Average features? Not for the price. This slightly older Android handset from Huawei is still an astonishing deal and can be found at Dick Smith for as little as $279.
Not all that long ago, the Ideos X5 could’ve counted itself as part of the smartphone elite. But with the next generation of smartphones now on the market, the X5’s features are looking a little more run-of-the-mill by comparison. Thankfully, Huawei has priced it accordingly, and the X5 offers amazing value for those looking for a bargain smartphone.
The X5 isn’t much to look at it, but it isn’t the plastic fantastic mess you’d expect of an entry-level handset, either. The soft touch back and rounded edges make it a pleasure to hold, and the bright 3.8in 480 x 800 capacitive LCD is a definite upgrade over other smartphone screens in this price range. A minor annoyance is the four capacitive buttons on the front that don’t always light up when pressed or when the screen is active.
Huawei has equipped the X5 with an 800MHz Qualcomm MSM7230 processor with 512MB of RAM – a combo that, for the most part, has Android 2.2 purring like a kitten. It helps that Huawei hasn’t overloaded the X5 with any custom launchers, widgets or wallpapers to tax the processor. Oddly, Wi-Fi hotspot functionality (a feature of Android 2.2) isn’t supported out of the box, but a Huawei rep confirmed that a software update will fix this. The X5 achieved a score of 1,378 in Quadrant, which is well above average for an entry-level Android and beats last-gen 1GHz smartphones like the Nexus One, Samsung Galaxy S and HTC Desire.
The underpowered speaker and limited viewing angles of the display mean we wouldn’t recommend the X5 as a multimedia player, which is a shame as it comes with a respectable 2GB of internal storage and a bundled 8GB microSD. Battery life is better than expected, easily lasting well over a day of use. Sadly, call quality isn’t up to scratch, with callers sounding faint and crackly through the earpiece. Available from Huawei, retailing for $279 (Dick Smith)
.APC rating: 7/10