UMIDIGI Z2 Special Edition Review

6 December 2018, 17:44:11

UMIDIGI Z2 Special Edition Review
You can buy an UMIDIGI Z2 Secial Edition from various stores such as the official UMIDIGI Store on AliExpress, the official UMIDIGI store on Amazon UK or Amazon DE.

OS, UI and software

Following the tradition set from the Z2 Pro, UMIDIGI Z2 Special Edition runs on a custom ROM based on Android 8.1, which, however, provides an almost stock Android Oreo experience. If you open three Z2 devices and browse through their UI, you will see that the three are almost identical. At least the Lock Screen, Home Screen, desktop shortcuts, notifications and quick settings design are the same. The Lock screen includes the standard Voice Search and Camera shortcuts in the bottom left and right corners. As usual, a simple swipe unlocks the device and the Home Screen greets you with a Google search bar, docked row of apps and a favourites row. All apps are listed on one page below an app search bar in alphabetic order. A swipe to the right from the Home Screen opens the Google App which can be disabled from the Widgets menu. The Widgets menu is accessed in the usual way and lists a choice of widgets, wallpapers and home screen settings. The Task Manager tiles the apps vertically and supports split-screen mode. Тhe Notifications and Quick Settings offer nothing new, except for the fact that the Quick Settings now also includes a User Management page.
On UMIDIGI Z2 Special Edition you get the very basic set of Google and default Android apps. The first group contains the Calendar, Chrome, Drive, Duo, Gmail, Google App, Keep (a notes app), Maps, Photos, Play Music, Play Store, YouTube. The default Android apps include Calculator, Camera, Clock, Contacts, Downloads, File Manager, Flashlight, FM Radio, Messenger, Music, Phone, Sound Recorder. All of them are in their stock Android appearance and functionality.
The System Settings contain a total of 16 groups of options and as usual, the first two ones are related to connectivity allowing you to manage your Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connections, mobile networks, data usage, hotspot and tethering, SIM cards, mobile plans, VPN, USB connections, etc. The Apps & Notifications menu allows you to manage the notifications, including channels and dots, app permissions, special app access, etc. The Smart Assistant group is where you find the options for customizing the navigation bar. You can either dock it or make it hideable and/or swap the positions of the Back and Menu buttons. You also have the option to remove the onscreen navigation bar entirely and switch on navigation gestures. Smart Assistant also includes a toggle for the flip to mute function, a shortcut to the QR scanner and the Power Manager. When you turn it on, you can prioritize which apps should be optimized and which not. The Battery menu is next and will be discussed it in the corresponding 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, wallpapers, G-sensor and proximity sensor calibration. It is followed by the Sound menu which offers nothing new as well as the Storage menu which contains the usual toggle for a Storage Manager and a Free Up Space button for cleaning junk from the storage.
You're already familiar with Dura Speed which comes next. If you turn it on, the software will boost the foreground apps by restricting the background ones. The Security & Location group of settings is the 10th one. The usual trio of security options is at its top, including Google Play Protect, Find My Device, and Security update. The group also contains screen lock and lock screen settings, smart lock, privacy options such as location and show passwords, etc. Strangely enough, the Fingerprint and Fae Unlock options are listed as separate groups with the Users & Accounts group placed in between them. The Face Unlock menu allows you to save a Face ID and gives you four options for actions with it. The Fingerprint options allow you not only to save and delete fingerprint ID(s) for unlocking the device but also options for various functions triggered by a touch on the sensor even if you haven't set up an ID. The Accessibility and Google groups follow with all the stock Android Oreo features. The last System Settings group is dubbed System and unites in one place the Languages & Input settings (you can more than one primary language and use Android Oreo's bound Autofill service, Gestures (only "Jump to camera"), Date & Time, Backup, System update, Reset options, and About phone. Actually, the About Phone menu also contains a Wireless update option. It is this option you need when you want to check for OTA updates.

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