It is a dream of budget users to find a smartphone that packs almost high-end features within an acceptable price range. The Umidigi A3 Pro has a reputation for being that ideal but still affordable smartphone. Is it all hype, or would you have to expect nasty tradeoffs? Read the review to find out:
Umidigi A3 Pro Specs
Quad-Core ARM Cortex-A53, 1500 MHz
5.7 inches (15cm), IPS, HD
720 x 1512
32 GB (expandable)
0.41 lbs (186g)
What You Can Really Expect with This Phone
Could the A3 Pro be that dream smartphone that delivers everything you need at a dirt cheap price? Here’s what you can realistically expect to get with this phone:
Slim and Stylish Body
The A3 Pro is designed to look like an iPhone X. Like the Apple product it’s trying to emulate, the Umidigi has a sleek and modern body. The back of the phone even has a glass casing. It looks like a phone that costs three times its price.
The great looks come with other perks too. For starters, the A3 Pro is very lightweight. It weighs less than a pound (or about half a kilo). The weight is about average for slim phones. However, similar budget-range phones tend to weigh a lot more, so this is quite a perk the A3 Pro offers.
It’s available in colors other than black too. There isn’t much variety here to be honest. You can either get it in space gray or glossy black. Still, that’s more variety than most budget phones offer.
If you want a trendy-looking phone at a very cheap price, the A3 Pro would make a great addition to your list.
A Display that Exceeds Expectations
The display is surprisingly good considering other budget options. To be clear, the A3 Pro doesn’t come with a high-end screen. However, you still get many screen features for around $100.
The phone boasts HD picture quality with a resolution of 720 x 1512. This is not much compared to phones that are more expensive of course. But the picture quality is one of the best in the budget range.
The screen sports a 19:9 aspect ratio and a 90% screen to body ratio.So you can expect edge-to-edge graphics.Full screen viewing therefore isn’t an obstacle. The screen even comes with an in-built plastic protector.
That being said, it’s important to adjust your expectations regarding picture quality. This isn’t a Full HD phone, so some graphics may appear grainy. You won’t be able to play some games, for example, except at the lowest resolution.
Highly Responsive to Touch
One of the biggest issues with budget phones is the lackluster touchscreen. Even with great graphics resolution, the touchscreen is pretty much useless if it’s not responsive. This Umidigi actually delivers when it comes to having a touchscreen that works as intended.
The screen is highly responsive to actions like scrolling. You will be able to play low-res games that require touch without much difficulty. The screen feels quite smooth too, much like a high-end phone.
Compatible with the Latest Tech, Including Facial Recognition
Despite being a slightly older phone released in 2018, the A3 Pro works really well with most of the latest tech. It has Android 9.0 Pie preinstalled, which is the version that came right before the version in use in 2020. With Oreo, you can do things like split your screen—the essentials most people need from modern phones.
There’s more. This is a 4G phone. So it’s compatible with the high-speed packages most carriers offer.
Surprisingly enough, the A3 Pro even comes with facial recognition tech as an option to unlock the phone. The feature is not a dud and does work. A word of caution though—the face ID feature is not as smooth as you would find in a more expensive phone. Face ID is easy to use during daytime, but can cause problems if you are in dim surroundings. It doesn’t work all the time, but the tech is still there. Just in case, a fingerprint scanner is also available.
The A3 Pro comes with 5GHz dual-band Wi-Fi. This is the latest Wi-Fi standard known to maximize network connection efficiency. Most budget smartphones in this price range come with the older 2.4Ghz standard. You get a wireless connection with both, but the 5GHz is much better for performance.
Dual SIM, Expandable Storage, and SD Card Availability
You can insert two SIM cards into this phone and enjoy the convenience of having two phone numbers in one, lightweight device. The A3 Pro works with most networks, so this is just an added benefit.
The phone comes with plenty of storage too. You can get the model in both 16GB and 32GB versions. The 16GB of storage is not much to speak of, but you can get the 32GB for roughly the same price. What’s more, you can expand the storage up to a wonderful 256GB with an SD card. That’s plenty of space for pictures and videos of the average user.
No, It’s Not Perfect and Here’s Why
The Umidigi A3 Pro easily delivers a lot for the price tag. But don’t let your expectations soar. Be aware of the following problems:
Camera Setup is a Let Down
The A3 Pro comes with a two cameras, even including a 12MP camera, so it’s easy to expect a decent photography setup. Unfortunately, this is one of the biggest let downs of this phone. The cameras are quite underwhelming.
You can expect so-so picture quality, not unlike other budget versions. The dual cameras work fast, but the photographs are certainly not in HDR format as the advertisements may make you believe. That might be because this phone doesn’t offer RAW support. It’s not terrible, but it’s not great either. If you are an Instagrammer or someone who just needs to take lots of pictures, these cameras will disappoint you.
Battery Size is Too Small
The beautiful slim design comes with a big tradeoff at this price—the battery size. The A3 Pro only has a 3300mAh battery. It’s small even for a budget smartphone. Nevertheless, thanks to system efficiency, the battery can last up to 8 hours depending on use. But if you are expecting full-day use, this might not suffice.
No Wireless Charging as Promised
Some adverts for the A3 Pro seems to indicate this phone has wireless charging, which it does not. The Qi setup near the charging port is really just for show. That will disappoint if you expected it. You might want to check out Umidigi One instead. Does Umidigi One have wireless charging? It indeed does.
RAM Capacity is Not Up to Potential
With the internal memory and the quad-core processor the A3 Pro packs, it should be a much faster phone that it is. Because of only 3GB of RAM, it doesn’t really live up to the potential of the processor.
This phone is slightly faster than most of the budget phones out there. Be aware though, it can still get a bit laggy if you are multitasking. Also, you can only play games like PUBG in the lowest settings, and even so processor-heavy games like these work only sometimes. If you are a heavy user, or a mobile gamer, this smartphone might not be for you.
Possible Other Options to Consider
Huawei Nova 5T
If you want a budget smartphone with a great camera setup, the Nova 5T is worth considering. A fellow Chinese phone to the Umidigi A3 Pro, it comes with a massive quad camera setup. There are 48MP and 16MP rear cameras along with 2MP macro and depth sensors, plus a 32MP front camera. All cameras have high-res lenses. The downside is, the Nova 5T is roughly twice as expensive as the A3 Pro, but it’s still in the budget range.
Samsung Galaxy A20s
If you want a smartphone with similar specs at a similar price but in a different brand, the Galaxy A20 deserves a second look. The A20 is also an Android 9 phone that shares some features with the A3 Pro, like dual SIM and 3GB of RAM. But the Glalaxy A20 has the upper hand when it comes to the camera. It has a 3-camera setup, including one slot with an ultrawide 8MP lens. The screen is quite stunning, much like other Samsung phones. Performance, though, is largely similar to the A3 Pro.
The Bottom Line
Easily, the Umidigi A3 Pro offers excellent value for your money. While it can’t match high-end phones for some features, it offers more for the price than a vast majority of other budget smartphones.
It has a decent screen, excellent internal memory, and runs an acceptable Android version. Not to mention, the phone looks much more expensive than it is. It’s really hard to find notch-to-notch display with a decent resolution at this price range, so the A3 Pro is a steal.
There are several tradeoffs of course, which is expected with any budget phone. Don’t expect a great camera, because the setup is quite mediocre. Performance is in the middle-range as well, thanks to lack of RAM.
All in all, the A3 Pro is a great budget buy that can meet the needs of nearly all smartphone users, expect the ones that require extreme performance or a great camera.