Honor Holly review

Silly name, clever low-cost phone

Honor Holly review
A budget blower that's worth having

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Honor hasn't found its footing in the smartphone market yet. It hasn't established itself as the brand that is doing something "different" yet.

That said, it is still creating smartphones that, on the whole, work well. It has a lot still to do but this is far from a bad pick if you're looking for a low-end phone.

We liked

The value is phenomenal. If you're looking to pick up a phone for under £100 you'll get something impressive right here with a big chunk of spare change to play with as well.

The Holly's display is quite impressive for this price range. It isn't going to blow anyone's mind but it suffices, and video content looks good.

Under the hood, its specs only come in a little under the Motorola Moto G, and that costs a bit more than the Honor Holly currently does.

Onboard storage is impressive considering the software itself only takes up a little over 3GB. Even without grabbing a 32GB microSD you'll have 13GB free for media and such, so you're not likely to run out of space unless you're a seriously big user.

We disliked

The design of the Honor Holly leaves a little bit to be desired. I wasn't expecting a metal unibody,did little to charm me.

Huawei's Emotion UI isn't up to scratch – the overlay restricts and simplifies the Android platform to no purpose. If I was to have this phone as my main handset, I'd need to download a third-party keyboard immediately as Huawei's one is infuriating, with frustrating placing of the virtual keys and a terrible predictive diary.

The lack of LTE connectivity here is now also a problem considering the Moto G and Moto E both now come with 4G on board. Huawei should have offered it here to allow users to connect up to some much speedier internet.

Final verdict

The display on the Honor Holly is perfect for the price and under the hood the processor fits the market perfectly. Battery life isn't a stand out feature, but isn't something to be sniffed at.

I really dislike the Emotion UI and feel if Huawei opted for a stock Android overlay it'd be a more attractive prospect for buyers of the Honor range.

The keyboard needs work, one of my main problems I have can be entirely overhauled by sticking in a third-party option there, so Huawei should have realised that before shipping and struck a deal.

Before buying the Honor Holly be sure to try out the Moto G (2014) that achieves more with a stock UI on board and all round vastly similar specs. It will set you back a little bit more, especially if you want to pick up the version with LTE connectivity, but it may be worth your while if you can spare the money.

First reviewed March 2015

James Peckham

James is the Editor-in-Chief at Android Police. Previously, he was Senior Phones Editor for TechRadar, and he has covered smartphones and the mobile space for the best part of a decade bringing you news on all the big announcements from top manufacturers making mobile phones and other portable gadgets. James is often testing out and reviewing the latest and greatest mobile phones, smartwatches, tablets, virtual reality headsets, fitness trackers and more. He once fell over.