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UleFone Metal Smartphone Review

Marcus Herbrich, Manuel Masiero (translated by Vinay Pradhan), 09/27/2016

Well-designed penny pincher. The little-known Chinese manufacturer, UleFone, is offering a new entry-level smartphone. The device may be cheap, but as the name suggests, the UleFone Metal offers a metal finish and good technical features.

For the original German review, see here.

A phone like the UleFone Metal would have been classified as a middle- or top-class device a little while ago: metal case, octa-core CPU, 3 GB RAM, 16 GB internal memory (can be increased), fingerprint sensor, dual SIM functionality and a rounded IPS HD display protected by Corning Gorilla glass. Nowadays, there are many "China smartphones" available with such features for roughly 100 Euros (~$111, including delivery). 

The UleFone Metal can be acquired from importers and is available in gray, silver and black. The competition includes cheap devices with similar hardware strength, such as the UHANS S1 and the UMi Touch. We also include cheap phones with relatively weaker hardware, such as the Wiko Lenny 3, the Archos 50e Neon, the TP-Link Neffos C5 and the Coolpad Porto S.

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Ulefone Metal
Processor
Graphics adapter
Memory
3072 MB 
Display
5 inch 16:9, 1280 x 720 pixel 294 PPI, capacitive, LCD, IPS, glossy: yes
Storage
16 GB eMMC Flash, 16 GB 
, 11.79 GB free
Connections
1 USB 2.0, Audio Connections: 3.5 mm audio jack, Card Reader: microSD up to 128GB, 1 Fingerprint Reader, Brightness Sensor, Sensors: Proximity sensor, accelerometer, compass, Hall effect sensor, OTG, Miracast
Networking
802.11 b/g/n (b/g/n = Wi-Fi 4), Bluetooth 4.0, 2G: 850/900/1,800/1,900 MHz; 3G: 900/2,100 MHz; LTE: 800/900/1,800/2,100/2,600 MHz, Dual SIM, LTE, GPS
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 9.35 x 143 x 71 ( = 0.37 x 5.63 x 2.8 in)
Battery
3050 mAh Lithium-Ion, Sony, Battery runtime (according to manufacturer): 320 h
Operating System
Android 6.0 Marshmallow
Camera
Primary Camera: 13 MPix f/2.0
Secondary Camera: 5 MPix
Additional features
Speakers: Mono, Keyboard: Onscreen, Keyboard Light: yes, modular power adapter, USB cable, UleFone UI, 12 Months Warranty, fanless
Weight
155 g ( = 5.47 oz / 0.34 pounds), Power Supply: 42 g ( = 1.48 oz / 0.09 pounds)
Price
120 Euro
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

Case

The UleFone Metal looks and feels great for its price. The rounded edges of the smartphone allow it to sit comfortably in the hand, despite its thickness of 9 mm. Like other metal phones, the test model uses synthetic material at the top and bottom of the case to allow the antennas to work without issues. There are definite gaps between the materials, but they have been kept even. The volume control and on/off buttons are seated firmly and offer clear pressure points.

The front of the Ulefone Metal sports a single pane of Corning Gorilla Glass 3, which curves gently into the wide, black metal borders, which frame the IPS display. The top and bottom borders on the front are quite large, which results in a relatively low display-to-case ratio of 67.9%.

The workmanship and sturdiness of the case are quite good. Nothing bends or twists at high levels of pressure (no creaking noises).

Size Comparison

154.5 mm / 6.08 inch 76 mm / 2.99 inch 8.8 mm / 0.3465 inch 199 g0.4387 lbs145 mm / 5.71 inch 73.1 mm / 2.88 inch 9.9 mm / 0.3898 inch 177 g0.3902 lbs145 mm / 5.71 inch 72 mm / 2.83 inch 9.4 mm / 0.3701 inch 152 g0.3351 lbs144 mm / 5.67 inch 72 mm / 2.83 inch 8.8 mm / 0.3465 inch 141 g0.3109 lbs143 mm / 5.63 inch 71 mm / 2.8 inch 9.35 mm / 0.3681 inch 155 g0.3417 lbs143 mm / 5.63 inch 72 mm / 2.83 inch 7.6 mm / 0.2992 inch 125 g0.2756 lbs140 mm / 5.51 inch 69.1 mm / 2.72 inch 7.3 mm / 0.2874 inch 153 g0.3373 lbs

Connectivity

The internal eMMC memory measures 16 GB, but only around 11.79 GB of the total storage space is free for use. If you are willing to give up the Dual SIM functionality of the smartphone, you can insert a microSD card into the hybrid slot and increase the storage space by up to 128 GB. The manufacturer has enabled the moving of apps to external memory cards (App2SD functionality).

The UleFone Metal is also equipped with a fingerprint sensor, USB OTG and a UKW radio. There is no LED for notifications. The phone supports wireless transmission to external monitors via Miracast. This feature worked well in our test with a Sony Android TV.

Software

This entry-level smartphone is packed with Android 6.0 "Marshmallow". At the time of our testing, the device had received the security patch from May 2016. In comparison to Vanilla Android, the manufacturer has not changed the user interface much. The settings menu is the only feature which shows major tweaks.

Communication and GPS

Balanced transfer rates, Iperf-Client
Balanced transfer rates, Iperf-Server

The device offers Bluetooth 4.0 for wireless communication. The integrated WLAN module supports the b/g/n IEEE-802.11 standards and operates at 2.4 GHz. The range and signal quality of the module are good. The Wi-Fi transfer speed between the smartphone and our reference router, the AVM Fritzbox 6490, measures 88 Mb/s (Iperf Server) and 73 Mb/s (Iperf Client), which puts our test model one level above other entry-level devices. These speeds remained constant during our test.

The Dual SIM smartphone has two slots for a Nano SIM and a Micro SIM card. In contrast to manufacturer specifications, our test model only had one LTE-ready slot (both should be compatible). The other slot was limited to the 2G network. The smartphone supports Quadband-GSM, Triband-UMTS and LTE at 800, 900, 1,800, 2,100 and 2,600 MHz frequencies. Although the UleFone Metal is not planned for the German market, it is guaranteed to be compatible with the LTE-band 20. However, the range of covered frequencies remains limited.

Networking
iperf Server (receive) TCP 1 m
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
Mali-T880 MP12, 8890 Octa, 32 GB UFS 2.0 Flash
303 MBit/s ∼100% +243%
Ulefone Metal
Mali-T720, MT6753, 16 GB eMMC Flash
88.3 MBit/s ∼29%
TP-Link Neffos C5
Mali-T720 MP2, MT6735, 16 GB eMMC Flash
44.9 MBit/s ∼15% -49%
Wiko Lenny 3
Mali-400 MP2, MT6580M, 16 GB eMMC Flash
44.8 MBit/s ∼15% -49%
Archos 50e Neon
Mali-400 MP2, MT6580M, 8 GB eMMC Flash
42 MBit/s ∼14% -52%
UHANS S1
Mali-T720 MP4, MT6753, 32 GB eMMC Flash
30.4 MBit/s ∼10% -66%
iperf Client (transmit) TCP 1 m
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
Mali-T880 MP12, 8890 Octa, 32 GB UFS 2.0 Flash
290 MBit/s ∼100% +297%
Ulefone Metal
Mali-T720, MT6753, 16 GB eMMC Flash
73.1 MBit/s ∼25%
UHANS S1
Mali-T720 MP4, MT6753, 32 GB eMMC Flash
50.9 MBit/s ∼18% -30%
TP-Link Neffos C5
Mali-T720 MP2, MT6735, 16 GB eMMC Flash
49.3 MBit/s ∼17% -33%
Wiko Lenny 3
Mali-400 MP2, MT6580M, 16 GB eMMC Flash
49.2 MBit/s ∼17% -33%
Archos 50e Neon
Mali-400 MP2, MT6580M, 8 GB eMMC Flash
46 MBit/s ∼16% -37%
GPS test: indoors
GPS test: outdoors

The phone uses GPS satellites to calculate its position. This features works reliably and quickly outdoors (up to 3 meters accuracy). To determine the accuracy of our test model, we took it for a ride alongside our bicycle GPS, the Garmin Edge 500. A ride of 8 kilometers showed deviations between the two devices of 310 meters. This is quite poor, as other devices, such as the UMi Touch, can offer much better accuracy (deviation: 150 meters). 

GPS Ulefone Metal
GPS Ulefone Metal
GPS Ulefone Metal
GPS Garmin Edge 500
GPS Garmin Edge 500
GPS Garmin Edge 500

Telephone Features and Speech Quality

Calls made with the test model over the Vodafone network provided good audio quality. The headpiece is loud enough to ensure coherent speech on our end. On the other end, call recipients felt the microphone did a good job of transmitting our voice.

Telephone App
Dialling field

Cameras

Macro capture, 13 MP rear camera
Front camera

The main camera of the UleFone Metal is a Sony IMX 149 sensor placed on the back of the device. This sensor offers 8 MP and supports picture interpolation up to 13 MP. In our sharpness test (test chart photo in pre-determined lighting), the recordings appeared detailed, but were a little blurry at the edges. Brightly-lit objects are captured very well. The dynamic range is appropriate for this price segment. However, due to a lack of OIS, pictures often suffer from poor clarity. Recordings also show clear color tinges (Scene 1: fruit bowl, blue tinge). In low light conditions, the sensor can only offer blurred pictures. 

Pictures taken with the 2 MP front camera can also be scaled up to 5 MP. These offer decent quality and suffice for selfies. The main camera records videos at the FHD resolution (1920x1080 pixels) up to 30 frames per second.

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.

Scene 1Scene 2Scene 3
click to load images

Accessories and Warranty

The delivery includes various brochures, a protective cover (book style), a protective film for the screen, a metal tool to open the SIM slot and a modular 5 W charger (1 A, 5 V).

The warranty runs 12 months.

Accessories

Input Devices

The capacitive multi-touchscreen reacts reliably to the finger. The Google virtual keyboard is available for text input.

The UleFone Metal can be controlled using the three capacitive buttons below the display. In contrast to standard Android, the order of these keys is reversed. This formation is familiar from Samsung devices (back on the right, multitasking on the left). These buttons do not have a backlight.

The device is unlocked using the on/off key or the "double tap to wake" gesture on the screen. The device can also be activated using the fingerprint sensor on the back. The speed and the recognition efficiency of the sensor have room for improvement.

Onscreen keyboard, portrait
Onscreen keyboard, portrait
Onscreen keyboard, landscape

Display

Subpixel grouping

Like the rest of the entry-level 5-inch competition, the LC display of the UleFone Metal offers a resolution of 1280x720 pixels. Content is displayed on the 12.7 cm IPS panel (pixel density: 294 PPI) very clearly.

The LED backlight of our test model has a max brightness of 338 cd/m², but usually the device is around 315 cd/m². Competitors, like the UHANS S1 or the TP-Link Neffos C5, are much brighter. The ambient light sensor should be turned off as it drops the brightness down to 251 cd/m². The realistic APL50 test (Average Picture Level) with evenly distributed bright and dark regions measures a max brightness of 309 cd/m² in the middle of the screen.

338
cd/m²
317
cd/m²
301
cd/m²
333
cd/m²
312
cd/m²
295
cd/m²
337
cd/m²
310
cd/m²
293
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
LCD
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 338 cd/m² Average: 315.1 cd/m² Minimum: 23.8 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 87 %
Center on Battery: 312 cd/m²
Contrast: 557:1 (Black: 0.56 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 6.8 | 0.6-29.43 Ø6
ΔE Greyscale 7.1 | 0.64-98 Ø6.2
Gamma: 2.77
Ulefone Metal
IPS, 1280x720, 5
Archos 50e Neon
TFT, 854x480, 5
Coolpad Porto S
IPS, 1280x720, 5
Wiko Lenny 3
IPS, 1280x720, 5
UHANS S1
IPS, 1280x720, 5
TP-Link Neffos C5
IPS, 1280x720, 5
UMI Touch
IPS, 1920x1080, 5.5
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
Super AMOLED, 2560x1440, 5.5
Screen
-16%
6%
15%
-8%
23%
18%
66%
Brightness middle
312
443
42%
407
30%
374
20%
525
68%
508
63%
424
36%
554
78%
Brightness
315
430
37%
403
28%
343
9%
471
50%
491
56%
415
32%
552
75%
Brightness Distribution
87
94
8%
92
6%
85
-2%
82
-6%
89
2%
91
5%
96
10%
Black Level *
0.56
0.38
32%
0.5
11%
0.47
16%
0.92
-64%
0.58
-4%
0.54
4%
Contrast
557
1166
109%
814
46%
796
43%
571
3%
876
57%
785
41%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
6.8
13.9
-104%
7.9
-16%
6
12%
8.6
-26%
7
-3%
6.9
-1%
1.59
77%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
14
29.5
-111%
18.2
-30%
11.9
15%
19.4
-39%
14.1
-1%
10.9
22%
2.56
82%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
7.1
17.3
-144%
8.9
-25%
6.7
6%
10.6
-49%
6.1
14%
6.8
4%
2.01
72%
Gamma
2.77 79%
2.93 75%
2.46 89%
2.19 100%
2.34 94%
2.15 102%
1.99 111%
2.01 109%
CCT
7402 88%
22878 28%
8332 78%
8073 81%
9487 69%
8068 81%
8131 80%
6321 103%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
82.12
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
99.98

* ... smaller is better

The brightness and black value of 0.56 cd/m² (APL50: 0.55 cd/m²) combine to provide a modest contrast of 1:557. Analysis with a photo spectrometer and the CalMAN software shows that the entry-level smartphone has small deviations in color (6.8) and gray levels (7.1) with the optimal range being smaller than 3. The measured color temperature of 7,402 Kelvin is a little too cool, but neither the gray levels nor the blue tinge are noticeable in everyday use.

CalMAN Color Accuracy (sRGB), "Standard"
CalMAN Color Space (sRGB), "Standard"
CalMAN Saturation (sRGB), "Standard"
CalMAN Gray Levels (sRGB), "Standard"
CalMAN Color Accuracy (sRGB), "Lively"
CalMAN Color Space (sRGB), "Lively"
CalMAN Saturation (sRGB), "Lively"
CalMAN Gray Levels (sRGB), "Lively"

The viewing angles of the panel are really good. Even at extreme viewing angles, the content is only affected by slight color deviations. Outdoors, the device offers limited use as the LC display is not bright enough. In everyday use, the max brightness (without ambient light sensor) is good enough.

Max brightness...
...with direct sunlight...
...and shadows.
Viewing angle...
...with slight color deviation.
 

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
28 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 11 ms rise
↘ 17 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 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 60 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is worse than the average of all tested devices (24.9 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
250 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 19 ms rise
↘ 231 ms fall
The screen shows slow response rates in our tests and will be unsatisfactory for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.9 (minimum) to 636 (maximum) ms. » 100 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is worse than the average of all tested devices (39.6 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: 51 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 9266 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

Performance

The UleFone Metal uses the MediaTek MT6753. This ARM-SoC (System-on-a-Chip) has a 28 nm finish and offers 8 64-bit CPU cores (Cortex A53 architecture). The Mali-T720 MP4 provides graphics output and supports modern standards, such as OpenGL ES 3.1.

As expected, the MT6753 of our test model dominated the MediaTek SoCs (MT6580M, MT6735) in the competitors. The test model leads the benchmarks alongside the UMI Touch and the UHANS S1. The combination of the octa-core SoC and 3 GB DDR3-RAM ensures strong system and browser performance. Applications are quickly opened and closed. The internal eMMC memory offers good transfer rates, as is reflected by the Work-Performance score of the PCMark benchmarks. These benchmarks measure the performance potential of system components - the test model scores 4,079 points. 

The integrated microSD card slot is also fast. The performance was tested using the reference memory card Toshiba Exceria Pro M401 (max. read 95 MB/s, write 80 MB/s). At 50 MB/s (read) and 28 MB/s (write), the performance of the SD-card slot is very good for this price segment.

AndroBench 3-5
Sequential Write 256KB SDCard (sort by value)
Ulefone Metal
27.6 MB/s ∼32%
Archos 50e Neon
18.87 MB/s ∼22% -32%
Wiko Lenny 3
19.59 MB/s ∼22% -29%
UHANS S1
20.71 MB/s ∼24% -25%
TP-Link Neffos C5
18.89 MB/s ∼22% -32%
UMI Touch
21.02 MB/s ∼24% -24%
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
50.36 MB/s ∼58% +82%
Sequential Read 256KB SDCard (sort by value)
Ulefone Metal
49.6 MB/s ∼51%
Archos 50e Neon
35.27 MB/s ∼37% -29%
Wiko Lenny 3
40.59 MB/s ∼42% -18%
UHANS S1
48.15 MB/s ∼50% -3%
TP-Link Neffos C5
39.11 MB/s ∼41% -21%
UMI Touch
42.92 MB/s ∼44% -13%
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
76.43 MB/s ∼79% +54%
Random Write 4KB (sort by value)
Ulefone Metal
7.87 MB/s ∼3%
Archos 50e Neon
5.18 MB/s ∼2% -34%
Coolpad Porto S
13.95 MB/s ∼6% +77%
Wiko Lenny 3
6.2 MB/s ∼2% -21%
UHANS S1
12.95 MB/s ∼5% +65%
TP-Link Neffos C5
6.85 MB/s ∼3% -13%
UMI Touch
14.63 MB/s ∼6% +86%
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
15.79 MB/s ∼6% +101%
Random Read 4KB (sort by value)
Ulefone Metal
22.18 MB/s ∼11%
Archos 50e Neon
15.29 MB/s ∼8% -31%
Coolpad Porto S
22.52 MB/s ∼11% +2%
Wiko Lenny 3
15.1 MB/s ∼8% -32%
UHANS S1
20.25 MB/s ∼10% -9%
TP-Link Neffos C5
17.16 MB/s ∼9% -23%
UMI Touch
19.88 MB/s ∼10% -10%
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
86.71 MB/s ∼44% +291%
Sequential Write 256KB (sort by value)
Ulefone Metal
39.91 MB/s ∼7%
Archos 50e Neon
8.33 MB/s ∼1% -79%
Coolpad Porto S
39.99 MB/s ∼7% 0%
Wiko Lenny 3
11.6 MB/s ∼2% -71%
UHANS S1
74.4 MB/s ∼13% +86%
TP-Link Neffos C5
52.43 MB/s ∼9% +31%
UMI Touch
72.47 MB/s ∼12% +82%
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
145.11 MB/s ∼25% +264%
Sequential Read 256KB (sort by value)
Ulefone Metal
228.84 MB/s ∼15%
Archos 50e Neon
130.29 MB/s ∼9% -43%
Coolpad Porto S
168.23 MB/s ∼11% -26%
Wiko Lenny 3
132.5 MB/s ∼9% -42%
UHANS S1
240.77 MB/s ∼16% +5%
TP-Link Neffos C5
145.77 MB/s ∼10% -36%
UMI Touch
219.3 MB/s ∼15% -4%
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
487.34 MB/s ∼32% +113%
AnTuTu v6 - Total Score (sort by value)
Ulefone Metal
37103 Points ∼13%
Archos 50e Neon
24509 Points ∼8% -34%
Coolpad Porto S
25415 Points ∼9% -32%
Wiko Lenny 3
25237 Points ∼9% -32%
UHANS S1
39029 Points ∼13% +5%
TP-Link Neffos C5
32681 Points ∼11% -12%
UMI Touch
38617 Points ∼13% +4%
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
128749 Points ∼44% +247%
3DMark
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 Physics (sort by value)
Ulefone Metal
1057 Points ∼23%
Wiko Lenny 3
Points ∼0% -100%
UHANS S1
993 Points ∼22% -6%
TP-Link Neffos C5
810 Points ∼18% -23%
UMI Touch
1045 Points ∼23% -1%
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
2002 (min: 1539) Points ∼44% +89%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 Graphics (sort by value)
Ulefone Metal
243 Points ∼2%
Wiko Lenny 3
Points ∼0% -100%
UHANS S1
248 Points ∼2% +2%
TP-Link Neffos C5
167 Points ∼1% -31%
UMI Touch
241 Points ∼2% -1%
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
3015 (min: 2895) Points ∼27% +1141%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 (sort by value)
Ulefone Metal
293 Points ∼4%
Wiko Lenny 3
Points ∼0% -100%
UHANS S1
298 Points ∼4% +2%
TP-Link Neffos C5
203 Points ∼2% -31%
UMI Touch
291 Points ∼4% -1%
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
2710 (min: 2421) Points ∼33% +825%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Physics (sort by value)
Ulefone Metal
10371 Points ∼12%
Archos 50e Neon
7848 Points ∼9% -24%
Coolpad Porto S
7413 Points ∼9% -29%
Wiko Lenny 3
7849 Points ∼9% -24%
UHANS S1
10211 Points ∼12% -2%
TP-Link Neffos C5
9291 Points ∼11% -10%
UMI Touch
10368 Points ∼12% 0%
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
19610 Points ∼23% +89%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Graphics Score (sort by value)
Ulefone Metal
6469 Points ∼1%
Archos 50e Neon
2485 Points ∼0% -62%
Coolpad Porto S
2590 Points ∼0% -60%
Wiko Lenny 3
2476 Points ∼0% -62%
UHANS S1
6705 Points ∼1% +4%
TP-Link Neffos C5
4223 Points ∼1% -35%
UMI Touch
6186 Points ∼1% -4%
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
33031 Points ∼6% +411%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Score (sort by value)
Ulefone Metal
7059 Points ∼3%
Archos 50e Neon
2930 Points ∼1% -58%
Coolpad Porto S
3028 Points ∼1% -57%
Wiko Lenny 3
2920 Points ∼1% -59%
UHANS S1
7259 Points ∼3% +3%
TP-Link Neffos C5
4906 Points ∼2% -31%
UMI Touch
6795 Points ∼3% -4%
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
28671 Points ∼12% +306%
GFXBench (DX / GLBenchmark) 2.7
1920x1080 T-Rex HD Offscreen C24Z16 (sort by value)
Ulefone Metal
19 fps ∼0%
Archos 50e Neon
11 fps ∼0% -42%
Coolpad Porto S
8.6 fps ∼0% -55%
Wiko Lenny 3
4.4 fps ∼0% -77%
TP-Link Neffos C5
14 fps ∼0% -26%
UMI Touch
12 fps ∼0% -37%
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
81 fps ∼1% +326%
T-Rex HD Onscreen C24Z16 (sort by value)
Ulefone Metal
12 fps ∼0%
Archos 50e Neon
4.4 fps ∼0% -63%
Coolpad Porto S
4.8 fps ∼0% -60%
Wiko Lenny 3
8 fps ∼0% -33%
TP-Link Neffos C5
8.3 fps ∼0% -31%
UMI Touch
12 fps ∼0% 0%
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
51 fps ∼2% +325%
GFXBench 3.0
off screen Manhattan Offscreen OGL (sort by value)
Ulefone Metal
2.9 fps ∼1%
Coolpad Porto S
3.6 fps ∼1% +24%
Wiko Lenny 3
fps ∼0% -100%
TP-Link Neffos C5
6.1 fps ∼1% +110%
UMI Touch
4.5 fps ∼1% +55%
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
38 fps ∼7% +1210%
on screen Manhattan Onscreen OGL (sort by value)
Ulefone Metal
6.4 fps ∼2%
Coolpad Porto S
1.6 fps ∼0% -75%
Wiko Lenny 3
fps ∼0% -100%
TP-Link Neffos C5
2.8 fps ∼1% -56%
UMI Touch
4.5 fps ∼1% -30%
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
27 fps ∼7% +322%
GFXBench 3.1
off screen Manhattan ES 3.1 Offscreen (sort by value)
Ulefone Metal
8.9 fps ∼0%
Wiko Lenny 3
fps ∼0% -100%
UMI Touch
2.9 fps ∼0% -67%
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
28 fps ∼1% +215%
on screen Manhattan ES 3.1 Onscreen (sort by value)
Ulefone Metal
4.5 fps ∼0%
Wiko Lenny 3
fps ∼0% -100%
UMI Touch
2.9 fps ∼0% -36%
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
15 fps ∼0% +233%
PCMark for Android - Work performance score (sort by value)
Ulefone Metal
4079 Points ∼21%
Archos 50e Neon
2796 Points ∼14% -31%
Coolpad Porto S
2893 Points ∼15% -29%
Wiko Lenny 3
2832 Points ∼14% -31%
UHANS S1
4191 Points ∼21% +3%
TP-Link Neffos C5
3443 Points ∼18% -16%
UMI Touch
3787 Points ∼19% -7%
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
4660 Points ∼24% +14%
BaseMark OS II
Web (sort by value)
Ulefone Metal
10 Points ∼0%
Archos 50e Neon
525 Points ∼6% +5150%
Coolpad Porto S
599 Points ∼6% +5890%
Wiko Lenny 3
632 Points ∼7% +6220%
UHANS S1
640 Points ∼7% +6300%
TP-Link Neffos C5
638 Points ∼7% +6280%
UMI Touch
576 Points ∼6% +5660%
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
994 Points ∼11% +9840%
Graphics (sort by value)
Ulefone Metal
433 Points ∼2%
Archos 50e Neon
138 Points ∼0% -68%
Coolpad Porto S
173 Points ∼1% -60%
Wiko Lenny 3
138 Points ∼0% -68%
UHANS S1
431 Points ∼1% 0%
TP-Link Neffos C5
281 Points ∼1% -35%
UMI Touch
429 Points ∼1% -1%
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
2203 Points ∼8% +409%
Memory (sort by value)
Ulefone Metal
802 Points ∼11%
Archos 50e Neon
317 Points ∼4% -60%
Coolpad Porto S
467 Points ∼6% -42%
Wiko Lenny 3
293 Points ∼4% -63%
UHANS S1
843 Points ∼11% +5%
TP-Link Neffos C5
991 Points ∼13% +24%
UMI Touch
787 Points ∼10% -2%
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
2072 Points ∼28% +158%
System (sort by value)
Ulefone Metal
1691 Points ∼10%
Archos 50e Neon
990 Points ∼6% -41%
Coolpad Porto S
905 Points ∼5% -46%
Wiko Lenny 3
988 Points ∼6% -42%
UHANS S1
1281 Points ∼8% -24%
TP-Link Neffos C5
1199 Points ∼7% -29%
UMI Touch
1343 Points ∼8% -21%
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
4080 Points ∼25% +141%
Overall (sort by value)
Ulefone Metal
273 Points ∼3%
Archos 50e Neon
389 Points ∼5% +42%
Coolpad Porto S
458 Points ∼5% +68%
Wiko Lenny 3
399 Points ∼5% +46%
UHANS S1
807 Points ∼10% +196%
TP-Link Neffos C5
683 Points ∼8% +150%
UMI Touch
717 Points ∼8% +163%
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
2074 Points ∼25% +660%
Mozilla Kraken 1.1 - Total Score (sort by value)
Ulefone Metal
13397.3 ms * ∼23%
Archos 50e Neon
15157.3 ms * ∼25% -13%
Coolpad Porto S
32901.1 ms * ∼55% -146%
Wiko Lenny 3
14862.9 ms * ∼25% -11%
UHANS S1
12510.3 ms * ∼21% +7%
TP-Link Neffos C5
12783.4 ms * ∼21% +5%
UMI Touch
13953 ms * ∼23% -4%
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
2564.1 ms * ∼4% +81%
JetStream 1.1 - Total Score (sort by value)
Ulefone Metal
17.831 Points ∼5%
Archos 50e Neon
14.118 Points ∼4% -21%
Coolpad Porto S
14.168 Points ∼4% -21%
Wiko Lenny 3
14.068 Points ∼4% -21%
UHANS S1
18.415 Points ∼5% +3%
TP-Link Neffos C5
18.209 Points ∼5% +2%
UMI Touch
17.614 Points ∼5% -1%
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
75.12 Points ∼21% +321%
Octane V2 - Total Score (sort by value)
Ulefone Metal
2738 Points ∼5%
Archos 50e Neon
2103 Points ∼4% -23%
Coolpad Porto S
2088 Points ∼4% -24%
Wiko Lenny 3
2133 Points ∼4% -22%
UHANS S1
2972 Points ∼6% +9%
TP-Link Neffos C5
2738 Points ∼5% 0%
UMI Touch
2562 Points ∼5% -6%
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
13191 Points ∼25% +382%

Legend

 
Ulefone Metal Mediatek MT6753, ARM Mali-T720, 16 GB eMMC Flash
 
Archos 50e Neon Mediatek MT6580M, ARM Mali-400 MP2, 8 GB eMMC Flash
 
Coolpad Porto S Mediatek MT6735, ARM Mali-T720, 8 GB eMMC Flash
 
Wiko Lenny 3 Mediatek MT6580M, ARM Mali-400 MP2, 16 GB eMMC Flash
 
UHANS S1 Mediatek MT6753, ARM Mali-T720 MP4, 32 GB eMMC Flash
 
TP-Link Neffos C5 Mediatek MT6735, ARM Mali-T720 MP2, 16 GB eMMC Flash
 
UMI Touch Mediatek MT6753, ARM Mali-T720 MP4, 16 GB eMMC Flash
 
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge Samsung Exynos 8890 Octa, ARM Mali-T880 MP12, 32 GB UFS 2.0 Flash

* ... smaller is better

Games

The integrated GPU of the MediaTek MT6753 is the Mali-T720 MP4. This GPU offers 4 clusters, which can run at up to 600 MHz. Games from Android Play Store, such as N.O.V.A. 3 or Need for Speed No Limits, run without issues on the Mali GPU.

N.O.V.A. 3
Need for Speed No Limits

Emissions

Temperature

The temperature emissions of the UleFone Metal are relatively balanced. While idle, the entry-level smartphone barely heats up on the back. We measured an even distribution of heat with a max temperature of 31.8 °C. Even at load, the back heats up to a max of 37.5 °C, which is acceptable. In everyday use, the temperature emissions are comfortable. 

Heatmap: max load (front)
Heatmap: max load (back)
Max. Load
 40.7 °C
105 F
37.4 °C
99 F
38.6 °C
101 F
 
 39.8 °C
104 F
37.4 °C
99 F
39.7 °C
103 F
 
 38.6 °C
101 F
37.1 °C
99 F
37.9 °C
100 F
 
Maximum: 40.7 °C = 105 F
Average: 38.6 °C = 101 F
36.7 °C
98 F
37.1 °C
99 F
37.3 °C
99 F
36.8 °C
98 F
37.4 °C
99 F
37.5 °C
100 F
36.6 °C
98 F
37.4 °C
99 F
37.4 °C
99 F
Maximum: 37.5 °C = 100 F
Average: 37.1 °C = 99 F
Power Supply (max.)  44.5 °C = 112 F | Room Temperature 21.7 °C = 71 F | Voltcraft IR-350
(-) The average temperature for the upper side under maximal load is 38.6 °C / 101 F, compared to the average of 33.1 °C / 92 F for the devices in the class Smartphone.
(±) The maximum temperature on the upper side is 40.7 °C / 105 F, compared to the average of 35.5 °C / 96 F, ranging from 22.4 to 51.7 °C for the class Smartphone.
(+) The bottom heats up to a maximum of 37.5 °C / 100 F, compared to the average of 34.1 °C / 93 F
(±) In idle usage, the average temperature for the upper side is 33 °C / 91 F, compared to the device average of 33.1 °C / 92 F.

Speakers

Speaker test: Pink Noise

The mono speaker on the back of the device can reach a max volume of 76 dB(A). This puts our test model behind other competitors, which offer an average volume of 85 dB(A). The sound quality is at a very high level for the price of the smartphone. The sound output is not very linear as the middle to high notes range from 500 Hz to 8 kHz. Bass is not noticeable. 

dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2020.622.921.920.62520.721.720.320.73122.32123.622.34022.626.934.422.65021.222.321.921.26317.820.318.917.88017.918.118.617.910022.522.823.922.512534.733.236.134.716016.72617.216.720016.433.215.816.425019.438.919.119.431522.345.519.122.340027.552.717.927.550033.658.319.133.663039.163.216.139.180043.466.515.543.4100042.764.716.442.7125039.26213.739.2160036.8601336.8200034.857.913.934.8250034.558.911.434.5315037.861.110.737.8400039.16310.339.1500041.464.29.841.4630042.7689.442.7800048.271.69.548.21000040.764.99.440.71250030.755.79.630.71600026.850.39.426.8SPL52.876.426.652.8N8.337.30.98.3median 34.8median 58.9median 13.9median 34.8Delta6.79.24.16.737.432.437.432.831.332.828.331.728.343.52643.541.939.441.931.736.231.727.728.627.727.625.427.623.221.323.225.823.325.824.322.524.326.122.426.13521.3354518.44556.417.556.463.117.563.171.917.271.974.616.874.676.117.376.174.517.474.57616.67674.217.374.270.817.670.872.417.672.472.617.772.674.717.474.775.317.775.373.817.973.865.818.165.850.418.150.485.529.885.560.71.360.7median 70.8median 17.7median 70.816.51.616.5383832.43837.530.731.337.531.133.431.731.131.530.62631.537.238.439.437.232.236.236.232.226.529.328.626.526.225.125.426.225.626.321.325.623.530.623.323.520.926.322.520.924.523.922.424.532.321.121.332.34322.618.44356.528.217.556.56336.317.56369.443.517.269.471.44516.871.468.942.817.368.970.642.817.470.670.642.116.670.674.446.417.374.477.450.217.677.476.548.817.676.575.147.417.775.171.944.717.471.969.542.517.769.563.23517.963.255.525.818.155.548.121.718.148.184.857.429.884.855.310.41.355.3median 63.2median 36.3median 17.7median 63.215.49.71.615.435.945.932.435.935.635.831.335.629.329.131.729.328.926.52628.939.938.939.439.929.73536.229.728.126.928.628.123.82725.423.825.926.621.325.928.72423.328.731.923.522.531.940.821.522.440.849.428.921.349.454.13418.454.161.443.217.561.469.149.717.569.173.85417.273.876.958.516.876.974.157.417.374.171.352.317.471.370.95116.670.970.550.317.370.574.955.317.674.973.253.317.673.271.952.317.771.974.154.117.474.174.654.517.774.671.251.817.971.262.443.118.162.452.933.418.152.984.965.829.884.961.318.91.361.3median 70.5median 50.3median 17.7median 70.513.2111.613.2hearing rangehide median Pink NoiseUlefone MetalArchos 50e NeonUHANS S1Coolpad Porto S
Ulefone Metal audio analysis

(±) | speaker loudness is average but good (76.4 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 25.6% lower than median
(-) | bass is not linear (15.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 3.7% away from median
(±) | linearity of mids is average (8.2% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(±) | higher highs - on average 5.6% higher than median
(+) | highs are linear (6.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (22.7% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 36% of all tested devices in this class were better, 10% similar, 54% worse
» The best had a delta of 13%, average was 24%, worst was 44%
Compared to all devices tested
» 60% of all tested devices were better, 7% similar, 33% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Archos 50e Neon audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (85.51 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 43.8% lower than median
(+) | bass is linear (6.1% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(±) | reduced mids - on average 8.4% lower than median
(±) | linearity of mids is average (10.4% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 2.6% away from median
(+) | highs are linear (3% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(-) | overall sound is not linear (30.5% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 84% of all tested devices in this class were better, 7% similar, 9% worse
» The best had a delta of 13%, average was 24%, worst was 44%
Compared to all devices tested
» 89% of all tested devices were better, 4% similar, 7% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

UHANS S1 audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (84.77 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 37.7% lower than median
(+) | bass is linear (6.2% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(±) | higher mids - on average 7.8% higher than median
(±) | linearity of mids is average (11.9% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(±) | higher highs - on average 9.4% higher than median
(+) | highs are linear (6.6% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(-) | overall sound is not linear (36% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 95% of all tested devices in this class were better, 2% similar, 3% worse
» The best had a delta of 13%, average was 24%, worst was 44%
Compared to all devices tested
» 96% of all tested devices were better, 1% similar, 2% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Coolpad Porto S audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (84.92 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 37.1% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (9.4% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(±) | reduced mids - on average 5.2% lower than median
(±) | linearity of mids is average (8% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 2.4% away from median
(+) | highs are linear (3.8% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (25.2% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 55% of all tested devices in this class were better, 12% similar, 33% worse
» The best had a delta of 13%, average was 24%, worst was 44%
Compared to all devices tested
» 73% of all tested devices were better, 6% similar, 21% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Energy Management

Power Consumption

The UleFone Metal is not very power efficient. For a 5-inch smartphone, it consumes a lot. Even a 5.5-inch device, like the UMi Touch (same SoC), has a 25% less power consumption. 

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.68 / 0.69 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 1.41 / 2.46 / 2.83 Watt
Load midlight 5.15 / 7.05 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy
Ulefone Metal
3050 mAh
Archos 50e Neon
2200 mAh
Coolpad Porto S
2000 mAh
Wiko Lenny 3
2000 mAh
UHANS S1
2200 mAh
TP-Link Neffos C5
2200 mAh
UMI Touch
4000 mAh
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
3600 mAh
Power Consumption
31%
26%
22%
40%
19%
25%
29%
Idle Minimum *
1.41
0.56
60%
1.16
18%
0.76
46%
0.7
50%
0.72
49%
0.89
37%
0.63
55%
Idle Average *
2.46
1.58
36%
2.21
10%
2.16
12%
1.13
54%
1.87
24%
2
19%
1.1
55%
Idle Maximum *
2.83
1.8
36%
2.24
21%
2.35
17%
1.25
56%
2
29%
2.1
26%
1.56
45%
Load Average *
5.15
5.22
-1%
3.34
35%
4.65
10%
4.39
15%
5.99
-16%
3.87
25%
5.95
-16%
Load Maximum *
7.05
5.34
24%
3.95
44%
5.35
24%
5.43
23%
6.45
9%
5.79
18%
6.7
5%

* ... smaller is better

Battery Life

Due to the high power consumption of the phone while idle and at load, the device lasts a mere 6 hours and 52 minutes in our practical WLAN test. For this test, the brightness is set to 150 cd/m². The only competitor which performs worse is the UHANS S1. For a 5-inch smartphone with a 3,050 mAh battery, this is really disappointing.

Battery Runtime
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3
6h 43min
Ulefone Metal
3050 mAh
Archos 50e Neon
2200 mAh
Coolpad Porto S
2000 mAh
Wiko Lenny 3
2000 mAh
UHANS S1
2200 mAh
TP-Link Neffos C5
2200 mAh
UMI Touch
4000 mAh
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
3600 mAh
Battery Runtime
WiFi v1.3
403
498
24%
504
25%
549
36%
309
-23%
453
12%
553
37%
732
82%

Pros

+ metal case
+ fingerprint sensor
+ IPS panel
+ 3 GB RAM
+ performance potential (entry level)
+ relatively fast eMMC memory

Cons

- high power consumption / average battery life
- brightness
- contrast
- navigation keys do not have lighting

Verdict

In review: UleFone Metal. Test model provided by UleFone.

UleFone has created a cheap yet successful device. The success of the test model can be accredited to its pricing and technical features. The workmanship and system performance are also quite good for an entry-level device. 

The largest flaw of the UleFone Metal is the quality of the LCD panel. This IPS panel is too dark and offers low contrast in comparison to the competition. Furthermore, the power consumption is too high for a 5-inch device, which results in modest battery life.

Despite lacking in display and battery life, the UleFone Metal is an interesting entry-level smartphone which is worth the investment of around 100 Euros (~$111). 

Ulefone Metal - 09/23/2016 v5.1(old)
Marcus Herbrich

Chassis
84%
Keyboard
60 / 75 → 80%
Pointing Device
86%
Connectivity
40 / 60 → 67%
Weight
92%
Battery
89%
Display
80%
Games Performance
19 / 63 → 30%
Application Performance
32 / 70 → 45%
Temperature
88%
Noise
100%
Audio
56 / 91 → 62%
Camera
65%
Average
69%
81%
Smartphone - Weighted Average

Pricecompare

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > UleFone Metal Smartphone Review
Marcus Herbrich, 2016-09-27 (Update: 2016-09-27)