Review: Huawei IDEOS X5

Chinese phone manufacturer, Huawei, is making a play into the smartphone market with its IDEOS X 5, but there might be a little bit of work to do before they can take on the big boys.

First up, the specs – it has a 5MP camera, a smallish 800MHz processor, the Android 2.2 operating system, 3.8-inch multi-touch screen, 720p HD video recording and can accept MicroSD cards with up to 32GB capacity.

The screen is nice and bright, although it didn’t handle sun glare that well. Its touchscreen was pretty good and there at a couple of home screens you can choose for yourself. It has a number of widgets preloaded as well as a couple of trials of games including Prince of Persia and Iron Man 2.

When using the phone and texting, there were some minor annoyances. The sound wasn’t as good as my HTC Desire, and the predictive text wasn’t as, well, predictive, while you had to be very precise when hitting the keys – not great for somebody with big mitts like myself. Overall, though, not a big issue.

Where I did have a huge problem was with the still camera and camcorder functions.  In both cases the pictures and film had a kaleidoscope affect, where it looked like you were shooting with a thermal imaging camera. At first I thought it must have been the settings from the previous reviewer, but having had a good go at trying to adjust the various applications, nothing changed – in fact, in some cases it got worse.

The back of the unit was a little flimsy in that it came away quite easily, and getting the battery out was not as quick as most smartphones. Usually you can get your fingernail under one of the sides and lift it out – no such luck. Had to smack it against the palm of the hand. However, the upside to the battery is that it lasted a reasonable amount of time, even after using the gaming function for quite some time.

I can see this phone being popular amongst those who like the basic functions of a phone, but with the added functionality of a smartphone – those folks who used to buy the Nokia 610 and similar models just to keep themselves connected and want to be able to email, too.

Pros: Price, battery life
Cons: Camera/camcorder has issues, Feels a little flimsy, predictive text not great

3 Shacks out of 5