Should you buy the Umidigi A7S?

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The Umidigi A7s is an absolute delight for every budget smartphone shopper. It is arguably one of the cheapest Android smartphone on the market today, one that manages to pack in just enough power under the hood. As standard, you get 2GB of RAM and 32GB of storage, plus several other appealing features. Are these features justifying of the ridiculously low price tag? Has Umidigi managed to create the best well-rounded budget smartphone to satisfy all your budget smartphone needs? Should you buy the Umidigi A7S? Read on to find out.

  • Buy the Umidigi A7S on Amazon by clicking here
  • Or on AliExpress by clicking here

Umidigi A7S – the strong points

The price obviously

Snippet from aliexpress showing the price of the Umidigi A7S
$79 is just about the lowest you can get for an Android smartphone that does all the basics in 2021.

$79 is a really small price to pay for an android phone in 2021, and if you’ve been scouring the internet for a budget smartphone, you’d agree with me. While there are cheaper options (like the iTel S16), most android smartphones worth considering (like the Umidigi A7S) fall in the $100 ballpark. Umidigi has managed to keep the pricing this low through some crafty scaling down in the performance and build quality departments but more on that later when I address the shortcomings of the A7S.

Quick Note: The price of the A7S appears to have changed since I posted this review. Check the current price on AliExpress by clicking here

The specifications

On the A7S, you get 2GBs of RAM and 32GBs of onboard storage with space for expansion via a microSD slot. Granted, those are not stellar performance numbers. But for the price, they are well above par. To put that into perspective, consider the iTel S16 – it’s priced very similar to the A7S but ships with a 1GB RAM and 16GB ROM storage bundle.


Picture showing someone using the Umidigi A7S
The A7S does handles routine daily smartphone stuff smoothly

Having good numbers in the specifications department is one thing; translating that into a fluid, and seamless UI/UX experience is another thing entirely.  Thankfully the A7S doesn’t disappoint. Through the period I used the phone, I didn’t encounter any lag or hitches when performing day-to-day smartphone user tasks. Apps opened smoothly. Scrolling was effortless, and all round, the A7S felt particularly nice to operate. This phone comes with stock android and very little bloatware.

An infrared thermometer

Picture of the AI thermometer on the Umidigi A7S
The AI thermometer on the A7S works to give fairly accurate temperature readings of both people and objects

The COVID-19 pandemic has got design chiefs at Umidigi donning their thinking caps, and to ‘innovate’ in these ‘trying times,’ they’ve included an infrared thermometer in the A7S for contactless body temperature measurements. No one asked for this feature, but I’ve found it a tad bit handy in the few case scenarios where I had to take body temperatures. It’s not 100% accurate, but it works to give a reasonably accurate temperature reading – it will undoubtedly detect the wild temperature swings that come with the signature COVID-19 fevers, that’s for sure.

Umidigi A7S – the bad

It’s a bulky phone

Picture of the chunky build of the Umidigi A7S
The A7S feels very chunky to hold. It’s also heavy

The Umidigi A7S is thick on the sides, heavy to hold, large to grab with thick bezels to match. It doesn’t have any of the sleek and machined look you’d get on the A7 Pro or the A9 Pro, and to cap it all up, Umidigi opted for an all-plastic build, unlike what you’d get in the former two smartphones. I do like the textured finish on the back of the A7S, and overall the phone is sort of okayish. But, if you’re someone who loves portable smartphones, then this might be a concern.

Performance is good, but there are drawbacks.

The A7S was produced to handle routine smartphone tasks efficiently, and that’s just about it. Attempt to run any performance-intensive applications, and you’re most certainly going to run into issues. In real-world use, this phone won’t run PUBG, Call of Duty, Asphalt 9 or any of such performance-intensive games without lagging or outright crashing. It won’t run 50 apps in the background, and if you’re the type to switch in between apps constantly, you’ll quickly notice the stutter as the phone struggles to manage everything with its not so large 2GB RAM allocation.

It’s Android 10 Go, not full-on Android 10

Screenshot of Android GO apps on the Umidigi A7S
The A7S comes with Android 10 GO and Android 10 GO applications

Android 10 Go is the toned-down version of Android 10 for android smartphones with low-tier specifications. Unlike the full version, Android 10 Go doesn’t come with a Significant number of features like USB On-The-Go.

All Google preloaded apps will also come as their Go versions which, like the main Go OS, are stripped-down versions of the full package.

The camera

sample shot of the A7 portrait mode
Portrait mode for the A7S’s back camera is just a random radial filter

The camera on the A7S, shoots fairly decent landscape and selfie photos, and I have no complaints about that. What’s rather surprising is the portrait mode function of the primary rear camera. Unlike other budget android smartphones that attempt to simulate the bokeh effect through some post-processing magic, Umidigi has decided that the $73 you pay for this smartphone doesn’t cover this feature. What you get is an awful looking radial filter that just mangles up the edges of photos to create an archaic look.

No fast charger or earphones

Keeping the price of the Umidigi A7S drop-dead low also meant that Umidigi had to ditch the idea of including a fast charger (despite the phone coming with support for USB C) or an earphone in the box. What you get by default is a 5W charger, a clear TPU case and the phone manual. However, it’s fair to note that this is pretty much standard Umidigi practice.

Bottom line – should you buy the Umidigi A7S?

Picture showing the front view of the Umidigi A7S
The A7S does all the basics right. Overall, it’s a fitting budget smartphone

If you’re working with a very tight budget, then yeah, the Umidigi A7S is an excellent buy. It does all the basics right, and with the inclusion of a 4000 mAh battery and the infrared thermometer, it makes a strong case of being the best ‘budget budget’ smartphone on the market.

Make no mistake however, there are significant drawbacks with this phone, and if your budget is not too tight, I’d suggest adding a few dollars and upgrading to something better. Yes (hey Oukitel C21), there are many better smartphones in the budget category that offer better value and won’t break the bank.

  • Buy the Umidigi A7S on Amazon by clicking here
  • Or on AliExpress by clicking here
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