January 19, 2012

Huawei U8860 Honor review: A code of honor


The Huawei Honor is made in China but it's not your run-of-the-mill Chinese knock-off. Designed, engineered and created in China, it's way more than that. It's a genuine Chinese product, not just something put together for someone else – including premium brands drawn by the low manufacturing costs.
The Huawei Honor is a Chinese smartphone – and one with solid specs too. Not as loaded as the Meizu MX, but a lot more subtle too in doing an impression of some of its illustrious contemporaries.

Huawei U8860 Honor official shot
Anyway, most phones in the Huawei lineup looks like a phone you've seen. This is not a trivia quiz though. And we don’t care what phone (or phones) the Huawei Honor brings to mind. There must be more important things to Huawei than coming up with fresh original designs. How much bigger, you ask? Well, how about - pretty huge.
A multibillion multinational, Huawei is - to put it simply - the Chinese version of Motorola or Ericsson. One of the world’s leading network and telecom equipment manufacturers, they've been making mobile phones too for a while now.
Ideos should ring a bell: a small lineup of low-to-mid-tier Android smartphones and tablets. The Honor is the next step for them. It’s pretty much the company’s current flagship. A 1.4GHz-powered Gingerbread-running smartphone with a rather interesting custom skin. The 4” FWVGA screen and the 8 megapixel camera are the other prominent features on the list.

Key Features

  • Quad-band GSM and tri-band 3G support
  • 14.4 Mbps HSDPA; 5.76 Mbps HSUPA
  • 1.4GHz Snapdragon CPU; Adreno 205 GPU; Qualcomm MSM 8255ΠΆ chipset; 512MB RAM; 4GB ROM
  • 1GB storage, microSD card support (up to 32GB)
  • 4.0” LCD display of FWVGA (854 x 480) resolution; 245ppi pixel density
  • 8 megapixel auto-focus camera with geotagging and HDR; HD (720p@30fps) video recording, LED flash
  • Front-facing VGA camera
  • Android 2.3.5 Gingerbread with custom Huawei launcher
  • Custom lockscreen with shortcuts to messaging, camera and missed calls
  • Huawei Cloud + Store offer exclusive content and 16GB of cloud storage
  • Wi-Fi b/g/n; hot-spot and DLNA connectivity
  • Bluetooth 2.1 with A2DP
  • GPS with A-GPS; Digital compass
  • Standard 3.5 mm audio jack
  • Accelerometer, Gyroscope and proximity sensor
  • Stereo FM radio
  • Active noise cancellation with secondary mic
  • Office document viewer
  • Powerful 1900 mAh Li-Po battery
  • Web browser with Adobe Flash 11 support
  • Smart dialing

Main disadvantages

  • Cheapish gloss
  • Real smudge magnet
  • Poor screen quality
  • Non hot-swappable microSD card
  • No hardware shutter key
  • No native video calling despite built-in VGA camera
Droids come in all shapes and sizes, feature sets and price tags. You’ve heard it all about Samsung’s droids, or Sony Ericsson’s, or HTC’s. And think that’s all there’s to know about Android. Well, apparently Huawei can show a few tricks too.
We're not quite sure about the first impression the Huawei U8860 Honor leaves. You'd do well though not to let it fool you. Plain design and more cheap gloss than we're comfortable with - most people will find it hard to believe they're dealing with a rather impressively spec'd handset.

The U8860 Honor held in hand
It’s an easy one to miss but anyone looking for a reasonably priced Android cameraphone should pay attention. It’s time to see if the Honor can do the job and make at least some difference in a crowd filled with class “A” contenders. The Huawei Honor isn’t trying to impress or scare the Galaxy Nexus or the iPhone 4S. It’s a fight they will win even with one hand tied behind their back. It’s users Huawei need to convince and if the Honor turns out credible, they’d be one step closer to their goal.

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