In Review: Huawei U8500

First Impressions
For the past years, the local phone market has been penetrated by semi-generic and dual-SIM phones produced by the Chinese. This has captured the support of the masses, as they are relatively inexpensive and are being sold everywhere.
Huawei U8500, contrary to its predecessors in the local market, was built with a vision to compete with the major brands. As it houses an Android operating system, I was curious to see how it fares with its well-known counterparts.

Appearance and Interface
This phone earns an edge at being sleek and compact, in black and white. The design can compete with its It helps that it operates on a touchscreen interface, as it affords to be minimalist on its option buttons. At 115 grams, it isn’t a drag to carry around. As far as the externals are concerned, I have no complaints.

Although, I would say Huawei falls short when it comes to its graphics, user interface and capacitive touchscreen. Pictures and icons are not as crisp and clear as those in the other Android phones. More often than not, its screen entails multiple taps in order to respond. Plus, it doesn’t offer the auto-rotate function, which usually helps in widening the buttons. I had a hard time typing and composing messages using the onscreen QWERTY keyboard. If this is your first time to use a touchscreen phone, you might want to keep an open mind as this just doesn’t give you the best experience of the technology.

Then again, the touchpad button might win you back. Just make sure you don’t overlook it.

Camera
At 3.15 megapixels, there is not much to rave about. Pictures and videos are almost of the same quality as those taken using a 2-megapixel camera phone. Unlike most phones though, it does not have a camera button on the side. This leaves you with just the main button and the camera button on the screen, which may not entirely be a bad thing as the main button gives you more stability in taking pictures.

Simple as it may seem, this phone still gives you the chance to play around shots – white balance, color effects, picture size and picture quality. Just a couple of turn offs – zooming tends to lag and there is no flash function.

Multimedia
Music and video playback would fare on the average. Sound quality may be further enhanced with a wider speaker. And again, the absence of the auto-rotate function may limit the viewing experience of the user. Meanwhile, the interface on the music gallery plays safe with plain graphics. I would say this is a good thing as it doesn’t confuse the user with flashy display and buttons.

And with all its capacity for multimedia, Huawei U8500 has a storage feature that is comparable to its counterparts. As for its battery life, I found it a bit poorer than the average. If you’re into playing music and taking pictures all day, this might just be the show stopper.

Connectivity and Social Networking
I see a lot of promise on this phone when it comes to sending emails. When I got it, it was already preloaded with its default email feature, Gmail and Google Talk. For its Facebook application, there is nothing new to talk about. Just again, the resolution of the graphics is not as clear as in other Android phones. And what’s good about Android is that these can be upgraded and enhanced, every now and then.

If you’re transferring contents to your PC, this phone might give you a hard time. Unlike other phones that function seamlessly as hard drives, this phone does not do a good job in plug and play. Huawei needs to work on that further.

Best Feature & Recommendation
Because it operates on the Android system, it covers practically everything that the average user might need. It has Documents To Go, Notepad and an efficient email system for organization and business use. It also has the ample features for multimedia capture and playback. This phone is good when you’re not expecting too much. And you know you can never go wrong with Android.

Huawei needs to establish its edge over other Android phones. It needs to brush up on its usability and interface. And for now, I can describe this phone in three words – simple, average and work-in-progress.

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