I have a bit of a problem -- I love gizmos and gadgets. Part of it is they are my lifeline to work (I'm an IT geek working in Production Support so need to know if our system up and dies). Part of it is that I also have to have my music and my books with me wherever I go.
I started out with Android but after a couple of years, I drank the Koolaid and went with the iPhone because iOS was much more stable and user-friendly.
I tried the Casio Gz'one earlier this year thinking that perhaps Android had improved and, well, it was free from my cell phone provider. I wound up returning that phone after a week because it suffered from the same laggy buggy issues that made me go with the iPhone in the first place.
Then the Amazon Fire phone came out and I really liked that because I am wedded to the Amazon eco-system for music and books. Finally, there was a phone that made accessing my Amazon content a breeze without having to jump through 10 hoops. But the problem with the Amazon Fire phone is the cost and it is still not fully "baked".
Huawei offered me this phone and given my love of gizmos and after reading the other reviews, I was eager to try it out.
First thing... if you are going from an iPhone to a Fire Phone (or virtually any other Android phone), it is a significant jump in size. Well, this is yet another huge jump in size over the Fire phone... It is only slightly smaller than a Kindle reader screen and what many would consider to be a "phablet" (though I really hate that term).
But what about the actual phone itself? Could a 299 phone really compete with phones that cost 700 - 1000 bucks?
Um, yeah! This phone is amazing.
Size: The screen is huge but it is very thin and lightweight -- even with a case, it weighs less and is thinner than my iPhone 5. I was accustomed to carrying my iphone in my jeans pocket -- that isn't happening with this phone (my one regret).
However, the advantage of this phone is that you can actually READ what is one the screen and you can actually type on it with your fingers because the on-screen keys are large enough to accommodate something larger than a toothpick stylus. And being over 50, my eyes definitely appreciate the extra real-estate.
Screen: The screen is absolutely amazing. Bright, beautiful and easily as good as the Fire phone and the Retina displays on the Apple devices.
I've discovered that each Android system is slightly different in terms of what utilities and menus they provide with their particular device. I've used Motorola Droids which were very different from Casio which was different from Asus and VERY different from the Amazon Fire (since Amazon's version has really "tightened" the functionality in order to make their phone easier to maintain -- taking a page from the iOS playback of "control = stability").
Huawei's OS implementation is probably the best version I have seen -- they have several utilities for file management, user profiles, phone manager, themes, downloads etc without burying everything under the ubiquitous "setup" icon. In short, if you are a techy-type who loves to manage your own phone, Huawei gives you the utilities to do it and you don't have to be a rocket scientist to figure out where and how to do it.
One of the things I really like is how easy it is to actually kill running processes rather than just having them linger in memory taking up resources. If you wind up with a lot of applications open, devices get bogged down and sluggish. Here you have full control at your fingertips to get rid of applications you aren't using anymore.
This phone performs better than ANY smartphone I have ever had. Scrolling has no "lag" or jump to it. That was one of things that I disliked about Android in the first place and caused me to switch to iOS.
Again, Huawei sounds as good if not better than any phone I have used -- regardless of price. Call quality is excellent. Music quality is also outstanding and you would never guess that this is a 300.00 phone and not a higher-end music player (part of that may be due to the fact that I'm using Neutron for music playback which supports higher bit-rate and 64-bit processing)
I have never taken videos with my phones before but the day I received this phone, my boys also got a RC helicopter so decided to try it out. Works REALLY well and creates great sounding videos. The clarity of the video image itself is not the best in the world but this is a cell phone -- not a video camera.
The downside is that this phone only works with AT&T and T-Mobile and those carriers just do not provide the coverage that I'm used to with Verizon. However, this phone works great as a WIFI only device so I could still keep my Verizon phone service and basically use this as a much more like an iPod Touch on Steroids for a LOT LESS money and a lot more functionality.
So in my humble opinion, this phone is great for:
1. Anyone who would like the advantages of a smartphone but don't want to sign up for a 2-year commitment.
2. Already has AT&T or T-Mobile and would like to upgrade their phone without plunking down 2-3 times the cost of this phone
3. Doesn't want to have to carry a tablet AND phone all the time because the phone is too small read.
4. Wants to have all the advantages of an iPod Touch without the cost and limitations associated with iOS
5. Techy people who really like to manage the resources and apps on their phone.
6. Non-techy people who WANT to learn to manage the resources on their phone but can't find the find the tools they need because they are buried 4 levels deep in an obscure menu.
7. Someone who wants the benefits of the latest and greatest technology without having to spend more 700 bucks.
While I like the Amazon Fire phone a lot because of its ease of use with Amazon, this phone is definitely a better value and all-around superior device at a fraction of the cost. I simply love all the flexibility and functionality and that fact that I can afford to buy this outright without having to sign away my life for 2 years (which is at least 2 lifetimes for a cell phone).
FWIW -- unlike Samsung or Apple phones where there are TONS of cases and accessories, there aren't many yet for the Huawei. I am currently using a Smays Genuine Leather Card Holder Case with Stand for Huawei Ascend Mate 2 4G (Magenta)
that works very well with phone...