Huawei IDEOS Review: World’s First Affordable Android Smartphone
The Huawei Ideos phone is really an no frills phone, it offers no gorilla glass, no AMOLED and SLCD screen, and the overall phone is encased in nothing more than just plastic. But, by not offering all these value-added stuff is just what makes this phone a viable option to most.
The overall screen estate is occupied by a 2.8-inch screen, a ‘green’ and ‘red’ hard button, a big round button encircled by a silver 4-way navigation ring, and the standard four soft-key buttons.
The back of the phone proves no more exciting than the front, with a 3.2MP camera and speaker housed there. As mentioned, the Ideos phone is co-developed with Google, thus you find the standard Google logo on the back cover.
Opening the back cover, we find the the battery compartment, and underneath it, the sim card slot. The microSD card slot presents an interesting thought. Most manufactures tend to place the slot underneath the battery, making it impossible to hot-swap the card, but Huawei decided to place it elsewhere, but, and a big but, the slot is still not accessible if the battery is in place. So yes, there is no hot-swap for the Huawei Ideos phone.
The four sides
The top of the phone contains the power button and the earphone jack. The earphone jack is thankfully the standard 3.5mm jack, meaning that you can use your favorite earphones or headphones with this little guy.
The bottom houses the microUSB which acts both as a charging point and data transfer point. The microphone is also located at the bottom, and shall I say rather un-obstructively unlike some other phones.
The left side of the phone is rather standard, containing the volume button.
The right side is uneventful, no buttons or any functions are located here.
You most probably guessed it, Huawei Ideos officially do not support Angry Birds. But, don’t just dismiss this phone because it does not support your favorite game. The Ideos is a powerful solution in a tiny body, it comes pre-installed with Android 2.2 (Froyo) in a time where most phones are just equipped with Android 2.1. Also, the Ideos phone requirements meets the standard that Google had set out for any manufacturers whom are interested in their operating system.
The phone does everything just right. If you need HSDPA, it is provided, if you need Wifi, it is also provided, and if you need email, entertainment and plenty of applications and support, you can all find it with this phone.
But, there is always a but…
That said, users of this phone should not expect too much. The usage of the phone is just barely comfortable. The speed of the CPU is slow at only 528MHz, and the 256MB RAM proves to be a big fatal point. Lag is often detectable even in bringing up the main menu, much less the actual usage of applications.
High processing speed requirements applications are definitely out of the question; low requirements applications like e-book readers are still passable.
GUI and Multimedia
With only a 528MHz CPU, one can safely discard the notion of running any flash content on the Ideos phone, even though Android 2.2 is said to support Adobe Flash. Video capabilities are limited, watching youtube is still possible but watching 720p movies are impossible. Audio on the other hand is still rather pleasant as the back speaker is loud enough to be heard over a noisy cafe, and the availability of a standard 3.5mm earphone jack proves to be a major plus point.
The graphical user interface promotes the standard Google Android interface, which is good. Most manufacturers tries very hard to re-model the interface after some other well-known interface and ends up failing badly. And worst, some implementation of the user interface ends up lagging the overall phone. For those whom are adventurous and wishes to ‘redecorate’ the user interface to their liking, it is still possible with the help of applications.
Camera and Call Quality
One of Google’s requirement for a phone to be equipped with Android is the presence of a camera, and indeed the Ideos comes equipped with one, albeit with a 3.2MP with Fixed Focus. Image quality might be a little disappointing to some, but it is decent enough for uploading to places like Facebook.
A saving grace of the Huawei phone falls upon the call quality, in which the Ideos does perfectly. The speaker function of the phone deserves a mention, it is loud and clear even placed against a noisy background. Signal strength is excellent as well, and it switches seamlessly between 2G and 3G networks (depending on area and signal available), unlike certain hyped-up phones. We did not experience any voice-call related issues like poor reception or dropped calls.