Wiko Ufeel Go review — one too many corners cut
+ Comprehensive package includes a myriad of accessories
+ Decent design
+ Good battery life
+ True dual-SIM functionality
+ Decent camera
+ Near-stock UI
- Subpar performance
- 2GB of RAM is insufficient
- Low quality loudspeaker
- 720p video recording
- Redundant apps
- User experience is full of stutter, apps open after a substantial delay
What do you need a smartphone for? For me, it’s a lot of Whatsapp, Facebook, Instagram, Spotify and also some browsing with Chrome to search for information. Not what I consider heavy tasks, which is why I think most of today’s entry level smartphone will be just nice for me if I ever have to replace my smartphone on a shoestring budget. So can the Wiko Ufeel Go satisfy my needs?
Just like the Wiko Ufeel Fab we previously reviewed, the Wiko Ufeel Go comes in an attractive packaging with graphics all over it. The highlight features are shown repeatedly over the packaging.
The Wiko Ufeel Go comes with a number of accessories in the box, with Wiko giving you a free soft case, plastic screen protector, the usual charger and USB cable and even the increasingly rare pair of earphones. There is also the usual set of documentation if you are the kind who actually reads the user guide before using something.
The Wiko Ufeel Go has an all-black front fascia, which appeals to me. The only things that break the monotony here is the front-facing flash and also the silver trim around the fingerprint sensor.
Flipping the Wiko Ufeel Go over, we see the camera over on the left corner and the lone LED positioned under it, with what seems like antenna lines running along the top and bottom of the device. The logo is recessed into the metal back, and along the lower part we find perforations through which the mono loudspeaker will pump sound.
The volume rocker and power button are on the right edge, where they are usually found.
The top of the device is home to the 3.5mm jack.
Meanwhile the microUSB port and microphone finds their home over on the bottom edge. If you notice, just right below the ridge where an antenna line should be, there is a little nub to help prevent the speaker from being muffled, a nice touch here where many have overlooked how this little design can make the difference between a missed notification and one responded to in a timely fashion.
|CPU:||MediaTek MT6735 (4 x A53 @ 1.3 GHz)|
|Display:||5.0″ HD (720p) IPS|
|Storage:||16GB + MicroSD up to 64GB|
13MP f/2.2, single LED flash
|OS:||Android 6.0 Marshmallow|
|Connectivity:||Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n|
Bluetooth v4.0 with A2DP
LTE Cat 4
|SIM:||Dual-SIM (micro SIM)|
|Battery:||4,000 mAh non-removable|
Antutu ranks the Wiko Ufeel Go even lower than its brethren, the Ufeel Fab. Aside from the different screen size which doesn’t affect the score, it has to be the lesser amount of RAM in the former. With just 2GB of RAM, looking at the specs sheet makes me think if I have accidentally been thrown back in time.
PCMark throws work-related tasks at the phone and judges its performance at these workloads. As expected, it performs slightly poorer than the Wiko Ufeel Fab which has the same MTK 6735 inside, most probably also due to the lesser amount of RAM.
Surprisingly the Wiko Ufeel Go climbs above the Ufeel Fab, scoring a single point more than the latter in the single-core benchmark. It loses a little in the multi-core benchmark. However it must be noted that these scores are quite a fair bit lower than the next devices, simply because the MTK 6735 chipset only has half the cores the current crop of chipsets pack.
3DMark sees very similar scores between the two. As both devices feature a similar resolution, this is expected. Also expected is that these two device do not do well at all here, with a single core Mali-T720 GPU doing all the work. However it does support the latest OpenGL ES 3.1 standard, which is something.
With a smaller 5.0″ screen, the Wiko Ufeel Go goes on for an extra 49 minutes over the Wiko Ufeel Fab. It is actually quite an amazing feat that Wiko managed to cram a 4000 mAh into a 5.0″ device.
The smallish display also translates to a long usable battery life. It has lots of time away from the plug, while still being able to clock 4 hours and 36 minutes of screen on time (SOT). In case you were wondering, my usage consists of lots of Whatsapp, Facebook, Messenger and some web browsing with Chrome and music listening on Spotify through my Sudio Vasa Bla Bluetooth headset.
Wiko gives us a removable rear cover here, which you would not have noticed until you have to insert your SIM cards or microSD card. It looks very much like the usual entry-level “metal” smartphones on the market, with the metal wrapping around the sides, with only the top and bottom bits made of plastic, the only difference being that it is removable here. Despite the removable cover, Wiko has decided against giving users the option to replace the battery by themselves, and the battery is sealed. The Wiko Ufeel Go accepts two microSIMs and a microSD card, which makes it great for those who want extra storage and dual-SIM functionality. I have no idea why so many smartphone manufacturers just do not understand that when people buy a phone touting dual-SIM support and expandable storage, they want it to support TWO SIMs, and a microSD card. Kudos to Wiko for actually doing just that.
The 5.0″ display makes it one of the smallest devices, and by extension, the easiest to use with just one hand, I have used in recent times. Wiko has thrown in 2.5D curved edges for a more comfortable experience swiping around in Android. A decently fast fingerprint sensor on the front here is nice, and even offers the ability to emulate the navigation buttons via swipes and taps. However it suffers from the same problem with the Ufeel Fab, which is the inability to activate Google Assistant with the home button. If you want to use Google Assistant, you will have to keep the on-screen navbar around, which is really redundant.
Holding the device is a comfortable experience, without having to stretch my hand at all to handle this device. Bezels are pretty substantial, but thanks to the smaller screen you do not suffer from any difficulty using the device. If I were to complain, it would be that the top and bottom bezels are much too thick, but it may be a necessary design choice given the frontal placement of the fingerprint sensor.
The 5.0″ screen looks pretty decent, with the 1280 x 720 pixels not stretched nearly as thin as on its larger brethren. Color is slightly off, having a cold tint. It is quite noticeably off actually, which brings me to the other thing; MiraVision. You can tune the screen quality, or just use Dynamic Contrast, which is quite a surprising find on a smartphone at this price range.
The loudspeaker on the rear of the Wiko Ufeel Go is pretty loud, but distorts at the higher frequencies at maximum volume. There is no bass to speak of, so you are left with a rather hollow sound. I would not recommend using it for listening to music at all.
Moving on to the camera, the rear 13MP camera features a f/2.2 aperture and a single LED flash, while the front features a 5MP sensor behind a f/2.2 lens, and is also supported by a single LED flash. The UI here is pretty simplistic, with a few basic modes available to play around with. The Professional mode for photographers who wish to take more control over their creation. You do not get to adjust the shutter speed though. Video recording is limited to 720p, which is a downer in this day and age.
Image quality is decent, but nothing spectacular. The HDR mode gives an interesting touch to images, often overdoing the HDR. It takes quite some time to process, so you will only ever be able to use it for static scenery. In low light, images lose contrast but noise is still under control. I must say Wiko did quite a good job here. The front camera disappoints though, with blurry images indoors thanks to the low shutter speeds, and the high ISOs taking away whatever detail there is left. Turning on the flash helps a little, but images become way too cold to be natural without a little editing.
Software wise, aside from the wonky arrangement regarding the navigation keys, the Wiko Ufeel Go packs a UI that’s almost stock Android 6.0 Marshmallow, aside from some minor tweaks. A swipe down from the upper left corner brings down a Smart Gesture panel which allows you to draw gestures to bring up your apps, call someone or even open the SMS window to quickly send a text message to that person. 360 Security was pre-installed, but it can be removed to keep your phone as bloat-free as you can.
There are quite a few redundant apps lying around, as Wiko developed their own apps despite pre-loading the Google version of them, and making them system apps. I hope Wiko can clean up their act here. The device stutters and suffers from delays when opening or switching between apps, which lead to me a conclusion that 2GB of RAM is insufficient for smooth usage in this day and age. Even typing on the phone suffers from slowdowns, which is a dealbreaker for me.
So, does the Wiko Ufeel Go manage to satisfy my basic needs for a smartphone that handles my social networking smoothly? Sadly, it falls just short of the mark. It could have been a lot better if say it had 3GB of RAM instead of the 2GB it has now. There aren’t many devices that can give you a smooth experience for just RM599, and the Wiko Ufeel Go falls just short of delivering one. The rest of the device is passable, like the camera, near-stock Android Marshmallow UI and pretty decent fingerprint sensor, but the lack of RAM is just one too many corners cut from the already very limited specifications of the Wiko Ufeel Go.