Umi Emax Mini Test / Review

by 27. October 2015
After the quite successful "Umi Emax", the Chinese smartphone manufacturer continues the name of the series and publishes the so-called "Emax Mini". One might think that this is just a smaller version of the "Emax", but the "Emax Mini" differs not only externally, but also in terms of hardware from the original Emax smartphone. Umi is using Snapdragon SoC for the first time, the Snapdragon 615 (MSM8939). How the Umi Emax Mini performs otherwise, you will learn in this review.



UMI Emax Mini


* OS: Android 5.0
* SoC: MSM8939 Octacore 1.5GHz
* GPU: Adreno 405
* RAM: 2GB
* ROM: 16GB
* Extended Storage: 64GB

* Screen Type: IPS OGS Full lamination technology
* Screen Size: 5.0 inch
* Screen Resolution: 1920 * 1080 Pixels

* Wireless Connectivity: GSM, 3G, 4G, GPS, WiFi, Bluetooth
* Frequency: GSM, 3G, 4G, GPS, WiFi, Bluetooth
*2G: GSM 850/900/1800/1900MHz
* 3G: WCDMA 900 / 1900 / 2100MHz
* 4G: FDD-LTE 1800 / 2100 / 2600 MHz
* Bluetooth: Yes, 4.0
* WiFi: Yes, IEEE 802.11b / g / n, Support Wi-Fi hotspot
* GPS: Support GPS and AGPS

* Camera type: 13MP Sony IMX214 Back, 8MP Samsung ISOCELL Front
* SIM: Two Standard micro sim card, dual standby
* TF: Yes
* Sensor: Gravity sensor, Light sensor, Proximity sensor

* Battery: 3050mAh lithium
* Dimension: 139.8x69.6x8.9mm
* Weight: 130g

What's in the box

* Emax Mini
*Battery pack
*USB cable
* AC adapter
*Operating manual

UMI Emax Mini Smartphone - Unboxing

What's in the box

This was glutinous Umi Emax Mini Smartphone in a very appealing box to postpone. On the front is the inscription "UMI", on the back are the specifications of the smartphone printed. After pulling out the inner unit of the box, you can see the embedded in foam Umi Emax Mini, a flat-ribbon USB data and charging cable and an EU charger with USB socket. A rather brief operating manual in English was also included. A screen protector was already applied to the smartphone.

First impression

The case frame as well as the back of the 5 inch (according to CPU-Z 4.97 inch) big smartphones are made of hardened plastic in anthracite-colored optics. The back is also grooved and can be completely removed. On the back there are also a 13 megapixel rear camera (Sony IMX 214) and an LED flash.

Overall, the Umi Emax Mini measures 139.8x69.6x8.9mm and weighs 130g. The bezel is rather average at 4mm.

The device's physical buttons, volume rocker and power button are located on the right side of the case. There are no other physical buttons on the smartphone. There are three capacitive buttons underneath the display, with the middle button visually highlighted. The left and right buttons light up when in use.

Above the display are the 8 megapixel front camera (Samsung ISOCELL), the speaker, the notification LED and the light sensor.

After the first inspection, the Umi Emax Mini surprised me quite positively. Despite the plastic housing, it feels valuable and is also well-made.

UMI Emax Mini smartphone test | Review | Hands-On


Umi uses a high-quality panel from Sharp for the 5-inch display. The resolution is 1920x1080 pixels, the pixel density is 443 dpi. The display is razor-sharp, the colors appear strong and lively and the viewing angle stability was also convincing. Especially in strong sunlight, I could still read this display without any problems. MiraVision was not used for this smartphone, but the display was already set perfectly from the start.


The Umi Emax Mini has a Snapdragon 615 SoC installed. This is a 64Bit octa-core processor, in which 4 clocks cores with up to 1.5GHz and 4 cores with up to 1.11GHz. The graphics unit is an Adreno 405 with 550MHz. In addition, the smartphone still has 2GB RAM. All in all, these are middle-class hardware, but the overall performance is very impressive. The navigation through Android 5.0.2 is consistently fluid and even apps can be opened quickly. With compute-intensive games, however, it can also come with this smartphone to image breaks. Here are the results of individual benchmark tests:

User Interface

The operating system used is Android 5.0.2. Already on the lockscreen it is noticeable that Umi does not use an Android stick. On the lock screen are several quick-start icons, which among other things, the calculator app, the camera app, the music app, the contacts app and a barcode scanner open.

Within the user interface, the rounded custom icons immediately catch the eye. Otherwise, the Umi interface is very little different from Stock Android. Third-party apps were installed, but with the exception of an untranslated Chinese app, I could not find any suspicious apps.

Within the settings menu there are a few additional functions. For example, you can configure a gesture control, as well as you can regulate the LED notification. Unfortunately, the gesture control does not offer many functions. There is a "Double Tap 2 Wake" feature and a feature that mutes your smartphone should you put it on display. Also under the menu item "LED notification" you can only turn the notification on or off.

The Umi Emax Mini can be updated via OTA updates, which can be obtained directly from the manufacturer.

Umi Emax Mini Test - Top View


I was especially looking forward to this test point. Umi has the Emax Mini missed a 13 megapixel rear camera with a Sony IMX214 image sensor and a 8 megapixel front camera with a Samsung ISOCELL image sensor. Especially for a mid-range smartphone, this is a very good hardware.

The camera app is a custom app that has not only the usual functions but also a time-lapse function, a barcode scanner or a "beauty picture". Images can be shot with 10 and 13 megapixels, videos are taken with up to 1080p. An image stabilizer can also be activated via the camera settings.

The 13 Megapixel rear camera offers decent pictures in daylight where there is virtually no picture noise. The colors look real and not overdriven. In lower light conditions, unfortunately, a stronger noise is observed.

The triggering time is fast. Recordings with flash are also implemented quickly. With the car focus, I had no problems so far.

The front camera with 8 megapixels is also good, and here, too, in low light conditions, there is a picture noise.

reverse camera

front camera

UMI EMax Mini Test / Review Bild1 Front

Telephony, WLAN, Bluetooth

I would call the call quality good. I could understand my interlocutor well, as well as he could understand me properly. Noise I could not find any. The integrated speaker is also quite useful and is suitable as a speakerphone.

What I miss with so many Chinese smartphones and the Emax Mini is the LTE band 20 or LTE 800MHz. Especially if you live in the countryside you have to do without LTE. In the cities, however, an LTE reception is possible.

The WLAN and the Bluetooth connection are stable and the range is on average.

GPS Compass

Again, I could not find anything negative. The GPS fix was quick and easy. The signal was constant and stable.


The Chinaphone has a built-in 3050mAh battery, which is quite remarkable for a 5 inch smartphone. After 2 days of normal use with 4 hours of SOT (Screen On Time) and all tests, the battery still has about 35%. The Emax Mini is a veritable battery monster.

Unfortunately, there is a downside here. The battery of the smartphone is not changeable.

Umi Emax Mini Test - Battery

Final Words


Snapdragon 615 with good performance
Great FHD display with strong colors
Good workmanship
Good camera (Sony IMX214)
Long battery life


No recovery!
Missing LTE band 20
Notification LED is not working properly

First impression
User Interface
GPS & sensors

The Emax Mini is a really decent midrange smartphone that does almost nothing wrong. You get a truly fair package that can even stand out from comparable smartphones. But even this smartphone is no egg-laying Wollmilchsau. So Umi waived LTE Band 20 again as well as the OS does not run so well, which can be seen, among other things, the notification LED, which was not set correctly.

Update: Unfortunately, no update has been released for the Umi Emax Mini so far. Particularly problematic is this fact, since no recovery was integrated. For example, if you try to flash cyanogenmod, it is quite possible to disable your smartphone.

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Hello. Did you flash a CM on the eMax Mini?


Hello Armin, CyanogenMod I have not yet flashed on the Emax Mini. Mine still runs on an older ROM from the end of September 2015. Because of the faulty recovery, I did not want to risk anything at the time and left the smartphone that way.