Hey guys this is Richard. This is the first time I’m using an Ulefone device and I’m pretty excited about it. The Ulefone Gemini Pro is their flagship device and the specs are quite impressive with a dual camera, yet it doesn’t burn a hole in your pocket. GearBest has kindly sent me the Ulefone Gemini Pro for an honest review. Be sure to check them out below.
I’m already impressed with their box presentation and it gives a premium vibe with the red and black combination in line with the phone color. Not forgetting the little freebies like a case, micro USB to type C converter and a ring to stick on the back for easier holding. I’m not really fond of plastic protectors but it’s still a nice gesture.
Design and Build Quality
The Ulefone Gemini Pro comes in Black or Red. I really like the Red version that has a nice color contrast with the black design. The phone is super smooth and slippery with a full metal body but this can be fixed with an included phone case. It is made of hard plastic with a textured leather back and its red, to match the phone’s color.
The side doesn’t join seamlessly and it’s feels like 2 separate materials. I would have preferred that display part is curved into the sides. The bezels are still pretty thin thanks to the black front that helps to hide it.
The speaker grills are at the bottom but only 1 has sound output. It’s still pretty loud at maximum volume. The headphone jack is at the top and the sound effect setting is in the music app.
The fingerprint sensor at the bottom is concaved and made of glass. It’s pretty easy to feel with the fingers and has a nice feel to it.
The LED lights are located on the right of the light sensor. There are a couple of settings where you can change the LED color, even for standby. The only colors available are red, green and blue. Power and volume rockers are easy to feel and they have a nice tactile feedback.
Hardware and Display
1080p resolution on a 5.5 inch display is pretty standard. At 401 PPI, text and icons are sharp and clear. Colors are also vibrant and punchy. The display is also bright enough to be used in direct sunlight. Viewing angles are good, retaining the clarity and detail but it loses some brightness.
The display can be adjusted and it’s part of Miravision and the menu is found at the top left. ClearMotion is also part of MiraVision that makes video look more fluid. Honestly I couldn’t see much difference with or without.
There isn’t any capacitive buttons beside the fingerprint scanner, it has on screen buttons instead. It only has 2 preset button layouts with the option to hide. I would have preferred to have both hardware and software buttons for me to select.
Fingerprint unlock works when the screen is off and it’s pretty quick. Only thing is there is a delay for the screen to turn on. Likewise using the power button also has this slight delay.
The Ulefone Gemini Pro only comes with a single variant, 64GB storage and 4GB of RAM. It has around 54GB of free space from the box and supports USB OTG. It also supports Micro SD card up to 256GB in SIM slot 2 so you have to choose either dual SIM or single SIM with micro SD card. The SD card can also be formatted as part of internal storage.
Dual SIM is supported and both are compatible with 4G. But only one can activate LTE and the other will be GSM at any one time. You can also select the SIM card for calls and SMS.
Software and Performance
Powering the Ulefone Gemini Pro is a Mediatek Helio X27 processor and Mali-T880 GPU. Geekbench scored 981 on single core and 4212 multi core. Antutu scored 98230, which is pretty decent. Day to day usage shouldn’t pose any problems and multitasking is great with the 4GB of RAM. You shouldn’t need to close apps daily to keep the phone running snappy. UI is smooth and apps load quickly as well.
Games like Asphalt 8 and Dead Effect 2 performed well. Gameplay was smooth and it loads pretty fast in general. There was rare occasions of lag spikes but nothing to major. The phone does get quite hot when gaming for more than 15 mins, and there’s even a FAQ on their website regarding this topic.
Phone calls were clear on both sides and reception bars were around max most of the time and cellular network outdoors was good. I also tested Wifi speeds at 2.4GHz and 5Ghz.
The operating system is running on Android 7.1.1 but I couldn’t find the name of its software. The UI looks pretty stock Android but it has some customized features. It’s missing the app drawer but you can either swipe up or use the arrow to access them.
You can tap on hold on the Square button to launch dual screen but it’s not resizable and not all apps are compatible. Circle button to launch Google Now.
Smart Assistant has a couple of features like non-touch operation where you wave your hand over the display for swiping, system motion, flip to mute, off screen gestures with customizations, eyes protect mode for different scenarios and network access to stop apps from using data.
Other useful functions are schedule power on and off, screen pinning, smart lock, multi user mode and do not disturb.
Their website has some functions like Somatosensor and single handed mode. But I have no idea how to use it. It’s not in the manual or settings. Dual screen also wasn’t in the settings. I hope features in the phone will have some indication in the settings so it’s easier for users.
3680mAh battery is a decent number for a 5.5 inch phone. It’s more than enough to last a full day or 2 with moderate use. My usage is usually messaging, calls, web surfing, Youtube, that kind of stuff for about 10-12 hours a day. Brightness is at 75% and connected to 4G outdoors and WiFi at home. Had around 25-40% battery left at the end of each day.
Ulefone Gemini Pro supports Pump Express 2.0 which they stated that it takes 1 and a half hours for a full charge. In real life usage, it took close to 2 hours. Of course this depends if the phone is off or the phone is being used.
Not forgetting the battery saver mode and customizing different battery profiles with scheduling.
It comes with a dual 13MP RGB + monochrome rear camera and a 8MP front camera. Camera modes like Panorama, Bokeh and Mono can be accessed by sliding the menu. Filters can also be opened by tapping on the arrow. Live photo, flash, super night mode and HDR can be toggled at the top as well. You can also tap the power button twice to launch the camera.
Manual focus speed was quick but automatic focus was pretty slow. Macro shots need to be around 15-20 cm to get a clear shot. Optical zoom can be up to 5X but gets grainy the higher the zoom level.
Aperture can be adjusted in Bokeh shots to get the nice blurry effect. There is 3D view that is only available in Bokeh and it uses the depth of field to mimic 3D. Mono mode is to take monochrome photos but it’s almost like other camera filters I have seen.
HDR makes photos brighter both in day and night shots and the super night mode is not as clear as HDR. In general day shots are clear and detailed and night shots are pretty grainy.
Pro mode is manual mode where you can change settings like saturation, contrast, exposure etc. The long button just open the menu and I prefer it to show the current settings inside. It’s a waste of space on the screen with no value add at all.
Video can be recorded up to 4K and there is no OIS. Front facing photos are pretty grainy especially in low light.
I’m having mixed feelings about the Ulefone Gemini Pro. The build quality is great and the look of the phone is sleek and attractive. In general the UI is fast and fluid and performance is pretty good as well. But I’m a little disappointed with the OS, it seems like it’s not polished enough. The camera is decent but it’s still fine for a budget phone. Somehow I feel this phone is lacking something to deliver the full package. At a budget price, it still has nice specs with a decent battery life but consider the pros and cons before committing.