Print Edition - 2018-02-13 | et cetera
How good is this Note?
- UMIDIGI’s C Note, despite its limitations, packs in a lot of punches for its price
Feb 13, 2018-
2017 was the year of Chinese smartphones in Nepal. Even though heavy weight international brands continue to command a lion’s share of the market, the growth of Chinese devices in the last year was commendably rapid. Contributing to the growth were several new entrants, including UMIDIGI which introduced several devices like the C Note and the Crystal. We put its coveted C Note through a series of tests and here is what we thought:
Display and Design
If its price of Rs 20,900 is considered, the UMIDIGI C Note is the only device to come with a full HD display in its price range. Even with a low price tag, the display is vibrant and has an adequate brightness that does well under the brightest of lights. However, the first thing you notice about the screen is how unnatural the text looks when watching videos. They lack sharpness and look pixelated. I didn’t face this issue when I read a couple of articles on the device, though. And if you do a lot of reading, the device also has an option to toggle the screen’s colour temperature according to a user’s taste.
This display is cloaked by a pretty-looking metallic body on the back. The aluminium body is premium, and it makes the device feel like it’s worth more than its actual price. There is a camera accompanied by a LED flash sitting on the rear side. Although there is only a single primary camera, UMIDIGI has made it look as if there is a dual camera setup on the phone. It has a fingerprint sensor bottom bezel at the front, with an earpiece and sensors on the top. The bottom bezel also houses capacitive keys.
The capacitive keys are one of the features I didn’t care for too much on this device. To check the recently used apps, I had to long press the home button, which is an outdated Android feature that takes up a lot of time. But I later found out that the keys can be toggled to the virtual ones. Another feature that’s outdated, software wise, is the icons and the menu. But one of the best thing about Android is that it is customisable.
These are the only issues I had with the software front of the UMIDIGI C Note. One of the unique traits of this device is that there were no applications from Google installed right out of the box, excluding the Play Store. I had to download the ones I needed. All in all, the C Note is free of unnecessary bloatware and provides a near-stock experience.
The software also helps boost the performance due to the lack of bloatware in the device. The UMIDIGI C Note with its MediaTek processor and 3GB RAM handles almost everything thrown at it. There were, however, rare stutters while gaming. Also, a few minutes after playing games like Asphalt and Dream Soccer League, the area right below the primary camera started to warm up. I was really worried, but after gaming for a couple of hours, the heat didn’t actually increase. Other than this issue, the device didn’t give up on me. Multitasking was good too, except for the time some apps took to load up.
Now I know the 3,800 mAh battery the C Note boasts sounds really great. But that was not the case in real life usage. Its battery has this unusual bug due to which once its charge decreased to 20 percent, the battery died a couple of minutes later. I thought this was just an issue in my review unit, but the same has been mentioned in a couple of other reviews of the C Note.
The device gave me a screen-on-time of 3–4 hours under heavy usage. I gamed, browsed through the internet, took a few pictures, and watched a couple of videos. Even my primary smartphone that has a 3,000 mAh battery gives me 4 hours of screen-on-time. And that’s not the only disappointing fact about the battery. Due to a lack of any kind of fast charging support, it took me around 3 hours just to juice it back up again.
On the camera side, the C Note houses a 13-megapixel lens that is nothing to write home about. It takes decent pictures at its best, and when you zoom into them, they lose details. The pictures I took lacked sharpness, accurate colours, and saturation. And like most of the device of its price range, it fails to shine under low-light settings. The pictures come off way too noisy and grainy. They are washed out and lack the proper colours. The same goes for the selfie camera.
The 5-megapixel lens takes washed out images. But since the camera is not the USP of the device, you are good to go if you only take a few pictures every day and are okay with posting decent selfies on your social media accounts.
Sensors and Hardware
On the front glass panel of the UMIDIGI C Note sits a fingerprint scanner that can unlock the smartphone in around 0.50 seconds. The scanner never gave up on me once, so, it is completely reliable. The bottom of the device has dual mono speakers which are loud and don’t get covered up easily. Between these speakers is a micro USB port for connectivity purpose. To make way for the speakers, UMIDIGI has placed the headphone jack on top of the device. The UMIDIGI C Note comes equipped with 32 GB of internal memory which can be expanded up to 256 GB via a microSD card. However, you will have to choose between a microSD card and an extra SIM card as it has a hybrid SIM slot.
So, to round off this review, the UMIDIGI C Note is a device that has a great display and a premium build quality. The Chinese company has included near-stock software in a device that performs really well. However, even though it houses a big battery, the battery life is unsatisfactory and the bug it has is quite a letdown. Also, the camera lenses are only decent. But if you can look past the battery issue and want a smartphone that feels premium and has a crisp display, UMIDIGI C Note is quite the attractive package.
UMIDIGI C Note Specifications
- 5.5-inch (1080 x 1920 pixels) full HD SHARP 2.5D curved display
- Gorilla Glass protection
- 1.5GHz Quad-core MediaTek MT6737T processor
- 3GB RAM; 32GB internal memory, expandable with microSD up to 256GB
- Android v7.0 (Nougat)
- 13MP rear camera with Samsung S5K3L8 sensor, PDAF, dual LED flash
- 5MP front camera
- Dual Hybrid SIM (Nano+Nano/TF Card) with 4G LTE
- Front-mounted fingerprint sensor
- Full Metal Body
- 3800 mAh non-removable battery
- UMIDIGI C Note Price in Nepal: Rs 20,900
Published: 13-02-2018 08:22