Ulefone Armor 3 Review

15 December 2018, 10:19:21

Ulefone Armor 3 Review
You can buy an Ulefone Armor 3 at a promotional price from Amazon DE, Ulefone's official store on AliExpress, GearBest or Banggood.

OS, UI and software

Ulefone Armor 3 runs on almost 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 Quick Settings shade 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, user management icon 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 and widgets. No Home Screen settings. The Power off shade takes up the whole screen and contains four options: restart, turn off, mute, and airplane mode.
Ulefone Armor 3 arrives with all the Google and some default Android apps. The usual Google apps include Calendar, Chrome, Drive, Duo, Files, Gmail, Google App, Keep Notes, Maps, Photos, Play Music, Play Store, Voice Search, YouTube. The default Android apps include Calculator, Camera, Clock, Contacts, File Manager, FM Radio, Messenger, Music, Phone, Sound Recorder. All of them are in their stock Android appearance and functionality. There are additional apps such as Cell Broadcasting for emergency notifications, a Torch and a bundle of useful applications in the Toolbox app: sound meter, compass, heart rate, pic hanging, flashlight, bubble level, height measure, magnifier, alarm, plumb bob, protractor, pressure.
The Settings menu begins with a list of suggestions. The first two groups of settings are all about connectivity and allow you to 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 Smart Assistant group comes next containing six sub-menus. The first is called System Motion and has two toggles - for three fingers slide to make a screenshot, and three fingers slide to the right to open the Task Manager. The second sub-menu offers a Power Manager toggle. When it is on, you can select specific apps that have to be saved from background clearing. The Buttons sub-menu is where you can customize the navigation bar from. The fourth sub-menu is about the LED notification light. The last two sub-menus are about the flip-to-mute function and the QR code scanner. The fifth major group of settings is about the battery and will be discussed in the corresponding 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. and a proximity sensor calibration option. The Sound settings arrive with the usual volume level bars, DND preferences, 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 there as well. When it is on, 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, Face Unlock options, fingerprint IDs management, Smart Lock settings, privacy and data protection options. It is followed by the Users & Accounts menu. 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. 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, activate the Jump to Camera toggle from the Gestures sub-menu, 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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