Huawei IDEOS X3 Android phone
Huawei IDEOS X3 review: An Android smartphone for $99. What's the catch?
- Bargain basement price
- Android 2.3 Gingerbread
- Decent design
- Touchscreen sticky and not always smooth
- Screen is glossy and reflective
- On-screen keyboard is tiny
The Huawei IDEOS X3 naturally makes plenty of compromises to deliver on its $99 price. The screen feels sticky to swipe and isn't always smooth, the glossy coating makes it reflective under light and the keyboard is tiny. Despite these limitations the IDEOS X3 remains great value for money.
Price$ 99.00 (AUD)
Chinese manufacturer Huawei certainly knows how to sell cheap as chips smartphones. It's latest effort is the IDEOS X3, which retails for just $99 through Vodafone. It runs the 2.3 Gingerbread version of Google's Android platorm and has a 3.2in capacitive touchscreen. As long as you don't expect it to compete with higher-end smartphones, the IDEOS X3 is great value for money.
Huawei IDEOS X3: Design and display
The Huawei IDEOS X3 is surprisingly well constructed. We like the soft feeling plastic on the back that doubles as a comfortable grip, while the edges and corners are slightly curved and therefore fit nicely in the hand. The silver edging around the sides of the phone is an attractive touch and the phone is light and compact so it will easily slide into a pocket or bag.
There are a few things we didn't like about the IDEOS X3's design, however. The rear plastic battery cover slightly creaks when pressed and the front of the phone quickly becomes a fingerprint magnet. The screen is tough to see in direct sunlight as its glossy and very reflective. We also hate the home button — it feels stiff and is not intuitive or comfortable to press. Finally, we like the extra large size of the three shortcut keys below the display (back, menu, search) but they aren't backlit and are not always responsive.
The Huawei IDEOS X3 has a fair sized 3.2in capacitive touchscreen. However, it sometimes doesn't register swipes on the screen when scrolling through home screens. It also doesn't feel as smooth or snappy as more expensive Android phones and will often select a menu item when you are trying to scroll through a list. In short, the screen feels sticky — it isn't as responsive as a touch screen should be.
Perhaps the worst aspect of the IDEOS X3's screen is its impact on text input. The default Huawei keyboard is tiny and cramped and the default Android keyboard looks even smaller. The dictionary and built-in spell check does help things, but typing a message on the IDEOS X3 is a pretty painful process.
Huawei IDEOS X3: Software and performance
The Huawei IDEOS X3 runs the 2.3 'Gingerbread' version of Google's Android platform, and it offers most of the features and functions of far more expensive Android smartphones. The IDEOS X3 has GPS, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, a 3.2-megapixel camera that doubles as a VGA video recorder and provides full access to the Android Market for third-party apps. The IDEOS X3's limited processor means it won't support Flash, but it does offer enough grunt to provide pinch-to-zoom capability.
Huawei has slightly tweaked the standard Android interface on the IDEOS X3 without going over the top. The X3 has five home screens for live widgets and uses an attractive cube animation when swiping between screens. You can also touch the home screen overview button to see all home screens at a glance and dive straight into any of them with a single touch. We like some of the extra widgets that Huawei has added, like a clean calendar widget and a combined clock and weather widget. Unfortunately, the main menu uses ugly looking icons that can't be sorted automatically.
The Huawei IDEOS X3 has a modest, single-core 600MHz processor and just 256MB RAM so don't expect super performance. These low specifications combined with a relatively small screen means the Web browsing experience is vastly inferior compared to Android smartphones with larger screens. Although the IDEOS X3 isn't as snappy as faster, more expensive Android phones, it does perform reasonably well considering its price.
The Huawei IDEOS X3 has a microSD card slot for extra storage, located behind the rear battery cover. Vodafone includes a 2GB card in the sales package.
Battery life is very reasonable for an Android phone: the Huawei IDEOS X3 will easily get through a full day of use. This may stretch up to a day and a half depending on your usage patterns.
The Huawei IDEOS X3 is available through Vodafone stores for $99. It is also sold through Allphones, Australia Post, Big W, Coles, Crazy John's, Dick Smith, Mo's Mobiles and Woolworths retail stores in Australia.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 2016 Ford Mustang EcoBoost review
- 2 Review: TCL C1 series 4K TV
- 3 Tech21 Evo Xplorer iPhone case review
- 4 LG 55EG960T OLED UHD TV
- 5 Microsoft Lumia 640 review: Honouring Nokia's legacy
Latest News Articles
- NSW government taps on Android Pay
- LG announces the V20, a phone squarely targeted at audiophiles
- When will your phone get Android Nougat?
- Report: Nexus home button animation and 'night light' option appear amid a batch of leaks
- Samsung officially announces the Galaxy Note 7 and a refreshed GearVR
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- CCSenior Security Specialist - McAfeeVIC
- FTProject SchedulerSA
- CCContract Systems Analyst (Windows 7/8/10) 160901/SA/212Asia
- CCOracle/Java/Applications DeveloperACT
- CCData Centre Solutions Architect - Red Hat, Wintel & VMware - CanberraACT
- CCContract Junior Programmer (JAVA/J2EE/SQL) 160902/JP/709Asia
- CCProject ManagerACT
- CCFinance Stream Consultant (SAP FICO & Procurement Streams)NSW
- CCSolutions Architect - Office 365/Sharepoint/Project OnlineQLD
- CCTechnical WriterACT
- CCContract IT Assistant (SQL/Windows7/8/10) 160901/AP/781Asia
- CCETL DeveloperACT
- FTBusiness Intelligence Team LeadVIC
- CCLinux EngineerVIC
- CCSystem Analyst - NetIQNSW
- CCEnterprise Architect ? Big Data AnalyticsNSW
- CCContract Systems Analyst (.Net/SQL Server) 160829/SA/244Asia
- FTPython Data EngineerWA
- FTUNIX, LINUX , VM System AdministrationNSW
- FTApplication Support ManagerNSW
- CCSolution Designer - Windows UpgradeNSW
- CCData AnalystACT
- FTBusiness Development Manager | ICT intelligent systems integrationVIC
- FTSenior Business AnalystVIC
- CCQuality AnalystNSW