The Huawei Honor has a 1.4GHz single-core processor and 512 megabytes of RAM, which is enough processing power to run its interface fluidly even with a live wallpaper running. The unit that we are reviewing runs Android 2.3.6 Gingerbread, but Ice Cream Sandwich has been already released for Chinese models, meaning that an update will most likely come to all Honor handsets worldwide eventually.
Fortunately, users are free to use either Huawei's custom interface, or simply switch to the Android stock one. Thumbs up to Huawei for allowing users to choose. The Huawei custom interface features a convenient lock screen with shortcuts to the camera, dialer, and texting apps, although it would have been nicer if these shortcuts were customizable.
You get up to five home screens, which you can customize with widgets, folders, and widgets. Speaking of widgets, not too much has been included out of the box, other than the usual Android ones, a widget for the music player, connectivity toggles, and a widget that lists social network feeds. The weather widget, however, is surely among the most beautiful ones we have seen so far – with realistic animations and weather information provided by AccuWeather.
The task manager that the interface has been customized with is a real improvement over what we have seen on other Android handsets so far. Upon holding down the home button you get a side-by-side view of all recently opened applications along with a screenshot for your convenience and the option to close any one or all of them.
With the Huawei Honor you get a TouchPal virtual on-screen keyboard, which, if it wasn't for the handset's unresponsive display, would have been really easy to use. It is well spaced out in both portrait and landscape modes, and if you want to input a digit or a symbol instead of a letter, you just slide down the corresponding key. Neato!
Software and functionality:
Huawei has been kind enough to complement its smartphone with several very useful features, namely the Huawei Cloud+ drive, All Backup, and Security Guard. The Cloud+ offers 16 gigabytes of online storage, which is pretty good considering that you do not have to pay for it. The All Backup app is used to back up data onto a microSD card. Additionally, your data, including contact information and settings, can also be backed up in the cloud. What is also pretty cool is that you can have your smartphone remotely located, locked, and wiped, in case it gets stolen or lost. The Security Guard application can come in handy if you want to prevent other people from contacting you either via calling or texting.
Other apps that come pre-installed on the Huawei Honor include a file manager with support for files compressed using WinZip, an app that monitors your data traffic and alerts you when you are nearing your monthly limit, clients for Facebook and Twitter, Documents To Go, and a SportsCaster app that provides you with results and information regarding various sports games.
Internet browser and connectivity:
The stock web browser on the Huawei Honor does get the job done if it is not pushed too much, but it gets slightly choppy when rendering heavy web pages, such as ours. Its performance, however, improves noticeably when the Adobe Flash plug-in is turned off. Other handy features that you get include tap-to-zoom, pinch-to-zoom, and text reflow, all of which work as intended.
The smartphone has any connectivity feature that you would expect from a device of its class: Wi-Fi b/g/n with support for DLNA, 14.4Mbps 3G radio, Bluetooth 2.1, A-GPS, and an FM radio with RDS. When testing its GPS radio, it managed to pin-point our location in about 30 seconds from a cold start, and from then onward it needed about a couple of seconds.