Review: Huawei Premia 4G for MetroPCS
The Premia includes a basic music player application, as well as the Google Play Music app. The first works as a simple playback app for content you've side-loaded via memory card, while the second has a richer feature set in addition to its ties to the Google Play Music Store. It lets you stream music that you've stored on Google's servers. The Premia also ships with the Rhapsody music service on board, which lets you stream music to the device for a monthly fee.
Music sounded very good when played back through my favorite set of headphones.
As for video playback, the Premia includes the stock YouTube app, basic video player, and the Google Play Music & TV app. All of them work well.
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The Premia uses a slightly modified version of the stock Android 4 camera app. It's simple, direct, and quick. Though there's no physical camera button, there is a shortcut from the lock screen. It launches quickly.
The camera viewfinder presents a stark user interface. There's a simple toggle control on the left for switching between different flash modes. There's also a small arrow button that opens a drawer of quick-action buttons (shooting mode, brightness, white balance, and full settings). The settings allow you to control some basic parameters, such as geotagging, ISO, timers, review, picture quality/resolution, face detection, HDR, and so on.
The Premia includes touch-to-focus, which is always a nice feature to have. The camera takes a second or so to focus, and then another to shoot and store the image. The process could be a little faster; the actual image-capturing process is the one feature where the Premia's low-grade processor has a negative impact.
The Premia has a 5-megapixel camera with autofocus and flash. In general, I was fairly pleased with the results. They're not amazing, but they are certainly worth sharing across your social networks. The images were mostly in focus, and had accurate white balance and exposure. I did see a tiny bit of grain, but otherwise the Premia does a good job.
The highest video quality that the Premia can capture is 720p HD. It did a good job at capturing clean, in-focus, and correctly-exposed video. The results aren't going to bowl anyone over, but they will be worthy of sharing on YouTube. I particularly liked how smooth movement was.
The gallery is the stock Android 4.0 application, which will connect with various online photo accounts and let you access them all from the device's various albums.
When viewing individual photos, on-screen controls make deleting, sharing, or editing them a snap. Editing features include crop, rotate, straighten, flip, sharpen, and reduce red-eye. There are also a number of effects that can be applied to the images. It connects with most social networks.
The Premia ships with the Google Chrome browser, as well as some MetroPCS-branded web tools (MetroWeb, etc.). Chrome works well on MetroPCS's LTE 4G network. Browsing speeds were good, but, as I've noted in the past, not as fast as what's available from Metro's competitors. Plenty of alternative browsers are available in the Google Play Store if you don't like Chrome.
The Premia comes with an array of MetroPCS applications. Some include: M Studio, Metro411, MetroWeb, MyMetro, MyXtras, Metro Block-It, and the Metro-branded App Store. Some of these can be deleted; some cannot. Despite the fact that there are 52 apps installed, there's still enough space left on the Premia for you to download your own applications.
The Premia supports mono and stereo Bluetooth headsets. I had no trouble pairing with either. Sound quality through mono headphones was acceptable, but the volume was unacceptable. The only place I was able to make calls via Bluetooth was in a quiet office, which sort of defeats the purpose. Music pushed to stereo Bluetooth headphones sounded good, though.
The Premia offers the standard Android clock on the lock screen, which is visible when the device is first woken from sleep. It's a nice, large digital clock that's easily visible everywhere except under direct sunlight. It can't be customized, though.
The Premia includes Google Maps, which is a powerful set of tools when it comes to routing directions and discovering nearby points of interest. The Premia's GPS radio performed very well, and was able to quickly pinpoint my location to within 25 feet most of the time.
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