Huawei Honor Holly 2 plus – Review

The Huawei Honor Holly 2 plus is one of Huawei’s budget offerings. This phone offers more value in certain cases and seems to let down In a few others and here’s how it does both.

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To start things off The Huawei Honor Holly 2 Plus offers what we’ve come to expect in a 2015-2016 budget option such as a Quad core mediatek processor, 2 gigabytes of ram, 16 gigabytes of internal storage that is expandable via microSD by upto a 128 giga bytes. The phone also comes with a 13 MP rear camera coupled with a 5 MP front camera with a 5 inch 720P display at its front and powering all this is its really huge 4000mAh battery. So lets break things down for this review, first let me talk about its design.


The Huawei Honor Holly 2 plus is a full plastic construction with a textured back that is removal. The standard 3.5mm headphone jack sits at the top and the speaker sits at the bottom of the phone along with the microphone. Both volume and power buttons are placed on the right edge of the phone. The phones primary camera sits in the middle of the back panel with a single LED flash and a secondary noise cancellation mic above the camera. At the front the phone sports a 5 inch display with earpiece, sensors and the front facing camera all in the top. Removing the back panel gives you access to the Dual sim slots and the micro SD card. The non-user removable battery sits under the slots. The phone comes in three colour variants grey, white and gold. The unit I have is grey. The phone feels great in the hand, the textured back offers more grip and the 5 inch display helps with one hand usability. I did need to shuffle my hand around a little bit to reach the farthest corner.

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The phone comes with the Mediatek MT6735P CPU and the Mali-T720MP2 GPU coupled with 2 GB ram. On the software side of things the phone comes out of the box with Android 5.1 lollipop on top of EMUI 3.1 which is Huawei’s custom android skin.


Now that the spec talks out of the way, the question is does The Huawei Honor Holly 2 Plus perform?

Well it does, quite well too. Infact the 2 weeks I used it as my daily driver there were no considerable lags or stutters. The overall usability was good and the one main thing that needed getting used to, was the companies take on Android. There is no app drawer to be found here, which is quite common with a number of Chinese OEM’s. The recent apps tray is like that of HTC’s old sense UI with the little windows of four but with horizontal scrolling. Meh who cares this is android so slap on a custom launcher and you get your app drawer back. But one thing that I really hated about this UI is the notification drawer, it looks odd, ugly and the quick toggles found on vanilla lollipop offered a far better experience.

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The thing that is carried over from vanilla lollipop though is the use of software home, recent and back keys that are found at the bottom of the display instead of the regular capacitive or hard key buttons found on most phones. EMUI does offer a decent theme store and some other useful apps and there is the regular selection of google services on board. Oh and for those smartphone gamers out there, the phone does play most popular game titles with ease, at toned down graphics settings. It played Modern Combat 5 and Asphalt 8 quite smoothly.


Also the 16GB internal storage is ample in my opinion for all the apps one could use leaving all the media content on a micro SD card. Overall the phone performs really well for the price. One thing that struck me though was that Bluetooth devices weren’t always properly paired which resulted in all three of my Bluetooth headsets being shown as paired not playing any music and this went away after a few times turning the Bluetooth toggle on/off a few times which is quite annoying coupled with the fact it persisted even after a factory reset.


So lets talk about media. The phone comes with a 5 inch IPS LCD 720P display with a pixel density of 296ppi. The screen is sharp, vibrant with the right amount of saturation. It has average viewing angles and sunlight legibility is okay at best. The biggest problem I found with this display is that it doesn’t get low enough in terms of brightness that makes using this display at night a strenuous experience.


On the audio side of things we have a single downward facing speaker that gets really loud. You can never miss your phone ringing with this one. The speaker does lack depth but makes that up with the sheer amount of volume. The lonely headphone jack at the top offers decent if not the best in audio. My standard earphones got loud enough but don’t expect this to boom sound into your ear canals. The rear facing speaker does get easily covered by my hand though when I use the phone in landscape orientation. Coming to the cameras, the 13MP rear camera is not bad which is kind of expected given the price range. Shutter response was fast and the camera was quick to launch. The phone takes good photos in well lit conditions with good detail and colour but In lowlight though there is not much to be said its just plain bad. HDR does help ease the overall quality but do note it takes a few seconds to stitch the photo together in HDR so you need to have stable hands. The 5MP front facing 5MP shooter was nice and produced good quality self portraits…. Nah who am I kidding selfies offcourse. The camera interface is quite barebones with a few photo options such as panorama, HDR, a watermark mode that adds the day, date, location and temperature at the precise moment the photo was taken and an audio note mode that lets you add a 10 second audio snippet along with the photograph you took, that you can listen to later. In the settings you can find options to change white balance, ISO and a few other things. You can also trigger the camera and take a instant photo by double pressing the volume down button when the phone is in standby.



Battery and Call Quality:

Now lets talk about the things that make a phone a phone which is calls and the amount of time it lasts on a single charge. Call quality on the Huawei Honor Holly 2 plus was good with no distortion and the phone supports LTE on both sims. The microphone quality was good too and so was network coverage. The non-user replaceable 4000mAh battery coupled with a low resolution 720P display was nothing short of a behemoth in providing great battery life. Charging speed wasn’t bad too. The phone easily lasts two days on normal usage with a hour of calls, web browsing and mild gaming and on a heavy usage day with lots of work being done you can expect the phone to have at the least 45% battery remaining. Huawei does offer a ultra battery saving mode that does actually allow you to get more out of the battery but limits users to just phone calls and texts, no application use.




Which brings us to the conclusion. So is The Huawei Honor Holly 2 worth the asking price of Rs. 8,500?? Well if great battery life is the thing you are looking for, also if you don’t mind the average cameras then it’s a straight YES. But if you can throw in a little more, then saving a few bucks by buying this instead of say a Redmi note 3 @ Rs.10,000 is definitely not worth the trade-off.


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