Date Joined: 08/24/12
Pros: Price, performance, design, experience
Cons: none so far
Overall Review: Let me preface this by saying I am one of those dying breed that had clung to windows phone platform for past decade seeing some future in it and now finally given up after Microsoft completely seemed to be abandoning its user base. Finally I decided to change my platform because Microsoft themselves offer their apps on all major platforms and I do like their software. Plus there are many more apps available, now I am questioning myself why did I not switch a long time ago? So my comment will be based on perspective of a long time windows phone user who just made a switch to android (on phone).
In terms of price, design and specs, it’s just superb. Huawei has made one gorgeous phone at very affordable price and this phone can easily compete in all three aspects with the so called “high end” phone that are currently on the market. The phone feels solid on hand, right size for me, 1080p display is good and has glass paneling in the back but that is ok with me. With transparent cover it look very nice. It has an octa-core processor (hard to imaging we now have portable devices with 8 cores) and 4 Gigs of RAM which should provide a smooth performance. I bought the 32 GB storage one but I like the expandable SD card slot it comes with storage should never be an issue. My girlfriend uses iPhone and I see her phone sending out of local and cloud storage warnings asking her to invest money on icloud. That shouldn’t be a problem here. Also along with the expandable storage, this phone integrates with one drive, google drive and dropbox. So both could and local storage should not be an problem at all.
Now moving from hardware to software itself, so far I like what I see. A lot of people seem to have issue with EMUI but it does seem to offer some good feature. I myself have changed my launcher to Google Now Launcher because I also have been using Nexus 7 table (2013) for few years now and I am familiar with it. In terms of feature EMUI offers, I am not sure whether it is the android itself offering it or Huawei adding it but it seems to have some good memory and battery management feature. It makes clearing apps from memory easy and alerts of apps that are trying to go rouge and draining your battery (I am looking at you facebook), so you disable them from running in the background and if it annoys too much just uninstall it. With that the battery life is pretty good. With 4 GB of RAM, everything so far has been fast and fluid. I am not a mobile gamer so I think I will continue seeing this lag less performance as many apps continue to use multi-core processors. Having used the phone for a while, now I see what I was missing by staying on windows platform. I used to think I am not an avid app user so I don’t need all the apps in the world and get away with some basics, which I had to for all these years, but now that I am on android, there is no limitation on what apps I use. Plus the combination of apps and hardware, mainly authentication with fast fingerprint sensor, make the experience really nice. Especially with banking apps. First I have native banking apps for all the banks I use for the first time in my phone and second fingerprint authentication is awesome. All in all so far I like what Huawei has to offer. I hope EMUI 5 doesn’t disappoint.
Finally, the migration itself. Migration from one phone to another in same platform is sometimes pain but I had to migrate to different phone in different platform. However it wasn’t as much of a pain as I thought it would be. I was easily able to transfer my contracts from outlook app. I was just as easily able to transfer my music and pictures from windows phone – I just had to copy it to the micro sd card and Honor 8 was able to pick it from there. And last but not the list, migrating SMSes wasn’t that much of an issue either. I was able to export them to msg format from windows phone, convert them to xml that android could understand and import them using Carbonite’s SMS backup and Restore app. It was a seamless process. Since I like onedrive, I was also able to auto upload my pictures taken by Honor 8 automatically to onedrive. One thing I didn’t quite like was, the default messaging app seems to load all the messages at once for a contact. For one contact, I have over 20k messages. So instead of doing on-demand loading as you scroll up, it seems to be loading everything at once and trying to add to the list as you send new messages. This seems to degrade performance a little bit but I was easily able to overcome it by exporting all the message for this contact, removing the historical message and only keeping 2016 history and reimporting back it. Now the performance is pretty good and I have an actual back of messages on my PC/Cloud if I ever need to go to historical data.
Anywho, I am satisfied over all so far. I just hope performance and battery life isn’t an issue far down into the future so that I have to lower my ratings / rant at Huawei.