To help us provide you with free impartial advice, we may earn a commission if you buy through links on our site. Learn more

Huawei Honor Holly review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £90
inc VAT SIM-free

The Honor Holly doesn't have the best battery life, but this is a good value budget smartphone with lots of storage


Processor: Quad-core 1.3GHz MediaTek MT6582, Screen Size: 5in, Screen resolution: 1,280×720, Rear camera: 8-megapixels, Storage: 16GB, Wireless data: 3G, Size: 142x72x9.4mm, Weight: 156g, Operating system: Android 4.4.2


The Holly also lagged behind the Moto G in our PCMark benchmarks, which tests web browsing, document and photo editing, and video playback. Whereas the Moto G scored an impressive 2,850 overall, the Holly managed just 1,867. The Holly performed particularly poorly in the video playback and document editing sections of the test, so both work and play will take longer to load and manage than rival smartphones. 

Graphics performance was a big let-down. The Holly could only manage an average of 16.8fps (or a score of 3,154) in our 3DMark Ice Storm test and a stuttering 13.4fps (or 2,083) in Ice Storm Extreme, so it may struggle with more demanding 3D games. These scores put it more on par with the Moto E, but at least the Moto E was still capable of running our Epic Citadel test at Ultra High quality. The Holly, meanwhile, only lets you choose High quality, so some games will never look their best. The Holly produced a highly respectable 46.5fps at its native resolution on High quality, however, so it should still be able to handle more casual games at perfectly acceptable speeds.


We were very pleased with the quality of the Holly’s 8-megapixel photos, as colours looked rich and natural despite the overcast weather conditions and the sky was exposed very accurately. There was a little too much noise in a couple of our photos, but it was a fairly minor complaint overall. Combine this with the 16GB of storage, which is double what you get in the Moto G, and you should have plenty of room for photos. 

We wouldn’t recommend trying to use the Holly’s HDR mode, though, as several shots ended up exceedingly blurry as it stitched both exposures together. Like the Prestigio, the Holly doesn’t cater well for natural hand-shake, so you’ll have to keep the phone dead still to get a decent shot.

Huawei Honor Holly camera test HDR mode01

^ We found that many of the Holly’s HDR photos ended up looking blurry, here’s one of the better ones, but the camera overall is pretty impressive

Battery life is decent, but not spectacular, as the 2,000mAh battery lasted just 7h 59m in our continuous video playback test with the screen set to 170cd/m2. This should still get you through the day, but we were hoping for a little more, especially since the Moto G lasted almost another two hours under the same conditions.


In this sense, the Moto G comes out on top in almost every respect, but it does cost another £70 SIM-free and doesn’t have as much internal storage. This alone will be more enough to sway some users in the Holly’s favour, but it’s worth bearing in mind that you won’t be getting an upgrade to Android 5.0 with the Holly, whereas you will with the Moto G.

This wouldn’t be so bad if the Holly ran a purer form of Android 4.4, but you’ll also have to put up with Huawei’s Emotion UI as well. We’ve never been big fans of the Emotion UI, so it falls just short of winning a Best Buy award, but at £75, there’s no denying it’s still a pretty good bargain.

The Motorola Moto G is still our number one budget handset of choice, as we think the benefits it brings with its faster performance, longer lasting battery and Android 5.0 is worth the extra expense, but if you’re looking to keep costs down, then the Honor Holly is a good alternative. However, if you’re after a cheap 4G handset, the new Moto E (2015) is much better value, as this has an even better battery life and faster performance, making it our top pick for anyone looking to spend under £110.

Pages: 1 2

ProcessorQuad-core 1.3GHz MediaTek MT6582
Screen size5in
Screen resolution1,280×720
Screen typeLCD
Front camera2-megapixels
Rear camera8-megapixels
Memory card slot (supplied)microSD
BluetoothBluetooth 4.0
Wireless data3G
Operating systemAndroid 4.4.2
Battery size2,000mAh
Buying information
WarrantyOne-year RTB
Price SIM-free (inc VAT)£110
Price on contract (inc VAT)N/A
Prepay price (inc VAT)N/A
Contract/prepay supplierN/A
Part codeHOL-U19

Read more