You could say I have a borderline weird fascination with mid-range Android phones. The Android device I ever owned was a Motorola Milestone and while it promised decent performance at a reasonable price; it was absolutely rubbish. It was so bad that I ended up forking out the cash for an iPhone rather than pull my hair out using it.
My perception didn’t change three years later when I helped a family member with a Samesung S4 Mini. Performance wasn’t bad but you shouldn’t have lag on a phone straight out of the box. I have a simple rule: avoid anything but an Android flagship device like the plague.
Bearing this in mind I wasn’t sure what to expect with the Huawei P7. Firstly, there’s a perception that since it’s a Chinese made device there might be an inferior build quality and secondly, this was a firmly mid range device.
I could waffle on for hours about specs such as processor and memory but in the real world those mean very little. At the end of the day owning a phone comes down to one, simple metric: does this phone make me want to throw it against the wall? Good news on that front, the Huawei was returned to their PR company in one piece.
Day to day the Huawei is a very pleasant device; it turns on quickly and gets does everything you need. There is some lag when installing apps but I’ve found this on almost every Android device I’ve used. As a bonus it has LTE meaning you get super fast data access assuming you find a tower that supports the service. Build quality is also great with the phone looking very much like an iPhone 4 just squashed flat and, as a result, slightly stretched out. It’s light and slips into your pocket easily. So far, so good. Being an Instagram fan I must say the camera is pretty great as well. There was something about a 5-megapixel front facing camera but for me that means I can just take higher resolution pictures up my nostrils.
I had one major frustration with the Huawei in that the company has created their own Android skin that takes a bit of getting used to. It’s essentially a copy of an iPhone in that there are pages of apps rather than an app drawer ala Samesung, HTC, LG and the rest. In addition you can download some truly heinous themes and none of them really ever visually appealed to me. However for under R5,000 I can cope with a bit of visual confusion.
I haven’t fully explored this but I’m pretty sure that the Huawei P7 is the cheapest Android phone with LTE and in my opinion if you want a well built, speedy and attractive device for a great price then you shouldn’t even bother looking at Samesung alternatives.