Keeping with the theme of minimal core app design, Huawei's messaging tool opens as a blank, white screen with a thin row of icons along the bottom. Despite so much of the user experience being customisable, there is no option in the Settings for this app to change the way it looks.

Huawei keyboard

Perhaps this is a good thing, as it will keep you focused on the job at hand -- reading and writing text messages. Perhaps we are silly to want a little colour in one of the apps we will spend so much of time?

In the composition window, you can easily add a contact to the message using a link to the Contacts app from within the message. You can select multiple contacts this way and send our a group message.

Once you have settled on who will receive the missive, you bring up the Huawei Keyboard to write out your thoughts.

This keyboard isn't among the best OEM designed virtual keyboards we've used lately, with poor auto-correction for spelling errors, and way too many keystrokes to manually fix up typos.

We do love that one of the option in the keyboard settings is an option to make the keyboard much bigger than the default onscreen height. There are four sizes to choose from, but we just went straight for the largest size and suggest you do too.

You can also switch easily between a full-QWERTY keyboard layout and a simpler T9 keypad map by swiping from one side of the keyboard to the other.