Huawei has finally confirmed it will be bringing the Huawei Vision to UK shores, and we managed to nab some hands on time with the new phone.
It's meant to be a mid-range smartphone, bringing an Android 2.3-powered handset with a £25 a month contract price, according to Huawei.
In truth, it's an interesting proposition in the smartphone market, as it's got all the specs you'd imagine to compete in the market, but without the known brand name behind it.
At the dimly-lit launch event we checked out the new phone - and to its credit, is actually rather well-crafted with a sleek unibody design that tapers to 9.9mm at its thinnest point.
It's definitely a successor to the Huawei Blaze in the design stakes - both have a rounded metallic feel, but the Blaze comes with a more plastic-based chassis (and a lower price point) - this is definitely a step up.
The UI on the Huawei Vision is an interesting one - on the one hand, you've got the standard Android launcher that brings the Google UI we've come to know over the years (based on Android 2.3 if you're interested) or what Huawei is calling a 3D Carousel interface, which is the well-known SPB Launcher that many Android users have already downloaded.
Running a 1GHz processor, the Huawei Vision is a decent enough smartphone - in our swift tests we found that it could handle most things we could throw at it, with internet connectivity seeming pretty swift.
We like the 3D interface, but we're not sure it will be loved by all looking for a new smartphone at the moment, as the spinning interface looks pretty but can get a little annoying to scroll through.
That said, we did enjoy the way you can add and remove panels by simply dragging and dropping in the 3D interface - pretty cool and easy to use.
The 5MP camera also seems to be pretty much standard for a smartphone of this calibre, with simple snaps processing relatively quickly, and certainly more so than the MediaPad tablet also launched.
But it's clear that underneath the spinning interface (if you choose to use that method, that is) we're just looking at mostly stock Android paraphernalia here, such as the stock Gingerbread keyboard and notifications bar, which mimics that first seen on the Google Nexus S.
Huawei Vision early verdict
Huawei wants to make a name for itself in the smartphone market, and the Vision is its early attempt to do just that.
It's a sleek handset that runs the very latest version of Android - and at least it's coming out in UK for Christmas, which is earlier than the MediaPad.
But while we like the 3D interface, it's nothing novel or new as we're just looking at the standard SPB launcher that's proven so popular in the Android Market.
At £25 a month, we're interested to see whether Huawei gains much traction in the UK smartphone market, given its up against the likes of the Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc S.
We're hoping to see more from Huawei in the coming months as it begins its promised assault on the smartphone market, so stay tuned.
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