Xolo has launched Xolo Hive as expected and before Android One and Android L brings Google’s material design to budget androids, will Hive UI successfully make its mark? The light theme UI comes with several features and customizations and here are a few which Xolo has highlighted at the launch event today.
Xolo Hive introduces a Fusion X Media Player, which was also the first step towards its existence, and combines Music player, video tracks and also FM at one place. The player seems nicely crafted and if it works for you, you might not have to switch apps in order to enjoy all multimedia content depending on your fickle mood.
The launcher borrows some features from Yahoo Aviate and will neatly categorize all your apps based on their type or in alphabetical order. Launcher is perhaps one of the most important part of Android experience and in an ideal world we would like our launcher to have an efficient side bar, full gesture support, neat organization of apps, A t9 search and option to fire Google Now by saying OK Google. Does Xolo Hive launcher satisfy all that? No, but it’s a good start which many basic users will prefer to stock launcher.
The launcher also flaunts a one touch RAM cleaner, which we don’t recommend you to use unless your device is severely lagging and you can’t pinpoint the culprit App.
Contact app reminds us of Contact Plus which is a good thing and we do like it better than the stock contacts app. It also provides a unified view of the message threads and the call logs of every contact.
A fully loaded camera app with tons of feature is something we always like to play with. Hive Camera app allows you to toggle with ISO, Exposure or White Balance. Also present are several image filters and image enhancement modes for having fun with photography.
Hive UI replaces straight controls for brightness, Volume, etc with circular ones as it tries to imitate real like objects with circular knobs to control your oven temperature, radio volume, etc. We are not very convinced with the argument as on touch screen display it feels more natural to use straight line controls you can slide. This will take some getting used to.
New Gallery Interface
The Gallery interface has also been tweaked. Gallery provides distinct album views by source and category, unique quilt view within albums, powerful editing tools and filters. Sync with various cloud sources is also supported.
If you get bored of the look and feel of your Android, you can opt from several themes which will change the look and feel of your device including icons, wallpaper, lockscreen, etc. with passage of time this feature will evolve and become lot more interesting like what we saw on MIUI ROM.
Connect is a platform which forms the life line of Hive UI. Users can make suggestion and vote for features and changes they would like to see in the next update. If Xolo manages to build an active and productive forum, everyone will benefit.
Edge on the other hand is another interaction space which will allow community artists, musicians and other creative folks interact with Hive UI team to design new themes, wallpapers and ringtones.
Chameleon Widget takes up the most prominent color from the background, every time you go for a new wall paper. The widget can be used to quickly access weather info, calendar listings, Notifications and other alerts.
This is the first time a domestic manufacturer is daring to step so far away from stock android. If badly implemented it could be a disaster and perhaps Xolo is playing it safe by not including Hive on more expensive Xolo X 1200 initially. We liked what we saw initially, but this is stage one of many more to come. It will still take time for Hive UI to evolve but it can be considered a step in the right direction.