Review: Huawei U8150 IDEOS

This is the cheapest unlocked Android handset available in Australia. It is one of the first to ship with Android 2.2 (Froyo) and is available at Dick Smith stores for $199.

It has all the normal trimmings of a modern Android phone with the notable inclusion of a FM radio and standard 3.5mm stereo socket.

To keep the price down Huawei have skimped on the screen resolution – and it is very noticeable. I moved from a HTC Magic and the screen is not only smaller (allowing for a smaller handset) but its only QVGA resolution. That means less home screen space and noticably fuzzy text. I knew that when I got it and was willing to sacrifice this for a smaller and lighter handset.

The other issue is that the phone does not support Telstra NextG but as I am with Three, this is not an issue for me – but will be for many others.

The touch screen is accurate and responsive. The UI is quick enough but can “lag” badly if a CPU intensive app is running. All my favourtie android apps install and run fine though (eg skymap, google maps, stock quote etc). I installed and tested the latest google navigation and it works perfectly – complete with voice generation for street names…

Loading media via the Micro SD card slot works as expected.

Bluetooth pairing works fine with my car and headset. Bluetooth contact sharing works well too.

The only gripe I have is the volume of media when played through the 3.5 socket. Its just too low for me. Apparently, this may be deliberate due an EU safety requirement – I worked around this by getting a new bluetooth headset (that probably does not comply with this silly standard as its much louder).

Battery life is OK and I like the flexibility of the combined USB/AC charger as you can choose to power from AC or from a PC.

I am enjoying the Android 2.2 features like wireless portable hotspot and the new homescreen layout.

But the best thing I am enjoying is the price. At such a low price, it is more or less disposable and so you don’t have to worry too much about it being lost or stolen.

Overall a great cheap Android phone for non-Telstra users.

1 comment to Review: Huawei U8150 IDEOS

  • I bought one of these phones recently, mostly just for development purposes. It’s a nice phone, but I’m not really sure that the size lends itself to touch-screen typing.

    I’ve had a lot of trouble typing on it; I think I actually prefer entering text on my Nokia N85, with its numeric keypad using predictive text 😉

    Huawei are giving u8150 users access to Swype for free, to replace the default Android keyboard. I’m not sure I really like it much better, but I’m going to try it for a while.

    But overall, yeah, the price is good. Disappointing that the FM radio either doesn’t have RDS, or the software provided doesn’t make use of it.

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