International smartphone maker UMi prides itself in striking the perfect balance between offering high-end specs and affordable price tags. 2016 in particular saw UMi introduce UMi Touch, the company’s premiere “user-defined” smartphone, in addition to the UMi Super, Max, Plus and Plus E.
That harmony continues with the arrival of UMi Z, the world’s first flagship smartphone to take advantage of the Helio X27 chipset. It’s doing so with the simple objective to “Deliver the most comprehensive and satisfying User Experience the best we can,” according to UMi.
The latest model, appropriately dubbed UMi Z, boasts an all-metal finish – save for the two iPhone 7-inspired plastic antennas narrowly lining the device. This level of uniformity would be preposterous using a plastic shell, not to mention the metal body of the UMi Z is certain to attract the hands and eyes of only the most tasteful individuals.
Powered by the 10-core Helio X27 chipset
UMi Z is more than just a pretty face. Thanks to the inclusion of the Helio X27, Mediatek’s 2017 deca-core flagship CPU, the UMi Z effortlessly puts its competitors to shame.
Take the Samsung Exynos 8890, for instance, famously used in the Galaxy S7; while this processor clocks in at 2.4GHz, the Helio X25 expels a blistering clock speed of 2.6GHz. Comparatively, the Snapdragon MSM8996 also runs at 2.4GHz while Apple’s A9 chip is recorded as 1.85GHz.
Equipped with an 875MHz Mali-T880 MP4 graphics chip, the Helio X27 can handle even the most stringent games and apps at the highest visual settings and frame rates. Meanwhile, the option of internal storage up to 256GB indicates that a high volume of said games and apps can be installed at once. And, with 4GB of RAM attached, the UMi Z can move between apps without hindrance.
The tri-cluster CPU architecture used in the Helio X27 is energy-efficient as well. Because it utilizes only the most powerful cores during intensive tasks, battery drainage is reduced amid more cursory exercises. Whether you want to play with power or perform a light web search, the Helio X27 is smart enough to know exactly how much clout you really need in any given scenario.
One charge a day keeps the battery awake
An upgraded chipset means nothing without the battery used to give it life. Luckily, UMi has gone ahead and sized up the non-removable battery as well. Featuring 3,780mAh of raw vigor, it may seem like a downgrade from the previous 4,000mAh battery at first glance. However, due to the low power consumption rate of the Helio X27, the UMi Z’s battery is 13% better than before.
What’s more, a smaller battery equates to a more compact device boasting a sleeker form factor and reduced weight. It also means that, in conjunction with the embedded PE+ Quick Charge functionality, a full day’s charge only takes 30 minutes. Even without a slightly fuller 4,000mAh battery, the X27’s tri-cluster tech makes sure that your UMi Z will last even longer than many phones sporting 4,000mAh batteries.
These cameras are a triple-threat
No phone would be complete without a set of high-pixel density photo capturing equipment. The UMi Z in particular bears an impeccable 13MP front softlight camera with a unique twist.
When taking pictures in low-light environments with the UMi Z, the front sensor is capable of combining pixels to accrue more light together by tapping into the softlight LED. Not only does this make photos brighter, but it also cuts down on noise, lending to vibrant, crystal-clear imagery produced in almost any condition.
On the rear, the 13MP Samsung S5K3L8 holsters both PDAF focus tech in addition to Laser Focusing, located immediately next to the main camera. The quad-LED light will look familiar to those accustomed to the iPhone 7 since, well, it’s the same. By honing in on this, the UMi Z makes good on its promise to avert blurry photos at all costs.
Only the best in screens, displays and operating systems
As far as sound goes, it doesn’t get much better than the UMi Z’s premium NXP TFA9890 speaker driver IC. Entertaining a never-before-seen 9.5V boost from a built-in DC/DC converter, the audio driver IC manages to thwart clipping with ease.
That goes without mentioning its knack for maintaining high sound quality even at maximum volume. Acting as the most powerful micro speaker driver yet, the TFA9890 will make your ears scream with delight whether you’re listening to your favorite song or just kicking back watching a show on Netflix.
The UMi Z’s display only adds to the premium quality of the phone. Here we’re presented with an LTPS IGZO FHD 441 pixel-per-inch (PPI) display expertly crafted by Sharp. The real headliner is the screen’s high-color saturation which covers 95% of the NTSC range. This, in turn, makes for a 17% improvement to the overall color saturation represented on the device, allowing for a vivid demonstration of colors.
Furthermore, the display is coated with the renowned Dragontrail glass. This scratch-resistant product excels with flying colors at safeguarding the UMi Z’s display, with or without an added layer of protection overtop. It should also be noted that the Dragontrail glass used on the UMi Z exhibits superior strength and texture over those used by competing smartphones.
Lastly, although UMi suggests that it’s already possible for the company to release a phone with Android 7 Nougat directly out of the box, it’s opting to forego doing so this time around. Instead, the UMi Z hoists the weight of Android 6 Marshmallow out of the box, the version UMi claims is the most stable and reliable rendition of Android.
In the coming months, though, UMi plans on seeding Nougat when the software becomes more dependable. Regardless, both flavors of Android that UMi provides will be based on the clean, stock versions of the code handed over by Google. The smooth and steady ROM will be just as customizable by you as any other version of Android, only this time, the manufacturer isn’t bombarding you with unwanted apps and “features”.
Pricing is just icing – on the cake
On December 26, the UMi Z will commence pre-sales with a listing price of $279 (about £226, AU$386). If you’re sold on the UMi Z, you can visit the company’s website here (opens in new tab) and take part in what UMi calls the “subscribe surprise” event. Purchase a UMi Z for yourself after participating, and you’ll be qualified for a classified – albeit compelling – surprise!
Sponsored by UMi