Batching of basic (primitive) static meshes?

I know similar things have been mentioned before, but I’ve not really found a suitable answer.

What options exist to render a high number of very primitive objects in an efficient way on mobile devices (specifically those not supporting HW instancing). An example might be minecraft type games. While my models are slightly more complex in poly and vertex counts the same “idea” applied. Players should be able to, at runtime, place fairly simple objects down. In order to test I threw a large bunch (>500) into UE4 and another engine that shall not be named (that uses software batching) and there was a massive difference, full framerate vs UE4’s build which was hardly playable. Should I just use the other option which I know will do what I want… I’d really rather not, because I fully believe UE to be a much nicer and complete toolset for me. Hope someone has ideas?