Huawei Sonic Android phone

Huawei Sonic review: A mid-range Android phone for $188? You better believe it

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  • Buy Now 5
Huawei Sonic
  • Huawei Sonic
  • Huawei Sonic
  • Huawei Sonic

Pros

  • Very low price
  • Android features and flexibility
  • Responsive 3.5in display

Cons

  • No flash
  • Menu icons look ugly
  • Poor quality camera

Bottom Line

The Huawei Sonic provides a reasonable features list for quite a low price. As long as you can live with its limitations, such as the lack of Flash and a poor camera, it's very hard to beat for value.

Would you buy this?

  • Buy now (Selling at 5 stores)

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How much smartphone can $188 buy you? That's what supermarket chain Woolworths is selling Huawei's latest Sonic Android phone for in Australia. The Sonic may not look as flashy as an iPhone, but its combination of a decent 3.5in touchscreen and the latest Android software provides all the all the features and functions or higher end smartphones for an extremely low price.

Read our roundup of the best budget Android phones, including the popular Huawei IDEOS U8150.

Huawei Sonic: Design and display

Like most budget Android phones, the Huawei Sonic won't win any design awards, though it's far from an ugly device. It looks very much like an upscaled version of another Huawei smartphone: the $99 IDEOS X1. Like the Optus-exclusive X1, the Huawei Sonic is made almost entirely from plastic, with a chrome band around the edge attempting to add a touch of class, and rounded edges making it comfortable to hold.

Unlike the IDEOS X1, however, the Huawei Sonic feels better built, and opts for the standard four touch-sensitive shortcut keys below its display. These aren't backlit, which is a disappointment, though they are generally responsive when pressed.

At such a low price point, it's usually the display of a smartphone that suffers the most, but the Huawei Sonic is a nice exception. Its 3.5in capacitive touchscreen is large enough to type comfortably on, while also allowing the physical design of the handset to remain a reasonable size. The resolution of 320x480 is a little low compared to the competition, meaning text isn't as crisp, and the quality of images can't be compared to phones with higher resolutions. The screen also has poor viewing angles and is tough to see in direct sunlight, but considering its price tag, the Sonic's display is hardly a negative during day to day use.

Huawei Sonic: Software and performance

The Huawei Sonic runs the latest 2.3 'Gingerbread' version of Google's Android platform, which is a real plus at this price point. The Sonic offers most of the features and functions of far more expensive Android smartphones including the ability to act as a wireless hotspot and provide full turn-by-turn navigation capabilities. Naturally, it also offers third-party apps through Google's Android Market, and being an Android phone it has automatic and seamless synchronisation with a range of Google services including Gmail and Calendar.

Huawei has slightly tweaked the standard Android interface on the Sonic. Five home screens for live widgets remain, but the cube animation when swiping between screens is a nice touch, and we like the button that shows a view of all five home screens at once. Huawei has also altered the look of the icons in the main menu, however they look rather ugly — thankfully this can easily be changed by downloading one of the many launchers in the Android market that will alter the look and feel of the interface. We also like the toggles for Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, data and screen auto-rotate in the notifications drop down.

Huawei also includes a few handy extras on the Sonic: a straightforward file manager, a voice dialler, the Documents to Go suite, and an app that will backup and restore the contents of the phone to or from a microSD card. Huawei also bundles the Sonic with its Hi-Space cloud solution, which is described as a cloud computing solution that has its own apps store. A quick search in the app store did not reveal much that can't already be found on the Android Market, however.

The Huawei Sonic has a modest processor (single-core, 600MHz) and limited memory (256MB RAM), but still manages to support multi-touch zooming — meaning you can pinch the screen to zoom in and out of certain apps. The limited processing power means the Sonic does not offer full Flash support for Web browsing. Performance is fine for day to day use, but the Sonic is a little slower when loading graphically intense Web pages.

The Huawei Sonic comes with a GPS receiver, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity and a 3.2-megapixel camera that doubles as a VGA video recorder. There is no flash for low light photography, and the quality of the camera is rather poor, with a lack of detail and plenty of image noise souring most photos.

The Huawei Sonic has a microSD card slot for extra storage, located behind the rear battery cover. Battery life is reasonable for an Android phone, as the Huawei Sonic will easily get through a full day of use in most instances.

The Huawei Sonic is available exclusively through Dick Smith, Big W and Woolworths stores, with Woolworths selling the phone for as low as $188.

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Read more on these topics: Huawei, Google Android phones, mobile phones, smartphones

frank

1

The Ask a Question link doesn't work.
What I wanted to know is what do you mean bu that flash is limited with Huawei Sonic mobile. Can it do flash games, youtube etc?

Rachael

2

this phone is amazing. Everyhthing about it is amazing. Love it. Would recommend it to anyone.

Rob

3

One thing not mentioned in review is phone not fully 3 g does not have 3g 850 mhz capability

John

4

In reply to Rob, this phone is fully 3G with 900 and 2100Mhz capabaility so its fine on the Optus and Vodafone networks. However on Telstra it still works but not with full 3G 850Mhz.

Jules

5

How do I sync music to my Huawei Sonic?

Jye

6

I love the phone it's basically a very small computer it does practically everything! the best phone ever !!! screw the iphone!!!

Lee

7

@Jules.. Download an app call Airdroid.. This allows you to sync your music wirelessly through Internet Explorer and Firefox etc.. The program is easy to install and very easy to use. Do a search on android for AirDroid.. Or you can just connect your USB connection to your computer if you have it and do it via that as you can copy and paste to the SD Card..

Damien

8

I am having lots of trouble connecting to any other bluetooth device, particularly my earpiece (which is essential during my daily work as a driver). It is blind luck if it works. One of the most annoying things is that I can't read how to use the bluetooth in a 'User Manual' because they don't include one with the phone. Just a silly little fold-out 'Quick Start' guide which mentions nothing about bluetooth at all. Any suggestions would be welcome. Very happy with the rest of the phone.

phillip

9

To Damien if u have a home computer or laptop with internet just use charger plug that came with phone pull card out of the part u plug in wall it is a usb end then plug in computer manual to phone will automaticly pop up

Ben

10

Have had this phone 6 months and have worked it hard. It has realy supprised me in how good it is. Normaly I am a nokia man but I knew somone also that had this phone and raved about it I can see why. Very Good quality for the dollars and user frendly. Will upgrade to the next time with a another Huawei and will look at the top of the range.

Aqua

11

IM with hello mobile and it runs on the vodafone network so will it still work...or is it not worth getting in my point of view?

PLEASE HELP ME SYNC MUSIC TO MY HUAWEI SONIC!?

12

@Lee: Forget about Airdroid for a second, but I have tried to put music on by copying it onto the phone like a SD Card but...

1. I don't know where to put the music files. It comes up with Mobile Partner (F:), Removable Disk (M:) and Removable Disk (K:). ALL of these to do with my Huawei phone. Inside are folders with weird names. None say music.

2. I tried placing it just in one of them but it didn't work. I also tried doing it through Windows Media Player and it seemed to work until I clicked Sync and none of the songs transferred.

WHAT DO I DO?

PLEASE HELP ME!

Brett Douglas

13

this phone is fine just to make and receive calls but to do anything else i found it pretty bad, it tends to have a mind of its own at times, apps continually crash, need to reset it often, touch screen tends to be too sensitive, hard button for search is too easily activated, phone often freezes up, volume keeps on turning down of its own accord, would not recommend this phone to any one

Wayne

14

yeah overall not a bad phone. however on the telstra network not the best . Intermittent to no signal @ times most annoying to say the least . In certain areas can recieve calls, but can drop out @ anytime. I agree that apps crash continuously & the volume controls seem to have gremlins....

Shane Mulhall

15

I bought 2 of these phones for my nieces principally because of their low cost. i was gobsmacked that they were nearly as functional as my Samsung Galaxy S2 that was close to 5 times the cost.

I drowned my Samsung galaxy a few weeks back and bought one of these as a replacement because i'd really like the Samsung galaxy S3.

Well the Sonic is actually a better wireless hotspot than the Samsung galaxy S2. it's battery life is better and its performance is more than adequate.

I like it so much that I'll forget about the S3 and stick to this little beauty. And if I drown it i won't be lamenting the cost.

All up, great functionality at a very, very affordable price.

Thomas

16

I own this phone - let it be said that it is EXTREMEMLY fragile, and i wouldn't recommend it to anyone

E Voorhees

17

Keeps downloading an update of Facebook everytime I turn it on and then states:"insufficient storage availability', I have checked storage and the sd card has full available space, the internal sd card has full available space and internal storage has 27.65 available space. So eats up most of my internet allowance. I do not know what to do, any suggestions. by the way, Huawei web site does not give questions options only FAQ's.Thanks.

Jade.

18

My Huawei won't turn on. I've had it for about 5 months now and haven't experienced any problems until now. Every time I turn it on, it repeats the loading screen and won't turn on. I can't explain in further detail exactly what it's doing. It keeps loading with the Huawei logo, then repeats. Any ideas on how to fix it?

Gerda

19

i want this phone very very very much...♥♥♥

Anura

20

Hi there,

Does anyone know how to restore the touch screen of Huawei Sonic 8650? My phone does not respond to "Swipes" so I cannot do anything on the screen? Is there a way to at least copy all the contacts to another phone if the touch screen cannot be fixed?

Thanks for your reply,

Anura

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Dhanushka

4.5

1

Pros
Dr
Cons
ad
• • •

Best for the Prize it took. Camera has low quality.
I've dropped it 5 times still works that's amazing becoz I dropped my sonyericson only ones then it's screen brake in to pieces.!!!

jtang1013

4.0

2

Pros
price, features
Cons
slow,
• • •

got two of them already, enjoy it very much, not to mention the price, considering this is, in deed, a 2.3 Android smartphone.

kate

0.0

3

Pros
cost
Cons
touchscreen
• • •

DO NOT BUY IT!!! have had mine near on 3 months last 2 weeks it has been rubbish! first it wouldnt even charge, then today the screen has frozen, have taken out the battery etc but still frozen. waste of money ur better off spending the extra cash on a decent phone that will last... was good to begin with, but also now force closes, turns on an off by itself also, certain ppl cant ring me, wont get thru...

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