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.

CalculatorMagnifier

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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  • semo - Friday, September 12, 2014 - link

    Why no user replaceable battery? I've heard all the reasons why I shouldn't care but I still want one and wonder if planned obsolescence is the only reason for not including it.

    Also, is Qi an option for this phone?
    Reply
  • Andrei Frumusanu - Friday, September 12, 2014 - link

    There is no Qi charging option. Reply
  • semo - Friday, September 12, 2014 - link

    Thanks Andrei. I think it is worthwhile pointing out this missing feature in the article just like you did with the non-removable battery. It is important for some! Reply
  • marcokatz - Friday, September 26, 2014 - link

    Well said. Also it's important to point at that this is an Apple-wannabe that no way can match up to some of the really highly rated phones out there. /Marco from http://www.consumertop.com/best-phone-guide/ Reply
  • Excerpt - Wednesday, October 8, 2014 - link

    Yeah bro, you tell em. And Andrea why U no learn Chinese man? I wanna know what that extra stuff does. I'm going to China in like, a minute, like everyone else. What, you don't care about me bro? I love you man.

    And does it have haptic feed-back for goodness snakes? I want them good vibes in me fingas.

    What about a sit test? Most of us reading here have fat arses, do you know sit (test)? I don't know sit (test) but I wanna hear your experience with sitting, maybe try with a heavy object like a cow, yeah a bull sit test.

    That'd be great keep up the good work. <3
    Reply
  • Murloc - Saturday, September 13, 2014 - link

    1. takes up space
    2. makes the phone structurally weaker
    2. planned obsolence/forced service you have to pay a lot for are good ways to make money
    Reply
  • Alexey291 - Saturday, September 13, 2014 - link

    Takes up literally no space seeing how Samsung S4 and S5 are both smaller and thinner than HTC One (M7 and M8 respectively)
    Arguably the back that's able to pop off makes the phone LESS prone to breaking as it allows the force to dissipate somewhat better than in the case of a rigid structure which simply breaks.
    And lastly I am going to play the world's smallest violin for the POOR POOR manufacturers trying to make a quick buck from planned obsolescence or paid-for battery replacement.

    I mean I know anandtech is all about manufacturer interests but I'll care about their concerns and problems the moment they stop earning millions upon millions in profits.
    Reply
  • Intervenator - Saturday, September 13, 2014 - link

    Are you really saying that the S4 and S5 are thinner than the HTC One because of the replaceable battery? And that it takes up "literally no space"? Really? Reply
  • arsjum - Saturday, September 13, 2014 - link

    Not because of, in spite of. Reply
  • Alexey291 - Saturday, September 13, 2014 - link

    Thank you sir. That's precisely what I meant. Its thinner and yet it has a replaceable battery. Impossiburu /o\

    To me personally all that "the replaceable battery is inefficient" nonsense is just that - nonsense. Some companies are just better at making thinner phones and some try to cut corners (and costs) at every possible stage.

    And yes Anandtech has historically supported nothing but the manufacturer interests. They have been walking on these eggshells for a long time and that's precisely why they never directly criticise any dubious or greedy decision made by their sponsors :) In fact they sometimes go a step further and tell consumers (like myself) that we are wrong in wanting things like replaceable batteries and microsd slots because they are so "inefficient"

    /sigh
    Reply

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