Huawei Honor Holly review – does this compete with Android One smartphones?

After launching Honor 6, Huawei had launched a low budget smartphone called the Huawei Honor Holly. This handset comes with almost the same specifications as found on the Android one smartphone, in fact with slightly better features. Is it better than the Android One smartphones? Let’s find out.

Inside the Box
The box packing is similar to as seen with Honor 6 handset. Inside you will find the Handset, warranty card, user manual, data cable, travel charger and 2000 mAh battery. Earphone is not included. SAR Value 1.29W/kg as mentioned on the box.

Design and Display
The Holly handset has got a curvy look, curved top and bottom sides and slightly curved back towards the edges. Build quality and finishing is very good. The handset has got a glossy finish both on front (black) as well as the back (White) panel.

Weight with battery is 156 grams and dimensions are 72.31mm x 141.94mm x 8.93mm. Power buttons and volume rockers are on the right side, 3.5mm audio jack on the top and micro USB port at the bottom. There are dual mics for noise cancellation.

Huawei Honor Holly box pack

The Holly comes with bigger screen resolution and size. Android one smartphones are with 4.5 inch screen with FWVGA resolution where as this one (Honor Holly) is with a 5 inch screen with 1280 x 720 pixels resolution. Colour reproduction is very good and viewing angles are okay.

This handset comes loaded with accelerometer, light, proximity and magnetic sensors. The android one smartphones are with an extra Gyro sensor. There is LED notification.

Huawei Honor Holly review

This is a dual SIM handset and SIM 1 supports 3G. Both the slots are Micro SIM. Native video calling is not supported.

Memory, Storage and OS
This handset is packed with 1GB RAM and 16GB storage. Android One comes with 4GB internal storage. On the first boot you will get 603MB free RAM and of the 16GB storage about 13GB is allocated for apps and user storage. There is micro SD card slot that supports 32GB external cards. Apps can be installed on the external storage.

Huawei Honor Holly review

OTG is not supported. The Honor Holly sails on Android 4.4.2 with Emotion UI.

Performance and Benchmark
The Holly Honor Model Hol-U19 is using the MediaTek MT6582 quad core chipset clocked at 1.3GHz with Mali 400 MP GPU. Performance is lag free. However because of higher resolution the FPS is low but good enough.

Benchmark scores compared with Canvas A1

App Results (Holly) Results (canvas A1)
Quadrant 3865 4216
Antutu 18151 18707
Vellamo Metal (804) Multi core (1215) Browser (1587) Metal (777) Multi core (1142) Browser (1713)
Nenamark 2 50.7fps 62.3fps
Multi Touch 5 point 10 point

The benchmark differences between the Canvas A1 and Holly is because of customized UI and bigger screen + resolution.

Camera and Entertainment
The Holly comes with 8MP rear AF camera with LED flash and 2MP on the front. As far as the camera quality is concerned when compared to the Android One phones there is not much of a difference. If you look closely the Holly has slightly better output but as mentioned the difference is hardly noticeable.

Rear camera can shoot 1080p videos. You can check the sample images at the end. This handset can play FHD videos.

Huawei Honor Holly 8MP rear camera with LED

Gaming
I played MC5 (Modern Combat 5) and Asphalt 8. Both games got installed on external storage. Asphalt 8 was playable in high visual quality mode.

Others
sound (speaker / in call) is loud and clear. No issues with 3G, GPS, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.

Battery
Holly comes with removable battery of 2000 mAh capacity. Here are the test results.

Huawei Honor Holly battery 2000 mAh

Task Time Battery drop (%) (max temp)
Running Benchmark apps 23 minutes 11% (35)
FHD video playback (loop) with Wi-Fi on + full brightness 70 minutes 12% (38)
MC5 + Asphalt 8 GamePlay 26 minutes 23% (38)

You can watch movies using MX player in H/W mode for over 8 hours. For normal to moderate usage the battery backup is 4 to 8 hours and with heavy usage like playing games battery will drain faster. I faced battery calibration issue and after a full drain / recharge I am getting over  a day of backup with moderate usage.

Huawei Honor Holly hands on

Verdict
Holly is slightly better than the Android One smartphones, however I am not sure if this handset will get regular android updates. Key advantage when compared to Android one are – 16GB storage, 5 inch screen with 720p resolution and 8MP camera. The 2000 mAh battery was needed to compensate the higher screen and better resolution.

In general it is a good alternative to Android One smartphone, slightly better for a small extra price.

Huawei Honor Holly is priced at Rs. 6,999.

Huawei Honor holly image gallery


Sample images

Front camera sample

Honor Holly video review

1080p video shot using holly handset

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