Smartphone technology has evolved in leaps and bounds the last few decades, but one area where it continues to lag is in the battery performance department. It’s hard to find an Android smartphone that lasts a few days – many manufacturers will claim many of their smartphones do, but in reality, this is rarely the case.
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That’s where the Umidigi Power 5 comes into the picture. Umidigi produces a long list of smartphones, but the Power series is its solution to the problem of poor smartphone batteries. The Umidigi Power is one of the latest smartphones in the line-up, and inside it, you’ll find a whopping 6150mAh battery.
That definitely screams power for sure, but in this review, I assess if that huge battery manages to do what it’s supposed to do – last long. I also talk about all its other features to see if this is a phone that can work as a daily driver. I mean, it makes sense if a phone can go a full day without needing a refill, but if it’s not a nice phone to use, then what’s the point.
What’s in the box
The Umidigi Power 5 comes in Umidigi’s new and stylish box. Open it up and you’ll find a clear TPU case, a USB C charging cable, a 10W charger, the phone manual and quick start guide, and the Umidigi Power 5 itself
Design and build quality
The Umidigi Power 5 is not the best looking Umidigi smartphone; that title goes to either the Umidigi A11 or the Umidigi A9 Pro, but as far as looks on an Android phone go, it is decent. Unlike the A11 or the A9 Pro, which come with a glass sandwich build, the Power 5 sports a polycarbonate or plastic build. It feels very solid with a very nice-looking speaker grill and ports and solid clicking buttons.
Budget Android smartphones tend to cheap out with build quality and design, and while that’s true for the Umidigi A7S, Umidigi has significantly upped the build quality of its recent releases. It started with the Umidigi A9 Pro, and on this Umidigi Power 5, I’m delighted to see some quality finishing that doesn’t give off any of that cheap Chinese sweatshop manufacturing vibes.
The front of the Power 5 is pretty much like any other recently released Umidigi smartphone. You get a teardrop notch that tapers off as prominent bezels going around the phone. There’s a significant chin too, but somehow Umidigi always styles its phones to match its more than noticeable bezels and chin. Everything just seems to pair in nicely with the overall build. Umidigi phones are the one place where noticeable bezels don’t really irk me so much.
On the right side of the Power 5, you’ll find the power button (which also doubles as a fingerprint sensor) just below the volume rocker. Left side, there’s a customizable button that can be mapped to a variety of smartphone functions but more on that later. As I said, all the buttons feel solid to click. At 9.9 mm thick, the Power 5 is a thick phone (no thanks to that massive battery), but again its thickness works well with the overall build of the phone, so no complaints here.
At the back, you’re greeted with a textured back cover similar to what you’ll find on the Umidigi A7S. It adds a nice feel to the phone, and paired with Umidigi trademark ‘Beyond Dreams’ lettering, the Power 5 exudes some form of sophistication.
Top left on the back you’ll find a camera bump housing the triple camera setup, a flashlight, and the AI thermometer. The bump is almost flush with the overall back profile of the Power 5, very unlike the A11’s bumpy camera. There’s little to no wobbling about when you place the Umidigi Power 5 on a flat surface.
Overall, I’ll say the Umidigi Power 5 checks out to be a solidly built Android smartphone. Build material is top-notch, and the design is both modern and trendy.
Performance and spec sheet
For the price and considering that this phone was meant to be a battery killer, not a performance heavyweight, the Umidigi Power 5 packs a mean punch. It’s powered by a Helio G25 octa-core processor (the same processor on the Umidigi A11), 4GB of RAM, and 128GB of UFS 2.1 storage, although you could get this in the 64GB storage config as well.
On closer inspection, it’s not just the processor that’s borrowed from the A11; both the RAM and storage tech are the same thing. So this is pretty much an Umidigi A11 underneath. If you’ve seen my review of the A11, you’d know that I really did like its performance capabilities.
In summary, the Umidigi Power has all it takes to run routine Android smartphone tasks without so much as breaking a sweat. The phone operates smoothly, app launches are fast, and scrolling through menus feels responsive and intuitive. I’ve not had any problems with lag or crashes since I got this about three weeks ago.
When you step it up a notch and load some performance-intensive apps, the Power 5 still handles them well. By power-intensive, I mean launching multiple apps in the background and switching through them. 4GB of RAM in 2021 might sound small, but on the Umidigi Power 5, it’s more than enough to handle multitasking smoothly. That said, when you launch in excess of, say, twelve apps, the phone’s RAM manager automatically closes some apps running in the background, but this is normal behavior even in high-end Android smartphones.
How does the Power 5 handle gaming? Is it a well worth gaming phone? Yes, and yes. Everything from PUBG to Call of Duty to Fifa 2021 runs smoothly on the Umidigi Power 5. That’s thanks to the Helio G25 processor and Power VR8320 GPU onboard the phone. Sure the graphics could use a little improvement (it certainly falls short to the graphics of the Umidigi A9 Pro), but you’d be hard-pressed for choice finding another Android smartphone that beats the Power 5’s gaming capacity at this price point. I’ve been gaming hard on this phone for the period I’ve had it now, and I’m yet to encounter any issues with gaming performance.
The 128GB on the Umidigi Power 5 means you can store as much as you want on this phone without thinking of an SD card. The Power 5 does come with a MicroSD card slot, but I doubt you’ll be needing it any time soon. The storage tech is the better UFS 2.1 type as opposed to the slower and less durable eMMc type on the Umidigi A7S, so that’s nice. You can also get the Power 5 in the 64GB configuration, although that version comes with 3GB of RAM, which, as you expect, drops the performance ability of the Power 5. If you have the money, I’ll advise sticking with the 4GB/128GB version.
The back camera on the Umidigi Power 5 is a triple cam setup with 16MP, 8MP, and 5MP lenses. That’s all cool and dandy, but if you’ve been using android phones for long enough, you’d know that Megapixel counts don’t tell the full story of a phone’s camera performance.
Consider this, most iPhones, which are the crowned kings of everyday mobile photography, come with a main camera with resolutions that rarely exceed 12MP. My Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus’s primary camera has a 12MP sensor. That phone blows every Chinese phone (Umidigi phones included) out of the park when it comes to camera performance.
So what matters then? How can I differentiate an awesome camera from a piss-poor one? The aperture size – what dictates how much light gets to the sensor – is a good place to start. The sensor type also matters, and the stabilization technology, something very few people ever bother to consider, also plays a role.
But I’m sure you don’t want to go down the rabbit hole of technicalities. How well does the Umidigi Power 5 perform when it comes to taking pictures. I’d say very good – not excellent but certainly good enough for a phone at this price range. The Power 5’s main camera has an aperture size of F/2.0, which is again not the best out there but good enough for what this phone is.
In broad daylight, images come out punchy with a fair bit of detail and sharpness. There’s a bit of underexposure when the sun’s intensity is high as would be on a hot summer afternoon, but even then, the Power 5’s camera still manages to preserve detail and color saturation. You don’t get any of the unreal or washed-out image colors that come with photos shot on the Umidigi A7S. Blues come out blue enough, blacks are pitch black when they should be, and there’s no whitish hue present in photos shot by the Umidigi Power 5.
The Power 5’s camera can shoot in four modes landscape, portrait, night panorama, and pro. Landscape mode is excellent, and I did manage to get some pretty inspiring landscape shots with the Umidigi Power 5. If you love taking photos, however, I’m sure you’re more interested in the performance of the portrait mode. So how do portrait photos on the Umidigi Power 5 look?
Three words – it is awesome. Certainly not on par with that on the Umidigi A9 Pro, but still awesome enough to take some really good portrait shots with a decent amount of bokeh. The only thing I’d note is that portrait mode on the Power 5 works best in well-lit environments and scenes. At night the camera might have a hard time doing the background separation needed to create that refined feel of bokeh.
And speaking about night performance, I did mention that the Umidigi Power 5 comes with a night shooting mode. What that does is optimize the camera settings to improve any photos you take at night. It works well but don’t go thinking that this means the Power 5 is a great camera for night photography. It’s not. Pictures taken at night lose the clarity and vibrance that comes with daylight photos, and if it’s too dark, you get a fair amount of noise as well.
The front camera on the Umidigi Power 5 is a single 8MP setup with an f/2.2 aperture size. Like the back camera, this can shoot detailed and bokeh rich photos portrait photos. As long as you take your photos in well-lit scenes, the picture quality of the Umidigi Power 5’s front camera matches what you’d get with the back setup.
Like the Umidigi A11, the Power 5 can shoot full HD 1080p videos at 30fps. The quality is not outstanding, but again, it’s good enough for a phone at this price point.
The display on the Umidigi Power 5 is a 6.53 inch HD + panel, and it’s a noticeable downgrade from the impressive panel on the Umidigi A9 Pro. On the Power 5, it looks okayish, there’s a bit of white tinge similar to what you’d get on the Umidigi A9, but it’s nothing too serious.
This is a large screen with a 20:9 aspect ratio, and it goes well with the overall build of the Power 5. Pixel density is a healthy 269 PPI. If you squint hard enough, you’ll pick out the individual pixels on the display, but it’s not something that stands out when using the phone routinely.
The panel itself is an IPS panel, so you don’t get the darker blacks and attractive color saturation you’d see on an AMOLED screen. Picture quality is, however, good enough. As I said, there’s some grey-whitish tinge on images, but the Power 5 still does an excellent job of producing fairly colorful images and videos.
Brightness is what you’d expect from a sub $150 phone. In harsh sunlight, you might struggle to see what’s on the screen, but that’s pretty much how it goes with most budget Android smartphones, so no complaints here.
I saved the best for the last (almost last). Onboard the Umidigi Power 5 is a massive 6150mAh battery. That’s a big deal, but I guess that’s the impression Umidigi was trying to make with this phone – it’s not just called ‘Power’ for the sake of nothing.
The Power 5’s battery is powerful, alright. On a full charge, this phone can go a full three days without needing a top-up. When last did you hear about an Android that could go four days on a stretch? Yeah, the Power 5 really does live up to its name. If you keep things extremely simple, it can even go beyond that three day mark.
When I first got this, I had it lying on the table answering calls and occasionally surfing the web – it was on for a staggering one week. To demonstrate how robust than 6150 battery pack on the Power 5 is, this phone doesn’t drop any charge overnight. Whatever battery percentage you leave it on before sleeping is what you’d meet the next day when you wake up.
The only disappointment with the Umidigi Power 5 is the fact that it doesn’t come with a fast charger. That’s tolerable on the Umidigi A9 Pro, the A7S, and even the A11, but to include a 6150mAh battery in a phone and ship with a bland 10w charger – that’s just irritating. Charging this device to 100% takes at least 3 hours. In today’s world, where smartphones turbo their way from 0-100% in less than an hour, this makes no sense. If you’ve got a fast charger of your own, charging times drop to under 2 hours. So yeah, the Power 5 supports some sort of fast charging Umidigi just decided not to include a fast charger in the box.
Umidigi phones are famous for the extra features they pack, and the Power 5 is no exception. On it, you get:
A side-mounted fingerprint sensor
This is not so much an extra, but because we’re talking budget Android phones, I guess it qualifies as one. The Power 5 comes with a side-mounted fingerprint sensor that works great out of the box. It did take some time to calibrate the sensor well. My first calibration wasn’t perfect, but unlocking the phone was smooth once I’d registered my fingerprints appropriately.
All Umidigi phones now ship with an extra customizable button, and on the Power 5, it’s located on the left margin of the phone. I absolutely love this feature. It allows you to map a smartphone function so you can launch the function by simply clicking the button.
On my phone, it’s automatically set to launch the AI thermometer (more on that next), but I’ll probably change it soon to launch the Samsung internet browser – the best mobile phone browser, not that anyone asked anyway.
A contactless AI thermometer
Yes, the Umidigi Power 5 can take temperature readings. That’s thanks to what Umidigi is calling an AI contactless thermometer. It can measure both body temperature and temperature objects to an acceptable level of accuracy, I should add.
We’re slowly getting over the pandemic, which was what prompted the inclusion of this feature in the first place, but I still think it’s a handy function to have in a smartphone. Sure, you won’t use it every day, but the one day you’ll have a need for it, you’ll be glad it’s an included feature on your smartphone.
Pricing and availability
You can get the Umidgi Power 5 right now from Amazon or AliExpress for just $103. That’s a fair price, in my opinion, when you consider the feature list of this smartphone.
Should you buy the Umidigi Power 5
You probably didn’t notice through this review, but if you’ve read my Umidigi A11 review, you’d have connected the dots. The Umidigi Power 5 is basically an Umidigi A11 with a less attractive build but a better battery. Both phones pack the same performance spec sheet, the same screen, and the only difference is the build and battery.
The A11 has a better build. The Power 5 has a better battery. What do you want in a phone? Do you need something that can go four days without needing a charge? If you do, the Umidigi Power 5 is just what the doctor ordered.
All-round, it’s an excellent phone that will handle pretty much everything you throw at it – so in reality, it’s not just about the battery. If you get the Umidigi Power 5, you’re buying a powerhouse of an Android phone that does everything you’d need an Android smartphone to do.
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