With Xiaomi and ASUS launching some great phones below the Rs 10000 range in India, the competition in the budget segment has spiced up. With every other phone manufacturer trying to capitalize on this segment, Huawei India has also announced a new budget smartphone, the Honor Holly. Similar to the Redmi 1S (Review), the Honor Holly also sports impressive specs for a budget smartphone.
The device comes with 5 inch HD display and is powered by 1.3GHz Quad Core MediaTek processor with 1GB RAM. The phone also comes with 16GB internal storage and is also expandable via microSD card. Similar to any other device, the phone supports dual SIM cards. There is 8MP rear camera with LED flash and a 2MP front camera. So here is the detailed review of the Honor Holly.
Related Reading: Huawei Honor Holly Unboxing and First impressions
Here is the video review of the device.
Design and Build:
Design wise the Honor Holly looks pretty decent with glossy finish all round. The rear panel has a curved shape towards the edges giving the phone a good feel while using it. The phone comes in one color which is the black and white variant. The top portion (around the display) is black while the rear panel has white finish.
On the right side, you have the normal power and volume keys which have a chrome finish. The 3.5mm audio jack sits on the top while the micro USB charging slot is at the bottom. The rear panel is glossy and has 8MP camera with LED flash, Honor branding and the speakers located at the bottom. The phone comes with removable battery which can be replaced by opening the rear panel.
Although the device has a 5 inch display, it feels good in hands thanks to slimmer design, but at 159gms the device is not light weight and similar to the Redmi 1S.
Overall, the build quality of the device is really good, although we would have liked a matte finish.
The Huawei Honor Holly comes with a 5 inch HD display which has an IPS LCD panel giving a pixel density of 294. Huawei also claims that it comes with OTP single-screen calibration technique for better HD colors, fast 3D game image processing, and smooth HD movies. The display on the device is pretty good with good colors and is vibrant. The viewing angles are pretty good and the brightness levels are adequate.
Overall, the HD display is really good for a phone in the Rs 7k price point.
Software and Performance:
The device runs on Android 4.4.2 KitKat and has Huawei’s Emotion UI 2.3 on top of it. Emotion UI is similar to MIUI in the fact that it comes with multiple home screens and does not have an app drawer like conventional Android phones. But unlike MIUI, there isn’t deep level of customizations and the notification center looks similar to any other Android phone. The Emotion UI looks good in parts since the phone does not have a complete implementation of this UI.
You can group apps into folders like any other Android phone, add widgets and wallpapers and create multiple home screen. The phone has dedicated section to manage multiple SIM cards.
The device is powered by a 1.3Ghz Quad Core processor from MediaTek with 1GB RAM. The software is optimized for performance and there is hardly any performance issue. The UI is smooth and gives lag free experience. The capacitive touch buttons do not offer haptic feedback, so you don’t get a feedback if you press these buttons and end up pressing them more than one time. Double tap the home button and you can switch apps with the multi tasking option and press and hold the home button takes you to Google Now.
The gaming experience is also pretty good with good graphics and lag free experience.
One of the best features of the device is that it comes with 16GB internal storage and you get close to 13GB in the first boot. This is probably the few devices offering such high storage below Rs 7k. You can also expand the storage via Micro SD card in case you need more.
The call quality on the device is pretty decent and we didn’t have any issues with dropped calls or signal strength. The speaker quality is just average and the audio output from the speaker is pretty low. The phone comes with dual SIM card support and has dedicated section to manage the SIM cards.
Honor Holly sports a 8MP camera similar to Redmi 1S and the Zenfone 4. The camera interface is very similar to what we see on most of the MediaTek powered Android phones from Micromax. The camera does offer features like Beauty Face, Panoroma, Live images and also HDR. The camera also allows you to record videos in 1080p.
The daylight photos taken with the camera are pretty impressive with good color reproduction. The photos are also pretty sharp and accurate, but the saturation levels are a bit on higher side. So the photos are comparable with the Xiaomi Redmi 1S which set a benchmark in budget segment with its 8MP camera. Now moving on to low light photos and also photos taken with flash, the complete equation changes. The low light photos are noisy and the clarity is not particularly good. The photos taken with flash did not exhibit good details and you get a feeling that flash is not powerful. Overall, the camera on the device is definitely good for daylight.
Here are some samples taken with the camera.
The device sports a 2000mAh battery which is the same capacity you get on Redmi 1S. The bigger 5 inch HD display means the battery consumption is higher. Huawei claims that the battery life of the device is up to 24 hours of use time on moderate use and over 48 hours on light use. On our tests we found that you can get a day of battery life with moderate usage, but if you play a lot of games, then the battery life drops considerably.
Overall, the device has pretty decent battery life and comparable to Redmi 1S even though it does not set any benchmarks in performance in this segment.
So is the Huawei Honor Holly worth the money at Rs 6999? Definitely yes, as it comes with large HD display, above average camera and more importantly 16GB of storage which very few devices offer at this price point. The device also has good build quality. So is the device better than Xiaomi Redmi 1S (priced at Rs 5999)? This depends on your preferences. While Honor Holly has a bigger display and better storage and performance, Redmi 1S excels in camera and software which is highly customized and feature rich. So you need to decide on your priorities before selecting the device. Overall, if you are looking for a good all round budget phone, we definitely recommend this device.