Huawei IDEOS Chat (U8300) Touch and Type Review

Written By Sam on 23 September 2011
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Huawei U8300 aka Ideos Chat phone is a cost-effective handset with amazing features from Huawei, a China based multinational networking and telecommunications equipment company. Huawei is known for launching its enhanced handsets that support latest operating systems for a lower price. And now we get to see another such handset through U8300. Based on Android OS, Huawei U8300 is a stylish handset that strives to take smart phone experience to the next level. This cheap yet powerful handset is designed aiming younger generation in markets where there aren’t many established players, and reports indicate that the handset is successful in reaching the targeted audience.

Huawei U8300 or the Ideos Chat costs around 10K and seems similar to some of the Nokia’s touch and QWERTY handsets. U8300 is a candy bar handset that comes with a touch screen located at the top and a brick shaped QWERTY keypad beneath it. The build of the phone is quite sleek and uses a trackball instead of the traditional D-pad. You will also find a 3.5mm jack provided for earphones/headphones at the bottom, volume toggle button on the left side, 3.15 MP rear camera with LED flash, a power button and a microUSB port on the handset. You can lock the handset by providing a single press on the power button, while long pressing it unlocks the screen. Huawei U8300 does not feature a dedicated Home button and a dialer button on screen, which is a bit disappointing.

Having a box like structure, U8300 is built of plastic and looks like an old portable video game (brick game) in shape providing perfect grip to the users holding it. Weighing around 104 grams, Huawei U8300 has dimensions of 94 x 64 x 11 mm that makes it delicate and comfortable to hold in your palms. However, be keen while holding the handset, as there are chances you might cover up round speaker grill at the bottom left corner at the back of the phone which might reduce the volume of the sound as long as you hold it.

Sporting a QWERTY keypad, Ideos Chat comes in vivid bright colors that attract younger generation. This handset has a 2.6 TFT resistive touchscreen with a resolution of 320×240 and ability to display 256K colors along with the QWERTY keypad. This handset does not feature a on-screen keypad, a smart move by Huawei for avoiding inconvenience due to the smaller screen space while typing. Navigating through the menus is fine through the resistive touch screen and you can always use the trackball as a secondary option to navigate and it works perfectly smooth. The resistive touch is as usual not so impressive and does not have Pinch to zoom options, but still you can manage using your trackball and the keypad.

In U8300, you will get fixed-focus 3.2MP camera and LED flash that also abilities to shoot videos at 3gp QVGA (320×240) resolution. Media playback is not so bad but the decibel levels were too low when the bundled earphones are used. Most inspiring factor of this handset is its “Web browsing” capabilities. Ideos Chat provides an impressive browsing experience to the users and works amazingly well with Wi-Fi connection. This handset supports GPRS, EDGE and 3G bringing in great browsing capabilities. You will also get to do tabbed browsing and the default Android 2.1 browser is quite good.

Features of Huawei U8300 (Ideos Chat)

  • Dimensions 94 x 64 x 11 mm and weighs 104 g
  • Resistive 2.6″ TFT touchscreen supporting 256K colors with 320 x 240 pixels
  • QWERTY keyboard
  • Runs on Android 2.1 (Eclair)
  • 3.15 MP, 2048×1536 pixels, LED flash
  • In-Built Accelerometer sensor and Proximity sensor
  • FM Radio and MP3/WAV/WMA/eAAC+ player
  • MP4/WMV/H.264/H.263 player
  • Document viewer (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, PDF)
  • Social networking integration
  • Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and support for 3G
  • Available in three funky colors Green, Yellow and Purple.

Running on Android 2.1, Huawei U8300 has fully customizable home screens and allows you add / modify shortcuts as well. There isn’t any official confirmation about the availability of upgrades to the OS version and we are not sure if Huawei was keen in providing it. Though the processor used and Android version are old, this handset certainly provides all the smart phone functions more than the other handsets available in the market at the same price range. Price of Huawei U8300 (Ideos Chat) is Rs 8,200 and for the features it is providing, it seems to be reasonable!

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