Huawei, one of the top-ranked Chinese tech companies, expanded its Honor smartphone portfolio in India on Thursday by unveiling two new models - the Honor 5X and the Honor Holly 2 Plus. Both budget offerings will be available only through Flipkart and Amazon. The Honor 5X is already up for pre-order, with sales set to begin on February 1. It costs Rs. 12,999. The Honor Holly 2 Plus on the other hand will go on sale from February 15 priced at Rs. 8,499. Here are our initial impressions of the the more budget-minded smartphone of the two - the Holly 2 Plus.
(Also see: Honor Holly 2 Plus vs. Samsung Galaxy On5 vs. Lenovo Vibe P1m vs. Lenovo K3 Note)
With the Honor Holly 2 Plus, the company aims to go head-to-head with smartphones such as the Samsung Galaxy On5, Lenovo Vibe P1m and even the Lenovo K3 Note. While the majority of its features have been borrowed from the Honor 5X, the company has made cuts in several areas of the handset in order to reach the Rs. 8,499 price point. The Honor Holly 2 Plus sports a polycarbonate body with a removable textured back panel. The battery however, stays embedded inside the handset. Once the panel is removed, the dual Micro-SIM slots and microSD card slot can be seen. With its compact body, the smartphone is perfect for users with average hand size. All four corners of the display can be reached with one thumb, and single-handed typing is also possible. At the back, there is a primary camera along with a single LED flash. The power and volume buttons are on the right. The speaker grille is at the bottom, and this might cause sound to be muffled when holding the smartphone horizontally to watch videos.
The display is nothing pathbreaking, and is similar to what other companies are offering at the same price point. The Honor Holly 2 Plus features a 5-inch HD (720x1280-pixel) IPS display with a reasonable pixel density of around 293 ppi. For most users the HD resolution is perfectly fine, as content still looks sharp and text is readable. The screen is vibrant and reproduces colours impressively.
In our brief time with the device, the Honor Holly 2 Plus showed no signs of lag while switching between apps. However, it did hiccup a little bit when we tried multitasking with a heavy game running. The Holly 2 Plus packs a 64-bit 1.3GHz quad-core MediaTek MT6735P SoC with integrated Mali-T720 graphics and 2GB of LPDDR3 RAM. We will run the smartphone through our full test process to see how it fares in different situations, so stay tuned for our complete review. The EMUI 3.1 LITE skin on top of Android 5.1 Lollipop is straightforward and should be easy for users to get accustomed to.
The camera specifications are slightly disappointing for a Rs. 8,499 smartphone. The Honor Holly 2 Plus has a 13-megapixel autofocus rear camera with what the company calls an Omni Vision 3rd Generation BSI sensor, f2.0 aperture and LED flash, and a 5-megapixel front-facing camera. We were not really happy with the photos we were able to take with the primary camera, especially those taken in artificial light and in low-light environments. In both cases the camera tended to push up the ISO level making the resulting images grainy. The camera app UI is simple and easy to use. It includes features such as Watermark, Panorama, Audio Note and HDR, along with several photo filters. Options such as Touch to Capture, Timer, Capture Smiles, GPS tagging and more are also available. The front-facing camera gave equally grainy images.
The Honor Holly 2 Plus has 16GB of storage, out of which users will only get around 9.4GB for their apps and media. However, there is always the option to pop in a microSD card for up to 128GB more space. 4G LTE, Bluetooth 4.0, Wi-Fi, A-GPS, and Micro-USB connectivity are also standard. This phone will be available in White, Grey and Gold. It has a 4000mAh battery rated to deliver up to 48 hours of continued usage. The company also says its Smart Power 3.0 mode can give you 30 percent more battery life, allowing the phone to run for up to 20 hours with the charge down to 10 percent. The Holly 2 Plus also features reverse charging, so you can use its battery to charge other devices through the Micro-USB port. We will confirm the battery life and all other aspects of this phone's performance when we run it through our thorough review process. Stay tuned.