I was looking to replace my phone with one that has a good screen, LTE capable, and is future proof.
I then wondered if Mediatek had a 64-bit chip of its own. As a user of Mediatek-powered phones, I have experienced the comparable value for money that their chipset provides. I was happy to see that the first phones to sport their new MT6732 quad-core 64-bit chip has already been released: the Ulefone Be Pro (see official specifications here)
I have already seen a lot of comprehensive reviews on the Ulefone Be Pro on more focused sites, and you might want to read what GizmoChina, MobileGeeks, GizChina, and GizBeat have to say on the Be Pro. Just return and read the rest of the review later, I'll wait.
I bought mine from GearBest (direct product link). I also bought an official protective case/smart cover. Use the promo code BEPRO to get an additional discount. Expedited shipping means that it gets sent to you via DHL. I got mine in 10 days.
Tips for Filipino buyers: The ASEAN-China Free Trade Area (ACFTA) Tariff Rate for AHTN Code 8517.70.21 (Cellular telephones) is 0% for 2015. This is from the Tariff Commission (Philippines) website. Make sure that you recheck the computations for the duties and taxes that will be imposed by Customs (and collected by DHL). In my case, Customs reassessed the dutiable value of my goods to be $300, which is almost double the price I actually paid. So make sure that you have the PayPal confirmation and invoice (make sure to check this option on checkout) to present just in case. Be prepared to pay 12% VAT but there should be 0% customs duty.
Without further ado, here are some images to supplement the images and videos already posted online about the Be Pro.
|Phone Box (left), adaptor for charger, and Smart Cover Box|
|GearBest tests their products before shipping.|
They forgot to remove SammyDress, which is a Chinese shopping app. Easily uninstallable.
|Good HSPA+ signal in Iloilo City.|
One of the rare times I was able to get Globe LTE reception in Iloilo City.
Your mileage may vary. (Update: See results from Smart below)
Asphalt 8 on High Settings. Look at all those blur motion effects.
And it does look great on the 5.5" IPS OGS screen.
- Great price! Along with the promo code discount, I paid less than USD$180.
- Solid build quality
- Stock vanilla Android 4.4.4 flies on this device with 2GB of RAM
- LG IPS OGS screen is absolutely great on the eyes
- WiFi and 3G connectivity is good
- Future proof - Lollipop promised this first half of the year
- Standard SIM + microSIM configuration ensures that I don't cut up my old SIM card to make it fit
- Single speaker
- Your headphones might not work. As some reviewers have said, Xiaomi Pistons or some knockoff headphones with longer tips will work.
- LTE connectivity exists
but phone reverts to 3G easilyUpdate: this is network dependent, initially tested with Globe in Iloilo City - see below
- Battery life shortened with LTE data use
I highly recommend the Ulefone Be Pro for its price point. For a little over half of the current SRP of the Samsung Galaxy E7 (PHP 15,990 as of this writing), you get a 64-bit quad-core processor, a 5.5" IPS OGS screen, and 2GB of RAM. Both new and advanced users will appreciate the value and performance of this device.
Update: Proof that Ulefone is working on Lollipop:
Update: New Antutu 5.7 scores, still high
Update: Smart has better LTE in Iloilo, and I can confirm that LTE is working - only if you are subscribed to an LTE plan or "data sachet" as Smart calls it.
Update: Firefly Mobile has launched the INTENSE 64 LTE, which is a rebrand of this phone (Ulefone is a trademark of Shenzhen Gotron Electronic Co., LTD, a known OEM supplier). It's a good deal for P7999 plus extras.
Update: New GearBest product code for the Be Pro: BEPROGB to bring down the price to $137.98.
Custom recoveries made by the famed Carliv are posted here. I have tested the Carliv Touch Recovery but reverted to stock for the update.
MEGA link for Official ROM. Might help you if you brick your device. Flashable with latest SP Flash Tool.