Herald Sun - Switched On - - Gadgets -

Huawei, $349


ONE of the great things about Google An­droid phones is that many look and play alike.

You can com­fort­ably switch from a Mo­torola to a Sam­sung to an HTC hand­set with­out ditch­ing your apps or reach­ing for a man­ual to learn new menus.

Chinese tech firm Huawei is ex­ploit­ing this fa­mil­iar­ity by launch­ing an An­droid smart­phone that looks sim­i­lar but is about half the price.

De­spite that price, the Ideos X5 doesn’t scrimp on specs. It uses an 800MHz pro­ces­sor, of­fers 2GB in­ter­nal stor­age, and its screen is not shabby. It’s a 3.8-inch ca­pac­i­tive touch­screen and it looks good from an an­gle, though is chal­lenged in sun­light.

Its form is pleas­ing, the body fea­tur­ing rounded, chrome-cov­ered edges and a matte back cover that fits firmly.

Its five home­screens of­fer a fa­mil­iar look at An­droid menus as the Ideos X5 uses the ‘‘ vanilla’’ ver­sion of the soft­ware.

As you might ex­pect of a $349 phone, how­ever, there are draw­backs. The phone’s menus are not al­ways re­spon­sive and some­times don’t reg­is­ter your touch. This is par­tic­u­larly no­tice­able when flick­ing through home­screens or choos­ing one app from many.

Its five megapixel cam­era is also slow to cap­ture pho­tos — so slow you’ll have to hold it in place for some time — and its lack of pro­cess­ing power is ob­vi­ous when you play games. Even some­thing as ba­sic as Uno shows its lack of graph­i­cal grunt.

This phone also uses the Froyo ver­sion of An­droid (v2.2), and Huawei has yet to de­cide whether to is­sue an up­date.

For the money, the Huawei Ideos X5 out­per­forms its price.


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