A Review of Tecno HiOS


Tecno HiOS is the new customized Android operating system that will run on future Tecno smartphones. The first smartphone to have the Tecno HiOS is the Tecno Boom J8. Check out the Tecno Boom J8 review here.

HiOS operating system is built on three fundamental building blocks; List, Up and Down and Grids.

  1. Examples of where Lists occur is places like contact list, file manager list of folders as well as messages.
  2. Up and Down display occurs on quite a number of apps where the display is on top and the control section below. Examples are FM Radio, Calculator, Weather and Sound Recorder.
  3. Grids are basically the arrangement of apps in the apps section.
HiOS Lists Layout
HiOS Up and Down Layout
Hi-OS Grids

Now these are the cool features I have seen on the Tecno Boom J8 HiOS

Incoming calls don’t affect current screen.

You know when you are busy composing a message, reading something or checking out photos and someone calls you, the whole screen is just filled with the call information. Well, HiOS has taken care of that by making sure that the incoming call does not affect your unfinished text or whatever it is that you were doing.

Calls do not interfere with current screen

The most basic apps that only have one function have been split into two making them uniform with the display on top and the controls at the bottom. (Remember the Up and Down layout from above). Examples of such apps are calculator, clock, recorder, FM Radio and Weather. Other newer apps with the 2 section theme are system manager, power management and Hi manager.

No need for Du Speed booster App

The Tecno HiOS has inbuilt capabilities of what the du speed booster app does. The Hi Manager app does everything from quick optimization to blacklist management. The quick optimization tab on Hi Manager clears memory in order to boost the speed of the phone. All that memory stuck in executing already closed apps can also be cleared by one touch of a widget called Quick accelerate on the home screen. The other useful feature on Hi Manager is mobile cleanup which enables you to clear storage space by deleting things like system logs and cached trash. In short it helps clear data that you wouldn’t dare delete directly from storage because of the warnings.

Easily Customize-able Appearance

These apps and widgets make it easy to change the appearance and take very little time doing it to.

  • Hi theme App. The default theme is called HiOS and there are 10 different themes to choose from, even a blackberry app exists. Each theme comes with its own customized icons that look different from each other. Changing from HiOS theme to Blackberry theme seems to change almost every aspect of the appearance. The icons look different and the wallpaper changes too.
  • Hi Wallpaper and Wallpaper switch widget. With a choice of preset local themes as well as online images, the Hi wallpaper app makes it easy to change the theme to any choice and the wall paper widget chooses any random image with a choice of sharing the image as well as reverting back to the previous one.
  • Hi font app lets you  change the font (obviously) but with the advantage of downloading  extra fonts to the storage unlike themes where they are used directly over the internet (thus consuming data).

Easily Accessible Camera

From the lock screen, swiping up from the bottom right launches the camera immediately.  Another method is to draw a C on the blank screen. The 13MP back camera or the 5MP front camera (both with flash) will do the rest.

Micro Intelligence App

This app powers all the little features that make the control of the Boom J8 easy with only gestures. For example

  • Draw 3 fingers on the screen for a screenshot.
  • Double tap blank screen to wake up phone.
  • Music Gestures draw M to start boom player app.
  • Flip the phone during an incoming call to silence the ringtone.
  • Move your hand over the sensor in order to receive a call in Gesture Call Receive
  • Three-Finger Screenshot
  • Screen-Cover Silence; cover screen with palm to silence incoming calls.

Software updates

Software updates are handled by the Software update application. The good thing is that it shows the size of the file to be downloaded and there are settings to limit these downloads to WiFi only.

Lastly, I would like Tecno to get rid of those Chinese characters on the software update app. I also saw them in the initial set up on the un-boxing video.