HUAWEI ShanYao OTB review: a good-looking, entry-level dual core Android 4.0 smartphone
TweetOh’ so you thought we are at capacity? Well, not so for Huawei, whose party could soon get pretty stuffy. Only a few months ago we reviewed Huawei Honor U8860 — not forgetting the original U8800 before it – now we can’t wait to put the third iteration into perspective, this time though, it’s the company’s first dual core MediaTek powered phone. Isn’t it glorious? Sure, the phone’s company itself doesn’t call for any grand introduction, seeing how fast it’s becoming the new dearest of the smartphone world. And does rightfully so in broad respects: it’s the first low-end smartphone company to be embraced by major mobile carriers internationally.
The Huawei ShanYao OTB is unquestionably handsome. We could rate it second after the company’s slimmer attempt on Ascend P1 S, which stresses emphasis on fresh, sophisticated look, and indeed appears the part. Actually, much of the design attitude can be hinted back to the less costly HeroStar ME863+ Milestone: both sport all screen faces with substantial black upper border and slight chrome-like trim. The same tale goes around the phone’s rear, where you’ll notice a textured cover that’s tapered to form a superior delusion of thinness (the handset actually measures 10.4mm thick). And the same textured back also helps the Huawei ShanYao feel relatively comfortable in hand. It is, in essence, a neat handset.
Let’s mull over a few other particulars. Even though at 10.4mm thickness, Huawei ShanYao OTB assumes advantage of an amazingly lightweight build, barely favoring the scales at a mere 4.40 ounces (125 grams). Of course, we can’t deny seeing plenty of other feathery phones compared to this, but normally the range is on much lower-end compared to what you find here. Whereas we’re not too enthusiastic about brick-heavy phones, there’s just something about light handsets that stems an impression of stinginess. In Huawei ShanYao’s case, though, it’s the typical economical, sleek plastic you can ever get your hands on. Talking of glossy, the handset won’t fail to pick up fingerprints than a wet baby’s hand picks up crumbs on the floor.
On a quick expedition of the handset’s exterior the usual amenities are in place: the volume rocker assumes the left edge, a micro-USB port sited on the upper right edge, both the 3.5mm headphone jack and the power button are up top, while speaker is on the back. You can try as you wish; however, one thing we couldn’t locate is an access flap for back cover removal. Sure, it shouldn’t be difficult to chuck it out, but that calls for some decent fingernails to set it free. On the inside, be ready to be treated to some hip industrial stylings, plus access to standardized SIM slot and a removable 1,930 mAh battery.
Yes, a MediaTek powered 1.0GHz dual core: Huawei ShanYao OTB isn’t the fastest handset we’ve shelved, but it got the looks, and that can be held of the display too. Settled, it would be irrational to draw similarities to more premium alternatives out there, but considering price (asking $337.99); ShanYao nailed it thanks to its 4.3-inch display at 960 x 540 resolution (shining at a pixel density of 256ppi). Curiously, this wasn’t based on Super AMOLED technology like numerous offerings of today; instead, the handset settled on a much more familiar IPS display. Still, viewing angles scored average; text was pretty crisp with vibrant colors and at 100% brightness, the phone was absolutely usable under direct sunlight.
So, what happened to Huawei’s planned Android skin dubbed “Emotion”? We don’t see any trace of it on the ShanYao OTB. Anyway, that hasn’t stopped the Chinese manufacturer to place its own hallmark of love on the handset. In fact, Huawei introduces you to 3D pro, where you’re offered the chance to tap on the menu button at the home screen and promptly swap over to a custom skin, it calls 3D pro. Actually, those of you familiar with the UI on the Honor or other previous Huawei devices will notice 3D Home experience narrowly resembles it.
That said, equipped with an imagination PowerVR SGX53 GPU, it’s a heavy hitter — affording you smooth gaming experience as well; and power angry users won’t be dissatisfied either. It’s a clear sign of how fast things can transform in the mobile industry. This inaugural dual-core device seems more virtually suited to match on the next tier down — a territory only reserved for the Nexus and RAZRs of this world.
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