At the bottom of the home screen you’ll find shortcuts to the browser, phone book, dialler and main menu. Open the main menu and you’ll find a range of apps including a Java version of Google Maps (which uses cell tower triangulation only, as the phone doesn’t have GPS), a voice recorder, memo taker and calendar. The main menu is also home to the text messaging and email clients. These are on the whole easy to use, but it is a bit annoying that the user interface doesn’t include an onscreen QWERTY keyboard. Instead, text has to be input via a virtual numerical keypad, which is a tad annoying.
You’ll also find the phone’s music player lurking in the main menu. The music apps on many budget handsets are pretty ropey, but thankfully that’s not the case here. The music player neatly splits up your library of tunes by artist and album title and there are also links to your most recently played tracks as well as an option to select music by genre. The Now Playing screen also looks attractive and presents you with large touch buttons to control playback of your tunes. It lets you quickly switch between repeat and shuffle play modes and to turn on and off the graphics equaliser (there are six modes available).
Unfortunately our UK handsets lacked an FM tuner, although the T-mobile version in the US does have a built-in FM tuner. Another annoyance is that the phone lacks a standard headphone jack. Instead, the supplied headphones connect to the mini-USB port at the top of the phone, which isn’t ideal.
One area where the U7510 scores over the Samsung Genio Touch is connectivity. While both handsets lack Wi-Fi (what do you expect for £50?) the U7510 trumps the Genio because it has support for 3G, while the Genio is stuck with EDGE. This is very noticeable when you’re using the phone’s browser because as long as you have 3G reception pages tend to load quite quickly. Naturally, the U7510 also has support for Bluetooth so you can use it with headsets or of stereo Bluetooth headphones.
The phone’s camera is very basic. It only has a 2-megapixel sensor and lacks an LED flash or autofocus. Nevertheless, the camera app does offer up a surprising range of picture controls and the shots from the camera don’t look too bad given the phone’s low price.
Battery life isn’t the U7510’s strong point, though, as you can only expect a day and a half out of it, or less if you make really heavy use of web browsing via 3G. On the plus side, we had no problems with the phone’s call quality or its reception during our test period.
Huawei has obviously modelled the U7510 on Samsung’s Genio range of handsets. It has a similar design, similar-looking user interface and similar range of features. However, although the U7510 does trump the Genio Touch by adding support for 3G, its software doesn’t feel quite as polished as Samsung’s offering. That said, if you’re on a tight budget and really want the faster web browsing that’s on offer here it’s definitely worth checking out.