Huawei Sonic Review
By on February 11th, 2012

huawei sonic

The guys at Huawei recently sent us the Huawei Sonic smartphone. Basically, the Huawei Sonic is a budget smartphone, targeted at the consumers who cannot afford to buy a high-end phone, but still want to experience the spectacular Android OS. This handset was launched a few months ago in India along with the Huawei Ideos X3 smartphone and the Huawei MediaPad tablet. Huawei Sonic is the first smartphone with the amazing Huawei’s Clould+ service.

The Huawei Sonic comes with a 3.5 inch touchscreen display, 600 Mhz processor, 3.2 megapixel camera and so on. This handset ships with the Android 2.3.5 (Gingerbread) OS. However, you should not expect this handset to get the latest Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) OS ever.

Huawei Sonic Specifications:

  • 3.5 inch capacitive touchscreen display
  • 320 x 480 pixels
  • 600 MHz processor
  • Android 2.3.5 (Gingerbread) OS
  • 3.2 megapixel camera
  • VGA video recording
  • 3.5mm headset jack
  • FM Radio
  • 512 MB ROM
  • 256 MB RAM
  • 160 MB internal memory
  • 32 GB expandable memory
  • microSD card slot
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
  • Portable hotspot support
  • A-GPS support
  • 7.2 Mbps HSDPA
  • Bluetooth 2.1 with A2DP
  • microUSB 2.0
  • SNS integration
  • Dual Mic noise reduction
  • Proximity/light sensor
  • Diversity Rx support
  • Up to 400 hours stand-by time
  • Up to 8 hours 20 mins talk-time
  • 1400mAh Li-Ion battery

What’s in the box?

huawei sonic box

  • Huawei Sonic
  • Huawei Battery
  • Travel charger
  • Data Cable
  • Wired Headset
  • User Manual

Design:

huawei sonic conclusion
The Huawei Sonic is a budget phone, however it does not mean that the handset looks pathetic like its other Android competitors. This handset is absolutely stunning. At a first look, no one can guess the price of this device. It looks far better than other mid-range Android smartphones currently available in the market.

This handset looks amazing, thanks to the capacitive buttons on the front, instead of the ugly hardware buttons. The capacitive buttons are visible even when the phone is in the stand-by mode. However the buttons lit up, only when the phone is in use.

Hardware:

On the front of this device, you will find a 3.5 inch capacitive touchscreen display, sporting a resolution of 320 x 480 pixels. Below the display, you will find 4 capacitive buttons – Home, Menu, Back and Search. These buttons lit up while you are using the handset. Unlike other phones, these capacitive buttons are visible even when the phone is not in use.

This handset comes with a unique earpiece compartment on the front, which has a status LED placed inside the earpiece. The LED light is lit up when you are charging the phone as well as when you receive a text or a missed call. However, the LED light is not visible properly during the daytime.

huawei sonic conclusion

On the back of the device, you will find a 3.2 megapixel camera. Sadly, this device does not come with a LED flash. The speaker grill is placed at the bottom, along with the Huawei logo. The volume rocker is on the left side, while there are no buttons placed on the right side. The company should have utilized the blank space for placing a camera button.

On the top of this device, you can connect your favorite pair of headphones or the bundled Huawei headphones, thanks to the universal 3.5 mm headset jack. There is also a lock/unlock button, which also acts as a power button. When you click the button, it will lock/unlock the device. On the other hand, when you hold the button for a couple of seconds, the silent mode, airplane mode, power off and restart options will be displayed on the screen.

The bottom of this handset sports a microUSB port as well as a dual microphone for noise reduction. The back cover is completely made up of plastic. When you hold the device, you would get a feeling that the device might just slips out of your hand. This handset comes with the 3G connectivity option. However, the much-needed front-facing camera is missing from this device. The speakers on the back are quite loud.

Internals:

huawei sonic internals
When you open the back cover, you will find the battery slot. The SIM-card slot is placed below it, while the microSD card slot is placed above it. You will need to remove the battery for changing SIM cards. However, the microSD card can be replaced without removing the battery.

This handset comes with a 600 MHz processor, which slow down the overall performance at times. At a normal usage, this handset works flawlessly. It comes with different connectivity options such as Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, portable hotspot support, 7.2 Mbps HSDPA, Bluetooth 2.1 with A2DP and microUSB 2.0. It also comes with a 512 MB ROM, 256 MB RAM, 160 MB internal memory and 32 GB expandable memory.

Software:

huawei sonic software
The Huawei Sonic runs on the Android 2.3.5 (Gingerbread) Operating System. Like I said earlier, you should not expect the Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) update on this device. The Huawei UI offers 3D homepage animation which makes the complete look of the homescreen simply outstanding. It also allows you to change the homescreen animation as well as the themes from the Home settings.

The Huawei Sonic allows you to add up to 7 home screens. You can select the default home screen from the settings. The launcher has only 3 shortcut rows, out of which only 2 can be customized. The messaging app is quite average, however you can download other messaging apps such as Go SMS Pro from the Android Market. The stream app allows you to get the updates from various social networking services. This handset features the Fast Boot technology, which helps the device to boot-up within 9 seconds.

Audio & Video:

huawei sonic audio
The Huawei Sonic comes with a Huawei Music app for playing your favorite tracks. It allows you to view songs using the album, songs, playlists, folders, artists, composers and Genres categories. The bundled headphones feels cheap and the audio quality is just not up to the mark. You can anytime connect your favorite pair of wired headphones, thanks to the 3.5 mm headset jack.

This handset allows you to watch all of your recorded videos as well as your favorite music videos. You can find all your videos under the gallery app. There is no separate video app pre-installed in this phone. You can also download the Youtube app and watch all latest, favorite and bookmarked videos on the go.

Connectivity:

huawei sonic connectivity
This handset comes with various connectivity options such as GPRS, EDGE, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, 7.2 Mbps HSDPA, Bluetooth 2.1 with A2DP and microUSB 2.0. You can connect to your favorite site or social networking services within a few seconds, thanks to the super-fast 3G service. It also comes with the portable hotspot support which allows you to use your device as a Wi-Fi Hotspot for other devices

Camera:

huawei sonic camera

The Huawei Sonic sports a 3.2 megapixel camera with geo-tagging and VGA video recording capabilities. The maximum resolution for an image is 2048 x 1536 pixels. Sadly, there is no auto focus or LED flash. The quality of the images taken are just average. Some of the images appear to be blurry, while some of them had more noise than expected.

The images taken during the day were average, but the images taken during the night were below our expectations. This handset is also capable of recording VGA videos @ 30fps. The video quality is quite satisfactory. The camera settings allows you to change the picture size, picture quality, color effects, white balance, etc. This handset is also capable of adding location to the images, thanks to the geo-tagging feature. The video camera settings comes with 4 video quality options – High, Low, MMS and YouTube.

huawei sonic photo sample

huawei sonic photo sample

Battery Life:

huawei sonic battery

The Huawei Sonic comes with a 1400 mAh Li-Ion battery. While testing, I used the device for web browsing and watching YouTube videos for couple of hours, few calls and texts and few hours of games and SNS services. On a full recharge, I was able to use the device for about 1 day 19 hours and the battery icon still displayed around 20% battery remaining. The battery life on this handset is quite impressive.

Conclusion:

huawei sonic conclusion

Huawei Sonic is one of the best entry-level Android smartphone currently available in the market. This handset comes with a price-tag of Rs.9210. The design of this handset is outstanding, on the other hand, it has an amazing build quality. Even though the browser and camera are not up to the mark, but other amazing features such as the slick design, smooth feel, Android Gingerbread OS, different connectivity options and a great battery life completely overshadows the negative factors.

Some of this handsets in this price range comes with a 5 megapixel camera. However, they lack a great display and better processor. The default browser is not up to the mark, but you can download other browsers such as Firefox for Android, Opera or Dolphin Browser HD from the Android Market. If you have no issues regarding the camera quality or the default browser, then you should definitely go for this handset.

Techie Buzz Rating: 6/10 (Above Average)

Positive Features:

  • Great Design
  • Huawei 3D UI
  • Excellent connectivity options
  • Good battery life
  • Dual Mic for noise reduction

Negative Features:

  • Poor Camera
  • Display not clearly visible under sun-light
  • No Front-Facing Camera
  • Poor audio quality

Huawei Bloggers Meet and the Huawei Cloud Service:

We were recently invited to the Huawei Bloggers Meet in Mumbai. At the bloggers meet, the company showcased its latest devices, including the Huawei Sonic, Huawei Ideos X3 and the Huawei Mediapad tablet. We also got a chance to play with these smartphones and tablet for an hour and we were completely amazed with the features, quality and pricing of these devices.

The Huawei Ideos X3 comes with a 3.2 inch capacitive touchscreen display, sporting a resolution of 320 x 480 pixels, 600 MHz processor, Android 2.3.5 (Gingerbread) Operating System, 3.2 megapixel camera, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, 3G Connectivity, FM Radio, 3.5 mm headset jack, 32 GB expandable memory, 512 MB ROM, 256 MB RAM and a 1200 mAh battery. The Huawei Ideos X3 is priced slightly higher than the Huawei Sonic. This handset comes with a price tag of Rs.10,229.

The Huawei Mediapad features a 7 inch IPS LCD display, sporting a resolution of 1280 x 800 pixels, 1.2 GHz dual-core processor, Android 3.2 (Honeycomb) Operating System, 5 megapixel rear-facing camera, HD (720p) video recording capabilities, 1.3 megapixel front-facing camera for video chat, 1 GB RAM, 8 GB ROM, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, 3G Connectivity, A-GPS and a 4100 mAh battery. The Huawei Mediapad comes with a price-tag of Rs.28,359.

Huawei Cloud Service:
huawei sonic cloud service
At the Huawei Bloggers Meet, the company also showcased their Cloud service and explained why their cloud phones stands out from their competitors. The Huawei Sonic and the Huawei Ideos X3 are the company’s first ever cloud smartphones. Both of these devices comes with 16 GB of free cloud storage. The Huawei Cloud service is something that really impressed us. Let me explain you the complete features in details below.

The Huawei Cloud offers 16 GB of cloud storage as well as other amazing services such as Cloud Drive, Message+, Phone Finder, Contact Suite, Hi Space, Social Stream, Gallery, etc.

huawei sonic cloud service

The Cloud+ Drive service allows you to not only store your favorite photos, music and videos, but it also allows you to save documents and other types of files to the cloud. The files saved in the Huawei’s Cloud+ Drive can be accessed from any Huawei smartphone, Huawei Mediapad or directly via computer. You can save up to 3500 songs or 7000 photos in the available space.

The Cloud+ Contacts lets you to synchronize contacts from your phone to the Cloud+ server. Any changes in the contact information will be automatically synchronized to the Cloud+ server. The All Backup service allows you to backup all of your important information and data to the Cloud+ server. So, if you lose your data due to some reason, then you can easily restore your files on your Huawei smartphone or Mediapad tablet.

huawei sonic cloud service

The Message+ is another great service which takes the regular messaging to the next level. The Message+ is an instant messaging service which is exclusively available for the Huawei smartphone users. It allows you to chat with your other friends, who are currently using the Huawei smartphone. You can also share images, videos and voice note with your friends. The group chat lets you chat with your all the users in your friends list or family list. The Cloud+ Gallery is another unique feature where you can view all the images saved in the Cloud+ server, directly on your phone screen.

Find my phone is the best feature offered by the Huawei’s Cloud service. It helps you to find your lost or stolen phone with few minutes. You’ll just need to visit www.hicloud.com and use the phone finder option to locate your device. It will find the device and display the current location on Google Maps. You can also perform other tasks such as playing a sound, sending an alert message, lock your phone, backup all your data or erase all the data from the device. The Cloud+ service offered by Huawei lets you experience the future of smartphones.

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Author: Omkar Dutta Google Profile for Omkar Dutta
Omkar Dutta is a Mobile Enthusiast from Mumbai, India. He loves to check out latest software, mobile phones and web services. Currently, he writes for this awesome blog as well as Fone Arena. You can follow him on Twitter @0mkarr

Omkar Dutta has written and can be contacted at omkar@techie-buzz.com.

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