Huawei Honor: first impressions
I’ve said time and again that I will never underestimate a phone I haven’t used. But I have never learned and probably never will.
When I arrived at the launch of the Huawei Honor, I went straight for the new iPad brought by a newspaper editor. Only when I brought a review unit of the Android device home did I take a good look at it. It took me by surprise — in a good way.
The back may be made of plastic, but the Huawei Honor, which sells at P13,999, is well built and doesn’t give a hollow sound when tapped. In fact, it is one of the most solidly built mid-end Android smartphones I’ve used thus far. I’ll go out on a limb and say it’s better constructed than higher-priced handsets like the LG Optimus Black and the Samsung Galaxy W, though I would have preferred a wider, not longer, body. That’s one.
Another pleasant surprise: the user interface running on top of Android Gingerbread (which can be updated to Ice Cream Sandwich, by the way). It’s easy to use and doesn’t seem to hamper the performance of the phone. Deleting apps reminds me of Apple’s iOS, and going from one app menu panel to another is the same as in Samsung’s TouchWiz, where you move from left to right or vice versa.
Even the lockscreen is well thought out. You’ll see shortcuts to three of the most-used apps — camera, phone, and messaging — so when you need to, say, capture a child’s first smile, you won’t miss that moment. I just wish I could customize them. In future iterations of the UI perhaps?
One point for the Huawei Honor’s 4-inch touchscreen, too. It’s not at the level of Super AMOLED and Retina, but it’s pretty decent. It displays fairly accurate colors and seems to work well outdoors. I can even use the phone at its lowest brightness level. I can’t say the same for the Apple iPhone 4S. Look at the photo below.
This is important because it helps me save battery power.
Speaking of battery life, Huawei claims the Honor can last three days on a single charge. I don’t know about that. I’ll have to wear it down first before I say anything. (Visit TechLokal on or before first week of April for the full review.)
Here’s a preview, though: I started checking the device’s power meter at 11 p.m. on Thursday. It was at 49 percent. There was no juice left at around 6 a.m. on Saturday. I used the Honor to surf the Net, check Twitter and other applications, watch three music videos—you know, pretty normal usage — for about two hours with the brightness level set at the lowest for most of the time. Interesting.
Other features that have impressed me so far: the 5-second boot time (the media present at the launch can attest to this) and the Cloud+ Drive, where I get up to 160GB of disk storage on top of the 1GB internal memory. I’m still on the fence about the 8-megapixel camera. Let’s see. I’ll do more tests first.
Still, from the looks of it, the Huawei Honor is a solid mid-end Android smartphone from the company more popularly known in the Philippines as a maker of MiFi or portable hotspot devices.
Alora Uy Guerrero has covered the technology beat since 2002. She was last seen distorting the minds of tech-savvy Filipinos at another big media company near our future HQ in Mandaluyong. You can check out her site at www.techlokal.com or read her updates at the following: www.twitter.com/aloraguerrero, www.facebook.com/alora.guerrero, www.gplus.to/alora, and www.pinterest.com/aloraguerrero.