Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve been playing with iRulu’s U1 smartphone. Based on information that I have, this is iRulu’s entrance into the smartphone field. The U1 smartphone is a dual 1 ghz core processor android device. The reports I received from iRulu indicate that they have plans to release more smart phones on a more high-end scale. I expect to see a quad core version of the smartphone from them in the near future.
The packaging of the U1 is pretty much what you expect in receiving a smart phone. I’ve purchased many cell phones in the past, and some of the cell phones have had very nice cases, but really, what’s the point?
The packaging of the U1 is straightforward. I received my iRulu U1 smartphone by the post office, priority one shipping, with the box shown above. Inside the box you have the quick users guide, the power cable and then the phone itself.
When you receive the U1, the smart phone is fully charged, but you have to take the backing off the phone and remove the battery tape that allows the connection for the power. Upon doing this, the phone should power right up.
The smartphone also comes with something else, this not shown above, which is a set of earbuds to plug into your headphone jack. But the earbuds are also used for the smartphone’s ability to use as a FM receiver [to listen to FM radio].
I’ve had the opportunity to do review on several of iRulu’s android devices and I found that the android tablets that they offered in the past have varying performance levels based upon the amount of memory, processor and graphic chips that they install on them. When they announced that they were going to be doing a smart phone, I was excited to see what kind of efforts they were going to put into this new product line.
To be perfectly honest, the initial appearance of the U1 seems very slick. The phone itself fits nicely as the palm of your hand; it’s not awkward. The edges of the phone are smooth and refined. The U1 smartphone that I received already had the protective cover over the face of the screen.
One thing that caught me off guard right off the bat, was the location of the buttons on the U1. On the right-hand side, you have your power button, and on the left side, you have the volume adjustment. I found it weird simply because most android devices have the power button in the volume control on the same side, but you can easily adapt to it.
CPU Processor MT6572M 1.0G Dual core
Sim card Support Dual sims dual standby (1* Standard SIM, 1* Micro SIM)
Operation System Android 4.2.2
GPS Support A-GPS
FM Radio Support
Network 3G Mode:WCDMA 3G; Data Speed:21Mb/s; Frequency Band:WCDMA 850/1900; 2G Mode:GSM; Frequency Band:GSM 850/900/1800/1900
WI-FI 802.11 b/g/n
Main Display 5 inch FWVGA 854×480TN Luminance 300
Touch Lens 5 points Capacitive
Camera Front 2.0 MP, Rear 5.0 MP with Flash light
Internal Memory 512MB RAM / 4GB ROM
External Memory Support to max 32G TF card
Capacity(mAh) 1PCS Li Battery, 1500mAH 3.7V
AC Adaptor 110~240v
Connector Normal USB
Normal USB Support
Micro USB Rechargeable
The appearance is nice; it’s not bulky and blocky. The edges are rounded and smooth.
It’s a dual core processor android 4.2 operating system. The handling of the phone seems refined, it’s easy to handle and it seems to work pretty good under a light load.
The resolution of the 5 inch screen is pretty standard, but is not high-end; at 854 x 480 will be able to handle most anything you throw at it, and there’s no problems with doing the text on the screen or working with low end games.
The cost of this phone is low enough to be convenient and to escape the major carriers contract requirements. It has dual Sim cards so that you can connect to the CDMA and GSM networks. If you decide to change carriers, you shouldn’t have any worries.
It has enough horsepower to do some of the basic things that people need to be up to do. The storage on the U1 is expandable up to 32 GB.
I had the phone on stand-by for about 3 days and still had a little juice left.
The U1 is an entry-level phone. It’s not going to perform like a quad core processor android phone, like the Galaxy S5, but it does get by well.
At times, I found that the U1 was having a little bit of problems doing some things periodically. Performance problems show themselves more prominently when updates/downloads were coming in, but I think this is common across all operating systems and devices.
In my testing and usage of the U1, I found the periodically there would be some issues with video playback. Nothing specifically stood out as to why the performance problems were coming up, but typically restarting that service seem to resolve the issue. This may have something to do with the 512 MB of internal memory.
Loading Netflix, Plex and Hulu on the U1 wasn’t a problem; I just visited the Google play market, download the applications and installed them.
I tested Beach Buggy Blitz and Uphill Climb Racer from the Google play market. Again, I was able to download and install the applications just fine. When I tried to run Beach Buggy Blitz for the first time, it didn’t work properly, but after restarting the game, it came up fine and I was able to play. During the gameplay, I had some difficulty with the frame rates. I adjusted the graphics level of The game and it seemed to work a little bit better; a bit more fluid.
Uphill Climb Racer is not a high level graphics application and the U1 smartphone didn’t have any problems with playing that game.
iRulu provided me this phone for review purposes. I knew before I got the phone that he was an entry-level phone, something they were entering the market with, but it was also something they were going to be building upon. Historically, I really has focused on android tablets of different models, size and performance. I was impressed initially with the appearance of the U1 smartphone and I think it’s a good entry into this side of the market for iRulu. While the usage of the phone seems to be fairly responsive, with the dual core and low memory specs for the phone, unfortunately, there are some performance issues that are going to be incurred there.
But the way the market is moving nowadays, getting away from long-term contracts with carriers, being able to buy a smart phone out right for under $100 and avoid those locked in contracts or termination fees, this is a smart buy if you’re looking for the basic functionality of a smart phone. The U1 smartphone performs well, but is not a high-performance device. As I reported in my evaluations, high-end video games is not this smart phones specialty, but playing more common low-end video games or maybe watching videos through Netflix, this phone should be just fine.
At the time of this article, the price of this phone on Amazon.com was under $80.
Credits and Reference
iRulu’s website: http://www.irulu.com/sa-u1_287.html
IRulu U1 Smartphone Cases: Click here