My RW & Huawei Ascend 5W Experience

phone_review
#1

My #Huawei #Ascend 5W arrived today. I am a brand new RW customer. The unboxing, setup, and activation process was as fast and smooth as it could be I suppose. It was better than my experience setting up any previous phone and service with other carriers.

Although I live about 3 miles from the massive Sprint headquarters, when we tried Sprint almost 2 years ago, we had to return the phones and cancel due to poor signal quality in our home. We have been on Verizon since, and mostly happy except the signal is too weak in our basement causing calls to fail.

So I am on my < 14 day journey to see if the RW service is going to cut it. So far, the service is doing what it claims. Call quality is great in my house with WiFi calling and everywhere in my basement. WIN! Then I had my wife get on a call with her sister while home on WiFi. I told her to stay on the call as she drove away down the street a few miles. The call did not drop, and they said they did not notice anything. SEAMLESS! When my wife was 5 miles from home, I had her call me and we talked all the way as she drove home, pulled into the garage, and walked into the house. If I’m reading the icons correctly, the phone switched to WiFi calling without a hiccup. Impressive.

As for the phone, it’s hard not to like this Huawei Ascend 5W. My wife’s big complaint is the color-quality of the photos seems rather terrible. That is a deal-killer for her, but other than that, the phone is fast and looks and works great. We’ve installed a few apps and trying to use it as much as possible.

NOTE: The specs said it only supports up to 32GB SD, but I popped in a 128GB SD and the phone recognized it. I have not tested the SD card extensively, but seems to work. BONUS.

I have the Moto G4 coming from RW later this week. At only $20 more than the Ascend, it is probably a better phone and better value. I’ll know soon enough and will report back here.

6 Likes
Change from Moto X 1st Gen to Huawei
#2

Nice phone report. Thank you

#3

Great feedback @Troywolf , Thanks for sharing that with us.

#4

My username is troyw.n7qevt?

So I just went to edit my profile, and sure enough, that’s my username–and no way to change it. It’s growing on me, though, troyw.n7qevt has a nice ring to it.

#5

Hi again @Troywolf

Your user name appears to have been automatically generated by the computer. We used to have a thread where members could request name changes, but now RW prefers you open a support ticket…

Open a Support Ticket to change your username.

Please note:

  • Usernames can only be in lowercase
  • Allowed non-letter characters are 0-9, _, @, - (dash), and .(dot)
  • Usernames must start with a letter

…Of course if you like your username, no need.

#6

@c1tobor, Thanks for the thorough, straight-forward information on changing my username. I submitted a support ticket.

DAY 3 of my RW experiment:

The Huawei Ascend 5W has not let me down yet. BETTER NEWS is I’ve had zero issues with the RW service so far. Calls, texts, on WiFi, on Cellular, switching between the 2…working great.

Remember when I said the Ascend 5W seemed to recognize the 128GB SD despite the fact the specs said the phone supports up to 32GB? Well, not so much. When I first popped the SD in, the phone gave me a message indicating it saw 117GB of space there…which is kind of normal to not recognize 100% of the space. I configured my Plex app to sync content to the SD card and started downloading about 10 movies from my Plex Media Server. Eventually an error popped up saying the SD card was bad, and the phone stopped recognizing the SD card.

I popped the SD card into my laptop. It reports 126GB, and I can see the files the phone put on it just fine. So I think it’s truly just a case of the phone supports up to 32GB…like the specs said. Duh. I’ll pick up a 32 and test it out of course.

I should probably start a new thread for this, but yesterday, our Moto G4 arrived and I set it up late last night. Again, the setup and activation process is a breeze–so smooth. Great work, RW! My initial reaction to the G4 was very good. I like the way it looks and feels. I shouldn’t be, but I’m always surprised by how different Android is on different manufacturers. For example, the settings menus are quite different between the 2 phones. How your desktop & icon tweaking works is very different between the 2 phones. Both work fine, but I felt slightly more comfortable with how the G4 worked. I especially like how the “all apps” feature/page works on the G4. The Huawei does not even seem to have an all apps feature. If it’s installed, it’s on a main screen window…which I guess if you install an app, why would you not want to organize it on an active screen…so not a problem by any means. The G4 has a single vertical scrolling page with all apps in alphabetical order–it’s the easiest way to find an app on any phone I’ve used.

I’ll know more in a week, but my initial reaction is the Moto G4 is a better phone and better value. Advantages of the G4 include 32GB model available (instead of only 16GB), support for 128GB SD (instead of only 32GB), water-repellant nano-coating (NOT waterproof), and I assume better after-market support for accessories, cases, etc. It feels like it’s probably a bit more rugged, but I’m not going to drop test these phones!

Only advantage of the Huawei that I’m aware of so far, other than lower price, is the fingerprint scanner. I’ve not tried it, but if it works really well, I imagine this to be an excellent feature that both greatly improves security and reduces complexity in unlocking your phone. I might give this phone to my relatively young daughter, in which case I don’t want her phone locked with her fingerprint! Mommy & daddy get to look at her phone content any time we want.

UPDATE: Thanks to folks who replied to inform me you can configure multiple fingerprints, so mom, dad, and child all have fingerprint access.

Both phones seem a good value for the $200 (or so) price point. So far so good.

5 Likes
#7

Only advantage of the Huawei that I’m aware of so far, other than lower price, is the fingerprint scanner. I’ve not tried it, but if it works really well, I imagine this to be an excellent feature that both greatly improves security and reduces complexity in unlocking your phone. I might give this phone to my relatively young daughter, in which case I don’t want her phone locked with her fingerprint! Mommy & daddy get to look at her phone content any time we want.

Both phones seem a good value for the $200 (or so) price point. So far so good.

FYI - You can set up multiple fingerprints for unlocking. So you could set your daughter, mom and dad all on the same phone so that any one of you could unlock via fingerprint.

6 Likes
#8

You can set up multiple fingerprints for unlocking.

Or for in the event you injure or loose a finger.

8 Likes
#9

Hi Everyone,

Cool review. Note the picture can be improved. The phone needs tweaks!

Okay so for my experience!

As everyone knows now, i’m really budget conscience! Really! And this was the perfect product, so i’ll give you my critique.

1st things is UPS! OMG! I was sitting 10 ft from the door when I heard Thap! and then the doorbell! I got to look no [redacted] UPS guy and that’s why I don’t use them.

(Note: Restrained my language for the sensitive!)

So i pulled it inside opened it and was very surprised at the size… Geez… Not in my pocket! Nope! Hand or coat pocket until I get a good case. Nice weight, my sisters iPhone is a beast and this was perfect. Pushed power and Huawei pops up and we are a go. Ok startup was faster then any phone I have had before, so I was in love already. The setup went fine till the transfer of data and that was a bust! It didn’t want to work to well with my MotoE, which I attribute to the problems I have had with it. Might just sell it. Who knows. But went in and did the google upload / download thing and all it good. A hassle since my MotoE was hurt. I think I did in its feeling, not that I care, but hey, treat your technology right and it may save your butt someday.

I realized right off what was different with this phone! It was designed for Windows 8, yep all tech savvy people, I know you spotted it! This phone has Win 8 designed and not Android, but the specs are off the chart so i’m good!. Hope they update to Android 7, that would be the ultimate! So I shuffled and push apps around for a couple of hours, that included update and old apps delete and new choice apps, plus purchases. Time consuming, just like windows. But when I got it all done there wasn’t much difference from Kitkat which was on the MotoE, excpet there is no programs menu. Everything is on the main page. It’s not the most efficient design, but it’s easy to make due. Everything is a flash and no delay. When I long hold on the screen and the sub menu came up I was like huh? Then I took some time and got used to it. The sub menu is a cool feature, so have at it.

Except for the migrate problem, all is well. The picture I have on it are very nice and HD! The finger lock is nice, then there is the camera. Very cool and FAR < FAR< FAR< far! Better than MotoE My p;d Droid Eris to better Pictures. But now i’ll have to suffer! LOL I’m glad I only have to install the Micro SD and the NanoSIM once. I may have small hands, but they were all over the place. They it was complete, though the Micro SD and the NanoSIM were right after the RW app was installed.

I’ll update in a week or so and let you’all know how it goes. Have any question about how and what works and why and we’ll start a new post so this can be the new 5W thread and review!

Moderator’s note: Profanity, even abbreviated, is subject to moderation in accordance with the Community Guidelines.

5 Likes
#10

I tried the open camera app. It’s nice, but I like the built in app better. As for picture quality difference? I couldn’t tell.

#11

Thanks for sharing your experience, @ahmanm. So after 3 days with my Huawei, I remain very pleased with it and the RW service. Note, however, that I really don’t make that many calls in the normal day nor travel far, so I’m not giving the phone a real workout yet.

I plan to pick up a 32GB SD card tomorrow. The specs say 32GB is the max for the phone.

Huawei Ascend 5W Tech Specs

Something I just learned about this evening is that Marshmallow supports the idea of combining the internal storage with the SD card storage to create 1 common larger storage area. A possible disadvantage is the SD memory can be slower, but the beauty is you no longer have to manage SD storage vs internal storage. No more having to individually move apps to the SD card. No more going into app settings to say “put your data on the SD card”. Apps that don’t support storing data on the SD card won’t know the difference. So I will pop in the 32GB SD then format it to combine with the internal 16GB. That should be plenty of space…he says for about 3 months.

How to Set Up a New SD Card in Android for Extra Storage

Not to hijack this thread too much, but I’m also playing with a new Moto G4 at the same time. We got the call problem I mentioned earlier fixed, and I have that phone setup very nicely. It has 32GB internal and 128GB SD. MONGO SPACE for a phone! Too early to rule on this, but my wife and I think the Huawei might have better call sound quality. I like how the Moto G4 feels in my hand better.

Also, thanks for the fingertip scanner tips, @kristosh and @williamo.vkbg0s ! I definitely should setup at least 2 of my fingers just in case a finger gets cut off. I don’t want to get locked out of my phone! For improved redundancy, I’ll scan one from each hand…just in case I lose an entire hand.

5 Likes
#12

Hi Troyw.n7qevt:

Glad you’re having a good experience so far!

I have an ascend 5w with a 64 GB Microsd card installed and the card and phone seem to interact flawlessly.

How did you format the card? I formatted mine as a fat32 drive using an online tool and my computer. You might give that a shot before getting another card; when I did a quick search with Google, there were a number of online tools that purported to accomplish the fat32 formatting but right now I can’t remember which one I used. My understanding is that neither Android or Microsoft operating systems will format as fat32 by default.

And hey, welcome to Republic!

5 Likes
#13

@doodlehymer, I did not format it. I did what I’ve always done when adding an SD to a phone–relied on the formatting it comes with–it’s always just worked. My 128GB SD did work when I inserted it, but then I started syncing about 10 movies from my Plex Media Server to the SD card. It completed several movies before the phone threw the SD card error. I then put the 128GB SD in my new Moto G4–without reformatting or anything–and it’s working fine.

What I hope to do with this Huawei with my new 32GB SD is to follow the new process allowed by Marshmallow:

How to Set Up a New SD Card in Android for Extra Storage

When you do this, the phone specifically formats the SD and “adds” it to the internal storage so it looks like one big storage area. Based on your feedback, though, I might get brave and try a 64GB SD.

#14

Hi @Troywolf

Unfortunately, there is this…

Adoptive Storage for Ascend 5w

5 Likes
#15

ARGH!!! This is a definite strike against the Huawei Ascend 5W and an advantage for the Moto G4, which DOES support Adoptive Storage. 14 days has not run out yet.

My Ascend 5W vs Moto G4 deathmatch continues…

5 Likes
#16

It completed several movies before the phone threw the SD card error. I then put the 128GB SD in my new Moto G4–without reformatting or anything–and it’s working fine.

This may be another Android feature not supported by the manufacturer. You can find out which formats the phone supports with a terminal program installed on the phone or with the ADB shell on your computer. There are many, many terminal apps available, but here is why I put the quote from a different comment in my reply to this one: ADB is installed on your computer, not on the phone. So you don’t need to learn how the interface works and you don’t need to manage installing, uninstalling or account for the space it uses. The installer – http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?p=48915118#post48915118 – mentioned in the thread that @c1tobor linked to is fast and easy. You need to activate Developer mode by tapping 7 times on the build number (Settings->‘About phone’; build number is at the bottom of the screen on my X Pure.)

Once you are in a terminal app or the ADB shell on your computer type:

cat /proc/filesystems

Hit enter and this will produce a list of supported formats. My guess is that your SD card is formatted as Exfat and that Huawei, or at least the 5 W doesn’t support that. My Moto X can read them just fine though. You may need to reformat any new SD card that you get to one of the supported formats if that is the case.

Also ADB or a terminal app should work to do the manual setup of adoptive storage if you decide to go that way.

5 Likes
#17

I agree with your thoughts, and will consider them as I resolve my issues. The one thing that contradicts the SD format being an incompatible file system is that it worked for awhile. I mean pictures were being saved on the SD, several movies copied successfully there. My 20+ years of professional computer experience (which may be worth very little!) says if the SD had an incompatible format, it would have never worked. The fact that it worked to a point then stopped smells a lot more like the phone not supporting that much space. The specs support that theory. Of course it could simply be a bad SD…and if it eventually fails on the Moto G4 where it now lives, I’ll know.

As I’ve hinted in various discussions, though, I may solve my Ascend 5W problems–minor as they are–by returning for another Moto G4. The jury is still out, and solutions like what you all have suggested are helping me a lot!

Thanks!

5 Likes
#18

@Troywolf

Apparently, this needs some updating…

  • Usernames can only be in lowercase
  • Allowed non-letter characters are 0-9, _, @, - (dash), and .(dot)
  • Usernames must start with a letter

…Of course if you like your username, no need.

#19

From my research, the reason some phones don’t officially support larger than 32 GB SD cards is they don’t want to pay Microsoft licensing fees to use use the exFAT file system that SD cards larger than 32 gigs come formatted with (SD cards 32 gigs and below come formatted with regular FAT). Usually, they work fine if you format them with something else your phone is compatible with (and I think it should work if you format your card with your phone).

Although I do like my Ascend 5w, I got in on the deal RW was offering. If I were paying full price I would probably take the Moto G instead.

Since you have both, can you compare other aspects between the two such as battery life, call quality, camera, screen, performance, etc? I think that would be a huge bennifit to this community.

5 Likes
#20

Troywolf wrote:

Thanks for sharing your experience, @ahmanm. So after 3 days with my Huawei, I remain very pleased with it and the RW service. Note, however, that I really don’t make that many calls in the normal day nor travel far, so I’m not giving the phone a real workout yet.

I plan to pick up a 32GB SD card tomorrow. The specs say 32GB is the max for the phone.

Huawei Ascend 5W Tech Specs

Something I just learned about this evening is that Marshmallow supports the idea of combining the internal storage with the SD card storage to create 1 common larger storage area. A possible disadvantage is the SD memory can be slower, but the beauty is you no longer have to manage SD storage vs internal storage. No more having to individually move apps to the SD card. No more going into app settings to say “put your data on the SD card”. Apps that don’t support storing data on the SD card won’t know the difference. So I will pop in the 32GB SD then format it to combine with the internal 16GB. That should be plenty of space…he says for about 3 months.

How to Set Up a New SD Card in Android for Extra Storage

Not to hijack this thread too much, but I’m also playing with a new Moto G4 at the same time. We got the call problem I mentioned earlier fixed, and I have that phone setup very nicely. It has 32GB internal and 128GB SD. MONGO SPACE for a phone! Too early to rule on this, but my wife and I think the Huawei might have better call sound quality. I like how the Moto G4 feels in my hand better.

Also, thanks for the fingertip scanner tips, @kristosh and @williamo.vkbg0s ! I definitely should setup at least 2 of my fingers just in case a finger gets cut off. I don’t want to get locked out of my phone! For improved redundancy, I’ll scan one from each hand…just in case I lose an entire hand.

Further FYI - Fingerprint scanning on Android is forced backup against a PIN number.

So even if you only want fingerprint unlock, Android will require a PIN backup and you will be required to enter the PIN when you restart the device and occasionally to unlock, especially if you have failed the fingerprint unlock too many times

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