The Ulefone Be Touch 2 may just be one of the many MediaTek SoC flagships that serve to impress. With its sleek design that takes from both the iPhone and Meizu MX4, does it only impress from the outside? Will the Be Touch 2 stack up to its competitors?
Firstly, something about the device itself. The Ulefone Be Touch 2 runs on the MT6752 octa-core chipset clocked at 1.7 GHz (1.69 GHz in the system), sports a full-HD 5.5 inch screen, has 3GB of RAM and 16GB of storage, and also uses an SONY IMX214 camera sensor with F/1.8. It also has a front facing flash, a Touch ID fingerprint sensor, and an aluminium frame going around the sides of the device. More information about the device can be found here.
The front of the box is mostly plain, with only the words ‘Be Touch 2’ showing (photos scanned using Office Lens):
The back of the box contains the specifications and unique information about the device itself:
Inside the box contained:
- The Ulefone Be Touch 2
- Silicone case cover
- Additional screen protector
- Tempered glass blue-light filtered screen protector
- An instruction manual
- Wall charger and USB cable
Note – Due to certain circumstances if you purchase it from 1 August onwards, you may get additional items inside the box.
Turning on the device, there is a familiar Ulefone boot logo, and it boots directly into a clean version of Android 5.0, albeit with some icons modified and a Ulefone app. At first, the phone seemed a little laggy, but after a bit of use and modifications I managed to make it smoother. The phone also seems pretty solid with its aluminium outer frame and 2.5D glass.
Aesthetics: As Ulefone has stated before, the Be Touch 2 does look like an iPhone 6 from the front, and a Meizu MX4 or MX5 fron the back (I actually don’t really like the bulging camera). I actually did a comparison with an iPhone 6, and it seems like even the fingerprint sensor was placed at the exact same spot. Apart from that though, it seems like the phone does look really nice, and while it resembles the two devices, does not immediately prompt a ‘Is that a …?’ response upon first sight. Since the sides are aluminium too, the phone feels really nice to hold, and the back cover too is extremely dust/stain resistant (jeans denim stains can be washed off!). The 5.5 inch full-HD screen also looks pretty decent, and has good colours and viewing angles.
Apps and usage: The MT6752 octa-core processor does not disappoint. Initial usage of the device was a little unpleasant, but after using this fix, most UI elements became much smoother. What’s surprising though, is that uninstalling apps is almost instant. Drag an app to be uninstalled, tap OK, and it uninstalls in less than a second! I’m really curious to know what may be causing that, to be honest. A note about the performance too, is that although the device is fast, it does get occasional temporary freezes, especially when you first use the phone. After you get settled in though, there are virtually no issues. I have more than 100 apps installed too, and that is apparently not a problem for the 3GB RAM to handle.
Battery: The battery is somewhat of a problem on the Be Touch 2, as it seems like the ROM still has some bugs to be fixed (Ulefone has confirmed an update in August). Usually on MediaTek devices, turning off the screen while playing music would drain the battery at a rate of almost 3% an hour, but on the Be Touch 2, it seems like the device still drains normally at an alarming rate of almost 10% an hour for music playback. I hope this will be fixed, as the battery has already been proven to be at its listed capacity (and 3050 mAh should last about a day, and not half a day).
Connectivity: 4G connectivity bounces to 3G sometimes, and while the signal does not retain, I do get better speeds on 3G and 4G than on my other devices such as the Xperia C3. Wi-Fi connectivity is no problem, but Ulefone has defaulted the ‘Turn Wi-Fi off during sleep’ value to ‘Always’, so you’ll need to set it back to ‘Never’ to get a maintained Internet connection. The Bluetooth on the Ulefone Be Touch 2 seems pretty impressive, as it manages to pass through at least 3 walls more than 1 metre thick. HotKnot is also available.
Gaming: 3D gaming is no problem on the Be Touch 2, with certain games going as high as 50 to 60 FPS. 2D gaming is also no problem after applying this fix. Games with reaction taps may be slightly problematic though, because of the touchscreen lags.
Hardware: The full-HD screen on the Ulefone Be Touch 2 is clear, although a little reddish in tint. It does deliver though, and apart from the touchscreen lags that may be fixed in the next update, there are no serious problems pertaining to the screen, though the top right of the screen did bulge out slightly (approximately 1mm) after the device was accidentally dropped on the ground. The fingerprint scanner, the main attraction of the device, is placed in front. This may make the device more prone to dropping when one registers/scans their finger, but the fingerprint scanner is relatively accurate. It can be a problem though when the finger scanned is pressed a little lighter or harder, as sometimes the fingerprint scanner refuses to accept fingerprints of different pressures. The IMX214 camera is also impressive, being able to shoot pretty clear pictures, even far objects can appear clear. It is though, a little too sharp. A firmware fix may be able to fix this. Photo samples can be found at the bottom of this post. The camera is also able to shoot clear text on a whiteboard about 8 metres away from the viewfinder.
System: Android 5.0 (or 5.1 as it is falsely displayed on the operating system) performs relatively well. After the AAL fix, most of the lag goes away. However, the operating system seems to be not optimized for deep sleep, and despite the device being mostly in the lowest frequency and in deep sleep, the battery still drains at a relatively quick rate. It could be though, because my LG G Watch is always connected, but Bluetooth Low-Energy mode should’ve prevented any huge battery drain. The stock Android experience is also something worth mentioning, as other than fresh icons and a Ulefone app, nothing much has been added to the ROM. Some parts of the ROM though are not coloured properly, such as the new message number and fingerprint scanner alternative password screen, where elements are blue instead of white, potentially blending into backgrounds with similar colours.
Conclusion: If you’re not a picky person and are looking for a decent device for a lower price, the Ulefone Be Touch 2 is just the device for you. Other than the fingerprint scanner, it has most of the features of a modern flagship: full-HD screen, a good camera, a battery larger than 3000mAh, modern processor, and Android 5+. 4G LTE will work mainly in Asian countries though, as the bands may not be supported by US or Europe carriers. It is a great device for people who are not into extreme work, and for people who do web browsing and communication with their smartphones, the Ulefone Be Touch 2 is a great deal, especially when it goes for a price lower than devices such as the iPhone or Galaxy S6. There are some bugs here and there, and there are temporary fixes, and Ulefone has promised to roll out an OTA update some time in August, so it should be a promising device when that happens.
You can get the device from Coolicool. Do note that shipping may take some time though, as Ulefone’s factories may not have enough produced devices to ship.