Huawei IDEOS X3 Android phone

Huawei IDEOS X3 review: An Android smartphone for $99. What's the catch?

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  • User Reviews (2)
  • Buy Now
Huawei IDEOS X3
  • Huawei IDEOS X3
  • Huawei IDEOS X3
  • Huawei IDEOS X3
  • Expert Rating

    3.50 / 5
  • User Rating

    2.50 / 5 (of 2 Reviews)

Pros

  • Bargain basement price
  • Android 2.3 Gingerbread
  • Decent design

Cons

  • Touchscreen sticky and not always smooth
  • Screen is glossy and reflective
  • On-screen keyboard is tiny

Bottom Line

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.

Would you buy this?

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.

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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.

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PEGGY

0.0

1

Pros
nothing
Cons
mostly everything!!!!!!
• • •

me and my other 5 friends bought this phone. we thought it was an awesome value and a great phone. anyways i and my friends had it 4 about a week (no drops nothing). the phone randomly turns off even if the battery is charged enough. it turns off and my friends never turned on again!!!!!!!! EVER!!! my other friend returned it to china to get another phonne. that phone was worse!! my other 2 friends through it away and my other friend returned it back to dick smith and swapped it 4 a htc explorer ( jighly recomend it to anyone out there!! best phone EEVER!!!!) and i returned it to and swapped it 4 a htc explorer. so if u guyz want a good reliable phone and cheap, dont get huawei ( worst phone. terrible experience. the camera sucks. the gallery never loads up. the apps dont turn on. it takes for ever to load stuff.)get htc explorer instead!!!!!!!!!!!! best phone out there!!! beats the galaxy y and galaxy mini. so 4 anyone that wants to buy the huawei... DONT!!!!!!! terrible!!!!!!!!!!!

Ginger

4.5

2

Pros
the phone
Cons
nothing
• • •

My brother has the huawei x3 and it works really, good and its not that hard to type with and its pretty cheap, because i thought i phone like that would be more expensive, and im also getting one soon. Also i see alot of people at my school with the same phone, so im guessing its good.

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