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Honor Holly – budget Android smartphone comes with some pedigree style [Review]

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Judging different budget smartphones can get to be a tricky proposition if all you do is look at the specifications. Ticking the boxes rarely gives you a true answer as to value, so it’s important to try and judge a whole package rather than just a set of numbers. The new Honor Holly budget phone is a case in point.

Based on the paper specs, this is a rather middle of the road phone which doesn’t really offer anything interesting at all, but when you actually get down to using the handset you start to see that it’s a pretty capable phone in many ways.

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First impressions
The phone comes in the trademark blue Honor box, along with a user guide and USB charge cable. There’s no frills here, probably to save money. To be honest by now most people will have a USB power source or block and set of headphones from a previous phone, but if you’re new to the whole Android phone thing, you may want to ensure you buy the extras you need at the time.

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The phone’s specifications are solid if unremarkable. It features a 5″ 720p touchscreen, Dual SIM, dual Standby as standard, a quad core 1.3MHz processor with 1 GB RAM and 16 GB of on-board storage. It also supports microSD cards up to 32GB. It sports an 8MP rear camera and a 2000mAh battery which is removable. See our video below for an overview of the functionality.

In use
The phone is surprisingly well finished for something which is priced to sell at the super cheap end of the market. Yes it’s a plastic case, but the phone doesn’t have a flimsy feel at all, and we experienced no flexing in the main body.

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The phone doesn’t support 4G, but the twin SIM card slots share 3G compatibility, which is useful if you like using work and play SIMs in your day to day activities. As with most of these MediaTek phones, you get a nice SIM management app built in which lets you allocate data and voice to different SIMs and even set up special contact lists for each.

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The handset has easily enough power for most standard games and apps, and you get the full access to Google Play store to download your favorites. The Antuttu benchmark score of 19004 is pretty decent for this class of phone, even if it won’t win any awards in the general budget phone sector. We also really liked the ability to set up a super simple home screen interface with the press of a button, which is perfect for those who don’t like cluttered icons on their phone screen.

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If there’s one thing we’re still unsure about, it’s the tendency of Honor to remove the app drawer completely, so all apps you install end up cluttering up the home screens. It’s probably fine for those who don’t use a lot of apps, but if you love having tons of games and apps on your phone, you’ll need to start creating folders on the screens right away (just drop one app icon onto another icon and it happens automatically).

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Conclusion
The Honor Holly is a surprisingly good handset for the little money it costs. When you consider that the flagship smartphones go for around $800 or more, the fact that you can get much of the same functionality out of a phone for around $130 (£90) is very cool. There are more powerful phones out there for the same kind of money, but we’re not convinced that their build quality will be as good as the Honor, which has a brand badge to protect.

Price: £89.99

Sample Images:

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Specifications:
Display – 5.00 inch
Processor – 1.3 GHz
Rear Camera – 8 megapixels
Front Camera – 2 megapixels
RAM – 1 GB
OS – Android 4.4
Storage – 16 GB
Battery capacity – 2000 mAh

Nigel is the managing editor of the Red Ferret, as well as a freelance columnist for the Sunday Times newspaper in London. Loves tech and fancies himself as a bit of a futurist, but then don’t we all?

Nigel – who has written posts on The Red Ferret Journal.


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