro is really solid. The phone is being powered by MTK6732 SoC which has 4 A53 cores clocked at 1.5 GHz and backed by 2GB of RAM. Combine that with an almost stock build of Android and you get a smooth and fast experience. Graphically intensive games seem to work really well thanks to the powerful Mali T760, also having an only 720p display means there aren’t that many pixels to push around. I had no problems playing Asphalt 8 or any game other game I threw at it. Browsing the web seemed smooth and the web pages loaded fast. The GPS performance is very good and it locks on relatively fast and it seems to hold the signal as well.

Here are some Benchmark scores for your reference. Usually, I’m not that kind of guy that cares about synthetic benchmarks, but still, for the those of you who care, here are the results of Antutu test. The Ulefone managed to get a very good result, which is just under LG G3. Very impressive for a budget mediatek device.

  • Antutu: 32,400
  • Antutu X: 31,103
  • Geekbench single-core test: 742
  • Geekbench multi-core test: 2155
  • GFXBench Manhattan test: 508 (8.1fps)
  • GFXBench Manhattan off screen test: 252.4 (4.2fps)
  • GFXBench T-Rex test: 1040 (18fps)
  • GFXBench T-Rex off screen test: 620 (12fps)

 

 

CAMERA

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The phone comes equipped with a 13MP back camera made by OV and an impressive 8MP front camera. It captures photos relatively fast, but I’ve seen faster on the high-end devices. Besides the the standard picture taking mode, there is a PIP or picture in picture mode, which enables you to take pictures using back and front camera simultaneously.

Other shooting modes include live photo mode, motion and panorama modes. All in all, the camera app is clean and simple to use. I took some pictures with the device, so you can have an idea how the Ulefone Be Pro performs.

As far as the picture quality, it is a bit interesting, because once you take the picture and look at it on the smartphone, it looks that the quality is just about average. However, once you look at the same pictures on the computer screen, their quality is actually very good. First, I didn’t expect much from the camera, but the pictures have plenty of detail, they look sharp and the colour reproduction is very natural.

I have to say that for the device that costs just under $170, the daylight picture quality is indeed very good.
Once you take pictures inside the house, where the camera sensor can’t get so much light, the shutter speed is slower and you have to hold the smartphone steady, so that don’t get any blurriness in the picture. If you are able to do that, you may take some really good looking photos. Taking pictures in the artificial lightning can sometimes be a hit or miss as far as color reproduction goes. The camera tends to capture brighter images. Still, the quality is not bad.

The front facer is perfect for all of you selfie lovers since with the 8MP sensor it will capture probably as much detail as you want and perhaps even more. The camera app does come with a few additional features that aren’t found on a stock Android phone.

The 1080p video recording is quite good. It captures the average level of detail, white balance is good and the color reproduction is natural. The quality of video recording is not on par with the best flagships, but acceptable for a budget 4G device.

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SOFTWARE

Once you boot up the Ulefone Be Pro you quickly realize that they went with an almost completely stock Android experience. This keeps the UI running fast and smooth. And instead of adding unnecessary bloat, the company decided to add some software bonuses to the experience. One of my favorites is the ability to customize the LED notification light. You can decide what kind of light blinks for what kind of notification. While this can be done with apps, it’s nice to see it built in. Other enhancements are seen in the camera app with features like beauty mode. All in all, the software is really good and gets the job done. And because it’s so stock like Ulefone has already said that they will be updating the phone to Android 5.0 Lolipop quite soon.

 

 

BATTERY

As far as the battery life goes, the capacity of just 2600 mah doesn’t sound impressive on paper, but I was surprised by how good the Ulefone Be Pro performs in real life. During my testing time I did a bit of gaming, watched some youtube and hd videos stored on the phone, surfed the web and did all other stuff. My conclusion is that it can get you though the day quite easily in a normal use.

THE VERDICT

All in all, before reviewing this device I knew that it was very popular in budget devices category, so I wanted to see if it was really worth all the buzz. After using it as my daily driver and testing everything I can, I can firmly say that I love what I see for a device under $170. MTK6732 64-bit Quad Core along with the 2 GB of RAM makes the smartphone a fast performer both in benchmarks and real life. I didn’t have any lags or stutters while using it. It even performed well while playing graphically intensive games like Asphalt 8. Also, the 5.5 inches 720p resolution screen doesn’t sound impressive on paper, but it gets the job done and is pleasant to the eye. Moreover, I loved the camera. It may not have the fastest focus time in the world, but the pictures, especially those taken in the daylight are very impressive. Also, the video quality is quite good. Another thing worth mentioning is that design and choice of materials is great and the smartphone looks and feels solid in the hand. Furthermore, the connectivity like 4G, Bluetooth and GPS worked without any issues. Indeed, I tested out GPS using a dedicated test app and GPS applications and it performed very well. Also, the battery life is good and it you can go through the day with this device. All in all, the Ulefone Be Pro is a device that is really great choice if you are looking for a budget device with a huge screen and great all-around performance. If you have any questions, just let me know in the comments section below. 
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  • Guillaume Miossec

    Nice to finally have a review on this phone: thanks a lot!

    Alas it remains very short, maybe you only had a couple of hours with the device? No benchmarks, no metrics (i.e: nits of the display, autonomy time while video playing…), very short specs sheet (what about usb OTG, wcdma frequencies, wifi range?). Moreover the mtk 6732 is a brand new SOC, a comparison with s600, mtk 6582, 6592 would be relevant, and more details about cpu/gpu powers and power efficiency. It would be nice to complete this test with more figures, why not make a whole new article on this new SOC?

  • ARUN SUBRAMANIAN

    Please post full size camera samples!

  • trukos

    I think this is not a real review, just descriptions of features,

  • Nicky71

    better not to call it a review then

  • windrunner

    While it may look like a OnePlus One clone the Ulefone Be Pro is actually a solid device that doesn’t have many shortcomings.http://ulefonebepro.com/ It’s fast, reliable and works with most networks around the world. Yes the screen is only 720p however the device does sell for little more than 160$ which makes it a great deal.

  • julian

    I got mine yesterday from gearbest(thankyou). The problem is omnivision pink pictures taken . on Facebook, they say that it will be solved. Touchscreen also needs some calibration. Sandy back cover received as I ordered the phone in presale is better than the one from factory. The phone is OK until now. I’ ll see and come back to share it with you

  • D Griggs

    it certainly appears to be a high-performance phone at the cheap price. Am I correct that, unfortunately, the LTE frequencies are not compatible with those used in the United States? As anyone used it successfully in the USA with HSPA plus?

  • Ash

    One of the worst phones I’ve ever bought. worst interface, speakerphone, end call, camera, memory transfer to sd card, intuitive user friendliness, etc. Please save yourself the time and effort. Play with your phone before you buy it. The case also is horrible and it is difficult to buy a different case that actually fits this phone and doesn’t block the speakerphone. There’s so many other random things that have gone wrong with this phone, the only thing i like about it is that it turns on when dead to remind me of my alarm lol.

  • Donald

    Bendgate at Ulefone Be Pro

    My new mobile phone arrived a few day ago. It was only one day in service as it started to reboot randomly, sometimes I had to pull out the battery too. The issue is quite simple: kept in pockets the chassis bends and the contacts of motherboard and display looses, the result: short circuit.

    Unfortunately RMA costs for shipping, handling & customs for returning the phone to China are that high that I now own a worthless piece of electronic scrap.

  • Seph Harrison

    Just got mine the other day, so far so good. I will correct one thing though, i’m only using the full sized SIM, and getting 3G+ on AT&T. Also i’m having some trouble with it occasionally losing the data connection, though i’m not sure if that’s the phone or the service as there were some minor hiccups on getting it up and running on the network.

  • Dave

    Just got mine, paid £89.00 from Amazon, This phone for the money is tremendous, I cannot fault it. OK you may prefer the on/off in a different place, no big deal ! The lack of bloatware is a huge bonus I’ve never had a phone I wasn’t forced to have facebook, twitter and a host of other rubbish apps update, even though I never use them. As soon as I got the phone it updated seamlessly to Lolipop , it plays videos great, got loads of storage, looks good, feels good, has built in features like twin SIM, great for local sim cards when abroad, a torch also you can customize LED notification, it comes with a case, which when closed shows the digital clock/Alarm or swipe and access your music without having to open the cover. Browsing is fast and easy, colors are great.
    Every phone is different, you just have to get to know them. This phone beats my HTC Desire by a mile, touch screen failed in under a year and was full of bloatware.
    I mean get real a great phone for the price of an average meal for two.