Every day at 8am (GMT) Banggood are offering the UMI Fair, a 5-inch Android phone with fingerprint scanner, for just 7p! If that isn’t good enough, this price includes free worldwide shipping and a flip case cover!
So what’s the catch? Just one phone will be sold at this price each day in what Banggood refer to as a “Snap-up” deal so the chances of landing one are slim. However, there is literally nothing to lose by taking part. You’ll have to register an account at Banggood.com and make sure you have added a PayPal payment method, before you take part, to speed up the “rush to buy” checkout process. The link to the snap up deal page can be found here or from the Banggood homepage. Even if you miss out on the deal I think this phone offers fantastic value for money. Use the code “10bgumif” at checkout to get a further $10 (~£6.55) off.
The phone is from a company called UMI Digi, a fairly unknown brand outside of China but their previous models have been well received domestically and worldwide. Reviewers have generally praised the build quality and the features UMI are able to pack into their phones whilst still hitting unbelievably low price points. Usually the UMI Fair retails for just £80 (remember you may be liable for import tax and duty) and is one of the most exciting low cost smartphones of 2015. Features which belie the low RRP are a laser cut stainless steel frame and rear mounted fingerprint scanner. The latter seems to be the must have feature this year and the manufacturer boasts of its super fast recognition and military grade security (exactly whose military isn’t mentioned…). You also get a 5″ screen with 294 pixels per inch (PPI), which should be plenty, but this figure pales in comparison to the >400PPI the flagship models from the likes of Apple and Samsung are sporting. The chances are your eyes won’t perceive any difference between these pixel resolutions and, over the last few years, PPI has become just another figure which salesmen use to play mobile phone top trumps. You’ll also get a very nice 13MP rear shooting Sony camera in the back with fast optics. Unfortunately a rather disappointing 2000mAh battery provides the juice although UMI can still claim some impressive battery life which may be due to the latest iteration of Mediateks 64bit quad core CPU. You’ll also want to invest in an sdcard as the Fair comes with a rather stingy 8gb of internal storage.
UMI provide a downloadable tool for PC, called ROOTJOY, which allows you to swap and change the firmware from all the well known aftermarket suppliers; such as MIUI, CyanogenMOD and many others. Or you can run vanilla Android 5.1 (Lollipop) if you’d prefer. I think it is a nice touch which those new to the Android flashing scene will appreciate. A custom ROM can give a phone a new lease of life when it begins to age. All ROMS are supplied pre-rooted which simplifies things but could make running some software, like Virgin’s TV Anywhere for example, all but impossible. Just something to be aware of if you ever go down this route.
The UMI Fair won’t appeal to everyone, especially not those who need the latest and greatest. However, I think it is worth considering if you don’t care about brand recognition and want a modern smartphone with the latest features for a sub £100 price tag.
Full specs below can be found below.
|Release date||September 2015|
|Dimensions (mm)||143.50 x 72.00 x 8.40|
|Battery capacity (mAh)||2000|
|Screen size (inches)||5.00|
|Pixels per inch (PPI)||295|
|Processor make||MediaTek MT6735|
|Expandable storage type||microSD|
|Expandable storage up to (GB)||64|
|Operating System||Android 5.1|
|Wi-Fi standards supported||802.11 b/ g/ n|
|Bluetooth||Yes, v 4.00|
|Number of SIMs||2|
|Supports 4G in India (Band 40)||No|
|Ambient light sensor||Yes|