OS, UI and Everyday Use
The Ulefone Paris ships with Android 5.1 and the phone gives users a chance to choose between its custom launcher and a near-stock Android experience. We tried both. The custom launcher has a few things going for it. It’s fast and it retains a lot of stock Android elements, including settings, menus, dialer, contacts, app switcher and so on. It also supports multiple themes, and there are a few dozen to choose from: flat, round, skeuomorphic and so on.
Users can also choose the transitions, effects, and quickly cycle installed skins with a single tap on the theme shortcut. The UI also features a neat looking camera widget which lists your latest photos chronologically and allows you to snap a quick photo straight from the widget.
The custom launcher is a decent effort (we’ve seen worse), but we think most users will opt for the stock Android look instead.
The phone also supports a range of gestures, ranging from practical to gimmicky. You can swipe with three fingers to take a screenshot, you can flip to mute, automatically answer calls by bringing the phone up to your ear and so on. Unfortunately there is no “double tap to wake” functionality. It’s very close to the stock Android experience and nothing important is missing. Sure, we’d like to see a few more shortcuts, but nothing big.
Battery life is average. With a 2250mAh cell, you really can’t expect miracles, even if it is a Sony battery. Luckily, the underclocked processor and 720p screen help keep power consumption low, so you should be able to get up to a day of moderate to heavy use out of it. This is not bad because we’ve seen similar results from much bulkier phablets, with bigger batteries.
GPS performance was quite good. The phone got a lock in about ten seconds and it was accurate to within a few meters.
But how does it feel as an everyday device? For starters, it’s a very comfortable phone, due to its low weight and curved profile. It feels smaller than it actually is. While the back collects a lot of fingerprints, it also offers a fair amount of grip.
The hardware buttons feel great and we’ve seen worse on $300 devices. The capacitive buttons could have benefited from more powerful backlighting.
The round Home button is ok, but the Back and Menu buttons are barely visible.
The phone is also available with a flip cover, with a hard case at the back. It’s ok, but it also means you’ll miss out on the comfortable curved profile that gives off a premium vibe.
The box includes a travel charger, flat USB cable, and a wired headset.