Oukitel's U18 is a courageous copycat of the iPhone X, complete with a "notched-display."
Apple's latest flagship was undoubtedly one of the biggest market shakers last fall, and its influence is starting to spread to other OEMs. Unfortunately, some manufacturers are picking up on the iPhone X's looks while leaving the functionality in the dust. Enter: Oukitel.
The Oukitel U18, which went on pre-order today, is a near carbon copy of Apple's niche flagship, complete with the huge monobrow notch in place. There are a few differences between the devices, though. For one, the U18 (obviously) doesn't run iOS, instead opting for Oukitel's skin of Android. The U18 is also slightly larger with a 5.85-inch display (compared to the iPhone X's meager 5.8-inch screen). The screen's resolution is only 1512x720, a far cry from the 2436x1125 display on the iPhone X. It should be noted that Oukitel incorrectly advertises the screen's aspect ratio as 21:9. In reality, it's closer to 19:9.
The U18 packs an octa-core MediaTek MT6750T, 4 GB of RAM, and 64 GB of internal storage. It's powered by a 4,000 mAh battery that charges via the single USB Type-C port. There is sadly no headphone jack present. Around back are two vertically stacked cameras. The main shooter is a Sony IMX135 at 16 MP, while the secondary shooter has a 5 MP sensor. The front camera is a 13 MP module from Omnivision that Oukitel claims is capable of unlocking the phone via "Face ID." This software maps your face, allowing the device to be unlocked in 0.1 seconds. Users should wait for reviews to determine the security and reliability of Oukitel's hence-untested Face ID, however.
Let's talk about that notch. There is a cutout at the top of the display that is very similar in style to the iPhone X's, but instead of a sophisticated camera and sensor array, the U18's notch houses the front shooter, a speaker, and what looks like a single sensor of some kind. It's clear that Oukitel was going for a similar design to Apple's latest phone, something that is not uncommon from Chinese OEMs. The U18 has another staple of most Chinese smartphones: a low price. The phone is up for pre-order for USD $159 and is expected to start shipping later this month (according to Banggood.com, the retail site).
In this author's opinion, the growing trend to include large notches along the tops of displays is a disturbing one. Say what you will about the monobrow, but you cannot deny that they can be distracting, especially in regards to gaming and media consumption. The notch is not an appealing look for several consumers, but with Android manufacturers (including big players like Huawei) pushing this design aesthetic, it looks like the notch is here to stay, at least for a while.