Huawei's first UK phone – known as the IDEOS X3 in the States – may be cheap and cheerful but it offers plenty of bang for your buck
Solid build qualityImpressive screen for the priceHandles most things Android throws at it
Tradition dictates that lesser-known budget brands never hold their own in terms of quality against the big dogs, but the Blaze’s solid, creak-free body is the first indication of a budget phone shedding its inferior stereotype.
The slim, simplistic design and soft-touch plastic back are nice touches and the solid physical home button and reassuring weight belie the all-important budget price tag.
Huawei Blaze – Under the hood
The Blaze’s 600MHz processor and 256MB of RAM come as no surprise considering it’s a budget offering and the lack of firepower does become noticeable when transitioning between the homescreens and apps, in which a delay is noticeable.
Demanding Android games proved to be a bit on the laggy side, although you should have no problem flinging those Angry Birds around to your heart’s content.
Huawei Blaze – Solidly built
Huawei has loaded up its own subtle interface which is pleasant enough to use and its custom music app boasts fairly impressive equaliser settings. Ditch the headphones however and your ears will be greeted with a shrieking tinny-sounding mess.
A handy Stream widget also pools updates from Facebook, Twitter and Flicker which is useful for checking the latest developments at a glance – a perfect quick-fix for social butterflies.
Huawei Blaze – Mild makeover
Although the screen’s covering is a plastic scratch-magnet, its 320x480 resolution trounces that of the Blaze’s budget competitors such as the HTC Wildfire and the Xperia 10 Mini, which themselves pack in half as many pixels. Given the rather small 3.2in viewing area, those extra pixels are definitely a welcome addition to the spec sheet.
Huawei Blaze – Killer screen
The 3.2MP camera was never going to wow us in this day and age where 5MP is the norm and the lack of flash does nothing to help the matter. Casual shutterbugs should be able to get by for the odd impromptu photo but you’ll definitely want a dedicated snapper for anything worth remembering.
Overall the Blaze more than ticks the right boxes, given its aims to be the best budget smartphone out there. With full access to the Android Marketplace and running Gingerbread 2.3.4 straight out of the box, we would definitely recommend this as a top choice for those craving a decent Android experience at a more than generous price.
Huawei Blaze – Budget camera
Huawei Blaze review
It won’t set any spec sheets ablaze, but the Blaze packs in a solid Android experience at an irresistible price point