A while back we received the Huawei Ascend G615 and the Mate for testing, and we were excited to be able to test these two devices simultaneously to see what was different between the two, apart from the obvious thing to the naked eye.
Both the Ascend G615 and the Mate where presented by Huawei in January of 2013 and were released in March of the same year. But they could not have been any more different even if Huawei had purposely tried it. You can check out the review of the Huawei Ascend Mate here, but please read on to know more about the Ascend G615, the last Huawei that was released without Huawei’s UI overlay, the Emotion UI.
Design And Ergonomics
The Huawei Ascend G615 has a slick design and if you were expecting a flashy device, sorry to disappoint. The G615 is not flashy at all, it is simple and for those of us that are used to looking at Samsung’s devices and even the new Huawei devices such as the P2 and the P6 it is a bit bulky.
The G615 stands at 134×67.5×10.5 mm and if you compare that with the P6 that sits at 132.7×65.5×6.2 mm and bear in mind that the P6 has a 4.7-inch screen while the G615 has a 4.5-inch screen, you quickly see that there is a lot of free room in the G615 to go around.
On the front of the G615 you will find the 3 Android touch buttons below the screen then on the top you have the frontal 1.3MP camera and the luminosity sensor.
On the right you will find both the power button and the volume rocker, the left side is completely void of buttons as it is where you will find the microUSB cable slot that will allow you to connect your G615 to your pc or charge it. The bottom is void of any buttons as well and it is where you will find the microphone.
On the back you have the 8MP rear camera near the top, along with its LED flash and on the bottom you have the stereo speakers and finally on the top you have the 3.5mm earphone jack.
The back cover is removable and when you remove it you are able to se the slot for the microSD card near the top of the device, below the camera, right next to the SIM card slot. Below you find the 2000mAh battery.
As said before the G615 has a 4.5-inch screen with a resolution of 720×1280 pixels and around 326ppi of pixel density joined with IPS. All these specifications put together will give you a decent window to whatever you want to see on your G615.
Unlike some devices we have been testing the G615 has a luminosity sensor that reacts quickly and effectively to light changes making it easier for you to go through several kinds of environments without having to lose focus of what you are currently doing with your device.
When it comes to viewing angles the G615’s screen does a great job allowing you to view everything you want to view no matter if the device is sitting flat on a table or if you are looking straight at it. Colors displayed on the screen are bright and sharp, which also will make you enjoy the G615 more.
Performance and Software
As we’ve stated in the beginning of this review, the Huawei Ascend G615 is one of the last devices from Huawei that don’t have Emotion UI installed and even tough it is not pure Android you can still see some resemblance to it. The G615 comes with 4.0.4 Android with 1GB of RAM and a QuadCore 1.4GHz CPU to make it work flawlessly.
Apart from the specifications that we all love to hear about what counts the most is the performance we can see with the naked eye as we use the phone in a daily basis.
On the G615 you have a few homescreens to organize your widgets and shortcuts and they are more than enough to get you through the day. You can customize your wallpaper and the wallpaper of the lockscreen.
As has been usual thus far with Huawei devices we have tested, the Mate, P2 and P6 the G615 isn’t bloated with pre-installed applications that are useless to everyone. You will be able to see this in the video review there are very few pre-installed applications and those that are there are useful one way or another.
You have All Backup that allows you to backup everything on your device so that if you happen to run into an issue you can still recover everything you once had. Besides All Backup you have a File Manager, a Flashlight, DLNA, Notes and a Voice Dialer.
This might not seem like much, as for instance you don’t have an Office Suite of any kind like Kinsoft Suite but since Google have their Driver available you will be able to get a lot of work done there, and if that isn’t enough for you just go to the PlayStore and download a Suite of your liking.
As far as contacts are organized, you have a list of contacts displayed in alphabetical order and you also have a list with your favorite contacts, the latter can be filled automatically based on your communications or you can choose them by hand.
The keyboard of the G615 could be better, as it seemed to not be very responsive at times and would fail to pick up whatever we were trying to write. You will also be able to take a look at this in the video review, as we went to the messaging application in order to take it for a test drive and in my honest opinion, it wasn’t the best keyboard I’ve tested so far, but it also wasn’t the worst.
So if you aren’t too picky about how you write and if you don’t mind writing in landscape mode most of the time you won’t have any problems with the G615.
The G615 behaved much better than the Mate when it came to performance benchmarks, game playing and usability. You can take a look at the benchmark results, but that won’t tell you nearly enough has what you will be able to see in the video review.
The G615 behaved admirably in regular use, swiping through homescreens, locking and unlocking, looking at the notifications, etc. No lagging or flaws were noticeable during the time I handled it. One would think that with only 1GB of RAM it would probably end up freezing up from time to time and interface elements would simply stop to respond but that isn’t the case.
There was a thing that worried me though, its temperature rose fairly quickly both when performing the benchmark tests and when running some games, of course this isn’t worrisome during the Winter as having a warm smartphone is always something desirable to keep your hands from the cold, but during the Summer I have to believe this would turn up to be a bigger issue.
Regarding playing games on the G615, it was enjoyable to play the usual suspects, Dead Trigger, Fruit Ninja and Real Racing 3.
In real racing 3 we didn’t notice any slowdown during game play but it is definitely noticeable flaws in the graphics, as you will be able to see in the second part of the video review below.
Fruit Ninja ran without any flaws whatsoever and Dead Trigger performed admirably as well. Dead Trigger being the heaviest of the tried games it would be expected to notice some flaws in graphics or even a decrease of performance, but even when the zombies appeared out of nowhere in packs you won’t experience a slowdown big enough that would make you quit the game out of frustration.
Sound and Video
We have already mentioned in the beginning of this review that the G615 has stereo speakers near the bottom of the back of the device. These speakers do a great job reproducing the sound from tracks you might be listening to or even movies you might be watching.
At some point in the first part of the video review we did the usual sound check and went to youtube to see how the G615 fared. We blasted the speakers and as you can see in the video there was no distortion and the sound was still as clear as you would expect it to be.
Even though in the video you might think the display’s quality isn’t that good, bear in mind that this is being captured by a regular video camera and not a professional one, and the screen of the G615 was all smudged up.
Connectivity and Battery Life
The G615 has WiFi (802.11 b/g/n), DLNA, Bluetooth (3.0 with A2DP and HS) and 3G networking capabilities. No NFC or LTE on this device but I have to say that I didn’t have a need for LTE while testing it as the networking speeds were fair enough.
During the testing period I didn’t notice any handicaps as far as network signal go, there were no sudden drops of any kinds and it seemed to pick up the signal as good as any other devices I have tested so far.
When it comes to battery life we all have learnt not to expect much from smartphone s nowadays and the G615 is not an exception to that rule.
You will get through a working day fine with one charge but sooner or later you will have to charge it midday. It will handle 8 hours with the usual suspects on, WiFi and 3G, sending a few text messages and keeping up dated with your emails, maybe some short calls but will be about it before you get a signal that it needs to be charged.
By now we all know that the numbers regarding the cameras in smartphones are just to get you hyped up, and more probable than not, disappointed.
The rear camera of the G615 has 8MP and is able to take pictures up to 3264×2448 pixels. It is also able to record videos at 1080p@30fps.
The frontal camera has only 1.3MP and is able to record videos at 720p@30fps.
I tested the rear camera indoors, took a few pictures and recorded a few videos. The video samples we’ve recorded are below and the usual snapshot tests are also available in the gallery for you to take your own conclusions.
I have to say I took a lot more snapshots than those that are displayed here, and most of them had to be deleted, as they weren’t properly focused, so it is safe to say that focusing this camera is not an easy task.
You will also notice that as the light available decreases the graininess on the pictures gets more noticeable. Of course the flash does its job well and lights up the picture properly to capture it.
Indoor Sample Low Light:
Indoor Sample Low Light Flash:
Video Review Part 1:
Video Review Part 2:
Although I enjoyed reviewing the G615 and I would advise many to buy it if we were still in the start of 2013 when it first came out, I have to say its bulkiness when compared to other devices available on the market today would certainly throw me off buying it now.
It seems too large and too thick to only have a 4.5-inch screen and the fact that it only has 8/16 GB of internal storage and 1GB of RAM doesn’t change my opinion either. Back when it was released it would be a great buy, especially with the low price tag it had back then.
Now you have the P2 or the P6 out there to consider, they have both better hardware and better looks at a decent price tag. One thing you will not be able to get now is a Huawei device without the Emotion UI but that just means you will need to adapt to it if you still want a Huawei device.
All in all a good device from Huawei that definitely had its place in the tribune when it came out, but now it has been surpassed by its younger brothers.
Review by: Cátia Sofia Ferreira @ Android Emotions