A couple of months ago I decided to bite the bullet and get rid of my Windows Phone and switch back to Android, I donated my Nokia Lumia 930 to my son. While I liked Windows Phone, and I do prefer the GUI, there were just too many niggling issues and bugs and those few “must have” apps that either did not exist or the WP version sucked, and this is not going to change due to the tiny user base.
Now my requirements are pretty simple, I do not need a phone to play 4k video or play 3D games which will drain my battery within 2 hours, so spending hundreds on a phone seemed like a pointless waste of money. I did get myself a Galaxy S7 edge, but frankly I found the EDGE quite annoying as I could not pick it up or put it down without touching the edge and causing some action to occur, and frankly it felt so flimsy I was scared of breaking it, so I sent it back as I am not prepared to spend that much on a phone if it annoys me in any way.
I do not understand this whole concept of making phones more powerful with more battery draining features, yet thinner so the battery cannot even last a day if you actually use it for anything other than checking your email. Surely if you want to use your phone to watch a video and play games you need a phone that has a big fat battery in it, I think the phone makers are really missing a trick here. Phones are not primarily phones anymore, that functionality is likely the least important feature for most people, what they really want is a pocket tablet/gaming device.
So I decided to start looking at budget phones, and specifically the Chinese alternatives which seem to be getting more popular. My first choice was a Doogee X6, which despite having good reviews turned out to be a mistake. It felt very cheap and the screen was very unresponsive, either it did not even detect my taps or detected them in the wrong place, I found the device totally unusable and frustrating, so that was returned after a couple of weeks.
My second choice was the Uhans U200, which is an unusual looking phone, but it seemed chunky and solid with a bigger battery than most, a proper mans phone, which was exactly what I was looking for. So far I am glad to say it has delivered everything I had hoped and is absolutely worth the £85 I paid for it and I would not hesitate to buy this phone again. There is also a smaller model called the Uhans U100, which I have bought for my son, and he loves it also.
Despite being a Chinese phone, there are no issues setting it up, it is as easy to setup as any UK phone, and the Uhans packaging is as slick as any top of the range phone.
I have also installed a Windows Phone style launcher, so I still get the benefits of the GUI that I preferred on the Windows Phone but with an Android.
Look and Feel
The Uhans U200 I think is squarely aimed at men, it has a real leather back with a crocodile skin pattern, and I must say I like it, sadly it only comes in black, there are no other colors which is a shame, as I would have quite liked one in actual snake skin style. The other big advantage with the leather is that it is immune to greasy finger prints, which is something that affects just about every phone. As soon as you touch them, they are covered in them. It is chunky too, it has a 5 inch screen and I can hold this phone comfortably without fear of dropping it, and it feels solid, the buttons are easy to use with my big fat man fingers, and with the metal frame I do not feel the need to actually purchase a case to protect it. I carry a man bag so not really an issue for me, otherwise it sits quite happily in my jacket pocket or the leg pocket of my combat trousers.
Performance and Usage
The Uhans U200 has a 5.0 inch screen, 4G Smartphone, Android 5.1 MTK6735 64bit Quad Core 1.0GHz 2GB RAM 16GB ROM, 13.0MP Main Camera OTG
So far I have no complaints with regards performance. The screen is responsive in all applications including games. It has had no issues with running any of the apps I use regularly, playing video etc and the only time it has struggled is when I tried to play some resource intensive 3D games, although it still managed to run them at an acceptable speed to make them playable, but this is not an issue for me as this is not what I use my phone for anyway, but when I do play games, it does the job.
Sadly you do not get fast charging, but hey it is a budget phone, so I am not complaining, and I suspect that in the near future that this will become a standard feature for all phones, budget or not.
The battery easily lasts all day for me, sometimes I have forgot to charge it and it has lasted 2 days, but that is with me barely using it.
This is one area where the phone is let down, when I went looking for a case, I found only one, and not a lot else accessory wise. However this is a compromise I find acceptable, being as the phone feels so chunky and solid anyway, I am not feeling the need to buy a case, although I did order the only one available just so that I do have something to put it in when I don’t take my main wallet, and the case does match the style of the phone and it is wallet style case itself, so fits in well with the whole MANLY concept of the phone. Other than this there is actually no other accessories I actually need, so again I have no real complaints.
After several months using this phone, I can say that the camera is a bit of a let down. As long as you have good lighting then it takes great pictures which I have been happy with, but as soon as lighting is less than adequate then it struggles to get focus, and the flash often seems to go off BEFORE the shutter, which means it does nothing to illuminate the target. The rest of the time the flash seems to add a blue hue to the picture, which is also not great.
This has been the biggest let down of all, support from UHANS is virtually nonexistent. I contacted them about an issue I was having with the SDCARD reporting wrong size, and each reply took several weeks, the last response took them 2 months, so I gave up as they simply did not care and were unhelpful.
I then had cause to contact them about connecting the phone to the PC as this also would not work. They told me that Windows 10 is not supported and I had to install Windows XP or Windows 7 to do this. This is absolutely shocking and incompetent that they are suggesting I install an end of life, no longer supported OS with serious security vulnerabilities. Even Windows 7 is no longer secure to use.