2Degrees Huawei IDEOS X5 Review

2Degrees Huawei X5I’m confused. On the one hand we have Vodafone pimping the Samsung Galaxy S, an Android 2.1 phone hobbled with Samsung’s custom interface. On the other hand (in my actual hand), I have the IDEOS X5 from 2Degrees. It runs the all-but-latest Android 2.2, with almost identical specs to the Samsung. The Samsung is a thousand dollars. The X5 is $549.

To be fair, the Galaxy S has a faster processor and larger screen, but in complete honesty I prefer the feel, performance, and price of the X5 by a long way. This cements my opinion that Google’s Android OS is properly suited to phones around that $500 mark. If you’re spending $1000, just get an iPhone (or wait till later this year and get a Nokia WP7).

I’ve had the X5 in my pocket for the last few days, giving it a real workout. The bottom line is that this is one of the best Android devices I’ve used. It feels a lot better in the hand than many other phones. It has a better “heft”, and feels a lot more solid than the Galaxy. The build quality is up there with the Nexus One – there’s no wobbles, creaks, or alignment problems. The back has a nice soft-feeling matte finish, and the front is the fairly traditional monolithic glass screen with soft-buttons below the screen.

The X5 flips through all the regular expected smartphone shenanigans with speed and aplomb. Android users will know they need to install a bunch of apps, and dig around in the settings to turn on things like transitions and live wallpaper, but once you’ve got the phone set up to your liking, it really flies.

2Degrees have done a very good thing, in my opinion, by rejecting Huawei’s custom interface baubles. The customisation of the phone out of the box extends only to a few installed applications. Swype keyboard is there by default – I personally prefer the default Android keyboard, but some people swear by Swype. You also get Documents To Go (for editing office documents), Aldiko (for e-books), and Layar (for showing off). Other than that, this default Android build gets out of your way and leaves the user to make decisions about what they want the interface to look like.

All the great Google apps are built into the phone, including the voice commands and voice navigation feature. I have to say the voice commands didn’t really like my kiwi accent, but the navigation was very accurate when driving across Auckland. Initially I couldn’t find the settings for Android 2.2’s much publicised WiFi hotspot function, so I put in a call to the PR company to ask about it. They politely informed me that within the PR material (that I never read, but really should), was a note saying that hotspot functionality will be coming in a software update by the end of May 2011.

Upgrades?

It’s the question every Android user has to ask: will I get the new versions of Android? I can only say that I have no idea. I could imagine Huawei releasing 2.3 for this device, but then again at the price they may not want to pour much post-release support into it. Watch this space.

It’s not all roses

It wouldn’t be a review without finding flaws, but they really are rather minor.

Firstly, you need to know that Huawei don’t ship MicroSD cards with their phones. This is something widely discussed in the comments on my review of 2Degrees’ previous Android phone, so I thought I’d better point it out up front. If you have a lot of music or photos, add $50 to your budget to grab a 16GB MicroSD.

There’s one thing that I’d call a genuine (albeit minor) flaw in the X5: Β the soft-buttons are meant to light up in low-light conditions, but I think the threshold needs some serious tweaking, or perhaps my test phone is broken. Most of the time the buttons are not lit up, and they are really quite hard to spot in dim indoor light. I can prove it’s a sensitivity issue by covering the light-sensor area at the top of the phone – the buttons dutifully light up nice and clear when all light is blocked to the phone. Try as I might, I couldn’t find a setting to make the buttons light up in less ambient light. It really is a minor issue, because the buttons work fine in all conditions, and you get used to their location after a few days (although you’ll have to memorise the specific locations when moving from another Android phone πŸ˜‰ )

Conclusion

I’d seriously doubt if you can get a better non-imported phone in New Zealand for the price. If you want a fully supported phone from a local supplier, and you’re not an iFanboy or Windows Phone 7 weenie, you couldn’t really go wrong grabbing an X5.

Pros

  • The price!
  • Vanilla Android 2.2, no crapware
  • Build quality

Cons

  • Soft-buttons don’t always light up when required.
  • Probably no upgrades to 2.3 or above.

151 Replies to “2Degrees Huawei IDEOS X5 Review”

  1. Vodafone NZ Galaxy S phones started receiving the 2.2 update via Kies late last year.

    I believe it’s only the US CDMA versions of teh Galaxy that are still in the process of getting 2.2

      1. Hi Ben,

        What is the easiest way to up grade the Galaxy to 2.2. Mine has begun to lag, freeze etc. Appreaciate any help.
        Cheers Hamid

  2. Interesting review, good to see more affordable Android phones out there.

    I’d also be keen to see it’s big brother the X6, which might be more comparable to the Galaxy in price as it has a 4.1″ screen and a ghz processor (as opposed to the 3.8″ screen and 800Mhz Scorpion processor in the X5).

    1. Yeah but honestly, the X5 feels better than the Galaxy. Maybe Touchwiz is using the extra 200MHz?

      I really don’t understand why you’d spend the extra money.

      1. Don’t know without playing with the phone either.

        Touchwiz not a showstopper as I wouldn’t use it anyway.

        I prefer to use Launcher Pro on any Android phone I have or probably will have.

        I put LP on a friends Galaxy S and it really went well.

        Or there is ADW.Launcher if you want a more stock look.

        I have had a play with a Nexus S at PI and that looked pretty nice tho.

      2. Might have had something to do with the persistent ‘Lag’ problem on Galaxies with 2.1.

        It was a file system issue when you get lots of files on the internal storae partition which uses the RFS file system.

        Not sure if it is now fixed with 2.2.1

  3. “Gah! So why do Vodafone still advertise it on their website as having Android 2.1?”

    There shipping stock may well still arrive with 2.1 for a while.

    Same happened with Nexus.

  4. On the likelihood of Huawei phones getting Gingerbread and other updates: the U8150 has a pretty strong 3rd party community. Of the three U8150 owners I know, two are running a third-party Froyo distribution already. Gingerbread is available (albeit in testing).

    The X5/X6 should be no different. Z4root (one click root app) is already confirmed as working. (So any annoying cruftware can be removed).

    1. Samsung vibrant has bigger screen, faster processor, up to 16Gb of onboard internal storage, a well as an SD card slot.

      It runs Samsung’s ‘Touchwiz’ UI customisations on top.

      The UI is not a biggie, easy to change if you don’t like it.

      The Huawei has a standard Android 2.2 install I believe.

      To compare properly you need to make sure that the Vibrant you are looking at has Android 2.2, as not all of the Samsung Galaxy variants have yet updated from 2.1 and it makes quite a performance difference.

  5. I currently have a nokia 5800, and in about 4 months I am going to upgrade, around the $500 to $700 mark,

    i saw a review on a ideos but i think it was a shite one. this is a pretty good phone to go for? i like the android system, got a voda 845 for my daughter and i liked it better than mine, software wise lol.

  6. 2Degrees has put this up in their new TextMeRace starting tomorrow for 15000 texts, I’m quite keen to try get it to upgrade from my U8150, I really need the extra inch of screen for my fat fingers. My friend put Launcher pro and some other stuff on his u8150 and it looks really good, really fast and snappy! Hopefully tele come doesn’t boot me off too soon before I can get enough texts. DAMN YOU FAIR USE POLICY!!!

  7. I have got IDEOS U8150 in only Jan this year. The FM radio is already broken. I also found that there is no voice recorder. Is it worth to upgrade from IDEOS U8150 to IDEOS X5?

    1. I don’t think the X5 has an FM radio, at least not that I can find. Also, you should be able to download a voice recorder app from the Marketplace?

  8. Hi

    I just got this ideos X5 today. all looks fine except the Wifi. There are still problems with the wifi. it connects but drops off every now and then. No other phone shows the same issue. Tested with 2 Wifi Access points…same issue.

    Sam

    1. Hi Sam,

      I seemed to have this problem initially too – intermittent wifi connectivity. However, as i found out there’s an option which disables the wifi when the screen-lock is on. That seemed to fix it.

      Otherwise i’m pretty happy with all the Froyo bells and whistles. I can even watch tv on demand thanks to flash!

      J

      1. Hi Jay.
        what setting is this? Cannot find what you speak of. This wifi dropout is starting to impede my otherwise positive experience.

      2. Hi PRL,

        Tricky android mate. You go to Menu>settings>Wireless & networks>wifi settings THEN press menu again> press advanced>wifi sleep policy>choose “Never”.

        Hope this solves the problem.

        Cheers,

        J

      3. Dude, you may have just stopped me from throwing my new X5 out the window! WiFi dropouts when it goes to sleep have been driving me nuts. I thought it was a 2.2.1 software bug and would need an update.

        Could they have hidden the advanced options any better?

  9. Hey Ben,
    I’m keen to upgrade from my current broken iPhone 3G without spending too much money – as I have a good history of breaking phones (!) Keen to go onto Android and just wondering how does the X5 compare to the parallel imported HTC mid-range models (Wildfire, standard Desire)
    Not sure whether I see the point in spending top dollar on the Desire HD or Galaxy S as they’ll be out of date in a year anyway (plus I tend to give my phones a hard life).
    Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    1. Hi Sarah. The key thing to check is which version of Android these devices are running. I think the Desire and Wildfire are running 2.1, where the X5 is running 2.2 with a probably upgrade available to 2.3

      My choice would be the X5.

    2. Hi,
      Both wildfire and desire 1 have updates available to 2.2.

      I haven’t seen the X5 myself, but the Desire is a very well constructed phone with a 1Ghz Snapdragon processor. (I believe X5 has an 800Mhz?) With 2.2 it performs extremely well.

      The wildfire is smaller and more compact, but again has a very high build quality, with lots of metal, like a nexus or desire. You can get one at a PI for about $400.

      From the specs and price, the X5 falls about midway between the two HTC phones, but has the advantage that it ships with 2.2 installed, where the HTC’s may be older stock that will need to be upgraded.

      1. Thanks guys. I’m off to have a play with the X5 @ the 2Degrees store – but I think this might be the one.
        A mate has the HTC Wildfire and I had a look at it last night, although I love all the metal and the smaller size, I wasn’t impressed by the screen.
        X5 looks like the best compromise between cost and quality at this point.
        One last question, Ben, did you have any trouble getting Wifi to work on it? There’s some minor internet garble about issues with connectivity.

  10. Just a quick note on the X5. I picked one up yesterday from Dick Smiths in Aus.

    I have had the Wifi issue where the wifi doesn’t pickup automatically after resuming from a screen lock. Changing the settings mentioned further above by Jay has appeared to have fixed this (though presumably battery life will worsen as a result).

    A small but nice bonus was finding a 8GB SD card preloaded into the SD slot – so something to check for before buying.

    1. Hi Eddie,

      Yes, I did find that enabling continuous WiFi does drain battery life a lot quicker. However there’s a widget you can drag onto the homepage which allows you to enable/disable wireless with one push.

      Another thing that helped my WiFi connectivity was setting up static IPs for the phone; less time spent waiting for your router’s DHCP to assign a dynamic IP for your X5.

      Cheers,

      Jay

      1. Hey Jay,

        Does your X5 has a 2gb internal sd card installed? and if you do, How do u install apps onto that 2gb internal sd card instead of the phone memory(600mb one)?

        Cheers,
        Li

  11. Hi Li,

    Yup my X5 certainly came installed with a 2 gb internal sd card. Plus I bought an extra one.

    Wrt directly installing to sd memory I’m sure there’s a way of setting that up as a default, but I haven’t found it yet. However, if your app is a non system one you can go into installed apps under your app manager, highlight the app you’re after and select “move to sd card” and that should fo the trick.

    Hope that helps.

    J

    1. Hey Jay,

      Thanks for the quick reply, yeah I’ve already transfer the non system ones to my sd card(the one I bought on my own , not the internal sd card.).

      It’s just a lil annoying to see ur phone memory getting occupied and the internal sd card never been touched.

      Nways, thanks again, hope you had a good weekend.

      Li

      1. Hi Li,

        I’ve been doing a bit of digging around forums on the net and it would seem that you can’t directly install to your SD card. Something to do with linux based file system on the android internal memory vs. FAT on the SD. I hope there’s a fix for this on the next software update.

        Cheers,

        J

      2. Yes and no.

        On my current stock VFNZ 2.2 HTC Magic, no you can’t specify an install default, although I beleive it may be an option for the app developer to specify a preference.

        When I was running a custom Cyanogen version of 2.2, there were options to specify a default location.

        Bear in mind that generally the actual app binaries are pretty small and most apps are written to store content on the SD card anyway.

  12. Day one and the phone has crashed and restarted itself twice now. Various apps, including the standard ones like Google Earth crash sometimes as well, usually on exit. Anyone else having these issues?

    It’s rooted with z4root, and hope that’s causing the problems… but I haven’t actually messed around with anything so it’s a little worrying.

  13. Install a compass app from the market.

    I use Compass from Catch.com

    You can choose the style from classic to digital and show gps pos at same time.

    Also integrats with Catch Notes app for geo-tagging

  14. I brought the X5 from Crazy Johns when it first came out, apart from the battery life this is the best phone ive ever had, didnt know why wifi kept dropping out till reading the comments here now. Thanks a Lot.

    Fantastic fone for the price.

  15. Fantastic phone. I can’t believe how cool it is for the price. Only complaints are:

    1) battery life – only about 8 hours with moderate use, but have now installed Juice Defender which has lengthened that out quite a bit. I would invest in a backup battery or two if I were doing any long-haul or back-country travel.

    2) The home-page soft-button is right below where I scroll, so I often hit the home-button (and/or menu-button) by accident when I am scrolling down. I think some other phones like the galaxy S have a hard button so an accidental touch doesn’t actually push the button. I suppose I will train myself to avoid this but if I hand it to my wife or kid, they keep complaining that it mysteriously goes back to the home page.

  16. Hi, I’m hoping someone can help. I have the X5 but for some reason I can’t access the net on it except with Wifi. I.e. Mobile data isn’t working.
    I have Data enabled and it’s told to use 3G, but still it says there is no connection available when I try to use the net.
    The 2degrees website didn’t help at all.
    Can someone tell me what APN settings I need for this particular phone?
    Thanks.

    1. @Lee Goto settings>wireless&networks>mobile networks>access point names>2degrees.

      Name is what you wish, APN: internet, Proxy: not set, Port: not set, User and password: not set, Server: not set, MMSC and port: not set, MCC:530, MNC:24, Authentication type: NONE, APN type: default,supl.

      I hope this helps! I had to call 2degrees and talk to tech support, so saves you time!

      Thanks!

      Kris

  17. Hope someone can help me. Have just purchased the X5 but want to be able to see my upcoming calender appointments on my homescreen. I could do it with my old HTC touchflo but don’t know how to get it with x5. Help??

  18. I’ve had my x5 four about a week and am really happy with it. Nice and fast. Great screen. Recommend highly. +I’ve finally kissed goodbye to tele scum. Battery life not great but not crippling.

  19. Hey there, does anyone know about the user interface software that comes with the phone via USB connection? How to install this and/or the drivers? I have connected to my computer and there seems to be some software but no auto run function…any light on this would be great! Cheers πŸ™‚ Kris

    1. I am using U8150, but I guess X5 would be the same.

      The ADB driver is in the Moble Partner folder\drivers\adb_driver

      Hope you can find it.

      1. Does this include the software interface for the actual phone to sync to the computer with? Or am i to treat it as a USB device and only work with the folders…

        I see the ADB drivers, I am unsure how to install them or what I should do with them? Or would they automatically install?

        Cheeeeers!

      1. That’s cool, cos Ideos U8150 doesn’t have the sound recorder. Do you mind telling me for up to how long the recorder can record please? Thank you very much.

  20. @Amy, I can’t seem to find a built-in voice recorder app, unless it’s just hiding somewhere. But I just looked in the Marketplace and found one called AndRecorder – Free by Andr-construction. It says there is no limit to recording time, but I haven’t downloaded it.

    @Kris. Thanks for that, turns out I needed roaming turned on for mobile data to work- I didn’t know that

    1. Yeah there are many voice recorders on the android market..I just searched voice recorder and heaps of free ones popped up!

      @Lee: You will only need to turn roaming data on if your reception has an ‘R’ included in the bars, otherwise you would be in a main center and that would just have bars with a solid back round…Im in Palmy and I need to have the data roaming on as they havent built hi speed towers up here yet.

      Interesting, wondering with all the new network integration going to happen, when this upgraded reception will be online?

  21. How can you even compare this phone to a Galaxy S! Samsung have sold 10 million units and climbing, lucky if this thing will sell 10. I’m running 2.3.3 on mine and it would blow an iphone 4 into the weeds…

  22. @Chris: Thanks, that will save me some frustration.

    Anyone had their phone lock up with a black / blank screen? I have had this happen twice now (granted in 6 weeks, but still) where the phone is fully charged, is on, but does not respond to the button on the top-left. The only fix is to remove the battery and put it back in, i.e. force a hard-boot. Is this a common problem? Can anyone point me to any debugging tools?

    1. Hi Andrew, I’ve never had my phone lock up on me, had it for about 4 weeks now. Has the problem happened when you’re running a particular app or has it been random?

      You may have inadvertently found an app bug with the X5 that we can all learn from πŸ™‚

      On another note, has anyone tried rooting their phone? I don’t really want to but there are some pre-installed services and apps that keep running that I don’t use and would like to uninstall.

      1. Hi Lee,
        try going on the android market to look for ‘advanced task killer free’

        as you can see from the name, it’s free. the only reason is that it’s got advertisements on it. not a big deal because you wont use that often.

        problem with android phones is that (i feel, and some other individuals also feel too) they are showing off that their system can run multiple programs without the need to REALLY shutting the program down. which for example, some instant messaging programs will keep you logged in although you have ‘quit’ that program or at least that screen. to which you drain more battery keeping it in system memory etc etc.

        also for those that need it to remove the EXCESS useless apps the service provider crams full on your phone. get ‘app delete’ from android market too. it’s also free and does the job to remove those annoying widgets that drain wifi/data packages and RAM etc etc.

        the above 2 programs DO NOT REQUIRE $ and also does not require a hard root messing about (as quite a lot of people are not comfortable with doing so) although to do a real clean job i must say you gotta do it the root management way

  23. my X5 wont connect to my wireless at home or any wifi hotspot either. Also when i try and transfer photos etc from my pc via usb cable it says the cd drive doesnt accept read only files… any ideas? I have tried the options above for wifi too and no results thanks

    1. @Deonne
      Firstly, let’s try to get the transferring fixed for you.
      When you connect the phone to the PC by USB you’ll get an autoplay prompt on the PC saying that a CD drive Mobile Partner is connected. Ignore this, it’s just a virtual disc with drivers that don’t work.
      You need to go to My Computer and you’ll see that in addition to the CD Drive, there is also a Removable Disc (actually I have 2 because I’ve installed a MicroSD card in my phone and the phone has one built in).
      It’s this removable drive that you want to access. So make sure that when you connected your phone, you clicked “Turn on USB storage” on the phone itself. Your computer might automatically install drivers now – I don’t remember, but you’ll be able to access the removable drive and transfer files.

      Okay, as for the Wifi. Let’s get the obvious out of the way; you don’t have any battery-savings apps that might be disconnecting Wifi do you? This will be something you’ve specifically downloaded as the X5 doesn’t ship with anything like this.

      Secondly, does your router automatically assign an IP address to devices on your network or do you have to assign an IP address yourself? If it’s automatic then the device should connect okay (I’ll run through the settings in a minute). If you need to assign an IP address and haven’t done so then that’s why you can’t connect.

      OKay, go to Menu > Settings > Wireless & Networks > Wi-Fi settings.
      Does your phone even see your home network? (You can hit menu > Scan to force a new scan).
      Try Menu > Advanced and make sure that Wi-Fi sleep policy is set to Never.
      This Advanced screen is where you set an static IP address if your network requires it.

      If your phone doesn’t see your network then try adding it manually with the Add Wi-Fi network option.

      Let us know how you get on.

      1. I have that problem..my X5 sees my home network…and it connects ok…(well, it says its connected) but then i try go to youtube and anything else online and it just gets “connection error” etc…i brought it 2 days ago and i still haven’t been able to get online via wifi yet! =( …my phone also has the same problem when the screen idles, it wont light up again no matter what buttons i press and hold . But i can hear the noises if i hit something on the screen…i fluke my way to the “power off” button and only then can i turn it back on. But the wifi thing is driving me crazy. I have turned the sleep thing to “never” in advanced options. But stil no good =x

      2. @Kaiwa

        Did you manage to get your phone sorted?

        I don’t know what’s happening with it not waking up again after sleeping – I’ve never had that problem.

        BUT, I have experienced the Wifi problem that you described a couple of times. Even though the Wifi works fine most of the time, I’ve found that sometimes after I get home and have been using mobile internet while I was out the phone just won’t connect to the home Wifi even though it says it is connected.

        I’ve found that just turning Data Enabled to Off and switching to 2G while at home will usually fix it. Maybe a reset the phone too (with those settings applied) if it still doesn’t connect to Wifi after changing the settings.

        I also like to give it a couple of minutes with no network traffic sometimes just so it can reconfigure itself.

        But like I said it’s only happened a few times, maybe 4 or 5 so it’s not something that’s really bothered me.

        But most of the time it reconnects perfectly fine and I’m back on Wifi instantly. So I don’t really know what’s going on with it.

        But again, let us know, maybe someone else can help.

  24. i have the same problem as Lee but the method told by Kris didnt work.
    My internet works fine on wifi but local mobile internet doesnt work.
    i have a telephone company called CBB who uses Telenor Denmark net.
    i have tried using settings used by HTC but still no net.
    after reading ost by Kris to LEE i tried using the same with added local settings but still no not πŸ™

    Goto settings>wireless&networks>mobile networks>access point names> ( had no preset so made my own).

    Name is what you wish ( telenor internet), APN: internet, Proxy: not set, Port: not set, User and password: not set, Server: not set, MMSC and port: not set, MCC:(238), MNC:(02), Authentication type: NONE, APN type: default

    the ( *** ) is my adapted local settings as found in guides to HTC http://www.cbb.dk/files/pdf//Opsaetningsguides/HTCAndroid/CBB_Internet.pdf from my telephone company

    can any one see what is wrong?

    this is driving me nuts

    1. @TC_DK

      Hi, it looks like you’ve got if configured correctly according to the instructions you linked to.
      The only difference I’m seeing between your instructions and my phone is that the APN type for my phone is “default,supl”, not just “default”.

      I don’t know what the “supl” is, but maybe it makes a difference.

      Apart from that, the only other thing that I had to do to get mine working was to enable Roaming because my network (2Degrees) doesn’t have a 3G network in my area, I have to use roaming to use the local Vodafone 3G network instead.

      So maybe you should try turning on Data Roaming by going here:
      Settings > Wireless & Networks > Mobile Networks > Data Roaming.

      Also, make sure that “Data Enabled” is on and “Use only 2G networks” is off.

      If you still can’t get it connecting maybe try going into a shop that sells the phone (probably doesn’t have to be one you bought it from) and try asking if someone can help? Preferably someone who works there πŸ˜€

  25. Finally i found the error and made the internet work! πŸ™‚

    tnx a lot Kris!!

    it was the last point in the APN

    i just used default but its very important it says “default,supl”

    so my settings for a working internet is now:

    Goto settings>wireless&networks>mobile networks>access point names> ( had no preset so made my own).

    Name is what you wish ( telenor internet), APN: internet, Proxy: not set, Port: not set, User and password: not set, Server: not set, MMSC and port: not set, MCC:(238), MNC:(02), Authentication type: NONE, APN type: default,supl

  26. yes and tnx a lot for the help.
    ive spend a week or so in intensive search and testing to get this working

    the “default,supl” instead of just “default” as written in official guide just made the whole difference!
    πŸ™‚

  27. @Lee

    Na still not working. I am right on the verge of throwing it out da window LOL. But before i do, i hear that theres meant to be some kind of software update due out by the end of May 2011. So i will wait till then to see if that has a wifi fix. Thanks for your help tho. Really appreciate it. I may post a youtube video of my phone and its settings and with the faults in action to give yous a better idea of whats going on, if i dont stand on the thing before then haha =P

  28. @Kaiwa

    Just wanted to make sure that your home wifi network can actually support as many devices as you’re trying to use with it. Some wireless access points and routers only allow a couiple of devices to connect at a time. I would imagine if you’ve reached your limit your x5 would see the network but not actually be able to connect to it.

    It’s worth checking to make sure.

    Aside from that I reckon you could take it to dick smith and see if they can fix the weird screen timeout problem. Or maybe it’s just faulty and you need to return it?

  29. i tried once connecting to my parents unincrypted wifi but wasnt able to login
    donnu about their settings and they didnt know either but i know that after typing password on my own wifi it works flawless here
    actually im amazed by the speed which i had measured using the same website as i meassured it downloading to my own pc
    seeing speeds around 6 mbit up and 1 mb down is impressing on a telephone.
    well at least for my on my first smartphone

  30. I really do hope this update is going to fix this phone! The things I find faulty are: Screen lock on a taxing application wont unlock, even GPS sometimes (never unlocks if you are using the camera); The GPS itself is not very responsive or accurate and data keeps dropping out, also data runs slow: I used to have a LG P500 and I felt the general ability of the phone was better than the X5, pretty much faultless; finally they better get that WIFI issue solved.

    The system operates so poorly, you couldnt even advertise this phone in good regard of its performance, let alone being WIFI capable!

  31. I was wondering if somebody could help me. I’m having troubles with my wifi. it sees my home network and the one at uni. when i try to connect to my home network, it goes through connecting and authenticating process, but then it just says that wi-fi is disconnected (even though it’s ticked) and the local network: disabled, secured with wpa/wpa2 psk… i can get online, but it uses my data pack instead of going online through wifi… HELP? Thanks

    1. Yes i have the same problem. What kind of router do you use? Mines an Zyxel P-661HW-D1. Im thinking of buying another router. But dont want to get another dud. So whats ur model? ill be sure not to get that either =D

      1. hey, as the joke goes, the programming problems are due to my DNA… I’ve got a Thomson, which I got from Telecom, I was putting in the wrong password. It works fine now, stable connection with no dropouts πŸ™‚

  32. Hi All,

    I was wondering if anyone has been able to install the latest firmware update to the X5 that was released a few days ago? This update supposedly activates the WiFi hotspot feature. Any issues experienced, tips etc would be much appreciated.

    Jay

    1. I have installed the update, the phone seems to install it right and everything processes correctly HOWEVER my phone has now locked itself and the touch screen is not functioning…I am trying to find my receipt now to send it away for warranty fix. Im not sure how many people this has happened to, but 2 degrees reckons no one else has had this fault occur with this update. Does anyone have an idea about what I could do to fix this? Tried battery out etc etc im unsure of other methods. Cannot connect to computer because screen wont unlock or register touch.

      Cheers

      1. Negative. This update was found through about phone or something, online update–> and everything went well, until my phone locked itself..fail? Dunno.

  33. Thanks for the feedback Kris – Hope 2d sort out your X5! >.<

    I see that they have posted instructions on their website for those intersted in upgrading firmware –

    http://www.2degreesmobile.co.nz/settings

    IDEOS X5 WiFi Setup
    To install and enable the Wi-Fi hotspot capability on your IDEOS X5 firstly ensure you have at least 50% battery remaining then follow the below steps on your handset:

    1. Select 'settings/About phone/Online update' your phone will now display the available firmware update

    2. Select β€˜more info’ then select 'update'

    3. Your phone will now download the new software and prompt to either install now or install later

    4. Select the β€˜install now’ option. Your phone will now reboot and start the upgrade process which will take approximately 5 minutes

    Any others with similar experiences?

    Cheers,

    Jay

    1. I will be interested in others experience with this upgrade. I received a text from 2Degrees yesterday advising me it was available but as I am a complete technophobe I am reluctant to install it in case I have the problem Kris had. I have the problem of “losing” the WIFI connection shortly after connecting regardless of it being at home, the office or in some free WIFI spot. I am hoping this upgrade will solve it.

      1. Spoke with a 2degrees salesman in Wellington on his experiences re: X5 firmware upgrade. Comments were as follows:
        1) The firmware upgrade unlocks the WiFi hotspot feature only. Nothing more. His upgrade experience was smooth – all done within 5 minutes

        2) He experienced the same WiFi dropout issue on his X5. Turning off mobile data whilst on WiFi solved it for him

  34. I bit the bullet and downloaded the update – went smoothly for me as well. Whew!

    Will test out the WiFi tethering feature later as well

    Jay

  35. SO this update you all have got was one texted through from 2degrees or how did you go about finding/installing it? I went looking for it in about phone==>online update==>and there is a version to download…not sure what it is, but i downloaded it. Ah i gotta send it away, but there must be some way to reboot it without sending it away?

  36. Hi Kris – phone just prompted me that an online update was available. I just went through the same method as you i.e. about phone>online update>version to download etc.

    I was a bit nervous through the process – the phone rebooted about 3 times and then ran ok. WiFi tethering seems to work well too. Will see if this has had any effect on the WiFi dropout when I get home

    1. Tried it but the WIFI problem kicked in. The download stopped at 9% as the connection to the WIFI was lost despite the phone still saying it was connected. Might have to make the trip to town to sort it out with the shop.

  37. Question:
    The wifi hotspot update suggests backing up personal information as it will be lost in the update.
    What personal data are they talking about?
    Do you need to do this?
    How do you do it?

    1. Hi Tony. You can back up your contacts to your gmail account. Look under settings>accounts and sync>manage accounts.. And no, I didn’t lose any personal data when I updated thankfully!!

  38. One more questio:

    On website suggested that this update will errase your apps is this correct?
    If so can you get them back on your Google account?

  39. Has anyone had issues with the phone disconnecting then failing to reconnect? Has turned my X5 into a fancy PDA as it can’t be trusted to receive/make calls or texts reliably…could it be do to with 2G/3G change over?

    1. Yep, as for you and Jay below, my phone periodically drops network (or turns off mobile data). Moving to Airplane mode and back doesn’t help, but a power reset does bring it back online.

      I suspected this was due to building interference (sometimes it seemed to be triggered by going into an enclosed room with several concrete walls around it) but it’s also happened when out and about in Dunedin.

      Jay, Will: where are you lads geographically?

      1. That enclosed room theory kinda holds – because I’d be moving from my office wifi when I go there – so transition to 3G might kill the connection. Huh. How do you disable 3G at home, Jay?

      2. I’m guessing he just manually changes it over to 2G only when he’s home. I leave mine on 2G all the time and I haven’t had any problems since.

        I’m located in Nelson.

        Not sure about the enclosed room thing, I’m in a weatherboard house and it used to happen on a regular basis (before I forced it to stick with 2G coverage).

      3. OK. Can’t see myself switching to 2G … I’d rather reboot the phone once every few days.

        If the phone misbehaves like this, though, what are our options? I bought mine at DSE – to duplicate the issue they need to take it back for a week ~ fortnight and replicate it. With an intermittent issue, odds are they’ll come back and charge me $60 for a couple of weeks of no phone and them being unable to replicate. Disincentive!

      4. Hey guys,

        I’m based in Napier – and yep the problem only happens at home. Geographically, I’m on a hillside so i’m not sure if line-of-sight to cell towers has anything to do with it?! I’m no expert!

        In terms of disabling 3g at home go to settings>wireless and network>mobile networks>Tick the option that says 2g networks only.

        Give it a go and see if that helps with the drops. I’m hoping the gingerbread update in September solves a lot of the issues.

        Jay

  40. Hi Will,

    Yes, I have experienced this problem on my X5 as well, but interestingly it only happens at home. i.e. the phone loses connection to the network, and fails to reconnect unless you restart it.

    If I force my phone to use 2G networks only at home, I have no problems with disconnections. So I suspect it is something to do with the 2G/3G changeover. I gave 2Β° a ring and their suggestion was to leave the phone on 2G only at home failing that do a SIM swap.

    Jay

  41. Hi Ben,
    I’m looking for a first smartphone since Telecom are shutting down my trusty CDMA network at the end of the year. I’m interested in the Ideos phones, but one thing I need on a phone is a GPS function which will tell me maximum speed (due to a sport I take part in). Do the Ideos phones fit that bill with their built-in GPS or would they require an aftermarket app be installed to measure that? Can you think of any reasonably priced smartphones which come with such an app as standard?

  42. Hey Ben

    Im just wondering if the Huawei ideos x5 has good audio quality for music because i want a phone with a good loud speaker

    Thanks,
    Dman

  43. Hi,

    I have just purchased a Huawei ideos x5 but did not realise that I could not sync it with my outlook 2003. Is there anyway to do this without having to buy software? If I had known I would have bought another phone.

    Cheers

    Maureen

  44. Hey, am I able to add my music on to the X5 and use a song as ring tone etc? Is this done simply dragging and dropping the music I want into the folder when connected to my computer?

    1. If you are going to add a lot of music you will want to add a micro SD card. I picked up a 16GB card for under $50 at warehouse stationary. Connect your phone to your PC via the usb port and yes its simple as drag an drop.
      Great phone, but only other essential download – Juice defender (or similar) to extend battery life.

      1. Try pricespy.co.nz in the future. It’s an aggregator of technology prices. You’ll find that Warehouse Stationary is actually kind of expensive.

      2. Too true. Pricespy is great. Unfortunately I was off on business and don’t live in a major centre, so waiting for shipment was not viable.

  45. Hi,
    My very basic old phone of about four years just died on me this week and so I’m in the market for a new one. I like the look of this phone and your review and just had a few questions.

    I’m also in need of a new Ipod, but was hopeful I could just get a phone to play all my music. I like how this one has extra memory space available, but just wondered if I could put music off iTunes onto it easily?

    Also, if I’m going to spend this much, I want to know it will last me a long time; how long do you think this phone can last me (with good care).

    1. You won’t use iTunes to sync your music as that’s for iDevices not Android ones. The quality seems good so far but hard to comment re: lasting 4 years!

    2. There is an Itunes plugin called “Itunes Agent” that lets you synchronize an Itunes “smart playlist” (or regular one) with any device, e.g. the SD card on your phone (when connected via USB).

      I don’t use my phone to listen to music yet because I still use all 80GB of my Ipod, plus the convenience factor of the ipod interface.

      I suspect that when they do release 80GB+ microsd cards, and the price comes down, I would migrate to using a proper Android app to manage my music so I could update my playlist over the air instead of via USB (which is required for the Itunes Agent).

  46. I did get one in the end, and found an easy way to copy music on. The one problem I’ve noticed so far is that the battery runs low quickly. I thought I remembered reading you could get an app that would save battery power or something, any ideas? Love everything else about it.

    1. And another thing. You asked about the phone’s longevity. I would definitely recommend getting a screen protector (you can get them on Trade Me) it’s a small investment but you’ll notice that even with looking after the phone carefully you’ll get all these minor scratches that do build up over time. And all it takes is just accidentally putting your keys in the same pocket as your phone and you risk ruining the screen.

      I’m really careful with my phone but still, the screen protector could do with being replaced.

  47. @Chris
    There’s an app, JuiceDefender. it comes in 3 flavours, free, Plus and Ultimate.
    I use Plus which is pretty good. My brother uses Ultimate which I must say, if there was an upgrade option I would upgrade to.
    But that is something worth noting. If you do buy Plus you have buy Ultimate outright to get that too, there is no simple upgrade option where you only pay the difference.

    It is pretty good software though. Basically it monitors what programs use connectivity and you can tell them when to connect. It’s actually more powerful than it sounds.

    Also, there’s Advanced Task Killer Free. Just tell it to kill apps that keep running in the background that you don’t use. Obviously the phone uses less power if it’s not running half a dozen apps that you aren’t using. You can also set it up as a Widget, which I like. I just click when I’ve finished with the web browser just to make sure it’s been killed.

    Just those 2 apps and you’ll notice the difference in power usage.

    1. Im thinking of getting one.. How are the cameras on them? And also can you talk to txt on it? Is it very expensive to use facebook etc on them?

  48. Hi
    This phone is great, except that I keep accidentally pressing the switch on the side that controls the ring volume. Hence, I miss heaps of calls because the phone is on “silent” is there any way of disconnecting this switch? thanks

  49. Hi, this is a really silly question, however we have just purchased a new Ideos X5 and we cant find how to send new emails. We can reply to emails that have been sent to us though. Can anyone point us in the right direction please ??

  50. Hi Marilyn,

    When you are in your Email app, just hit Menu (between Back and Home) and then tap “Compose”.

    Hope this helps,
    Lee

  51. I have an ideos x5 Love it but I’m currently locked out thanks to one of my kids attempting the pattern code too many times and it wont accept my google login details(the next step in unlocking it) Does anyone know how to unlock it? I have tried numerous things I have found by googling but NOTHING. I’m starting to get rather feckin annoyed.

    1. Hey Jess same thing happened to me three days ago and I still haven’t been able to unlock it, have you unlocked yet and if so how? Sooooo frustrated!

  52. In Bluetooth my Ideos X5 says it’s ‘paired but not connected’ to all the PCs I’ve so far tried to play with (both Windows and Linux (Ubuntu and SuSE)). Can anyone please tell me why, or how to get it working properly

  53. Just purchased an X5 today (xmas Pressie) so have not opened it yet. Have been looking on the net for good user manual, but can only find one with 16 pages, which virtually tells you nothing. Anyone know a good website to get a full and explains everything manual so i can download and have a good look at what it can do. Cheers Bruce

  54. I have a 8 week old x5 and have it for sale, have had endless problems with the screen not staying off when I,m talking and then it is so suer sensitive ,my hair touches it and it gives it commands and turns on/ off and cuts calls continuously, has cost $90. in first 3 weeks on prepaid, I wanted it for emails but have had 2 deg block my ph having access to internet, have had t checked and no faults, my teenagers have same problem using it but a friend with short hair has no problems , And what aproblem trying to get hold of the company , finalyy posted on their facebook and got quick response. still not resolved, I just want my money back. even todays value as its dropped almost $200 since purchase. be careful when buying .

  55. I got an IDEOS X5 just yesterday for a birthday present. So far I’m really happy with it – this is my first SmartPhone so I don’t really have much to compare it with, but I’m pretty pleased so far.

    After some initial hiccups with the internet connection (which were solved by calling 2degrees’ helpline), I’ve only really noticed one tiny little niggly irritation.

    When I first topped up 2degrees I got a txt which gave me my number. Now when I go to Menu>Settings>About phone>Status, under “My phone number” it says “Unknown,” and I can’t edit it.

    Now I’ve saved my phone number to my contacts list under the name “My number.” I think this is just a tiny yet significant design flaw. If I hadn’t saved that number and forgotten it, then subsequently deleted the txt that 2degrees sent me, it would’ve been a bit of a pain to recover my number. I know most people memorize their numbers and most people store it on their phone’s memory, but I still think that the part of the OS specifically meant to retain your number should actually, well, retain it?

    Otherwise, it’s pretty smooth sailing so far.

  56. I’ve had my X5 now for around 6 months. At around 2 months I started having issues with the touch screen becoming non-responsive on the right hand side. I contacted Huawei to resolve the issue but they didn’t even bother to respond. At the moment I’m just using it as a wireless hub for mobile broadband which it does fairly well. However at $499, I could not recommend.

    1. Take it back to where you purchased it, even it you purchased from an importer. 6 months is well within the required 12 month warranty, and even then you should also be covered by the CGA.

  57. Help I have had my phone about three weeks. In the last couple of days I cannot open the photo files, the first couple of times I turned it off and it worked,now there is nothing but a frozen image.
    Is there anything I can do or is it back to the shop I go?
    Happy New Year

  58. I want to download pictures from my X5 to my computer from the internal memory of the X5. I do not have a SD card installed. I do not have bluetooth on my computer. Any suggestions as to how I can do this would be appreciated.

  59. Hi, awesome review.. I am abit of a dummy when it comes to phones but brought this one and had some problems.. had it sent away to be “fixed” came back switching off all the time and cant connect to home wireless yet outside some shops with free wireless it connects.. then some it dosent and I cant get it to connect at home at all.. have just been given a new version of the phone and teh same thing. have rung my internet provider and 2degrees and they both said it should connect no problems once i enter my password to connect… but still just says its connecting then disconnected. Anyone got any ideas how to fix it????

  60. I would like to share with you my current experience with 2Degrees and IDEOS X5.

    After 10 months phone touch screen became faulty. Contacted 2Degrees and advised that they will send a courier envelope for me to return the phone.

    Now, three weeks later I have still not heard anything from 2Degrees regarding the phone.

    When I called 2Degrees they advise me that I need to contact the manufacturer. I mentioned that the phone was purchased online on 2Degrees website. Now they are directing me to contact the manufacturer. I asked that a manager call me, stating that my understanding regarding the Consumer Guarantees Act state that the supplier should resolve the problem.

    I am now waiting for a manager to call…

    It appears that 2Degrees follow the same culture as a number of other companies. They are happy to sell, but fail in the support area.

    Thanks

    Mike

  61. Few days ago got the X5. My contacts are in Win 7 now from the Blackberry Bold 9K. Luckily so cos the BB Bold 9k has a dead battery now (wondering if that happened due to using the carcigi lighter charger?
    Anyway I have all my phone numbers n contacts stored in the ABC Amber BlackBerry Converter in Win 7. Cant get Outlook 2003 to work anyway. So anyone know how i can get my numbers onto the X5 from Win7. Thx

  62. I have installed a16gb sd card in my X5 and now all the books in my Aldiko library are not displayed. Any suggestions as 2 y this is happening and what I can do 2 fix it ?

  63. I have 3 phones on the 2d network, 1 is the Ideos x5 and it is a good phone as long as you dont wont a to text or phone it has crap signal ,my other phones can have 4 bars and it has none, and it is set to 2g and still no good.

  64. cant play music on ideos although it shows bar moving but ther’s no audible sound and radio.
    How do i fix this. tx…

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