The Elephone U Pro might be the latest Samsung Galaxy look alike to come out of China. But in their latest effort, Elephone has produced an outstanding device. Yes, the U Pro has a slick near bezel-less design with great performance. Similar design traits that you can expect from the latest Samsung S9. But calling this smartphone a direct clone or knock-off is an understatement. Let’s dive deep into this device in my Elephone U Pro Review.
Elephone U Pro Review
We all associate Android smartphones with mainstream brands such as Samsung and LG. The LG G6 was the first smartphone of 2017 to introduce us to a slim bezel design. This design managed to fit in a large display into a smartphone with a smaller footprint. You can get a screen that’s larger than an iPhone 8 plus screen into the body of the smaller iPhone 8. The slim tall display also made way for a newly accepted 18:9 aspect ratio.
Samsung implemented this design into their S8 smartphone last year. The S8 has one of the best smartphone designs of 2017. It is no wonder that there are so many clones of this smartphone. These Chinese clones are stunning copies of the S8 and promise plenty of performance. But the unfortunate truth is that most of these smartphones are not up to the task. Most of them don’t even look the same as advertised and have terrible internals and speakers.
But last years Elephone S8 was one of the best picks from the S8 look-alike contest. It had a slick design with a good display. It had great performance and Android 7.1. All this for an incredible price. A fraction of the cost of an original Samsung S8.
This year, Elephone returns with a gorgeous smartphone. A phone that can stand next to the top tier smartphones based on its looks. One can argue that the Elephone U Pro steals its design from the latest Samsung S9 (or prev gen S8). But the U Pro also shares similar looks to Huawei and LG’s latest offerings. A look that has become an industry standard.
Design and Features
Like the rebranded name, the design of the U Pro sees a departure from Elephone’s S series of names. Instead of going for the next Elephone S9, the company rebranded to U Pro. This gives us an idea of Elephone’s intention to move past its copycat status and into exclusive territory. The design may not be unique, but its ultra slim bezel looks are stunning. The dual camera and fingerprint scanner set up at the back is neat and stylish.
The front glass curves into the side frame of the smartphone. This curved AMOLED display is a first for a budget Chinese smartphone. AMOLED tech makes for a very bright 6-inch screen. You will notice this considerable difference outdoors. This kind of displays also aids in battery optimisation.
The U Pro’s battery will get you through a full day on a single charge of its 3550mAh battery. Not the largest on the market at this price, but a decent size bigger than most competitors. The phone also has dual 13MP cameras. Unlike a lot of other Chinese manufacturers who install a single camera with a fake second camera. Elephone has partnered with Arcsoft to optimise their camera. You can expect better Bokeh shots from the U Pro.
The Elephone U Pro is also on the latest version of Android. It has Android 8.0 with a light Elephone skin which is not too distracting. Very impressive because this makes the U Pro one of the first smartphones of 2018 to have Android 8. Apart from the rear fingerprint scanner, there is also face unlock available.
Another first for the Telephone company is the Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 chip in the U Pro. This is a much more expensive chip than the MediaTek chipsets that most Chinese manufacturers are known to use in their smartphones. It is also a huge deal to get into business with Qualcomm with all of their licencing requirements. But Elephone has pushed for this in a hope for legitimacy towards the U Pro.
The Snapdragon 660 chip with its 6GB of RAM is more than capable and is optimised for better gaming and multitasking. However, it is still not as quick as a Snapdragon 835 or 845. But the Elephone U Pro will get the job done. Especially your everyday tasks. You can opt for the less powerful MediaTek Helio 23 chip in the Elephone U smartphone. This smartphone has very much the same design and features as the U Pro, but at a lower price with a less powerful chip.
The Snapdragon 660 chip with its 6GB of RAM is more than capable
Should You Get the Elephone U Pro?
This is a bit of a difficult one. The U Pro is an impressive device. The design, camera, and performance are fantastic. But the smartphone is similarly priced as the OnePlus 5T. The OnePlus 5T has a Better Snapdragon 835 chip and is a better-established firm than Elephone. This is one of the main reasons to pass on this smartphone. The U Pro can be a bit more enticing if the company decides to drop the price. But whether the U Pro holds its Price or not, time will tell.
If you really are on a budget and plan to dive into the Chinese smartphone market, then maybe look at the Elephone U. It is identical to the U Pro except for its cheaper processor. Elephone still manufactures their S8 and S7 smartphones that combine great design with decent specs. These are great value for money.