Cell Phones

Need a cheap/not flagship phone: Umidigi F2 or Xiaomi Note 9 Pro

  • Last Updated:
  • May 15th, 2020 6:15 pm
[OP]
Deal Addict
Jul 6, 2005
3812 posts
1206 upvotes
Toronto

Need a cheap/not flagship phone: Umidigi F2 or Xiaomi Note 9 Pro

I'm on the last legs of my LG G4 and my wife's ZTE Axon is not any better..... we don't change phones very often as you can tell. So, I'm looking for cheap replacements that have some of the modern features. Mostly interested in better battery life and camera function. We're not gamers or stream content on our phones; just phone calls, texting, web browsing, GPS and photos.

I'm leaning towards the Aliexpress phones, and I think I've narrowed it down to either:
  • Umidigi F2 for $278
  • Umidigi Power 3 for $211
Both run Android 10 (latest, correct?), and I believe have the same processor, ram and memory and 6.53" screen. Oh, and they both have the correct global bands for working in the GTA area, we're on Rogers (correct me if I'm wrong).

The Power 3 seems to have the bigger battery, but I'm concerned about reports of it having audio issues/dropping sound. Something about a bug and how "OK Google" assistant is programmed..... apparently if you disable the google assistant it corrects this issue.

Am I missing anything else between these 2 phones?

Any other alternatives I may be missing out on?

The max I'm willing to pay on a phone is $300.

Thanks for your help!!!!

Edit: after a bit more reading, discovered that the Power 3 is actually an older phone on an older Android 9, compared to the F2 on Android 10
9 replies
[OP]
Deal Addict
Jul 6, 2005
3812 posts
1206 upvotes
Toronto
Anyone???

I did a bit more reading on these umidigi phones and noticed that they do differ quite a bit: Different processors and different versions of Android

I think more comparable products are:
  • Umidigi F2 for $278
  • Xiaomi Note 9 Pro for $400
As they're both on Android 10

Thing is the Xiaomi is a fair bit more expensive (especially when I have to buy 2 of these phones), but it does have some kind some water resistance and (I think) a better processor) with more memory.

From what I understand of the Umidigi, they're very slow to push updates/security patches to the phone. Is the same true for Xiaomi phones?
Deal Addict
Oct 16, 2013
2307 posts
663 upvotes
New Brunswick
The power 3 runs on Android 10 its the power that runs Android 9. I do know that Umidigi has recently updated the F2 software. They are prepping to lunch the UMIDIGI S5 Pro the new flagship. Don't know if more F2 updates are on the way.
Member
Jan 4, 2019
458 posts
465 upvotes
Costco has the Motorola Action One for $300. That might be the better of all the above options.
[OP]
Deal Addict
Jul 6, 2005
3812 posts
1206 upvotes
Toronto
Ok.... ugh... this is why I hate phone shopping. It's like information overload.

Looks like I'll need to scrap the Xiaomi from my shortlist; turns out they're not really a "global" phone as it has limited compatibility with certain LTE Rogers bands. I have a cottage out in the Kawartha Lakes region, the boonies if you will, and I'm afraid the Xiaomi will simply not work well while I'm there.

So, it looks like I need to limit my search to Umidigi phones, that have the all of the compatible bands for optimum service.

I still like the F2 for the battery size, but I also just learned about the S5 Pro, which is set to be launched soon on May 26. It has a better processor, more memory, a pop-up camera, finger print scanner behind the screen and an AMOLED display. Only thing is, it has a slightly smaller battery.

So, depending on what the price is, I guess I'll wait to see whether I buy the F2 or the S5 Pro

Thanks all who provided your feedback so far.
[OP]
Deal Addict
Jul 6, 2005
3812 posts
1206 upvotes
Toronto
awe man... how did I miss this 53 page RFDthread?! Found it in expired offers...

New UMIDIGI F2

Looks like there's some major issues with the F2, including: crappy photo software, speaker issues, crappy wifi range.

... maybe these phones truly are cheap for a reason. I need to rethink this.
Deal Guru
User avatar
Sep 21, 2005
11962 posts
10876 upvotes
Repooc wrote: awe man... how did I miss this 53 page RFDthread?! Found it in expired offers...

New UMIDIGI F2

Looks like there's some major issues with the F2, including: crappy photo software, speaker issues, crappy wifi range.

... maybe these phones truly are cheap for a reason. I need to rethink this.
Those RFDers paid $200 for their F2 during last year Ali 11.11 promo.
@will888 installed a custom ROM and he is happy with it for the price he paid.

Last November, I got a UMIDIGI A5 Pro from amazon.ca for $130. I used my A5 Pro dual SIM to create a cheap combo plan with PM $10 plan on slot 1 + Fido $10 4GB on slot 2. With the saving from my combo plan, my A5 Pro is already paid off.

I treat my UMIDIGI phone as a disposable phone. It will be expensive to ship phone to China for warranty repair or replacement. I will buy a new UMIDIGI mid range phone every year for $130. lol. The camera on my A5 Pro was not great when I got it last November. After a few updates, my A5 Pro camera is acceptable (my standard) especially taking close up photo for the stuff which I sell on eBay and Kijiji.
Have too many phones... This is how I limit my monthly phone payment.
Public Mobile $36 5GB, $12 250MB, 2x $6 50min/50text, Fido $5 4GB data only plan with a free tablet,
Zoomer $36 loyalty 4GB plan, $0 FPL home phone. Have a better and better day!
Deal Expert
User avatar
Jun 12, 2007
15669 posts
4729 upvotes
London
Repooc wrote: ....
I still like the F2 for the battery size, but I also just learned about the S5 Pro, which is set to be launched soon on May 26. ...
Launch = available for order, not when it is in stock and ready for shipping (from China).

I believe with the F2, it launched Oct 14 but didn't start shipping till late Dec.
Expect 2 months before they ship and then add the shipping time from China to that
Last edited by l69norm on May 14th, 2020 9:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Newbie
Jun 9, 2011
17 posts
19 upvotes
CALGARY
ReadAllTheDeals wrote: Costco has the Motorola Action One for $300. That might be the better of all the above options.
I moved from an Axon 7 to this phone and would recommend it. I'm on Freedom in Calgary, but this phone has nearly every band imaginable. I had to bail on the A7 as it was dying a slow painful death restarting routinely, and then when I tried to pull the battery for the fourth or fifth time to reset the restarts, it died completely and wouldn't resuscitate. 90 day return period from Costco if you don't like it. I was tempted by the Umidigi F2 as well, but the mixed reviews and the great Costco return policy won me over. It's available for $10 more at Costco online.

Differences to Axon 7:
Camera is for sure better than the Axon 7, vertical-hold-but-landscape-video action camera is awesome
Display is longer but you get used to it quickly
Just updated the retail version to Android 10 last month
128 GB storage

Downsides vs Axon 7:
single SIM
Single downward firing speaker. I hate it, but what phone has forward facing stereo speakers anymore? I was willing to trade off on this given the price. I was hoping the G stylus or G Power would be worth the wait but as I said above, when I killed the patient on my Axon 7, I had to move.
[OP]
Deal Addict
Jul 6, 2005
3812 posts
1206 upvotes
Toronto
Thanks for the feedback everyone.

I ended up buying:
Google Pixel 3 64gb for me
Oneplus 3 64 gb for my wife


Not the latest and greatest, but certainly upgrades from our current phones.

Given that we have a cottage on the kawartha region, i just couldn't risk it buying a xiaomi phone with the limited bands, and the spotty camera and audio issues of thr umidigi were definitely concerning.

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