HUAWEI IDEOS X5
Huawei, $349 huawei.com.au
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.