Cubot P20 Review

24 July 2018, 17:56:44

Cubot P20 Review
You can buy a Cubot P20 at a promotional price from Cubot's official AliExpress store.

OS, UI and software

Cubot P20 arrives with stock Android 8.0 Oreo onboard and the whole software experience is quite smooth and user-friendly. The Lock screen has the usual Voice Search and Camera app shortcuts in the bottom left and right corner, respectively. You unlock the device with a swipe from the bottom of the screen and get access to the Home screen. On its top, there's a Google search bar followed by a Time and Date widget. At the bottom, there's a docked row of apps, which appears on every successive desktop. Above it, there's a folder with Google applications followed by some favourite apps. The alphabetic list of apps with a search bar on top can be accessed from the Home screen either by a swipe upwards or by tapping on the App Drawer icon. The navigation bar is onscreen only and you can make it hideable. The desktop shortcuts are enabled as well. For some of the apps they offer only access to the info and for others, they do offer useful shortcuts to select functions. A swipe to the right opens the Google App. It can be disabled from the Widgets settings. These can be accessed when you touch and hold on an empty space on any of the desktops. The Widgets settings offer a choice of wallpapers and widgets plus some basic Home screen settings. Enabling/disabling the Google App is one of them. You can also switch on/off the notification dots and the option to place icons of new apps on the Home screen. The Task Manager tiles the apps vertically. It contains a shortcut to a list of apps from where you can choose which applications should be saved from clearing and which not. There's a Clear All button and split-screen mode is supported.
The Notifications and Quick Settings include all new Android Oreo features. The Notifications cards support notification snoozing and channels. When you swipe gently a notification card to the right, you will see two icons. The first one sets a time period after which the notification will appear again. 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.
Cubot P20 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, YouTube. The default Android apps include Calculator, Camera, Clock, Contacts, File Manager, Files (Downloads), FM Radio, Gallery, Messenger, Music, Phone, Sound Recorder. All of them are in their stock Android appearance and functionality. The Wireless updater is placed as an app icon as well.
The Settings menu is a traditional Android Oreo one. It begins with a list of suggestions and contains a total of 13 main sub-menus. The first two ones are all about connectivity. The Network & Internet sub-menu manages your Wi-Fi and mobile connections, data usage, SIM cards, VPN, airplane mode. The Connected devices sub-menu manages your Bluetooth and USB connections plus printing services. The Apps & Notifications one 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 Battery settings come next but they will be discussed in the Battery section of this review. The Display sub-menu follows with the usual options for the brightness level, ambient display toggle, font and display size, LED notification light and Navigation bar settings, etc. We must say that the default font is quite large, so unless you're visually impaired, you might want to decrease it from the corresponding settings. The Sound sub-menu offers no surprises and is followed by other standard menus such as Storage and Security & Location. The Storage menu has been redesign in Android Oreo. In this version, you get only an option to free up space by cleaning junk. Later Oreo versions add a toggle for turning on/off the Storage Manager. The Security & Location offers more features as well. 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 of the options include a choice of screen locks, lock screen options, fingerprint and app lock settings, privacy options such as location and show passwords, etc. From the Fingerprint settings, you can set whether you want to use the sensor only for unlocking the device or for quick launching of apps as well. In Oreo, the Users and Accounts menus are merged into one and in this case, besides adding/removing accounts, you can also set up emergency data and contacts plus toggling on/off automatic data synchronizing between the device and your account(s). The Accessibility sub-menu follows containing all the usual features such as adding a shortcut to a preferred feature from this menu. An unusual option here is the Jump to camera one - a toggle for quick launch of the camera app after pressing the power button twice. There's another Fingerprint menu, which contains a shortcut to the same fingerprint management options found under the Security menu but adds more features related to the sensor. Even without setting up fingerprint IDs, you can set various functions for the fingerprint sensor. For example, a tap can serve as a Back command or play/pause in the Music app. A touch and hold on the sensor can serve as a Return Home command, call answering, snapping photos/videos, etc. The standard Google menu is next followed by the System one. 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. A Schedule power on & off menu is present here as well.

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