UMIDIGI Bison Review; Strong as Steel

Staff ni Anjie

In buying smartphones, the top factors people consider the most include the design, cameras, and whether they can provide a seamless user experience, especially in the gaming department. Durability often comes as an afterthought, although to be honest, this really should be among the first things to look for in an electronic device to ensure that your purchase is a good buy.

UMIDIGI Bison Review; Strong as Steel
UMIDIGI Bison Review; Strong as Steel

Rugged smartphones like the UMIDIGI Bison are yet to find a strong following in the mainstream market in the Philippines. But for a country that’s frequently hit with disasters and natural calamities, investing in a device that works even in the most unprecedented emergencies is a good move. Let’s take a closer look at the UMIDIGI Bison and discover what it brings to the table.

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UMIDIGI, a Chinese smartphone brand, has a number of consumer electronics models under its arsenal, including its mid-range and flagship line, before it launched the UMIDIGI Bison in August 2020. Rugged devices aren't exactly the brand's core focus, but with what they did with the UMIDIGI Bison, we can say that they're on the right track in producing durable smartphones.

UMIDIGI Bison 6.3-inch FHD+ Display
6.3-inch FHD+ Display

The UMIDIGI Bison looks like just a regular smartphone that’s clad with the standard rugged case. But on paper, it proves itself different. This device comes with IP68 and IP69K ratings. The former means that the UMIDIGI Bison can withstand dust, dirt, and sand and is water-resistant up to 1.5 meters for 30 minutes. The latter indicates that the said smartphone can be used in conditions with high water temperature and high water pressure. The UMIDIGI Bison is also drop-proof up to 150 cm. We tried putting the UMIDIGI Bison in a container filled with 1,500 liters of water and left it there for exactly thirty minutes, and as expected, the device still works well. We also did several drop tests in varying heights not exceeding 1.5 meters, and the UMIDIGI Bison didn’t get even a single scratch.

UMIDIGI Bison Unboxing and Hands-on

You can really feel that the UMIDIGI Bison is a rugged phone when you hold it because its form factor is far from being sleek and slim. However, it's relatively light at 250 grams, so you can still use it on a daily as you would with a non-rugged smartphone, and you’ll really feel nothing much of a difference in terms of grip and ease of handling.

The UMIDIGI Bison comes with standard physical buttons for power and volume controls, plus a side-mounted fingerprint scanner. There are also two more buttons whose functions are customizable. You can either set them as the dedicated buttons for push-to-talk (PTT), emergency calls/SOS, flashlight, underwater camera, screenshot, to name a few. You can also access different apps and functions per single click, double click, or long-press. Another unique feature of the UMIDIGI Bison is that it can be used seamlessly even if the user has his or her gloves on and even in wet conditions.

This rugged smartphone boasts a 6.3-inch FHD+ display in 2340 x 1080 resolution and in a 19.5:9 aspect ratio planted with Corning Gorilla Glass as a protective layer against screen cracks and scratches. The UMIDIGI Bison's display shows off just the right color vividness, and we appreciate how it remains visible even when used under direct sunlight.


Perhaps what can be considered a compromise for the UMIDIGI Bison is its dated chipset which is a MediaTek Helio P60 SoC. The company could’ve inserted a new chipset, which would have improved the overall quality of the smartphone even more. Still, with what the MediaTek Helio P60 Soc could offer, this is a caveat you can easily brush off. You can take our word for it when we say that the UMIDIGI Bison can also bring a smooth performance. Switching between several apps is a breeze, and it can even take heavy mobile gaming without hiccups, thanks to its Mali G72 GPU. In terms of storage and memory, the UMIDIGI Bison comes with a combination of 6GB RAM and 128GB of onboard storage. Its internal storage is expandable via microSD, although you have to sacrifice going on dual SIM if you want larger storage.

UMIDIGI Bison Waterproof

The UMIDIGI Bison runs on Android 10, and we like that it comes with less bloatware out of the box. Its other features as a rugged smartphone include a built-in pedometer, magnifier, protractor, speedometer, height measure, noise test, plumb bob, and many others, which are basically the stuff you need if you're into extreme outdoor adventures.

Here’s a look at how the UMIDIGI Bison performed in terms of benchmark tests:
  • Antutu - 195,047
  • Geekbench Single-Core - 287
  • Geekbench Multi-Core - 1,135
  • Geekbench Compute - 1,209
  • PC Mark Work Performance 3.0 - 6,773
  • PC Mark Work Storage 2.0 - 6,699
  • 3D Mark Wild Life - 639
  • 3D Mark Wild Life Stress Test - 
  • 3D Mark Wild Life Extreme - 
  • 3D Mark Wild Life Extreme Stress Test - 
  • 3D Mark Sling Shot - 
  • 3D Mark Sling Shot Extreme - 

For a rugged phone to deliver its purpose well, it has to have long battery life. Otherwise, all its features are all for naught. Fortunately for the UMIDIGI Bison, its battery department is just one of its excellent parts. It comes with a 5,000mAh juice which, on moderate use, can last up to two days. Charging is also quick as it only took us around two hours to have it fully recharged via its USB-C port, thanks to its 18W fast charging support. Take note that the UMIDIGI Bison does not support wireless charging.


The UMIDIGI Bison is advertised as a rugged camera-centric device, and putting its camera capabilities to test, we can say that this is a fitting description. Its quad-rear camera consists of a 48MP Sony primary sensor with AI, 16MP ultra-wide 120-degree shooter, and 5MP each for depth and macro-produced images with outstanding clarity and color accuracy. And unlike other smartphones -- rugged or non-rugged -- the UMIDIGI Bison is impressive with its night shots. Its camera interface is also simple and easy to use, and it has various modes like portrait, photo, beauty, and video, to name a few.

UMIDIGI Bison Camera Sample - Normal
UMIDIGI Bison Camera Sample - Ultrawide
UMIDIGI Bison Camera Sample - 1x
UMIDIGI Bison Camera Sample - 2x
UMIDIGI Bison Camera Sample - Macro
UMIDIGI Bison Camera Sample - Night

Its 24MP Sony front camera also delivers natural-looking portraits and has modes of AI beautify, face recognition, and selfie countdown.

UMIDIGI Bison Camera Sample - Selfie
UMIDIGI Bison Camera Sample - Night Selfie
Night Selfie

Safe to say that if you want to go on a trip and you don't want, or you don't have to bring a professional camera, the UMIDIGI Bison can suffice in recording memories of your adventure. However, don't expect much from its video output as its maximum resolution is at 1080p only, and it's very apparent that it lacks stabilization.

Among the features highlighted on the UMIDIGI Bison website is its underwater camera. While we can’t test this particular feature yet due to the current situation here in the Philippines that limits traveling to beaches, what we can say for now is that this is an added feature that travelers would enjoy as it allows you to take photos and videos while swimming underwater without waterproof pouches.


While it might take a while before we can maximize the features of the UMIDIGI Bison as a rugged phone, especially now that traveling is not advisable due to the surging COVID-19 cases, how it works when used as a daily driver speaks volumes about its performance. For less than Php7.5K, the UMIDIGI is worth every penny.

UMIDIGI BISON Specs Philippines:

  • Dual Nano-SIM, dual standby, supports 4G LTE connectivity
  • 6.3-inch FHD+ (2340 × 1080) capacitive touchscreen display, Corning Gorilla Glass protection
  • IP68 and IP69K certified
  • Dimensions: 162.5mm × 79.9mm × 12.8mm
  • Weight: 250 grams
  • Android 10 (Stock/Pure)
  • 64-bit octa-core (4x2.0GHz Cortex-A73 CPU + 4x2.0GHz Cortex-A53 CPU), Mali-G72MP3 GPU, Mediatek Helio P60 chipset
  • 6GB RAM
  • 128GB internal storage, expandable up to 256GB via MicroSD card, uses SIM 2 slot
  • 48MP f/1.79 Sony main + 16MP ultrawide + 5MP f/2.4 macro + 5MP f/2.4 depth quad rear cameras with LED flash, 1080p video recording at 30fps
  • 24MP f/2.0 Sony front camera, 1080p video recording at 30fps
  • Multimedia Player
  • FM Radio
  • 3.5mm audio jack
  • WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band
  • Bluetooth v4.2
  • NFC
  • GPS with A-GPS, GLONASS, BDS, Galileo
  • USB 2.0 Type-C with OTG function
  • Sensors: fingerprint (side-mounted), accelerometer, light, proximity, gyroscope, compass, barometer
  • Battery: 5,000mAh, non-removable, 18W fast charging
  • Colors: Cyber Yellow, Lava Orange
  • Price: Php7,434

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