We tested the BQ Aquaris X Pro with Android 8.1 Oreo
BQ releases the month of May releasing the update to Android 8.1 for the Aquaris X and Aquaris X Pro, so if you are the owner of one of these smartphones you will already be enjoying the news that this new flavor of Android receives.
With this new update to Android 8.1 BQ is once again positioned as one of the most committed brands with the update of its terminals, being one of the few manufacturers – apart from the select group of devices Made by Google – that has already updated their smartphones to Android 8.1 and not the previous Android 8.0 version that are receiving most terminals that were presented last year.
This new update of the Aquaris X and Aquaris X Pro brings some important news at the visual level and ease of use of the phone but, above all, integrates important improvements in the security of Android , the management of resources and the installation of updates in the future.
We have already received our Oreo ration and we want to share with you our experience of using the BQ Aquaris X Pro with Android 8.1, reviewing some of the new features and functions. In addition to updating the BQ Aquaris X Pro , the manufacturer has done the same with its Aquaris X , updating at one stroke the devices of its highest range to the latest version of Android.
For some time now, BQ has been in favor of maintaining the experience of using pure Android, keeping intact the functions and features that Google proposes in its stock ROMs. In this new update the Spanish manufacturer remains with this policy and brings us a much more pure Android 8.1 without additives, getting a really good user experience , similar to what you can have on one of the Nexus devices or a Google Pixel .
One of the functions of Android that have changed most after the update of Android 8.1 for Aquaris X and Aquaris X Pro has been the new notification system of your smartphone, which are now better organized and ranked according to their importance.
In previous versions of Android these notifications appeared in the notification bar as you were receiving them, so sometimes the result was somewhat chaotic and it was not strange that some of them disappeared without having been attended as appropriate. With Android 8.1 the order has been imposed in this corner of the system and now the notifications are sorted by importance and grouped intelligently to facilitate its management thanks to the use of a specific hierarchy for each type of notification.
IMPROVES THE MANAGEMENT OF NOTIFICATIONS
The improvements in the management of notifications covering various issues related to the facility to customize which apps can show notifications or received notifications defer until later if you can not meet them at the time, and so not to miss any. In addition, when the notifications panel is only partially displayed, at the bottom of that panel the icons of the apps that have a notification pending review are shown, and they are shown as the panel is deployed or you navigate down in the notifications.
Now the management is so simple that you only have to swipe the notification to one side to decide what you want to do with it. By doing so, a cogwheel appears from which you can decide which applications can send you notifications and how they should do it. To configure this before you had to go application by application configuring it. In Android 8.1 Oreo just a couple of clicks on the notification itself to customize it at the moment.
In addition, next to the icon of the cogwheel the option of postponing the notifications is offered so that it is shown again after a certain time. That way you make sure you do not forget to attend to what is being notified.
This option has seemed especially useful to postpone the typical notifications that come to you while you are paying for the purchase in the supermarket that you later never remember to check again.
NOTIFICATIONS ORDERED BY PRIORITY
With the new version of Android, the notifications that are displayed in the panel are ordered more intelligently since a series of priorities is established, showing in the highest part the notifications in progress (calls, active timer, music in play, etc.) since these are the ones that require immediate action. Just below them, personal notifications (messages, missed calls, emails, etc.) that are important for fluid communication and may need immediate response are displayed.
Below is a third hierarchy consisting of general notifications (reminders, calendar events, etc.) that do not need urgent attention. At the end of the panel, the least important ones will be displayed, such as weather forecasts, traffic conditions, promotions, etc.
GROUP NOTIFICATIONS BY CONTACT AND APPLICATION
In addition, all of them allow grouping to maintain order in the notification panel. For example, if during the morning you have received WhatsApp messages from several users, these messages will be grouped by user instead of being displayed in the order in which you received them as they have been until now.
This makes it easier to read and track conversations even without opening the app. Android 8.1 maintains the quick functions for the notifications that already introduced Android 7.1, so that you will be able to respond to messages and emails directly from the notification.
The notifications media player also improve your appearance because now personalize its appearance by changing the background color of the notification to fit the cover content that is playing to make it more attractive.
Much more than simple icons
Another of the remarkable improvements that can be seen at first glance after the update to Android 8.1 of the BQ Aquaris X and Aquaris X Pro is the change suffered by the icons of the applications. The novelties are not limited to the aesthetic as they also improve their functions.
With Android 7.1 Nougat came the fast functions integrated in the icons so that, just by holding down the icon of an app, you can access some of the quick tasks available for each app.
With the Android 8.1 update, these useful quick functions are even more so as it adds the ability to see the notifications of the app directly in the same box of quick functions, allowing access to the configuration options of the app without having to go through the Settings menu or activate the application widget. All the control of the app with just touching its icon!
The aesthetic changes of the icons are more than evident. With the new update of Android 8.1, instead of having a round icons (such as WhatsApp or Telegram) and other squares (such as Facebook or Twitter) as was the case until now, you can customize the shape of the icons of your Aquaris X Pro so that all follow the same design, providing a more homogeneous appearance to the whole of the interface.
In addition, it allows adding a point in the icon of the application indicating that there is a notification of that app that has not yet been attended. This small detail has been very useful during our experience using the new version of Android 8.1 in the BQ Aquaris X Pro since it allows you to see the notifications of the app by clicking on its icon, even when it is in the application drawer . Another peculiarity that we find in the new design of the icons is that when activating them or when moving through the application drawer, the icons have a subtle animation to reinforce that sensation of movement.
The icons that appear in the notification bar and in the quick access panel also show more information. Among them all highlights the Bluetooth icon, which now in addition to indicating whether you are connected to a Bluebooth headset or any other device, it also indicates at a glance the state of charge of that device. No more battery left in the headphones, now you see your load on the screen of your BQ Aquaris X and Aquaris X Pro !
New distribution in the Settings menu
The order and the optimization of the menus seems to be a constant in the new update of Android 8.1 since, to the reorganization that the notifications have suffered, the restructuring of the categories and options of the Settings menu is also added .
For years this Adjustments menu has only grown and grown adding new functions. With the version of Android 7.1.1 this menu has already experienced some changes, which have continued with the current Android 8.1.
We are used to using the Settings menu in its previous version Android 7.1.1, so when the update to Android 8.1 of the BQ Aquaris X Pro is completed some changes in the organization of the different categories are appreciated, adding some new options and creating new categories to group some sections, such as section More …, which was little less than a catch-all of adjustments.
Android 8.1 has lost the function that allowed to slide the side panel of options to change category, but the new structure is so clear and simple to use that it does not present any problem to find the configuration options you are looking for. In addition, you have the invaluable help of the Settings search bar with which, just by typing the option you are looking for, it shows you the direct access to it, so that, in the end, they are even easier to find than if you have them what to look for among all the menu options.
Among the new Android Settings features include those that allow you to add your own ringtones as notification or call tones directly from the sound configuration menu. An option to take into account when customizing the BQ Aquaris X Pro .
Improve the multitasking of your Aquaris X Pro
One of the most anticipated improvements of Android 8.1 is that it allows you to take multitasking to another level allowing you to show floating windows of video while you use other apps.
This new feature that includes the update to Android 8.1 of the BQ Aquaris X and Aquaris X Pro has really enchanted us since it allows us to continue watching a video or keep a video call while consulting the calendar, read some data in an email or do anything else .
The operation of this new feature is really simple and just start playing the video in full screen. Then, click on the Start or Multitask button on your Android and the video window will be reduced and will remain floating in the bottom of the screen, although you can move it to the position you prefer.
Tap on the new app you want to open and it will be displayed in full screen while the video continues playing in its small floating window. If you click twice on it, it will become a little larger and it will show the option to put it in full screen.
Function Picture-in-Picture ( picture-in-picture in English) must be supported by the application that plays video, so for the moment it is only available to watch videos from Chrome or make video calls from Google Duo among others, but as the apps are updated, it will be adding compatibility for this show video in multitasking.
Improvements in the keyboard and text editing
The keyboard integrated in Android 8.1 also includes some interesting novelties among which are some options that facilitate the copying and pasting of texts or the incorporation of new emojis.
One of the most striking improvements we found after using the BQ Aquaris X Pro with Android 8.1 is the incorporation of new intelligent text selection functions with which, when selecting a certain text (such as an address, a phone or a mail account) ) the keyboard recognizes it and shows you the possibility of using that selected text in a certain app such as Google Maps, the Phone or Contacts app or with Gmail.
In addition, the new Google keyboard includes a new text selection tool much easier to use since it allows to select, copy, cut or paste the text through a series of arrows and buttons. Forget about having to go crazy trying to select the text with your fingers!
The emoji have become a form of language in itself, so Android 8.0 Oreo says goodbye to the unattractive Android native emojis and incorporates a new collection of emojis with a WhatsApp aesthetic type, more widespread and familiar among the users
Not all improvements are visible to the naked eye
When changing the Android version, what is most striking are the improvements in the graphical interface that the new Android dessert brings with it or all those functions that you can discover with use.
However, when a new update is associated with a change in its name, it is a clear sign that many other improvements under the hood are also included that are not visible to the naked eye, but that have a great impact on the functioning of Aquaris X Pro optimizing the use of the battery , system resources or security.
The improvements of Android 8.1 Oreo with respect to Android Nougat 7.1 are numerous and very significant among which the Fluid Experience function stands out with which the battery consumption of apps that work in the background is optimized, as is the case of GPS or sports monitoring apps. With this new feature we have noticed how our Aquaris X Pro arrives with some more cargo at the end of the day .
In addition, it reinforces the security of devices with a greater implementation of Play Protect , the native antivirus of Android that will protect the device from malicious apps blocking its ability to access your data, hire Premium SMS services or install apps from unknown origins.
Another of the great improvements that are not appreciated at first glance is the implementation of Project Treble that will allow future system updates to be much easier to install, allowing you to receive updates to future versions of Android.