Huawei Ascend G7 4G review

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Following on from their announcement of the New Huawei Ascend G7 4G (which I covered here), I was lucky enough to get sent a device for review.

Device Specs.

  • 5.5 inch HD IPS display, 720p resolution.
  • Measuring in at 7.6 mm thick.
  • 1.2 GHz quad core processor capable of download speeds up to 150 Mbps ( network dependant ).
  • 3,000 mAh battery.
  • 13MP main camera, wide-angle lens and one-second capture button.
  • 5MP front-facing camera.
  • Emotion UI 3.0.
  • Memory: 16 GB Internal memory / 2 GB RAM
  • All metal back plate.

Good Points.

  • Fantastic premium metal feel in the hand.
  • Solid feel to the buttons.
  • Minimum bloatware.
  • After focus feature on photo’s.
  • Amazing battery life.
  • Ultra power saving mode.
  • Time line notifications.
  • Magnifier app.

Bad Points. 

  • Emotion UI, takes some getting used to.
  • It’s a big phone.
  • UI can get a bit bogged down.
  • Only 720p screen (see battery life).
  • Can’t change the launcher.
  • Struggled to get 4G connection.

Design. 

The Ascend G7 is a 5.5 inch screened device, which has a quality premium feel to it. This is mainly due to the metal chassis with chamfered edges and metal back plate. On the top and bottom edges there are breaks in the chassis for the antenna, similar to way that Apple does with the iPhone.

On the top is the 3.5mm headphone socket and the bottom houses the microUSB charging/sync port.

On the right side of the device is volume rocker, power button and then two trays. The top one for the microSD card and the second one is the SIM card tray.

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As I said, this is a big phone. In comparison it’s a couple of millimetres taller than my Note 3 but slightly slimmer and thinner. This is due to the Ascend having slightly larger top and bottom bezels than the Note. However, despite the size I found it easier to hold in the hand than the Note.

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A nice feature is the fact that Huawei have included a simple back cover in the box. This is presumably to protect the metal back plate from scratches.

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In Use.

Whenever I get a phone through for review, I use it as my sole device. I cannot see the point of having your daily driver in your other pocket in case things don’t go well. In the case of the Huawei things did go well, in fact surprisingly well. As I said earlier the G7 felt really well in the hand, which was down to the metal chassis and back plate. Despite being larger than my Note in some aspects (I think due to it being thinner and narrower) I found it easier to hold in the hand.

The screen on the Huawei is a 5.5 inch panel at 720p resolution giving a 267 ppi, and I found it perfectly capable, especially with my old eyes. The screen was clear and bright, which gave a good colour reproduction, although the whites did have a blue “tinge” to them.

Huawei and Note 3 comparison ( Huawei on the left ).

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The G7 runs Huawei’s Emotion UI over the top of Android 4.4.4 Kitkat, which I struggled to get on with at first. For a start there is no app drawer, and all icons are placed on the home screen – the same as iOS. This did take me a couple of days to get used to it and set up how I liked it. I then decided to install the Google Launcher, which I thought at first couldn’t be done, but thanks to @UbuntuBhoy and @lennyuk on Twitter I found the default app buried deep in the settings.

On the OS point there is very little in the way of bloat-ware installed on the device, only a couple of pre installed apps, which don’t get in the way at all. One of these I found extremely useful – the Magnifer App ( due to my old eyes ) which uses the camera to Magnify text, example below on a train ticket.

 

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Another feature I liked was the timeline notifications, which puts a time stamp on the left hand side, for each notification.

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A 720p screen married to a 3,000 mAh battery (which is non-removable) gives one major advantage – stellar battery life. I was easily getting two days of use out of the G7 ( your mileage may vary ).

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Also on the battery front the G7 comes equipped  with a Ultra Power saving mode, which we have seen on a number of flagship devices. This will eek out as much battery life as possible by cutting data connections and only having a black and white screen. It pretty much turns your smartphone into a feature phone for call and texts only. It activates at 8% battery life. The G7 then reported a further 11 hours of battery life remaining, which is good if you’re miles from a power outlet.

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Despite the Ascend G7 claiming to be a 4G device I really struggled to get a 4G connection on the Three network. I took the device to a location that I know my Note 3 gets a 4G connection, but the Ascend remained on HSDA+ ( this may well be a network issue rather than a device issue, as I didn’t have another SIM card to try in the G7 ). Despite this the G7 did get some respectable download speeds.

 

Camera.

The G7 is fitted 13 MP rear camera, which has a usual features. Normal Shooting, HDR mode, Panorama mode, All-Focus mode ( which allows the user to re-focus on different points of the picture after it has been taken ), and watermark mode. This marks the photo with the Geo-tag location and the weather, where the picture was taken.

Some samples photos..

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Conclusion. 
The Ascend G7 4G is set to retail for about £150 and will be available from Carphone Warehouse, Amazon and other online retailers, believed to be released sometime in the beginning of March

This device should not be overlooked, especially if you’re after a larger screen phone. It feels more premium than its price tag, with fantastic battery life, and takes some decent photos. If my Note 3 stopped working tomorrow I think the Huawei Ascend G7 4G is where my money would be going.

The post Huawei Ascend G7 4G review is original content from Coolsmartphone.

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  • Karbonn Titanium S6 – Review

    Karbonn Titanium S6 Pic3

    Karbonn are another of those companies you might not have heard of, they are an Indian firm that have been making phones for about five years now. They have recently been named as hardware partners for Google and the Android One project and also Microsoft with Windows Phone. Off the back of these big names Karbonn have decided that now is the right time to try and crack the UK market. The Karbonn Titanium S6 is the fourth device they have released in the UK and we’ve had it for the last few weeks.

    Good and Bad Points

    Good

    • Lightweight.
    • Feels good in the hand.
    • Dual SIM.
    • Micro SD Slot.

    Bad

    • Backplate is a fingerprint magnet.
    • Screen is a fingerprint magnet.
    • 8GB (3GB and 5GB split) of non Unified Memory means installing apps is limited.
    • The icon pack used out of the box is lacking and cartoon like.
    • No USB OTG support.
    • Startup sound is lengthy and loud.
    • Shutdown sound is also lengthy and loud.
    • Priced higher than competition (I.E Motorola, Microsoft).
    • Pre installed apps target you with popup notification adverts.
    • Screen has slow response time and is only five point touch.

    Design

    The Karbonn Titanium S6 looks a lot like the Samsung Galaxy S3, whether this was intentional or a coincidence is another matter, it’s a mix of shiny plastic, plastic that looks like metal, some plastic around the display, the display, a few ports of sockets and the camera on the back.

    The front of the phone has three capacitive buttons, starting from the left they are for Menu, Home and Back. Long pressing home triggers Google Now and double tapping home triggers Recents. The buttons are also backlit so you can see them in the dark. It actually took me a while to figure out the Recents button, I guess I should have read the manual first. The rest of the front is taken up with a large bezel surrounding the buttons, the 5” display, a front facing camera and the sensors at the top. Karbonn supplied the S6 with a screen protector pre installed, which seems to attract fingerprints like it is in some sort of fingerprint collection competition. I would remove it but I haven’t got a case for it and would probably scratch the screen. As it doesn’t really look like a scratch resistant glass panel.

    The edges are a little backwards, with the power button living in the top left hand edge and the volume rocker on the right hand side. I say backwards, at first I kept turning the volume up when trying to turn it off, I soon got used to the configuration. The top edge has a central Micro USB port and the headphone socket beside it. The bottom edge has a microphone pinhole.

    The back of the phone is made of plastic, the backplate is super glossy and attracts an absurd amount of fingerprints. The speaker is in the bottom right hand edge and the 8MP camera central near the top.

    Design wise the S6 is pretty basic, with only really the backplate showing any flair. Overall the feeling is one of despair at the constant cleaning of fingerprints off the front and back of the device.

    Karbonn Titanium S6 Pic11 Karbonn Titanium S6 Pic14 Karbonn Titanium S6 Pic4 Karbonn Titanium S6 Pic8 Karbonn Titanium S6 Pic6 Karbonn Titanium S6 Pic16 Karbonn Titanium S6 Pic5 Karbonn Titanium S6 Pic13 Karbonn Titanium S6 Pic9 Karbonn Titanium S6 Pic12 Karbonn Titanium S6 Pic15 Karbonn Titanium S6 Pic7 Karbonn Titanium S6 Pic3 Karbonn Titanium S6 Pic1 Karbonn Titanium S6 Pic2 Karbonn Titanium S6 Pic10

    Check out my hands on video of the S6, where I finally figure out how to get the Recents button to work.

    Hardware

    Spec wise the Titanium S6 is a bit basic, take a look for yourself.

    • Processor: MediaTek MT6582 1.3 GHz quad-core processor.
    • GPU: Mali-400 MP.
    • Display: 5″ qHD 960×540.
    • Internal Memory: 8GB (3.9GB for “Internal storage” and 2.06GB for “Phone Storage”).
    • RAM: 1GB.
    • Rear Camera: 8MP with Auto Focus.
    • Front Camera: 2MP.
    • Battery: 1700 mAh.
    • Dual SIM (one Micro SIM one standard SIM).
    • MicroSD slot.
    • Android 4.4.

    Key plus points here are the Dual SIM, Micro SD Slot and the Removable Battery all of which make for a flexible device. The internal memory of 8 GB is split into two partitions, one for apps and one for app data and documents, which makes a difficult situation with the small internal memory even more difficult to manage. It is annoying as most foreign fledgling companies selling devices in Europe now realise that’s not how we like it over here and amend the memory to suit, only recently have Oppo and Xiaomi moved to a unified memory approach.

    Screenshot_2014-02-11-10-58-36Screenshot_2014-02-11-10-58-48

    The cameras aren’t great despite sounding ok on paper. The display is low resolution and is only 5 point multi touch which leads to a few missed taps whilst typing at speed.

    Overall I feel that if the memory was unified I could overlook the other shortcomings of the device, as it isn’t the whole device just feels inferior to cheaper devices like the Motorola Moto E.

    Software

    As Karbonn are one of the Android One manufacturers I had high hopes for the S6, I expected a Nexus like experience. Out of the box the Titanium S6 is quite jarring, you get an odd spec screen when you first turn it on, followed by a jolly tune that goes on for a few seconds (the same tune plays when you turn it off). Once it has started up you get a Live Wallpaper of a Disney style castle, a selection of pre-installed “games” that barrage you with notifications to buy in app purchases and to top it all off you get a modified version of the Google Now Launcher complete with a garish icon pack pre-applied. Needless to say my first hour with the phone was spent, dismissing popups, disabling apps that couldn’t be uninstalled, uninstalling others, updating the bloat by accident on the app store when my WiFi connected, installing the real Google Now Launcher, installing the Google messenger app and by that point I was pretty much happy with the device. The out of the box experience wasn’t great, I worry about a non experienced purchaser of this phone.

    It wasn’t all bad though, the dual SIM stuff was as useful as you’d expect and Karbonn haven’t messed that bit up either.

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    The one thing I did find whilst fiddling around in the settings menu was a range of gestures that the phone supports. They are basically lockscreen shortcuts for triggering apps, so you draw an “O” and it will open the Camera, double tap and it will open Google Now or one of the other letters shown below, unfortunately you can’t amend these shortcuts.

    Screenshot_2015-02-27-22-18-54

    The Lockscreen itself also has a few shortcuts on it to open the Dialler, stock Messaging, Google and also to unlock. To trigger the camera you swipe in from the right or use a gesture as shown above.

    Screenshot_2015-02-27-22-17-58

    Other notable stuff

    Camera

    I really didn’t get on well with the camera on the Titanium S6, I really struggled to take a decent picture with it. Actually I lie, it managed to take better pictures with the front facing camera. The issue I felt was with the auto focus, try as I might it just failed to actually focus. Weirdly If I got really close up it fared slightly better.

    Take a look below.

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    The front facing camera took reasonable pictures with decent light, in low light it deteriorated. Again take a look below, apologies for my face.

    IMG_20150221_150212 IMG_20150221_150702 IMG_20150212_080639

    Battery life

    Battery life on the Titanium S6 wasn’t reasonable, I managed to get just over two hours screen on time. Which considering the 1700 mAh battery I’d have thought I’d get less screen on time. The usage stats did show some worrying usage for when the phone was idle and when in standby, Karbonn could fix this in a firmware update.

    Screenshot_2015-02-13-14-27-30 Screenshot_2015-02-13-14-27-17 Screenshot_2015-02-13-14-27-23

    Benchmarks

    Benchmarks aren’t the be all and end all these days, I just use them to give me a vague idea about where a device sits in the mobile phone league table. The S6 benches similar to the 2014 Moto G.

    • 3DMark – 2119 (Moto G 2014 – 4612).
    • Antutu – 19537 (Moto G 2014 – 17585).
    • Quadrant – 8768 (Moto G 2014 – 8806).

    Conclusion

    The Karbonn Titanium S6 is a reasonable phone. Although at it’s current price it is out of the running, compared to cheaper devices like the 2014 Motorola Moto E and G or even the new 2015  edition Moto E it is hard to recommend the Titanium S6. Various things like the weird setup of the internal memory and the frustrating software that is pre-installed further back up my inability to recommend the phone.

    If Karbonn were to drop the price quite a bit, issue a firmware update to unify the storage and also to issue a firmware update to fix the camera then I might just be able to recommend it.

    The post Karbonn Titanium S6 – Review is original content from Coolsmartphone.

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  • Meet FlexCharger, the only iPhone and Android charger worth getting excited about

    Indiegogo FlexCharger iPhone and Android Charger

    Smartphone and tablet chargers are far from being exciting accessories, yet we have to constantly carry them with us on the off-chance that our beloved mobile device runs out of battery life when we least expect it. FlexCharger, however, is a different kind of charger for mobile devices -- in fact, it's the only charger in recent memory that we might even call exciting.

    Continue reading...

    These are the apps that are killing your phone’s battery life

    Android Battery Drain

    Smartphone battery technology simply cannot keep up with the rate at which other smartphone tech is improving. Some new components are being designed to help extend handset battery life, but it's not easy to compensate for the newer high-resolution screens vendors are now using.

    To compound matters, some of the most popular apps in the world are terrible when it comes to power efficiency, and now they have been named and shamed in a new study from AVG.

    Continue reading...

    A Huawei Android Wear watch appears

    image
    Huawei haven’t really made any inroads into the wearable market, bar a fitness band we haven’t seen any hint of a watch. That’s about to change, an advert has cropped up online that shows an Android Wear device on a man in a suit, he’s no doubt scared to use the watch in case his battery just disappears.
    image
    The adverts bares Huawei branding, Huawei are at MWC next week, so putting 2 and 2 together I can say in a non committal kind of way that I guess Huawei might just announce it next week. All I can say now is that it looks rather nice.

    Guess who’s going to be at the event? Yes us, so watch this space.

    Source – techhive
    Credit – Nirave Twitter

    The post A Huawei Android Wear watch appears is original content from Coolsmartphone.

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  • MWC – A new range of tough smartphones from the Energizer brand

    unnamed
    Information is a little thin on the ground but MWC will see a new range of smartphones sold under the Energizer brand. Energizer have long sold chargers, cases, cables and wireless charging solutions. Now they’ll be offering smartphones too.

    Four new products, distributed by Avenir Telecom, will be on display at Mobile World Congress and this one (which we don’t have any details on) looks a lot like the Cat B15 handset we reviewed a couple of years back.

    The press release doesn’t say a great deal, other than pointing us to their stand, but we do know that there’ll be a “range of solid mobile phones under the Energizer Hard Case license”. All of these will be dual SIM and powered by Android KitKat. They’ll also have IP68 certification to survive water, dust and drops onto the floor. A two-year warranty, long-life battery and “up to 13 megapixel camera” also features.

    We’ve asked for a bit more detail and will update this item when / if we receive some.

    The post MWC – A new range of tough smartphones from the Energizer brand is original content from Coolsmartphone.

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  • INSANE: Apple makes nearly eight times as much money as all Android vendors combined

    iPhone vs. Android Profits Q4 2014

    A new report from Strategy Analytics sheds further light on the state of the smartphone business in the fourth quarter last year, confirming once again the profound effect the iPhone 6 had on the industry. The analytics company revealed that during Q4 2014, Android only managed to capture 11% of the global smartphone profit share, a record-low for Google’s ecosystem, while Apple took home a record-high 89% of all smartphone profits.

    Continue reading...

    MWC – Acer gives a quick glimpse behind the Barcelona curtain

    With just days to go until Mobile World Congress, various phone manufacturers are either trying to hold back leaks or tease you about upcoming products. Acer is currently in the latter camp, and have just posted this

    image

    Above it is confirmation that we’re going to see more than just phones or tablets…

    Out with the old, in with the new. Get ready to meet our new smartphones and wearable @ Mobile World Congress 2015 #MWC15?

    That’s about all we know so far, but don’t worry, we’ll be heading over to see Acer and getting you the latest news with full hands-on pictures and video.

    As usual, we’ll have a full team running around the event to bring you unrivalled coverage, so keep an eye on the site as follow us on Twitter.

    The post MWC – Acer gives a quick glimpse behind the Barcelona curtain is original content from Coolsmartphone.

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  • Did Google just ruin the Android app store?

    Android Apps Search

    Apple's iOS App Store is an interesting place. It houses more than 1.3 million apps that combine to make up the best mobile app ecosystem on the planet. It also features what may very well be the absolute worst search technology on the planet. Finding good apps using the App Store's in-built search function is next to impossible, which is a big part of the reason we spend so much time here at BGR sharing great iPhone apps with our readers.

    The Google Play app store for Android is a different story... for now, at least.

    Continue reading...

    Apple grabs 89 percent of smartphone profits while Android captures record-low 11 percent

    Strategy Analytics smartphone profit share Q42014

    The latest indication that Apple with its minuscule share of smartphone units sold is clobbering everyone when it comes to profits came Thursday via research firm Strategy Analytics. The research company reported that the Cupertino firm took home an astounding 88.7 precent of operating profit share in smartphones during the fourth quarter of last year.

    This is no doubt the effect of strong sales of Apple’s well-received iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus handsets. Android, meanwhile, has fallen to a record-low eleven (11.3) percent.... Read the rest of this post here


    "Apple grabs 89 percent of smartphone profits while Android captures record-low 11 percent" is an article by iDownloadBlog.com.
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