Ulefone Power Armor 14 Pro Android Review
1. Overview - official specifications and unboxing photos
2. Design - build, materials, design highlights, dimensions, controls layout, photos
3. Software - Android 12, user interface, Settings menu, and default apps
4. Connectivity - network bands, SAR, wireless connectivity, satellite positioning
5. Performance - MediaTek Helio G85 information and performance benchmarks
6. Cameras - software, 20MP Sony IMX350 main, 2MP GalaxyCore GC02M2 macro, 8MP depth-sensing rear cameras, and the 16MP Sony IMX481 selfie camera, sample photos and video
7. Battery - 10000 mAh capacity, 18W fast charger, 15W wireless charging, battery life tests
OS, UI and software
A major difference between the Ulefone Power Armor 14 Pro and its predecessor, is that the new model runs on stock Android 12. The non-Pro model runs on Android 11 and while at a first glance it is still the same OS, there are several differences in various design elements that we will unveil here. For starters, the Lock Screen is now occupied by a huge Time widget, while the date is placed above it, to the left. The curved lines at the bottom corners are now removed. The Home Screen and the following desktop remain unchanged. The Google Discover app is still accessed by a swipe to the right from the Home Screen and its design and layout is the same as before. However, if you activate the App Drawer, there we notice some changed. The apps are listed on a gray background with curved corners and appear in two groups - all apps and space module.
The Task Manager is also different in terms of the design of the drop down menu listing the options for each app. It now has curved corners and stronger lines separating the options - App Info and Split Screen. The same gray background with curved corners is used for the area of the Notifications. The Quick Settings toggles are now large rectangular with curved corners instead of small circular icons listed on a page or more. The brightness level bar is placed above the toggles, while at the bottom there's a quick access to the Settings, to the Power off menu, and to the Quick Settings editor. The menu that appears for app shortcuts has sharp corners, instead. The Widgets menu remains untouched. The quick Volume settings and Volume bars have also been redesigned in Android 12 to accommodate the more elongated and curved design language.
In terms of apps design and layout Android 12 does not offer any significant visible changes. The Ulefone Power Armor 14 Pro has a very basic set of applications giving you the freedom to install whatever you prefer. The usual Google apps include the Assistant, Calendar, Chrome, Drive, Duo, Files, Gmail, Discover, Lens, Maps, Play Store, Photos, YouTube, and YT Music. There's a group of standard Android apps comprising Phone, Contacts, Calculator, Camera, Clock, FM Radio, Messenger, Notes, and Sound Recorder. Finally, there are a few additional apps that are gradually becoming a standard - Easy Launcher, Children Space, Game Space, and Outdoor Tools. There isn't a dedicated music player. The default one is the service associated with the Files app.
The System Settings design has been slightly changed. The app has a gray background, with every group of settings placed in an area with a white background and curved corners. Of course, the usual search is on top. There are a total of six groups of settings and as usual, the first group is about connectivity and many of the options are made available on the first access level. You get a Wi-Fi menu, Bluetooth, Android Auto, SIM Cards manager, Mobile network, Hotspot & tethering, and More networks and connections. The "More" section comprises the usual Airplane mode toggle, Mobile plan, Data saver, VPN, and Private DNS settings. It contains a more detailed connection preferences option under which you will discover NFC, Cast display, Printing, Chromebook, and Nearby Share.
The second group is about managing the device. It begins with the Display settings, which offer plenty of options including Launcher Settings with Desktop Mode, LED notification light settings, Screen Color Mode, options to hide and show the notch, plus the usual display options with font size, screen saver, wallpaper, brightness level, dark theme, auto-brightness, etc. The second menu is about choosing from an on-screen navigation bar and on-screen gestures. Both options can be customized. The third menu is about managing the Sound, vibrations, and DND options. The Apps & Notifications menu is the last in the group and manages lock screen notifications, app notifications, notification dots toggle, history and bubbles, conversations, screen time, etc.
The third group of settings is dedicated to privacy and security. The Privacy sub-group contains what's now called Privacy Dashboard and offers a overview of which apps recently have used permissions. It continues with the permission managed to control app access to your data, several toggles for app-specific permissions, autofill service from Google, location history, activity controls, ads management, and usage&diagnostics. The second sub-group is about Security which starts with the four default services - Google Play Protect, Security Update, Find My Device, Google Play System Update. It now also adds Safety & Emergency. The second group of settings within Security is the Biometrics & Password one. It is about setting and managing device lock, fingerprint ID(s), and a face ID. It also manages the app lock, children's space, device admin apps, app pinning, and others.
The fourth group of settings contains five menus. The first is about managing the Custom Key options. From here you can choose what happens if you single-click, double-click, or long-press the button on the left frame of the smartphone. The second menu is called Intelligent Assistance and contains plenty of options for customization. It is here that you will find additional functions for the fingerprint IDs you've saved such as answering calls, snapping photos and videos, returning back or home, etc. This menu also contains toggles for functions such as flip to silent, smart answer, three-finger screenshot, lift to wake, single-hand mode. Finally, there are further expandable settings about sensor calibration and accessibility. Smart Touch is the third menu in the fourth group of settings and is a floating dot with various functions that can serve as an alternative to the other types of navigation. Finally, there are the Battery and Location menus.
The fifth group of settings comprises three menus - Passwords & Accounts, System, and About phone. The System menu is where you can check for OTA updates, manage the languages and input, dates and time, backup and reset options. You can also opt to manage multiple user profiles on this device from the System menu. The Accounts and About Phone are standard. The sixth group of options includes the usual Digital Wellbeing & Parental controls, Google options, and DuraSpeed, which is on by default