UMi has been on the international market for a while now, but despite this has still not managed to carve out a substantial fan base. As you’ll see, UMi fails in details that deserved more attention and are easily solved.

The Iron series, at least according to UMi, is the one that will finally make them stand out in this area that is saturated with products that look and feel the same.

UMi Iron Pro wants to establish itself in the mid-range and to do so it packs several features typical of high-end devices, mainly safety, quality of materials and autonomy.

The Iron Pro

The UMi flasgship is powered by a MediaTek MT6753 chipset (octa Cortex-A53 at 1.3GHz, Mali-T720 GPU) with a generous 3GB of RAM and 16GB of on-board storage.

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But what makes this device unique is the so called Triple Authentication: the classic voice recognition and fingerprint scanning, combined with the new Iris Scanner.

 

Design

Made of aluminium, it lives up to its name ‘Iron’, giving the very idea of something metallic and strong.

The materials with which it was made can easily mislead the inexperienced into thinking this is a luxury smartphone, but certainly the elegant lines of this UMi Iron Pro will captivate everyone.

Warning: the charger is a USB Type-C, the latest industry standard, so those standard micro-USB cables laying around the house won’t do the job anymore. On a positive note, this cable can be inserted in either orientation.

On the side of the #Smartphone you find a tray to insert two Nano sim cards. Also, within the same tray, you can insert a memory card into the slot for the second SIM.

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This means that you can use either the external SDcard, or two SIM cards, it is not possible to make use of both features.

Display

The UMi Iron Pro has a 5.5” Full HD LTPS display, with a pixel density of 403 per inch (PPI).

The maximum brightness is quite low, and hard to see clearly under the sunlight. There is also no oleophobic protection, so get ready to see fingerprints, rather than WhatsApp notifications.

Camera

The rear camera has a Sony IMX214 sensor with 13 megapixels. The quality of the shots is not great, most of all in low light situations, where you’ll always find a fair amount of noise.

The front camera has 8MP and behaves similarly to the rear one. It does standout from the rest for the fact that it has a frontal LED flash. Unfortunately, it’s not very bright and it lights up only a small portion of the picture.

Software

The UMi Iron Pro comes with #Android 5.1 Lollipop, modified -- in a good way -- by UMi. They have managed to add many interesting features while still getting rid of all the common bloatware. The thing any power user will love the most about this phone is that it comes pre-rooted, so that you have administrator permissions right from the first start.

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Autonomy

Spoiler Alert: this is where the UMi Iron Pro shines.

Let us start first with the negative things: the 1A charger takes about three hours to make a full charging cycle; the USB Type-C will prove to be a problem because the micro-USB cables scattered around the house will no longer be compatible; and finally the unibody design does not allow you to remove the battery.

Now for the good part: the 3100 mAh battery coupled to a low power-consumption processor give the UMi Iron Pro a stellar autonomy.

Conclusions 

Let’s face it: the UMI Iron Pro is smartphone with a unique set of security features, such as Iris-recognition, fingerprint ID and voice unlock (all of them very reliable); 16GB internal storage and 3GB of RAM; octa-core processor; a Full HD display; and pre-rooted Android 5.1, all for $179.99. With almost the same specs, you find the freshly announced Lenovo K4 for (reportedly) ~$200, the Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 for $220 and the Ulefone Be Touch 3 at $175. With this in mind, the Iron Pro's price tag of $179.99 is more than fair.