Lesser known smartphone manufacturers (such as Huawei or ZTE) face challenging times selling high-end devices, as consumers tend to choose a better known brand when spending $500 for an unlocked device (maybe more on monthly installments for those on a plan). However, it is on the budget and mid-range segments where these manufacturers have a chance to show its technological strength.
The Huawei Honor that I'm reviewing is a mid-range smartphone with a single core processor and 512 MB of RAM. But don't get fooled by the technical specifications, the Honor shows fast performance with everyday tasks (phone calls, social networking , games, etc.) without slowdowns or hiccups. What's more impressive though, is the excellent battery life (more on this later).
Looking around the device
From a design perspective, the Huawei Honor is minimalist. Finished in black and with curved corners (similar to the iPhone), it looks compact and fits well in the hand. It has no physical buttons on the front face; instead, the Honor has four capacitive buttons: menu, home, back and search (similar to the Acer Liquid Glow). Overall, its shape is comfortable to use yet nice on the eyes.
There are only two physical buttons around the device: The volume rocker on the right side and the power switch at the top. The headphones jack is also placed at the top (besides the power switch) and the microUSB port is at the bottom. A hassle free configuration.
Better than expected performance
The Honor is a midrange smartphone, but yet it meets the requirements of most users -- and does it well. It is powered by a single core 1.4 Ghz Qualcom processor with 512 RAM, which seems too scarce for the most demanding applications, let alone some video games.
However, the handset behaved remarkably well in daily use consisting of some long phone calls, music playing, data synchronization (always on), brightness set to medium and also playing various videos and games. In fact, the performance wasn't that far from a dual-core smartphone.
The phone has a surprisingly quick boot time of about 5 seconds (from switched off to showing the desktop). Although I don't usually switch off the phone completely, it is a nice feature nonetheless. Moreover, the Huawei Honor has a noise canceling microphone, which is usually reserved for more expensive terminals.
Long lasting battery life
If there's one important feature to highlight in the Huawei Honor, that's the battery. The Honor sports an amazing 1930 mAh battery, which gave a yield of constant use (abuse) of about 21 hours. That's quite an achievement in an smartphone of this segment, as this battery capacity is not very usual in non premium smartphones (such as the Galaxy S III, the LG Optimus 4x or the Motorola RAZR).
Should you need getting the most of your smartphone during the whole day, and you had bad experiences with the battery of other handsets, I can tell you the Honor will not disappoint you in this respect.
Competent shooter and display
The Honor comes with an eight megapixel camera with LED assist flash and autofocus, capable of capturing interesting images even in low light situations. The quality of the photos is average (enough for a phone). It also provides various special effects and profile settings to configure the camera to our needs, such as adjusting the exposure value or enable the timer. It also has a secondary front camera of 0.3 megapixels for video conferencing or self portraits.
The video recorder captures videos with a resolution of 1280 x 720 progressive (720p) in 16:9 aspect ratio, at a rate of 25 frames per second. As with the photo camera, there are a number of adjustments available such as: white balance, auto mode, incandescent light, daylight or cloudy modes, etc.
Everything is displayed in a reasonable 4 inch display (nor too big, neither too small). The display is of TFT type and features an resolution of 854 x 480 (thus the pixel density is average). The touch panel is quite responsive and didn't slow down the interface operation.
The contrast of the display is high enough and the color rendering is all right. It is not a fabulous display but Huawei equipped the Honor with a more than appropriate one; no complaints here.
Wrap-up and conclusion
The Huawei Honor has little to envy to other smartphones. It offers the same (important) features and sports a very good battery life in a discrete and clean package. It performed the most of the tasks we throw at it pretty well and, sometimes, made me forget that it has a single core processor.
Another advantage of this smartphone is that, being rather popular, there's plenty of official and aftermarket accessories for it.
If you're shopping for an smartphone to organize your work (or your studies), browse the web, read e-mails, be connected to the social networks and have some entertainment now and then, you may want to have a look at the Huawei Honor.
- CPU : 1.4GHz Scorpion
- System : Android 2.3 Gingerbread, upgradable to 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich
- Display : 4.0 inches 480 x 854 pixels
- Memory : 512MB RAM / 4GB ROM / 1GB storage / microSD slot up to 32GB
- Connectivity : Wi-Fi 802.11 b-g-n / A-GPS / 3.5mm jack / microUSB / GSM 850-900-1800-1900 / HSDPA 900-1700-2100
- Camera : 8MP 3264x2448 / autofocus / LED flash / 720p video recording / front 2MP
- Battery : 1900 mAh
- Dimensions : 122 x 31 x 11 mm
- Weight : 140 g
What do you think? Would you give the Huawei Honor a chance in your wish list? Do you have one and want to share your opinion? Don't forget to have your say in the comments section below.