You know that saying that when it looks too good to be true, it usually is?
Such is the case with Ulefone. Never trust a company with a retarded name like ULE-FONE (mkay, I gotta admit here that my country mates are probably the only who see how stupid the name sounds 😉 ).
Ulefone is a cheap Chinese smart phone brand. Sure, when I was buying Ulefone, I didn’t expect much. Brands like Samsung, Sony, LG… and especially bloody Apple overprice their products, so I wanted to go for something cheaper. In addition, smart phones are kinda like PCs – they are assembled from many parts from various manufacturers. In theory it shouldn’t make much difference whether the casing says Samsung or Ulefone. In theory, at least… Besides, I see no sense in buying a top quality device you’re going to use for only a couple of years anyway. I mean, a TV I’m going to use for decades is a different story, but a phone I’m going to use two, maybe three years…
What I got, though, was a cell that lasted for less than a month and a half (aye, less than one bloody single month and a half). Now, I did expect more than that…
Before continuing I should say how I found out about Ulefone. A colleague bought Ulefone Power. That bad boy has 6050 mAh battery. According to the colleague, the battery lasts two days under heavy use, so I was like wow! Then he bought his wife Ulefone Metal. That one had battery problems, but the colleague said he had deleted a few unnecessary apps and that the battery life came to normal. Note that it’s quite questionable how his wife used the phone and what “normal battery life” is for her. Anyway, then another colleague bought Metal. The battery on that one is beyond repair. It lasts 15 hours tops. When he turns off his Metal in the evening and turns it on again in the morning, the battery drops TWENTY percent. True, that looks like a software problem, but is a big issue nevertheless and can’t be fixed deleting a few apps… Note also that he bought his Metal from GearBest, meaning the warranty is quite “sensitive”.
Anyway, I thought the battery (or the software) in his phone is just faulty and that it ain’t a general rule, and when I saw Armor (as you can see, Armor really is an armoured phone 😉 ), I decided that it was the cell I wanted! However, I decided to buy Armor at a local shop rather than from GearBest despite paying some $115 more just in case something went wrong – which it did (though I’m starting to think that shitty ain’t wrong for Ulefone, it’s rather normal 🙂 ) – my rights as a costumer would be secure. Turned out I made a wise decision 🙂
Well after my experiences with Armor and Ulefone support, I’m no longer attributing anything faulty in a Ulefone phone to being an anomaly.
I must say that I was quite excited about Armor because it was the first phone I bought solely with the money I earned myself.
So when I came into the shop to buy my Ulefone; the first one I was given couldn’t read SIM cards (note that Armor is a dual SIM phone and neither slots worked). I should have taken that as a sign, but I didn’t. I told myself again that it was just that one Armor. Anyway, I was given a different Armor as soon as I realized the SIM on the wasn’t working. That was Friday, 31st March.
In the following days, I noticed the battery acting strangely (i.e. the indicator showing no battery change for hours and then a sudden drop of several percent), so I left the Ulefone at the repair shop on Wednesday, 5th April (only five days after purchase).
Ulefone was at the shop for two weeks and, naturally, they didn’t do shit in all that time ’cause everything “seemed OK”. I took the phone and thought “well, mkay; I could live with a hectic battery indicator”, and either the indicator was really hectic or, more likely, the battery consumption was really bad. Of course, it’s possible that the battery was just crappy. Knowing Ulefone now, I wouldn’t be surprised. Hell, knowing the experiences of the colleague with his Metal, I wouldn’t have been surprised back then. But, the hectic behaviour of either the battery or the consumption 😉 make me still think that the battery itself wasn’t at fault. Either way, the phone was faulty. There were days when the consumption would be mkay and there were days when the battery would barely last a day (the latter being more common).
For example: One day, the consumption was mkay till 11 AM when it was at 90%, then the battery started dropping a lot. By 1 PM, it dropped to 50% without me using the phone much. At 6:15 PM, the batter was at 34%. Then by 6:30 it dropped to 24%. When I checked at 7:15 PM, it was at 13%. An hour later it was down to 1%. By 8:45 PM, the cell turned itself off. Of course, the times and percentages I mentioned are approximate, but they should give you a clear picture 🙂
In addition to battery behaviour, there were quite a few other issues, small enough for me to be unable to prove to the repair shop if they’d claim everything was mkay, so I did nothing.
Most notable among this was the signal. I never actually lost signal though I didn’t go outside the city while I had Ulefone. Actually, on May Day which I spent in a crowded city park (not in a national park “outside civilization”), I couldn’t make calls. The cell would switch to 2G quite a lot. I couldn’t report that to the repair shop because the signal would also be mkay quite a lot, meaning it would likely have been mkay at the shop. The point is that Ulefone claims Armor has quite a powerful antenna and should be able to have strong signal virtually in a bomb shelter (…the Armor has a huge antenna as you can see on the bottom of the phone for super smooth signal reception where there are obstacles). Basically, such a “huge antenna” and “smooth signal reception” should produce a stable signal…
The phone would often heat itself a lot. It wouldn’t exactly be hot, but when you go with your fingers over the top of the screen, you could often feel the warmth. Likewise, the top back would be warm too – near the processor.
Sometimes when I turned the screen off, it would make a few flashes before going off. Dunno, but somehow I think that’s not normal 😮
From time to time, Ulefone would forget settings like default ringtone.
Now we come to “gaming” Aye, I put gaming in quotes for a reason. Ulefone rates Armor as “top rank gaming performance for budget price”. That idiot Jackie posted a test on YouTube, testing Real Racing 3 and FIFA 16. Then in another test, the same asshole said that “11% of energy had been used during the half hour of demanding game playing”. Yeah, about that… I’m not much of a gamer, but when the battery drops 20% during 20 mins of playing Bela, a simple card game, as if you had been catching Pokemon for an hour and during those 20 minutes the cell heats as if I you had been playing Black Ops; it makes you wonder, doesn’t it? Of course, I knew Ulefone’s claims were probably a bit far-fetched, but Jackie a card game… Seriously?! You couldn’t have exaggerated a little bit less? I’m pretty sure Armor would have burned to a cinder if I’d played Real Racing 3 or FIFA 16 😉
On Monday, 8th May (could have been Sunday, the 7th ×D ), evening, I turned Ulefone off. Before I turned to bed, me newly bought piggy emerged from his house and me kitty ran straight to his cage and lied in front of it gazing at the piggy. I wanted to take a pic of them, so I turned Ulefone on. Tried to turn it on was more like it because the phone wouldn’t move from displaying Ulefone on the screen. After sometime, it would reboot but the furthest it would go was the Ulefone screen. I reset the phone a few times; same shit. Sam shit was happening when I turned Ulefone on the following morning.
I packed the Ulefone and everything it came with and brought the phone to the shop where I’d bought it. Upon seeing Ulefone was totally dead, I was offered a new cell. At first, the vendor told me “OK, I’ll give you a new Armor.” I told him “Anything, but Ulefone!” Then, the guy offered me a cell from a different manufacturer. Actually, I was refunded 350 HRK (cca. $51) because the cell I was offered is cheaper than Armor. The main difference between Armor and the new phone is that the new phone isn’t an armoured phone 😉 but it has some features Armor lacks, like fingerprint sensor and a bit of quality (at least I hope so 🙂 ). I’m not gonna say what model and brand me new cell is, so I’m not accused of advertising a brand by trashing a brand like this in favour of another brand. I can only say it’s not a brand like Samsung, but most importantly it’s not Ulefone 🙂 Considering the quality, true I’ve had the new cell only for a while now, but it hasn’t exhibited crap like the Armor, meaning it is already better than Ulefone! In addition, the brand’s costumer service is good. I’m gonna trash Ulefone costumer service shortly 🙂
Before I do, however, I would like to say that I don’t look at Ulefone Power in a good light anymore. I mean, a 6050 mAh battery on a 5.5″ screen smart phone lasting two days?! Big deal! I know people whose cellphones have 6.5″ screen with 4100 mAh battery that lasts 2-3 days just like that. Ulefone clearly has a battery drainage issue they need to resolve …along with their behaviour 🙂
I would also like to recommend the shop I bought Ulefone from – Neutrino. They have quite a selection of smart phones, and generally electronic equipment; they’re prices are reasonable and they did react promptly. My Ulefone only had to die ×D (which probably ain’t a prob for Ulefone 😉 ), but they offered me a new one and a refund as soon as they saw the dead Ulefone – no footling. Honestly their biggest mistake is selling Ulefone phones. If you find yourself in a need of a new smart phone in Zagreb, I suggest you see what they have to offer and just don’t buy a Ulefone 😉
Also, many shops in Croatia still offer 1 year warranty despite the EU Directive 1999/44/CE guaranteeing EU citizens a minimum of two years of warranty (according to the same directive, rooting by itself does not void the warranty despite whatever the manufacturer might say).
A little benefit of being an EU citizen. Sorry, Brits, I don’t know how things are going to work out for you by 2019. Just remember to thank Brexiters for every right guaranteed to you now as a citizen of the EU you might lose 🙂
Anyway, since we’re a fresh EU member, I guess many shops count on people not knowing their newly gained rights (frankly, many really don’t). True, you can get your the two year warranty if something happens to your device a year and a half after you bought your device first by “reminding” the shop nicely of your right, then threatening of suing them and then suing them if all else fails. Actually, you might even be compensated at a court. But all that is time consuming. Neutrino offers two year warranty for the products they sell right away.
And now Ulefone costumer service…
Luckily, many problems people might run into on their smart phones are OS related and Ulefone phones come with Android, which is supported a lot. However, there are issues, especially with Ulefone 😉 arising from the device itself. You can browse Ulefone forum hoping that another Ulefone encountered the issue you’re facing and actually managed to solve it, and then was kind enough to post the solution on the forum, but that’s it.
When you contact Ulefone support service, you’ll receive an automatic reply that they’re on holiday and that you should contact them later because they’re not going to reply to the emails they received during the holiday since there will be too many inquires (probably people telling them what a piece of shit they are 🙂 ). What’s worse, they don’t even make a small effort of changing the dates in the reply!
The last email I sent them, telling them how shitty their phones are and that they have no sense for business, was on Thursday, 11th May (yes, that’s ELEVENTH of M A Y). The following automatic reply arrived quickly to my inbox:
From April 02 to 04, we will be on holiday. If there is any question, please email us again after April 4 and we’ll reply you as soon as possible then. PS: When we come back, we will not answer the emails sent to us during the holiday, because there will be too many and impossible for our customer service staff to deal with them all. So please do email us again after the holiday. For the inconvenience so caused, we express our deepest apology.
Have a nice day!
Don’t believe me? Here’s a screeny:
A screeny of the last email I got from their costumer service
In the end I can sum everything up by saying that Ulefone is truly a pathetic piece of shit. The quality is poor and they’re behaviour is terrible. By behaviour, I mean their overexaggeration, I mean they’re worse liars than Donald Trump. At least the meatbag is a rich politician. Ulefone is, on the other hand, a small company and they are willing to spend whatever money is necessary just to make a phoney ad (I wonder how many phones they actually wasted in that car rolling test…)
Jackie, lemme just tell you to go fuck yourself! Nothing personal, I think everyone in Ulefone should go fuck themselves. It’s just that I kept seeing your ugly dace in all the Ulefone Armor tests I watched, so don’t feel special 🙂
Do you know that you seriously risk being face-slapped on the street when someone recognizes you from your tests? Hell, you risk being beaten to death if someone with a bad temper recognizes you in a secluded area.
Step by step analysis of Ulefone bullshit on their About Us page
A good way to realize how full of shit Ulefone really are is to take a look at their About Us page.
I wish I had seen it before. Too many boasting is a bad sign on its own, but lemme comment each shit they say:
Ulefone Mobile is one of the biggest manufacturers of high-quality mobile devices and accessories in China. – Their homepage ain’t even available in Chinese. Many non-Chinese companies have their websites available in Chinese because of the immense number of Chinese speakers. It’s rather strange that “one of the biggest of high-quality mobile devices and accessories in China” wouldn’t have a website in Chinese, right? Even if an average Chinese spoke a foreign lingo like English and even if Chinese wasn’t so spoken, there is a matter of national pride.
-Best quality smartphones. Thanks to high-tech manufacturing processes and unrivaled quality control defect rate is minimized. – true, a small company can be good (that’s why I went for Ulefone in the first place 😉 ), but the “best quality”?! Someone’s might sure of themselves… I mean, screw Samsung, Huawei, Sony and Apple when there’s Ulefone! Considering unrivalled quality control, a small company can have a good quality control, but unrivalled?! Again, screw Samsung, Huawei, Sony and Apple!
– Affordable. Large volumes of production enable us to acquire components for our phones at competitive prices, which positively affects the final cost of the devices. – they are affordable, all right. But large volumes of production?! How the hell can a small brand have “large volumes of production”?!
-Best Customer Support. We strive to provide our customers with fast professional support on any issue related to our products. – you gotta be kidding me; the worst costumer support is more like it (although it can always get worse…). In addition to their constant holidays that last so long that they lose track of time 😉 check out their FAQ. They have nothing in Power, Metal and Future sections…
-Frequent updates. Here, in Ulefone, we have large group of engineers who restlessly working to provide our clients with fresh updates to make our software more stable and easy to use. – In the time I had Armor, there was only one update and it did shit – not a single bloody change. Guess I should be happy there weren’t any diminishments 🙂
-Smartphones for everyone. Wide range of Ulefone’s products will satisfy even the most demanding clients. – I’m hardly the most demanding, and I’m not satisfied…
There thousands of our happy owners of Ulefone smartphones around the world and this number continues to grow. Enter the number of the lucky owners of the smartphone Ulefone right now! – a Chinese brand with bad English instead of Chinese… And I think them saying “thousands” was the only time they didn’t lie because “thousands” is awfully little in the global market.
I don’t want to go through the cocky sayings of their “costumers”…
I think it’s fitting to end this post with another warning NOT to buy Ulefone! 🙂
P.S. Just tried to log in Ulefone forum to share the link to this post there, but I couldn’t log in…
Posted on 13th May, 2017 at 22:54 GMT
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