One of the things that caught our eyes at Mobile World Congress in 2018 and 2019 were new, high-end smartphones coming from China-based manufacturers that are better known for their value handsets. Ulefone is one such company that is trying to break into the market for advanced smartphones by relying on MediaTek's premium, sub-flagship SoC offerings. Last year Ulefone demonstrated its T2 Pro 6.7-inch handset designed for demanding customers. This year the company showcased its T3 smartphone the promises to be even more impressive.

The Ulefone T3 will be one of the first smartphones to be based on MediaTek’s P90, a premium 2x ARM Cortex-A75 + 6x ARM Cortex-A55 SoC, which in the T3 will be paired with 8 GB of LPDDR4X memory and 256 GB of NAND flash storage. The handset will be outfitted with a large display featuring a punch hole for the selfie camera. Unfortunately, Ulefone remains tight-lipped about the specs of this screen. For its T2 smartphone the maker used an LCD produced by Sharp, so it's likely that the new model will also use a similar display.

As for its imaging capabilities, the Ulefone T3 will be equipped with a rear camera featuring a 48 MP RGB module in addition to two more modules. Unfortunately Ulefone isn't clarifying what these modules will be, though I suspect we're looking at a telephoto camera and a depth sensor. Meanwhile, along with the 3 cameras, the fingerprint reader is also being placed at the rear of the phone.

Ulefone plans to start sales of its T3 flagship smartphone sometimes in July at a price of around $350. Evidently, the company does not have intention to go after Apple’s iPhone or Samsung’s Galaxy S with its handsets just yet, but the expected performance and features of the Ulefone T3 clearly indicate where the manufacturer is going as a company.

One thing to keep in mind here is that the Ulefone T3 was demonstrated as a mockup at MWC, rather than finished hardware or even a prototype. Mockups are not working phones, but they are static samples meant to show design and dimensions of future devices, but not demonstrate how they work. Typically, companies show dummies before they get final hardware/software ready. However, in some cases manufacturers demonstrate mockups to protect intellectual property and/or other reasons. Anyhow, with a static sample showcased at MWC, it's hard to get a bead on where Ulefone is on actually completing their new handset.

P.S. Interestingly, in Estonian the word ‘üle’ has many meanings. One of them is ‘superior’. A rather interesting coincidence.

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Source: Ulefone

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  • psychobriggsy - Tuesday, March 12, 2019 - link

    Dual A75 versus Quad-A76 or similar is a hard sell.
  • jabber - Tuesday, March 12, 2019 - link

    And for those of us that don't play games on our phones? How bad would my Twitter/Email/Here Maps suffer?
  • PeachNCream - Tuesday, March 12, 2019 - link

    Gonna agree with what I think jabber is suggesting, that the SoC performance won't be felt in a majority of day-to-day usage scenarios. After a certain point, which we have surpassed a few years ago, phone performance reached the "good enough" point that desktop and laptops have long been at so the driving factors for upgrades are elsewhere which the overall industry has been working on for some time now. Thickness, camera numbers, screen designs, waterproofing, and so forth are all indicators of phone hardware producers seeking out what sorts of things will land sales beyond just having a faster SoC or more RAM.
  • jabber - Wednesday, March 13, 2019 - link

    This is it, a few folks on tech sites still think we are living in 2012 or that we all change our phones every 6 months like they do. Amazingly a lot of people out there use their phones for 3-4 years quite easily. Phone SoCs reached good enough for most a long time ago. Battery, Screen and camera are far more important features for most. Considering that SoCs change every few months only those suffering from severe anal retention are really that bothered.
  • Plumplum - Tuesday, March 12, 2019 - link

    P90's competitor is SD710
    SD710 is dual A75 (Kryo 3xx Gold)

    Mediatek focus on 2 features that are better on P90'S :
    - ISP allows 48MP (and it's triple ISP) when SD710 allows 32MP (double)
    - AI incluses a dual-core DSP plus a dedicated self-made AI silicone...AI is close to SD855's on many tests
    - GPU should be close to SD710's

    And SD710 is better on 2 things :
    - 10nm processus vs 12nm
    - 4g ce 15/13 vs 12/13

    Hope to see this P90 soonl
    Nevertheless, I don't trust in Ulefone...

    T2 was announced at mwc2018...and is still not availlable.
  • KarlKastor - Thursday, March 14, 2019 - link

    You have Performance numbers for the PowerVR graphics? Or P90 test in general?

    And I doubt the ISP and DSP is more capable than SD710. It's almost the ones from SD845.
    In all models before that wasn't Mediateks strength.
  • Plumplum - Monday, March 18, 2019 - link

    Only one benchmark was announced : it is Manhattan test from GfxBench :
    33fps on SD710
    30fps on P90
    (21fps on SD660
    20fps on P60)

    ISP on SD710 is worst thanks the one on SD675...
    Both P90 and SD675 are 48MP compilant (with effects and noise reduction), SD710 is limited to 32MP.
    A few days ago, Qualcomm said all their mid-range are 192MP capable (but without effects and noise reduction)
    Some of Mediatek's ISP were already good on the past. Helio X20 allows both the dual-camera effects from Huawei and Apple before they released.

    Some AI features are faster on Dual Tensilica P6 thanks on the Hexagon 685 packed on SD845 and 710...
    The scores of Computer Vision on PC Mark :
    - Helio P60 : 5654 (Oppo f7)
    - SD845 : 5246 (Oneplus 6)
    - SD710 : 3504 (Mi 8 SE)
    - SD660 : 3084 (Redmi Note 5)
    You can find these data by googling "Oppo F7 Futuremark", "Oneplus 6 Futuremark"....etc
    Nevertheless these scores aren't fair...(for exemple, I think GPU usage is weak on this test, as SD845's is far far far berger thanks P60's, I think, in many cases, SD845's IA will be better.

    Homemade AI silicon on P90 multiply AI capabilities by 4 compare.
    Mediatek announced 280 GMac/s on P60 (compared to 300 GMac/s on Apple A11...and they announced...1127GMac/s on P90

    Leaked AI tests on AI-Benchmark 2 :
    SD855 : 19769
    P90 : 18231
    Kirin980 : 14946
  • PeachNCream - Tuesday, March 12, 2019 - link

    Your poor thumb!

    Less importantly, I like the hole for the camera design a little more than I like the notch which is to say my jury is still out on it at the moment. I also suspect that the camera's MP rating isn't a good indicator of photographic quality. Results are more important than specs.
  • coburn_c - Tuesday, March 12, 2019 - link

    "Ulefone" Who? Why?
  • ajp_anton - Wednesday, March 13, 2019 - link

    No word about the 3.5mm audio jack? Yeah, I can see from the images that it's gone, but what happened to the AnandTech that was sure to mention this shortcoming every time it came up?

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