Ulefone X Review

27 July 2018, 16:57:45

Ulefone X Review
You can buy an Ulefone X at a promotional price from Ulefone's official store on AliExpress or from Banggood.

OS, UI and software

Ulefone X runs on stock Android 8.1 Oreo and the software does provide a smooth and user-friendly experience. The interface offers no surprises whatsoever, the design follows the classic Oreo paradigms. The standard Voice Search and Camera app shortcuts are placed as usual in the bottom left and right corners of the Lock screen. To unlock, simply swipe up and the Home screen will appear. A Google search bar and a Time and Date widget are in the top half of the screen, while the bottom half is occupied by a row containing a folder with Google applications and favourite apps and a docked row of apps. The navigation bar is a software one. From the corresponding menu, you can switch the positions of the Recents and Back buttons as well as make it hideable. There are desktop shortcuts available but for most apps, they just lead to the info tab. All apps appear in alphabetic order on a single page with a search bar on top. You can access this page simply by swiping up from the Home screen. A swipe to the right opens the Google App, which you can customize to your liking. The Task Manager tiles the apps vertically, has a Clear All button and supports split-screen mode.
The Notifications and Quick Settings are typical Android Oreo ones. The Notifications cards support notification snoozing and channels. These can be accessed after you swipe gently a notification card to the right. There you will see two icons. The first one sets the snoozing time and the second one leads to the settings for the notification channel of the app. The notification channels are groups of notifications from a certain app and for each one, you can choose whether to be notified about and how. The Quick Settings has the same background colour as the notification cards. At the top of the screen, the status bar icons are positioned followed by the brightness level bar. The toggles are listed 6 per page on two pages and below them, there's the current date with the toggle editor and shortcut to the System Settings. The Widgets menu can be accessed after a touch and hold on an empty space on any of the desktops. It allows you to change the wallpaper, add widgets and customize your Home screen by switching on/off the Google app, the notification dots and the option to place icons of new apps on the Home screen. The Volume shade is the standard one. The Power off menu is again the typical Android Oreo one - a small window with rounded corners and three options - power off, restart, airplane mode.
Ulefone X arrives with all the Google and some default Android apps. No bloatware at all. The usual Google apps include Calendar, Chrome, Drive, Duo, Gmail, Google App, Maps, Photos, Play Music, Play Store, Voice Search, YouTube. The default Android apps include Calculator, Camera, Clock, Contacts, Downloads, File Manager, FM Radio, Messenger, Phone, Sound Recorder. All of them are in their stock Android appearance and functionality.
The Settings menu includes all the typical Android Oreo features. It begins with a list of suggestions and contains a total of 14 main groups of settings. The first two ones are all about connectivity and you can check out the screenshots in the corresponding section of this review. In general, from here you can manage your Wi-Fi and mobile connections, data usage, SIM cards, VPN, airplane mode, Bluetooth and USB connections, printing services. The Apps & Notifications group comes third and includes the usual list of all apps installed on the device, app permissions, default apps, special app access and notifications management. The following menu contains the battery settings but they will be discussed in the Battery section of this review. The Display group contains the standard set of settings for the brightness level, adaptive brightness toggle, font and display size, wallpapers, screen saver, etc. The Sound settings arrive with the usual volume level bars, DND rules, ringtones, vibrations and other sounds settings. They are followed by the Storage menu, which in Android 8.1 Oreo contains a Cleaner - an option to free up space by cleaning junk, and a Storage Manager that can be toggled on/off. The DuraSpeed feature is listed as a separate menu from which you can simply activate or deactivate it. When active, it boosts foreground apps by restricting background ones. The Security & Location group of settings is one of the largest. It starts with the Security Status that contains the Google Play Protect, Find My Device, and Security update features. Then, it continues with the screen lock settings, lock screen preferences, fingerprint IDs management, Smart Lock settings, privacy and data protection options.
The following group of options is called Intelligent Assist. From here, you can customize the navigation bar, switch on/off toggles for three-finger screenshot, flip to mute and smart call answering. It also contains a non-touch unlock feature that can be enabled/disabled and various options for fingerprint functions. Even if you haven't set up a fingerprint ID, you can choose a sensor-associated function depending on whether you tap or touch and hold onto it. Android Oreo combines the Users and Accounts menus into one. You can manage accounts, set up emergency data and contacts and toggle on/off automatic data synchronizing between the device and your account(s). The Accessibility group of settings contains all the usual options such as Select to Speak, Switch Access, TalkBack, etc. The standard Google settings are next followed by the System ones. There you can set up your language and keyboard preferences, including the Autofill service, backup your data, reset the device, set the time and date, check the About phone data. This overview of the software is made based on the latest software version for this model available at the time of this review.

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