- 1GHz Snapdragon processor
- 2GB ROM
- 3.7in 480x800 pixel screen
- Android 2.3 Gingerbread OS
Huawei’s Vision makes a great first impression. Its unibody aluminium design may be similar to 2010’s HTC Legend in style, but unless you’re out for originality, this is no bad thing. The front is glossy black, and the back is anodised metal apart from black plastic sections at the top and bottom.
Although not in the running for slimmest smartphone around, at 9.9mm (at the thinnest point) it feels compact, dense and strong. This is a major upgrade over the Huawei Blaze. To add to the sense of quality, the screen’s glass coating is slightly curved. We’ve heard varying opinions on the usefulness of curved screens, from their comfort factor to their ability to reduce reflections, but whatever your view, it certainly feels nice.
Its body can compete with HTC’s best, but excellent build quality is nothing new in mid-range smartphones. Just looking nice isn’t quite enough to secure the Huawei Vision mainstream popularity.
The mainstream is where Huawei’s looking though. There are no geeky extra features here – no HDMI output, no 3D screen and no top-end processor. What it wants to offer is a high-end feel at a mid-range price. And what’s wrong with that?
It runs Android 2.3 Gingerbread, has 2GB internal memory, a 1GHz Snapdragon processor and a 3.7in screen. The Vision could have been a top-end Android back in 2010. Think of it as an original HTC Desire for the 2012 crowd not willing to spend £35 a month for a mobile and you’re on the right track.
Here’s the custom Flickr home screen
It’s classy and sensible in most respects, but one of its top features is the custom user interface Huawei has plastered over Android 2.3. Rendered in 3D, it lets you flick through an array of home screens designed by Huawei. It’s ambitious as far as custom Android UIs go, but it misses the point of home screens altogether.They are there to let you do a few things quickly, not everything your phone has to offer in a slightly more visually fancy manner.
The look of the interface isn’t a patch on HTC Sense either. It’s a bit too angular and too busy. Huawei needs to learn the “less is more” motto before it’ll stop us from using custom launchers on its phones, wiping out their additions.
The 3.7in screen of the Huawei Vision is a near-perfect size. It’s large enough to make typing on the virtual keyboard accurate and comfortable, but not so large that smaller-handed people should steer clear.
The 480×800 pixel resolution isn’t astounding in these times of super high pixel density screens, but offering 252dpi you really have to struggle to see the pixels here. Images are very sharp and clear, but the basic quality of the panel isn’t immensely impressive. HTC’s S-LCD displays and Nokia’s AMOLEDs offer better contrast and better-behaved backlights. It’s worth noting however that these photos show off the deficiencies of the screen a little too much – it looks better in person. We didn’t notice any contrast shift in our time with the phone.
Thumbing away on the screen’s surface, we found the capacitive touchscreen very responsive. And there was little of the lag that was very noticeable in the Huawei Blaze. This is the 1GHz Snapdragon processor doing its job – it may not be a dual-core model but it’s enough to make the Vision fly along. We’ll give it a proper workout with some intensive 3D games once Huawei sends a model our way for a full test.
On the phone’s back is the 5-megapixel camera, with single-LED flash alongside. It also has autofocus, but we found its performance to be very poor. Focusing took several seconds, reminding us of experiences with HTC’s early Android phones. We hope this will improve by the time the phone hits the market in 2012, because it will otherwise ruin the camera entirely.
You can spin your home screens at high speed
The camera can record 720p video, but we weren’t able to test the kind of detail it captures, or how well it handled motion. Come back for the full review to find out.
Aside from the somewhat ill-advised custom user interface and the painfully slow camera, the Huawei Vision appears to be a pretty desirable phone. It’s strong, has an attractive design and uses the premium materials that have until now been missing from the manufacturer’s phones. Available on £25-a-month contracts, it has a lot of strong competition, including the Sony Ericsson Xperia ray and HTC Desire S. We think it may need to undercut them to win this fight, but equally this is a phone many people will want after seeing and feeling it.
|Operating System||Android OS|
|Screen Size (inches) (Inch)||3.7in|
|Camera (Megapixel)||5 Megapixel|
|3.5mm Headphone Jack||Yes|
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