Huawei keeps it pretty simple in terms of their own provided "added value" applications. I'll reiterate here that I'm not taking any closer look at Huawei's dedicated store, music or gaming apps as they seem to be strictly Chinese-market oriented and mostly not even translated from Chinese.

Various tool appsRemove control

The most commonly used applications that you expect to be found on any stock Android phone (beyond those that you see on the main home screen) are found neatly tucked in a "Tools" folder on the second screen.

In this folder, we find the IR blaster remote software. It's very simplistic and easy to use, with the ability to choose a manufacturer from a predefined list and pressing the power button until the target device successfully is turned on. If your device is not compatible, you are able to program it as any other smart-remote by pointing your original remote at the IR sensor to register the desired code and save it on any desired button.

Backup functionFM radio

Surprisingly I found a backup function on the phone that lets you backup all your application data either locally (and optionally cryptographically protected via a password) or to Huawei's cloud services if you wish to do so. It's very straightforward and you can even choose to restore individual apps from the backup.

The included FM radio app again provides the basic functionality to listen to the air-waves. I found it a pity though that it didn't include RDS functionality, something I wish was more prelevant in phones. FM radio is still popular in many areas around the globe so I'm always happy to see OEMs continuing to support it.


The magnifying glass application works remarkebly well, using the phone's rear camera macro function at a button without having to launch the main camera app.

There's a "Mirror" app which uses the front camera and allows you to admire yourself in it. I found it odd that by default this included a "steamy" glass effect which you have to clean with your finger or press the back button to clear. There are a variety of frames that you can choose from to embellish yourself for and take selfies with so that you can share them with your friends.

Mirror appTimerFile managerFile manager details

The default file manager provides all your needs in terms of moving around and managing your content on your phone. I still find it very disappointing that Google has effectively gutted all third-party file managers and rendered them virtually useless. This is also valid for Huawei's EmotionUI as it implements the same restrictions which are not circumventable without rooting the phone. I hope Android L finally fixes this issue which has caused quite an upheaval in the community.

Apps SD optionsBrowserTheme selectionTheme selection online

Huawei offers the possibility of moving applications onto the external SD card when your internal space gets too low. The stock browser keeps on the simple design that we see throught the OS and offers the most basic features. It's very fast and it works well, there's not much to say about it.

The OS offers a theming engine which changes the visual style of the icons, lockscreens and backgrounds. There's a wide variation of themes available in the online section, some which are for pay and most which are freely available.

Here's a gallery with various other screenshots of the UI such as the video and music players or the dialling pad, and some of the non-translated chinese-only features of the phone that I've skipped due to my language limitations.

In general, I'm pretty happy with Huawei's software. There is absolutely no lag or delay anywhere on the phone, the animations are smooth and apps open and switch virtually instantenously. It's easily one of the snappiest phones I've dealt with. While I'm no fan of the stock launcher's looks and the icon design, it's nothing that is inherently tied to the OS and can be easily replaced with customization. There are no gimmicks with the phone and it offers a very solid user experience.

EmotionUI 2.3 - Core OS Features Kirin 920 SoC & Platform power analysis
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  • imaheadcase - Monday, September 15, 2014 - link

    By the time you need to replace the battery you will be getting a new phone its a moot point.
  • Alexey291 - Monday, September 15, 2014 - link

    6 months in case of one of my phones? Damn thing expanded and basically lost about 50% of its capacity (I'm being generous here). The amount of effort it took to get it through warranty process (leaving me without a phone in the meantime)... Because you know "its still working isn't it?"

    Never again tyvm.
  • Stuka87 - Monday, September 15, 2014 - link

    "Takes up literally no space"

    Seriously? Do you understand what the meaning of "literally" is?
  • Alexey291 - Monday, September 15, 2014 - link

    I would have long since edited it to "literally no -extra- space" (because you know that would have worked as an exaggeration and that is pretty much what I wanted to say) but alas the comment system here is poop :)

    But you did have a point to make didn't you? Oh no you're just being an idiot. Fair enough.
  • semo - Sunday, September 14, 2014 - link

    So just the planned obsolescence then. Why isn't this considered outrageous? Maybe because marketing has convinced users that points 1 and 2 are actual problems (as Alexey291 has pointed out, that's not the case). Maybe you can't really make a oh la la looking phone with a removable battery like the HTC One but we don't all want or like such devices.

    Why can the auto industry cater to such a large number of wants/needs but the phone industry can't? They only make the same looking huge phones with sealed batteries, no Qi, no expandable storage, single SIM only, etc... It feels like there is no choice unless you want something practical and pocket friendly (a proper HTC Sensation successor would be nice)
  • Alexey291 - Monday, September 15, 2014 - link

    Hear hear!
  • Ethos Evoss - Sunday, September 14, 2014 - link

    jesus chris people GET OVER with replacing battery stupidness ! seriously .. you looking only what that phone doesn't what it doesn't have .. it has powerfull 3000 batt jesus christ people grow up
  • semo - Sunday, September 14, 2014 - link

    Why is that such a big problem for you? There's plenty of phones for you to choose from if you must have a sealed battery. Why can't the rest of us have a choice?
  • Alexey291 - Monday, September 15, 2014 - link

    that's until that cheap but (supposedly) powerful 3kmah battery swells and damages the phone's internal structure. Loses 50% of its original capacity. All in under 6 months.

    And before you say "that never happens" it happens very damn often especially in Huawei and Xiaomi phones >.>
  • semo - Monday, September 15, 2014 - link

    And don't expect the likes of Zerolemon and Anker to offer a better/bigger battery as they generally don't support non user replaceable batteries (most users won't bother unless they can just pop the battery in).

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