Review, Elephone U Vs U Pro: Same but Different
This review features the Elephone U Vs the U Pro
Chinese smartphone manufacturer Elephone has ushered in 2018 on a high note with the release of its two highly anticipated flagship smartphones, the Elephone U and the Elephone U Pro. The two devices sporting flexible screens with a seamless display, speed processors, abundant RAM, among a host of other cutting-edge features, seem to appear strikingly similar in terms of design, functionalities, and performance.
However, if you look closely there are some underlying difference between the Elephone U and U Pro. It is because of these small but significant differences that the two devices are priced differently, with the U available for $349.99 and the U Pro priced at $419.99.
Design and Looks
To begin with, the Elephone U and U Pro design can be considered the best by Elephone so far. Having said that, the two devices sport identical design and have a twin-like similarity in appearance, despite being priced differently. The Chinese maker has used the Samsung Infinity Display design on both the U and U Pro, and nailed it like a boss.
On a first glance, the two smartphones look like replicas of the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 and S8. However, in order to cut cost, Elephone has used a pure dual curved display instead of a 2.5D glass arc. The inclusion of a LED notification emanating from the side curves is definitely one of the biggest drawcards for these two devices.
Both the U and U Pro sport a body made from a hybrid of glass, metal, and plastic, lending the structure a premium appeal and sturdiness at the same time. This unique mix adds a nice glossy feel to the rear surface of the phone, which makes holding the devices a premium experience even though they do feel a tad slippery in your hands. The rear panel underneath the glass frame is made of plastic whereas pure metal has been used in the surrounding frame. These elements also make the U and U Pro resemble the Elephone S7 to a great extent.
Both the flagship devices sport dual camera on the rear, which have been arranged vertically at the top center, right above the fingerprint sensor. The rear panel has a clear minimalistic look with just the company’s logo placed on it, which also issues notification alerts with blinking lights. The audio jack has been ditched in favor of the Type-C port. Elephone makes up for this omission by supplying a Type-C to 3.5 mm audio conversion option in accessories.
Inspired by curved display used in the Samsung Galaxy S lineup, the U and U Pro also come fitted with a similar 5.99-inch Full HD+ display powered by a curved AMOLED flexible screen. However, there is little scope to utilize the twisting and bending abilities of this AMOLED display as the screen is covered with hardened glass on the front, as it is on the rear. But the curved screen definitely enhances the functionality of the device with its edged display.
The screens in both the devices offer 18:9 display ratio. That coupled with an AMOLED screen works remarkably well in offering an impressive display with high contrast, broad color gamut, wide viewing angles, and stunning details. But the Elephone U and U Pro also have a Gorilla Glass Protection 5 coat guarding the display screen and support a maximum 10 Points Touch.
The difference between the U and U Pro really stands out in terms of the performance of these two devices. While the Elephone U is more of a mid-end flagship smartphone powered by a MediaTek 6763T octa-core 2.0GHz processor, the U Pro is a high-end high-performance device fuelled by the latest Snapdragon 660 SoC processor.
The U, on the other hand, stands out as more of an energy efficient device. While you can’t expect the Elephone U to match the seamless and powerful performance of the U Pro, especially due to the inclusion of full HD+ display in the former, it definitely accords a better battery life. In contrast, the U Pro is a fireband device with almost double the performance speed of the U. Apart from this, the U Pro version also supports wireless charging.
The one feature where the U beats the U Pro is the battery. The Elephone U comes with a 3,620 mAh battery whereas the U Pro has a 3,550 mAh battery. If the runtime of a device is one of the deciding factors for you, the Elephone U does stand a chance in front of the U Pro. Both the smartphones support 15W fast charging, and you can get the battery up to 100% in under 1.5 hours.
Apart from these distinct differences, the Elephone U and U Pro have essentially the exact same features, including the Face ID Unlock. Both the devices are available in two variants – 4GB RAM and 64GB internal storage, and 6GB RAM and 128GB internal storage.
The Elephone U as well as the U Pro feature dual rear cameras with 13MP resolution each and a color and mono lens combination supported by PDAF technology. The Super Night Mode powered by the ArcSoft algorithm yields photos with great clarity even in low light, something which is often found lacking in Chinese smartphones.
The most stellar aspect of the cameras in both these phones is the Bokeh effect that brings sharp focus on an object, creating a pro-level blur in the background. On the front, you have an 8MP camera for both the U and U Pro versions, which is capable of adding some quirky effects to your selfies. Elephone calls it AI funny effects, but they are quite honestly an adaptation of Snapchat filters and do not really use AI.
In terms of connectivity, both the Elephone U and U Pro are on par. Both are dual SIM phones with two Nano SIM slots, along with a micro SD card slot that can be used to expand the internal storage memory up to 128 GB. All usual connectivity options such as WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, and NFC are included in both the phones. In addition to it, there is also a string of sensors that includes a fingerprint sensor, gravity sensor, hall sensor, E-Compass, gyroscope, ambient light sensor and proximity sensor. The Face ID is nowhere close to the iPhone X as far as its accuracy is concerned, but you have got to applaud Elephone for adding this functionality to premium smartphones that are priced at half the cost of the iPhone X.
This is another area of clear variation in the Elephone U and U Pro. While the Elephone U is powered by Android Nougat v7.1, the Elephone U Pro uses the latest Android Oreo 8. The Inclusion of the latest OS version in the U Pro also adds to its performance abilities, eliminating the scope of lags even when running multiple apps on the phone or playing games high on graphics.
Both the Elephone U and Elephone U Pro are promising devices in their own right, offering a mix of great looks, design, functionalities, and performance at an affordable price range. However, if you have to compare between the two, the U Pro definitely makes for a better choice.