Huawei has been steadily creating brand awareness for itself for a while now. We even shipped off Yudhanjaya to Thailand for the launch of their flagship P8 smartphone. Huawei also became available in Sri Lanka via Singer who act as authorized distributors. In addition to having their own line up of processors for their smartphones, the company has also dipped their hands into the wearable industry with the Huawei Talkband B2 and their own smartwatch.
For today, we’ll be talking about the Huawei G Play Mini. Priced at Rs. 27999, and available at all Singer outlasts island wide, the G Play Mini is also referred to as the Huawei Honor 4C.
The phone comes wrapped up in a nice white cardboard box which includes the basics you would find with a smartphone (charging cable, dock, earphones). The charging cable also doubles as a standard micro USB cable for charging and data transfer. All in all, there’s not much to the packaging but hey, its not the packaging we’re interested about, it’s the phone.
At first glance, the G Play Mini/Honor 4C is vaguely reminiscent of Huawei’s Ascend Mate 7. Measuring 5.64 x 2.83 x 0.35 inches, the device weighs around 162g, so it’s not too light but also carries enough weight to know that it’s in your pocket.
The top of the device houses the 3.5mm audio connector and the front houses the front camera (5mp), ear piece and ambient light sensor. The bottom consists of hardware navigation (Back, Home, and Recents), microphone and the microUSB port. The power button and volume rocker are both housed on the right side of the device whilst the camera is located at the back of the devices towards the top left along with the flash.
The Build Quality – Sturdy and Familiar
Huawei has done a really good job with the build quality. The device feels just right in the hand. The model we got was the champagne Gold edition and boy does it look snazzy. It also comes in black or white. The screen is a 5” 720p HD screen with a 1280*720 resolution and 294 ppi pixel density. The device has a 66.9% screen-to-body ratio and is capable of displaying upto 16million colors. Network and connectivity-wise, you get dual MicroSIM support with 3G support (but no LTE), WiFi and Bluetooth. The device also has 4/8GB of onboard storage with upto 32GB supported via a microSD card.
Powering up the phone, you are greeted with Huawei’s standard loading animation which also loads pretty fast.
The somewhat low pixel density doesn’t seem to negatively impact the screen 720p display and text was clear and readable at both full brightness and at automatic brightness. That’s the goodness of IPS for you. If you look really close (like your nose touches the screen-close) then you start to notice the blurriness of the icons but that’s only if you’re picky like that. Photos and video playback quite clear with video playback, especially from the camera quite clear. Touch response it very good and the screen even has multi touch for upto four fingers.
The device ships with Huawei’s basic apps which include Kingsoft Office, weather, a flashlight, a mirror app and even a magnifier. In addition, the standard Google apps are also installed which include Google Play Music, Hangouts, Gmail, Drive etc.
As far as entertainment goes, the G Play Mini/Honor 4C includes an FM Radio and a media player capable of handling mp3, mp4 and flac files. The music player is ye average player. It looks good and gets the job done. Sound quality wise, you have Dolby DTS included to make your audio sound that much better. It actually does work and I found myself bopping my head along to my favorite songs instead of writing this review. The loudspeaker gets the job done nicely. Its not overly loud, but just loud enough to notify you of incoming calls or messages.
Real World Performance
The core element of any smartphone is of course determined by what it has running under the hood and the G Play Mini/Honor 4C did not disappoint. An octa-core 12.GHz HiSilicon Kirin 620 CPU backed by 2GB of RAM ensures that you have more than enough horsepower to blaze through the days’ work. EmotionUI 3.0 is the name of the game here offering a modified version of Android 4.4 KitKat, although there is no exact confirmation on as to whether or not it will receive the lollipop update. Even so, the device performs flawlessly with Homescreen switching being butter smooth and fluid. Navigating within the app drawer is equally fast. The breaking point in any smartphone of course is multitasking. Even here, the G Play Mini/Honor 4C shows little sign of stress.
The camera is another important factor that most people consider when purchasing a phone. The G Play Mini/Honor 4C is equipped with a 13MP camera with an LED flash. Photo quality is actually pretty good, well not so good at night or in low light conditions but then again, that is the bane of most smartphone camera. The camera has a HDR mode and even an object tracker where when focused, the camera will track an object wherever it moves. It also has best picture mode (where a rapid succession of images are captured and the best one can be saved by the user) and also a Panorama and Watermark mode as well. With regard to video, you can record 720p video with stereo sound. Videos are clear and again depend on the lighting condition but the inbuilt flash helps shed some light on things (pun intended).
Now onto the juicy stuff
Antutu is our go to benchmark for smartphones. So I downloaded the latest version (5.7.1) and fired it up to see exactly what kind of real world performance we can expect. It was then that I realized that the G Play Mini/Honor 4C actually has a sensor to detect the temperature of the phone. Obviosuly when you’re running a benchmark, the device is going to heat up. Not that we noticed any overheating but the phone kept popping a notification every 5 or so seconds saying that the phone is heating up. Apart from that, everything went. The entire test took around 5 minutes to complete. With a score of 25266, the device is on par with more or less all mid range devices in this price range. Its also interesting to note that the octa-core CPU doesn’t give it an edge over the competition.
Next up to be scrutinized was the battery a Li-Ion 2550 mAh battery would theoretically give you around 18-24 hours of usage. Even so, the device clocked in around Our tests – 2 hours of screen on time, running with YouTube videos and some browsing on WiFi. As we stated in earlier reviews, the actual usage depends on factors such as screen on time, network signal quality and how much you actually use the phone and its apps.
The G Play Mini/Honor 4C has an interesting element going for it. At this price range, it competes with the likes of the Xiaomi Mi3 and numerous Samsung and Sony models. With its octa-core CPU, it certainly does seem to be the best bang for the buck phone in the 27-30k price range, except that benchmarks prove otherwise and also the fact that it lacks 4G/LTE and devices such as the Xiaomi Mi3 offer a Full HD (1920*1080) display with a much higher pixel density.