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UMIDIGI F1 – incredible value for a big battery phone
4.4Overall Score
Price (RRP): $279.99
Manufacturer: UMIDIGI

When UMIDIGI asked GadgetGuy to review the UMIDIGI F1, we asked two questions. Who the hell is UMDIGI, and what has motor racing go to do with phones?

Well, we found out that UMI has rebranded to UMIDIGI. It is a Chinese smartphone maker based in Shenzhen (as you do) since 2012. It now sells in 20 countries. Other than that, we have no background om factories, capacity etc.  And this year it released the F1.

Its Chinese HQ foyer – nice!

We strongly suspect UMIDIGI has no official tie to the motorsport of the same name. And the company self-describes UMIDIGI F1 as a “Flagship killer with decent specs”.

UMIDIGI F1 F1 graphics
Where is the F1 merchandise logo?

It is not a flagship killer. Don’t take this the wrong way – it is a very well priced mass-market phone with many mid-range specs. But its no Galaxy class terminator!

And we cannot comment on local service (and smartphones seldom go wrong in warranty). It sells via an Amazon AU Store at A$279.99 including delivery or eBay or GearBest.

Our review is more about unravelling the innards to see if it is worthy of our review and rating.

How we rate smartphones

We develop paradigms to slot them into market segments.

  • Foldable $2500+
  • Premium Flagship $1600-2499+ (usually a flagship with more memory/storage, additional camera lens and now 5G)
  • Flagship $1000-1599 (Globally phones $1000+ account for about 10% of sales)
  • Premium mid-market $800-999 (a new category not seeing much action – 10% at best, usually offering flagship specifications for a 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 $279.99 the UMIDIGI F1 is in the lower end of the mass-market up against better-known challengers from Alcatel, Motorola, and Nokia.

Buy here – or you will regret it

We normally issue the standard warning that you must buy the genuine model with Australian firmware. That may be redundant here – from what we can tell the F1 is a ‘global model.’

It must natively support all Australian bands 1, 3, 5, 7 , 8, 28, and 40.

If the website is correct it supports LTE bands 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 12, 13, 17, 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, 28A, 28B, 34, 38, 39, 40 and 41 so it should be fine. That is a huge number of bands for a mass-market device.

Be aware there is an F1 Play version with a 48MP rear camera but less storage.

UMIDIGI F1 and F1 Play
I think the F1 is a better buy for the storage alone

Review: UMIDIGI F1

Global Website here

In the box (as specified by UMIDIGI)

  • Handset
  • Charger USB-C, USB-5V/2A, 9V/2A, 12V/1.5A (18W) with Australian Pins
  • USB-C to USB-A red plastic covered cable
  • Black textured plastic bumper case
  • Pre-fitted screen protector
  • Missing: buds/mic
UMIDIGI F1 in the box
The Aussie version has an Aussie 240V adaptor – yeah!

The first impression

It has a lovely, almost metallic ‘lava’ red back and sides (available in metallic look Gold and Black), a teardrop 6.3” screen, rear fingerprint reader, and reasonably narrow side and top bezels with a small chin at the bottom.

The rear dual camera (in the usual Apple placement) protrudes slightly.

UMIDIGI F1 overview

Setup is typical stock Android with no hint of a UI or other overlays, nor does it try to get you to create a UMIDIGI account at setup – good so far. And you can recover old apps by signing into Google Play or copy apps and data over from another Android phone.