uleFone S7 Pro Review (2GB RAM & 16GB ROM)

Preface

uleFone may not be on the radar for those looking for a cheaper alternative to the Big 3 phone manufacturers (Samsung, Apple and Huawei) but they certainly should be.

The S7 Pro is uleFone’s answer to the entry level dual camera phone market.

At this price point, this is possibly the best bang-for-the-buck phone in the market now or is it?

Note: The phone reviewed is the Pro version with 2GB RAM & 16GB ROM. From what we understand, there is a non-Pro version with 1GB RAM & 8GB ROM only.

Packaging & First Impressions

This is what the phone will come with as shown below.

  • The power and volume buttons require a slightly firm press to activate – preventing any accidental activation.
  • The complementary silicon transparent case fits the phone perfectly – access ports (earphone jack & charging port) & buttons can be operated without any hindrance.
  • The case is of decent quality and should withstand day-to-day abuse without issue.
  • The protective film included does a decent job from protecting the phone’s screen for normal daily usage.
  • No earphones are included.

Note: Before attempting to switch ON the phone, remove the yellow insulation/protection tape (Kapton tape?) from the battery’s terminal first.

Front:

Back:

Sides:

Top:

Bottom:

Box Contents:

Quick Overview (Manufacturer Specifications)

  • Operating System: Android 7.0 Nougat
  • Screen Specification:
    • Size: 5.0 inch
    • Resolution: HD (780 x 1280)
    • Type: IPS Display
    • Display: 295 PPI
  • Processor & Memory Specification:
    • Processor: MediaTek MT6580A – Quad Core (1.3GHz)
    • RAM: 2GB
    • GPU: Mali-400 MP
    • ROM (Storage Capacity): 16GB (SD Card extendable to 128GB)
  • Camera:
    • Front: 2 MP (Interpolated to 5MP) with ƒ/2.6 Aperture & LED Flash
    • Rear: Dual Camera (8MP + 5MP) with ƒ/2.4 Aperture & LED Flash
  • Connectivity:
    • Networks: 2G GSM: 850/900/1800/1900 (B5/8/3/2) | 3G WCDMA:2100/900(B1/8)
    • SIM: Dual Sim (1*Micro SIM + 1*SIM)
    • Wi-Fi:  802.11 b/g/n (2.4G Only)
    • Bluetooth: 4.0
    • USB: Micro-USB
    • Earphone Jack: Yes, 3.5mm
    • Radio: Yes
  • Dimensions: 14.58cm (Height) x 7.08cm (Width) x 1.08cm (Thick)
  • Weight: 151g (including battery)
  • Battery: 2500mAh (Removable)
  • Accessories Included:
    • 1*Silicon Transparent Case
    • 1*Protection Film
    • 1*2500mAh Battery (Removable)
    • 1*Charger & Micro-USB Cable
  • MSRP: ~$74
  • Colors Available for S7 Pro
    • Black (As Reviewed)
    • Gold
    • Red
    • Blue
    • Turquoise

UI (User Interface)

For an entry level phone, the S7 Pro packs several interesting features as part of its UI; apart from the usual UI that all phones have.

Switch ON/OFF or Restart

HOLD the Power Button (right side of the phone – third button from the top) to switch the phone ON or OFF.

To Switch ON

From OFF, HOLD the Power Button till the uleFone S7 logo comes on.

To Switch OFF / Restart

From ON, HOLD the Power Button till a menu pops up – select “Power off” and then select “OK”.

From ON, HOLD the Power Button till a menu pops up – select “Restart” and then select “OK”.

Flight Mode

Activating Flight Mode can be done by either of the following methods when the phone is switched ON.

  1. SLIDE down screen and select “Airplane mode”.
  2. HOLD the Power Button till a menu pops up – select “Airplane mode”.

Connectivity Usage

Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and Cellular Data Connection can all be found in the same location – SLIDE down screen for the full list of options.

Calls/Contact List

The following pictures shows the stock calling interface of the phone. Syncing with your Google account would ensure that all of your Contacts’ Favorite list are synced as well.

List of Available Stock Apps

There is surprisingly almost no bloatware on the phone – only the basic and necessary applications are installed.

Screenshot / Screen Capture

Screenshot/Screen Capture can be done through any of the following methods.

  1. HOLD Volume Down & Power Buttons.
  2. HOLD the Power Button till a menu pops up – select “ScreenShot”.
  3. If Quick Touch has been activated – press circular Quick Touch button & select “ScrShot”.

Special Features for S7 Pro

There are 2 features/UI that we do not usually see on entry level phones so it is a really pleasant surprise to have them.

Both can be accessed by the following method:

  1. SLIDE down screen.
  2. Select Setting Logo.
  3. Scroll to “Personal” section.
  4. Select “Intelligent assist”.

Gesture Wake

From above “Intelligent assist” menu, select “Gesture Wake”.

There is a variety of Gestures that can be activated when the phone is ON but screen is OFF –  it also works best when there is no screen lock activated. The Gestures are also re-configurable as needed.

Quick Touch

From above “Intelligent assist” menu, select “Quick Touch”.

This is essentially a movable circular button (much like the AssistiveTouch on an iPhone/iPad) that will appear on top of all applications.

There is a variety of quick access applications through this Quick Touch option.

Connectivity

3G Network

This is where the S7 Pro starts to show its weakness due to its 3G-compatibility where some of its competitors are 4G-compatible.

The speed is fairly decent for internet browsing and streaming lower resolution YouTube videos.

Wi-Fi

The Wi-Fi is limited to 2.4GHz wireless frequency for this phone. Hence, bandwidth will be slower than those devices which can operate on both 2.4GHz and 5 GHz wireless frequencies.

Bluetooth

The phone comes equipped with Bluetooth 4.0 and does not come with any additional codec such as aptX.

To check if your device is aptX-compatible, click HERE.

Dual Sim

The phone is capable of taking 1 Micro-SIM and 1 SIM cards whereby the default SIM card to be used for Calls, SMS and Cellular Data, can be configured correspondingly.

3.5mm Earphone Jack

Call us old school but we still like phones that come with a 3.5mm earphone jack because having options is becoming more of a rarity. There are times when we want to be wire-free and other times when having a wired connection to the earphones just sounds way better – most true audiophiles still prefer a wired 3.5mm earphone jack connection over a Bluetooth earphone/headphone.

That said, there are still some Earphones that we reviewed recently that are closely bridging the gap in sound quality between wired and Bluetooth connected ones.

Radio (Built-in)

It is quite strange that an earphone is not included with the phone, especially since it is required for the radio application to function – the earphone is used as an antennae.

There is an option to play the radio through the phone’s speaker (audio will be played on the earphone at the same time) as well.

Camera

Camera Modes

There are several modes for the front and rear camera.

  • Front Camera
    • Photo
    • Video
    • Beauty
  • Rear Camera
    • Panorama
    • Photo
    • Video
    • Beauty
    • Bokeh

Sample Photos

We took some sample photographs for the different modes to give the prospective buyer a feel of how the camera performs.

Generally, the camera works fine in brighter settings and overcast skies but start lacking behind when in low light conditions. This is acceptable due to the price point of the phone. However, the dual camera setup does help the phone take fairly decent bokeh-style pictures with ease.

Panorama (Rear Camera):

Bokeh (Rear Camera):

Photo (Rear Camera):

Form Factor

The design of the S7 Pro with the curved back fits comfortably in a Medium-sized hand. The inclusion of the protective film and transparent silicon case does help improve the form factor and protects the phone further.

Processing Power (Performance)

CPU Benchmark

The CPU (Central Processing Unit) processing power (Geekbench Score) for the MediaTek MT6580A – Quad Core (1.3GHz) Processor is as follows:

  • Single-Core Score: 415
  • Multi-Core Score 1212

GPU Benchmark

The GPU Benchmark measures the performance of the GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) – Mali-400 MP.

Summary Specification

The below is the summary of this review sample’s specification.

Charging Process

With the provided Charger and Micro-USB Cable, the phone battery was charging at ~0.94A – which is close to the claimed 1.0A charging rate.

The BLUE indicator depicts that the phone is plugged in, even when the phone is fully charged the BLUE indicator will still be ON. However, there will be an on-screen notification pop-up when the battery is fully charged.

Waterproofness

There is no official IP rating for this phone.

As such, it is best to avoid water contact as much as possible.

Scale Comparison (Ruler)

Summary

To sum up, we believe that the most important part of any review is if given the chance to purchase the same phone for our own usage or to gift to our loved ones out from one’s pocket (wallet), would we still do it?
For these phones, it is a possible YES if you are in the market for an entry level smartphone.

The decent dual camera lens setup with bokeh effect, unique special features (Gesture Wake & Quick Touch), 3.5mm earphone jack, built-in radio and dual SIM slots – are all positive points for the S7 Pro.

However, the lack of 4G-compatibility may limit its appeal to those interested to get an entry level phone. That said, the 3G speed is still respectable in today’s context and would still make a good entry level phone; especially at its price point.

As with all gears, two is one and one is none.

Stay safe,
The Lite Review


Disclaimer: Phone was provided for by FastTech for this review. No other compensation was provided.


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