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Elephant U Pro

Elephone U Pro Review - Edgeless Smartphone from China

Updated by Timo Altmeyer on February 16, 2022

At the beginning of February, Elephone introduced the Elephone U & U Pro, two smartphones in edgeless design, which are otherwise only known from Samsung Galaxy mobile devices of current generations. The Elephone U Pro, which I already had with the publication for a test, I have now been able to take a closer look. How Smartphones Beat Qualcomm's Snapdragon 660 System-on-Chip is explained in the following review!

Our rating

Foreword: Elephone U Pro

Smartphone manufacturers from China, which mainly produce for the export market, are known for publishing new smartphones. Also Elephone is one of these manufacturers, which regularly brings new models on the market. The last one we tested  Elephone S8  Although could convince, but also had numerous criticisms.

Smartphone sideways from above

On February 8th this year, Elephone presented two new models at a press conference in Madrid. With the Elephone U and Elephone U Pro, the manufacturer is trying to set itself apart from the numerous other Chinese smartphone manufacturers. At least in the Pro model of the Elephone U, which is more unusual for Chinese export producers, Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 processor.

Design, workmanship and delivery

Away from the "tri-bezel-less" design, towards the "edgeless" look. The main focus of the new model range is again on the appearance. In contrast to the recently frequently released “tri-bezel-less” smartphones, which have a barely visible edge above the display, the Elephone U Pro has an upper and lower edge, but instead shines with a curved display that literally matches the The edges of the casing of the smartphone merge. The design of the two Elephone U models is certainly not new. Anyone who knows the design of the Samsung Galaxy S8 will immediately notice the similarity! Despite the comparatively large 5.99 inch display, the smartphone with dimensions of 154 x 72.5 x 8.4 mm is no larger than a conventional 5.5 inch handheld. The weight is just 166g.

Smartphone front lying

 The smartphone is set up as follows: 

The front is kept extremely simple. You will look in vain for physical control buttons. The mobile device is operated purely via virtual display buttons and gestures. The receiver, the front camera and additional sensors are typically located above the display. An RGB notification LED is located on the right above the display.

The housing frame is made of metal and is color-matched to the rest of the housing. The smartphone initially appeared in the colors blue and black. Red and gray will soon be added as further color variants. The underside of the frame forms a USB-C socket with OTG support. The loudspeaker and microphone are hidden behind the openings on the left and right. Elephone has traditionally placed a power button and a volume rocker on the right-hand side. Surprisingly, the hybrid SIM slot is not on the opposite side, but on the top of the frame. There is no 3.5 mm headphone jack. 

Smartphone backside with shimmering surface

The curved back of the case is made of plastic and shimmers depending on the incidence of light. A special edition with an elegant ceramic case is in planning. One disadvantage of the glossy back is that it is susceptible to fingerprints. As soon as it was unpacked, the smartphone was covered with fingerprints. The haptic perception is convincing. The Elephone U Pro is a bit slippery in the hand, but thanks to the slim design, the smartphone can be held securely. A cool gimmick is the manufacturer's logo in the lower third, which lights up white when a call is received. The dual main camera is located in the upper third of the back, followed by a fingerprint scanner and an LED flash next to it.

SIM slot

The processing quality is not objectionable. The curved display and the curved back are connected to the housing frame without any gaps. The control buttons are tight and have an acceptable pressure point. The scope of delivery includes the smartphone, a charger, a USB-C cable, a 3.5 mm audio jack to USB-C adapter, a curved screen protector, a silicone case, a SIM needle and a user manual.

What's in the box


Both the Elephone U and the Pro version are equipped with a 5.99 inch AMOLED display. AMOLED displays are characterized by particularly strong and lively colors and an extremely rich black level. There is no background lighting, as is known from conventional LCD displays. Each pixel is controlled individually via an active matrix. The resolution is 2160 x 1080 pixels, resulting in an aspect ratio of 18: 9.

Smartphone front overlooking the Edgeless display

Elephone speaks of a screen-to-body ratio (display-to-housing) of 87%. The value measured based on the aspect ratio, the resolution and the case dimensions of 154 x 72.5 x 8.4 mm is at least 83%. A perfectly acceptable value, considering that many other manufacturers give completely insane measured values ​​for the screen-to-body ratio. With a point density of 403 PPI, the display is extremely sharp.

The color temperature of the display is more yellowish-warm by default. The color temperature can be continuously adjusted within the display settings. An existing "Night Light" mode can be activated at the push of a button or according to a schedule. This mode filters blue light that is said to affect the sleep-night rhythm.

The special feature of the built-in display are the curved sides that extend to the frame of the smartphone. Elephone only uses the edge display as a pure design element. There is a Curved-Edge quick launch bar, but it looks completely different from the advertised quick launch bar. There are no serious changes in color towards the edges. Only a very small difference in brightness can be seen. Overall, the viewing angle stability of the installed panel is convincing. With a luminance of 350 cd / m², the panel is not one of the brightest smartphone displays. In strong light or sunshine, the display is poorly readable due to the additionally highly reflective surface.

Calman display test

The touchscreen supports multi-touch with a maximum of 10 simultaneous inputs. Despite the edge display, there are no disadvantages in operation. Even if you just hold the smartphone you come into contact with the edge display, but there were no unwanted inputs during the test. The display is protected by hardened Corning Gorilla Glass 5.


The main difference between the Elephone U and the Elephone U Pro lies in the system-on-chip used, which consists of the CPU, the GPU and the DSP, but also the WiFi and Bluetooth module. The Elephone U Pro relies on the powerful mid-range Snapdragon 660 processor from Qualcomm. The Elephone U standard model has instead built in a MediaTek Helio P23 processor. Here are the differences in detail: 

Elephone U Pro - Qualcomm Snapdragon 660

  • CPU: 8 x Cryo 260 with up to 2.2 GHz clock rate
  • GPU: Adreno 512
  • DSP: Hexagon
  • WiFi: 2 × 2 802.11 ac MU-MIMO
  • BT: V5.0
  • Audio: Qualcomm Aqstic + AptX
  • NFC: Yes
  • Localization: GPS, GLONASS, Beidou, Galileo, QZSS, SBAS
  • Mobilfunk: 2G, 3G, 4G (LTE: B1/B3/B7/B20/B38/B39/B40/B41)
  • Download: Quick Charge 3.0 (4.0)

Elephone U - MediaTek Helio P23

  • CPU: ARM Cortex-A53 with up to 2.0 GHz clock rate
  • GPU: Mali-G71 MP2
  • DSP: Tensilica
  • WiFi: 802.11 a / b / g / n
  • BT: V4.0
  • Audio: /
  • NFC: Yes
  • Localization: GPS, GLONASS, Beidou, Galileo
  • Mobilfunk: 2G, 3G, 4G (LTE: B1/B3/B5/B7/B20/B38/B39/B40/B41)
  • Shop: Pump Express Plus

In contrast to the Helio P23, the Snapdragon 660 is a more powerful mid-range processor that is better positioned, especially with regard to mobile games and other power-hungry apps. The processor is divided into two clusters, each consisting of 4 Kyro 260 processor cores (8). The cores of the “power cluster” clock with up to 2.2 GHz, those of the “energy saving cluster” with up to 1.8 GHz. The graphics unit is an Adreno 512 GPU.

There is no difference between the two models in terms of memory equipment. Both the standard model and the Pro version are available with either a 4GB or 6GB (LPDDR4X) memory, connected to a 64GB or 128GB (eMMC5.1) flash memory. Both models can be expanded using a microSD memory card.

 The Elephone U Pro proves to be quite powerful in everyday use. Apps open quickly and the smartphone also cuts a fine figure in multitasking. Performance drops under heavy load or impairing thermal throttling does not occur. The storage speeds are acceptable. The 6GB LPDDR4X module reaches a speed of 6889.50 MB / s. The 128GB eMMC 5.1 memory module achieves a read speed of 205.58 MB / s and a write speed of 186.59 MB / s. Compared to a similarly equipped  Xiaomi Note 3  there is still some room for improvement, but this small difference in performance is not noticeable in everyday use. The Elephone U Pro achieved particularly good results in the benchmark tests. The smartphone also cuts a fine figure when it comes to gaming. Games such as Asphalt 8 can be played smoothly and image breakdowns are a rarity. An excessive heat development does not occur.

user interface

The smartphone is already delivered with Android 8. The user interface has been optically adapted with custom icons and custom wallpapers. 4 different themes, different ring tones and background images can be selected within a theme launcher. There is no intrusive bloatware. The typical Google apps including the Play services are already preinstalled. Surprisingly, Elephone has also integrated the Google Assistant and Google Now into the system.

The user interface can be operated using virtual buttons and gestures. The virtual control buttons can be adjusted visually and with regard to their arrangement within the settings. If the operation is activated by gestures, the control buttons are hidden. Swipe gestures are now used instead of the control buttons. A swipe across the lower, left third of the display replaces the back button, for example, a center swipe closes apps and a swipe across the right third opens the overview of the most recently opened apps. Installed apps are stored on pages and there is also an app drawer. The animation speed of the user interface could be improved. Depending on the interaction, the animations appear less fluid. Small bugs are still there. There were no crashes.

Update 10. October 2018

In the meantime Elephone has submitted an update after all. The stability of the system, especially the camera, has been improved. Users receive the update with the version number 20180917-213619 OTA on their smartphone.

Update 16. September 2018

The Elephone U Pro has been on the market for a little longer now. Elephone did not submit the promised updates. Instead, a lot has happened within the community, which is diligently driving the development of the user interface.

A new milestone was reached at the beginning of September. The ROM “Eragon_Pie” was released, which, as the name suggests, is based on Android 9. Despite its early stage, the ROM is already functional and can certainly be used as a daily driver. You can find all further information here: Link


Following the trend, the Elephone U model series also relies on a dual main camera, consisting of two 13 megapixel image sensors. The exact name of the sensors is not known, but it is a real dual camera without a fake sensor. In addition to the main RGB sensor, the second sensor is purely an auxiliary sensor, which provides a better depth effect. This enables the so-called bokeh effect, which impressively highlights the main motif. ArcSoft algorithms should ensure an improved recording quality. The particularly good recording quality at night is also advertised. The Elephone U Pro records videos in a maximum of 4K. The Elephone U standard model is limited to a maximum 1080p resolution. The main camera is supported by a dual-tone LED flash and a PDAF (autofocus). The front camera resolves with 8 megapixels.

Practical test of the main camera

 In a few words, the recording quality of the main camera can be described as very mixed. The Elephone U Pro is quite capable of taking good recordings, but it also disappoints in many ways. Successful recordings convince with a high level of detail and good color rendering. However, the main camera often disappoints with its poor dynamic range. As a result, recordings of high-contrast scenes are hardly usable. The available HDR (High Dynamic Range) mode is also not convincing. Image recordings recorded in HDR mode are displayed in a completely incorrect color. The night suitability of the main camera advertised by Elephone is anything but accurate. Image recordings in poor lighting conditions are visibly noisy, out of focus and washed out in color.

A feature of the main camera is the bokeh mode, which is implemented with the help of the second image sensor. People and lenses should be brought to the fore with the help of this photographic sharpness effect. The background should be blurred out of focus. Unfortunately, Elephone screwed up this feature a lot as well. During the entire test phase, it was not possible to take a usable bokeh image, regardless of people or objects. In order for the bokeh mode of the Elephone U Pro to “start” at all, really excellent lighting conditions are required. And even then, the main camera of the smartphone is not able to implement a clean and differentiated blurring. It remains to be seen whether this is a defect in the auxiliary sensor or whether the error will disappear with future updates!

The autofocus gives satisfactory results. The focus is precise and quick. The release time is again to be criticized in both good and bad lighting conditions. It usually takes 2 to 5 seconds to take a photo. The LED flash provides sufficient illumination.

 More full-resolution test shots can be found at this one Link 

 The main camera records videos with maximum 4K resolution (4096 x 2160 pixels). Other resolutions are 4K UHD, 1080p, 720p, VGA, CIF and QVGA. Depending on the selected resolution, a refresh rate of up to 120 images per second can be set. The main camera records videos up to 720p with a maximum of 120 FPS. A maximum of 1080 FPS is possible with a resolution of 60p and up to 4 FPS is recorded on 30K. Electronic image stabilization can be added up to a resolution of 1080p.

What sounds good in theory turns out to be less than convincing in practice. The refresh rate is very dependent on the lighting conditions. In 4K it was hardly possible to achieve a solid 30 frames per second. When panning the camera quickly, the frame rate sometimes drops to below 10 FPS. The electronic image stabilization (EIS) is faulty and leads to severe image hangups. The sound recording quality is acceptable.

Practical test of the front camera

There are also no good words left for the 8 megapixel front camera. Even in good lighting conditions, it is hardly possible to take sharp photos. In general, photos and videos (1080p) taken with the front camera appear lifeless, very soft and lacking in detail.

Connectivity and others


The Elephone U Pro cuts a fine figure in mobile communications. The 2G, 3G and 4G mobile radio frequencies or bands that are common in this country are supported. Only the LTE 900 (band 8) used by Telekom is not available. The voice quality was convincing and phone calls ran without dropouts during the test phase.

The use of dual SIM is possible in the form of a hybrid slot. The either-or principle applies here. If you decide to use dual SIM, no memory expansion using a microSD memory card is possible.

Wi-Fi and Bluetooth

The Elephone U Pro can handle both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz WLAN (dual band) well. The WiFi protocols 802.11 / b / g / n / ac are supported, and the smartphone can also be operated by a MU-MIMO capable router. The data throughput achieved in the WLAN is convincing. Connection range and connection stability are above average and not objectionable. Bluetooth is supported with version 5.0. Here, too, the smartphone shows a convincing connection and transmission quality.

GPS and sensors

The handheld also scores very well in terms of its navigation capabilities. A GPS fix can be found quickly outdoors as well as indoors. The position determination is accurate to a few meters and remains constant thanks to a good signal strength. A precisely working e-compass is available.

The sensor equipment consists of a proximity sensor, an ambient light sensor, a gyroscope, an acceleration sensor and a Hall sensor. The entire sensor system works as it should. NFC is available. HCE (Host Card Emulation) does not work.


The mono speaker reaches a decent volume. A voluminous, powerful sound is not to be expected because of the lack of a bass foundation, as is so often the case. Rather, exaggerated highs are noticeable when playing through the loudspeaker. The playback quality via the jack to USB-C adapter leaves nothing to be desired.

Face unlock and fingerprint scanner

Elephone has introduced a "Face Unlock" feature for secure unlocking. With the help of the front camera, the face is scanned within a few seconds and saved for unlocking. In the test, the Face Unlock feature of the Elephone U Pro convinced with a very good recognition rate. Quick and precise unlocking of the smartphone is possible even with and without glasses, as well as in poor lighting conditions. A simple photo trick does not fool the device. The smartphone is also not unlocked with your eyes closed.

The fingerprint scanner on the back has a high recognition rate, but it takes a longer than average time to unlock the smartphone. The position of the fingerprint scanner is unsuitable. This is located directly under the main camera, which can quickly lead to dirt on the camera glass.


In addition to the system-on-chip used, both models of the Elephone U smartphone series also differ in terms of the battery. The Elephone U Pro uses a 3550 mAh battery, can be charged wirelessly and supports the quick charge function Quick-Charge 3.0. The Elephone U, on the other hand, has a slightly larger, 3620 mAh battery save Wireless charging option and, as an alternative to Quick Charge, supports MediaTek's quick charging function Pump Express Plus. Wired charging takes place via USB-C.

battery test

The measured capacity of the battery corresponds to the specifications of the manufacturer. The battery life is average. With normal use, the screen-on-time is approximately 6 to a maximum of 7 hours. That is enough to get through the day with one battery charge. With the supplied charger, the smartphone is fully charged within 115 minutes. After a charging time of 30 minutes, the battery is charged to 40% after 45 minutes to 60% and after an hour to 75%.

 Wireless “Qi” charging works. In order to start the charging process, however, the smartphone had to be carefully placed on the Qi charging station. It can also happen that, depending on the charging station, the smartphone slips through the slightly slippery rear of the housing and the charging process is terminated. With a conventional Qi charging station, the charging process takes 6 hours.

Elephant U Pro

Elephone U Pro / (U)


Attractive design
Good workmanship
Nice, curved edge display
everyday performance
Android 8
Good cellular quality
Strong signal WiFi and Bluetooth
Precise GPS module
Good battery life


Hardly any additional functions for the edge display
Display brightness and reflective display glass
Sometimes non-smooth animations
Recording quality of the main camera
Recording quality of the front camera
Missing jack audio jack
Loudspeakers with exaggerated heights
Unlocking time using a fingerprint scanner


Elephone is breaking new ground with the Elephone U Pro and has long been presenting a smartphone that does not rely on a MediaTek processor, but on a high-performance Qualcomm Snapdragon midrange chip. In everyday life, the smartphone proves to be extremely high-performance and convinces by a smooth operation, as well as a good gaming capability. In the foreground of the Elephone U model series is of course the AMOLED Edge display, which scores visually by its curved edges and also performance-wise by a good presentation. Unfortunately, the curved display is a pure design element and offers hardly any additional functions.

Probably the biggest criticism is with regard to the camera equipment, which is not at all a smartphone in this price range. Although the main camera is capable of making acceptable shots, it is largely disappointed by unripe software, including miserable bokeh and HDR modes, very low dynamic range, and poor recording quality in low light conditions. With a smartphone that is currently available for just 380 €, you should be able to expect more!

The U Pro earns points with good mobile support, a high-sensitivity and precise GPS as well as good WiFi and Bluetooth reception and transmission quality. The battery life is average.

Timo Altmeyer avatar

Timo is the founder of and a real technology expert. From smartphones to e-bikes, from home cinema to smart homes, he always has his finger on the pulse of the latest trends.



  1. snake77

    7. February 2018 09 to: 04

    According to Gearbest homepage, the Elephone U Pro has space for 2 nano SIM cards and a memory card AT THE SAME TIME !!!!

    • Timo admin

      7. February 2018 10 to: 18

      Hi snake77, I always refer to the information that I receive directly from the manufacturer. The smartphone will have a hybrid slot, ie either 2x Nano-SIM or 1x Nano + 1x SD.

  2. snake77

    7. February 2018 09 to: 10

    SIM Card: dual SIM dual standby, 2 x Nano SIM card and 1 TF card can be inserted at the same time

  3. shrine

    17. February 2018 11 to: 36

    Does the Pro version support Project Treble?

    • Timo admin

      17. February 2018 11 to: 41

      Hi Shrin, yes Project Treble is activated on the smartphone.

      • shrine

        17. February 2018 11 to: 55

        Thank you for your quick response

  4. Ralf

    17. February 2018 12 to: 59

    Thanks in advance for the great review. One more question. Can you still test how long you have to charge via Qi?

    • Timo admin

      17. February 2018 13 to: 02

      Hi Ralf, I'll check that and add it above :).

  5. Markus2017

    1. March 2018 14 to: 24

    Do you have a link to the camera photos in full resolution?

  6. Rave

    13. March 2018 09 to: 57


    nicely written article.
    Also have an Elephone U Pro. Is it the same for you, if you have taken a portrait photo, that you cannot select the true portrait when editing?
    So if you edit the photo and then press this male icon to create a bokeh effect afterwards, for example. No matter what I do, the message comes that no face has been recognized.


    • Timo admin

      13. March 2018 10 to: 46

      Hi Rave, that has to do with the lighting conditions. The bokeh mode is only active in extremely good lighting conditions. The message with the face is new to me. Which ROM version are you on?

  7. Elephobics

    7. May 2018 23 to: 06

    I also bought a smartphone like this. Display flaws on the upper side of the display, how should you describe it, the curves at the corners were exactly inverse, i.e. inwards - Packman probably bitten twice, camera underground, display greenish when you look at it from the side and not particularly bright. Test day 'the smartphone has completely acknowledged the service, display dark, only a temporary vibration is audible when the power button is pressed…. DEAD, what expensive junk

    • Frederik

      16. August 2018 19 to: 35

      I can't describe it like that. I bought the U Pro two months ago and I'm completely happy with it. Great display, very good mobile network connection, smooth operation. You probably just caught a monday device: /

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More from Elephone



Elephone U Pro / (U)


 Processor and memory 
CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 / (MediaTek Helio P23)
GPU: Adreno 512 / (Mali-G71 MP2)
Internal memory: 64GB / 128GB (eMMC5.1)
Memory extension: Yes

Display Type: AMOLED
Display diagonal: 5.99 inches
Display resolution: 2160 x 1080 pixels
Screen Protector: Corning Gorilla Glass 5

Main Camera: 2x 13 Megapixel
* Dual LED flash
Front camera: 8 megapixel

Dual SIM: Yes
SIM size: Nano SIM

2G: GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900MHz CDMA BC0
3G: WCDMA 900 / 2100MHz TD-SCDMA B34 / B39
4G: FDD-LTE B1/B3/B7/B20 TDD-LTE B38/B39/B40/B41

WiFi: 802.11 b / g / n / ac MU-MIMO / (802.11 b / g / n / ac /)
Bluetooth: 5.0 / (4.0)
GPS: Yes

* Ambient light sensor
* Accelerometer
* Proximity Sensor
* E-Compass
* Hall sensor
* Fingerprint Sensor

Battery: 3550 mAh / (3620 mAh)
Quick charge function: QC 3.0 / (PE +)
Connection: USB-C

Operating system: Android 8
Size: 154 72.5 x x 8.4 mm
Weight: 166g