Huawei Honor U8860 

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While the name of Huawei might not be one of the first names that trips off your tongue when the subject of manufacturers of Android devices is taking place, the company is determined to change that perception with some new products. Recently I took a look at the Huawei MediaPlay tablet and now it is the turn of the Huawei Honor U8860 smartphone.

Huawei U8860 Honour Smartphone
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This is the standard candy mode style of unit.  It is decked out in black and comes with the Android 2.3 operating system.  With dimensions of 122 x 61.5 x 10.9mm (H x W x D) and a weight of 135g, the Honor has a nice comfortable and solid feel to it when in the hand with the two external controls within easy reach.  On the top of the handset is the power button while a volume rocker is located towards the top of the left side.

As usual with a smartphone, the front of the handset is dominated by a touch screen.  In the case of the Huawei Honor this is a 4.0-inch capacitive LCD FWVGA screen offering a resolution of 480 x 854 pixels giving a reasonable, without being exceptional, display that unfortunately has a habit of quickly becomes besmeared by finger marks.

Arranged along the bottom of the screen are four capacitive touch sensitive buttons for Menu, Home, Back and Google Search.  A front-mounted VGA camera for video calling is positioned over the screen.  Located at the rear of the Huawei Honor are an 8MP camera, flash unit, speaker and the battery compartment which also houses the SIM card and a microSD card (up to 32GB).  Topping and tailing the handset are a 3.5mm jack socket and a microUSB port for attached a headset and powering the 1900mAh battery pack.

The Huawei Honor is based on a 1.4GHz Scorpion processor backed up by 512MB of RAM and 4GB of ROM.  There is support for Gyro and Compass features plus accelerometer, proximity and ambient light sensors.  Other features built into this handset include location AGPS, Bluetooth 2.1/Bluetooth stereo (A2DP) and Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n.

While certain smartphones have a tendency to be a little on the tardy side when it comes to delivering you to the initial lock screen, the Huawei Honor can not be accused of this.  It regularly took around seven seconds to bring up the handset’s lock screen made up of a circle enclosing the lock icon.  I have to admit that this was using a Fast Boot option.  When this feature was disabled, boot time increased to 39 seconds. While not in the same league as its powering up, downloads of apps and accessing web pages was reasonable quick using the supplied Browser app. 

As mentioned the lock screen features a circle allowing you to drag the lock icon in four directions.  Depending upon which of the four cardinal points you drag the icon out of the circle, you will arrive at a different locations.  You could arrive at the main Home screen, the camera feature, call log or new message screen.

Your home screen is spread over five panes allowing you to group your apps into various categories.  Movement between these panes is smooth and can be carried out in either direction.  All the usual features you would expect from an Android phone are included.

An important element of any smartphone is the ability to input quickly text when using the on-screen keyboard.  In the past I have regularly encountered difficulties when adjusting to this feature and my initial experiences with the Huawei Honor were no exception as a running battle was fought over whether my version or that of the keyboard’s would be the message that appeared on the screen.  It was not until I switched from the TouchPal keyboard to the Android keyboard that I was able to get a reasonable degree of success when typing.

I had less success with the 8MP camera that was part of the Huawei Honor.  The focusing was rather slow and tended to jump between settings with the results that I was regularly deleting images that were fuzzy.  Generally colour definition was not to my taste while changing the zoom level was rather hint and miss as you adjust a slider bar.  I have achieved far better results with phone cameras that had a lower megapixel rating and would hesitate to use this camera for important captures.

Overall the Huawei Honor is a reasonable smartphone that would benefit from a better camera option.  Running a quick check regarding UK prices produced results that varied between £200 and £250 on a pay-as-you-go basis.  I feel that the Huawei Honor could well struggle to make an impact at this price point.

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