Huawei Honor review
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Retail Price: RM 950
AP Price: RM 950 - 980
AP Price: RM 950 - 980
Huawei has recently unveiled a new Android smartphone, the Huawei Honor. On the surface, the Huawei Honor looks much alike with the Samsung Galaxy S II. The device has a 10.9mm thin at its thickest point and weighs approximately 140g. Huawei Honor features a 4-inch FWVGA display with 480 x 854 resolution pixels
Review On : Huawei Honor
A credible Honor
THE most entertaining aspect of this particular smartphone, I must confess, is its name - Honor.
Many pleasant occasions were spent with friends thinking up every possible way to inject puns into conversations using this Android smartphone as a prop. ("I give you my Honor," "Your call was answered, with my Honor.")
Jokes aside, the Honor is classified as a mid-range smartphone offering Android fans yet another option on the table.
Made by China-based Huawei, the Honor represents the first step in the company's larger ambitions to be known for more than just budget phones and claim its space in the high-end market.
With that said, how does its Honor hold up?
Weight of reassurance
At first grip, the one thing I do enjoy about the phone is that it's got some heft to it. At 140g it's not the lightest phone around but that's not always a bad thing.
Personally I've always found the much-touted Galaxy series of smartphones too light for my liking and the Honor's weight has a reassuring feel to it.
The textured plastic cover offers some reassurance for grip but wins more points for not being a fingerprint magnet more than anything.
With its slightly tapered battery cover and rounded corners, the Honor gives off a quiet solid feel and would suit those who prefer their phones to be a little less on the flashy side.
In fact at a glance, one could very well mistake the Honor for the black LG Optimus, given the similarities.
Standing 4.8in tall by 2.4in wide, this phone is not too big and not too small, one could just imagine Goldilocks picking up this phone and noting that it is "just right."
The smartphone also sports a 4in LCD screen with 854 x 480 pixels resolution made out of Corning Gorilla glass.
The display is quite bright and clear though it doesn't fare too well under bright sunlight and the screen can be a bit of a fingerprint haven, requiring constant wipes with a cloth (or handy T-shirt).
Underneath it all, the Honor houses a single-core 1.4GHz processor, 512MB RAM and 2GB of Internal storage which is expandable via microSD.
The Honor feels a little laggy when browsing image-heavy sites and this would not be the recommended rig for heavy-duty users. Apart from that, the phone kept pace with the regular demands of daily use and there was little cause for complaint with speed.
If there were something lacking in the Honor, it would be the Camera. There is an 8-megapixel rear camera with an LED flash and a 0.3-megapixel front-facing camera for video chatwith geotagging and HDR bundled in.
For the rear camera, the sensor offers continuous autofocus, but the ability to tap to focus is missing. The resulting photos don't quite compare with other 8-megapixel models, with many snaps appearing somewhat grainy which would suffice for casual snappers but not those picky about photo quality.
But when talking about the battery life on this model, this is where the Honor shines.
Due in part to the 1930mAh battery having only a single-core processor and no excessively huge screen to power, this is one smartphone with stamina.
I've forgotten the last time a smartphone could survive one full day on a single charge, but this one surprised me.
The Honor still had over 20% battery life to spare at the end of a day filled with constant notifications, postings on Facebook and general web browsing on WiFi in addition to the usual phone calls.
Odd flavour of vanilla
On the Software front, the review unit received came pre-installed with the Android 2.3.5 (Gingerbread) operating system.
Some things to point out about the user interface is that Huawei went about with a very light touch when it came to tinkering with the UI overlay on this particular model.
Similar to HTC's Sense UI, the unlock screen is a circle which allows quick launch access to the homescreen, the call log, the text message inbox, and the camera app. However unlike the HTC models, it doesn't allow for customisation of these shortcuts.
Other than that, customisation levels are pretty high. Huawei provides its own custom launcher called aHome, which allows users to move the dockbar icons or put on new ones, change the theme to stock Android or download additional third-party ones from the Android Market specifically for it.
Apps can also be tucked away into folders and can be uninstalled directly from the app menu, without the need to go deep into the task manager to do so.
There are also pre-loaded apps specific to Huawei and cannot be uninstalled such as Streams, Cloud+ Drive, All Backup, Security Guard and Traffic Manager.
Interestingly, the Honor also offers four keyboard options: TouchPal virtual keyboard, Android keyboard, Huawei IME, and MobiDiv keyboard. You can slide your finger across the keyboard with right and left swiping motions to pick from among the keyboard configurations.
I especially liked the TouchPal as it offers a smoother way to capitalise letters and access numbers. You swipe up to capitalise a letter or swipe down to choose a corresponding number instead of holding down on a letter key until the associated number pops up.
Other than that, the Honor houses a vanilla Android experience which many would find familiar and comforting to work with.
A demo build of the Android Ice Cream Sandwich OS is available for download via Huawei's website for those so inclined. It was released back in December last year, making the Honor one of the first non-Nexus phones to offer the upgrade option.
All in all, for a no nonsense smartphone that's a little easier on the pocket, you can't go wrong with putting the Huawei Honor on the shortlist of candidates.
This solidly built device bodes well for Huawei's upcoming higher-end smartphone offerings when it hits our shores such as the high profile and recently unveiled Ascend D quad. But before that happens, this is the phone for those who want a little more out of their smartphone experience but won't be pushing it to its limits, which would then justify forking out a few thousand ringgit for a high-end Performance model.
Plus, with a recommended retail price tag of RM1,099, the hardware you get for it won't leave you feeling like you got shortchanged.
If anything, the name itself should keep you highly entertained, least for a couple of weeks until you run out of puns.
Pros: Excellent battery life; mininalist UI; multiple keyboard input options.
Cons: Camera does not impress; screen doesn't fare well outdoors; pre-installed apps you can't remove.
NETWORK: GSM 850/900/1800/1900, HSDPA 900/1700/2100
OPERATING SYSTEM: Android 2.3.6 (Gingerbread)
DISPLAY: 4in capacitive touchscreen (480 x 854-pixels)
CAMERA: 8-megapixels (rear) with autofocus, LED flash; 2-megapixel (front)
CONNECTIVITY: Bluetooth, WiFi, USB 2.0
MEMORY: 1GB storage, 512MB RAM, 4GB ROM
EXPANSION SLOT: MicroSD
STANDBY/TALK TIME: 380 hours/6 hours 40 mins
OTHER FEATURES: FM radio tuner, geo-tagging, HDR, Huawei Cloud (16GB storage), A-GPS; digital compass, accelerometer, gyroscope, proximity sensor
DIMENSIONS (W x D x H): 122 x 61 x 11mm
Review unit courtesy of Huawei Technologies Malaysia Sdn Bhd, (03) 2179-9495
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