Huawei U8510 Ideos X3 Review
- Crisp and bright display
- Integrated cloud storage services
- Samsung Galaxy Y & LG Optimus Net have better power package
- Small battery doesn't help
The fact that you can buy this phone for around Rs 9000, it is competing straight with the likes of the Samsung Galaxy Y and the LG Optimus Net P690. What it doesn't have is the big brand name, but does make up for that with a bit of bravery. The cloud services are very useful, particularly since they offer critical extra storage space and for the sake of data security.
What the Huawei U8510 Ideos X3 brings to the table is a solid Android phone in the budget smartphone segment. While it isn't the most powerful one around, the X3 does bring some goodness to the tablet, particularly the cloud storage bit.
Look & Feel
While the Ideos has a slightly bigger display size than the Samsung Galaxy Y, the latter is actually wider. Thanks to the very slim bezel, the Ideosis very comfortable to hold. Around the display is the glossy black finish. Just above it is the front facing camera for video calls, nicely blending in with the surroundings. There is a silver strip running around the sides of the phone, and then arcs its way towards the bottom at the front. Just below the display are three touch keys - return, options and search. Surprisingly, they aren’t illuminated, and that can be a bit of a problem if you are using the phone in the dark. Usually, you will have to squint and use the light spilling over from the display to see where which key is. Just below this, where the silver strip runs across, is a hardware key for Home. Volume rocker is on the right spine. The top has the power key and the 3.5mm jack. We have never been fans of silver/ shiny borders around any connectivity ports and jacks, since they tend to get scratched very quickly.
Flip the phone over, and you will immediately notice the rubberized finish, in black colour. Opening the battery cover is a neat mechanism - slide down from the top and the entire thing opens. No using the nails to forcefully open it. The microSD slot can be accessed without having to remove the battery, but not for the SIM card.
We do like the build quality of the phone. It doesn’t feel as plasticky as some of the alternatives in this price bracket.
Features & Performance
The 3.2-inch display has a resolution of 480 x 320 pixels. It is a mighty bright display, and the wider level range helps a lot when you set it to auto brightness mode. The crispness is quite good as well, and even after using 4-inch or bigger display smartphones prior to this, text readability wasn’t uncomfortable even initially. Colour depth isn't very good though, but the good thing is there is absolutely no gradation.
The Ideos comes with Android 2.3, and the Huawei Launcher UI on it. Much like the UI skins of a lot of the rivals, this also has 5 home screens. There are the usual standard widgets available, but not much else.
When compared to the Optimus Net and the Galaxy Y, the Ideos has the least power on tap. The Galaxy Y has an 830MHz processor, the Optimus Net has an 800MHz chip while the Ideos has just 600MHz available. The RAM, at 256MB, is the lowest of the trio. However, we must say it is surprising to see how well the Ideos handles application load. We had 7 apps open in the background, and the phone did not slow down at all. The preloaded task manager gives you the stats of what apps are open, and allows you to close apps. It lacks the automatic app kill setting, and needs to be done so manually. You may still want to download something like an Advanced Task Killer.
The 3.15MP camera takes surprisingly clean pictures, with literally no noise. However, it does lack a certain bit of depth, quite clearly visible when you blow up the snaps and the details start to get fuzzy. Colour depth is quite decent as well.
Huawei has bundled the Ideos with the Cloud+ service. This offers 16GB of online storage, sharing files with other users, remote phone location and backup and restore services. This service is still in beta, but once you sign up, you can start uploading the content. That gives the Ideos the advantage of a memory card slot based storage, and some online service that will allow easy backup and restore when needed, along with a welcome amount of online storage for your files.
The 1200 mAh battery will last a day and a bit more, at medium usage. The phone could have done with a bigger battery, but since you wont be using this phone for a lot of video playback, it should last a day.
With a few things going for it, the Ideos is essentially the underdog in the trio of the Galaxy Y, the Optimus Net and the Ideos. It doesn’t have the grunt of the other two, or the brand recollection. But what we experienced was a very solid performer, which does well within its limitations. The 16GB cloud storage feature is a priceless feature, considering the array of services on offer.
Price: Rs. 10,229
Specs: Platform: Android 2.3; Processor: Qualcomm MSM7227 600 MHz; RAM: 256MB; Display: 3.2-inches (320 x 480 pixels); Storage: micro SD slot + 16GB Cloud storage; Camera: 3.15MP plus secondary camera; Battery: 1200 mAh
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