UMIDIGI Z2 Pro Review

7 September 2018, 10:05:56

UMIDIGI Z2 Pro Review
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OS, UI and software

The UMIDIGI Z2 Pro we have received runs on a custom ROM based on Android 8.1 Oreo. It does offer a near-stock Android Oreo experience, however. The Lock screen includes the standard Voice Search and Camera shortcuts in the bottom left and right corners and by default, a swipe up unlocks the screen. Once you land on the Home screen, you see a Google search bar on the top, a docked row of apps at the bottom and a row of favourite apps and Google apps folder above the docked ones. A swipe up opens the list with all applications listed in alphabetic order below an app search bar. A swipe to the right opens the Google App screen, which contains cards with the latest news, events and other information, which you can customize according to your interests and needs. You can disable the Google App from the Widgets menu. The Volume shade is standard and the Power off one maintains the latest Android 8.1 Oreo style - a small menu with options for power off and restart. A long press on an empty space on any of the desktops opens the Widgets menu which contains the usual Widgets, Wallpaper and Home screen settings from where you can switch off the Google App, the notification dots, allow home screen rotation and add icons on the Home screen.
The Task Manager tiles the apps vertically and supports split-screen mode. The Clear All button is placed on the top of the list of applications. When many applications are open, it is hidden away, and you have to swipe down through all so you can see it and use it if needed. Тhe Notifications and Quick Settings are in their stock design. The notification cards support notification snoozing and channels. When a notification card is swiped to the right slowly, you get access to two icons. The first one sets a time period after which the notification will appear again - that's snoozing. The next one leads to the settings for the notifications channel for the corresponding application. The Quick Settings shade is a traditional Oreo one. On the top, you see the status bar icons followed by the brightness level bar, two pages of toggles (6 per page), the current date, user management settings, quick settings editor and system settings shortcut.
UMIDIGI Z2 Pro arrives with all the default Google and Android apps. No bloatware whatsoever. The Google apps include Calendar, Chrome, Drive, Duo, Gmail, Google App, Maps, Photos, Play Music, Play Store, YouTube. The default Android apps include Calculator, Camera, Clock, Contacts, File Manager, Downloads, FM Radio, Messenger, Music, Phone, Sound Recorder. All of them are in their stock Android appearance and functionality. Two other applications have found their way on board the device - the flashlight, which usually appears only as an icon in the Quick Settings is now available as a separate app icon, and the Keep app - this is just another name for Notes. You can record them via the keyboard, by hand, or voice. You can group, tag and add attachments to the notes you make.
The Settings menu is a typical Android Oreo one and as usual, begins with the Network & Internet menu which includes Wi-Fi connections management, mobile networks, data usage, hotspot and tethering, SIM cards, mobile plans, VPN, airplane mode. The second menu is called Connected Devices and manages Bluetooth connections, Wi-Fi Display, NFC, USB connections and Printing services. The Apps & Notifications menu allows you to manage the notifications, including channels and dots, app permissions, special app access, etc. The Smart Assistant menu is not standard. It comes fourth and from here you can customize the on-screen navigation bar, set different flip to mute functions or use the QR scanner. It also includes a Power-saving Manager. When you turn it on, you can prioritize which apps should be optimized and which not. The Battery menu is next and as usual, we will discuss it in the Battery section of the review. The Display menu is sixth and contains options for manual adjustment of the brightness level, an adaptive brightness toggle, the usual font size, screen saver, G-sensor and proximity sensor calibration. The Sound menu comes next. It contains the usual options you're familiar with from before. The Storage menu is changed as well. You get a toggle for a Storage Manager and an option to free up space by cleaning junk.
Dura Speed is the following menu. It is off by default. If you turn it on, the software will boost the foreground apps by restricting the background ones. The Security & Location comes next. It starts with the Security Status that contains Google Play Protect (something like a virus scanner), Find My Device (former Android Device Manager), and Security update (checking whether the latest security patches are installed). Find My Device is a tool to track, lock and wipe remotely your smartphone in case it is lost or stolen. The rest is pretty much the same - a choice of screen locks, lock screen options, smart lock, privacy options such as location and show passwords, etc. Then you get the Users & Accounts menu which manages the users, accounts and emergency information. The Face Unlock and Fingerprint are placed as two separate menus. The Face Unlock menu allows you to save a Face ID and gives you four options for actions with it. The Fingerprint menu allows you to save and delete fingerprint ID(s). In addition, you can activate one or more functions for when you touch the sensor, even if you haven't set up an ID. For example, you can set a touch to serve as a Back command or Return Home one.
The Accessibility menu follows with all the new features of Oreo included. The Google services and preferences are combined in one separate menu, which comes next and is followed by the System menu that combines in one place the Languages & Input settings, Gestures, Date & Time, Backup, System update, Reset, and About phone. The Language & Input options offer a choice to make more than one language a primary one, use physical and virtual keyboards, a spell checker, personal dictionary and Autofill service. The Gestures is too big a name for only one option - Jump to camera. If you activate this toggle, you'll be able to start the Camera app with two clicks on the Power button no matter on which screen you are. The About phone menu gives general data about the device, as usual.

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