Granted this isn’t the stock launcher and I am NO fan of Emotion UI (Huawei’s skinning and subsequent renaming of Android), but I love this thing!
Picked up for around £100 now, this has most of the features I like and not many that I don’t. Let’s start with the specs; 1.6ghz Quad Huawei ‘Hisilicon’ CPU with 1gb of ram, an outside of the norm chip selection, probably looking to imitate Samsung in pushing it’s own cpu’s in modern devices (GS6 Exynos Octa core). It won’t win any benchmark awards but in everyday use is great, though I have noticed the odd stutter caused by low RAM and probably poor choice of cpu in my opinion and as there is not a lot of bloatware installed I can only attribute some blame to the Emotion UI for this.
I have resorted to ‘L’ (Lollipop) Launcher now as Holo Launcher HD was a constant FC and Google Launcher made it play much less nicely (ram and cpu again suspected), the former is a much lighter alternative whilst keeping the feel of the most recent Android stock launchers. Now its smooth ish.
There are numerous custom ROMs available for the M1, lollipop caught my eye instantly and I would of loved to try it but there was an update available which enabled gsm voice calling and I simply wasn’t prepared to lose that feature for the sake of being up with the times for a while. I love that this is a phone at its core, but some madman has added an 8 inch 720p screen and dual surround sound its great!
Every review I have read for this device, the screen is the biggest complaint. At this price point (not the original price of £300 mind!) the screen is totally adequate for video, games and small text I think the reviewers are all spoilt and are so used to the high end everyday they miss the point of the more accessible devices. The resolution among other things, is the same as the first Tegra Note 7 that was superb and marketed as a gaming device so no fears there.
The skinning isn’t a bad thing in some areas, Huawei has added some great features here I was particularly surprised to see the option to format micros SD cards as NTFS as well as the standard FAT32 possibly improving read, write speeds. I have moved a couple of apps to the card and its not really noticeable but moving the apps frees ram so ‘every little helps’ as Tesco say. The ‘suspend button’ is also a neat little addition, much like samsung’s multi-window feature this extra little half button floats around the edge of the screen giving access to a small ring dock containing some slightly useful though uneditable shortcuts like ‘messaging’ which of course being a massive Google fan, is redundant as Hangouts has included SMS for some time now it would be nice if the shortcuts could be altered. The lockscreen is quite nice playing a piano scale as you swipe, no lockscreen widgets here but no big deal unless you need a torch or quick camera neither of which would I be grabbing a tablet for.