Huawei IDEOS X5 Android phone

Huawei IDEOS X review: The Huawei IDEOS X5 is targeted at users who want all the features and functions of a top-end Android smartphone minus the expensive price tag

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Huawei IDEOS X5
  • Huawei IDEOS X5
  • Huawei IDEOS X5
  • Expert Rating

    3.75 / 5

Pros

  • Value for money
  • Reasonably stylish design
  • Decent specifications

Cons

  • Screen hard to see in sunlight
  • Touch-sensitive buttons not backlit
  • No word on Gingerbread update

Bottom Line

If you want to buy a fully fledged Android smartphone without breaking the bank, the Huawei IDEOS X5 should be seriously considered. It offers all the features and functions of a top end Android smartphone for an excellent price.

Would you buy this?

Huawei may not be a brand that immediately comes to mind when you think of mobile phones, but its IDEOS X5 Android phone will certainly get you thinking — it's claimed to offer a better experience than smartphones that cost twice the price.

Read our comprehensive Huawei IDEOS U8150 review, and check out our guide to the best budget Android phones.

The Huawei IDEOS X5 has a largely unremarkable design, but it does look stylish. It has a glossy front fascia with curved top and bottom edges and a soft, rubber-style finish on the rear. Despite its low price tag the IDEOS X5 doesn't feel flimsy or cheap; it feels sturdy, doesn't rattle or creak and seems relatively well constructed.

When releasing a budget smartphone, vendors normally cut corners when it comes to the display; however, that is not the case with the IDEOS X5. Its 3.8in capacitive touchscreen is larger than the iPhone 4's 3.5in screen and has a respectable resolution of 480x800. It is hard to see in direct sunlight and sometimes feels a little "sticky" when sliding through home screens and scrolling in the Web browser, but it is generally smooth and responsive. A minor complaint is the fact that the four touch-sensitive buttons below the IDEOS X5's display (back, menu, home and search) can't be used to wake the screen from sleep and are not backlit.

The Huawei IDEOS X5 runs the 2.2 'Froyo' version of Google's Android operating system. According to Huawei, upgrading the IDEOS X5 smartphone to the 2.3 Gingerbread version of Android is "technically possible" but the company is yet to confirm any plans for this. We wouldn't hold our breath, but an upgrade to the latest version of Android would certainly enhance the IDEOS X5, even though it remains appealing in its current state. The latest 'Gingerbread' version of Android would equip the IDEOS X5 with a revamped on-screen keyboard, better copy and paste, improved power management, and a slicker user interface.

The Huawei IDEOS X5 uses the 'vanilla' version of Android, so it doesn't have any UI overlays like HTC, Samsung and Motorola Android phones. The IDEOS X5 has five home screens for live widgets and shortcuts, and, as with all Android-powered smartphones, the software is highly customisable via third-party apps which can be downloaded through the Android Market — Google's answer to Apple's App Store. The IDEOS X5 is powered by a single-core 800MHz processor; general use is slick and fast and aside from occasional lag when scrolling through home screens full of live widgets, the IDEOS X5 performs well during day-to-day use.

The Huawei IDEOS X5 also has a 5-megapixel camera that doubles as a 720p HD video recorder, along with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and GPS connectivity. Huawei has included 2GB of internal memory, along with a microSD card slot. Battery life is about average for an Android phone; regular use the IDEOS X5 will require an injection of power every night, but you should make it through a full day. Voice quality for calls is respectable, but not as crisp or clear as we would have liked, especially when making a call in an area with excessive background noise.

The Huawei IDEOS X5 Android phone is available now for $0 on a $29 cap from Crazy John's, and can also be purchased for $349 outright at Crazy John's and Dick Smith stores.

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