Umidigi S3 Pro using experience: an affordable phone with excellent camera and battery performance
By Town Kassis 2019-07-12 1244 0
Umidigi S3 Pro specs
2340 x 1080px
MediaTek Helio P70
48MP + 12MP
6GB RAM + 128GB ROM
Android 9 Pie
You get 6GB for the software to run in, plus 128GB of storage, so you may not need an SD card, freeing up one of the SIM card spaces. The Umidigi S3 Pro comes with a stock version of Android 9, well done Umidigi for leaving it alone.
The chip is an MediaTek Helio P70 running at 2.1GHz. The Helio P60 ran at 2.0 GHz so the difference shouldn’t be noticeable. But it is! Compared to my last P60 based phone, the S3 Pro runs far more smoothly and efficiently, and my last phone wasn’t bad. Perhaps that extra 2GB helps.
Downloading software updates, using 4G or WiFi, running standard software, it’s all a breeze. I haven’t tried any games yet and probably won’t, but I can’t foresee any problems. The screen should be great for gamers. There is no notification light, though.
The fingerprint scanner works very well, and it’s quick and accurate. Face recognition is a little slower but still reliable enough. I frequently press the side button to wake the phone up, to find that my phone is ready to use. At first, I thought this was a security flaw, but it was using face recognition that well. (It didn’t do it when my friend tried it).
The battery is a 5150 mAh unit so that it will last all day easily. If like me, you only switch on WiFi, data, Bluetooth, and NFC when required, you should get four days of use, maybe even more. There is 18W fast charging for when the power has gone, but no wireless charging.
Bluetooth (4.2) and NFC are both quick and reliable, and the network coverage is extensive, as always seems to be the case with Umidigi although my 4G signal strength seems slightly weaker than my previous phone. Wi-Fi is 2.4G/5G.
You get type-C USB and a headphone socket, but only one speaker, which is loud enough.
Umidigi S3 Pro camera
Which just leaves the cameras. The selfie is a 20MP shooter which takes shockingly good pictures. If you’re older, like me, with a few wrinkles, they are shown with alarming clarity. The front camera is where the phone is most remarkable. It’s a 48MP Sony unit with a 12MP support, and it is remarkable. I’m not using that word meaninglessly. When people see the pictures – they remark, usually with Wow! The camera uses a process called Pixel Binning (look it up) so that a standard pic will be taken at 12MP. This is meant to reduce ‘noise.’ You can switch the camera to the full 48MP though.
The results aren’t that much different. There is a narrow depth of field function (or bokeh as everybody now says) and slow-mo video, which works very well. The photo supplied is the very first picture I took with the phone. It’s unedited, and I used the default settings.
Umidigi S3 Pro price and availability
The Umidigi S3 Pro can be ordered direct from China for (currently) £215-£240, which represents excellent value. I ordered one from AliExpress and, two weeks later, one from GearBest. The GearBest one arrived three days before the other and was cheaper, so I wouldn’t bother with AliExpress! I have had four phones from GearBest, so far without incident so I can recommend them. You could also try DealExtreme (dx.com) or BangGood, but I can’t comment on their reliability. It comes in two varieties, an EU and non-EU version.
Umidigi S3 Pro: is it worth buying?
So, who should buy this phone? Well, anyone who can afford it. I haven’t found a reason not to buy it. You might be able to get a better phone if you pay three times the price, but this might be the very best at this price point. Umidigi has, on paper at least, produced some cracking phones recently, namely the F1, the F1 play and the Power but this is one phone that I can verify exceeds the spec and the hype. The Umidigi S3 Pro, a complete bargain and an excellent phone. So far.
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