GadgetsLab: Huawei Honor Holly

Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 142.2 x 72.3 x 9.4 mm
  • Weight: 156g
  • Display: IPS LCD Capacitive touchscreen, 720×1280 pixels
  • Operating System: Android KitKat 4.4.2
  • CPU: Quad-core 1.3GHz Cortex-A7
  • Internal Memory: 16GB
  • RAM: 1GB
  • Cameras: 8MP rear, 2MP front-facing
  • Battery: Li-Ion 2,000mAh
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth v4.0, 3G (for one SIM)

What’s Hot:

  • Hefty build
  • Smooth performance

What’s Not:

  • Display can be better
  • Battery drains rather quickly

The smartphone trend has grown into a competitive marketplace filled with a variety of offerings large and small. If you don’t offer something new to the highly volatile smartphone arena you will slip through the cracks. To avoid this pitfall, manufacturers put their brains together to create smartphones that will create a buzz in the market. The Huawei Honor Holly is the Chinese company’s bid to get a footing in the value-for-money smartphone range. Let’s see how it fares.

Design: (3.5/5)

The Huawei Honor Holly comes in a clean dual-tone plastic body that doesn’t look and feel cheap at all. It’s 5-inch HD display is bordered with an approximately half-centimeterblack bezel; rather thick, if you like your display real estate a tad larger. Above the display, the earpiece is strategically placed along the front snapper and sensors. The three capacitive buttons for when navigating the phone is located below. It’s back is a white removable cover that houses the rear camera, speaker grille, and the Honor emblem.Giving the phone a quick once over gives you edges that are curvedand though bulky, getting a grip on it is easy.

Atop the device one can find the audio jack. The left side bears no physical buttons. While on its right, the power button and volume rocker sits. The micro-USB port is on the bottom.

Hardware: (4/5)

Prying off the rear cover requires patience (and long nails) as there is no furrow to help you pop it open. The best thing to do is get a good hold on the micro-USB port and slide along the edges. After the challenge of taking the rear cover  iscomplete, you will see the battery, microSD and dual micro-SIM slots.

What makes a phone a steal are its specs. The Huawei Honor Holly makes a stand among its segment competitors with its 16GB onboard storage and expansion of up to 32GB via microSD. Powering its functions are four cores clocked at 1.3GHz, complemented by a Mali-400MP2 GPU and 1 GB of RAM. Rounding up this category is a 2,000mAh battery. All of which is plenty considering its price proposition.

User Experience: (3.5/5)

Coming from a phone with a rather impressive display, the Honor Holly’s 5-inch IPS LCD panel definitely lacked luster. However, keep in mind that this phone is designed and priced for the budget conscious. On the bright side, the screen allows for good viewing angles with vivid images and crisp text. Perfect for navigating its Android 4.4.2 overlaid with Huawei’s color-packed Emotion UI 2.3 skin it comes with out of the box.

If you scroll through your social media feeds before bedtime, the three capacitive might be a bit frustrating, as they aren’t backlit. Adjusting the screen’s brightness a little higher spills enough light on them to render them visible.

In general, we don’t expect phones with a budget tag to make our jaws hang in amazement performance-wise, however, the Honor Holly did manage to impress with its smooth response to tasks thrown at it. We had it run Plants VS Zombies 2 and Stick Hero, and the overall experience was good. It also recorded average benchmark test scores. Though we did face occasional stuttering, it shouldn’t be a matter to crease your brows over.

The 8MP primary camera gives you images with just the right exposure given, it is used in areas with fairly good lighting. Images come out fine-detailed and sharp. While video playback of its 1080p clips came as an enjoyable surprise. Picture quality suffers in low-light conditions, but you have the LED flash as a solution to that. We pushed our luck and tried zooming in (in a colored LED-lit amphitheatre), which the Holly managed to capture in pixelized and grainy manner.

For selfie lovers, its 2MP front camera will give you hazy images. Think video chat on a webcam, but slightly better. Sound quality is decent—for music, videos, and calls.Its 2,000mAh battery earned a few frowns from me as it drained pretty quickly, or so I think. But a powerbank should give you a quick fix.

Value: (4/5)

The Huawei Honor Holly ticks all the boxes of the tight-budget smartphone buyer checklist.  With more than enough storage space, smooth performance, and a decent screen, this handset don’t need sugar coating to persuade you to pick one up. It won’t trump over heavyweights, but it is a good phone to consider when excellent performance is what you are after.

Bottomline:

Brownie points to Huawei for packing impressive hardware on a value-for-money handset.

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