Huawei Vision

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/ Updated: 10 November 2011 9:51 am GMT

Huawei are hell-bent on taking over the low and mid-range of the smart phone market with its previous offering of the Blaze and now the Vision.

The Vision has been given an improved screen over the Blaze as well as a more powerful processor and some attractive tweaks to the Android operating system.

It'll be on sale towards the end of the year for free on contracts of around £25 per month.

Design and build quality

To look at, the Vision isn't exactly what you'd call fascinating -- it's not going to turn heads when you walk into a fancy rooftop cocktail bar. It's not bad looking though; the front of the device consists of a single piece of glass with the standard Android touch-sensitive navigation buttons on the bottom.

Turn it over and you'd be forgiven for thinking you're looking at an HTC device; the metal middle with black plastic ends is very reminiscent of phones such as the HTC Wildfire. Not an unattractive look by any means, but it's a shame not to have seen Huawei throw a bit more spice into the creative mix.

Huawei Vision back
The rear of the Vision is arguably very similar to some of HTC's phones.

The phone has been given a unibody construction that means it's machined out of one piece of aluminium -- rather than being bolted together from various bits and pieces -- with the intention of making it stronger and more durable. It certainly felt sturdy during our hands-on play and was pleasingly resistant to our squeezes.

With a weight of around 135g and a thickness of only 9.9mm at the thinnest point, it fitted nicely in our tiny little hands.

Around the back of the phone is a 5-megapixel camera with auto-focus and an LED flash. We didn't really have much time to test out the camera properly, but from what we saw, the auto-focus seemed pretty responsive and accurate. Flash was bright without being too overpowering.

Screen

The Vision sports a 3.7-inch screen with a resolution of 480x800 pixels. Thankfully that beats the poor offering on Huawei's Blaze phone, which only gave 480x320 pixels on its 3.2-inch screen. Still, that's one of the reasons why the Blaze was available for under £100, whereas the Vision is not.

Huawei Vision official
That's the 3D carousel being shown off there -- a fun addition.

From our brief eyes-on, the screen appeared pleasingly crisp, displaying small text and icons well. It seemed pretty bright too -- although we were testing it in a very dim room so we'll have to see how it stacks up against the mighty beams of Earth's favourite star, the Sun, when we get it in for a full review.

It has a capacitive touch-screen that seemed accurate and responsive, allowing us to type accurately on the Android keyboard even when the phone was in portrait mode. It will certainly do the job for apps and games that require quick movements such as the ever-popular Fruit Ninja.

Android 2.3 Gingerbread

The Vision is running on Android 2.3 Gingerbread, which is the version designed for smart phones, rather than the tablet-specific Android 3.2 Honeycomb. Google has, of course, recently announced the availability of the new mobile operating system named Ice Cream Sandwich, but it's unlikely you'll see it running on the vision any time soon.

As many firms do, Huawei has slapped on a bunch of its own tweaks to the user interface of Android. Chief among them is a 3D-style carousel that allows all the home screens to be viewed at once in an interactive ring. It's a nice touch and looks pretty fun, but whether it would actually be that useful in everyday use remains to be seen.

Of course, as an Android device, you get full access to the hundreds of thousands of apps available on the Android app market.

The phone runs on a single-core 1GHz processor, which is a little disappointing. Many low to mid-range phones pack 1GHz chips. It would have been better had Huawei tried to stay a step ahead with a 1.2GHz or 1.4GHz processor.

Still, navigating around the home screens -- and on the swoopy 3D carousel -- was a nippy experience. Apps and web pages loaded quickly. We couldn't subject it to the sort of tests we'd normally like, but we're confident that it will cope well with normal day-to-day use. It probably won't handle the intense 3D games quite so well.

Outlook

The Huawei Vision is a fairly attractive and sturdy handset offering a nice slice of Android Gingerbread. It doesn't have the raw power of the smart phone elite but it should satisfy the needs of those on a modest budget.

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Where to Buy

Huawei Vision

Part Number: CNETHuawei Vision

Typical Price: £25.00

See manufacturer website for availability.