Huawei SnapTo hands-on


Here in the US, Huawei is still commonly known to do a lot of business in the entry-level segment of the smartphone market. Normally, we’re dealt with aggressively priced on-contract phones, but this time around, they’re going the no-contract route with the Huawei SnapTo, which was just announced recently. During Pepcom’s DigitalFocus event held in New York City, we caught up with the Huawei folks to check out this new, affordably priced device.

Contemporary, that basically sums up the SnapTo’s design. It doesn’t try to be ornate or extravagant, evident by its straightforward design language, but at least it doesn't exude that downright cheapo feel. Sporting a plastic body, one that features a pleasant “leather-texture finish” with the rear, it helps to offer a grippy feel in the hand – while the smoother plastic bezel around the sides is a nice contrast. Needless to say, the design won’t earn any awards, but like we mentioned already, it’s merely straightforward and ordinary.

The 5-inch 720 x 1280 display is passable for most things, but it’s clearly a low quality panel in there. Why’s that? Well, there’s a subdued tone with the display, one that results in giving it a profound colder tone – so whites exhibit a bluish hue. Viewing angles aren’t that great, made more obvious by the visible distortion at wide angles. And finally, it just lacks the pizazz to capture our attention. At the very least, however, 720p resolution dishes up enough detail.

Running Huawei’s customized Android 4.4 KitKat experience, it’s fashioned in the way that everything is accessed through the homescreen. Meaning, there’s no dedicated apps panel, so all the icons are placed on the homescreen. Considering this is geared towards the entry-level segment, we’re not totally surprised that the experience is pretty superficial in what it offers. It’ll handles all of the basics, but don’t expect an array of secondary features to supplement the usual Android stuff.

Rounding things out, it feature a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 chip, 1GB of RAM, 8GB of internal storage, 5-megapixel rear camera, and a 2-megapixel front one. All in all, this is something that would appease those on a tight budget – more so if they prefer the no-contract route. Slapped with a $179.99 outright price, you can pick this phone up soon through a handful of online outlets.


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9 Comments

1. waddup121 unregistered

SnapTO CITY

2. gaming64 unregistered

What's woth the design? I expect more surprices from Huawei. This just looks too cheap.

3. Kruze

Posts: 1285; Member since: Dec 30, 2014

So, you expect a low end phone to have a flagship design?

4. ShadowHammer

Posts: 208; Member since: Mar 13, 2015

Guess I don't really see why someone would pick this phone in the US, when there are numerous unlocked phones with better specs, for around the same price. E.g., Blu Life One, Moto G, Zenfone 2 5", Nuu X1, etc.

5. okuyok

Posts: 46; Member since: Oct 06, 2014

Well, the Moto G 2nd gen has no LTE in the U.S. I'm pretty sure the Nuu X1 only works on T-Mobile and not AT&T. If the Zenfone 2- 5" incher makes it to America it won't be untuil the second half of the year, at least that's what rumors say. Blu are rebrainded phones, still some of them are I'm sure fine phones, but just stamping a name on a phone that's sold around the wolrd under differnet brands gives a generic impression to many people. If the Moto G LTE comes out in America and is under $200, it will be a very good deal, but the first generation Moto G LTE cost alot more than the 3G version.

7. ShadowHammer

Posts: 208; Member since: Mar 13, 2015

You make some interesting points. However, some of them are assumptions, or misleading. 1) AT&T uses LTE Band 4 like T-Mobile in the US, so the Nuu X1 should work fine with either network. 2) The Zenfone 2 5" is already available in international unlocked form in the US. You do lose the one year warranty though, and it is ~$220, so I suppose one has to decide if $40 is worth an extra gig of RAM, 8 gigs of internal, bigger battery, and better rear camera. You are correct that an official warrantied version hasn't been released yet, so that is a big con since you are risking some decent dough with the international version. 3) Why does it matter if Blu phones are rebranded? Hardly anybody in the US knows about Blu or Huawei, so it's not like you're going to brag to friends if you have either one. 4) That's nice that you mentioned a Nuu X1 review. However, my point was regarding hardware specs, not subjective usage. And since there isn't a linked SnapTo review, it's kind of hard to compare usage. 5) Good point on the Moto G. Until the LTE version comes out, which I'm guessing will be ~$220, that is a con over the SnapTo. None of those points would lead me to get the Huawei, but I respect that they might for some people.

8. okuyok

Posts: 46; Member since: Oct 06, 2014

Here's one of the reviews I read and what it said about the X1 the lack of LTE on AT&T. Other reviews have said speeds on AT&T where very slow. "Unlocked, the X1 supports GSM (850/900/1800/1900MHz), WCDMA (850/1900MHz), and LTE (Bands 4 and 7). In the U.S., that means HSPA+ 21 speeds on AT&T, and LTE connectivity on T-Mobile. I tested the phone with both an AT&T and T-Mobile SIM card; the X1 struggled to break 5Mbps (down) on AT&T, but easily eclipsed 10Mbps (down) on T-Mobile."

9. ShadowHammer

Posts: 208; Member since: Mar 13, 2015

Touche'. I've read that AT&T uses band 4 LTE 1700 Mhz AWS in some areas, just don't know how widespread it is. If 5 vs 10 Mbps is a big deal to someone, it is something to consider.

6. okuyok

Posts: 46; Member since: Oct 06, 2014

Also this: Nuu X1 Editors' rating: Pros: Affordable; NFC capability; Dual-SIM support; Stock Android (KitKat) Cons: Poor performance; Dismal battery life Verdict : The Nuu X1 is an affordable unlocked Android smartphone with a sharp camera, but its overall performance and battery life don't measure u

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