The age of smartphone flagships may well be in its twilight. The fact of the matter is that our technology is getting to the point where most users really don’t need to shell out big bucks for a smartphone that suits their needs, and a $700+ annual investment just to stay on the bleeding edge is starting to seem less and less worth it.
Because of this, more and more users are shifting to the mid-range market, where increasingly high-end tech is being packaged into affordable yet sleek devices.
However, the mid-range can be a pit trickier to navigate than the upper tiers. There are more smartphones fitting in this category, for one thing, and not all $300 phones are created equal. In spite of this, one company has been consistently delivering a surprising amount of innovation and sophistication to the mid-range: UMi.
Although UMi is less well known outside of China, the company is establishing itself as a tour de force in the market worldwide, with their latest product being the MWC-unveiled UMIDIGI Z Pro. But how does it stack up against other devices in its price range?
Introducing the UMIDIGI Z Pro
The UMIDIGI Z Pro nestles neatly into that neologism “flagship killer.” It rocks surprisingly high-end specs packed into a stylish, full metal unibody frame. Under the hood you’ve got 4GB of RAM powering a 2.6Ghz MediaTek Helio X27. It’s got a very snappy fingerprint scanner, dual SIM capabilities, and a 12MP front camera.
However, the spec that the UMIDIGI Z Pro is really hanging its hat on is the dual camera setup on the back. Not only is this the first dual camera offering from UMi, but it also pushes the envelope in terms of what to expect from dual camera setups.
On most smartphones, even in the flagship tier, dual cameras are mismatched. There’s a primary camera and a secondary camera that assists in things like low-light photography, but which boasts a notably lower megapixel rating.
Both of the UMIDIGI Z Pro’s rear-facing cameras are 13MP, with one being responsible for RGB, and the other handling monochrome.
The difference that this makes is immediately noticeable. For one, tasteful black and white shots are hands down better than those taken by smartphones without a dedicated monochrome camera. Those devices have to rely on filters to convert color images to black and white, and something is certainly lost in translation.
Furthermore, since the secondary camera is a full resolution 13MP offering, it provides an increased degree of visual data which informs color balance and white balance of the final image. The result is a sincerely impressive camera strapped to a device in this price range. It’s a DSLR-grade Sony camera perfectly suited for photographers on the go.
Speaking of price range, the amount you’ll be forking over for this device is just $299.99, less than half of what iPhone fans and die-hard Samsung lovers are paying for their new devices every year.
UMi is even sweetening the deal by hosting a giveaway between now and March 8th. UMi will be handing out one Z Pro on the house, and ALL entrants will get $50 off pre-ordered Z Pros when ordering becomes available on March 9th.
Sure, the UMIDIGI Z Pro has put an interesting spin on the camera, but how do its hard specs stack up against other popular devices in the midrange?
UMIDIGI Z ProLG G4HTC One M9Xiaomi Mi5s
Display5.5-inch; 1,920x1,080 pixels5.5-inch; 2560 x 14405.0-inch; 1080x1920 pixels5.15 inch; 1080 x 1920 pixels
Operating SystemAndroid 6.0 Marshmallow, Android 7.0 Nougat coming soonAndroid 5.1 LollipopAndroid 7.0 NougatAndroid 6.0 Marshmallow
Dimensions150.4 x 73.2 x 7.6mm148.9 x 76.1 x 6.3-9.8 mm144.6 x 69.7 x 9.6 mm145.6 x 70.3 x 8.3 mm
Main Camera(s)13-megapixel & 13-megapixel16-megapixel20-megapixel12-megapixel
Processor2.6GHz octa-core Mediatek Helio X27Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 with X10 LTEQualcomm MSM8994 Snapdragon 810Qualcomm MSM8996 Snapdragon 821
Battery3,780mAh battery nonremovable3,000mAh battery nonremovable2840mAh battery nonremovable3200 mAh battery nonremovable
Fingerprint ScannerHome buttonBack CoverNoneHome button
Special FeaturesFast charging, Dual-SIM, Full Dual Camera SetupFast charging, ceramic and leather color availabilities Fast ChargingFast Charging
The table makes it pretty clear that the UMIDIGI Z Pro is a fairly standout offering. Although you’re forking over a few extra bucks to get this fresh-off-the-line, top-tier midranger, it certainly seems worth the additional investment. When you take into account that early adopters get an additional $50 off, the competition becomes even more fierce, and for photography buffs, the decision is a no-brainer.
Final Comparisons and Thoughts
UMi is certainly figuring out where to position themselves in the mid-range. Although there are cheaper options available, none are really offering quite the same bang-per-buck delivery as the UMi Z Pro. The decision is especially a no-brainer for photography fans looking for the best snaps they can get without shelling out the better part of a thousand bucks for it.
Long story short: the UMi Z Pro runs a clean, vanilla Android UI powered by competitive specs all packed into a sleek build. There’s a lot to love and little to pay. All in all, a very solid option for mid-range buyers.
Buy from UMi