Despite the fact that the Vogue is equipped with a quad-core processor, it only has a 1.2 GHz clock and 1 GB of RAM, and the weaker specs really show. Lag abounds when running even moderately intensive tasks or apps; even framerates for something as simple as Fruit Ninja were painfully low. Load times are brutal as well, with the same app being launched at the same time on a Galaxy S IV loading noticeably faster than on the Vogue.
To paint a clearer picture of just how much the Vogue’s performance lags behind that of the competition, I ran Quadrant to get a benchmark. The number was so low (4,068) that the Vogue ranked well below the HTC One X (nearly 4,750), a smartphone that was released over a year ago and the North American version of which runs on a dual-core processor. Needless to say, this thing is slow.
And finally, there’s the rather frustrating fact that the Vogue only comes equipped with 8 GB of onboard storage. In the Vogue’s defense, it is equipped with a microSD card slot so expansion is an option, but it’s an unfortunately low spec nonetheless. It’s especially problematic given that, out of the box, the usable total after the OS and preloaded software are accounted for is only around 6 GB of space.
Huawei deserves credit for not weighing down the Vogue with an excessive amount of preloaded software. Aside from the requisite suite of Google apps, the device comes out of the box loaded only with a single widget on the home screen, a few basic apps (email, browser, media options, calculator, calendar, etc.), and a couple of more unique (but equally useful) pieces of software.
Some of these include an app installer for sideloading apps of the microSD card, cloud services, voice-enabled features (phone dialing, search), video editing software, and DLNA. The only thing I could have done without was Huawei’s HiSpace app store front. I always find these to be useless, and Huawei’s is especially bad given that most of the apps are native tablet apps and either don’t work properly or fail to resize correctly. Stick to the Google Play Store which, thankfully, the Vogue does have access to.
As one would expect from a 3.1-megapixel camera on a device that places virtually no emphasis on its imaging capabilities, the camera on the Vogue is pretty much useless. Users shouldn’t plan on taking even remotely important pictures with this device, as they will be completely lacking in sharpness. White balance and colors aren’t offensively poor, but users can forget about taking any shots in anything other than the brightest-lit environments. Graininess and noise abounds in low-light scenarios.
One other issue with the camera was the software, which had a funny quirk where it would appear to have taken a picture, only to continue processing it for a second or two after sliding the image away as if it were finished. If the Vogue was moved at all while it was still processing, it would result in a blurry/ruined photo. Aside from the fact that it takes getting used to holding the camera still even after it’s apparently finished taking the picture, it simply processes pictures too slowly (or perhaps it’s a shutter speed issue) to be considered acceptable.
There’s also a front-facing VGA camera, but obviously that’s only meant for video chatting and little else.
Like the device’s decent build, the battery life of the Vogue is one of the few things it has going in its favor. Granted, a big part of that likely has to do with the relatively dim, low-res screen and only 3G connectivity; if it was 4G LTE, the drain would be a little harsher. Nevertheless, the Vogue could last for a week in standby, or a healthy three or four days based on how heavily it was used. Given that I always had it connected to some sort of network (typically Wi-Fi), kept the dismal screen on maximum brightness (for obvious reasons) and kept as many battery-draining features on as possible, like email push, I found the results to be impressive.