Rugged phones typically cater to outdoors and industrial use. I have been using Umidigi Bison for a while and totally fell in love with it for its durability and toughness.
Based on my personal use case, this smartphone is definitely one of the better budget phones for kids because of its cheap pricing and able to withstand “abusive usage”
Throughout my time of using it, I never have to worry that it gets torn apart by my 4-year-old daughter.
Pros and cons of Umidigi Bison
- Built to last, worry-free
- Superb value for money
- Reasonable camera performance
- Great for day-to-day normal smartphone usage
- IP68, IP69K certified
- Stock Android OS
- Built-in shortcut button for the camera
- Hard to reach fingersensor
Alright, let us get into the Umidigi Bison detailed review. For this review, I will only focus on 3 aspects:
Umidigi Bison Toughness and Durability Review
For anyone who buys a rugged phone, the main concern will be how tough it is. We want the phone to work normally under harsh condition and environment.
First thing first, this phone is IP68 and IP69K certified which means it is even better than the latest iPhone 12 IP rating.
The IP68 rating means that it can survive up to 1.5 meters depth of water for 30 minutes.
IP69K rating means it provides protection against ingress of dust, high temperature and high-pressure water.
Also, let’s check out the video below to see for yourself how well Umidigi Bison can last under the water.
As you can see in the video, this phone did survive and still working great after submerging underwater for a long time.
Furthermore, you can use its built-in camera button to take a photo under the water too.
Honestly, I don’t feel like harming a perfectly good phone for the sake of reviewing how tough it is.
YouTuber J.Williams did a great job of testing the phone. He drops the phone from 5ft and 6ft at different angles.
It turns out that this phone can really take a harsh beating.
The phone only suffered some minor scratches at the corner after many drops.
This phone has a large 5000mAh battery capacity. It may not be the biggest battery on a smartphone.
But it certainly can last for one day of heavy usage (about 7 hours of screen on times).
For a more scientific and data-backed test, do check out laurentwilliam.be battery test results on Umidigi Bison.
The battery of the Umidigi Bison has a capacity of 5000 mAh and has discharged from 100% to 1% in 550.00 minutes with 100% brightness, it has discharged from 100% to 1% in 1471.00 minutes with 50% brightness.
In short, it lasts about 9 hours at maximum brightness setting.
Umidigi Bison User Experience
This smartphone may not come with the top range SoC in it but I have not experienced any obvious lag or stutter while using it.
The first impression of this phone is it is a bit bulky at 12.8mm thick and weighs 250g. It is thick and heavy compared to a normal smartphone.
But bear in mind that this a rugged smartphone. Umidigi Bison form factor and design is comparable sleek, in comparison to other rugged phone series like Doogee, Oukitel and Ulefone.
This phone is powered by Mediatek Helio P60 SoC and running on stock Android OS. The system interface is clean and lightweight.
It has a whopping 6GB RAM memory and 128GB storage. (128GB storage is rare for budget phone at this price point)
Throughout two weeks of usage, I have not experienced any major lag or stuttering. I would say it handles day-to-day usage very well.
Things like scrolling through the Facebook feed, watching YouTube, quick search on Google Chrome and taking quick notes are a breeze.
Sorry to say that I am not a heavy smartphone gamer myself. So, I have not gone in-depth to test this aspect.
Let’s check out local tech Youtuber Izami Gadget review on Umidigi Bison gaming performance below.
For Mobile Legend, the game can run on high graphic setting with everything turned on including HD and HFR mode.
For PUBG Mobile, the game can run on HD graphics setting and high fram rate.
Personally, I just do casual gaming and also my kids use it to play BabyBus game :). And it’s been all good so far.
I bet you never will think that physical buttons are still a thing for smartphones.
Umidigi Bison comes with five physical buttons and one fingerprint sensor at the sides of the phone.
There are power button, volume up, volume down button, dedicated camera shutter button, and one last button for push-to-talk (PTT) that connects to Zello app.
First, the camera shutter button is very useful if you need to take photo underwater. Because capacitive touchscreen will not function correctly when in contact with water.
Besides, this camera button is customizable for under function under setting > smart key.
You can use it to open flashlight, start voice recording, screenshot and so on.
For the PTT button, there’s a YouTube reviewer who complains about the button being useless and may mistakenly press on it occasionally.
Well, that’s understandable because not everyone needs this kind of feature
This PTT button is stated as customizable according to official Umidigi. But I can’t find the setting to configure it.
Fortunately, with the help of buttons remapper app in Google Play Store. I can customize the PTT button to any functions i wish to.
I have configured it to become my split-screen shortcut key, which is super handy.
The only complaint I have with this smartphone is its fingerprint sensor placed at the left-hand side of the phone instead of combining it with the power button.
When I am holding the phone naturally, I can only reach the sensor with my middle finger. It will be 100 times better if the sensor is combined with the power button.
I have turned off fingerprint sensor and opted to use the face unlock feature instead.
Umidigi Bison Camera Performance
Umidigi Bison have an impressive quad rear camera setup 48MP+16MP+5MP+5MP:
- 48MP Sony Primary Camera
- 16MP Ultra Wide Angle Camera
- 5MP Depth Camera
- 5MP Macro Camera
Camera Comparison: Umidigi Bison vs Mi 9T vs iPhone 12
Okay, let’s get things straight. I am a total noob when it comes to presenting a camera test online.
So, please forgive me if the comparison is poor.
I carried out two part camera test on Umidigi Bison: indoor and outdoor camera test.
Indoor camera test
As always, iPhone 12 shows the most colour accurate version. Bison and Mi9T is slightly orange-ish. And apparently, the monkey is slightly sharper in the iPhone 12.
Both Bison and Mi9T is slightly grainy. But it’s not that bad at all given that Bison only cost RM600+. Frankly, it exceeds my expectation on an RM600 phone.
Outdoor camera test
For outdoor camera test, Umidigi Bison is noticeably poorer in quality comparison to Mi9T and iPhone 12. But, I really won’t complain much about it.
It able to captures a lot of details like the velvety, hairy succulent, the dirt and small stone on the plants.
Below are more photos taken by Umidigi Bison.
Overall, I think this phone takes some good photo. In fact, I feel it is better than many RM600 phones in the market, for example, last year’s Realme ^.
If you were to compare it to Xiaomi or Realme budget phone, Umidigi Bison specs may be slightly lagging behind.
But those budget phones are no way rated as IP68, IP69K or as durable.
You could argue that you can slap on a rugged case on a budget phone but reliable smartphone case is hard to come by for budget phone.
Good and durable smartphone case can cost upward of hundred Ringgit Malaysia.
Overall, I like Umidigi Bison a lot because it stays true to what it claims. There’s no overstating or exaggerated claim.
I think it is a good choice for those who need a rugged smartphone.
For example, FoodPanda and GrabFood riders, or kids who yet to be able to handle smartphone with care.
Disclaimer: The product tested is provided by the vendor. Opinions, reviews and user experience in this article stay true to TechRakyat’s unbiased principle.