Some surprises can be downright nasty, like Lady Gaga's bacon dress or a screening of Don 2. Thankfully in the world of technology, there's only so much a company can go wrong with, especially when it comes to smartphones. Most of them get the basics right, considering they have a benchmark or at least a standard tech spec and dimension to stick to. And then, every once in a while, there are some which turn out to be a real pleasant surprise; devices that outperform your expectations or your first impressions of them. Huawei Honor turned out to be one such.
The smartphone is powered by a 1.4GHz Snapdragon processor and contributed to apps and functions running quite smoothly most of the time. The only time I experienced lags on the device was when I was operating apps when the remaining battery charge was low. If I hadn't declined to switch to the battery saving mode that the smartphone automatically prompts you to (after only 30-40 per cent charge remains), then I could have probably squeezed in a couple of more hours of usage.
The company claims that the 1,900 mAh battery that powers the Honor gives you the longest battery life among smartphones in the 4-inch screen range. Their estimate is a good three days on a single charge. On the days that I used the Honor as my primary phone for calls and texts, as well as playing a quick game of Stick Cricket or Temple Run every 2 hours or so, the smartphone definitely needed to be plugged in at the end of close to a day and a half of usage.
Despite the 4-inch LCD display on the Honor, the device doesn't feel too bulky. The screen was surprisingly bright enough outdoors under direct sunlight. The capacitive touch interface is pleasantly smooth to scroll across.
The Honor comes with two cameras – an 8-megger at the rear and a 2-megger at the front of the device. An 8-megger is something you might not find on a smartphone priced in the mid-range category that the Honor could be easily slotted in. The main clicker is endowed with Auto-focus but the process isn't instant. It takes some time to fix the focus on the subject before you click, if you don't have too much time or patience you'll end up with a lot of blurry results. Indoors, the results were a mixed bag including some snaps that came out perfectly well, without blurs or without being too grainy. However, a slight compromise on the lighting made the pics bleed a bit.
The native keyboard on the Honor is intuitive enough and didn't result in a lot of typo errors. What might come as a big relief to those who might not have taken too well to QWERTY keyboards, is the alternate layouts that the native keyboard has to offer. You can switch from one style or anther with a simple sideways swipe on the virtual keypad itself.
Connectivity and apps
The Huawei Honor is DLNA-certified, which means it can connect to other DLNA-certified devices such as digital cameras, game consoles and TVs. This makes it easier for you to share your digital photos, music and videos between different DLNA-certified devices.
The device comes with just 4GB of internal memory which can be bumped up to 32GB with an SD card.
The apps on the Honor, not unlike most of the other Huawei devices, go more than just pandering to entertainment and games.
You also get an ‘All Backup' function that will let you backup or restore data from the SD card you would have slotted into the unit. You can also choose to perform only application backups or data backup. In case you don't want to do this manually, you can even schedule one and let the smartphone take care of it all.
The company tries to cut through the customer service clutter by offering a one-touch reach in case you need help with the device. You can either call, directly message, send across a mail, give feedback and lookup an authorised service centre right from the ‘Huawei Care' app.
Any one who uses internet on their smartphone would have at least once in his/her life been shocked at the data usage bill at the end of the month. The Honor comes with a Traffic Manager app that tracks your data traffic and alerts you when you near your limits. You can set a monthly traffic limit (either 2G or 3G) and hope to avoid emptying your savings to pay your service provider at the end of the month.
Another new-age addition that the Honor has beat most other smartphones to is offering a cloud service directly from its dashboard. Registering on Huawei Cloud+ is a fairly simple affair and gives you access to services like Cloud+ drive, Message+, Streams and the like. Once registered, you also have the option of choosing to locate your phone if lost and even retrieve or erase data and personal details that you might have stored on your Huawei device.
One of the more high-end offerings from Huawei, the Honor had its niggles – like the keyboard confusing between a type and a swipe or apps slowing down at times or a camera that doesn't give you perfect results all the time. However, the features that the device comes loaded with definitely justifies, if not outdoes, the price at which it is being sold for. If you want a smartphone that you don't have to empty your wallet for and a device that gives you more to do than just play Angry Birds with, you know where to look.
Love – Smooth interface, 8-meg camera, utilitarian apps
Hate – Bland design, inconsistent image quality