Ulefone Future review: Connectivity

While battery life isn’t outstanding, the 3,000mAh non-removable battery inside the Ulefone Future does support fast charging over USB-C. Using the mains charger in the box (with an adaptor if you’re in the UK), you can fully charge the Future in an hour. We also appreciate the inclusion of this USB-C port in terms of future-proofing and convenience - USB-C is reversible, making it quicker to plug into the phone without needing to check its orientation.

We do like the fact the Ulefone Future supports two SIM cards (one Nano-, one Micro-), too. Dual-SIM phones are still rare in the UK, although we’ve yet to see a Chinese phone that doesn’t include this functionality. Also see: Best dual-SIM phones 2016.

As always when buying a phone from abroad you should check it supports your home country’s network bands. In the UK we use 800MHz (Band 20), 1800MHz (Band 3) and 2600MHz (Band 7) bands for 4G LTE, and it’s pleasing to find the Ulefone Future supports all three.

Ulefone Future review

The only down side to this dual-SIM dual-standby functionality is that you must choose whether to use this or to take advantage of the microSD card support. With 32GB of internal storage inside the Future we think many users will get along just fine without the removable storage, however.

Other connectivity specs are fairly standard, although there is no NFC which is required for mobile payments such as Android Pay. MediaTek processor-powered phones often come with HotKnot, which is a bit like NFC, but the Ulefone Future doesn’t have this either.

It’s no surprise to find the Ulefone Future also lacks an IR blaster - these are becoming increasingly rare - though you do get dual-band 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, Miracast, OTG and GPS.

Ulefone Future review: Cameras

Ulefone Future review

The Ulefone Future has a 16Mp primary camera with a dual-tone flash. It’s also capable of recording full-HD video at 30fps, but this can be rather jerky with no OIS. Also see: Best camera phone 2016.

When testing the camera in Auto mode from our 7th floor roof terrace overlooking the St Pancras Renaissance Hotel we found the camera tried to focus on the sky and the hotel itself appeared very dark. Turning on HDR fixed this, but with both shots we saw a very strange effect where only the very centre of the photo was sharp. The blurring is particularly evident in the right half of the photo, but when you zoom in it’s evident everywhere except the middle section.

This is a real shame, because in the centre the camera quality is excellent. We suspect this is a software issue that an update should be able to fix.

View our Auto and HDR shots (respectively) below. (Click to view at full size.)

Ulefone Future review - Auto camera

Ulefone Future review - HDR camera

The camera app is rather basic, with a selection of real-time filters, but only Panorama, HDR and Normal shooting modes.

You’ll also find a 5Mp selfie camera at the front.

Ulefone Future review: Software

The Ulefone Future runs a vanilla version of Android 6.0 Marshmallow which, until Nougat is released within the next few months, is the latest version of the OS. You can read our full Android Marshmallow review here.

The only addition is a Turbo Download feature, which allows you to combine cellular data and Wi-Fi to speed downloads over 20MB in file size.

Read next: Best new phones coming in 2016.

Follow Marie Brewis on Twitter.

Specs

Ulefone Future: Specs

  • Android 6.0 Marshmallow
  • 5.5in full-HD (1920x1080) display with Gorilla Glass 3
  • 2GHz octa-core Helio P10 (MediaTek MTK6755) processor
  • Mali-T860 MP2 GPU
  • 4GB RAM
  • 32GB storage
  • 4G LTE Cat.6 800/1800/2100/2600MHz
  • dual-SIM dual-standby (Micro + Nano or Micro + MicroSD up to 128GB)
  • dual-band 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • GPS
  • OTG
  • Miracast
  • fingerprint sensor
  • USB-C
  • Quick Charge
  • 16Mp rear camera with dual-tone flash, 1080p video at 30fps
  • 5Mp front camera
  • 3000mAh non-removable battery
  • 152x74x8.5mm
  • 190g

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