Ufone Smart U5, A Pocket friendly Android Smartphone [Review]

 

Ufone recently launched a 3G enabled Android smartphone with fairly decent specifications in the market ─ and that too at a ridiculously low price of Rs. 5,999. As a result it got a tremendous response from customers and with in a week or so, this phone was sold-out at almost all locations in the country.

While Ufone has promised to refill the stock in the coming week, we’ve prepared a short review of this device for your consideration. Let’s begin with the un-boxing and hands-on tour of this device:

Design:

Ufone smart U5 phone is a modified version of b.social 4 phone from the UAE based company, Emitac Mobile Solution. At first glance it looks like a Y-series phone from Huawei, and the back pattern also resembles with Y300.

notifications

This phone is almost 118.5mm tall, 63mm wide and 10.7mm thick. The body is made of plastic, and currently it is sold only in black color.

Due to its size, Ufone U5 feels good in hands. Its easy to hold, control and operate.

 

The build quality of this phone is reasonable and the materials look sturdy. I haven’t tried but if you happen to drop this phone from 4-5 feet height, I suspect that it can survive unless you drop it face down.

usb-port

The front side features 4 inch IPS display with WVGA resolution (480×800). Though its an IPS panel but the viewing angles aren’t so great, however the color saturation and brightness levels are good. You won’t notice the low resolution of this device unless you are watching some high definition videos or playing 3D games.

The default Ufone wallpapers have a low resolution and makes the screen look bad, so don’t forget to use a custom wallpaper.

power-key

One thing you must keep in mind is that this screen doesn’t feature any kind of protective layer and will attract scratches quickly, so the use of screen protector is recommend (one protector is provided in the box).

Above the screen there’s the regular array of earspeaker, proximity & light sensors and 0.3-megapixel camera.

headphones

Three touch sensitive keys are placed just below the screen, unfortunately these are not lit and you will find it hard to use them in low lighting conditions.

volume

Power/unlock key is placed on the right and volume rocker is on the left, both of these can be reached using one hand only. Headphones jack is on top and microUSB port along with microphone are placed on the bottom.

The back hosts a primary 5-megapixel snapper along with a single LED flash light. The black plate has curved edges and a texture, which makes it quite comfortable to hold.

back

Removing the back plate reveals a loudspeaker just above the camera, surprisingly there is no grille on the back plate. As a result you will get muffled sound and a lot of vibration while listening to songs at high volume.

internal

You’ll also find microSD, mini SIM and battery slots under the cover. You can easily use a microSIM card in this slot, however you have to adjust the nanoSIM carefully so it touches the connectors.

One more thing I’ve noticed that the SIM card slot is up side down, so if you are getting no SIM card errors, don’t freak out.

sim-mem

This phone is network locked to Ufone only, so you won’t be able to use other network SIM cards unless you unlock the phone first.

Operating System & UI:

Smart U5 phone runs on Android 4.3 Jelly Bean operating system with no customizations, so you will get pure Android experience.

home-1

Most of our readers would be familiar with Vanilla Android ─ there are couple of homescreens, where you can put some shortcuts and widgets, an app drawers which lists all of installed applications on the phone in chronological order and swiping from top brings notifications drawer with quick toggles.

Google Apps and some other apps like; Facebook, BB Messenger and Snapdragon Battery Guru comes pre-installed with this phone. There is also a Ufone 3GVAS application, which as per description allows you to make and receive 3G videos calls, however every time I’ve tried to make a call, it gives “not supported” error message.

ufone-3g-app

Ufone website mentions that this phone could be upgraded to the latest flavor of Android (KitKat 4.4). However it doesn’t feature OTA (Over the air) updates and I assume that users have to visit the CSC or download a patch from the Ufone website to upgrade their devices.

home-2

Hardware & Performance:

Smart U5 features Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 chipset, a quad-core processor clocked at 1.2GHz and 400MHz Adreno 305 GPU. It packs 512MB of RAM and 4GB ROM. It can also take microSD cards up to 32GB.

The hardware specs aren’t so phenomenal and the RAM seems quite low for an Android phone, however at this price this the best you can get. Nevertheless the performance of this device is remarkably reasonable.

bench-1

bench-2

You won’t find any lag in the normal operation of this phone, as there is no bloatware and fancy UI customizations, so everything feels smooth and buttery.

It can run multiple apps, like Facebook, Chrome, Twitter etc without breaking a sweat and you can also play some of the demanding games on it. However there may be some lag and you’ll find that the graphics are not up to mark.

Some regular games, including Temple run, Minion rush, Angry Birds, Battle Monkeys etc work just fine on this device. The default browser performance is also very good (you can see the quick and smooth scrolling of pages in the video).

You’ll get nearly 1GB space for apps and games, so if you are trying to install some resource hungry applications like Asphalt 8, don’t forget to put a microSD card in the phone.

This is a 3G enabled handset and you can use Ufone 3G services with this phone. At a good coverage area, you can get 3-4 Mbps speed with Ufone Ultra 3G package.

You can also watch 1080p videos on this device, however you may have to use third-party software like MX player as the default video player playback could be choppy and jittery.

As mentioned earlier, there is no speaker grille in the back cover, as a result the sound is muffled. However it is still quite loud and you can adjust the volume levels and audio effects with Snapdragon Audio+ utility. This phone also has a built in FM radio, but you’ll need to plug in the headphones to use it.

Camera & Video:

Smart U5 packs a primary 5-megapixel snapper on the back, coupled with a single LED flash. On the front there is 0.3 megapixel camera, capable of taking VGA photos.

Camera is not one of the main selling point of this phone, however the performance is much better as compared to other low-end Android phones.

camera

In decent lighting conditions, it capture images with great detail and vibrant colors. Although it struggles a bit with high contrast scenes and doesn’t perform well in low light either.

The LED flash helps taking photos in dark, however due to significant shutter lag the photos are often over/under exposed. It takes almost 2-3 seconds to lock the focus and if the subject is moving, you’ll get blurred photos.

The Camera application uses the stock UI, which isn’t very user friendly and you have to go deep down in the settings even for some basic functions like turning on/off the flash light.

camera-adsf

Image controls are placed on the right, with the Blue button you can start shooting photos, the icon below shutter allows you to quickly switch between camera and camcorder, however the panorama mode is missing. For settings and use of secondary camera you have to use the settings button above shutter.

The camera allows you to take up to 5 megapixel images with 4:3 aspect ratio, however the live view is shown in 16:9 ratio, which creates a little confusion for users. The secondary camera can take VGA photos, but the quality is not up to mark and there’s a lot of noise in the images.

Smart U5 is capable of recording 720p videos with the primary camera with a maximum duration of 30 minutes. You can use the LED flash light while recording videos but auto focus / touch to focus feature is not available in video recording.

The secondary camera is capable of recording VGA quality videos, which on the phone doesn’t look so good, however while using the camera for video calling, the result is impressive.

Sample Images Shot by Ufone U5

IMG_20140909_162253

IMG_20140911_175243

IMG_20140911_175353

6x Zoom:

Battery:

This phone comes with 1450mAh battery, which seems to be quite short for a 3G enabled Android phone. The battery would not even last for a single day for most of the users.

In our tests it ran out of juice in just couple of hours while using 3G network and keeping the screen continuously on. It performs a little better with a WiFi connection, still it drains pretty fast.

battery

Games and video playback drains the battery in less than 5 hours, so power users have to charge this device multiple times a day.

Usual and average usage may give you 10-12 hours with the battery on this phone.

It takes an hour and half to charge the battery with the wall charger provided in the box. You can also use any USB connection to charge this device.

Pre-installed Battery Guru application from Qualcomm claims to extend the battery life by analyzing the usage pattern, however it doesn’t change anything at all.

Pricing and Availability:

Ufone Smart U5 is available in all the cities where Ufone has 3G coverage. You can get this phone from your nearest Ufone Customer Service Center at a price of Rs. 5,999.

This phone comes with 6 months warranty and it is currently available only in Black color. Prepaid users will also get 500MBs of data volume each month for three months.

final

Verdict:

Smart U5 is one of the best low-end Android devices I’ve used so far. At this price it beats the competition with a clear margin. Not only it packs decent hardware, the real performance of this device is also very pleasing.

You won’t find any phone with these specifications in the market for a price this low, even the cheapest QMobile phones comes with a high price tag and low specs. I am not sure if Ufone is making any profit out of this deal, but surely they have shaken up the market.

This phone lacks a bit in Camera department and battery isn’t so impressive, but you shouldn’t expect otherwise, as it is a low end device targeted at a price conscious segment.

If you are getting your first phone or want to switch to a smartphone, U5 is the best option available in the market right now. People who are using high end devices should also consider it as their secondary phone. It offers you nearly all of the features you current smartphone has, and you can easily take it anywhere without any worries.

If you have any question or want to add anything in this review, use the comments section below.


  • Fakhre Alam

    a good phone , worth its price. take 6500rs or 7000 and be the ram 1GB

    • Maroof Ahmed

      I really think Ufone will be coming up with a 1GB model, too. Considering the success of this one, they wouldn’t — and for that matter – SHOULDN’T hesitate. And, I’m damn sure it’s going to be within the 6-7k price range. Let’s just wait and hope for the best! :)

      • Qaim Raza

        I have upgraded its ram to 1 GB. yes its truth !!!

        • Amanullah Rana

          How to upgrade ram

    • Salman Saeed

      Price should be as Rs. 7,000 – 8,000 and RAM 1GB plus they should make display at least 4.3 inches with better viewing angles of the LCD and some more internal storage (798 MB internal storage is quite insufficient).

    • Qaim Raza

      HAHA but clever people can do this, ram can be shared through memory card i have done and now my ram is 1 GB !!!!!!! (917 mb )usable which is enough to run heaviest games too…. when combined with a blazzzing fast Quad-core processor and Adreno 305 GPU

      • Fakhre Alam

        well i know about that app but it doesn’t work well. DDR3 memory can’t be compared with eMMC

  • mohsinraja

    salam, meun ny use tu nhi kya pr agr 1Gb ram aur 5inch lcd aur battery power kuch zyda hoti tu ak perfect phone hota, lekn abi b low price smartphone pakistan mein mary khyal sa yeh he hai

    • Ufone may introduce a mid-range handset with better specifications in the next couple of months :)

    • Arsalan Shah

      I say ”agar” 2GB RAM, 5.2” FHD LCD, 13MP Rear Cam, 5MP Front Cam, aur Battery Power 3,000mAh hota to ek ”zyada” perfect phone hota :P

      • TJ

        chawal admi

      • Qaim Raza

        bhai kya 6666 mai jaan lega ????????????????????

    • Monster

      Na Shukray mat bano

  • architects in chennai

    Images here are attractive. best blog.

    • Thanks!

      • PeeDroid MiNi L100

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  • Ahmad

    how to get it network unlocked

    • It should be easy for someone with a little knowledge of programming, but I think Ufone should unlock the phone, 2 months after purchase. It would be fair, whats your say?

      • Fakhre Alam

        agree, i think phones should come network locked as unlocking it is not a bug deal at all.

        • Ahsan Sagheer Baloch

          what you say,should i purchase it?………..please tell me on my this number 03036670072

          • Shaykh ul Islam Tahir ul Qadri

            No you should not purchase this phone deposit your money in my account.

            • Zahid

              is there any to block shaykh ul islam tahir ul qadri?

              • Shaykh ul Islam Tahir ul Qadri

                aap k uncle nawaz sharif bhi nhi kar sakty..

                • hahaha… You Nailed it Sir :P

            • Sure Sir

          • Fakhre Alam

            well if 6000rs is your max budget then go for it otherwise wait for a better version from ufone. they willl release it soon.

      • Shaykh ul Islam Tahir ul Qadri

        Inqalab ka bad phala kam is phone ko unlock karna hai.

        • Container

          Jab jail mein policemen kuch karengy to Inqalab hi ayega :D
          aisa inqalab jo kisi ny nahi dekha hoga :P
          bhook hartal ha to sara din container sy bahr reh kar dekaho Tahir-ul-pqadri! :D

          tumahin to ab face saving milna bhi mushkil ha…

          • Shaykh ul Islam Tahir ul Qadri

            aap apna naam list main likhwa dain inqalab kay bad milain gay.

        • Maroof Ahmed

          hahaha you DA REAL MVP!

      • Maroof Ahmed

        If not 2 months after purchase, at least after the warranty period expires, they should!

  • noman

    This is a perfect set in such a low price.

    • Ahsan Sagheer Baloch

      is ki price kiya h jnab???

      • Muhammad Tufail

        oye teri khair howay…what a killer question…lols

      • Ahsan

        its Rs. 59999

  • Azi

    Good enough :P

  • Qmobile

    Nothing can beat qmobile. This mobile has got 512 MB ram ..so be very very careful before buying this lowest-end possible mobile. Don’t expect lag-free mobile like Qmobile or games running like they run in Qmobile.
    Finally be it 5K or 10K don’t go around purchasing this mobile and throwing your money in the bin!

    • Nimo

      Jal jaye tu burnol lagao…. Qmobile ki sakht jali hay Ufone say

    • umer

      Qmobile is lag free ? Nice joke

      • Altaf Hussain from: London

        well, i can rephrase you statement as:

        “Andriod is lag-free ? nice joke”

        lol… bolti bund?

        Mera jawab kuch youn ha..sun lo bachyyyy:

        ab kal ka lo*da humain Qmobile ka batey ga? Ab saathon ho hukum karonga to zindagi bhar qmobile ky dewany ban jao gy

    • Qaim Raza

      abay to processor quadcore hai aur gpu adreno 305 hai mery pas qmobile noir a11 jo 7000 ka hai and its offering dual core 1 GHZ mtk processor or ram 512 hi hai aur screen size 3.5 inches hai agar ap in do sets ko compare karo to u5 is 10 times better and still it is cheaper (rs 6666) than qmobile so ufone wins whereas for qmobile m!ddl3 F!ng3R ;) :P

  • khatri

    My cousin just bought this set, the volume and power keys are very delicate 3rd class material, just like 10rs chinese toy, also the body.
    But price k hisab se yehi chez milegi bhai

    • You have no idea what you are talking about, eh?

    • Maroof Ahmed

      seriously? :/ you really need to get your facts straightened, dude!

  • Farhan UL HAQ

    why shy of speaking…… please show the available RAM ! some games like dead triger ! appreciate your effort though….

    • I don’t play much games and the format loved by most of our readers. Let’s make a poll and ask users if they want an unboxing with voice-over or not, what do you say?

      • chemma Khusra

        your unboxing videos are alright. It is for everyone. No language barrier.

    • Ahsan

      don’t you think 512MB sufficient?
      street fights runs with 200km/h :)

    • Qaim Raza

      guy u can upgrade its ram to 1 GB i have done so !!!!!!!!!!

      • einstein

        how ????????????

  • Eli Ehsan

    #ThankYouChohan :)

    • LOL @ the #Hashtag

      • Moavviz Suhail

        why is this woody-esque toy always in ur reviews?

        • Arsalan Shah

          It’s his childhood toy! :P

          • Maroof Ahmed

            LOL! that’s what I thought! haha

  • jajju

    Its wifi and signal reception are excellent. Something iphone and samsung etc lack miserably at. Can anyone check it in a basement to confirm my theory?

  • Muhammad Aamir

    Muhammad Zohair Chohan, Good Review..!!

    • Thanks Aamir!

      • Usman Rashid

        Q. Is it just me or does your handest sometimes goes crazy? And by crazy I mean the phone automatically starts opening menus especially date&time menu or starts typing messages itself.

        • Its just you, make sure to wipe the screen with damp cloth.

        • Ahsan

          Usman Bhai, warranty claim kren na.

        • Salman Saeed

          Assalaam-o-Alaikum,
          I recently got this Ufone Smart U5… I faced the same issue (I think) 2-3 times that my phone went crazy and started typing automatically for some seconds… I re-started (reboot) the phone then it did not happen again !!
          Thx.

  • Guest

    Nice Review @kofmzc:disqus Waiting for kitkat update and unlocking method :P

  • Salman Khan

    Nice Review @kofmzc:disqus

    Now waiting For KitKat update and Unlocking method :P

    • Salman Saeed

      Will this phone get KitKat update??? Really??

      • Salman Khan

        Yes it is expected before 20 December

  • PeeDroid MiNi L100

    Are those Audionic Classic 7 Speakers Good, Me Finna Buy Them!!

    • Guest

  • iUsmanAli

    Kahan se mile ga yar yeh ? keh rahe hain stock khatam ho gae hai ,, next stock kab tak aye gi?

    • Ahsan

      InshaAllah next week.

    • Salman Saeed

      Haan filhal khatam ho gaya hay suna hay.

    • Salman Saeed

      Try at olx (if available there) I got from there :-P

  • Abu Zaid

    Although the best deal for Affordable Smart Phone in Pakistan by a Carrier, we should still try get even better deals. Just today, Android One became available in India, which is around Rs. 10,000 but is probably 3 times better then this Model. Hopefully the Carriers will try to bring those into our Market as well.

  • Adil

    you know you can talk during the video review? instead of the annoying music otherwise good review

    • Arsalan Shah

      hahaha good point, still appreciate @kofmzc:disqus’s efforts as what he did was more than enough for readers like me :)

  • worldcolleges

    Best specification. useful for marketers.

  • Ahmed

    can we use Telenor sim in this mobile

    • Ahsan

      No, U5 only supports Ufone SIM.

  • Hassan Salman Dita

    Battery with just 1450 mAH is pretty bad nowadays.. must be atleast 2100 mAH to stand a chance to get through the day. World of Smartphones!

    • Arsalan Shah

      Battery should be over 3,000 mAh if you ask me! and the cam should be at least 13MP, front cam 5MP, 2GB Ram, 64GB memory, 5” FHD Display, and the price should be under Rs. 2,000/=!!! That would be even better. :P

      • Salman Saeed

        Hahaha… Wake up boy :-D

  • Packers and Movers In Tnagar

    This content gives information about the features of mobile..

  • Bilal

    With Android One coming to Pakistan by the end of the year, it would be interesting to see how these phones compare to those.

  • FARMAN RASOOL

    is this mobile support other networks????

    • Ahsan

      U5 only supports Ufone SIM.

  • Mudassir Hassan

    also tell about its touch quality
    want to know about that.

  • Tayyab Hasan

    kuch bol bhi liya kro video main..

  • thandmahol

    Only 1 GB for apps after taking out system reserved space and other things out of 4 GB. Meagre RAM.

  • Online Florist In Trichy

    nice images here. best post.

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  • izzi

    kya stock availablw hay karachi may?

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  • Maroof Ahmed

    A very decent, and unbiased review, Muhammad Zohair Chohan! Keep it up, bro! :)

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  • Haris Humayun

    Bought Gfive G6 in 8300 I think which is far better then this phone with better camera and ram and better look :)

  • international lawfirm in india

    The pocket friendly android is good.

  • Shehzad

    The picture of sim card slot shows WCDMA written. Does it mean that it supports wireless phone connection as well?

  • how to unlock ufone network..to use other sims..?

    • Salman Saeed

      Currently it seems impossible !!

      • Tabhi i didn’t but it

  • Salman Saeed

    Very nice phone in this price range I must say… I am using it and I found it as below:
    Performance is smooth for normal use. If you use many (heavy) apps simultaneously then it can be a little bit laggy.
    Camera is not so good but okay with this price. I will rate it as “Average”.
    RAM is okay as this is cheapest phone. I use facebook, whatsapp, Sms, Messenger etc simultaneously (using multi tasking) the phone does not lag (noticeably) and works 90% smoothly.
    Display is just normal (okay level) basically I am not happy with its viewing angles while it is IPS LCD but not so good IPS.
    Overall the phone is good with this price tag Rs. 5,999/-
    4 Star out of 5 (Y) :)

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  • Ramsha

    I went to the service center yesterday, for the second time, and the stock wasn’t available.. Does anyone
    know when it will be available again?
    -From Islamabad

  • Omer

    First of all, it supports standard Sim not mini, however like recent Huawei sets, Sim slots is designed in a way that it can accommodate both standard and micro Sim.
    Second, I agree about its performance for normal use and browsing through menu, but i don’t think running more than 3 social apps mentioned in review are smooth. Bottleneck of 512mb ram start showing up. Lags and shuttering, but better processor do help to avoid any app crash.
    Third, Secondary Camera is really bad, even in video call, colour generation is so week, sometimes it looks like black & white camera.
    Fourth, I disagree with review, in my case built-in battery guru software did enhance battery timing, but it start working after 3days learning period.
    Fifth, it’s new price on ufone site is 6666/-
    Lastly, it has good built quality but mine giving problem to detect headphone inserted even they are not (after one and half month usage) planning to claim it in warranty.
    Plz note that I am not a critic, I admit it’s great value in this price. I just mentioned few things which might help someone in making his buying decision.

  • hasnain

    Did anyone know that how to unlock the network of this phone.

  • sjaykay

    The battery life on this phone is Horrible

  • ali

    would you be able to do a video recording test?

  • Syed Mohtashim

    is any possiblity to use it with other networks sim? because i am using it from last one month and its good to use for social apps. but uphone has a creepy 3g an high cost pakages

  • Azeem

    can we unlock this phone from market? or still unlocking not available?
    and what about size? is it like htc wildfire s?

  • Qaim Raza

    Guys Ram can be upgraded to 1 GB !!!!! and it will show a huge difference in performance previously i was unable to play heavy games like Asphalt 8,GTA San Andreas,Dead Trigger 1 and 2 etc. only some games were working like temple run parts even subway surf was lagging heavily and the other heavy games crashed(closing automatically)at startup i was worried enough becoz i bot this fune for gaming then i started search i also did googling tried installing many cleaning apps,boosters etc.but still i got no reponse then i realize that it is so becoz ram is only 404 mb (usable) and of which 70-75 % is used by the system and background apps so very less ram is left for playing games below 100 mb which is not enough at all.So i increased it to 1 GB by doing some certain work. NOW I AM FULLY UTILIZING THE POWER OF A “QUAD-CORE PROCESSOR” AND A POWER GPU.

    • Salman Khan

      How to do that pls tell us ?

  • Arslan Bajwa

    does it only works with ufone sim??

  • samia riaz

    There are virus in my u5 how to remove it