- the very successful design
- the affordable price
We don’t like
- the top of the screen which slows down navigation
- no USB-C port
- sometimes heats up for no reason
With its new smartphone, Huawei is hitting a big blow in the anthill of devices for less than 300 euros. It was not necessarily expected in this market niche, as the Chinese manufacturer has mainly earned its reputation with more expensive aircraft, such as the recent P20. And yet, despite a few flaws, this P Smart+ has all the assets to make a nice hit in France.
Behind this name of Huawei P Smart+, there is in fact another model of the Huawei brand unveiled last July: the Nova 3i. But for the needs of the European market, the smartphone has been renamed with a name that may seem more evocative here. The first P Smart of the name was released in France, which is not the case of the Nova 2… And even if the first Nova was not lacking in charm and was well distributed by us, it remained in the most total darkness.
So what’s the P Smart + worth? Why turn to this device at less than 300 euros, when there are countless alternatives at the same price that offer similar functionalities? Should we fall for Huawei’s new smartphone or not?
Huawei has been setting itself apart from the competition for some time now with its classy, trendy and sleek design. We had already been seduced by the P20 (all 3 models combined), and we were once again seduced by the P Smart +. Here we have a smartphone from 6,3″, which is 7.6 mm thick, 157.6 mm high and 75.2 mm wide. Despite its large diagonal, the camera is very pleasant to handle, its 19.5:9 ratio certainly having something to do with it. Its well rounded corners and glossy back give the camera a well finished product feel, leaving no room for design error. The first time you turn on the unit, you will notice that it has a rather discreet notch that holds the two front photo sensors and the earphone.
Also read: what are the best smartphones under €200?
In short, we really enjoyed using this device during our test period. With the exception of a small defect that can be felt at the top of the camera: the junction between the screen glass and the body is not perfect. There is a kind of protrusion at the top of the screen, a protrusion that is not felt at the bottom of the screen. At first glance, you’d think it’s just a tiny detail… except that it’s the place used to access the information in the notification area. As a result, the finger used to drag the notification bar to “bump” against the screen. It’s a pity, because apart from this defect, everything else is of excellent workmanship.
Please note that in France, the camera is sold in two versions: one in black (the one we tested) and the other in iridescent purple (or night blue if you prefer). The latter, which we had in our hands for a few minutes, is undoubtedly the more successful of the two. Rarely has the color of a smartphone been chosen so well and there is no doubt that this is the version that will win all the votes among users.
Huawei’s P Smart Plus is powered by an entirely new processor: a Kirin 710. This CPU clearly places the device in the mid-range. You also benefit from 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB of storage space. In terms of power, what does it give? Strangely enough, we noticed some reactivity problems in the very first days of using the device. Applications seemed to have trouble opening, and even switching from one page to another or from one application to another caused small slowdowns. And then suddenly, all the problems disappeared, without the need for an update. From then on, the device has shown a really good power.
|Geekbench 4 Multicore||3DMark Slingshot Extreme|
|Huawei P Smart Plus (Kirin 710)||NC||960|
|Xiaomi Mi A2 (Snapdragon 660)||4609||1275|
|Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 (Snapdragon 636)||4819||940|
|Samsung Galaxy A6+ (Snapdragon 450)||3792||441|
|LG Q7 (MediaTek MT6750)||2248||98|
Its 3300 mAh battery provides a little less than thirty hours of classical use (a little Web, one hour of video and music, one hour of GPS use, …).
The operating system on this device is Android version 8.1 (Oreo), as well as the Huawei “EMUI” overlay in its 8.2.0 edition. This one is for the moment exclusive to the aircraft, but there is a very good chance that it will arrive quickly on the other aircraft of the brand. This edition offers a few features such as the possibility to activate the Turbo GPU or not, not to be disturbed during a gaming session, etc.
On the photo side, there is a double sensor of 24 + 2 MP at the front, and 16 + 2 MP at the back. Don’t be surprised by these values which might seem to be inverted: usually the rear sensor is more powerful than the one in front. Here, the camera is mainly made for seflie, even if it comes out not too bad for classic shooting. We tested its photo performance against another smartphone that we also recently tested and that comes at the same price in its 64GB storage edition: the Xiaomi Mi A2.
The dual rear sensor of the P Smart + delivers detailed, brightly coloured and perfect photos in full brightness if you post your pictures frequently on Instagram and social networks. However, if you prefer more natural images, the camera is not really for you.
In low light, the opposite happens: colours are more natural, and therefore duller. As usual with almost all mid-range cameras, don’t expect miracles either: if the shots are clear, the image is noisy when you zoom in. But for a camera at this price, it’s still a great feat to deliver shots of the right quality.
Despite all its qualities, the P Smart + is also not free of minor defects. Apart from the protrusion of the glass that we have already discussed, it can also be blamed for the presence of a USB-A port. While those who prefer to use wired headphones will appreciate this mini jack port, they may regret that the device does not have a USB Type-C port. As a result, it doesn’t benefit from any fast charging (we had almost forgotten how long USB Type-A charging takes…). But you can’t definitely ask him for everything. At 299 euros, the device remains a very good deal.