UMIDIGI (previously known as UMI) is a China-based mobile phone company. They release new phones every couple of months. UMIDIGI is known for their budget price phones with amazing specs. Sound too good to be true? Well, thatÕs because it is.
In this article I will be sharing my personal experience with this company. How I fell for it, their device durability, customer service and their so called “warranty”. Let me tell you the full story. From the time I decided to buy a UMI phone to the point I decided that I would never buy from them ever again.
how, why and when i bought it
It was not long ago, back in in July 2016, that I decided that I needed a new phone. At that time I was still using my 4 year old Samsung Galaxy S III (S3). Yes, THE S3! It was time to get a new phone as its power button was broken and I would get random reboots or even boot-loops. I decided that this time I wasn’t going to spend too much money getting a flagship phone. I just wanted a phone that has a big screen and does basic tasks just fine, like browsing the internet,Facebook, Twitter, YouTube etc. I also wanted a stock Android experience. Many people were getting Chinese phones from unheard, at the time, companies like Meizu, Xiaomi and ZTE. I did a little digging and found a phone company called “UMI”. They had the cheapest phones for the best specs! BINGO! I found the best budget phone for my needs (or so I thought).
UMI’s flagship, back then, was the “UMI Super“. It has a 5.5inch screen, a Helio P10 Octa Core processor, 4GB of RAM (Only few phones had that much RAM), a huge 4000mAh battery a decent 13MP Panasonic camera system, expandable storage and a fingerprint sensor! All that for a price of 220 euros ($265). I found a couple of video reviews on YouTube and it seemed like a good phone. Even JerryRigEverything made a UMI Super durability video and the phone survived! Without any hesitation I bought one from an official UMI Licensed Shop I found on their website.
In a couple of weeks I got the phone. I set it up and everything was fine. The phone was speedy, the display was vibrant and responsive. The fingerprint sensor was lightning fast and the battery was able to get me through two full days of usage! I was really impressed by the phone and especially by its specs/money ratio. Everything was running smoothly and I was happy with the purchase I made.
My Brother’s UMI Touch
A few weeks later my brother was searching for a super budget phone (around 150 euros , $180). I recommended the UMI Touch. The touch model has a 5.5inch screen, a MediaTek 64 Bit MTK6753 Octa Core processor, 3GB of RAM, a huge 4000mAh battery, a decent 13MP Sony camera system, expandable storage and a fingerprint sensor in the front. It was a great deal for him and he was really satisfied with the phone.
My Mum’s Umi Diamond
In November (2016) I wanted to get my mum a new phone. She had an almost 5 year old Samsung Android phone. She was constantly complaining that it was laggy. We also had difficulty installing apps and she didn’t want to get a new one. That was when I decided to get her a phone for Christmas. I was still impressed by UMI. I found the UMI Diamond was perfect for her. ItÕs a dirt cheap phone (around 100 euros, $120). The UMI Diamond has a 5inch screen, a 64 Bit MediaTek (MTK6753) Octa Core processor clocked at 1.3Ghz, 3GB of RAM, a 2650mAh battery, a basic 8MP camera and an expandable storage option. She was really happy with it.
UMI SUPER First Problems
Around Christmas of 2016 my phone started to have some serious problems. The phone would register random touches many times a day. The worse thing here is when the touches wouldn’t go away and keep sliding and re-sliding down the notifications center making the phone impossible to use. I tried many times to just restart it but that didn’t seem to work. I even tried a factory reset but that didnÕt work either.
My Dad’s UMI Plus E
My dad was really surprised by the overall image of the UMI phones. When he accidentally shattered his phone screen, he bought another UMI phone without hesitating. He got the newly released (at that time) UMI phone , the UMI Plus E. That smartphone has a 5.5 inch screen, a 64 Bit MediaTek (HelioP20) Octa Core processor clocked at 2.3Ghz, a whopping 6GB of RAM, 64GB internal storage, a 4000mAh battery, 13MP Samsung camera and an expandable storage option. Although my phone was having some issues I was still really impressed with UMI phones in general but that was about to change soon.
the death of my phone & UMI’s Customer service
In February of 2017 I noticed some drastic change to my phone’s battery life . It could barely keep up half a day with the same usage . Also I started noticing the phone was kind of swollen. After half a month the phone was noticeably swollen. I decided it was time to open up the phone and disconnect the battery. I was also really scared that it might explode like the Note 7 phones. The phone was still under warranty and I knew it could be fixed without extra cost. I immediately contacted UMI explaining the issue. I was really disappointed of their response as they simply told me that they couldn’t do anything about it and that I should contact the seller I bought it from . (what an amazing customer service they have !). The seller, after a bunch of emails and a ton of proof they were requesting, “kindly” offered me a 20$ refund to get a new battery. At least I wasn’t going to pay anything extra.
After a month the new battery arrived. I finally had my phone back and the battery was working just fine . Unfortunately that lasted only for a month as the “new” battery died unexpectedly. I was once again without a phone. UMI wasn’t going to help me and the whole process of exchanging emails with the seller just wasn’t worth it. I was going to have to wait for another month for a battery to arrive and I would still have the random touches problem. I even did some research on the internet. I found out that I wasn’t the only one having problems with the battery of the UMI Super. I was done with that phone for good. I decided that I would never get a UMI phone ever again and that I should start searching for a new phone asap! I decided this time that I would go with a trustworthy brand. I ended up with the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge . I never had a single problem ever since i got it four months ago. I’m really happy with my new phone and I hope it will last me for a long time. But the story isn’t over yet.
Mum’s phone has issues
At the same time I was struggling to keep my phone alive and I was waiting for the new battery to arrive my Mum’s phone (UMI Diamond) started having its own issues . After just five minutes of usage , the screen would get some sort of ghosting effect, still showing the previous image. The colors were washed out sometimes and the screen would flicker rarely. Then the random touches problem would occur. I knew for sure that phone wasn’t gonna last long. I suggested that she should get a new phone soon as it might just stop working one day, like what happened to my brother.
brother’s phone dies too
One month ago, in August of 2017, my brotherÕs phone (UMI Touch) just stopped working! Just like that, it wouldn’t respond at all. I tried to force restart it and all I got was vibration. No sound, no display. He took it to a local repair shop and they told him that it was a screen issue. Fixing it wasnÕt worth it as they wanted nearly 100 euros for repairs, almost 3/4 of the price he got it for. He now uses an old phone. Once again a disappointment from UMI.
A week ago my dad’s phone, the UMI Plus E, had a problem. The speaker and the earpiece stopped working. I tried a restart and it didn’t work. He even tried a factory reset but without any luck. The speaker was dead for good. He is now in search of a new phone.
All in all I’m very disappointed with UMI (UMIDIGI). Three out of four phones are dead within just a year of use and the fourth has a lot of problems. Their so called “Customer service” is non existed and they don’t seem to care about their customers. To me they don’t seem to be a serious company and I believe that they wont last long if they continue to release crappy phones like these.
Disclaimer: In this article I only shared my perspective and my personal, rather disappointing, experience with the UMI (UMIDIGI) company. I don’t know whether they fixed the problems with their newest phones or not. I don’t want any kind of trouble with that company and I hope I never deal with them ever again.