Living with Tech: Huawei SnapTo Review Wrap-Up
It’s now been two weeks of living with the Huawei SnapTo as my primary driver, and I feel comfortable that my method has proven out my impressions of the device. Let’s walk through the wrap-up and discuss the rationale for the final score.
Of the last two rounds of testing that I put the SnapTo through, one was putting the device on a shelf and picking back up one of my premium devices; in this case specifically the HTC One M8. I do this to make sure that I am not drinking the Kool-Aid of a new shiny. Comparing the review unit immediately to a device that I am more intimately familiar with gives me a chance to reality check some of the things that I said in the first two parts of the review. I also ran a gamut of multimedia tasks to see how the SnapTo held up under the really fun tasks.
When I put the SnapTo away and broke out the HTC One M8 I realized that the SnapTo’s soft leather-touch back was nice, but still a ways far off from HTC’s materials and design. The curved back of devices like the One M8 and the LG G3 offer great palm-ability. I also started to see the deltas in screen appeal. While the sharpness of text on the SnapTo is truly remarkable for such a low-priced device, it does not stack up to the richness of the HTC One M8’s display overall.
I played a couple of racing games on the Huawei SnapTo. Much like other things I found on this device, gaming certainly plays well, but does not spectacularly impress. I did see some performance hits whenever the system was running a game with lots of units, or a few intricately drawn units, on the screen. This happened rarely, though. It drew graphics amazingly well in MMX Racing. But you could see a hitch or two whenever you were actually running against an AI opponent.
Music playback was similarly above average. I continue to applaud Huawei for the large volume they are able to get of the single speaker assembly. Overall volume was great, but just not very warm in tone. It is fine for background tunes while washing dishes, but not for appreciating the tunes that you are really an audiophile about.
Video playback was well enough. Colors were not a rich as I would have preferred. And dialogue was sometimes muddled. I also could not get Google Play Movies to render the visuals of anything I played. The movie’s audio track would play, but no video would render. I chalked that up to a Google Play problem or some other glitch or error. I got some things to play back on Hulu. I was treated to playback that did not have particularly popping, engaging colors. Audio in video playback was the least discernible of any of the media tasks I rolled through.
I put the cameras head-to-head, but rather than comment on them I’ll let you decide. Again, the other camera was an HTC One M8. You’ll find the gallery links at the end of the post.
In conclusion, in its price range, the Huawei SnapTo is a formidable threat to other budget handsets. Many of its features function just like a higher-end phone. The few areas where it skimps are places where the overall impact will be fairly low in day-to-day use.
Where things unravel a bit is in multimedia consumption. Now, if you’ve never used a premium device, and/or don’t have one, there is a good chance that none of this will matter and you’ll be perfectly fine. And the media features are strongly serviceable. They simply noticeably trail those of a higher-end device when placed in direct comparison, but there are 100 reasons why that might not and should not matter to a person who is in the market for this price-level of a device. You get a lot for your money with the Huawei SnapTo, and you might not miss the stuff that you are not getting. You’ll be running an unlocked device, on an inexpensive plan with no commitment to a Wireless Carrier. This is not a great device overall, but it is a great budget device. It is worth checking out if you are in the market for new device that you need to last you two years on a budget, or definitely for an emergency phone in the event yours has met with an unfortunate accident.