Design/ building quality - 70%
Display - 67%
Performance - 68%
Connectivity - 75%
Camera - 65%
Battery - 68%
Ulefone’s latest model available at the moment, is the Ulefone Metal. The Ulefone Metal is launched on the market as a lowrange competitor with some great features for a very competitive price, which is a retail price of only $ 129.99 and if you browse better you can even find it in promotion for an even better price. Is the Metal really good for its price or is it a waste of money? Let’s find out…
The Ulefone Metal is packed in the famous black box of Ulefone with the silver modelname printed on top of it. On the inside there is next to the phone a charger, an USB Cable, a flipcover, a screenprotector, a SIM needle and an English manual. All well protected by plastic bags and protection foam like Ulefone is always package their devices, no complaints about this. Furthermore, no headphones included but a screenprotector is already pre-applied and in our case with no bubbles.
Design and build quality
The name says it all and that is what we notice when we opened the box, the Ulefone Metal is completely made of an aluminum alloy with with nice round edges. Thanks to CNC technology the body of the Metal has a beautiful, attractive design and thanks to the grit blasting it has a premium feel. The Metal is available in black, grey and silver. A gold version has been announced.
The Ulefone Metal weighs a decent 155 grams and has a size of just 143 x 71 x 9.4mm. Combined with the 5 inch screen, the Metal is not the thinnest device but it still lies comfortable in the palm of your hand and can controlled easily.
On the frontside of the device, there is a nice 5 inch display with a front facing camera, earspeaker and capacitive buttons. Unfortunately there is no notification light on the Metal. A real mis in our opinion. On the backside you will find a camera with LED flash, a fingerprintsensor, the Ulefone logo in the middle and at the bottom of the backside the speaker. On top there is 3.5 audiojack input while on the bottom there is a microUSB port (why not the new Type-C standard that was also included on the Future?).
On the left side you will find the simtray which can be opened by the provided SIM needle. The SIM tray has place for a Micro SIM Card Slot and a Nano SIM Card. The SIM tray can also being used for a MicroSD storage extension when only one SIM is being used. On the right side the volume buttons are placed andthe power button.
The Metal is packed with a 5 inch screen which is very colorful and sharp. In our opinion the display responds very good on our fingers, although we have seen some complaints on the internet that people think it needs more optimalisation and have to be more sensitive. The 5-inch display has a resolution of 1280×720 pixels with a density of 32o dpi (720P) and provides vivid colors. The display is covered with 2.5D Corning Gorilla Glass 3 technology which means it’s protected for the most common scratches.
The Ulefone Metal is equipped with a MTK6753 Octa Core clocked at 1.3GHz, it’s not the fastest chipset around but it certainly does the job for daily tasks. Also the equipped 3GB of RAM inside and the ARM Mali T720 GPU gives this device a good multitasking experience.
With regular tasks like web browsing, youtube watching etc the Metal does the job. For gaming the Metal is okay for the overall games, the heavier games can have some lag. Playing Pokemon Go and games like Candycrush are no problem though. Overall the Metal scores an Antutu score of 37125 which is very descent for a smartphone of this price.
With the 16GB of storage you will have enough storage for media and apps and can be expanded by MicroSD up to 128GB. The Metal also features a fingerprint sensor on the back which we see a lot on other devices too nowadays. The sensor recognize our fingerprints without any problems and responds fast.
The Ulefone Metal is packed with a Sony 3050mAh lithium-ion polymer large capacity battery that is enough for 1.5 day with normal use. It’s non-removable, so you have no chance to change it yourself when your battery has died.
For your favorite moments, the rearcam of the Metal is a Sony IMX149 3rd generation CMOS 8MP camera with 5 piece lens which is interpolated to 13MP. The photos are avarage in daylight but when snapping pictures in the dark the photos are average from closeby while the objects from a distance are vague. Overall its quality fits with a low-range smartphone.
The back camera supports slow motion video recording and it supports recording 1080p videos, which is great.
The frontcam is a 2MP camera, which also interpolated (to 5MP) and manage to take some good selfies. We made some “normal” pictures with it and the quality is not bad at all for this resolution.
The Ulefone Metal offers dual SIM with dual standby and supports various LTE networks (please check your GSM region if LTE is supported or not). The signal was good in house and great at the outside.
The following networks are supported:
Network type: FDD-LTE+WCDMA+GSM
2G: GSM 850/900/1800/1900MHz
3G: WCDMA 900/2100MHz
4G: FDD-LTE 800/900/1800/2100/2600MHz
The WiFi of the Metal supports 802.11 b/g/n networks. The signal in our house was good. While the GPS on the Future has some issues we were curious how the GPS is working on this metal device. The Ulefone Metal has GPS /Glonass on board and is accurate and works as it should be while navigating through Google Maps and plying Pokemon Go.
Android 6.0 Marshmallow is pre-installed on the Ulefone Metal and runs very smoothly. We have tested it with Malwarebytes and it’s clean! The latest securitypatch is from May this year. As we known form other devices, Ulefone has tried stay as close as they can to stock android, but there are some enhancements made like a completely redesigned settings menu and an added floating multitask window where you can find different apps and widgets in a fast way. There is also a very useful feature for taking screenshots that also allows you to crop the image for further usage directly from the app. Of course Google Play Store is pre-installed/working on the Metal and the Metal features Miravision. Overall the software build is just great.
*update 21-10-2016* Despite the malwarebytes scan it seems like the Metal has got malware. According to the Ulefone forum a clean update is expected next week!