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Review: Huawei Premia 4G for MetroPCS

Form Performance Basics Extras Wrap-Up Comments  1  

Apr 27, 2013, 9:37 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

Huawei offers up an entry-level Android smartphone for MetroPCS that covers the basics and then some. Here is Phone Scoop's full report.

Is It Your Type?

The $99 Huawei Premia 4G is among the least expensive smartphones in MetroPCS's roster of devices. It's a compact Android phone that offers entry-level specs and entry-level performance. Budget smartphone shoppers will find plenty to like.

Body

The Huawei Premia, which is an update to the Activa, makes no attempt to be flashy, special, or stylish. It has a spartan, utilitarian design that favors function over form. It is a black slab that's made of average materials and works about as well as a $99 phone should.

The front face is made of glass, of course, and that is surrounded by a shiny black rim made of plastic. The battery cover encompasses the entire rear of the Premia and wraps around the sides to meet the shiny black rim. The seam where these two meet is somewhat uneven. The material used to form the back and sides is a dull, textured dark gray plastic. It gives the Premia some grip in the hand, no doubt, but feels cheap.

 

Body

Click a thumbnail above for a larger view.

The height and width of the Premia aren't too much, but at 12mm thick, the Premia feels downright beefy. I suppose I have been spoiled by devices that measure less than 8mm. It may not sound like much, but that 4mm makes a huge difference in how the Premia feels in the hand. Its saving grace, perhaps, is the soap-bar shape that produces a comfortable, rounded profile. You will notice when the Premia is in your pocket thanks to its thick profile.

When set flat on a table or desk, the plastic rim will prevent the glass from getting scratched. The display is swimming in an unattractive, thick bezel. Huawei's logo, positioned above the screen, often catches light, giving it a bit of flair. There are three capacitive controls beneath the display. They are flush with the glass.

There are but two physical controls on the Premia 4G. The volume toggle is positioned along the right edge of the phone. I had trouble with this one, but only because so many devices put the screen lock button here. The button itself works well. The actual screen lock button is on the top edge of the phone. It’s easy to find, but travel and feedback are pathetic. The standard headphone jack joins the screen lock button on top. The microUSB port is on the left edge of the phone. There is no dedicated camera button.

As mentioned earlier, the battery cover is a shell that forms the entire back half of the Premia. It comes off very easily. Once removed, the battery, SIM card slot, and microSD card slots are all plainly visible. MicroSD cards can be inserted/removed at will, but the SIM card cannot be pulled unless you first remove the battery. The Premia uses a full-sized SIM card, not a microSIM card.

Almost everything about the Premia 4G's hardware functions properly. I only wish the lock screen button felt better and the whole thing didn't have a bargain-basement aura to it.

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Huawei premia weld78 May 12, 2013, 6:51 PM
 
 
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