Sunday 22 April 2018

A Budget Android Smartphone Punching Above its Waist

A Great Value for Money, Mid-range Android Smartphone

I received this product as part of a review program in return for an unbiased review

First Impressions:
The Huawei P Smart smartphone is probably one of the nicest looking mid-range android smartphones around. Mine came in black, but immediately I was drawn to its sleek looks and feel. The phone is slim (see detailed specs here) and packs a screen that covers a satisfying amount of the phone's real estate. The placement of ordinary features like speakers, cameras and headphone jack, are nothing out of the ordinary. This means that the phone will provide a seamless experience to most of the popular phones that we have now been accustomed to. The profile and curved edges makes it look and feel like one of the most popular brands, so nothing new there, and if you had loved some of these already popularly available phones then you will love this one. New to me is the fingerprint scanner at the back and also you will notice the 2 cameras there as well.

Judging by its cover:
The looks are quite suave. I like the thinness. the screen is bright, and big. The phone's slim width profile makes it snag in the hand. Branding is spot-on, so for these reasons, I would quickly judge this to be the "best value" android phone. Obviously its durability, reliability and functionality are not being judged in this statement.

Innards and gonads:
The phone boasts of a 5.65 inch TFT screen made of 2.5D toughened glass. It packs 468 pixels per inch, making its pixel density, average, although not top of the available range. Perceptively, the colours are very vivid and bright giving an impression that the screen quality s top quality.
Operationally, the P Smart is allows a split-screen, meaning you can run 2 separate app/tasks in two separate windows at the same time. You may be familiar with this from Samsung’s modern Galaxy Note range. Although the screen width is slimmer, the bezel is very minimal, giving an edge-to-edge screen look, hence why it was possible to have a big screen, while maintaining a slimmer look and lightweight.

Audio and video
The is a 3.5 standard headphone jack, so no surprises like those one pulled by Apple. The is a loudspeaker at the bottom edge and an earpiece at the centre top just like the iPhone 6 range. Volume buttons are on the right edge where there is the power button, just like Samsung Galaxy phones, everything is standard as far as these are concerned. The sound quality is decent and video quality is full HD.

The P Smart has 13MP dual cameras at the rear, and a 8MP front camera. The dual camera at the back allows shallow depth images to focus properly. Larger aperture lenses makes photos very accurate in terms of lighting and also capturing the real colours. Swiping left when using the camera, brings up the settings and most of the modern setting's like GPS tagging, voice control, etc. are present. The front camera comes with a very useful feature called Smart Beauty, which makes selfies stand out.

Pictures taken using the P smart

Pictures taken using the P smart

Hardware and performance
The one I received came with 32GB internal storage, but there is an MicroSD card slot which takes upto 256GB sd cards. Next to this sd card slot, is the nano sim slot and the phone comes sim-free.
The phone boasts of an Octacore processor and 3GB RAM which keeps everything ticking nicely and smoothly. Latest Android 8 operates all these inards and provides that popular OS feel that we have all grown to love.
The 3000mAh (probably now the standard) makes sure that you get a good solid 20hr talk time from your phone. Obviously when you install some power hungry apps, your battery juice may drain much more rapidly, but you are assured that you will be fine for at least your average working day period.

Obviously this beauty is 4G ready and all other usuals are versus, like WiFi b/g/n, Bluetooth, NFC and GPS. Sensors available are the fingerprint scanner, compass, gravity, proximity, ambient light sensors.

USPs and Appeal
I am giving a summary of features which I feel stand-out for this device, especially when compared to other phones in the same price range.

Smart beauty
For me, this feature takes the trophy. I have used beauty selfie features on Samsung phones, but I have to say this one is probably the best I have seen so far. On Samsung, the processing seemed excessive that all the blemishes where being removed, leaving a face that looked like it had had a heavy application of make-up. On one instance, my friend had to ask me if I was now wearing make-up. With the Psmart, the skin tone is smoothed out without excessively taking out detail, which leaves selfies more beautiful while preserving natural features.

Dual Bluetooth
This feature allows the phone to maintain and manage 2 Bluetooth connections simultaneously. This, for me, means I am able to connect BOTH of the in-ear Bluetooth earphones, In-ear BT earphones that come without any cable are very popular nowadays because they are very small and are not noticeable, allowing one to wear them without anyone noticing. However, most, only one can be connected with most phone, so you would only be able to use one at a time. Now with the P smart, one is able to connect 2 of such earphones and enjoy an immersive audio experience.

Split screen
This feature is common with the Samsung Galaxy Note range, where you can have two windows on your phone with each widow doing a different task, like playing a video in one, whilst beside it having a Chat with a friend or browsing the web. Just like with the Galaxy note, not all apps would be compatible with this, but this had been a very welcome feature in the past for me, something I have missed whenever I had to use any other phone. Now its available with this “budget” phone, how nice!

Split-screen (2 windows; gmail and facebook)

There are also other features that one would find interesting, like use of hand gestures to take photos (handsfree capture), speed sharing, where you can send files without having to pair phones and also without need for internet, and also use of the fingerprint scanner as a shutter button, as a trackpad for navigation and as a wake button.

When all is said and done:
This phone will be ultimately be judged on the basis of what it offers, vs its price. For that reason, I would say the phone is priced right, currently available at some retailers at the price sub £200. That's a good balance between performance, brand reputation and price. Its worth every penny.