Huawei has brought out a new mid-range handset, the P Smart. Unlike its other “Lite” devices, this isn’t based on an existing high-end model but a compressed version. The P Smart has one main drawcard – the price tag of R3999. It’s aimed at the younger generation who want an affordable handset but with features normally found on flagships.

So with this in mind, the P Smart offers features like a dual lens camera with bokeh effects on both the main and front cameras. I saw this first on FNB’s range of ‘affordable’ handsets (you can only get these on contract). I think it’s a great feature to have on smartphones today because mobile photography just keeps getting better, and it’s about time this particular function gets rolled out on mid-range handsets. I only got to try it at the Johannesburg media event in Greenside, which was in the evening, so haven’t experienced it properly during day time use. Hence my first impressions post.

It does selfies well, were your face is in focus at the rest is blurred. It has gimmicky functions like gesture shot, beauty mode and four “intelligent sensing functions” according to Huawei; they are facial recognition, gender recognition, 10-level skin improvement, and automatic perception. Perhaps this is something the younger generation want because these don’t mean much to me.

The rear dual cameras are 13MP+2MP with the secondary camera providing wide aperture features to blur the background. Unlike other uses of dual cameras on other devices, don’t expect wide angle pics. The selfie-cam is 8MP and as mentioned, does bokeh effect shots. 

Actual pic from phone at night:

The phone itself is sleek, and will be available in two colours: black, and gold. The full view display function is great for playing games (18:9 aspect ratio), which we tried at the launch event. We played Asphalt 8, a racing game, and it was great for that – the screen didn’t feel small. It’s just the lack of gyroscope that I noticed because I was tilting the phone in the direction I wanted the car to go in, and had to adjust to the fact that it doesn’t work that way (tapping left or right moves it, which can be confusing if you reach one side and there’s a turn already there and you miss it and crash), but that’s besides the point. It can handle a game such as this, as seen on high-end devices. This was projected onto a big screen using the mirror functionalities.

Huawei is also punting the full screen display that allows split-screen functionality, so you can run two supported apps at the same time. But, this is more of an Android Nougat feature if you follow Android updates closely. I blogged about my top 5 Android Nougat features here: 

It also has a fingerprint sensor, and it can be used for different functions in apps, like as a shutter button for the camera to take selfies; or navigation; and deactivating of the alarm clock. 

The battery is seriously impressive; it’s 3000mAh, which is huge for a mid-range handset. And if you’re a heavy user, you can make use of the battery saving mode for extended battery life.

It is available to purchase on all networks at R3999.