A Closer Look on CREO’s Ambitious Fuel OS
Remember CREO Mark 1? Yes, the smartphone which promised a new phone every month with its regular software updates. Unlike most of the companies, CREO is keeping its promise with new software features every month. CREO’s first phone CREO Mark 1 may not be very successful in terms of sales number, CREO got success in creating its separate place in the market with an innovative approach for smartphones.
It was ambitious to put lots of efforts in developing a software with lots of interesting features for its debut phone and in a market which already has high competition. While we didn’t do a detailed review of this phone, we wrote about its first impression and interesting features of CREO’s Fuel OS. Since the launch, the company has pushed 3 software updates to its Fuel OS. We have published about those updates. If you follow our blog, you know what new features company added.
In this article, I will only be talking about CREO’s in-house developed Fuel OS in detail. I will also be considering all the recent updates while talking about CREO’s Fuel OS.
Fuel OS is Android based operating system with many features which are not available in stock Android. CREO focused on offering better user experience, security, privacy and information access at one touch. One best thing which I personally like is its stock Android-like experience. The company didn’t go ahead to customize the look and feel. They just focused on adding more features without pushing their own design. Second good thing is the lack of bloatware. There is not a single app which company installed in this device to make money from partners. They only focused on adding their features and nothing else. It shows that company’s priority is user experience.
These are few interesting features of Fuel OS.
Retriever is the most talked feature of this phone. It wants to make your phone thief proof. If you enable all the options in Retriever, you are most likely to get your stolen or lost phone back.
The first option is to get email alerts with the location of your phone in case someone adds a new SIM in your phone. It does not require any active data connection. It works on SMS.
If your phone was stolen and the person changes SIM, it sends you email with location and partial phone number. Now, you have to contact CREO support team for more details. They will ask you to verify your ownership to the phone by submitting the purchase bill and a copy of FIR.
Now it depends on CREO’s team. If they provide quick support, you are most likely to get your phone back.
It has an option to set the security pin of the phone which is not the pin to unlock your phone. This Retriever’s security Pin is used to lock your phone remotely. If you lose your phone, you can just send ‘Fine XXXX’ to your phone as SMS. Here XXX is the security pin. Your phone will reply with the link to its current location on Google map. Soon after receiving this message, Your phone will also start ringing and it will also show device’s owner’s content information. The phone will stop ringing if you put that security pin in your phone.
Android device manager has also been shown as a part of Retriever in this phone. It lets you track your lost phone on map, erase your phone’s data remotely
This is another interesting feature which adds an answering machine in your phone. In place of sending the caller a message when you are not ready to pick up the call, you can ask them to leave a message for you. Echo will take a voice message from the caller. You can later listen to voice messages. This is a more personalized way of notifying someone that you are busy but not ignoring at the same time.
While receiving the call, you can swipe up towards echo sign. If the phone was already unlocked, you can see the Echo icon in the call notification.
This feature is very useful for business people who usually receive too many calls a day and during meetings they generally miss many calls.
All these voice messages can also be accessed by using ‘File Manager’ app.
By default recording starts after 30 seconds from the time phone starts ringing even if you do not put the phone to Echo. You can customize this time and even disable this option. If you disable this option, you need to manually put a phone call to echo mode. I thinking disabling this option is better to avoid unnecessary recordings eating your phone’s internal storage.
You can also set it for all calls when the phone is on silent or in meeting mode.
Personalization of Echo
This is the best thing of the feature. By default, recorded messages are available in 8 different local languages, but you can also record your own custom welcome message.
All these options can be accessed from call settings -> Echo Settings.
Your Echo messages can be quickly accessed from call screen.
Sense is similar to Spotlight search on iOS. It let you search something on the phone and search anything on your phone. As it indexes everything including your messages, contacts, apps, emails, documents, photos, and more, you are most likely to get quicker results. To access Sense, just double-tap on the home button or swipe down on the home screen. It works even if you are using an app. Just double-tap on the home button.
Sense can also perform calculations. So, you can use it as a simple calculator for quick calculations.
4. Dual Max
I personally liked this feature very much. As I live in Ghaziabad but my native place is Raebareli, I use two numbers for these two locations. But when I am at my native place, I have to change settings and make my local sim of that place as default SIM for calls and SMS.
But CREO’s Fuel OS has Dual Max to solve this issue. It automatically detects the SIM which is not in roaming and makes it default for calls, and SMSes.
This is the only phone which I think does the best use of dual SIM. If someone is trying to call on your SIM 1 which is not reachable, it will automatically forward calls to your SIM 2. So, you will never miss a call until your both SIM cards are out of coverage.
It is worth to note that phone’s second SIM card slot is the hybrid slot. So, you can either use it as SIM card slot or microSD card slot.
5. Data Manager
Mobile data is not very cheap in the country. So, we all take care of turning it off when not in use. What if you forgot to turn if off and an app, in the background, eats you mobile data balance. To solve this issue, FuelOS has included Data Manager which automatically restrict an app in Background from consuming your mobile data.
Good thing is that it does not automatically apply to all app. You can manually select the app which you want to prevent. If you prevent WhatsApp, WhatsApp will only be accessing mobile data if the app is open. It cannot run in the background with mobile data connection. So, use it and restrict games, food apps and other apps which you do not want to access your mobile data in the background.
6. Clean Inbox
This is also an interesting feature. It tried to keep your message inbox clean and well arranged. For this, it has tabs for People and Business. If the message was sent from a personal number, it goes to People tab. If the message was a promotional one and was sent from a business number, it goes to Business tab. You can quickly go to tab and filter messages for quick access.
If a number is sending SPAM message and it makes its way to People tab, long press on it to mark it as spam. Spam messages can be accessed separately.
7. Easy OTP
Easy OTP is also an interesting feature. It makes it easier to type OTP while doing payment. Your phone detects OTP and copies it to the clipboard. You just need to long press on the text box and paste it. Yes, you do not need to open the message app, open folder, copy OTP and then switch back to bank app and paste the OTP. In this way, it saves your time and effort both.
8. App Lock
While you can do it with third-party apps, now it has been integrated into your mobile OS. FuelOS comes with built-in support for app lock. So, you can password protect any mobile app and prevent unauthorized access.
9. Hide Media
This feature was also available via third-party apps but Fuel OS does not want you to reply on third-party apps which can leak your data. Hide Media works pretty well. It lets you hide your personal photos and videos in a safe locker. Hidden media files will not be shown in the gallery.
You can access hidden media files from the Hidden Media section in the gallery.
10. Selfie Flash
Selfie Flash is already available in many smartphones. The company has adopted this feature to provide users a better way of capturing selfie in low-light. When there is not enough light, users can turn on selfie flash. It needs to turn on manually.
There are few other features including Smart Gestures, Notification 2.0 and Enhance, but writing in details about these is not fruitful. All these options are now generally found in all smartphones but they call it differently. But the 10 features which I mentioned above are not natively available on all smartphones. Fuel OS has added these features to make its phone worth for users.
While in our country people judge a phone with hardware specs, this phone comes with good software experience along with a hardware.
Being a new player in the market, CREO was brave enough to come with something which Indian players are still missing. FuelOS is an interesting software platform with and its monthly updates are improving it every month.