Ulefone Be Touch 2 - a review of one of the most desirable smartphones with an up-to-date price
- Packaging and appearance Ulefone Be Touch 2
- Interface and software platform
- Benchmark performance testing
- Testing built-in sensors and GPS
- Camera testing
- Battery test
- Video review
We knew about the release of the Ulefone Be Touch 2 smartphone already when its predecessor was tested in our editorial office. In our memory, this is almost the fastest update of the original model of a rather successful smartphone in its segment. It is difficult to say what caused such a non-trivial phenomenon - a miscalculation of the manufacturer, who hastily decided to correct the mistakes made, or a special marketing ploy, but the decision turned out to be correct and almost timely.
Speaking about the mistakes made, we mean the use of an HD screen for a powerful 5.5-inch smartphone, which was intended to become the main competitor of the hyped Elephone P7000 and many other models with a similar processor. It also seemed strange to use a battery with a capacity of only 2550 mAh in a body almost 9 mm thick, while many competitors had an average of almost 1000 mAh more with the same dimensions.
And so, quite quickly, Ulefone realized that in order to achieve commercial success, these weaknesses needed to be eliminated, and the appearance of an updated model in the face of Ulefone Be Touch 2 was announced. In fact, it was possible to do without the “2” index, replacing it any letter, since outwardly it is still the same product. The changes affected the display, which now flaunts an excellent LTPS screen with Full-HD resolution, as well as a battery, the capacity of which, according to the manufacturer, has increased to 3050 mAh thanks to the efforts of SONY. Along the way, the manufacturer made changes to the optics of the rear camera, increasing its light sensitivity to f / 1.8, which should have distinguished the novelty from all its competitors.
So what has Ulefone really done and has the new Be Touch 2 become a truly flawless commercial product? We will try to understand this in our special review dedicated to testing this smartphone.
Packaging and appearance Ulefone Be Touch 2
The Ulefone Be Touch 2 smartphone comes in a branded dark gray packaging, the appearance of which resembles the Elephone P7000 packaging. Recall that the packaging of the first model was white and in shape resembled the packaging of smartphones from the iPhone. On the cover of the box, you will find only a concise number "2", indicating that it is the updated model of this smartphone that is inside. Although it is simply impossible to confuse the boxes of the first model and this one - neither in shape, nor in size or color.
Under the lid of the box in the top tray you will find the smartphone itself, and under it are compartments with accessories included in the package.
The package itself is as follows:
- Smartphone Ulefone Be Touch 2
- Charger with a current capacity of 1.5A with a connector for our sockets
- Flat white microUSB cable for connection to charger or computer
- Branded headset, the quality of which is unlikely to satisfy you
- Screen protector
- English instruction manual
As you can see, the scope of delivery has not changed much, although the packaging design is completely different here. Perhaps the manufacturer was inspired by the packaging of the Elephone P7000 and made the packaging of Ulefone Be Touch 2 in a similar style.
Appearance Ulefone Be Touch 2
Despite the fact that outwardly the updated model is absolutely the same as the previous one, we will still consider its appearance again.
The front panel of Ulefone Be Touch 2 is covered with protective glass Corning Gorilla Glass 3 curved at the edges. In actual reality, 2.5D technology is already taken for granted, although it still looks advantageous.
At the bottom of the front panel, we see 3 buttons, of which 2 are touch-sensitive and do not have a backlight, "Menu" and "Back", and the third is a mechanical round button "Home" with a built-in fingerprint scanner.
At the top of the front panel are located: a 5-megapixel front camera with an OV5648 sensor from OmniVision, an LED flash, a speaker, as well as light and proximity sensors.
The frame of Ulefone Be Touch is made of aircraft-grade aluminum and magnesium alloy and has a rounded shape. On its lower end, we see the slots of the external speaker and microphone.
At the top of the frame are a Micro-USB port and a standard 3.5 mm audio jack for headphones or a headset.
On the left side of the frame are the power and volume buttons, which is not very convenient for those who are used to operating more with their right hand. Whereas the right side face of the frame is empty.
The back panel of Ulefone Be Touch case is made of flexible plastic. The cover is rather matte, so fingerprints do not remain on it.
At the top of the rear panel there is a main 13-megapixel camera module with an IMX214 sensor from Sony and a dual LED flash, and in the center is the manufacturer's logo.
The housing cover of Ulefone Be Touch is removable. Below it you will find 2 SIM slots, one of which is standard, and the second is a Micro-SIM, as well as a slot for expanding memory using Micro-SD cards up to 64 GB. The battery in Ulefone Be Touch 2 has a capacity of 3050 mAh, which is 500 mAh more than its predecessor. Externally, the batteries of both models are almost identical, except for the stickers on them. The weight of the batteries is also the same. And although the manufacturer indicates that the new battery is supplied by SONY, we got the feeling that we are facing the battery of the previous model, but with a new sticker.
There are no complaints about the assembly of the Ulefone Be Touch 2 case either. There are no backlashes or squeaks. And in the hand, the smartphone sits very comfortably. Discomfort causes only the presence of power and volume buttons on the left side of the case.
When comparing the weight of both models, it turned out that Ulefone Be Touch 2 is 4 grams lighter than its predecessor. Perhaps this is due to the changes made to the design of the rear camera. Or maybe the manufacturer found some extra detail in the first model - one can only guess.
Unfortunately, the manufacturer did not think to add an event indicator to the updated smartphone, which is a pity, because it would be useful. Especially given the positioning of this smartphone.
The dimensions of the device remained the same 158.1x77.4x8.6 mm, and the actual weight is 4 grams less, 166 grams (160 grams declared).
Next, we will consider the technical part of the device, starting, as usual, with the display.
Smartphone Ulefone Be Touch 2 received a completely new display. Its diagonal is the same 5.5 inches, but the resolution has grown to Full-HD (1920x1080 pixels, 401 ppi). This is one of the reasons why the updated model was born, because all the main competitors of this smartphone have Full-HD resolution, and this clearly benefited the picture on the display.
The Ulefone Be Touch 2 display is made using LTPS technology using an IPS matrix. The manufacturer of the display is not specified, but its quality is very high. There is no air gap between the display and the protective glass, since OGS technology is also used here. The viewing angles of the display are close to the maximum, and the brightness and color reproduction are excellent. If you remember, the display of the first model gave off yellowishness at some angles, while in the new model this is not even in sight.
The Multi-touch test showed that the display supports up to 5 simultaneous touches, as in Ulefone Be Touch. Although, in general, the display of Ulefone Be Touch 2 turned out to be significantly better than in its predecessor. For this, the manufacturer should definitely be thanked.
Interface and software platform
The Ulefone Be Touch 2 smartphone runs on the Android 5.1 Lollipop operating system, while version 5.0 was installed in the previous version. The manufacturer practically did not add any changes to the shell itself, leaving it in its standard form.
The touchscreen in the novelty is also very sensitive and responds to all touches almost instantly. Although when flipping through the pages of the desktop, slight jamming is sometimes noticeable. Obviously, the firmware in the new product is still quite raw and not very well optimized.
Just like in the previous version of the shell, a swipe down from the status bar opens the notifications menu, and with the help of a double swipe you will be taken to the main settings menu, such as adjusting the screen brightness, activating various functions (Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, geodata), the choice of sound profiles and others. Here you will also find the possibility of activating the HotKnot data transfer function, which for some reason was absent in the first model. Also from here you can go to the main settings menu of the smartphone.
Two touch buttons "Menu" and "Back" perform standard functions. With a single press of the Home button, you will return to the main desktop, and with a long press, you will open active tabs.
In the settings, in the "About phone" item, there is an over-the-air firmware update (OTA) function. When this function is activated, a notification comes that we are using the latest firmware version.
The Ulefone Be Touch 2 menu also has an item for activating various smart functions. Of these, you can note the function of waking up from sleep mode by double tapping, swiping up or to the right, as well as calling applications with various gestures - cameras, voice assistant and others.
The screen settings also have the ability to manually calibrate the proximity sensor and accelerometer. But in general, in the Ulefone Be Touch 2 interface, everything is pretty standard, and you will not find anything new for yourself here.
The fingerprint scanner in the Ulefone Be Touch 2 smartphone is the same as in its predecessor. Registration of a fingerprint is quite fast, after which you can unlock the device immediately from sleep mode using a scanner. Obviously, the manufacturer has improved the software for the fingerprint scanner, since there are practically no errors during operation, and new features have appeared. For example, the function of organizing access to individual applications by fingerprint was added, which is quite convenient and more secure.
Benchmark performance testing
Recall the main technical characteristics of Ulefone Be Touch 2. The device runs on the Android 5.1 Lollipop operating system, and the same popular 64-bit 8-core MT6752 processor with a clock speed of 1.7 GHz, paired with a dual-core graphics chip, is responsible for computing in it. Mali-T760 clocked at 700 MHz.
The display diagonal of Ulefone Be Touch 2 is 5.5 inches and its resolution is 1920x1080 pixels. The smartphone is equipped with 3 GB LPDDR3 RAM, which operates at a frequency of 800 MHz. The amount of internal memory is 16 GB, of which about 12.5 GB is available to the user. The device also has a slot for Micro-SD memory cards with a capacity of up to 64 GB, but for testing in benchmarks this aspect is not important to us.
So, in the Antutu v5.7.1 test, the Ulefone Be Touch 2 smartphone showed 42560 points, which is almost 3 thousand points less than the first model showed. Obviously, this was influenced by the increased display resolution, and, perhaps, to some extent, firmware optimization.
When testing graphics in 3DMark at maximum settings, Ulefone Be Touch 2 showed 6123 points, and in the Epic Citadel program at maximum graphics settings for Full-HD resolution, the device showed the usual results of about 40 fps. The impact of the increased display resolution is also noticeable here, as these results are significantly lower than those of the first model.
In order to find out how these results are reflected in practice, let's test the device in the Asphalt-8 game. Oddly enough, in the game we noticed stuttering and slow response to turn signals to the left or right, which we did not notice in other smartphones with such characteristics. Some lags in the game were shown to us by Elephone P7000 , but in our tested device it is even worse. Apparently, here the flaws in the firmware and the shortcomings of optimization are manifested most of all. And perhaps with the release of updates, these problems will be fixed, because the hardware stuffing in Ulefone Be Touch 2 should easily cope with such tasks.
But what about the heating of the new smartphone model? After 10 minutes of use, the body of Ulefone Be Touch 2 warmed up to above average levels, especially in the upper part of it. And here, unfortunately, we did not see any improvements, although this is already becoming a characteristic feature of devices with an MT6752 processor.
Next, we turn to the consideration of built-in sensors.
Testing built-in sensors and GPS
The Sensor List program showed the presence of the following sensors on board Ulefone Be Touch 2: an accelerometer, a magnetic field sensor (digital compass), an orientation sensor, light sensor, proximity sensor and a Hall sensor. The program also showed us the presence of a pressure sensor, which also took place in the first model. Apparently, the manufacturer did not deal with this problem.
Let's move on to testing GPS navigation and check how quickly the device connects to satellites and whether it finds GLONASS satellites.
In the GPS navigation test without a Wi-Fi connection and with a cold start, the device connected to the satellites almost instantly. The smartphone sees GLONASS satellites and connects to them, which was a definite step forward for the manufacturer. Thus, with the GPS-navigation of the Ulefone Be Touch 2 smartphone, everything is in order.
As for the built-in cameras, the manufacturer has changed almost nothing in the updated model. It is reported that the novelty has received improved optics of the rear camera, thanks to which the light sensitivity of the camera has increased. The aperture value of the rear camera is now F / 1.8, while in the first model it was F / 2.0.
The sensors themselves remained unchanged, and according to the manufacturer, the 4th generation of the 13-megapixel IMX214 sensor from SONY is used as the main camera module in Ulefone Be Touch 2, and the OV5648 module from OmniVision is used for the front camera.
Let's start our testing with the main camera. The camera interface has not changed and remains standard. In the settings, you can select the panoramic shooting mode, HDR mode, burst mode, Live Photo mode, timer shooting mode, and scene selection mode. There is the possibility of applying various effects (negative, sepia, etc.) and linking photos to the map (geo-tagging), as well as the ability to select ISO, exposure compensation and select white balance settings.
The camera has digital image stabilization, face detection mode and the ability to control gestures.
Focusing can be done both automatically and by clicking on the screen area. There is also a digital zoom (zoom). The maximum photo size is limited to 13 MP (4160x3120 pixels).
The maximum video recording resolution is Full-HD, while the video is recorded at 30 frames per second. There is also a slow motion feature in the video settings. The rest of the video settings are also pretty standard.
Examples of photographs taken during the day, we were pleasantly pleased. The color reproduction of the pictures is excellent, and the sharpness has definitely improved compared to the first model. When shooting at night, the difference is not so significant, but it is also there. Unfortunately, the autofocus operation is not very fast, but we will not find fault with this.
As for video shooting, here the camera showed almost all its potential.
So those who like to shoot with the camera built into their phone will definitely like Ulefone Be Touch 2 more than the first model. Moreover, the shooting quality is very close to more expensive smartphones with the same main camera sensor – LeTV One and Xiaomi Mi Note (Pro).
As for the front camera, here the manufacturer used the same 5-megapixel OV5648 sensor from OmniVision. And although this camera has its own flash on the front of the device, in fact there is practically no sense from it. Its power at night is not enough, and the pictures are still noisy and fuzzy. Although this moment still works as a publicity stunt, because you will not find this among the main competitors. The maximum photo size from the front camera is 2560x1920 pixels, and the video size is 1280x720 pixels.
The quality of pictures from the front camera has not changed and remains at a fairly average level. Although many do not need this camera at all.
In general, a certain work, which led to improvements in the quality of photos and videos in the Ulefone Be Touch 2 smartphone, is visible. We were especially pleased with the rear camera, which began to shoot much better than in the first model. And this trend of the manufacturer definitely pleases us.
As we said earlier, the Ulefone Be Touch 2 smartphone received a battery from SONY with a capacity increased to 3050 mAh, which is 500 mAh more than its predecessor. We had some suspicions about the correspondence of these declared figures to the real ones. Therefore, we were interested in how the novelty with this battery would perform in testing in the AnTuTu Battery Test program.
For the purity of the experiment, we conducted a simultaneous test of both models in the above program. It turned out that the updated smartphone showed 300 points more than its predecessor, namely 4980 points against 4679.
Obviously, the battery capacity in the Ulefone Be Touch 2 smartphone is higher than in its predecessor, because the screen resolution is higher in the new product, and the results in the test are higher. So, our suspicions about the manufacturer were in vain.
In the Epic Citadel program in Guided Tour mode, the device worked for just over 4.5 hours. And this means that the autonomy of the novelty from the original model will not differ much, and you will have to charge Ulefone Be Touch 2 every day with average use.
The manufacturer indicated that the Ulefone Be Touch 2 smartphone also has a fast charging function, as it was in the first model. It took us 1 hour and 42 minutes to fully charge the battery in the new product. This is a pretty good result, although LeTV One with almost the same battery capacity charges 20 minutes faster. Although, of course, there are smartphones that charge much longer than Ulefone Be Touch 2. For example, the Elephone P7000 smartphone turned out to be such a device, where it takes a whole “eternity” to charge the battery.
It would be strange to expect any changes in the volume of the external speaker, because it remained the same as in the first model. However, we also tested it.
In the smartphone settings, there are several functions that improve the volume of the external speaker and the sound in the headphones.
After checking all the checkboxes in these menus, we found out that the volume of the external speaker in Ulefone Be Touch 2 remained unchanged. The volume level can be assessed as "medium". The same can be said about the sound in the headphones.
It's time to take stock of our Ulefone Be Touch 2 testing.
We list the advantages of the device:
1) New excellent display with resolution increased to Full-HD.
2) Fingerprint scanner, the work of which has become even better.
3) Relatively low cost. At the moment, many online stores offer to purchase this model for only $180.
4) The work of the improved rear camera. The quality of the pictures from it turned out to be very good and higher than that of its predecessor.
Let's move on to the disadvantages :
1) The presence of a strip of empty space between the Home button and the display, which is very striking. This design move did not find our understanding.
2) The operation of LED flashes in low light conditions. Their power is clearly not enough for either the rear camera or the front camera.
3) No event indicator. The new model adopted this shortcoming from the old one.
4) Lack of illumination of two touch buttons on the front panel. Similar to item 3.
5) Autonomy of work. Even with a new battery, it will obviously not be enough for many active users.
Despite more minuses than pluses, we liked the Ulefone Be Touch 2 smartphone. With a new display and an improved camera, the manufacturer has launched a very strong player on the market, which will be difficult for many competitors to compete with, even for the Elephone P7000 smartphone. And in this light, there is absolutely no point in buying the first model, at least until the cost drops to at least $160-170.
The Ulefone Be Touch 2 smartphone definitely deserves attention and is an important step in the development of the manufacturer to reach new heights. While it is sold at a price of $180 - take it, you won't regret it!
Link to product - pending.
Specifications Ulefone Be Touch 2:
- Device type: smartphone/phablet.
- Available colors: metallic gray and silk white.
- Housing materials: plastic, metal frame and glass.
- Operating system: Android 5.1 Lollipop.
- Networks: GSM 850/900/1800/1900 (band5, band8, band3, band2)
WCDMA 850/900/1900/2100 (band5, band8, band2, band1)
FDD-LTE 800/1800/2100/2600 (band20, band3, band1, band7)
- SIM cards: Dual SIM (SIM + Micro-SIM), Dual Standby
- Processor: 64 bit, 8 cores Cortex A53 x 1.7 GHz, MT6752
- Video accelerator: Mali-T760 MP2, 700 MHz
- RAM: 3GB LPDDR3 800MHz
- Storage Memory: 16GB + Micro-SD slot up to 64GB
- Interfaces: Dual band Wi-Fi 2.4G/5G (a/b/g/n/ac), Hotspot, Bluetooth v4.0, Micro-USB v2.0, OTG, 3.5mm audio, OTA
- Applications: FM radio
- Screen: IPS LTPS 5.5'', 1920x1080 pixels, OGS, 401 ppi, 2.5D Arc Gorilla Glass 3
- Cameras: rear - 12.98 MP (4160x3120, f/1.8 , Sony IMX214 Exmor RS, autofocus, OIS, dual LED flash (continuous shooting, digital zoom, geo-tagging, touch focus, face detection, HDR, panorama, ISO selection) , exposure compensation, white balance, timer, scene selection), video 1080p@30fps + 4.92 MP (2560x1920); front - OmniVision OV5648, CMOS BSI+, 80°, LED flash (face beauty)
- Navigation: GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS
- Battery: removable, SONY 3050 mAh, fast charging function
- Dimensions: 158.1 x 77.4 x 8.6mm
- Weight: 160 g