Hardware Overview and CPU Performance

The Umi Touch features a not-too-surprising array of hardware at its price point. The center of it all is a MediaTek MT6753 SoC, which is a standard octa-core design with eight ARM Cortex-A53 CPU cores clocked at up to 1.5 GHz. This chip is built using an aging 28nm process and supports 64-bit instructions thanks to ARMv8-A.

Inside the MT6753 there’s a Mali-T720 MP3 GPU clocked at 700 MHz, which is an entry-level configuration. This device comes with 3 GB of LPDDR3 memory and 16 GB of internal NAND plus a microSD card slot.

Wireless support is average across the board. There’s Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n on both the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands, but no 802.11ac. Bluetooth 4.1 and GPS are built-in as well, and the lack of NFC isn’t surprising at this price point. You should be very wary of HSPA and LTE support, though: Umi lists support for just two HSPA bands (900 and 2100 MHz) as well as three LTE bands (3, 7 and 20). This covers a limited array of networks worldwide (mostly Europe and Asia), and massively neglects North America in particular.

The Umi Touch’s general performance is, quite frankly, not great, even for an entry-level device. I often experienced slowdowns and stutters performing basic tasks, and the occasional sluggish animation makes this far from a smooth Android experience. When cheaper devices the Moto E feel faster and smoother to use than the Umi Touch, that’s a serious option and speaks volumes about the lack of optimization.

Not everything about the performance is bad. App loading speed is acceptable for a budget handset, and 3 GB of RAM does help to avoid complete app reloads when multi-tasking (to an extent). Performance has also improved significantly thanks to a few recent updates, turning what I’d call ‘horrendous’ performance with frequent stutters and slowdowns into ‘below average’ class performance.

Raw performance in CPU-limited benchmarks indicates the Snapdragon 410, found in budget devices like the $80 Moto E 2015 and $160 Moto G 2015, is just three percent slower than the MediaTek MT6753 in the Umi Touch. This is a huge win for Qualcomm’s silicon, as the Snapdragon 410 has a hardware disadvantage with four A53 cores clocked at up to 1.2 GHz, compared to eight cores at 1.5 GHz in the MT6753.

This sort of scenario is fairly typical for MediaTek hardware. On paper, you’d think the MT6753 should outperform the Snapdragon 410 by at least 25% considering that is the difference in CPU clock speeds, but this is rarely the case. Instead, perhaps due to poor drivers from MediaTek or a lack of optimization, the MT6753 only has a slight CPU performance advantage. This is one of the reasons why I don’t rate MediaTek as highly as I do Qualcomm or Samsung, and why you simply can’t look at the spec sheet and expect a certain level of performance.