Huawei Shotx : An In-depth look and review.February 1, 2016 / byTalha Masood / Categories : huawei, Tech
In my opinion 2015 wasn’t really a big year for tech, sure lots of devices came out but nothing which substantially blew me away. Except one device Huawei’s Nexus 6p. I immediately fell in love with that device and Huawei made such a good impression on me that I started following them more than other smartphone manufacturers. With the Nexus 6p Huawei did a fantastic job with the build quality, the camera and the finger print sensor and at that time the question on my mind was that this is quite an accomplishment but will this accomplishment carry over to their other devices? And the answer to that is yes indeed. Today we are taking an in-depth look at Huawei ShotX another device from Huawei which makes its mark by having a solid build quality, an amazing camera and an unbelievably good finger print sensor. This is our in-depth look at the Huawei Shotx
The Huawei ShotX comes in an extremely compact box and that’s no exaggeration it’s really a tiny box. The phone is put in vertically in the box, that may sound unusual but it gets the job done. Alongside the phone we get a pair of earphones, really nice looking earphones by the way. A standard micro USB cable, a sim card injector tool and the phone’s documentation.
When I held the Huawei ShotX for the first time not trying to sound overly dramatic (or Jony Ivy-ish wink wink) but it was quite a magical moment, I couldn’t help but admire the chamfered edges and the brushed metallic finishing. The phone really stands out yet still being beautiful in an understated manner.
Here are the major specifications of the Huawei ShotX
Design and Build Quality
The Huawei ShotX is made to be elegant and understated. It’s a wonderfully designed phone and has subtle features in its appearance that really make it stand out from the competition like the texture on the front and the back of the phone and sides finished with brushed metal and the power and volume buttons both made of metals. I love how it feels in the hand and my hand didn’t get tired after holding it for a long period of time. ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)
Overall I love the design of the Huawei Shotx. They did a really great job in the design department. Everything about this phone feels high quality, they could have easily cut a few corners but they didn’t and it really shows in the final product. I would easily recommend this to anyone.
There’s no branding on the front side of the phone I can’t exaggerate enough how much I love it when there’s no branding on the front panel that’s how it should be. On the right side of the phone we have a power button, a volume button and two sim card trays. Though the second sim card tray can also house a micro-SD card. On the left side we have Huawei’s infamous finger print sensor then on the top just a 3.5mm headphone jack and speaker grills and charging port on the bottom. On the back side we have Huawei’s logo and the camera. There’s only one camera which rotates out and can be used as a front camera as well.
Huawei really shines by their build quality, all their recent phones I have tested were all well-constructed and rigid devices and the ShotX is no exception. It looks amazing, it feels fantastic I would say they have out done themselves and in my opinion taken the mantle of making the most well-constructed devices. 5 out of 5 stars for Design and Build Quality.
Huawei ShotX packs a 5.2 inches IPS LCD display with the resolution of 1920 x 1080. The reason why I used the word “packs” is because despite the display panel being 5.2 inches they kept the bezel size pretty small which makes the phone seem like it’s extremely compact and that’s a great addition to an already amazing device.
The screen panel has a pixel density of approximately 424 pixels per inch. I have to give props to Huawei for making such a great display. The colors are nice and saturated and very on point white-balance, the blacks are so dark that I thought it was an AMOLED display at first but it’s just LCD not that that’s a bad thing. A 1080p panel is more than good for a phone of this size and it will stay the standard for the next couple of years for midrange and even some high-end devices.
Here’s a demo of how the display looks:
As you could see, photos and videos look really fantastic on this 1080p panel. Wonderful for enjoying quality content and the screen is big enough for you to truly immerse yourself in the video or the game you’re playing. That elderly person on the screen is the Doctor from Doctor Who my favorite fictional character ever and that wallpaper looks absolutely beautiful I could just stare at my favorite wallpapers all day and I won’t be bored I love the display so much. It’s really so good and hopefully you would enjoy consuming content as much as I did if not more.
4.5 Stars out of 5 for such an amazing display panel.
The Huawei ShotX has a Octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 616 Processor clocked in at 1.5 GHz. I’m glad they opt in for the octa-core version rather than the quad-core version because the 616 is a great well rounded and balanced processing package. Not only does it handle everyday tasks with ease but also heavy intensive apps run smoothly with little to no frame drops.
As you could see it does pretty well in benchmarks but benchmarks aside you can take my word that the phone runs buttery smooth and lets the operating system shine in its glory.
Speaking of performance, we can’t talk about performance without testing some games which is personally my favorite part of reviewing a device. I had a great time with playing games. I’d say 3 out of 15 days I was using the device for were all spent in playing games. Piano tiles 2 to be exact because that game is from the devil itself for people to get addicted to but I also played a few other games as well and the phone handled with without hiccups.
Here’s a demo of how the Shotx handles games.
4.0 out of 5 Stars for performance.
Operating System and Features.
Huawei uses it’s on skin on android named “EMUI” (Emotion UI) based on Android 5.1.1 Lollipop. Even though it is heavily skinned and completely does away with Stock Android it’s actually pretty well designed. That’s refreshing to see in the android world a skin which actually brings a new flavor to android whilst containing Android’s sweetness intact.
Personally I love the time line themed notification panel and the subtle transparency through-out the operating system. You can see a glossy blurred out version of your wallpaper pretty much everywhere in the OS. The card styled grid recent panel is a welcomed edition and the in-call interface was particularly a highlight for me because it just looks so beautiful. The animations through-out the OS are also smooth and they make it look like everything is seamless.
The stock launcher which comes with it is really basic and seems to be influenced by Apple a lot that was my only down point with the UI and this little nitpick can be easily fixed by installing a custom launcher which I did.
All and all EMUI is a very well designed take on Android which lets Huawei make Android it’s own while still having the core functionality and freedom of Android that we all love.
The Finger Print Sensor on the Huawei Shot X is the highlight of the phone. It’s located on the left side and originally I thought “isn’t that unusual?” because we are used to the finger print sensor being either on the front of the phone or at the back of the phone but after using the phone for a while I came to the conclusion that the side is the best place for the finger print sensor. Why? Because when you hold your phone you grip it from the sides and the spot where you would normally rest your thumb is where they put the finger print sensor. It’s genius. Just 15 minutes after setting up the phone I got used to the finger print sensor then afterwards whenever I took the phone out of my pocket or pick it up from the table my thumb or my index finger would naturally go on the finger print sensor.
The placement of the finger print sensor is half the story; the main question is does it perform well? Actually funny story what kept happening to me was that while putting the phone back in my pocket I would accidently touch the sensor and because it’s so sensitive the phone would turn on before I put it in my pocket. So yes it does perform pretty well. If you have never used a finger print sensor before then this will surprise you by how minimal pressure, it requires and how quick it is and if you have used a finger print sensor before either on the Nexus 6p or the Iphone 6s then you will feel right at home because it’s just as fast and just as accurate as those ones.
Once you get used to the finger print sensor it’s hard to move to a device which doesn’t have one. 5 out of 5 Stars for the finger print sensor.
By the name of the device “ShotX” and the decision to put only one camera on it, it’s obvious that they want to market the device for its camera but in order for that to work the camera has to be really amazing. The good thing about Huawei and this phone is that it doesn’t just talk the talk but it walks the walk and that idiom particularly works well for the camera.
The camera on the Huawei ShotX is a 13 mega-pixel sensor capable of taking shots at f2.0 aperture. There’s no front camera but you can rotate the back camera and use it as a front cam. Though I thought that I would get tired by taking the camera out every time I have to use the front cam surprisingly I got used to it pretty fast and when you take the camera out it automatically launches the camera app, so by the time you want to take those sweet selfies everything is ready. Also you can use the flashlight while using the front cam as well. So the next time when you’re in a gathering at night and your group wants to take a selfie and your friend takes out his phone to take a selfie and nothing much is visible because of low light you can act all cool and take out this phone, flip the camera, use the flash and have a pretty decent well-lit photo. Your friend on the other hand just got rekt.
The camera app interface is also a great part of the device. It’s designed in a minimalistic fashion but it also carries some pretty neat tricks. Having a lot of separate mods for food photography and selfies the main highlight for me was being able to take the photo by just pressing the finger print sensor. It may not sound as big of a feature but it works and because of this the camera doesn’t get shaky and you get well focused images.
Here are a few shots I took with the ShotX and screenshot of the camera interface. I would give it 4.5 out of 5 for camera.
The phone has a battery of 3100 mAh and for a phone with a display of 1080p it’s more than enough. I was able to get over 5 hours of screen on time and normally after a long day the phone would still be over 50 percent charging left. That is a pretty solid battery life but I use the phone pretty much all the time if you’re a more moderate user you can get even two days or more of battery life. The phone also has some battery mods installed if you’re going on a long trip and want to save battery you can turn on the power saver all the background operations will stop and you will be able to last the battery for a long time without worrying to find a charger.
I would give it 4 stars out of 5 for battery.
The Verdict on the Huawei Shotx
It’s very hard to find a well-rounded device which checks out all the boxes the Huawei ShotX is one of those few gems where everything is great. The camera? Wonderful. The display? Amazing, you get the point. The 16gb storage and 2gb ram variant comes around 299 dollars and the 32gb storage and 3gb ram variant comes around 350 dollars. It’s a pretty reasonable deal once you consider that it also has a finger print sensor. I would highly recommend that if you get a chance to use it don’t pass it. It’s worth it. Huawei has made me intrigued about what’s to come next and I can’t wait to test some more of their devices in the future. A step in the right direction for Huawei.
Thank you for reading, one of the reasons why I love blogging is because we can raise some interesting points and have a conversation about them. Please comment below of what you thought about the device and give us your feedback. Like our facebook page to stay up to date with our latest content.