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HMD Pulse Pro smartphone review – Affordable, reparable and highly unique?

Under new colours. With the HMD Pulse Pro, the makers of Nokia phones are introducing their first phone under their own name. On board are familiar qualities: update promises in the budget segment and good reparability. Is this enough to give the company a strong start in the highly contested budget phone segment?
HMD Pulse Pro
Processor
UNISOC T606 8 x 1.6 GHz, Cortex-A75 / A55
Graphics adapter
Memory
6 GB 
Display
6.65 inch 20:9, 1612 x 720 pixel 265 PPI, capacitive touchscreen, IPS, glossy: yes, 90 Hz
Storage
128 GB UFS 2.2 Flash, 128 GB 
, 100 GB free
Connections
1 USB 2.0, Audio Connections: 3.5mm audio jack, Card Reader: microSD (shared, up to 256 GB) , NFC, Brightness Sensor, Sensors: acceleration sensor, proximity sensor
Networking
802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (a/b/g/n = Wi-Fi 4/ac = Wi-Fi 5/), Bluetooth 5.0, 2G (850/​900/​1800/​1900), 3G (B1/​B5/​B8), 4G (B1/​B3/​B5/​B7/​B8/​B20/​B28/​B38/​B40), Dual SIM, LTE, GPS
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 8.6 x 163.2 x 75 ( = 0.34 x 6.43 x 2.95 in)
Battery
5000 mAh Lithium-Ion, 20-watt charging
Operating System
Android 14
Camera
Primary Camera: 50 MPix phase-comparison AF, LED flash, videos @1080p/​30fps (camera 1); 2.0MP, depth of field (camera 2)
Secondary Camera: 50 MPix Videos @1080p/​30fps
Additional features
Speakers: mono speaker, USB cable, SIM tool, 24 Months Warranty, IP52-certified, fanless
Weight
196 g ( = 6.91 oz / 0.43 pounds) ( = 0 oz / 0 pounds)
Price
179 Euro
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

Comparison with possible competitors

Bewertung
Datum
Modell
Gewicht
Laufwerk
Groesse
Aufloesung
Preis ab
77 %
05/2024
HMD Pulse Pro
T606, Mali-G57 MP1
196 g128 GB UFS 2.2 Flash6.65"1612x720
79 %
04/2024
Motorola Moto G24 Power
Helio G85, Mali-G52 MP2
197 g256 GB eMMC 5.1 Flash6.56"1612x720
80 %
04/2024
Samsung Galaxy A15
Helio G99, Mali-G57 MP2
200 g128 GB UFS 2.2 Flash6.50"2340x1080
80.2 %
02/2024
Xiaomi Redmi Note 13 4G
SD 685, Adreno 610
188.5 g128 GB UFS 2.2 Flash6.67"2400x1080

Case and specifications – Beautifully designed plastic chassis

A new player on the smartphone market is always somewhat special, but the manufacturer in question here is actually a well-known figure: HMD has been producing Nokia phones since 2016, aiming to bring reparability and sustainability to the budget segment.

The HMD Pulse Pro is one of the first devices launched under the company's actual name – there won’t be any more new Nokia phones in future. As a start, the manufacturer has released a smartphone costing around €180 (US$190) that features a plastic body in three colourways: Black Ocean, Twilight Purple and Glacier Green. We are looking at a green model for this review. 

All three colour variants have a glossy back that reflects light in several layers, creating a very stylish effect. But fingerprints may be visible after several hours of use.

The camera module is located at the top left corner of the rear and protrudes slightly from the body. It fits very cleanly in the chassis and looks sleek with its chamfered edges and dark material. The chassis has acceptable sturdiness: the device can flex with some force but doesn’t creak. Even a slight pressure can affect the liquid crystal in the display.

The front has a relatively large punch hole for the selfie camera and a somewhat prominent chin. That said, the phone’s design is fairly modern for the price bracket.

HMD has placed significant focus on the phone’s reparability. In collaboration with iFixit, the company is offering spare parts at fair prices (a replacement screen with a fix kit currently costs €45, or US$45). The corresponding guides can also be found on the website. HMD calls this “Gen 1 reparability” in a press release, suggesting future devices could offer even better reparability. 

The Pulse Pro has 128 GB of speedy UFS storage and 6 GB of RAM at its disposal. It likewise supports NFC, which can be used for mobile payment services and scanning tags. You can connect a pair of headphones via the 3.5 mm audio jack, and the USB-C port supports both charging and data transfer.

The HMD Pulse Pro offers two SIM slots, but using a microSD card to expand the storage will require forgoing one of them. The card reader performed pretty well in our tests with our Angelbird V60 reference microSD card, delivering typical transfer rates for this class of phone and maintaining fairly stable performance. 

Size comparison

163.5 mm / 6.44 in 74.5 mm / 2.93 in 9 mm / 0.3543 in 197 g0.4343 lbs163.2 mm / 6.43 in 75 mm / 2.95 in 8.6 mm / 0.3386 in 196 g0.4321 lbs162.2 mm / 6.39 in 75.6 mm / 2.98 in 8 mm / 0.315 in 188.5 g0.4156 lbs160.1 mm / 6.3 in 76.8 mm / 3.02 in 8.4 mm / 0.3307 in 200 g0.4409 lbs148 mm / 5.83 in 105 mm / 4.13 in 1 mm / 0.03937 in 1.5 g0.00331 lbs
SD Card Reader - average JPG Copy Test (av. of 3 runs)
Samsung Galaxy A15
  (Angelbird V60)
42.6 MB/s +11%
HMD Pulse Pro
  (Angelbird V60)
38.5 MB/s
Motorola Moto G24 Power
  (Angelbird V60)
37.6 MB/s -2%
Average of class Smartphone
  (12.4 - 77, n=88, last 2 years)
28.9 MB/s -25%
Xiaomi Redmi Note 13 4G
  (Angelbird V60)
24.3 MB/s -37%

Cross Platform Disk Test (CPDT)

05101520253035404550556065707580Tooltip
HMD Pulse Pro Mali-G57 MP1, T606, 128 GB UFS 2.2 Flash; SDCard Sequential Write 0.5 GB; Angelbird V60Angelbird V60: Ø37.1 (27.3-46.6)
Motorola Moto G24 Power Mali-G52 MP2, Helio G85, 256 GB eMMC 5.1 Flash; SDCard Sequential Write 0.5 GB; Angelbird V60: Ø37 (22.6-43.5)
Samsung Galaxy A15 Mali-G57 MP2, Helio G99, 128 GB UFS 2.2 Flash; SDCard Sequential Write 0.5 GB; Angelbird V60: Ø35.2 (23-46.3)
Xiaomi Redmi Note 13 4G Adreno 610, SD 685, 128 GB UFS 2.2 Flash; SDCard Sequential Write 0.5 GB; Angelbird V60: Ø26.5 (17.2-40)
HMD Pulse Pro Mali-G57 MP1, T606, 128 GB UFS 2.2 Flash; SDCard Sequential Read 0.5 GB; Angelbird V60: Ø74.4 (37-83.3)
Motorola Moto G24 Power Mali-G52 MP2, Helio G85, 256 GB eMMC 5.1 Flash; SDCard Sequential Read 0.5 GB; Angelbird V60: Ø76.7 (15.6-84)
Samsung Galaxy A15 Mali-G57 MP2, Helio G99, 128 GB UFS 2.2 Flash; SDCard Sequential Read 0.5 GB; Angelbird V60: Ø75.1 (47.4-81.9)
Xiaomi Redmi Note 13 4G Adreno 610, SD 685, 128 GB UFS 2.2 Flash; SDCard Sequential Read 0.5 GB; Angelbird V60: Ø76 (18.4-82.5)

Connectivity, software and operation – Complete with update promises

The HMD Pulse Pro supports up to Wi-Fi 5, meaning it’s capable of data rates between 300 and 350 Mbit/s. Though we saw minor fluctuations in our testing, transfer speeds remained quite stable overall.

Unfortunately, the new HMD phone doesn't support 5G. The device is also compatible with a limited number of 4G frequencies. As a result, whilst the Pulse Pro is usable across central Europe, you’ll need to check in advance whether it is able to access the 4G networks in your destination countries if you plan to travel further. In our tests at random locations in an urban environment, we found that the reception quality was solid but not as good as on high-end phones.

The phone ships with a fairly stock version of Android 14, but HMD has made a few changes that focus on digital detox. For example, the icons of preinstalled apps are in black and white, and the included ringtones are designed to be as calming as possible. Experts continue to work in this area to provide users with a more relaxing experience and help them put down their phones once in a while.

The manufacturer promises two OS updates (i.e. up to Android 16), which is by no means a given in this price range. Security updates will also be provided every quarter until at least May 2027. At the time of this review, the security patches were dated February 2024, meaning the next update should be round the corner.

The display is capable of running at 90Hz and thus responds swiftly and reliably to our inputs. The touchscreen works without any issues, even at its edges and corners. A fast and accurate fingerprint sensor is built into the right side of the device. The Pulse Pro also offers face unlock, but the light emitted by the display sometimes isn’t enough to make this feature work.

Networking
HMD Pulse Pro
802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
iperf3 transmit AXE11000
352 (min: 305) MBit/s ∼97%
iperf3 receive AXE11000
319 (min: 238) MBit/s ∼100%
Motorola Moto G24 Power
802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
iperf3 transmit AXE11000
358 (min: 342) MBit/s ∼98%
iperf3 receive AXE11000
289 (min: 275) MBit/s ∼91%
Samsung Galaxy A15
802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
iperf3 transmit AXE11000
364 (min: 352) MBit/s ∼100%
iperf3 receive AXE11000
285 (min: 259) MBit/s ∼89%
Xiaomi Redmi Note 13 4G
802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
iperf3 transmit AXE11000
364 (min: 336) MBit/s ∼100%
iperf3 receive AXE11000
317 (min: 293) MBit/s ∼99%
020406080100120140160180200220240260280300320340360Tooltip
HMD Pulse Pro; iperf3 receive AXE11000; iperf 3.1.3: Ø319 (238-341)
HMD Pulse Pro; iperf3 transmit AXE11000; iperf 3.1.3: Ø352 (305-369)

Cameras – More for snapshots

Taken with the front camera
Taken with the front camera

The megapixel counts of the cameras on the HMD Pulse Pro are easy to remember: both the main shooter and selfie camera have a resolution of 50MP. The rear camera is flanked by a second lens for creating a depth-of-field effect. However, this camera can't capture images on its own. 

Photos taken with the main camera are quite sharp but exhibit mediocre contrast: some details are lost in situations with a bright foreground and dark background. In the photo of our surroundings, some areas are slightly overexposed, and objects in the foreground as well as details on large surfaces appear blurry. Some areas in the photo likewise look washed out and lack contrast. The main camera can effectively brighten dark images with a light source, but this also results in the loss of detail in brighter areas. The image appears blurry and quite grainy overall. 

In our lab, under full lighting, the camera produced images with cool colour temperature. Occasionally, pixelated edges were observed around letters and numbers on a red background. But image quality is otherwise satisfactory. You can’t make out anything at all in photos taken at 1 lux of light. 

The HMD Pulse Pro can record videos at up to 1080p and 30 fps. Auto exposure is quite snappy, but autofocus is visibly laggy and not always very accurate. 

HMD has placed great emphasis on the 50MP selfie camera, which can be triggered using gestures such as a heart or peace sign. Our review team had a lot of fun with this very convenient feature. Sadly, the selfies themselves didn’t put us in such a good mood. Even at first glance, they look somewhat washed out and have hardly any detail in dark areas. Details appear fuzzy when the photos are enlarged.

Image Comparison

Choose a scene and navigate within the first image. One click changes the position on touchscreens. One click on the zoomed-in image opens the original in a new window. The first image shows the scaled photograph of the test device.

Main camera: plantMain camera: surroundingsMain camera: low light
ColorChecker
7 ∆E
7.6 ∆E
12.2 ∆E
12.9 ∆E
11.4 ∆E
11.7 ∆E
7.1 ∆E
14.8 ∆E
5.6 ∆E
7.6 ∆E
8.9 ∆E
8.5 ∆E
8.8 ∆E
11 ∆E
9.1 ∆E
3.7 ∆E
7.4 ∆E
13.7 ∆E
3.8 ∆E
4.1 ∆E
8.9 ∆E
11.2 ∆E
10.9 ∆E
5.5 ∆E
ColorChecker HMD Pulse Pro: 8.9 ∆E min: 3.66 - max: 14.83 ∆E
ColorChecker
29.6 ∆E
55.1 ∆E
39.8 ∆E
34.8 ∆E
45.6 ∆E
62.4 ∆E
53.7 ∆E
36.1 ∆E
44.2 ∆E
29 ∆E
65.1 ∆E
64.1 ∆E
31.5 ∆E
47.7 ∆E
37.8 ∆E
76.8 ∆E
44.6 ∆E
42 ∆E
94.3 ∆E
71.4 ∆E
52.5 ∆E
36.9 ∆E
23.8 ∆E
13.3 ∆E
ColorChecker HMD Pulse Pro: 47.17 ∆E min: 13.35 - max: 94.33 ∆E

Display – No PWM on the Pulse Pro's screen

Image of the subpixels
Image of the subpixels

The HMD Pulse Pro’s IPS display, with a resolution of 1,612 x 720, is slightly behind what you might find on competing devices from Samsung and Xiaomi, which come with Full HD AMOLED screens. That said, the display technology and pixel count aren’t unusual in this price bracket.

With a peak brightness of 501 cd/m², the display is bright enough for outdoor use on cloudy days. In direct sunlight, it becomes difficult to see anything on the screen due to reflections. Thankfully, the black level is low, allowing the panel to achieve an excellent contrast ratio in our measurement. The resulting high colour intensity is somewhat marred by a blue tint on the panel, which has moderate colour accuracy.

We didn’t detect any PWM flicker, even at very low brightness. 

459
cd/m²
474
cd/m²
446
cd/m²
479
cd/m²
501
cd/m²
495
cd/m²
465
cd/m²
458
cd/m²
449
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
tested with X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 501 cd/m² (Nits) Average: 469.6 cd/m² Minimum: 1.9 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 89 %
Center on Battery: 501 cd/m²
Contrast: 2947:1 (Black: 0.17 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 5.21 | 0.5-29.43 Ø5
ΔE Greyscale 6.3 | 0.57-98 Ø5.2
96% sRGB (Calman 2D)
Gamma: 2.297
HMD Pulse Pro
IPS, 1612x720, 6.65
Motorola Moto G24 Power
IPS, 1612x720, 6.56
Samsung Galaxy A15
Super AMOLED, 2340x1080, 6.50
Xiaomi Redmi Note 13 4G
AMOLED, 2400x1080, 6.67
Response Times
-10%
94%
94%
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
35.7 ?(18.8, 16.9)
39 ?(22.1, 16.9)
-9%
2 ?(1, 1)
94%
2.2 ?(1.1, 1.1)
94%
Response Time Black / White *
26.1 ?(12.7, 13.4)
28.6 ?(15.8, 12.8)
-10%
1.7 ?(0.8, 0.9)
93%
1.6 ?(0.7, 0.9)
94%
PWM Frequency
187
389.2
Screen
-25%
48%
70%
Brightness middle
501
499
0%
731
46%
940
88%
Brightness
470
497
6%
711
51%
922
96%
Brightness Distribution
89
93
4%
93
4%
96
8%
Black Level *
0.17
0.49
-188%
Contrast
2947
1018
-65%
Colorchecker dE 2000 *
5.21
4.82
7%
2.31
56%
1.2
77%
Colorchecker dE 2000 max. *
8.79
7.76
12%
3.51
60%
2.28
74%
Greyscale dE 2000 *
6.3
4.7
25%
1.7
73%
1.4
78%
Gamma
2.297 96%
2.073 106%
2.091 105%
2.27 97%
CCT
8524 76%
7445 87%
6424 101%
6503 100%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
-18% / -22%
71% / 60%
82% / 76%

* ... smaller is better

Display Response Times

Display response times show how fast the screen is able to change from one color to the next. Slow response times can lead to afterimages and can cause moving objects to appear blurry (ghosting). Gamers of fast-paced 3D titles should pay special attention to fast response times.
       Response Time Black to White
26.1 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 12.7 ms rise
↘ 13.4 ms fall
The screen shows relatively slow response rates in our tests and may be too slow for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.1 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 61 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is worse than the average of all tested devices (21.4 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
35.7 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 18.8 ms rise
↘ 16.9 ms fall
The screen shows slow response rates in our tests and will be unsatisfactory for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.2 (minimum) to 636 (maximum) ms. » 44 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is similar to the average of all tested devices (33.6 ms).

Screen Flickering / PWM (Pulse-Width Modulation)

To dim the screen, some notebooks will simply cycle the backlight on and off in rapid succession - a method called Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) . This cycling frequency should ideally be undetectable to the human eye. If said frequency is too low, users with sensitive eyes may experience strain or headaches or even notice the flickering altogether.
Screen flickering / PWM not detected

In comparison: 53 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 17744 (minimum: 5 - maximum: 3846000) Hz was measured.

CalMAN greyscale
CalMAN greyscale
CalMAN colour accuracy
CalMAN colour accuracy
CalMAN colour gamut
CalMAN colour gamut
CalMAN saturation
CalMAN saturation

Performance, emissions and battery life – Faster SoC needed

HMD has opted for a rather weak Unisoc T606 SoC for Pulse Pro. Even within this price range, there are now much more powerful phones available. In everyday use, you’ll have to contend with long waiting times and stuttering even when running basic apps or navigating through the menus.

However, HMD hasn’t cut corners when it comes to storage. The Pulse Pro uses UFS 2.2, which is fairly fast and reduces the time required to transfer and load data. This also helps the system to run quite smoothly despite having a relatively slow SoC.

We measured a peak temperature of 43.9°C (111.0°F) on the front of the phone. This is really noticeable and may even increase on warm days. The 3DMark stress test revealed that the SoC’s performance wasn’t affected by the heat.

On the bottom edge of the HMD Pulse Pro is a mono speaker that delivers decent sound. Its volume can be increased further with Audio Boost, but this will make it sound treble-heavy. The speaker sounds fuller with this feature disabled and delivers clear speech and vocals.

You can also connect external audio devices to the phone via the 3.5 mm audio jack or Bluetooth. In our testing, audio sounded clear with both methods. The Pulse Pro offers a good selection of wireless audio codecs: besides standard ones like SBC, AAC, aptX, aptX HD and LDAC, the slightly fancier Opus and LC3 are available as well.

The battery in the Pulse Pro has a capacity of 5,000 mAh, which is quite usual for most devices in this price bracket. The phone performed pretty well in our battery life comparison, lasting almost exactly 15 hours in our Wi-Fi test. It should have enough stamina to last a full day of frequent use. The phone can charge at up to 20 watts, but HMD didn’t include a charger.

Geekbench 6.2
Single-Core
Average of class Smartphone
  (193 - 2930, n=117, last 2 years)
1357 Points +261%
Samsung Galaxy A15
Mediatek Helio G99, Mali-G57 MP2, 4096
728 Points +94%
Xiaomi Redmi Note 13 4G
Qualcomm Snapdragon 685 4G, Adreno 610, 8192
478 Points +27%
Motorola Moto G24 Power
Mediatek Helio G85, Mali-G52 MP2, 8
416 Points +11%
HMD Pulse Pro
UNISOC T606, Mali-G57 MP1, 6144
376 Points
Average UNISOC T606
  (368 - 380, n=11)
375 Points 0%
Multi-Core
Average of class Smartphone
  (845 - 7408, n=117, last 2 years)
3767 Points +185%
Samsung Galaxy A15
Mediatek Helio G99, Mali-G57 MP2, 4096
1942 Points +47%
Xiaomi Redmi Note 13 4G
Qualcomm Snapdragon 685 4G, Adreno 610, 8192
1544 Points +17%
Motorola Moto G24 Power
Mediatek Helio G85, Mali-G52 MP2, 8
1423 Points +7%
Average UNISOC T606
  (1285 - 1482, n=11)
1364 Points +3%
HMD Pulse Pro
UNISOC T606, Mali-G57 MP1, 6144
1324 Points
Geekbench 5.5
Single-Core
Average of class Smartphone
  (119 - 2138, n=202, last 2 years)
919 Points +199%
Samsung Galaxy A15
Mediatek Helio G99, Mali-G57 MP2, 4096
552 Points +80%
Xiaomi Redmi Note 13 4G
Qualcomm Snapdragon 685 4G, Adreno 610, 8192
437 Points +42%
Motorola Moto G24 Power
Mediatek Helio G85, Mali-G52 MP2, 8
357 Points +16%
HMD Pulse Pro
UNISOC T606, Mali-G57 MP1, 6144
307 Points
Average UNISOC T606
  (273 - 313, n=19)
306 Points 0%
Multi-Core
Average of class Smartphone
  (473 - 6681, n=202, last 2 years)
3043 Points +140%
Samsung Galaxy A15
Mediatek Helio G99, Mali-G57 MP2, 4096
1879 Points +48%
Xiaomi Redmi Note 13 4G
Qualcomm Snapdragon 685 4G, Adreno 610, 8192
1775 Points +40%
Motorola Moto G24 Power
Mediatek Helio G85, Mali-G52 MP2, 8
1349 Points +6%
HMD Pulse Pro
UNISOC T606, Mali-G57 MP1, 6144
1270 Points
Average UNISOC T606
  (708 - 1324, n=19)
1206 Points -5%
PCMark for Android - Work 3.0
Average of class Smartphone
  (4609 - 21385, n=201, last 2 years)
11960 Points +48%
Motorola Moto G24 Power
Mediatek Helio G85, Mali-G52 MP2, 8
9437 Points +17%
Samsung Galaxy A15
Mediatek Helio G99, Mali-G57 MP2, 4096
9195 Points +14%
HMD Pulse Pro
UNISOC T606, Mali-G57 MP1, 6144
8059 Points
Average UNISOC T606
  (6637 - 8303, n=19)
7338 Points -9%
Xiaomi Redmi Note 13 4G
Qualcomm Snapdragon 685 4G, Adreno 610, 8192
7305 Points -9%
3DMark
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) Unlimited
Average of class Smartphone
  (317 - 20131, n=172, last 2 years)
7014 Points +618%
Samsung Galaxy A15
Mediatek Helio G99, Mali-G57 MP2, 4096
2568 Points +163%
Xiaomi Redmi Note 13 4G
Qualcomm Snapdragon 685 4G, Adreno 610, 8192
1597 Points +63%
Motorola Moto G24 Power
Mediatek Helio G85, Mali-G52 MP2, 8
1438 Points +47%
HMD Pulse Pro
UNISOC T606, Mali-G57 MP1, 6144
977 Points
Average UNISOC T606
  (959 - 989, n=18)
975 Points 0%
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) Unlimited Graphics
Average of class Smartphone
  (267 - 33376, n=171, last 2 years)
10140 Points +1123%
Samsung Galaxy A15
Mediatek Helio G99, Mali-G57 MP2, 4096
2411 Points +191%
Xiaomi Redmi Note 13 4G
Qualcomm Snapdragon 685 4G, Adreno 610, 8192
1427 Points +72%
Motorola Moto G24 Power
Mediatek Helio G85, Mali-G52 MP2, 8
1263 Points +52%
HMD Pulse Pro
UNISOC T606, Mali-G57 MP1, 6144
829 Points
Average UNISOC T606
  (814 - 834, n=18)
825 Points 0%
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) Unlimited Physics
Average of class Smartphone
  (877 - 8480, n=171, last 2 years)
4342 Points +66%
Samsung Galaxy A15
Mediatek Helio G99, Mali-G57 MP2, 4096
3329 Points +28%
Motorola Moto G24 Power
Mediatek Helio G85, Mali-G52 MP2, 8
2790 Points +7%
Xiaomi Redmi Note 13 4G
Qualcomm Snapdragon 685 4G, Adreno 610, 8192
2739 Points +5%
Average UNISOC T606
  (2484 - 2697, n=18)
2625 Points +1%
HMD Pulse Pro
UNISOC T606, Mali-G57 MP1, 6144
2608 Points
Wild Life Score
Average of class Smartphone
  (395 - 13896, n=125, last 2 years)
2682 Points +530%
Samsung Galaxy A15
Mediatek Helio G99, Mali-G57 MP2, 4096
1195 Points +181%
Motorola Moto G24 Power
Mediatek Helio G85, Mali-G52 MP2, 8
731 Points +72%
Xiaomi Redmi Note 13 4G
Qualcomm Snapdragon 685 4G, Adreno 610, 8192
645 Points +51%
HMD Pulse Pro
UNISOC T606, Mali-G57 MP1, 6144
426 Points
Average UNISOC T606
  (394 - 432, n=18)
416 Points -2%
Wild Life Unlimited Score
Average of class Smartphone
  (394 - 20068, n=191, last 2 years)
6568 Points +1456%
Samsung Galaxy A15
Mediatek Helio G99, Mali-G57 MP2, 4096
1094 Points +159%
Motorola Moto G24 Power
Mediatek Helio G85, Mali-G52 MP2, 8
725 Points +72%
Xiaomi Redmi Note 13 4G
Qualcomm Snapdragon 685 4G, Adreno 610, 8192
634 Points +50%
HMD Pulse Pro
UNISOC T606, Mali-G57 MP1, 6144
422 Points
Average UNISOC T606
  (392 - 424, n=18)
413 Points -2%
Wild Life Extreme
Average of class Smartphone
  (110 - 5226, n=194, last 2 years)
1766 Points +1409%
Samsung Galaxy A15
Mediatek Helio G99, Mali-G57 MP2, 4096
332 Points +184%
Motorola Moto G24 Power
Mediatek Helio G85, Mali-G52 MP2, 8
187 Points +60%
Xiaomi Redmi Note 13 4G
Qualcomm Snapdragon 685 4G, Adreno 610, 8192
139 Points +19%
HMD Pulse Pro
UNISOC T606, Mali-G57 MP1, 6144
117 Points
Average UNISOC T606
  (85 - 118, n=18)
107.3 Points -8%
Wild Life Extreme Unlimited
Average of class Smartphone
  (110 - 5248, n=190, last 2 years)
1770 Points +1466%
Samsung Galaxy A15
Mediatek Helio G99, Mali-G57 MP2, 4096
326 Points +188%
Motorola Moto G24 Power
Mediatek Helio G85, Mali-G52 MP2, 8
186 Points +65%
Xiaomi Redmi Note 13 4G
Qualcomm Snapdragon 685 4G, Adreno 610, 8192
135 Points +19%
HMD Pulse Pro
UNISOC T606, Mali-G57 MP1, 6144
113 Points
Average UNISOC T606
  (99 - 121, n=15)
107.7 Points -5%
GFXBench
on screen Aztec Ruins Normal Tier Onscreen
Average of class Smartphone
  (3.6 - 123, n=214, last 2 years)
45.3 fps +353%
Samsung Galaxy A15
Mediatek Helio G99, Mali-G57 MP2, 4096
14 fps +40%
Motorola Moto G24 Power
Mediatek Helio G85, Mali-G52 MP2, 8
14 fps +40%
HMD Pulse Pro
UNISOC T606, Mali-G57 MP1, 6144
10 fps
Xiaomi Redmi Note 13 4G
Qualcomm Snapdragon 685 4G, Adreno 610, 8192
9.5 fps -5%
Average UNISOC T606
  (5.1 - 11, n=18)
8.83 fps -12%
1920x1080 Aztec Ruins Normal Tier Offscreen
Average of class Smartphone
  (2.3 - 229, n=214, last 2 years)
66.3 fps +1105%
Samsung Galaxy A15
Mediatek Helio G99, Mali-G57 MP2, 4096
16 fps +191%
Xiaomi Redmi Note 13 4G
Qualcomm Snapdragon 685 4G, Adreno 610, 8192
10 fps +82%
Motorola Moto G24 Power
Mediatek Helio G85, Mali-G52 MP2, 8
9 fps +64%
HMD Pulse Pro
UNISOC T606, Mali-G57 MP1, 6144
5.5 fps
Average UNISOC T606
  (1.9 - 5.5, n=18)
5.22 fps -5%
on screen Aztec Ruins High Tier Onscreen
Average of class Smartphone
  (0.85 - 119, n=214, last 2 years)
33.5 fps +3841%
Samsung Galaxy A15
Mediatek Helio G99, Mali-G57 MP2, 4096
8.9 fps +947%
Motorola Moto G24 Power
Mediatek Helio G85, Mali-G52 MP2, 8
7.4 fps +771%
Xiaomi Redmi Note 13 4G
Qualcomm Snapdragon 685 4G, Adreno 610, 8192
5.5 fps +547%
Average UNISOC T606
  (0.85 - 7.3, n=18)
5.34 fps +528%
HMD Pulse Pro
UNISOC T606, Mali-G57 MP1, 6144
0.85 fps
2560x1440 Aztec Ruins High Tier Offscreen
Average of class Smartphone
  (0.85 - 94, n=214, last 2 years)
26.6 fps +1230%
Samsung Galaxy A15
Mediatek Helio G99, Mali-G57 MP2, 4096
5.9 fps +195%
Xiaomi Redmi Note 13 4G
Qualcomm Snapdragon 685 4G, Adreno 610, 8192
3.6 fps +80%
Motorola Moto G24 Power
Mediatek Helio G85, Mali-G52 MP2, 8
3.3 fps +65%
HMD Pulse Pro
UNISOC T606, Mali-G57 MP1, 6144
2 fps
Average UNISOC T606
  (0.85 - 2.1, n=18)
1.925 fps -4%
3840x2160 4K Aztec Ruins High Tier Offscreen
Average of class Smartphone
  (0.38 - 42, n=210, last 2 years)
12.7 fps +92%
HMD Pulse Pro
UNISOC T606, Mali-G57 MP1, 6144
6.6 fps
Samsung Galaxy A15
Mediatek Helio G99, Mali-G57 MP2, 4096
2.5 fps -62%
Xiaomi Redmi Note 13 4G
Qualcomm Snapdragon 685 4G, Adreno 610, 8192
1.5 fps -77%
Motorola Moto G24 Power
Mediatek Helio G85, Mali-G52 MP2, 8
1.5 fps -77%
Average UNISOC T606
  (0.8 - 6.6, n=14)
1.253 fps -81%
Octane V2 - Total Score
Average of class Smartphone
  (2228 - 89112, n=208, last 2 years)
33762 Points +177%
Samsung Galaxy A15
Mediatek Helio G99, Mali-G57 MP2, 4096
21890 Points +79%
Xiaomi Redmi Note 13 4G
Qualcomm Snapdragon 685 4G, Adreno 610, 8192
15900 Points +30%
Motorola Moto G24 Power
Mediatek Helio G85, Mali-G52 MP2, 8
15430 Points +27%
HMD Pulse Pro
UNISOC T606, Mali-G57 MP1, 6144
12195 Points
Average UNISOC T606
  (2228 - 13455, n=14)
11332 Points -7%
HMD Pulse ProMotorola Moto G24 PowerSamsung Galaxy A15Xiaomi Redmi Note 13 4GAverage 128 GB UFS 2.2 FlashAverage of class Smartphone
AndroBench 3-5
-63%
-8%
-13%
-24%
36%
Sequential Read 256KB
966
297
-69%
967.8
0%
909.8
-6%
Sequential Write 256KB
824
253.2
-69%
488.5
-41%
606.3
-26%
Random Read 4KB
205
100
-51%
233.2
14%
177.1
-14%
188.1 ?(89.3 - 297, n=64)
-8%
Random Write 4KB
239
92.2
-61%
229.6
-4%
228
-5%
181.1 ?(62.6 - 419, n=64)
-24%

Temperature

Max. Load
 43.9 °C
111 F
35.8 °C
96 F
33.1 °C
92 F
 
 42.1 °C
108 F
34.1 °C
93 F
32.4 °C
90 F
 
 40.1 °C
104 F
34.2 °C
94 F
33.8 °C
93 F
 
Maximum: 43.9 °C = 111 F
Average: 36.6 °C = 98 F
30.1 °C
86 F
35.6 °C
96 F
40.6 °C
105 F
30 °C
86 F
35.9 °C
97 F
40.4 °C
105 F
31.2 °C
88 F
36.4 °C
98 F
39.6 °C
103 F
Maximum: 40.6 °C = 105 F
Average: 35.5 °C = 96 F
Power Supply (max.)  41.2 °C = 106 F | Room Temperature 20 °C = 68 F | Fluke t3000FC (calibrated), Voltcraft IR-260
(±) The average temperature for the upper side under maximal load is 36.6 °C / 98 F, compared to the average of 32.7 °C / 91 F for the devices in the class Smartphone.
(±) The maximum temperature on the upper side is 43.9 °C / 111 F, compared to the average of 35 °C / 95 F, ranging from 21.9 to 56 °C for the class Smartphone.
(±) The bottom heats up to a maximum of 40.6 °C / 105 F, compared to the average of 33.8 °C / 93 F
(+) In idle usage, the average temperature for the upper side is 23 °C / 73 F, compared to the device average of 32.7 °C / 91 F.


Heatmap front
Heatmap front
Heatmap back
Heatmap back

3DMark Wild Life Stress Test

01234567Tooltip
HMD Pulse Pro Mali-G57 MP1, T606, 128 GB UFS 2.2 Flash; 0.0.0.0: Ø2.56 (2.55-2.58)
Motorola Moto G24 Power Mali-G52 MP2, Helio G85, 256 GB eMMC 5.1 Flash; 0.0.0.0: Ø4.39 (4.36-4.4)
Samsung Galaxy A15 Mali-G57 MP2, Helio G99, 128 GB UFS 2.2 Flash; 0.0.0.0: Ø7.47 (7.42-7.49)
Xiaomi Redmi Note 13 4G Adreno 610, SD 685, 128 GB UFS 2.2 Flash; 0.0.0.0: Ø3.91 (3.89-3.93)
dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2043.738.92533.232.13129.326.44032.331.45040.735.66332.626.38019.718.610016.917.612515.518.916013.330.72009.633.625011.835.63159.237.84008.7455001153.163013.257.880013.761.9100014.867.1125013.770160010.672.7200010.972250012.368.9315013.765.2400013.663.6500013.968.1630014.467.8800015.660.51000015.959.2125001654.91600016.744.9SPL25.879.9N0.741.1median 13.7median 59.2Delta2.113.837.238.530.332.924.123.831.429.137.334.625.928.519.520.116.52713.731.113.736.29.2368.337.16.742.4749.18.854.88.358.18.964.610.765.78.767.19.164.99.765.710.661.811.353.21260.212.961.313.768.614.467.615.360.31657.91757.423.976.20.535.7median 10.7median 58.12.711.6hearing rangehide median Pink NoiseHMD Pulse ProXiaomi Redmi Note 13 4G
Frequency diagram (checkboxes can be checked and unchecked to compare devices)
HMD Pulse Pro audio analysis

(±) | speaker loudness is average but good (79.9 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 30.2% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (7.7% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(±) | higher mids - on average 8.7% higher than median
(±) | linearity of mids is average (9.8% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(±) | higher highs - on average 5.6% higher than median
(+) | highs are linear (6.9% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(-) | overall sound is not linear (30.5% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 75% of all tested devices in this class were better, 5% similar, 20% worse
» The best had a delta of 12%, average was 38%, worst was 134%
Compared to all devices tested
» 87% of all tested devices were better, 3% similar, 10% worse
» The best had a delta of 4%, average was 25%, worst was 134%

Xiaomi Redmi Note 13 4G audio analysis

(±) | speaker loudness is average but good (76.2 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 23.1% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (8% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(±) | higher mids - on average 6.2% higher than median
(±) | linearity of mids is average (7.3% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(±) | higher highs - on average 5.2% higher than median
(±) | linearity of highs is average (10.9% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (22.5% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 42% of all tested devices in this class were better, 7% similar, 52% worse
» The best had a delta of 12%, average was 38%, worst was 134%
Compared to all devices tested
» 61% of all tested devices were better, 6% similar, 33% worse
» The best had a delta of 4%, average was 25%, worst was 134%

Battery Runtime - WiFi Websurfing
Motorola Moto G24 Power
6000 mAh
1103 min +23%
Average of class Smartphone
  (476 - 2844, n=215, last 2 years)
930 min +3%
HMD Pulse Pro
5000 mAh
899 min
Samsung Galaxy A15
5000 mAh
885 min -2%
Xiaomi Redmi Note 13 4G
5000 mAh
742 min -17%
Battery Runtime
WiFi Websurfing
14h 59min

Pros

+ good-looking chassis
+ relatively reparable
+ stock Android with update promises
+ NFC
+ speedy storage
+ no PWM
+ good battery life

Cons

- chassis could be more sturdy
- sluggish SoC
- mediocre camera quality
- supports few LTE frequencies

Verdict – A decent start

The HMD Pulse Pro review unit was kindly provided by HMD Germany.
The HMD Pulse Pro review unit was kindly provided by HMD Germany.

With the Pulse Pro, HMD has created a commendable smartphone for their debut under their own brand. The phone offers a few features that are unique in the sub-€200 range, such as relatively high reparability with affordable spare parts, over three years of updates, and fast storage.

The manufacturer has given the chassis a stylish design, but a little more sturdiness would’ve been nice. The speaker offers okay sound, the battery lasts pretty long, and the display is fairly bright and doesn’t make use of PWM. However, the phone’s performance, in particular, didn’t quite impress; there are much faster alternatives in this price category.

The main camera is a little disappointing, even for a budget phone. The touted 50MP front camera also only takes modestly attractive selfies.

HMD set out to do a lot and has the potential to become a compelling alternative in future. But the manufacturer is still playing it very safe with the HMD Pulse Pro, offering a solid smartphone with good reparability and long update support for a modest price.

The HMD Pulse Pro is a nice-looking budget phone that is relatively easy to repair.

For alternatives, you might want to consider the Samsung Galaxy A15 4G or the Xiaomi Redmi Note 13 4G. Both devices offer more performance and feature AMOLED screens, but are not easily user-reparable and only comes with a limited update promise.  

Price and availability

The HMD Pulse Pro is available directly from the manufacturer or online retailers like Amazon for €179 (about US$190).

You can check the company's website for international availability.

HMD Pulse Pro - 05/02/2024 v7 (old)
Florian Schmitt

Chassis
84%
Keyboard
65 / 75 → 87%
Pointing Device
90%
Connectivity
47 / 70 → 67%
Weight
88%
Battery
91%
Display
84%
Games Performance
12 / 64 → 18%
Application Performance
60 / 86 → 70%
Temperature
90%
Noise
100%
Audio
65 / 90 → 72%
Camera
53%
Average
72%
77%
Smartphone - Weighted Average

Transparency

The present review sample was made available to the author as a loan by the manufacturer or a shop for the purposes of review. The lender had no influence on this review, nor did the manufacturer receive a copy of this review before publication. There was no obligation to publish this review.

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> Expert Reviews and News on Laptops, Smartphones and Tech Innovations > Reviews > HMD Pulse Pro smartphone review – Affordable, reparable and highly unique?
Florian Schmitt, 2024-05- 3 (Update: 2024-05- 3)