Mintt is a new Australian smartphone brand – you may have
seen it recently on Channel 9’s ‘The Block’. The Mintt UltraMintt Y3 is its most
expensive offering – if you call $399 expensive.
We set out to analyse the Mintt UltraMintt Y3 and why it offers
so much – a reasonable processor, battery, Qi wireless and fast charging, NFC,
two-year swap warranty and more. Is there a catch?
The only catch is that Mintt is a new Australian company so we put it through due diligence first to check its bona fides and they are all good. As long the company sells sufficient to stay afloat – and at these prices, why not – then it is a safe bet. And Mintt has a range of lower-cost phones from $179 that we will review when we can.
How can they do low cost, well-featured phones? For starters,
there are no middlemen, distributors or retailers making a margin along the
way. Mintt estimates the distribution method could add up to 50% to the cost. We
concur – this is a phone that could easily sell for much more.
Mintt uses an OEM/ODM (original equipment maker/original design maker) as it does not own factories. A quick check of the Mac address tracks it back to Shanghai TYD Electronic Technology established in 2007. Its house brand is Koobee, and it makes for Ravoz, Blu and many others. According to its website, it has over 500 qualified Doctoral and Master Degree staff in its Research and Development team. It makes about 40million smartphones a year primarily sold in China.
The Mintt UltraMinnt Y3 is the same as Blu G9 Pro (a US company that requires robust FCC certification for each model handset) or Ravoz Z8 (sold in China). That makes me a lot more confident that this is a tried and tested ODM model.
Mintt is an Australian company (partnering with MINTT Global
that operates mainly in PNG and South-East Asia). All
Mintt Australia smartphones have RCM (C-tick) certification. They are fully
compliant with all Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) requirements
for use in Australia.
This means it has the Australian firmware and LTE bands to work
on all Australian Telco carrier networks and can make an 000-emergency call
(not 911) without a SIM.
How we rate smartphones
We develop extensive paradigms – what it must meet or exceed
– and then slot them into market segments.
Our original four categories have grown to seven, and we
review against different paradigms for each category.
Premium Flagship $1600-2499 (usually a flagship
with more memory/storage, additional camera lens and now 5G)
Flagship $1000-1599 (account for about 10% of
Premium mid-market $800-999 (10% and often last
year’s flagship at run-out price)
Mid-market $500-799 (about 25% of the market)
Mass-market $200-499 (about 25% of the market)
Value pre-paid <A$199 (about 30% of the
market – good for pre-paid and children)
At $399 this fits in the middle of the mass-market segment. Here you have the OPPO AX7 ($349), LG Q60 ($349), Vivo Y17 ($369), Samsung Galaxy A30 ($379), Huawei Y9 Prime ($399), Motorola One Vision ($449), Vivo S1 ($449), Huawei P30 Lite ($449). An updated Nokia Version ‘.2’ may also slip in there.
While some may have
a better camera or larger battery, none match the basket of features in the Mintt
In the box
Mintt UltraMintt Y3 handset
Charger 5V/2A (fast charge required an optional
USB-C 18W or higher charger)
Cable type USB-A to USB-C
3.5 mm earbuds and mic (standard grade)
TPU clear bumper case
Pre-fitted screen protector
The first impression
It is a 2.5 (curved edge), waterdrop glass slab with a
pretty Amethyst gradient glass back – yes, it is a fingerprint magnet.
The back is 2.5D Gorilla Glass 5 curved to a similarly coloured metal frame. Three cameras sit on the top right (Apple style) with a dual-LED flash below. There is a rear fingerprint sensor with the Mintt OK logo below.
It has a pre-fitted screen protector and smallish bezels. Overall
it appears well made and quite durable. It is a cut above the typical mass-market
Colour depth: 16m
Brightness: Claimed – no. Measured average/peak 300/330 nits
Contrast: Claimed: No. Measured 1200:1
Grey-to-grey: 40+ms – a little slow for games
Notch: centre waterdrop
Colour gamut: Not specified. Measured at 78% sRGB with Delta E 6.7 Colour settings: No but MTK has a Miravision app that provides good adjustment (needs to be loaded with the OS and we suggest Mintt includes this in a future patch)
Screen protection: Gorilla Glass (not stated but we understand
it is 5)
Screen Protector: Plastic screen protector
Case: Clear bumper case
AOD: No Daylight readability: Average. No glossy IPS screen is good, and while the automatic brightness tries to compensate, it is best in in-direct sunlight.
Pulse-width modulation: It uses PWM to adjust brightness
which becomes evident at lower brightness levels. However, it is not an issue
as you will drive this at maximum brightness.
Its is a good, glossy, 1080p, colourful, 300-330 nits
brightness, screen. It is not quite bright enough for good daylight readability,
but it is better than most at this price.
Colour accuracy is ‘subjectively’ good, but it is capable of
better calibration. If it had MTK Miravision software, I suspect it could get a
much better result.
Summary: In this price bracket, all you can expect is 720p,
so at 1080p, it exceeds this paradigm.
Brand: MT6771V/C (Helio P60), 12nm Cores: 4 x Arm [email protected] + 4x Arm [email protected] AI Engine: Mobile APU Deep-learning: facial detection (DL-FD) for Face ID Modem: 4G LTE WorldMode modem with all Australian bands
Brand: Mali-G72 MP3
Video codecs: H.264, H.265 / HEVC
DirectX 12, OpenCL 2.0, OpenGL ES 3.2, Vulcan 1.1
The Helio P60 processor is compared to Qualcomm SD6XXs that are generally found in mid-market devices. It is a good chip, and it is unusual to see it in a mass-market $399 device.
GadgetGuy recently reviewed the UmiDigi F1 and last years Nokia 5.1 Plus so we have a baseline to compare. It performs similarly to these smartphones.
Performance tests: The new version of Geek Bench 5 has
changed ratings that appear approx. 80% lower than GeekBench4 (multiply by five).
The single/multi-core/compute are 276/1372/1096 which is
around the speed of a Motorola G7 and Samsung A50. Our reference Samsung Note9,
GPU: If there is a weakness, it is
video performance – it is about 30% of the Qualcomm SD660 Adreno GPU.
Game use: The CPU/GPU is not great for games. It should support most mobile games to 30fps.
Throttling: A 15-minute test went from 132,180GIPS to
72,960GIPS (Average 89,618) effectively losing 58% after four minutes. There is
always some throttling, but this is a little higher than we expected.
Temperature: at 100% load for 15 minutes the SoC reaches 76°
(internal), but the battery and other components are no more than 32°. Outside
it is even cooler at 22° (ambient temperature 19°). This is all within specification.
Summary: Our only issue is that MediaTek
SoCs don’t play well with our testing software. However, it is a decent SoC
usually seen in more expensive phones.
Wi-Fi N, dual-band, MIMO
USB-C Type 1.0
Using Cell Info the 5GHz Signal strength at 5 meters from our
reference D-Link AC5300 router is –52dBm and 86Mbps (the best you can expect for
Wi-Fi N 5GHz).
GPS is accurate to within 10 metres, but it is not fast to
find satellites sometimes taking a minute or more. It is adequate for turn-by-turn
navigation and route recalculation.
Summary: Few phones this price offer 5Ghz N band so it will
move data faster over dual-band Wi-Fi.
Dual sim (hybrid) can use both at once or one for microSD
VoLTE: depends on carrier
Wi-FI Calling: No
Signal strength is excellent at -87dBm. Our reference
Samsung Galaxy Note9 is -109dBm (lower
is better) – this is in a weak reception area.
As I have come to expect of 2019 technology, the Mintt UltraMintt Y3 found the next nearest tower at -91dBM (the Note9 does not).
That this is a phone for Australia, it does not have many world
LTE bands activated.
Summary: Goods strong reception
3.5mm audio jack: Yes
Earpiece: above the notch
Speaker: Downfiring mono
Mics – 2
Buds: 3.5mm buds/mic
FM Radio: yes
Handsfree is clear but a little low in volume
Ring 80+dB (above average), Voice 70dB, Music 73dB
There are three tests – 3.5mm buds, BT headphones and the mono speaker.
The 3.5mm buds are surprisingly good with offset ear tips
for a better canal seal. I cannot measure frequency response, but there is a
hint of bass, peaking mids and a fair amount of treble – bright vocal.
Our reference Sony WH-1000Xm3 headphones are wasted on SDB codecs but we use them to listen for crosstalk and maximum volume. Sound is clean and quite flat showing the Helio P60 has a good built-in DSP.
The mono speaker is mid-centric for clear voice.
Speaker sound signature
We use spectrum analysis to determine the sound signature of the down-firing mono speaker.
Note: Frequency response is from 20Hz to 20kHz
Deep Bass: 20-40Hz – none
Middle Bass: 40-100Hz – none
High Bass: 100 to 200Hz – none
Low-mids: 200-400Hz – building
Mids: 400-1000Hz – building
High-mids: 1-2kHz – peaking
Low-treble: 2-4kHz – flat
Treble:4-6kHz – flat with another small peak
High Treble: 6-10kHz – declining
Dog whistle: 10-20kHz – none
I would generally call it a mid-signature, but the treble
gently peaks again around 5kHz, so it is more Bright vocal. This is good for
phone calls but a little harsh for music.
4050 mAh battery
Charger type: 5V/2A (10W) USB-C
Quick Charge: Supports 5V/3A and 9V/2A (18W) with optional charger
Wireless Qi charge: 10W (can use 5-15W chargers)
Our test software indicates a 3950mAh battery – that is not
so much of an issue as batteries are typically rated at nominal capacity.
Recharge with the standard 5V/2A charger from 0-100% takes under
Qi wireless is 10W, and it takes about four hours (typical).
If you buy am 18W USB-PD 2.0 charger, you can get 50% in 30
minutes and the remainder in under two hours.
1080p Video loop: 50% brightness, Airplane mode – 7 hours (this is an estimate extrapolated from two hours use)
MP3 music – over 20 hours
Heavy use: 50% screen on time – 6 hours (ditto)
Under 100% load: GFX Bench T-Rex test 5.65 hours
Summary: The battery is large for this class of device. We
expect it to go 36+ hours under typical use.
Gorilla Glass (5) over an alloy frame.
Slippery – use the bumper case
157 x 75.8 x 8.75mm x 183g
2-years Australia Post swap warranty
Website here and significantly below EUT maximum levels
It is well made, no gaps and no #bendgate. The 2-year swap warranty
via Australia-post is good. Although in practice you first send your phone back
for a quick assessment and if it is a warranty claim (not user caused) a replacement
is immediately sent. We understand the process takes less than a week. Mintt
claims a .05% failure rate – that is excellent.
Mintt does not have many accessories. You can buy a Pleather flip case for $29, and you can buy Blu G9 Pro accessories at most online markets.
Fingerprint sensor on the rear (registers multiple
2D Face Unlock
The 2D facial recognition is courtesy of a 24MP (binned to
6MP) selfie camera and the Helio P60 Deep Learning Facial Detection. It is fast,
enough but you need good light as there is no LCD fill or IR. You can only
register one face despite multiple account capability.
Android: Google Android 9.1
UI: Pure Android
Supports multiple users
All Google apps
At the time of review
5 July 2019
The Mintt Ultramintt Y3 will receive an Android 10 upgrade when available. The security patch is one step behind – most Android phones should have August by now.
Transfer from other devices
As it is pure Google Android, you need to back up your old
device to Google Cloud, and it will reinstall most apps and data to the new
What is missing?
At $399 neither are deal-breakers. You could be picky and
ask for an 18W fast charger in the box, but hey, that probably saves $20!
Rear Camera 1
Focus type: PDAF
HDR: manual – select on or off
Zoom: 4X digital (see UHD comment later)
AI: scene recognition
Flash type: Dual LED
Images: Raw or JPEG
Video: 1920 x 1080 [email protected]
Google Lens: Yes
Rear Camera 2
20MP pixel binned to 5MP (Quad Beyer)
1.0um pixel binned to 2.0um
24MP (pixel binned to 6MP)
.9um binned to 1.8um
RAW or JPEG
No fill flash
Why the camera detail?
Its is vital for us to know the sensor brand and model so we
can compare it to others using the same sensors – a benchmark that allows us to
assess post-processing and lens quality as well.
We have found that Mintt marketing material tends to ‘amplify’ camera specifications. For example, technically there is a 20MP rear camera but it pixel bins to 5MP for all shots – you cannot get a 20MP shot. In fact it is only activated when you select night mode. All main shots are with the 16MP sensor.
Similarly, the front selfie is a 24MP sensor but it to pixel
bins to 6MP.
And it advertises UHD – ‘Zoom in up to 30 times with effective pixel resolution reaching 96MP – delivering still-sharp imagery. Clear photos are captured in a backlight environment, with even more colour and detail.” We have no idea what that means, let alone does. In practice, anything above 4X digital zoom produces unacceptable images.
Note to Mintt – while many will fall for marketing hype we don’t.
Make it easy (for us) and talk up the advantages of Pixel binning just like
Google does with its excellent Pixel smartphone cameras.
Summary: Given this is a new brand, the best advice I can give is to be accurate with camera specifications. But at $399 it is all about whether the camera output is merely social media standard or more.
It identifies ten scenes including
We found that it identified the Sky quite well but if
anything it muted the colours. We found it is best to shoot without AI.
Tests – all auto
Colours are warmer than natural – there is a little more green in the forest and blue in the water and sky.
Telephoto: Detail is good, but that characteristic warm colouring
Indoors Office Light (400 lumens)
Good detail and the reds and colours are reasonably accurate if slightly warm.
Low light (room with less than 100 lumens)
Not great in low light
Night mode: brings
out the light but washes out detail in the screen
No fill flash – face recognition needs decent light
Selfies are good due to pixel binning. You also have beauty and
portrait mode – smoother, Slimming, Whitening and Eye enlarger.
There are no emojis.
The rear camera has a 5MP depth camera that enables
reasonably good bokeh even around irregular foreground objects.
The front 24MP (pixel binned to 6MP) does bokeh but lacks
finer definition between foreground and background.
Maximum 1920 x [email protected] Colours are warmish, and details
are quite good but use a tripod as there is no stabilisation.
GadgetGuy’s take – Mintt Ultramintt Y3 is excellent at $399
I must admit going
into this review with low expectations – $399, meh!
But after spending a few days with it and discovering all the specifications that Mintt should have published (if only for credibility sake), I was warming to this phone. If I only had $399 it would be the pick of any phone – even those costing more than $500 – and then some. By that I mean Qi charging usually starts on handsets at $800.
To sum up as my brutally honest friends a the Whirlpool forum so elegantly put it, “You can’t really go wrong [with Mintt] for a cheap phone. It only must last a year, so if you get a decent phone, it is well worth it. Maybe we should give an Aussie upstart a chance before we judge so harshly. Think, they are up against the giants of the telco world who never like competition.”
Value for money
Ease of Use
Reader Rating219 Votes
Good battery life with Qi and optional USB-C fast charging
NFC unusual at this price
Pure Google Android 10 upgrade
Camera is a cut above ‘social media’ grade
It took much digging to get teh specs under the skin - Mintt needs to publish these for the euridite Aussie audience