Huawei Pal, Good call Friend and Family Phone
There is nothing wrong with a basic handset. As hard as it may be to believe, even in 2013, not everyone wants a smartphone that can do a million things. Sometimes, it is just about communication. And for a phone that is all about communication, call quality is tolerable. At 4.37 inches long by 1.85 inches wide by 0.57 inch deep, it is so small that one can almost close my hand completely around it. It is also so light 2.65 ounces. The Pal's plastic skin hardly inspires a feeling of confidence.
The Huawei Pal is incredibly easy to use. The Pal has a small, serviceable display and user-friendly navigation controls. The 1.8-inch TFT screen is full color. Of course, it is not amazingly bright and vibrant, but that is not really the point here anyway. You can change a few options like the wallpaper, the brightness level, and the backlight time duration. The list-based menus are deadly simple to use. The display is deliciously-retro navigation array.
The Pal's phone book holds 1,000 contacts, which should give you plenty of space. Under each contact, you can store four phone numbers, an e-mail address, and a URL. You can pair contacts with a photo, as well, but without a camera, a memory card slot, or USB syncing. Alternatively, you can pair contacts with a ringtone and organize them into groups. There is messaging, a memo pad, an audio recorder, a stopwatch, a calculator, world and alarm clocks, and a calendar. The Pal also comes with designated folders for photos, ringtones, and other files that are not already on the phone. If you do manage to download anything, you will have 25MB of storage.
Lastly there is an ancient-feeling WAP browser that runs on a slow 3G network. Certainly, you can use it to browse, but you will see only the most exposed down of mobile Web pages. Unless you have only used a WAP browser for the past decade, it is pretty monotonous. The browser also connects to the carrier's MetroWeb portal where you can check your customer account. The Pal runs BREW 3.15, though it has no games to speak of.
There are two soft keys, one of which you can use as a shortcut to a feature of your choice. The individual buttons are raised and a comfortable size, though the keypad as a whole feels rather confined. The only other features on the Pal's exterior are a 3.5mm headset jack on its top end and a Micro-USB charger port on the right spine. It does not have a dedicated volume rocker. There is just a speaker on the back of the Pal.
Regrettably, the Pal's premier feature does not quite pull through. It does connect and the MetroPCS signal only oscillated, but the audio was patchy and callers sounded rather preset. The volume level could be louder, as well. Speakerphone calls are louder thanks to the single speaker on the Pal's rear side, but they are scrachier than normal calls.
The Pal has a rated battery life of 5.5 hours talk time and 14 days of standby time. According to FCC radiation tests, the Pal has a digital SAR of 1.33 watts per kilogram.
There is nothing wrong with a simple cell phone. The Huawei Pal, on the other hand, borders on primitive. Between its small screen, empty feature list, and numeric keypad for texting, there is not enough here for even the most casual user. And when you throw in the disappointing call quality, you have a device than can not adequately perform its primary feature. Samsung Freeform M is better option if you are just looking for a free phone on MetroPCS.
The Huawei Pal has very few features and call quality was changeable. With its limited features and poor call quality, the Huawei Pal is not worth your time, even as a basic phone.