The mid-range smartphone market can be a complex one to navigate. Unlike the premium tier of smartphone pricing, where a handful of tech titans slug it out in the thin, high-altitude air, the midrange market is a teeming sea of competitors. What’s worse is that many of these devices don’t get the microscope attention that the likes of Samsung and LG garner, so it’s more difficult to know whether you’re buying a lemon or a gem.
One such diamond in the rough is the UMi Super. You’d be forgiven if you’ve never heard of this brand before. Despite being relatively unknown, especially outside of China, UMi is committed to offering a ton of power and performance at a rather low asking price.
With extras like quick charging, a fingerprint scanner, a metal uni-body design, and a fast Helios processor, the UMi Super sounds pretty impressive for a phone that’s priced below $180. But how does it compare to other mid-rangers out on the market right now? Let’s take a look.
Introducing the UMi Super
Let’s start by talking about what exactly the UMi Super is, and then we will take a look at some of its competition.
Styling itself as a “Flagship Killer,” this device sports 4GB of RAM powering a 2.0GHz Helio P10 octa-core processor. It rocks a tough metallic unibody that gives it a far more premium feel than you would expect for its price tag. This smartphone comes with a SONY 4,000mAh battery that has some pretty incredible longevity, but even if you do find yourself running out of juice, you’ll be happy to know that the Super also offers quick charging via its USB-C port.
For a sub-$180 phone, you’ll also be surprised to see you are getting a fingerprint scanner that is both accurate and lightning fast. Unlike Samsung and Apple, UMi has positioned their scanner on the back of the device, which is arguably a more natural orientation.
This device runs Android 6.0 Marshmallow right out of the box, and instead of having a heavily modified interface, the UMi Super presents an extremely vanilla Android experience free of custom launchers or revamped software. It’s just Android; plain and simple.
This not only means that you don’t get all the extra bloat you would with a custom skin, but it also should translate to faster overall performance than simply spec’d devices with custom skins. For those who loving taking photos, the 13MP main camera also yields some pretty high quality shots, especially for a phone of this price.
The display is a 5.5 inch offering from SHARP, and it’s designed for use in broad daylight so you can still clearly see your screen even in the sunshine. Another interesting feature is that the UMi Super gives you the option to choose between on-screen and capacitive buttons, offering an unusual middle ground in a long-unresolved debate. You can also swap the back button and recent app button from left to right, letting you choose which setup is more natural to you.
In addition to packing so many great features, UMi also wows with its pricing, with the phone set at just $179.99 and it comes in at least a few different colors, including a gorgeous blue “Europe Cup limited edition” that was just recently announced. If the pricing wasn’t impressive enough, you’ll be happy to know you even have the opportunity to win a free VR headset and a free UMi Super by participating in the company’s current giveaway.
Of course, the UMI Super isn’t without competition. Let’s take a look at how the UMi Super stands against its competition in the chart below:
Looking at the table, it’s pretty clear that the UMi Super packs in a ton of great specs, especially for the price. The device easily goes toe-to-toe with the Oppo R9 in most categories, but steals the win thanks to its heftier battery and substantially more reasonable price tag.
The Meizu M3 Note is somewhat similarly priced, but a quick look at the memory, processor, and more bloated software makes going for the UMi Super a no-brainer. Lastly, the Xiaomi Redmi is only marginally more expensive than the UMi Super, but the Super has the advantage of an extra gig of RAM and faster processor, while still beating the price tag.
Comparison and Final Thoughts
The UMi Super might not be a well established brand, but for those looking to get as many extras thrown in as possible while still paying sub-$180 pricing, there’s really no better alternative. All the other competitors either sacrifice on pricing to bring you these capabilities, or they flake out on performance to hit a low price point.
With a relatively fast processor powered by 4GB RAM and a clean, vanilla Android UI, the UMi Super should provide plenty of oomph without breaking the bank.