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Monsters from Asia: the impossibly-cheap IUNI U2 and its aluminum body

Posted: , by Chris P.

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Monsters from Asia: the impossibly-cheap IUNI U2 and its aluminum body
When we're talking about value propositions, we tend to avoid the word "cheap" as people often get the wrong vibe off of it. But when we saw how much IUNI, Gionee's high-end brand, is nowadays charging for its U2, we felt like tagging it as simply "affordable" wouldn't do the aluminum-built device justice. Some of you might remember IUNI from a previous piece of ours covering the U3, but right now we're talking about the company's previous flagship.

The IUNI OS skin is easy on the eyes

The IUNI OS skin is easy on the eyes

Anyways, the U2 is quite the phone for what you have to part with. For starters, it's one of the now few flagship Android devices touting a (Sharp) display with a diagonal of "just" 4.7-inches, within which are fitted 1080 x 1920 pixels for an impressive ppi figure of 469. Underneath that, the company has fitted a 2.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon 800 chipset and 2GB/3GB of RAM (more on that later), a 16-megapixel OmniVision rear camera with f/2.2 lens and an LED flash, plus a 4-megapixel UltraPixel selfie snapper. The device is powered by a 2,200 mAh battery.

On the software side, we've got the Android 4.3 Jelly Bean-based IUNI OS, which is essentially an answer to Xiaomi's custom MIUI skin, though far less popular. Regardless, we've had the chance to play around with the U2, and we were pleasantly surprised by the overlay – it's beautiful and the company hasn't gone overboard with the "extras". While we obviously haven't reviewed the device in-depth, our initial impression of it was favorable, too – this thing is built like a tank, and that aluminum sure helps reinforce that feeling.

So, how much? ¥999 or ¥1199. That translates into $162 or $195, and IUNI is even throwing in a transparent plastic case for free. Why two prices? Well, IUNI sells two versions of the U2 – one with 16GB of internal storage and 2GB of RAM, and one with 32GB of native memory and 3GB of RAM. Sure, some of you might dismiss the U2 as "old news" given that it was released back in March, but considering the pittance IUNI is asking for it, we felt compelled to bring it to your attention as this is one hell of a deal.

Story timeline

This story is part of: Monsters from Asia(49 updates)

30 Comments
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posted on 27 Nov 2014, 06:19 2

1. DogeShibe (Posts: 1113; Member since: 10 Jan 2014)


These are just great. Root and throw in custom Roms and boom! You get a flagship device impossibly cheap!

posted on 27 Nov 2014, 16:17 1

22. thartist (Posts: 42; Member since: 14 Jul 2014)


Mmm oookkk, price is killer but... Chinese. 4.3 skinned and probably never gonna see KitKat or Lollipop nor a custom Recovery or ROMs... I can't deal with that.

posted on 27 Nov 2014, 22:54

24. DogeShibe (Posts: 1113; Member since: 10 Jan 2014)


What are you talking about?
Even Xiaomi Redmi 1S got KitKat via Cyanogenmod.

posted on 27 Nov 2014, 06:19

2. AndroidLollipop (unregistered)


How to pronounce this? IUNI

posted on 27 Nov 2014, 06:29

4. apple4never (Posts: 1064; Member since: 08 May 2013)


i always thought its like uni or e-uni kinda like xiaomi is pronounced shoowmi

posted on 27 Nov 2014, 06:31

6. DogeShibe (Posts: 1113; Member since: 10 Jan 2014)


Maybe i-uni? (uni like the one in unique)
That's how i pronounce it!

HugoBarraCyanogenmod should help us!

posted on 27 Nov 2014, 06:58 2

10. laughmi (banned) (Posts: 283; Member since: 28 Oct 2014)


I you and I

posted on 27 Nov 2014, 07:18

11. itsdeepak4u2000 (Posts: 3718; Member since: 03 Nov 2012)


Simply I U N I.

posted on 27 Nov 2014, 06:22 2

3. duartix (Posts: 293; Member since: 01 Apr 2014)


Spectacular price for the specs, but should have been made smaler. Too much wasted space that is not screen real estate.

posted on 27 Nov 2014, 06:29

5. realjjj (Posts: 368; Member since: 28 Jan 2014)


In Europe Allview is about to start selling it as a rebrand.
http://allviewmobile.com/smartphones/x1-xtreme-mini.html

Iuni is a Gionee brand and Blu has some Gionee rebrands too so maybe they could bring it to the US at some point.

posted on 27 Nov 2014, 06:38

7. Bertelgeus (banned) (Posts: 126; Member since: 15 Oct 2014)


Beauty of Android: it's cheap, and it also has to be.

posted on 27 Nov 2014, 10:47

18. Bondurant (Posts: 426; Member since: 04 Jun 2014)


Android just IS. That's the beauty of Android. Just is.

posted on 27 Nov 2014, 06:38

8. gaara6775 (Posts: 738; Member since: 20 May 2014)


Reminds me of my M7. I liked the color.
And still better design than many leading OEM's.

posted on 27 Nov 2014, 06:49

9. ferretsama (Posts: 32; Member since: 27 Nov 2014)


it looks like the combination of HTC One M7 and Sony Xperia P

:O

posted on 27 Nov 2014, 07:19

12. itsdeepak4u2000 (Posts: 3718; Member since: 03 Nov 2012)


Whoah!!! What a price for those specs even Xiaomi falls behind.

posted on 27 Nov 2014, 07:30

13. networkdood (Posts: 6330; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)


The word 'monster' is not referring to the screen size, obviously...

posted on 27 Nov 2014, 08:12 1

14. junaidahmed (Posts: 103; Member since: 04 Sep 2014)


love the box

posted on 27 Nov 2014, 08:27 1

15. drsolom (Posts: 2; Member since: 27 Nov 2014)


where to find it with 160 $
give me supplier link .sure trusted one only

posted on 27 Nov 2014, 08:57 1

16. rowdysheeter (Posts: 74; Member since: 10 Sep 2014)


In the ancient times, Europeans used think of east as a land of monsters, with one eye or no head and a eye in the chest, ants that dig gold and so on. In the 21st century, the legacy continues. Only the objects have changed, the language and the perspective remains. talk of decolonization. Thanks pa!

posted on 27 Nov 2014, 09:40 2

17. mrblah (Posts: 576; Member since: 22 Jan 2013)


What a deal! I'm going to sell my moms siii mini and get one of these for her.

posted on 27 Nov 2014, 12:03

19. Tziggy14 (Posts: 443; Member since: 02 Sep 2014)


China doesn't know the concept of design. The interface is ugly.

posted on 27 Nov 2014, 14:16

20. Medicdroid1 (Posts: 12; Member since: 12 Dec 2013)


Where can you find this to buy? I've looked and can't find a website for this company.

posted on 28 Nov 2014, 00:37

25. Lifengineer (Posts: 44; Member since: 15 Dec 2011)


The website is there!www.iuni.com
You can buy it from aliexpress!

posted on 27 Nov 2014, 14:56 1

21. gigaraga (Posts: 1454; Member since: 29 Mar 2013)


Specs look decent and price amazing, but it's another phone designed by the Chinese and made by the Chinese so I'll skip on this despite the price.

posted on 28 Nov 2014, 04:00

26. poptart (Posts: 45; Member since: 28 Nov 2014)


Don't dismiss Chinese phones just because. I am a US reseller of these flagship phones and they all perform admirably and my customers come away very satisfied.

posted on 28 Nov 2014, 15:08

27. mloudt (Posts: 16; Member since: 14 Nov 2014)


I resell phones also. And looking to get decent phones also and resell to make a lil profit while at the same time saving people from paying samsung lg and apple flagship prices. Most unlock phones we see in America is Blu so I would love to get some of these brands I see on here like Neo Oppo Xiaomi this one and other cheap ones if the good quality. I remember back a few years ago I bought a Chinese clone you know the cheap ones that mention high specs but have bad camera quality and bad overall color scheme on the phone. Kind of like we see with cheap samsung flagship knock offs. Do you know if these brands on here don't have that problem?

posted on 27 Nov 2014, 19:39 1

23. dimas (Posts: 2122; Member since: 22 Jul 2014)


They don't have international release so it will just be another dream phone for non chinese consumers.

posted on 28 Nov 2014, 15:33

28. poptart (Posts: 45; Member since: 28 Nov 2014)


The phone mentioned here can go for to toe with those other guys. I would be wary of thl and zopo as they are lower spec phones and embellish many of their specs. Bbk phones which is the parent company of Vivo oppo and one plus one is probably the best you can buy as phonea as those are made for the us market with 4g lte compatibility. Xiaomi is strong as well but do not offer lte. Their miui os is the most robust of all and that is why they have yet to crack the us market. They are a direct competitor to Google and they know it will be next to impossible to knock Google from the top in the western hemisphere. Vivo are the priciest yet offer the best smartphones in the world money can buy. Jiayu is another company that sells decent phones. Inew, iocean and cubot are all phones that resell really well for the price and quality build. Good luck

posted on 28 Nov 2014, 19:13

29. mloudt (Posts: 16; Member since: 14 Nov 2014)


thanks and as for zoppo its not that bad my mom got one that is about two years old using with att network its a mid ranger with dual sim slows but its basically built like a htc which is taiwan like u said but its an ok brand.

posted on 28 Nov 2014, 19:39

30. poptart (Posts: 45; Member since: 28 Nov 2014)


I agree. Good luck

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