ideos The way I read it, 2Degrees’ main target market is the younger pre-pay user. They’re not (yet) looking for corporate accounts or sophisticated high-end smartphone users. In this sense, the IDEOS U8150 is a great fit as their first smartphone: capable, not going to stun the geeks, but priced well for the market.

At $379 outright, you can’t expect the U8150 to compete with the iPhone 4 or top-end android phones, but it performs admirably. I think this is largely down to the unmodified Android 2.2 version that Huawei have loaded on the phone. Even with a 528MHz CPU, the U8150 performs almost snappily. In fact in places it out-performs a full-price Android smartphone running 2.1 with layers of OEM cruft.

It still has that classic Android UI lag, with the screen running a few milliseconds behind your thumb. But the thing is, I’m ok with that for the price. When I pay near-on $1000 for a phone, I want it to feel like an iPhone or Windows Phone under my thumb. But for $379? I’ll accept feature-phone performance and smartphone features.

Features? We got Features!

Another huge plus of vanilla Android 2.2 “with Google” is you’re guaranteed to get all the things you’d expect from Android. Apps, maps, email, contact sync, navigation, active wallpaper. It’s all right there out of the box. Which is frankly amazing for the price. This phone even does some stuff that the iPhone 4 can’t do: it has WiFi tethering and FM Radio.

I like Huawei’s approach with this device. Step away from the forking customisations that HTC, Sony, Samsung, and others seem so enamored by, and just run the device the way Google planned. And Huawei are no slouches either: apparently their network gear is behind the networks that serve more than a billion humans.

So what are you compromising by not spending $500 more? Two key things: screen size and upgrades. The screen is tiny, and the on-screen keyboard is just adequate at the size. If you txt and email a lot, play with one first to make sure you’re comfortable.

The lack of upgrades will be a concern for the geek-set: Huawei have categorically stated that this phone won’t be getting Android 3.0. I don’t know if that also means no other 2.x versions, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they’ve dropped the facility for upgrades altogether. Again: no real drama for the target market, because 2.2 doesn’t lack features (like 1.x) or performance (like 2.1).

One-upmanship

Vodafone tried to pull one over 2Degrees by dropping their 845 Android phone to $199. Thing is, the 845 is really at the level of a throwaway phone, or perhaps just barely valid as an emergency backup for smartphone users. A resistive touch screen and Android 2.1 on slow hardware is just a recipe for pain and anguish. Comparing the devices side-by-side, you can see a couple of other places the 845 falls short: no FM radio, no 802.11n (but it does have a headphone plug too).

Do yourself a favour and stretch to the IDEOS if you’re looking for a cheap Android phone.

Conclusion

I can’t believe how good the kids have it these days. When I was a young scallywag I had to pair a Nokia phone with an iPaq (that’s a Q there, not a D) over infrared.

Pros:

  • Did I mention the price?
  • Vanilla Android 2.2
  • Capacitive touch screen
  • Coloured backs for cool kids

Cons:

  • Screen size and resolution (ok for price though)
  • No upgrades to Android 3

Join the Conversation

255 Comments

  1. Thanks for the review of this one, Ben. Been wondering whether I should hold out until I can afford a fully featured smartphone, but have been tempted by this and the 845 (which I have all but discounted as an option now, partly due to this review). I’m also really starting to waiver on my original goal of a Samsung Galaxy S by mid next year, and am thinking the iPhone would be a better choice after all (once again partly due to your feedback).

    I’m primarily considering an Android device because I want to get into mobile development, and as my wife already has an iPhone 4, that would give me two physical phones with differing mobile OSes to break. I also quite like the look of the new Windows Mobile, but being a Mac user I’m not convinced it will fit well into the rest of my computing infrastructure (esp. for synching of content and data). I do have Parallels and Fusion, which can be used at a pinch (esp. considering Parallels is running constantly on my work laptop, and already hosts other mission critical Windows only software). I’m also sure the Windows Mobile platform will improve significantly with age, just as the iPhone has, so am not sure I want to jump on that bandwagon at the v1 stage.

    1. If you’ve got a Mac, you can get into iPhone development for zero outlay. It’s only when you want to put stuff on the App Store that you have to start paying. But like you say, having an Android in the house would allow you to branch out to different platforms to see which you prefer (or learn both).

      There’s a Mac sync tool for WP7 available now. It only syncs photos/video/audio (as does Zune). Everything else is synced over the air.

      The Galaxy is one of the better Android phones on the market at the moment, but there’s a cluster of others that are equally competent (Nexus One, the new Desire HD, etc). The Galaxy’s screen is to die for.

      There’s no easy answer sorry, and it’s just going to get harder when Android 3.0 comes out and WP7 matures.

      1. Thanks for the input, Ben. I already have Xcode installed, and am working my way through some excellent iTunesU videos from the University of Stanford (http://ax.itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewiTunesUCollection?id=384233225). At the moment the lack of spare time is my biggest barrier there, as it is at this stage a hobby endeavor. At a previous job, I was doing a lot of Compact Framework development on iPaqs, and fell in love with mobile development then. Its been something I’ve wanted to rekindle for a while now.

        Hopefully Android 3.0 will be out and commonplace on handsets by the time I’m ready to pony up for a new phone (largely dependent on Mr Taxman being kind to me next year, and the US dollar sorting itself out). Its partly because of this that I’ve been looking at viable cheaper alternatives, which may allow a phone upgrade a lot sooner.

      2. @Ben: you can develop for free, but you start paying when you want to put the app on a device.
        Untill you pay the $99USD you can only run you apps on the emulator.
        That’s what the deal was when I last checked anyway 🙂

    2. I have the Galxy S and I would recommend it to anyone who wants a top phone. However, I would wait for the Froyo (android 2.2) upgrade before purchasing if you’re not in a hurry.

      1. Hmm, I assume so. I don’t have any headset with me atm, but the custom rom i’m using has a FM radio player and asks me to plug in a headset. I can give it a go when I get home.

  2. Given that the source for the U8150’s Froyo kernel is already floating around, and given that there are already third-party ROMs for the U8230 (and the Pulse) I’d say there’s every chance of root and CM6.

    Yeah, but no Gingerbread. Rumours of 1GHz minimum spec were floating around earlier this year.

    Then again, you can get Froyo running on a G1 without too much fuss (minux the JIT stuff), and it ran on my HTC Magic just fine. So who knows, really.

    1. I have no source to confirm this, but Android would be stupid not to put a minimum spec on Gingerbread. They need to mandate capacitive screen, 1GHz, and GPU UI acceleration.

      1. Hi Ben,

        Great review, I disagree over setting minimum specs for Gingerbread though, setting a GHz limit isn’t a fair benchmark, for example the G2/HTC Desire Z with an 800MHz proc is equally as capable as the Nexus 1 and even Galaxy S… but by your standards wouldn’t meet requirements for Gingerbread.

        To be honest, with the way device manufacturers are acting with OS increments being an afterthought, it’s only going to be those game enough to reflash 3rd party firmware who’ll see the new OS’s on already released devices anyway…

        Mathew

  3. Ben,

    Just bought one of these puppies, never used an Android phone so a few teething issues but generally pretty straightforward.

    Only thing I think you should point out between this and the $1000 handsets is the need to purchase mini-SD cards if you want to use the phone’s features like camera, my evernote app, music etc. So the iphone at 16/32GB includes a fair amount of memory that you’ll otherwise need to purchase on the Huawai phone.

  4. May not get 3.0. but Gingerbread looks to be going to be labelled 2.3, so may get at least one upgrade

    Honeycomb will probably be 3.0.

  5. What is the camera like?

    I read somewhere [gsmarena ?] that the camera images are not good even by mobile standards

    1. The camera related firmware on this phone appears to be restricted to fixed-focus.

      I have a Android App that uses the zxing barcode scanning library. On other handsets, the lib uses auto-focus while hunting for a readable barcode. On the IDEOS handset this does not happen.

      As a result I found the barcode scanning capability of the phone is impacted by this. Ironically, using the same app on the $180 Vodafone 845 (a rebranded HuaWei U8120 which also has a fixed-focus camera) exhibits much better barcode scanning performance.

      It is also worth noting that with both the Vodafone 845 and HuaWei IDEOS .. some Apps are not currently available via the Android Market (for example my NDial App). From reading stuff on the net, I understand that this is due to these phones being ‘new to market’ and that the manufacturer+google need to work together to get the ‘handset fingerprint’ for these models added to some ‘trusted handset list’ before all apps will appear in Market searches.

      Just my observations…. Dave

  6. Hi Ben , i have been looking at entry level androids for the past 2 weeks and am very confused with the many options and lack of clarity from manufacturers. I am now looking at getting this phone, but also have been looking at the LG optimus gt540 (I believe the 2.1 android update is available for it now?)

    What would you recommend?

    1. If screen (and therefore keyboard) size is an issue, then get the GT540. In all other respects the IDEOS is probably the better phone.

      With 2.2 you get improved performance, WiFi tethering, and all sorts of other goodies that you won’t get with the LG.

    2. 2degrees will apparently be releasing the <$500 LG Optimus P500 before xmas with Android 2.2
      Imho the best entry level Android imho is the Sony X10 mini [approx $375] but that stills runs 1.6 and the 2.1 upgrade is only just released in the UK.

  7. I purchased one of these fones 4 days ago and its locking already, it shuts down from time to time, all in all its giving me a lot of probs.

    Also there is no user giude with this fone only a quick start guide,

    1. I asked Mr Huawei directly at the press conference: will this phone be upgradeable to 3.0. He answered no, and said it was because of the likely hardware requirements for later versions of Android.

  8. I bought one, partly on the strength of this review. I’m happy with it (got it for $279 from DSE), plus I paid $56 for a 16GB Micro SD card.

    Biggest drawbacks is that the hardware doesn’t support multi-touch: so no pinch to zoom 🙁 It would be a much better browsing phone if it supported this.

    Camera is not good (video abysmal), but for the price I’m not concerned. Still the best entry level Android on the NZ market at present IMHO.

    1. To be honest, although I have pinch to zoom on the Magic with 2.2, I seldom use it.

      Double-tap auto zoom and +/- buttons in the browser work fine and can be use holding the phone one handed.

  9. I brought this phone yesterday. I’ve spent ages trying to figure it out – lack of documentation. My main problem is that it doesn’t seem to have a flash player. I’ve tried everything I can think of but no go… Has anyone found a way of setting up flash player on it?

    1. If the Flash plugin doesn’t show in the Android Market, it’s likely the IDEOS doesn’t have the processing grunt for Flash.

      My Magic is in the same boat, even though I have 2.2.

      Posted by unregistered user: Philippa
      I brought this phone yesterday. I’ve spent ages trying to figure it out – lack of documentation. My main problem is that it doesn’t seem to have a flash player. I’ve tried everything I can think of but no go… Has anyone found a way of setting up flash player on it?

  10. I believe Android 2.2 is Froyo, not Vanilla.

    The phone is pretty cool, I’ve won 8 so far from the 2degrees textmerace and have been using one for a couple of days. The battery life isn’t the greatest, but I was receiving thousands of texts yesterday 😀 but still average. I dislike the tiny keyboard, because im so used to my HTC tytnII’s keyboard, and my iPad keyboard, so it’s quite difficult, but I’m very keen to try out that keyboard called blind type, I followed it for a bit in it’s early stages, and i heard it was accepted onto the market, then google bought the company, and now i cannot find it. I would love to try it out, looks very cool.

  11. Yeah, dessert metaphors get mixed! I think by ‘vanilla’ Ben meant ‘unaltered’. 🙂

    (Forgive me if you were being ironic!)

    Try Smart Keyboard. Free version has no autocomplete or dictionary, but it will give you an idea of the options. Paid version is only a few bucks anyway.

  12. I use my PALM Treo for it’s (Win Mobile 6) calendar etc that I can sync with Outlook on my PC. Does this phone have this capability? (My Treo is just about to die).

    1. My understanding is it doesn’t, but I use outlook via googlesync, and then sync my phone from there, and seems to work phone.

      I’m waiting for my ideos to arrive, but am currently (and probably will for a while) use the x10, which is a good piece of kit, though significantly more expensive.

  13. Based on your review I went and bought this phone at the weekend =) and a bargain it was too as 2 degrees are offering buy top-up up to $150 and that amount comes off the price of the phone! So a bargain, effectively the phone only cost $150! I am having one little problem though, I have tried inserting my micro-SD out of my Nokia into the Ideos but it’s not picking up on it…is there a trick to how it is meant to be removed from the Nokia perhaps?…..
    Oh and the comments about small keyboard…yes I found that too, but then I turn it sideways and woohoo bigger keyboard for those fumbly finger moments!

    1. Not sure about the SD card thing sorry. I think there is an option in a Nokia to “remove the SD card”, but just turning the phone off would be fine.

      You could try formatting it?

    2. Hi Davina,

      Lucky you, silly me I brought it through the 2degrees website. After receiving it later in the afternoon (and unfortunately after opening it and then putting it back in the box to put under the Christmas tree) I saw that special on t.v for the $50 – $150 top up.

      The promos terms and conditions say it runs from 1- 31st dec. I received my 2Degrees Huawei IDEOS U815 on the 6th of Dec. I feel that an online shop is an extension of the physical 2degrees shop.

      I have phone 2 degrees twice now, and they say you should have to by it through there physical shop or retailers. No refunds too, because I have open it.

      Weird and because of this 2degrees you suck. You owe me 150 dollars top up credit. Its’ Christmas time and I now understand what your companies motivation is = money before people.

      Ross

      1. That’s okay to say buy it from a “physical shop” – that’s okay if you live in Auckland. What a load of c…!

        C’mon 2 degrees. You’re robbing this poor sucker. Of course “Online” is just another shop unless it’s run by a totally different organisation.
        Take ’em to consumer affairs Ross.

        Oh I forgot. Consumer affairs has no teeth. Just lip service!!!

      2. Thanks for the support Brian.

        Tough luck on my part. Teach me buying online and to buy 3 weeks before xmas.
        Lesson learnt. 2 degrees you still suck in your customer service.
        Lucky its still a nice phone, looking forward to using it. First Smartphone for me.

        Ross

    3. Hello there is an option in the ideos google phone to “unmount SD card” for safe removal.
      touch/select apps (lots of little boxes) swipe the screen till you see “Settings”, touch/select and you should see “SD card & phone storage” touch/select and you will see “Unmount SD card” or “Mount” below this is “Format SD card” which maybe necessary since you are moving your SD card to a different operating system.

  14. Anyone keen to buy a new one of these? My 12 year old just won one in the txt race but is gutted to find it won’t work on Telecom!!! $150 would help him buy a new telecom phone in time for Christmas. He is not a happy lad.

    1. Very pleased with the phone. A doozy to set up despite no manuals. (Huawei NZ tell me that’s becoz it’s “open Sourced”).
      Keyboard small but easier than my PALM with a physical keyboard. I miss the MS functionality eg calendar w synch to Outlook etc. (Not keen on cloud at this time – read GMail).
      Camera ok for a phone. (I use a camera for photography).
      Still got lots of exploring to do so must go….
      Thanks Julie & Josh

      1. Android 2.2 has exchange calendar and mail sync built in.

        Or were you referring to using Outlook as a home pop/imap client?

        Gmail works pretty well otherwise.

        I did a quick hunt for a Huawei support site that might have companion software for client sync like HTC does.

        Couldn’t find any official Huawei support for mobile phones at all.

        Does a URL come in the box?

  15. HI guys,
    Quick question:

    Does the android phones sold by shops like DSE have the branding effect ?

    LIke if I buy the LG Optimus P500 (2.2) , will it have the ugly Vodafone logo or 2Degrees Logo on the home screen along with crappy apps that cannot be uninstalled ?
    I know they did that with the Voda N95.

    OH and do we get the box/package that are from the manufacturer or has it been customized by Voda/2Degrees also ?

    1. I’ve got mine and it has no telco branding at all, just says “IDEOS” and “with Google” on the back plate, also the box was unchanged I’m pretty sure, nothing 2D in the box or on the outside, the safety seals were intact. So no, 2D hasn’t uglified it in any way lol. (:

      1. Oh ok, cool.
        But the Ideos has a close relationship with Google though, so the OS doesn’t have specific stuff like Sense UI etc.

        I just want my phone to be clean from Voda and the rest of them networks lol.

    2. From what ive heard, huawei put on an unmodified version of android onto the device, it has your usuals plus it came with the official Twitter and Facebook apps, that was it I think.

  16. So where can you try one? I’ve only dealt with them online, and their store-locator doesn’t seem to be working.

  17. Does the Huawei use mobile data when you navigate? I see that the LG Optimus P500 doesn’t.
    Ross

    1. If it uses Google maps Navigation, then yes.

      Otherwise it would need an app like CoPilot that uses static maps off the SD card like a tomtom or navman would

      1. Update: Google Maps with Navigation 5.0 now out.

        Apparently caches map tiles in case lreroute required offline.

        Cool!

  18. Hi, just thinking about this phone. My main use for it would be as a sip phone using wifi hotspots overseas and on my home wireless network. Has anyone had experience of this function with the U8150?

    1. I see Sip functionality will be baked into the gingerbread (2.3)update, so the usual carrier OS upgrade questions apply… Haven’t seen/used it so time will tell.

  19. Looking at posts regarding quality, most software ask’s for 300mhz+ processors which this seems to have. Have used skype with varing quality using softphones but not Fring or SipDroid yet.

  20. Thinking I may upgrade to the LG Optimus P500 and give this Huawei to the wife. Anyone used the LG Optimus P500 ? is it easier texting with? the screen is .4 inches bigger. Found my fingers to be a bit fat with the Huawei.

  21. I bought one from Newmarket Two Degrees Store but because no user manual is available ANYWHERE I took it back after making a big fuss about the lack of user instruction.

    I now realize I dont need a smart phone except as a toy, and will stick with the dumb phone, that only lets you talk/text others…

    1. Yep. The answer given to me by Hawei is that it is “Open Sourced” so the makers of the hardware are not responsib;e for the manual – however i found that I didn’t need a manual. It is very intuitive to operate and it works like a beauty.
      If you don’t need a smart phone stick to the old style. For me it is, along with my laptop, my office as I travel a lot on business.

  22. Does this phone support the turn by turn navigation in google maps?
    Also, can you get a windscreen dock if it is to be used for GPS?

    1. Yes – We used the google maps navigation tool on the phone to find a house that we had never been to and it worked amazingly – it has real-time voice instructions while the map keeps updating, we went the wrong way and it redirected us back on path.

      Don’t know about the windscreen dock – I held the phone while my husband drove

  23. I bought an IDEOS before Christmas and am enjoying the features but am not too sure about how data is used on the phone.

    I bought 50MB on 11 dec and just got a text from 2degrees saying my national MBs are low with only 5MB left before returning to std rates…so I checked my account online and checked my usage. Apparently I have used 0.24MB so far today.

    The only problem is that I haven’t left my house and it has Wi-Fi, so thought that the IDEOS would use the Wi-Fi instead (and save me data costs) as that is the impression I get when I read page 10 of the ‘manual’.

    What would cause the phone to use the 2degrees mobile data instead of Wi-Fi? Have I got my settings wrong? The Wi-Fi settings on the phone tell me that it is connected to my home Wi-Fi and I have the Wi-Fi icon displayed at the top of the phone.

    I only wanted to use the 2degrees data when I was out and about. I’ll go broke if the phone keeps using up data and I get a message like this every couple of weeks. Has anyone else experienced this? How can I stop it from accessing data when I don’t want it to?

    1. Turn off your data on your phone when your not using it , go to settings,click on wireless & networks, go to mobile networks, click on on that,you will see data enabled if the box is ticked its on , no tick its off hope this helps

      1. thanks … now that I know where to disable it, I will be able to save heaps of data time. This forum is better than a manual *smile* Thanks, Ben. Great website – very informative, helpful and user friendly

  24. Am curious… does anyone have the TelecomNZ APN information I can set this phone up with? Have got the phone working on XT, and have got DATA config’d, but I can’t get MMS through… Anyone have any tips there?

  25. @Adman Yes, I brought a universal windscreen dock, 4gb card and car charger on trademe for about 30 dollars including delivery.
    Google Nav works fine.

    @Leanne, yes thats what I understand too. That if wifi is around it will use that first. Saying this, 0.24mb is not very much data traffic. Its not even 1 mb yet and you have 50mb in a month to use.

    To be on the safe side, I have also got into the habit of going to “Wifiless & network settings” > “mobile settings” Then un tick the top two data options when I am at home, so it’s wifi only or no internet.

    P.s. 2degrees you still suck. (read previous comment- $230 loss going on the recent dse special haha I am a fool for using the 2degrees website. So much for being tech savy, you get scewed.)

    1. Thanks for that – solved my problem.
      btw I agree … 2degrees should have the same deal online – it looks deceiving

  26. Just brought one of these too, http://www.trademe.co.nz/Computers/Cables-adaptors/Audio/auction-343596573.htm a 3.5mm to 3.5mm aux cable. To hook the huawei up to my car stereo. Unless you have a bluetooth car stereo that is the best way as it’s a digital to digital connection. The above way there might be some loss in quality(analogue connection ). will let you know how it goes as I have just ordered mine right now.

    What apps have people been installing on their Huawei ?

  27. I bought this phone a few days ago and I’m finding it very user friendly. The only thing I can’t work out is how to turn off the irritating camera sound. Anyone know?

    1. Zoe, I don’t think you can turn it off. In a lot of countries the law requires a camera sound. Apparently ut helps to prevent dodgy people taking covert photos. :-O

      1. Haha I hadn’t though of that :p

        I wish I could at least turn it down. It’s louder than any of the other sounds and it makes people turn and look at me even from far away.

  28. Hi
    Has anyone downloaded marine/chartplotter app’s onto a andriod phone? If so is it of any practical use?

    1. I use OruxMaps on a Vodafone 845. The Vodafone 845 is also made by Huawei: it is the previous generation of the 8150.

      OruxMaps is a general-purpose mapping application but can use offline maps (as well as online maps) so it is useful when out at sea or in the mountains.

      It can record your actual track and can import and export .GPX file.

      I believe it can do waypoint navigation along a route but I have not tried it. Apparently it will sound an alarm if you stray off course, and when you are getting close to a waypoint. It does not do turn-by-turn navigation for driving.

      I don’t really like the UI much, but it does most of what I want to do.

      Battery lasts around 3–4 hours when recording a track.

      Offline maps have to be in a specific format, but a program is available to generate them.

      I have created a multi-level map for Bank Peninsula from the marine charts available from LINZ, as well as NZ Topo maps for the Canterbury area. I intend to make these available for download somewhere when I find a suitable place to share the 500 MB of data for these two maps.

      I would not really want to do serious navigation using such a tiny, non-waterproof device with a limited battery life. But it is fun to record where you have been.

  29. Thanks for the review and setting up this forum.

    I purchased my Ideos U8150 a couple of weeks ago and it continues to impress. Internet tethering to my Ubuntu 10.04 laptop using USB or WiFi works really well but runs away with the bandwidth on 2Degrees prepay. Any suggestions for how to profile web browsing to limit bandwidth while mobile connected would be much appreciated.

    So far I’ve found the Android User guide useful: http://www.google.com/googlephone/AndroidUsersGuide.pdf
    google sky map integrates with the accelerometer and compass to find your way around the stars
    combining the google home and work calendars works well for being organised on the move
    Sending texts using voice commands saves heaps of typing
    The andando app is very handy for gps plots
    And of course the android zoom website is brilliant to download new applications using the camera as a 3D barcode scanner to enter url’s with one click. http://www.androidzoom.com/
    Transferring music and pictures using the USB is quick and easy.

      1. Not sure about the voice activated keyboard, but i’d recommend an app called “Thick Buttons”. a keyboard which has the buttons get bigger as the likelihood of you using those buttons. Very useful, i’ve found.

    1. I had a look at the Androidzoom website and found page after page of rubbish. A couple of Apps that may have been of interest were absolutley rubbished in reviews. Sad really

  30. Thanks for the review Ben (and everyone that commented!)

    Managed to grab the Ideos off TradeMe for $150 brand new in box which I thought was a great deal. There are many new Ideos handsets going cheap right now (low reserves and buy nows).

    After reading the review and comments, I decided to grab one to have a play with and see how I like Android, before investing in a higher end handset. It’s due in a day or two so can’t wait to try it out.

    Also, there appears to be a second Ideos version which sports the HSDPA 850mhz band which would open up the option of using it with XT too. Though it seems very hard to source with limited release.

  31. Got bought one of these as well … have been playing with it and left it on charge for most of the evening as well.

    I notice the battery charges to full and and then stops charging but the default in built app under About Phone only shows 99%?

    If I download a battery application, it will show 100% … Have others experienced this?

    Cheers

  32. I want to know how to close the Skype application when you don’t want it open to save battery. Can anyone help?

    1. Download the “Advanced Task Killer” app. It’ll kill everything (skype, any residual browsers, etc) to help save battery. OR you can just select specific system processes to close

      Think of it as “The CTRL+ALT+DEL for your android”.

      And while you’re at it, get “Where’s my droid”

      1. Thanks for your reply Yvan. I already have Advanced Task Killer installed. But I find if I am on 3g and have skype connected, I do not how to close the program. Task killer doesn’t kill it as technically skype is still working.

        Thanks for the tip. Will have a look at the app.

    2. From th Apps panel scroll down and select “Settings”, “Applications”, “Running services”. Scroll untill you see SKYPE. As described on the panel – select “touch to Stop” and follow prompts ignoring the “warning”.
      It works for me….

  33. I bought my partner an Ideos for Christmas, loved it so much I’ve given away my HTC and bought one for myself. Then my son came to visit, and now he’s got one too. It’s a great phone for the price, and includes features that were disabled or unavailable on other Android phones I’ve owned.

    When I’m not in the office I run Skype on it; and Skype calls are cleaner and have less lag than they did on Fring or Nimbuzz. The wifi tethering is wonderful. Speech to text for emails and text messages works better than pecking at the on-screen keyboard and almost makes up for the loss of the physical keyboard on my HTC.

    It’s great to have a phone that’s smaller, and for most purposes the screen size isn’t a major drawback; but battery life is a downer. I don’t get through a day. Still, with a spare battery and an external battery charger (currently on order) I should be fine.

    @Ross: download Advanced Task Manager. It lets you kill running services as well as applications. It closes Skype down successfully.

    1. Love my IDEOS. The Huawei is absolutely briiliant value for money IMO.
      I walk around with App “Tune In Radio” on my favourite radio stations from allover running off WiFi. A cent or 2 per day.
      The browser, weather (& News) updates using Metservice, GPS, compass and locator Apps are brilliant.
      Batteries, are shortlived if you have wireless or your phone searching. I live in marginal area and if 3G is scanning for signal or if I turn off my modem (overnight) I turn off the respective functions and it really extends battery life. At night I plug into a charger and have no problem thru the day.
      Key board: I have big paws but I find that the lightest touch enables me to select even the finest and closest letters, or dropdown options.
      .

      1. @J I browsed on eBay and found the sellers there – plenty of options.

        There are lower capacity batteries for about USD10, but the real McCoy (1220maH, as I recall) is USD30, both plus postage. They arrive very quickly – just a few days.

        The battery chargers are universal, not specific to the Ideos, but they only come with US power plugs (24vAC is OK though). They range from less than USD3 to USD12 plus postage. The more expensive ones will also drive a USB charger so you can do the spare battery and the phone at the same time.

        I’ve also ordered a combo which included a car charger and three data cables. This was less than USD4 plus postage.

  34. I just bought the vodafone845, wanted something cheap while on holiday as 2deg reception was non existant. I paid $179 plus $30 odd for sim bundle which came with $200 free calling for 3 months, 50mb data per month, free fb and twitter access, plus $$free txts…so it was a damn good deal

    The phone itself impressed me I have n95 unlocked and hacked i never wanna give up. My partner has the HTC Desire rooted and tho its not in the same league as a $1000 smart phone. it does a fine job for what it is.

    I can’t imagine your average joe user needing anything more expensive – its a learning curve but most phs are when u upgrade, for txting installed Handcent, and using gingerbread keyboard which beats swype etc hands down. Astro file manager, powerAmp for wma music files, an I all set… not into gaming and if you were this ph is not for you.

    Have just rooted and installed custom rom which i getting used to, preferring the original at present time! Anyone know where I might source voda’s original rom??

  35. Just a quick note, hope everyone has downloaded “fishing 2 go” game for their android really great free game for when the wife goes shopping and you choose to sit in the car, to “check your emails”.

  36. Would be great to be able to plug a full size keyboard into the Huawei, when on the road and while its charging via the car’s cig lighter. (while the wife is shopping)

    Is it possible? Do any smartphones enable this? Iphone?

    1. I know you can pair a Bluetooth keyboard with the iPhone 3GS and above, and you might be able to plug a USB keyboard into an iPhone via a camera connection kit, I know it works with ipad. I must try pair my apple Bluetooth keyboard with my ideos, i usually just use it with ny iPad

      1. Ah, what would we do without eBay! If you have an iPhone, I recommend the hum, I thinks something like the TK-421 from think geek, it’s an iPhone case with a flip out keyboard, looks really cool, yacht seen one irl yet, but can’t confirm a BT keyboard would work with the ideos

      2. I just found this out from a Hong Kong Ebay Seller this and thought I would share. Maybe someone else can confirm.

        “Google have not add bluetooth keyboard
        driver to this system. Maybe they will add such
        function for Android system in future firmware.”