Huawei U8800 IDEOS X5

The IDEOS X5 is a high-end smartphone from Huawei and sports an 800MHz processor and Google's Android OS

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Huawei U8800 IDEOS X5 Despite being a high-end offering the IDEOS X5 retails for just US $381
By  Jason Saundalkar Published  June 12, 2011

Ratings Breakdown

Editor's Rating:
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Key Specs

Bluetooth: Y
Camera: 5-megapixel
Data services: 2G/3G
Media player/capture: Y
Memory: 2GB

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The team first heard about the IDEOS X5 earlier in the year, when it made its first appearance at CES. The X5 is Huawei's flagship smartphone and at a cost of US $381, it makes a compelling value argument for itself right off the bat.

Our U8800 test sample features a predominately black finish with chrome trim all around. It's a reasonably good-looking smartphone that when held, feels like a high-end, expensive device. The latter is due to the X5's soft touch underside and solid build.

Since Huawei is targeting the value market with its IDEOS X5, the smartphone isn't packed with cutting edge hardware, or software, despite it being the firm's flagship device. On the hardware side of things for instance, whereas most modern Android devices are equipped with a dual-core processor or even a 1GHz single-core chip, the IDEOS features a slower 800MHz Scorpion processor. On the software side of things too whereas devices such as the Desire S feature Android 2.3, the X5 uses the older Android 2.2 OS.

Over our two-week long test period the U8800 proved itself a competent operator. The 800MHz CPU offers more than enough power for everyday use, so everyday tasks such as viewing web pages, panning through home screens, texting and calls are a fluid affair.The phone never slowed down even when we were running intensive Live Wallpapers and loaded a few Widgets. The only times we noticed a bit of a slowdown was when we were playing some of the free games that we downloaded via Android Market.

The phone provides a decent web experience too. The 3.8-inch LCD in-conjunction with the OS is able to render web pages very well. Loading the same web pages on the X5 and our desktop PC for instance, there were only very minor differences. And with full Flash 10.1 support you don't have to worry about Flash-enabled pages not loading properly on the phone. That said, certain Flash-heavy pages did slowdown the phone slightly.

Typing e-mails, texting and chatting with the smartphone are a doddle too thanks to the responsive LCD screen. While the keyboard, in portrait form, can be a little uncomfortable to use if you have large fingers, switching to landscape orientation resolves this issue. Our only issue with the LCD screen is that, like HTC's more expensive Desire S, morning sunlight completely washes out the screen, which makes using the smartphone nearly impossible.

The X5's battery life is also somewhat limited. With mixed use which consisted of using the phone's WiFi, capturing photos and video and playing the odd downloaded game or two, the phone needed to be charged after just 28 hours.

For: Good looks, built well, decent overall performance, good web experience, great value for money.
Against: Limited battery, screen overwhelmed by sunlight.
Verdict: The X5 is a well-rounded device that packs plenty of punch. It has no glaring issues so if you’re in the market for an Android device and want a lot of bang for you buck, it’s worth a look.

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