A couple months ago, we checked out the Elephone S8 which was a super inexpensive smartphone that you guys seemed really interested in, and it was something we don’t see too often here in the US. There are a lot of awesome international budget devices out there that I unfortunately don’t always get a chance to see, but luckily the folks over at GearBest sent over 2 more to check out. These are the Oukitel Mix 2 and Vernee Mix 2, and yes that “Mix 2” naming scheme tends to be attached to a lot of these Chinese devices, there’s a Xiaomi Mi Mix 2, Ulephone Mix 2, Doogee Mix 2, But similar names aside both of these devices here are really solid smartphones at great prices and if you want to check them out, purchase one for yourself or maybe see all of the great deals GearBest has to offer, I’ll leave some links down below.
To help keep things straight, the Oukitel Mix 2 is dressed in pink and red on the left and the Vernee mix 2 is in blue on the right, and I’ll just get the prices out of the way here since I know that’s what a lot of you guys are interested in. The Oukitel Mix 2 is actually on sale right now for $199.99, about 30% off, and the Vernee Mix 2 comes in at either $159 or $199 depending on the specs you go with, so both of these devices are really affordable.
Before we go ahead and start picking apart their similarities and differences which there are quite a few even though these phones look almost identical, I’ll go ahead and show you guys what all comes inside the boxes.
With the Oukitel you get a nice crystal clear TPU case to protect the phone, along with an international wall adapter and micro usb able for charging, as well as a SIM ejector tool and a small collection of paperwork and instructions.
The Vernee also comes with a decent crystal clear case, an in additional to the ones always installed on the phone, you also get extra front and rear glass protectors. And you also get the same international wall plug and micro usb cable for charging and a couple pieces of paper with a sim tool.
So like I mentioned, side by side both of these phones look very very similar and it’s difficult to tell them apart but there are some distinct difference in their build material, specs and features that might be a deciding factor in choosing one of another. They both have the sharp rectangular shape with very thin edges along the top and sides with a bit of a chin to facilitate a front facing camera, and around back they have identical rear glass, slightly different rear camera setups and a fingerprint sensor. Now the fingerprint sensor is in a really good spot, it’s just above the middle and even though these devices are a little bigger it’s very comfortable to reach. On the Oukitel, the sensor is very quick, there’s hardly any delay at all from when the phone recognizes you and vibrates to when the device is unlocked, on the Vernee for whatever reason it does feel a bit slow, there’s a more noticeable delay in unlocking but in general it’s fast enough to where it’s not really an issue.
The sides on the Oukitel are glass and on the Vernee their aluminum, so the Oukitel is a little more grippy in the hand but the Vernee is probably a little more durable having metal at least, and both devices do have downward facing speakers, the micro USB port at the bottom and a headphone jack up top, so no dongles or adapters or any of that garbage, just a good old headphone jack as it should be.
Along with the differences in material, you might be able to tell that the all glass Oukitel there in the right is just a little bit thicker than the Vernee, but besides that the volume and power buttons on both devices are essentially the same there on the sides.
I think really the main attraction for both of these phones has to be the display, if you want to be as specific as possible the Oukitel has a 5.99” display and the Vernee has an even 6” display, both at a FullHD resolution of 2160 by 1080, both at that 18:9 aspect ratio, and both look really nice from top to bottom. While there aren’t any curved edges or anything, the slim bezels and sleek design get the screen as close to the edge as possible while still being comfortable in the hand which is particularly important since these are 6 inch devices, and while you do get some letter boxing in video, you can pull it into full screen but no matter how you view whatever content you want to watch, everything looks crisp and colorful and I really don’t have any complaints at all with either phone.
Spec-wise, we do have a couple differences to note here. The Oukitel Mix 2 comes with a helio p25 octa core 2.3ghz processor, 6GB of ram, 64GB of internal storage and a 4080 mah battery. While the Vernee Mix 2 ships with an Octa Core 2.5Ghz Processor, either 4GB or 6GB of RAM depending on the model, 64GB of internal storage, and a huge 4200mAh battery. And fortunately, both phones support dual SIMs and expandable storage via an SD card which are both some nice options to have.
They ship with android 7.0, I can’t say whether or not they’ll get Oreo anytime soon or even at all, and the Oukitel Mix 2 seems to have a Samsung-esque icon for whatever reason, but both devices have a pretty barebones software experience all in all, there’s virtually no bloatware, they’re unlocked international devices so no carrier crap, they both offer a pretty solid and smooth user experience with some decent specs to back it up.
Now one area I think both of these phones could use some improvements in is with their cameras and that generally seems to be the theme with a lot of these kinds of smartphones. With both devices, you get an 8mp front camera in that bottom right corner position which can be a little awkward, but in the Oukitel you do get a front flash. On the back, both smartphones rock a dual lens setup with some differences in specs, but both are capable of shooting HDR, 4K video and have some manual controls and adjustments. Pictures on both devices look ok, I mean they’re definitely usable and I think the Oukitel does look quite a bit better, but considering how good a lot of other smartphone cameras are, the camera capabilities on these devices do fall a bit flat which is unfortunate.
Some other things to note, even with the slight differences in batteries I could get about 4 and a half hours of screen on time across both devices which isn’t too bad at all, and while these devices are international unlocked phones, in the US I was limited to only 3g on select networks which is something to consider if you’re considering using these devices in the states.
All in all though, considering that both of these phones are basically $200 or less, I was really surprised with a lot of the aspects of these devices. The build quality is nice, the screens look great, the internal specs are very capable, and with devices like these on the market it kind of makes you reconsider shelling out $800 or $900 on a smartphone.