AH Ulefone Be Touch 2 review (design)_31

Featured Review: Ulefone Be Touch 2

August 24, 2015 - Written By Kristijan Lucic

Ulefone is one of many China-based smartphone OEMs. Many of you probably haven’t heard of this company just yet, which is completely understandable. Ulefone is a small company which is trying to make a name for themselves by releasing affordable, and yet solid smartphone offerings. We’ve already reviewed the Ulefone Be One handset a while back, and this time around we have spent some time using the Ulefone Be Touch 2. Unlike the Be One, this handset is actually the company’s current flagship, and improvements are quite visible here. Ulefone took care of some issues with their previous devices this time around, so that’s always good, but how good is this phone? Well, let’s find out.

Specifications

AH Ulefone Be Touch review (design)_11

The Ulefone Be Touch 2 is a very well-specced device. This smartphone is packing 3GB of RAM, the 5.5-inch full HD (1920 x 1080) LTPS display, and a more than solid 13-megapixel camera sensor. Having in mind the device’s price, these specs are more than enough to make an appealing package. The device is powered by MediaTek’s MT6752 64-bit octa-core SoC, which is quite a capable SoC, and it actually offers a high clock speed than the MT6753 64-bit octa-core processor which seems to be used by the vast majority of China-based smartphone OEMs at the moment. Anyhow, let’s take a look at Ulefone Be Touch 2’s specs, shall we:

  • 5.5-inch 1080p (1920 x 1080) IPS LTPS display
  • 3GB of LPDDR3 RAM
  • 16GB of internal storage (expandable up to 64GB)
  • MediaTek’s MT6752 64-bit octa-core SoC clocked at 1.7GHz
  • Mali T760 MP3 GPU running at 700MHz
  • 13-megapixel rear-facing camera (Sony’s IMX214 sensor, 4th-gen) + dual-LED flash
  • 5-megapixel front-facing shooter (OmniVision’s OV5648 sensor)
  • 3,050mAh battery
  • Android 5.1 Lollipop OS
  • Dual SIM, dual standby (MicroSIM + Standard SIM)
  • 4G LTE -> FDD-LTE 800/1800/2100/2600 (Band 1, 3, 7, 20)
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • 158.1 x 77.4 x 8.6mm
  • 160 grams (with battery)

Hardware And Build

AH Ulefone Be Touch review (design)_6

Let’s kick this off by talking about Ulefone Be Touch 2’s hardware. As far as overall build quality goes, Be Touch 2 is a very decent smartphone. The phone is made out of metal, plastic and glass. The trim around the device is metal, back cover (which is removable) is made out of plastic, and on the front side you’ll find glass, obviously. The phone actually feels quite nice in the hand, even though it’s quite bigger than other 5.5-inch display devices you’ll find out there. Why is that? Well, its top and bottom bezels are to blame, this phone ships with a fingerprint scanner and two capacitive buttons, and there are also some black bars present here.

That being said, the phone really does feel nice in the hand. The matte plastic one the back is not too slippery, and it felt really good to hold this device while I was using it. The metal around the device gives you that premium feel, and there’s another thing that you just can’t escape here, comparing this device to the latest iPhone offerings. Ulefone themselves compared this phone to the iPhone on a number of occasions, and it’s quite obvious where they got the inspiration for this design. This doesn’t have to be a bad thing, but that’s up to you, it all depends if you like this type of the design or not.

The physical buttons on the device feel quite nice and tactile as well. The power / lock and volume rocker buttons are placed on the left-hand side of this phone, and there’s also the home button located below the display which doubles as a fingerprint scanner. The speaker is located on the bottom of this device, and both the micro USB power plug and a 3.5mm headphone jack can be found up top. All in all, the Ulefone Be Touch 2 is a nicely designed smartphone which is a bit bigger than it’s supposed to be.

Display

AH Ulefone Be Touch review (display)_2

What about this phone’s display? Well, we’re looking at a 5.5-inch 1080p (1920 x 1080) LTPS panel here. So, it’s actually a really good display. You get a full HD display which has quite saturated colors, and looks really good overall. The outdoor visibility is not all that bad, and you’ll simply enjoy it indoors. Both OnePlus devices (One and 2) sport such a panel, and even the UMi Iron we reviewed recently for example. A number of Chinese OEMs have actually picked this panel lately, and that’s not a bad thing at all. The 1080p LTPS LCD display is one of the better 1080p panels out there.

Keep in mind that this display can’t really compare to some Quad HD panels out there as far as sharpness goes, but it’s plenty sharp. Some people probably wouldn’t even see the difference between this and a Quad HD panel you can find on some other flagships out there. The 1080p LTPS panel is also very, very bright. This is actually due to Ulefone’s settings, they’ve set it up this way. You can basically put this thing on manual brightness setting and lower the brightness all the way down to 10-20% and the display would still be bright enough to use, at least it was to me, though truth be told I really don’t like overly bright displays in general. The digitizer could be a bit better on the phone though, the display is responsive and sensitive, but it’s not as responsive as it is on my LG G3 device which I use as my daily driver. Don’t get me wrong though, if you’re not used to such displays, this display will work great, it’s plenty responsive, but after using something like that this can feel a bit… well, less sensitive than I’d like it to be. All in all, this a very solid panel Ulefone decided to go with here.

Performance

AH Ulefone Be Touch 2 performance_1

The Ulefone Be Touch 2 is powered by MediaTek’s MT6752 64-bit octa-core SoC running at 1.7GHz along with a Mali T760 MP3 GPU for graphics. You’ll also find 3GB of LPDDR3 RAM under the hood, which is actually quite a nice hardware package, especially for said price. Specs really don’t mean much if the phone can’t perform as it should, do they now? Well, this device performs as it should, luckily. While I was using the phone I really didn’t notice any serious stuttering or anything of the sort. This hardware is plenty powerful to push this phone forward, and the Android build on it is almost stock.

Ulefone did add some of its own software here, but the software is also quite light which definitely helps push this thing. I’ve played Dead Trigger 2, Asphalt 8: Airborne and despicable me without issues. I’ve experienced a skipped frame here and there during Dead Trigger 2 game time, but that was hardly noticeable and the gameplay was quite straightforward and smooth. As far as general performance goes, the phone also performed without issue. Multitasking was responsive, and the phone was rather enjoyable to use overall as far as performance goes. Let’s be honest here, this handset really doesn’t cost all that much, and it will serve you quite well as far as performance goes, even if you intend to push some games on it from time to time. Another thing worth mentioning is that the fingerprint scanner works well too. The sensors is located below the display is push-to-activate variety, and it was quite responsive, as long as you place your finger properly on it.

Battery Life

AH Ulefone Be Touch review (battery)_1

The Ulefone Be Touch 2 actually ships with a 3,050mAh battery, and this should be plenty enough to get you through the day considering what SoC and display this device is rockin’, right? Well, that’s not exactly true, at least not in my testing. I was expecting to get north of 4 hours of screen-on time during my testing of this phone, and it turns out I was barely able to hit 3 hours of screen-on time before I had to put the phone on charger. I thought this was only going to be the case in the first day or two, but it turns out it’s not. I was using this device for almost a week, and the battery was quite consistent unfortunately.

Ulefone will probably fix this issue as the software update is on the way, but at the moment, the device’s battery simply isn’t up to par. This handset simply has to push over the 4-hour mark no matter what people might say, and the company will hopefully fix this in an upcoming software update. If you’re a light user, this shouldn’t be a problem for you after all, but 3 hours of screen-on time gets me to around 4-5pm on a work day, and then I have to charge up my device. Anyhow, if you’d like to check out the battery test results, check out the screenshots down below.

Software

AH Ulefone Be Touch review (software)_1

As I already mentioned in the ‘Performance’ section, this handset ships with a rather light version of Android. You get Android 5.1 Lollipop out of the box here, and Ulefone did add some of their own stuff in here, but not as many. You do get some off-screen gestures which can be quite useful actually, like Double tap, Swipe up, Launch Camera, Launch Calculator and Control Music. These gestures can be turned off as well if you want, but they can be quite useful. The double tap on the screen will turn on the screen, while drawing the letter ‘C’ while the screen is off will launch the camera. The gestures do work fine, though they’d be even more responsive if the display was more sensitive, but I didn’t have issues with this in general.

The general theme here is Android all the way, Ulefone really didn’t mess around with this as much. You can take a look at the gallery down below in order to see a number of screenshots from the OS itself and its default launcher. You also get HotKnot here, which is essentially MediaTek’s version of NFC. In the settings menu, you’ll also be able to find the ‘Finger Scanner’ option which will let you set up the fingerprint scanner which is located below the display. You’ll be able to set up to 5 fingerprints here, the ones you choose, of course. The setup is quite straightforward, and it works more or less like it does on the Galaxy S6, iPhone 6, Huawei Mate7, etc. In other words, this is a push-to-unlock fingerprint scanner.

Sound And Call Quality

AH Ulefone Be Touch review (design)_4

The Ulefone Be Touch 2 really excels in certain areas, but sound isn’t one of them. Now, keep in mind that I’m referring to the loudspeaker output here, not the call quality, we’ll talk about that a bit later. The loudspeaker is quite… well, tiny. It’s not loud enough, and the sound output is just weak, I haven’t really been enjoying what it has to offer, and the fact that it’s a rear-facing unit really doesn’t help. The loudspeaker is passable, but if you’re switching from a device which has a solid loudspeaker output and you use it frequently, you might be disappointed here. As far as general sound quality goes when you plug in headphones, well, that part is quite solid, you won’t be disappointed.

What about call quality? Well, Be Touch 2 actually does really well here. I haven’t had any issues talking for prolonged periods of time on this thing (20-30min), I didn’t experience any call drops or anything of the sort. The earpiece is quite alright and I was able to hear the person at the other end of the line just fine, and according to the feedback I got, they were able to hear me just fine as well. So, if you tend to talk on your smartphone frequently, the Ulefone Be Touch 2 quite probably won’t disappoint you, but it all depends on what phone are you switching from, of course.

Camera

AH Ulefone Be Touch 2 review (design)_38

The rear-facing camera on the Ulefone Be Touch 2 is quite interesting. But let’s start from the beginning, shall we. This handset sports a 13-megapixel camera on the back, which hides Sony’s IMX214 sensor on the inside. This is actually Sony’s 4th-gen snapper, and it’s quite solid if used properly (with the right software). The 5-megapixel shooter is available on the front of this thing, and OmniVision’s OV5648 sensor is in charge of taking selfies and what not. Now, that being said, the front-facing camera is really not all that special, but we didn’t expect it to be. It’s passable, and will serve you fine as a front-facing shooter, if you need something special in this regard, there are a couple of selfie-focused smartphones out on the market, and phones which use their main camera as both the front and rear-facing shooter.

That being said, the rear-facing (main) camera is actually not bad at all. I shot quite a few images using this thing, a number of which you can check out in the gallery down below. In proper lighting, the camera actually managed to provide really solid shots with plenty of detail and saturated colors. Keep in mind that this is not the fastest camera in the world, so be patient before you start moving your hand and ruin the shot. As far as low-lit and indoor shots go, I was actually pleasantly surprised. The indoor images turned out alright, while night shots are also passable, but the camera tends to overexpose light, so keep that in mind. Don’t get me wrong, this camera can’t exactly compete with the best out there, but for the price, it’s actually quite decent.

There are a number of issues with it that I’ve noticed though, all of which can be fixed with a software update. The camera tends to ruin white balance in some shots, and generally tends to expose white colors way too much. The shots can turn out quite odd sometimes, on rare occasions, I can’t exactly put my finger on it, but they just come out blurry and what not with no reason. Take the same shots again, and they’ll be great. Also, the touch-to-focus option helps a lot in certain situations, and makes images look quite nice.

Rear-Facing Camera Samples:

Front-Facing Camera Samples:

Night Samples:

Conclusion

AH Ulefone Be Touch 2 review (design)_36

So, what is there left to say? Well, in conclusion, I’d like to sum up what we’ve talked about here. Ulefone Be Touch 2 is a very decent smartphone, especially for the said price. If you don’t mind having a rather large 5.5-inch smartphone, whose loudspeaker could be better, but the device which performs really well in other areas, Be Touch 2 might be the device for you. The phone costs around $230, and can be purchased via a number of Chinese resellers. Keep in mind that the device is often discounted, and can cost as low as $180. That’s it, this is the Ulefone Be Touch 2, let us know if you decide to pick one up!

Ulefone Be Touch 2 $179.99 on GearBest